Tuesday, 21 May 2013

I got the blues for Françoise

'Scuse me for possibly being a little bit fashionably late for the party, but I got violently ill at the weekend and, well, some things (like being violently ill*) are more important than blogging.

I've been rather enamoured of late by the new Ace Records Françoise Hardy compilation. which brings together her English language output between 1968 and 1972, a period when she worked a lot with Tommy Brown and Micky Jones (who also worked with Sylvie; and then as Johnny's backing band The Blackburds; and who have had honourable mention before here and here), and a time when rumours that she might work with Nick Drake, sadly never came to fruition.

You get 2 almost complete albums of post-psychedelic folk rock and Françoise charming your ears with her delicate, slightly hesitant English. Some fine sleevenotes from Mr Bob Stanley too!

You can (and should!) buy the CD direct from Ace Records for £11.50 inc. free delivery in the UK via the following link >> Francoise Hardy - Midnight Blues Paris London 1968-1972 (Ace Records)

Now, if only my mp3 files were accessible, I would post a song... but they ain't so I'm currently looking round for a more reliable host body. Watch this space.

*such things are not necessarily as much fun as, though they are often a lot more work than, blogging... Both can certainly be draining though.

Monday, 13 May 2013


Apologies, the place where my files are hosted is having some kind of server problems, and all the mp3 files are currently inaccessible. I've emailed them and hopefully they'll be back up and running soon...

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Cactus versus Brezel

It will no doubt surprise you, dear reader, that my position in society as a music blogger/artist/musician/DJ/toy maker/father has not yet made me my millions. It is because of this that I, plus the good lady V and the little O, found myself in a Holiday Inn up there in up-and-come-and-pretty-much-gentrified Hoxton, East London.

Caught in a moment of pure glamour, we were awaiting the only working lift to reception, and as the doors slid open, who should we spy amidst the packed-in-like-sardines passengers? None other than our old friends Stereo Total (over from Berlin for one night only)...

[I wondered aloud if they always stayed at the Holiday Innn, but apparently they rather regret writing that song: "Next time we will write about a more upmarket hotel!"]

We checked out and found a café bar to pass the time until their flight, and they very kindly furnished me with a vinyl copy of their new LP Cactus versus Brezel. And then they were off, refreshed by breakfast, Guinness and rosé wine.

There was no sign of the fisticuffs promised by that title, but just supposing...

"LAYDEEZ AND GENTLE MEN, in the coin Français, on vocals, kazoo and banging the drums: FRRRRANÇOISE CACTUSSS!!!"

"It doesn't pay to try, all the smart girls no why..."

Trust Françoise, she's a smart cookie and she knows.

She knows it makes good sense to take a rough pop diamond by smacked-up heartbreaker Johnny Thunders and to turn it into a dirty, shuddering, synthetic hymn to love, loss and empty arms.

*this is the sound of a filthy, dirty arpeggiator*so there*

Françoise Cactus - You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory
[only released on the 3-disc Girl Monster compilation (Chicks on Speed Records), which is out of print, but there are 2nd hand copies here]

"And in the Deutsche ecke, on guitars, synths, trautonium und neu!-ses:  

"We can hear you coming through loud and clear on the answerphone."
"No, you're breaking up. You're breaking up into a stuttering, electro cut-up xerox of an old Serge Gainsbourg Freggae number..."
"Is that you Françoise? Brezel? Just what is this bad news filtering in on the solar winds? Tell us, what news from way up there in the celestial heavens?"
"No, you're breaking up again..."
---message terminated---

Brezel Göring - Bad News From The Stars
[originally released on the Brezel Göring/Barom One split LP (buy it from Gagarin Records); confusingly, a virtually identical version also came out on Stereo Total's Discotheque remixes album (buy); and then there's an alternate version, with our other friend Vice Cooler rapping over it on Hawnay Troof's sprawling double album Dollar and Deed (buy)]