I lose control and I’m in that place

You were worried, you say?

Very sweet of you, but really you needn’t have…

Last three weekends have been completely taken out by school commitments (reports, assessments, blah-did-blah), but I’m back now. Actually I’m saying that, but it hasn’t been quite as relentless as I’m making out, I have managed to get along to a couple of gigs, and am out again tomorrow night. I am livin’ the life…

Old Peel faves the Wedding Present got along to the Guild Hall the week before last, and you can read about it here, at Martin’s site. Amazingly the night before, I had managed to breathe new life into my previously moribund iRiver. Joy unconfined was, however, turned into another one of those Doh moments that regular readers of this Blog will by now be familiar with. Got all my settings wrong and I fear the bootleg may well be unsaveable. It was a good night, although you’ll have to take mine and Martin’s words for it…

Then last weekend, found me and a couple of old mates in the lush surroundings of Westonbirt Arboretum, sat in deck chairs opening a few tins in the sun shine, waiting for Paul Weller to come on. Place was full of aging hipsters such as myself, and the fair sprinkling of parkas and boating jackets were only slightly offset by the number of bald and thinning pates in attendance. (I like to think of myself as more the latter than the former…)

The Wedding Present debacle still ringing in my ears I didn’t bring my elaborate and expensively assembled kit, but I did get this, which pretty much does the trick:

Cracking gig by a man who really is a legend and clearly still really fancies it.

More to come…

I’ll suffer death a thousand times

Clearly, the greatest thing to come out of Baltimore is this, but apparently there are other worthy things coming out of Hamsterdam.

Wye Oak

Whilst downloading the SpliceToday compilation the other day (in order to get at the Christian Kiefer track that I posted here), I came across a few other good songs, one of them by this band.

Wye Oak come from the aforementioned troubled city and are chiefly the work of Andy Stack and Jen Wasner, writing rather dark and dense folk songs, draped in feedback and special effects. They’re signed to Merge Records and you can read more about them here. (Reassuringly for fans of Stringer, Wee-Bey and Slim Charles, they do talk in their blog about waking up one morning to find a dead body dumped behind their house. It’s a rough town.)

Their song on the compilation is a cover of a traditional folk song called “Black is the Colour of My True Love’s Hair”, made famous by Nina Simone and also covered by the late troubled Davy Graham. I really like their version, with its slightly drone-y toneless style, which makes it sound rather hostile and dark. I also like the way they’ve played fast and loose with the lyrics – all in the spirit, I think.

Wye Oak’s second album, The Knot, will be available from Merge in July. I’ve dug around and found three tracks available, and I think you’ll rather like them…

I Don’t Feel Young

Take It In

Black is the Colour of my True Love’s Hair