Alberto hits his brother on the back of the head…

ImageTwo gigs in a week? Sheesh! Slow down, old man….

Well, we hit the highway to Bristol, not once but twice this week (a school week, as well…), latterly to see Richard Hawley at Colston Hall (more later…), but the Monday belonged to the unstoppable Calexico…

Saw Calexico a few years ago at my first Green Man, and I remember being staggered at just how good they were live, so I’ve been really looking forward to this month’s Academy gig, the tickets have been pinned to our board for a good while now…

We caught the whole of the support band’s set, but (not for the first time) I’m afraid I didn’t really give them the attention they deserved, chatting boorishly throughout. If I’d twigged it was California’s the Dodos at the time I’d have done more to concentrate, but that’s one that got away somewhat.

On the dot of 9:30, though, Burns, Convertino and workmates marched briskly onto the stage and set to work, looking full of zest and confidence. And why wouldn’t they? They’re clearly at the top of their craft and from the evidence of Monday in a fine streak of form.

Burns led the evening, with the occasional foray to the front from Jacob Valenzuela and Martin Wenk. We really enjoyed Valenzuela’s contributions, the best of which was a busy, soulful version of Inspiracion. Both his and Wenk’s brass injections were terrific too, stepping up the intensity of each song whenever they intervened.

A number of people had been raving about Convertino’s drumming before the start (somehow I’d missed him previously) and I have to say I was indeed impressed with his economical but spellbinding style. I’m not a great technician of rhythm sections but I could see that he dominated his areas of each song with a clipped, reserved efficiency that drew you in, in spite of all the brassy, extravagance around him. He was very exciting.

The set included a lot of the new Algiers album (a record that had made no impression on me beforehand, but which I’ll be revisiting now…) with a good smattering of selections from Carried to Dust and Garden Ruin amongst others and the obligatory Alone Again Or. A generous encore meant the set stretched out to an open-handed hour and a half in total. A fabulous way to spend an evening…

El Picador

Alone Again Or


Roka (Danza de la Muerte)

Across the Wire

Fix me up with your sweet dose…

ImageI uploaded this special Freakbeat Lucky Seven a good fortnight ago and can’t believe I didn’t post it at the time…

Not been listening to a lot of new music recently, but instead have spent a lot of time wallowing in the sugary mire of British psychedelia and mid-sixties freakbeat. And in the spirit of the time, I thought I’d share a little something with you…

Take Her Anytime – The Longboatmen (fantastic crashing feedback guitars that gradually take over …)

You’re Too Much – The Eyes (spoke about these lads in the last post – beats me how they’re not more well-known, again, a cracking, dangerous guitar riff dominates)

Strange Walking Man – Mandrake Paddle Steamer (another track I’m amazed I didn’t know earlier, cleverly put together, sounding a lot like Revolver-era Beatles)

Mud In Your Eye – Les Fleur De Lys (another biff-bang-pow of a record, Pretty Things/Who guitar riff, could’ve chosen five or six by this lot)

Vacuum Cleaner – Tintern Abbey (actually knew this record from the eighties Chocolate Soup For Diabetics collection, a re-discovered favourite…)

I Must Be Mad – Craig (more driving, urgent guitar riffs, common theme developing, priceless)

Hold On – Rupert’s People (wrote about these last time too, and I think I read somewhere that they were some sort of Fleur De Lys offshoot, here they’re doing the same song as FDL were talking in the YouTube clip.)

Fix yourself up…

You got a grey suede coat and a soul on fire!


February already? What happened to January?

In truth, I’ve not listened to a lot of new music in the last month or so. Instead, I’ve been immersing myself in the exotic delights and fragrant scents of sixties freakbeat and British psychedelia. I’ve blown pretty much all of a month’s Emusic credits on the five volumes of the PerfumedGarden series of compilations and dipped into more than a few similar collections.

I gather “freakbeat” is a bit of modern invention and that the term didn’t exist in the mid-sixties at all, but it works as a description of a group of British bands, following in the Biff Bang Pow, Pop Art steps of the Who and the Creation.

Some great songs and sounds in there too, but unfortunately very little footage of the bands. I’ve dug up what I can, but in a couple of cases, you’ll have to make do with some quite imaginative collage work from the uploader…

Get with it!

The Smoke – “My Friend Jack”

(eats sugar lumps, apparently…)

Rupert’s People – “I Can Show You”

(massive Steve Marriott borrowing going on here, and super-rare apparently)

The Eyes – “All Rowed Out”

(probably my favourite “find” of the lot, can’t believe these lads didn’t get really, really famous…)

The Factory – “Try a Little Sunshine”

(not real footage of course, but strikes the right note…)

Les Fleur de Lys / Sharon Tandy – “Hold On”

(another really great band of the era, if you can overlook the occasional foray into ill-advised “whimsy”.)