Dear Santa…


It’s that time!

Time to eat, drink, be merry and write some lists!

If you’ve been following the Blog for a while, you’ll have noticed that I approach the whole list-compiling thing with some trepidation but as the days move on, I get in to the spirit, and by the end, well…

So, here goes:


Seven Records I Should Own

(and am a bit embarrassed that I don’t)


In the past I think I’ve used this list to give a cursory mention to records that everyone else has been salivating over but which I couldn’t be arsed with. This year, though, this is a genuine Dear Santa letter of a list, with records on it that I am genuinely arsed about and am hoping to get (one way or another) over the Christmas period.

As ever, the list is in no particular order and I can’t say much about any of them, so there’s a video of something from each one.

West – Wooden Shjips

Only just catching up on Ripley Johnston and band’s records and have been really enjoying the Moon Duo stuff, but I’m told this is their first studio album proper, and is even better than their other releases.

Lazy Bones


Apocalypse – Bill Callahan

I’ve been a Smog fan for a good while now, but somehow the dropping of the name, plus a pretty dull live set at Green Man one year meant that Bill Callahan has drifted from my radar in recent years. I gather this record is a bit of a return to form for the man. Looking forward to hearing it…

Riding for the Feeling


Days – Real Estate

Another band who have suffered from my butterfly approach to record buying. Bought their debut album and enjoyed it immensely, but again when this their second release appeared, I was nowhere to be found… Gah!

It’s Real (lovely guitar sound…)


Ashes and Fire – Ryan Adams

And another artist I’ve sadly neglected until recent weeks. I loved Heartbreaker and Gold when they came out, and have lately played both records a lot (and benefited from the latest LPGroup session on the former). I’m ready for the new record now…

Lucky You


The Whole Love – Wilco

Oh God here’s another one! What have I been doing all year? This is even worse – I actually turned my nose up at the chance to see them inBristol, because I was too tight. C’mon Andrew, get it together!

Born Alone


Parallax – Atlas Sound

Really enjoyed Bradford Cox’s first two records, and quite liked the Deerhunter stuff too. This record is getting a lot of love across all the end of year lists…



Bon Iver – Bon Iver

Missed this guy’s voice something terrible…



Let England Shake – PJ Harvey

This one’s a bit different in that it’s been voted top of list after list, and even more prestigious than that it’s been voted record of 2011 by the members of LPGroup, who’ll be spinning and discussing it 1st Sunday in January (all welcome). Better go and buy it I guess…

The Glorious Land


That was eight wasn’t it?

Going through the attic…

I’m trying to tidy this old place up a little, and one of the things that’s needed doing for a fair while is to update all my recordings, a lot of which have lost their links.

So I’ve been going through some of the gigs I’ve been to in the last few years and renewed the links. In some cases, I’ve put up the whole set, where as before I’d only posted a few tracks (I have no idea why I didn’t do this at the time. I suspect idleness).


So here we go (some of this stuff is new):

David Byrne at Colston Hall, March ‘09

Art Brut at the Guildhall, Feb ‘08

Field Music at the Guildhall, June ‘10

Bon Iver at Green Man, August ’09 and

Phosphorescent at Thekla, May ‘11

More to follow…

What might’ve been lost…

God bless people who write comments! I’m not a great interacter (but that’s all going to change), but I am pathetically grateful when someone takes the trouble to add a comment on this Blog.

Bon Iver

A feller who calls himself ArthManual, who runs this rather cool site has posted a comment asking about the Bon Iver, Green Man set that I’ve rashly promised to make available a couple of times.

I’m glad he contacted me actually because it made me listen to the tracks again, and they’re decent recordings of what was one of the best sets of Green Man ’09. I can see why I may not have posted them in the first place in that I’d managed to stand next to a couple of guys who inexplicably got bored about two songs in and talked loudly through the rest of the set (I ask you…).

Listening again, I’m perhaps a bit more forgiving of this (if you are…) and I’ve enjoyed hearing them again. Only six tracks survive, I’m afraid, and one of my lasting regrets of the evenings was that, conscious of my batteries, I’d already switched the recorder off by the time he got to a hairs-on-the-back-of-your-neck version of Wolves to finish the set.

The songs are:


Skinny Love

Creature Fear

Re: Stacks


For Emma

Ah well, the versions of Skinny Love and For Emma stand up particularly well, I feel. You can download these songs in one .RAR file, here

Skimming through Youtube, I found this video taken a lot further back than I was standing, so you can’t see the performers but it does manage to capture something of that wonderful finale…

Heady days…