For those of you who don’t know him, Big Jeff is a legendary Bristol gig-going ultra-enthusiast, an invaluable resource for recommendations at festivals (We practically copy his clashfinder like we’re cheating on a school test) and an all round lovely man!
Every Thursday at 5pm, Big Jeff has been chatting with people for Independent Venue Week’s YouTube channel, and this week he spoke with our very own Jeff Barrett about Bristol, record shops and Heavenly history.
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Working Men’s Club MegamixWorking Men’s Club have released an incredible 21-minute ‘megamix’, on the day that should have seen the release of their debut album. The megamix “simultaneously acts as a taster and a condensed electronic reworking of parts of the album”.
The band’s Syd Minsky-Sargeant notes: “It doesn’t feel like a particularly apt time to be self promoting anything at all however we wanted to give something to the people who pre-ordered the album on what would of the original release date.”
The megamix streams for 4 more days here and is then available as a download for people who have pre-ordered or pre-saved the album, which will now be released on the 2nd of October.
A Bigger Fash by Pete Fowler
We love this work by our legendary friend Pete Fowler, and we applaud the people of Bristol for taking matters into their own hands and doing what should have been done a long time ago. We must work to remove monuments to abhorrent racist, murderous historical figures across the country. Here’s a start.
Northern Soul is more than just music to Anthony Flavin – it’s a way of life. Anthony has grown up in care from the age of six. His great passions in life are music, fashion and films from the sixties and seventies, and his love for Northern Soul music tops them all. This heart-warming film follows Anthony in the run-up to his 18th birthday as he finds his place on Nottingham’s Northern Soul scene. With help from his key-worker Luke and a collection of Northern Soul friends, he is about to take his first steps as a DJ and towards an independent life. Has he mastered the decks in time to get this discerning crowd on the dance-floor?
After the announcement that Heavenly will be releasing Automatic, the second album from Australian jazz cosmonauts Mildlife, we’ve been revisiting their ‘How Long Does It Take’ 12″ from last year.
There’s only a few copies left of these hand stamped white labels, featuring two mindblowing cosmic dancefloor remixes by Daniele Baldelli and Marco Dionigi on the flip. Listen below and click through to purchase.
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Pitchfork’s Guide to Girl Groups
Matt Wilkinson of Beats 1 reminded us of Pitchfork’s great rundown on the history of girl groups in 45 songs.
Now Playing – Erland Cooper – ‘A Nightingale Sings Outside Our Window’
“To highlight Mental Health week; BBC Radio 6 Music’s Chris Hawkins invited composer and multi-instrumentalist Erland Cooper to write a piece of music that highlights how music and sound can help our mental health. The finished track features field recordings by 6 Music listeners made whilst in lockdown, Paul Weller, Galya Bisengalieva (solo violin), Robert Ames (solo viola) and Florence Nightingale.”
Another excellent radio show from Diva and Daisy, featuring Little Richard, Weyes Blood, Black Lips and more.
Call for Abstracts: Venue Stories
Our friend Emma Warren drew our attention to this interesting project which aims to collect memories of independent venues in the UK. She says:
These good people are calling out for contributions to their next book. They want to hear from people who ever fell in love with a music place – and you don’t have to be a writer-writer to do it. Rebuilding whatever we have left post-Covid begins with being able to articulate why these places matter. Take a look, drop them a line.
Read more about the project and how to submit here.
Occasional Rain And Other Projects From The Pub – Liz Buckley
Liz Buckley of Ace Records has written a piece on her work with Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs for their ‘presents’ compilation series.
The Token Girl DJs have updated the Jukebox playlist this week with music they played during their Social gathering drinks. If you are a fan of Róisín Murphy, Grace Jones, Raf Rundell and double Daphni – this playlist is for you.
Jeff will be hosting tomorrow’s drinks on twitter so be sure to tune in.
ENCOUNTERS WITH 21ST CENTURY INDEPENDENT RECORD LABELS
If there’s a cultural artefact capable of withstanding the vagaries and fickleness of the digital age as well as the printed book, it’s the vinyl record . . .
In Listening to the Wind, Ian Preece sets out on an international road trip to capture the essence of life for independent record labels operating in the twenty-first century. Despite it all – from algorithms and streaming to the death of the high street and the gutting of the music press – releasing a record to serve its ‘own beautiful purpose’, as 4AD’s Ivo Watts Russell once said, is a flame that still burns through these pages. With countless labels, albums and artists to be discovered, this book is for those who share that inextinguishable love for music.
Working Men’s Club‘s Syd Minsky has done a banging remix of post-industrial Bristol band LICE. This is part of their ‘Conveyor Remixes’ EP and is now available as a limited cassette on LICE’s bandcamp.
As part of our ongoing Heavenly 30 guest playlist series, we asked the Hooton Tennis Club boys to pick their favourite songs from the Heavenly back catalogue.
‘We were always proud to be part of team Heavenly and so for their 30th birthday we’ve picked some of our favourite songs from the label for your aural enjoyment. Knock your lobes to these. It also contains what we all personally think is our shining moment, a wonderfully sloppy cover of Barstool Blues by Neil Young’
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Róisín Murphy – Simulation (Live @ Home)
Róisín’s performance of Simulation live from her living room truly is something to behold!
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Easy Street Records’ Mark Lanegan Playlist
Seattle’s Easy Street Records are big Mark Lanegan fans. They truly went all out with their window display back when Somebody’s Knocking was released.
Now they’ve been asked (along with Rough Trade, Amoeba and Resident) to curate a playlist of their favourite Lanegan tracks for his vault.
The Orielles have revealed the winner of their ‘Euro Borealis’ remix competition to be Lenny Wainwright’s chilled out dub version.
About the competition, the band said:
“Every remix we received was great, we’ll be contacting contestants about an online mixtape so that all remixes can be listened to and enjoyed!”
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Stay In & Chill 043 – Jason Boardman
Our pal Jason has made a fantastic mellow mix for Test Pressing’s Stay In & Chill series.
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Liner Notes for a Lockdown: 17 Useful Albums To Have On Hand by Pete Paphides
“There are two possible soundtracks to a lockdown. There’s the music one you would compile in the event of a lockdown; and then there’s the music you actually feel like listening to once lockdown has happened.”
“These days, it’s more likely to be Smokey R over Sunn O))); Teenage Fanclub over Tricky; ABBA over Aphex.”
An excellent piece by Pete Paphides on the Love Record Stores blog, filled to the brim with feel-good recommendations to boot.
I saw Joy Division many times, they were the revelation of my eighteenth year, they stole everything I had and knew then re-arranged them in an order I may have been able to understand. I was very fortunate to collide with them in that very important part of my life, that difficult period between 17 and 18 when the receptors are looking out for new things to thrill and bend your mind and are working a double shift to find them.
I met the guitarist by the cigarette machine in Eric’s one night in early 1979 after they’d just played. I told him my name was Bernard too, he gave me his phone number and told me if I wanted to go and see them to give him a call, he’d put me on the guest list. Thus started a year of disappearing from Liverpool and turning up wherever they were playing, hitching and jumping trains to wherever I needed to be. It was magical time of wonder and unshakeable possibilities.
An entire generation later, it’s really difficult to convey what Joy division did to music during 1979. They had gone through a seismic shift in what they were all about, almost overnight. Gone was the punky thrash of the Stooges and the Pistols, in its place were soundscapes of otherworldly future-punk. A whole new music, with a whole new set of rules. And, without even thinking in that way, they were beginning to alter not only how people were perceiving music but how music would be played and performed in the future.
Aah, the future. That’s where Joy Division lived, in this science fiction greyness which reflected the dark satanic mills status that Manchester was still locked into, nearing the end of the 20th century. They seemed inextricably linked, the drab greyness of their surroundings informing the music they created and the new environment they were inventing.
And here are the young men, indeed. That sound. In the post punk universe where anything was possible, joy division took a route that set them out on their own, with no competitors in a field of one. Those four young men created a sound that resonates in my head to this very moment, it’s difficult to even think for a moment how life would be without that awe inspiring wall of sculptured noise.
I saw Joy division many times, things spring up from place to place, I get confused as to which gig was which. One of the greatest spectacles in it all was the matinee performance at Eric’s in Liverpool in august of 1979. It was one of the greatest because they were utterly magnificent and more importantly there were children as young as 12, 13 years old in that audience getting a first hand account of the miracle properties of music and giving them signposts as to what to do and where to go later.
Getting very towards the end they played at the original factory club, the PSV, Royce Road, Hulme. They organised a coach from Liverpool, the place was packed. I have a vague memory that they began with The Sound Of Music and finished with Atrocity Exhibition (possibly the other way round). In between was one of the most ferocious sets I ever heard them play. Everything that was to be loved about this band was there, ramped up to the power of a billion. The power, the unbending light, the sheer force of where music can and will take you if you just let go.
Towards the end, even during the encore, Ian Curtis was a spent person, the energy of the performance completely draining him, the steam drifting in wisps fro his red short sleeved shirt. It was a truly astonishing performance, the creation of a new and viable world, right before your very eyes.
Five weeks later it was all over, forever. Joy Division were no more. Yet, for a year in my formative story they were –and still remain- an uplifting wondrous force that gave me an understanding of an incomplete universe that had to be cracked so I could move forward. The members of Joy Division themselves were at odds with all that, of course. They still wanted to be the Stooges.
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Moving Through The Silence: Celebrating The Life and Legacy of Ian Curtis
Tonight at 8PM UK time a livestream will be taking place to raise money for Manchester Mind. The livestream will host Joy Division members Bernard Sumner & Stephen Morris in conversation with Dave Haslam as well as live sets including a collaboration between Mark Lanegan and Wes Eisold of Cold Cave.