Archive for the ‘music’ Category

In the months leading up to the release of Stevie Wonder’s classic Songs In The Key Of Life in 1976, the record-buying public grew so impatient to hear the record that its author was forced to wear a t-shirt around town that bore the legend “We’re Almost Finished!”

Perhaps Frank Ocean is sporting a similar garment as I write. It has been more than three years now since the release of his majestic breakthrough album Channel Orange, and one gets the impression from his Tumblr feed that the impatience of his own fans to hear the follow-up is not lost on him.

And the anticipation is killing me.



Underworld returned to Glasgow this week (Thursday 12th March) to play their breakthrough 1994 album Dubnobasswithmyheadman in full. The prospect would be unpromising in the hands of almost any other band – a nostalgia gig, in a classical music venue –  but the night was a triumph.

This is my journey through Underworld, the band who taught me to dance, introduced me to indie royalty and dangled a rope ladder from the greatest generation down to mine.


Want to feel old? The first Elastica album was released twenty years ago this month. Twenty years!

It’s a bit of a shock to realise that two full decades have passed since I first heard them, but I remain as convinced today as I was at the time that Elastica were the best band of the 90s. Here’s why. (more…)

If there’s one thing the album of the year polls tell me, it’s that I don’t hear as much new music as I used to. Twice upon a time I would have heard everything on the main lists, and most records on the more niche selections, but this year I’m struggling. It was the same last year too: I hadn’t heard of Chance The Rapper or Hookworms until the end of year charts told me about them.

I might need to make more time to hear new records, but that doesn’t mean I’ve eschewed all music this year. In what has been the most eventful and bizarre year of my life, certain pieces of music have soothed me, moved me, transported me and exhilarated me, just like they always do.

Here is my year in music.


There are two beautiful moments in everyone’s life as a music fan. There’s the moment you first get into music; and then there’s the moment when you really get into music.

I had loved music for years before I experienced the latter of these ‘moments’. And then, over the following couple of years, I seemed to have a musical epiphany about once a week.

In this post I want to describe eight records that blew my mind as a teenager, as well as a couple of more recent personal touchstones.

These aren’t my ten favourite albums – I actually haven’t listened to some of them since last century – but they probably had the biggest impact on me as a listener. If only they had soundtracked the growth to maturity of a cooler person…


Chvrches: bittersweet synth-onies

Posted: November 5, 2014 in music

Chvrches: Glasgow Barrowlands, November 4th 2014

I went to see Chvrches last night, for the fourth time since March last year. Allow me to tell you all about how wonderful they are. (more…)

Jessie Ware released her second album, Tough Love, this week. It’s really good, as is everything she’s ever been involved with. Go get it.

I want to tell you about my favourite bits of the record. They’re a series of very brief moments, lasting less than a second each. Once I’ve told you about it, I’ll put my slightly unorthodox perspective in context.

In the process I will explain:

a) why I don’t care about lyrics;

b) why My Bloody Valentine are the greatest band in the world; and

c) why X Factor has been bad for singers (shooting a fish in a barrel there, perhaps).

Oh, and why Jessie Ware is my favourite singer.

Read on to learn more about my strange musical prejudices.