heard on the wire

You’re a big, fat, bigoted arsehole

I discovered Ballboy when I bought All the Records on the Radio are Shite because I liked the title. It wasn’t long before I scoured record shops for as much of their music as I could find.

The result: Ballboy lie second in my list of all-time favourite scottish bands of all-time, just behind Belle and Sebastian and marginally ahead of fellow country-tinged songsmiths, Camera Obscura.

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Let’s be quick before it melts

A song-from-each-year-of-my-life for 2002 should be an easy choice; this was the year that Cinerama released the LP I consider to be almost the greatest ever made.

Only Joy Division’s Closer keeps Torino out of the top spot — and rightly so, says The Guardian’s Dave Simpson.

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We’re floating 700 miles

I don’t know any rock ’n’ roll stars but I do know a man who does — two in fact.

First there’s my youngest brother Grant, who used to work with the bass player of the fantastic Decoration and once gave me a signed CD as an absolutely perfect birthday present.

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I have never loved you more than I do right now

Darren Hayman has made many great records in his various incarnations, from Hefner’s jawdropping Hymn to the Cigarettes to 2008’s hymn to the Underground, Dirty Tube Train, by his short-lived folk outing, Hayman, Watkins, Trout and Lee.

But in August 2000 Hefner, his first band, recorded a live set for John Peel at the BBC’s Maida Vale studios. Subsequently released as an LP, the 10 songs show the band at its very best. And they come no better than this song-from-each-year-of-my-life.

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This is as good as it gets, yes

Popularly lumped in with Britpop, Gene were so much better than that. And in 1999 they proved it, releasing one of the finest singles of the decade.

1999’s song-from-each-year-of-my-life is, indeed, as good as it gets.

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Chicken with plums

Chicken with plums

Not the graphic novel but a very delicious recipe from Delicious magazine.

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You can’t start a sentence like that and not end it

Sometimes I wish that a song-from-each-year-of-my-life had been five songs, such is the choice in some years — including 1998.

In what will become a recurring theme over the course of the next few posts in this series, Cinerama dominate the list of 98’s top tracks, not least because David Gedge’s post-Wedding Present incarnation released both a debut LP, Va Va Voom, as well as a compilation of early singles and b-sides, helpfully titled This is Cinerama.

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Creeping round my house at dawn

The first time I heard this record I was unmoved. And the second, third and maybe fourth time. Then it clicked.

How can you not love a band named after the winner of the 1988 Tour de France? And how can you not love a band that produces a record as completely brilliant as 1997’s song-from-each-year-of-my-life.

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