heard on the wire

This one time, at Bandcamp…


I love Bandcamp, the music store with full-length previews, where the artist sets the price—or lets the listener set it—and the listener chooses the format. Whether they opt for crappy old MP3 or state-of-the-art lossless AACs, the price is the same. It’s exactly how a digital music store should work and its cut, a maximum 15%, is a lot less than Apple and the record companies take from an equivalent sale on iTunes.

The inestimable Kris Waah is also fan. His excellent Burning World blog is a treasure trove of left field tunes unearthed from the site (and elsewhere). He trawls so we don’t have to, unearthing the likes of Clockwork Era and their “disillusioned post-punk sensibilities that commentate on an imploding society…with vitriol, resentment and anger.” It can only be good.

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On with the brass band, boring Norwich disco

Love on the terraces / Serious Drinking

Brian McCloskey is from Derry, lives in California and is one of the most important people on the internet. For the past two years he has been scanning and consequently preserving his collection of Smash Hits magazines, starting with the first issue from November 1978.

I mention this for several reasons. Any contemporary fan of late-70s and 80s pop will have been a Smash Hits reader and is doubtlessly Googling said archive at this very moment; someone might have a dusty collection of Flexipop mags and be inspired; and it makes for hugely entertaining reading, particularly the review sections.

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H is for handball, which has to be intentional


I first became aware of Nat Johnson and the Figureheads last year, mistakenly including a track from the Sheffield-based quintet’s 2010 release, What the Heart Pours Into, among the candidates for my top tune of 2011.

Spared the embarrassment of selecting it ahead of the eventual winner, I can safely include the band’s most recent offering among my favourite records of this year.

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Please ask me anything…

Venus Transit

This blog, like a tortoise, likes both to take its time and to occasionally hibernate, especially when the real world rears its ugly head, which it did, with a vengeance, this year. But thankfully the music keeps coming, which in turn brings us to some of the contenders for my favourite record of this year¹.

The Nature Set are a three-piece from Sheffield with one EP, 2011’s Enough is Enough, and a ”maxi-cassingle”, a cassette-only release that features three of their songs and three by Former Lover. This is the Nature Set’s claim to a celestial existence and a fine way to start any blog post.

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heard on the wire is a blog about music old and new, but mostly new. It occasionally uses 21st century file formats that may not be supported by 20th century web browsers. For best results use Safari or Chrome. And If you like the music posted here, please think of the effort and expense that has gone into making it and consider buying a copy of your own.


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All the music on this site is posted to encourage listeners to enjoy it and then rush out and buy as many songs by the artist as they possibly can. Any artist, record label boss, publisher or other rightsholder who doesn't want their works featured here only needs to get in touch and the offending file(s) will be removed at the earliest opportunity.