heard on the wire

I must confess you always were the best

Ketchups decorations

Decoration are a Leeds- and London-based outfit who first came to John Peel’s attention 10 years ago and to mine shortly afterwards. They remain the only band I know whose bass player’s day job saw him working with one of my brothers, which I learnt while travelling to a brewery.

They recorded a Peel session and the following year saw the release of the band’s debut LP, Don’t Disappoint Us Now, which is full of great tunes and thoughtful lyrics.

A second LP, See You After The War, followed in 2008 and that appeared to be that. However the band’s website says they are on their way back and we wait excitedly. In the meantime, we have this.

Decoration :: I Tried It, I Liked It, I Loved It ⬇ iTunes

Audio MP3


And indeed I did. That’s today’s five-star choice, following one from the Wah! song that opened this new chapter in blogging history.

Wah! begat the Red Guitars and Decoration beget The Positions, a Washington DC five-piece who released a debut LP, Bliss, in 2005 and a six-track successor five years later. Their shortage of output seems to me to be a big loss, for that 2010 record, Tonight, is a fine collection of songs and, like Bliss, free to download.

The Positions :: Never Really Loved You Anyway

There aren’t many authors who have released CDs to accompany their novels, but with George Pelecanos it makes the utmost sense. His novels are imbued with the music of the time, none more so than Hard Revolution, which is largely set in the Washington DC riots of 1968, which followed the murder of Martin Luther King.

Pelecanos vicariously celebrates his love of music through his characters, in this case it’s the young black police officer, Derek Strange, while striking a sharp contrast between the beauty of the soul tunes and the social turmoil they soundtracked.

The track that closes the Hard Revolution CD is, says Pelecanos, “one of the greatest soul performances ever recorded, from the greatest soul singer of all time”. This live version is pretty stupendous too.

Otis Redding :: I’ve Been Loving You Too Long

Sometimes, you just can’t stop.

Elvis Presley :: I Can’t Stop Loving You

Joy Adamson was an Austrian woman made famous by Born Free, the book and subsequent film that chronicled her experience of raising a lion cub. It’s also the first Decoration song Peel played.

Decoration :: Joy Adamson ⬇ iTunes

Audio MP3


Photo: Ketchup by photographer; some rights reserved.

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