heard on the wire

Back to school

School starts again tomorrow, which means that the flow of music onto these pages will necessarily slow to a trickle.

But tomorrow leaves just enough time for a round-up of some of the tunes that have brightened some of the many grey days we’ve had recently.

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Something for Mama

Much was made in 2016 of the tenth studio LP by Teenage Fanclub and while Here is doubtless a fine record, I struggled to work up the same enthusiasm as reviewers who appear to have been unequivocal in their universal acclaim.

And that’s slightly odd. Because I really like The Great Leap Backward, the second LP from fellow Scots, Bubblegum Lemonade. And if ever a band sounded like Teenage Fanclub, then it’s Bubblegum Lemonade.

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Is that pretty lame?

There are two sides to every story. Take, for instance, the contrasting fortunes of Matthew Healy and Greta Klein.

Healy, for those lucky enough to have thus far avoided him, is the lead singer of The 1975, a band so bad that they managed to make Chris Martin’s rendition of a George Michael song only the second worst performance at this year’s Brits awards.

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Here be dragons

As puns go it’s pretty dreadful.

As records go, this is pretty good. Echoes of Allo Darlin’ — and how we need those right now.

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Everlasting? Yeah.

First there were the Undertones. They channelled the Ramones to invent indie pop (with a little help from Orange Juice) and grown men, yes, mostly men, still swoon at the paean to onanism (perhaps) that is Teenage Kicks.

Then there were That Petrol Emotion, two Undertone brothers in a new band fronted by an American, driven by a social conscience.

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Kate Moss with a moustache

Anyone who’s ever owned a Wii — or known someone who’s owned a Wii — will at some stage have played Mario Kart. Although Wii was the most democratic of gaming consoles, if you stuck with bowling and the fitness nonsense, you weren’t doing it properly. Mario Kart was the Wii.

And if you played Mario Kart enough, you eventually ended up on Rainbow Road. Which meant that you eventually ended up falling off Rainbow Road.

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Where’s the revolution?

2017 is barely six weeks old and Depeche Mode have made an early bid for single of the year with their first release in four years.

This may be their best record yet in a 26-year career, remarkable as much for the survival of rock ’n’ pop’s most notorious drug takers as it has been for the music.

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Beat nostalgia

This track has been hanging round my desktop for a while now, evidence of good intentions let down by a lack of

It was from the first of five EPs that Captain Polaroid released in 2010 — via Blogger if I recall — that no longer appear to be available in their original form. Some tracks survive on the artist’s Bandcamp page, but not this one, which seems remiss since it’s the standout song among those five Beat Nostalgia releases.

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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.