We were recently invited by Generator to record a session at Blank Studios in Newcastle, for the BBC project ‘The Space’. The aim of the session was to reinterpret a classic performance from the TV show ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’. We decided to perform a cover of ‘Too Much Too Young’ by The Specials.
Late late year, I posted an amazing song by this talented Liverpool-based songwriter called “Before”. Here he is now with his second single, as big and bright as the first, probably even a bit more anthemic. These are songs as swollen as a cherry tree in spring - a burst of white and heaven and new seasons.
Thanks to Dave Monks for playing ‘Before’ again tonight on BBC Introducing Merseyside! There are loads of great bands on the show, including the fantastic Kankouran, so if you like, have a listen here.
Also thanks to anyone who has checked out the track on Amazing Radio - ‘Before’ is now 11 in the chart! Again, it’s a great station with loads of cool bands, so if you want to, have a gander here.
Thành Mái — Tóc Mai Sợi Vắn Sợi Dài (Long, Uneven Hair)
Geez, this is such a great find. My mind is reeling dreaming about the hip cats who were making this kind of far-out music during the height of the war. Can you imagine? There should be a film made about this - like the crazy opening scenes of Apocalypse Now. So bummed the vinyl 2-LP is sold out. #sadface #repress?
from Saigon Rock & Soul: Vietnamese Classic Tracks 1968-1974
I’ve been doing a little hunting around for Vietnamese music from the 60s and 70s and came across this Sublime Frequencies compilation, which is, as the label would suggest, sublime. It’s packed with psychedelic rock…and keep in mind these songs were recorded during the Vietnam war. From Sublime Frequencies:
By the mid-1960s, Vietnam had been ravaged by war for years. American G.I.s had become a standard fixture in Saigon, as did many of the cultural artifacts they brought with them. This certainly included the music. The sounds of rock and roll dominated the radio waves, and Saigon nightclubs were teeming with new sounds. Musically, the Shadows and the Ventures soon gave way to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones as an enthusiastic set of young Vietnamese rockers signed on to the lifestyle, always eager to hear the latest musical trends the G.I.s would bring in on LP or tape. This era saw the birth of a vibrant rock scene yet rock music and anything that came close was commonly referred to as ‘soul’ in the Vietnamese genre-listings. All of [these tracks] were recorded in makeshift studios and even US army facilities while the Vietnam War raged – and were issued by a handful of Saigon record companies on vinyl 45s and reel or cassette tapes.
This new track by Jethro Fox builds up different layers of stylized textures on top of a loop of claps and vocal harmonies. His small implements of keyboard notes and electric guitar weave together to establish a smooth 60’s pop inspired melody.