TRIGGER WARNING: If you think you’re immune to cheap sentimentality this may make you reconsider. Eleven-year-old Björk Guðmundsdóttir’s debut is so cute that even the hardest heart will melt. (more…)

Celia & the Mutations only ever released two singles, and those four tracks featured the mysterious Celia backed by three different bands. (more…)

Over the years I’ve occasionally heard musicians on the end of scathing reviews express the idea that these critiques are motivated by jealousy. Some of them seem to think music journalists are all frustrated musicians. (more…)

Johnny & The Self-Abusers had the perfect punk trajectory, releasing one single in their eight-month career. Then they became Simple Minds.
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Plenty of soul singers (Aretha, Otis, Whitney) had parents who were church ministers and plenty more began singing in church when they were young. A handful (Al Green, Eddie Holman) even went on to become ministers themselves. Only one earned the title “The Female Preacher” – Lyn Collins. (more…)

Here’s another barely remembered and barely played single from my dusty shelf of 45s. It’s a pretty typical example of lower-league punk. (more…)

I never get tired of this song. It’s probably my favourite by Elvis Costello – certainly up there with Oliver’s Army and Accoidents Will Happen. A miniature film noir in song, it’s brimming with tension, musically and lyrically. And Nick Lowe’s production gives it the element that all the best songs exhibit. Space. (more…)

999 – Emergency

25th May 2022 · 1970s, 1978, Music, Punk

Back in 1977, one of the hardest-working bands on the live circuit was 999. They also had some of the best tunes. And Emergency was the best of the lot. (more…)

Here’s another one from my dusty singles collection, most of them released between 1977 and 1980. It sounds startlingly similar to Styrofoam, by The Tyla Gang, which was one of the first singles on Stiff Records. It’s also got a similar jerky vibe to Richard Hell & The Voidoids. (more…)

John Cooper Clarke was the poet laureate of punk. Along with Linton Kwesi Johnson he was everywhere, filling in at gigs as a kind of cross between an MC and a support band. (more…)