Of all the great female-fronted bands that punk produced – Siouxsie, Slits, Raincoats, Delta 5, Kleenex – the most confrontational were the Au Pairs. They were also my favourites.

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If this doesn’t put a smile on your face, then nothing will! I can say with some confidence that this is the first music I’ve ever posted from the tiny islands of São Tomé and Príncipe.

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I was wondering what would be the perfect song to play on the hottest day we’ve ever had when I remembered this… a song that immediately conjures up a sweltering summer’s day in New York. (more…)

Here’s a Beatles cover by The Feelies, whose 1980 debut album was a landmark in the New Wave that followed punk. (more…)

Here’s another forgotten gem from the mid-Eighties. It’s got a gothic grandeur with the deep, rich baritone of Paul Quinn swathed in strings and the searing guitar solo at 2.20. (more…)

Until last night I had forgotten just what a brilliant record this is. I hadn’t heard it in the best part of 40 years. (more…)

Another weather-appropriate tune today, to mark the onset of brass monkeys and taters. This is, to the best of my knowledge, the only cover version by New Order.

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Nothing puts a smile on the face and gets the feet moving like Highlife music. So, to celebrate a century of recorded Ghanaian highlife, here’s a prime example by the late legend Atakora Manu.

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Terence Wilson, universally known as Astro, was the percussionist and part-time toaster in UB40, the unfairly maligned kings of UK reggae.

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There was so much more to Bunny Wailer than being a founding member of the band that bears his name. (more…)