The Bears – On Me

3rd April 2024 · 1970s, 1977, Music, Punk

I’d never heard of The Bears until I began reading Richard Norris’s memoir, Strange Things Are Happening, and came across their debut single, On Me.

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This song caught my eye, if not my ear, the other day when I spotted it included in a list of the best-selling songs of 1972… at number one.
Which was weird as I’d never heard of it, let alone heard it.

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Yesterday, as every good Catholic knows, was Good Friday – the counter-intuitively named day when Jesus was crucified. So it was only right and fitting that I spent the evening watching The Jesus and Mary Chain at The Roundhouse. And it was doubly appropriate that they finished their set with their cataclysmic anthem Reverence.

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This refreshingly primitive punk nugget by The Innocent Vicars is one of those lost gems that you unearth by chance. Or in this case because I’m reading the singer’s newly published memoir, Strange Things Are Happening (Adventures In Music).

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Black Uhuru were everywhere in the late ’70s. It seemed they would step into Bob Marley’s shoes after his death in 1981 – only for their lead singer, Michael Rose, to leave the group.

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Plan B – Kidz

24th March 2024 · 2000s, 2006, Hip-Hop, Music

Before he became a pop star singing sweet soul pastiches, Plan B was a hardcore rapper tackling social issues like the death of Damilola Taylor.

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The final Talking Heads album, Naked, is so underrated it’s almost been forgotten compared to the majesty of Remain In Light and (my favourite) Fear Of Music.

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If you’re after a killer chorus, look no further than this song – Cryin’ My Eyes Out (Lyin’ Beside You). Shannon Shaw is a soulful and swaggering garage rock diva with one foot in the ’50s and ’60s and the other in a sweaty underground bar.

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One of the best riffs of all time when Muddy Waters recorded it back in 1955, it somehow sounds even better in the dextrous hands of George Thorogood a quarter of a century later.

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When I first heard Roy Orbison I dismissed him as an old crooner singing overwrought ballads of no relevance to me with my cool musical tastes.

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