Top Five Albums

  1. Hookworms –The Hum

The second album from Leeds’ Hookworms moves on from the more ambient debut of Pearl Mystic with a more direct and heavier Krautrock groove. Album opener The Impasse pummels and bludgeons the senses, but the instrumental tracks, titled with a number as with the first album, have a greater sense of space and expansiveness.  This is where Hookworms put down a marker in the sand. Excellent.

  1. Afghan Whigs – Do To The Beast

As comeback albums go, this is near perfect. It blends all the best of what has gone before and reminds us how truly great the Afghan Whigs are.  There were hints of this in Greg Dulli’s other projects (Gutter Twins, Twilight Singers ) which only increased the anticipation of what might be.

Coupled with some stellar shows in support of it, this was a magnificent triumph.

  1. Pulled Apart By Horses – Blood

Less psychotic, bulging eye, vein popping racket and a little more measured, dare I say controlled? There’s shades of QOTSA here, but thankfully nothing related to the lamefest that was Like Clockwork.

  1. Temples – Sun Structures

Temples debut long player, a Psychedelic folk-pop excursion was a perfectly timed kaleidoscope of retro-now and Byrdsian optimism. Could’ve been the alternate soundtrack to the Monterey Pop Festival.

  1. Jane Weaver – The Silver Globe

This was a back door entry in my list as it was a recommendation by someone else that introduced me to it and to Jane Weaver.  Her sixth solo is a concept album based around the Communist suppressed Polish film On the Silver Globe  (Na Srebrnym  Globie) Space rock, Can, Hawkwind and even Broadcast together with sublime vocal pull this out of the formulaic retro psych morass.


Top Five gigs

2014 seems to me to have been a year of comebacks both live and on album in the most part and as the year draws to a close, some of my highlights have been towards the end of the year.

  1. The Jesus and Mary Chain

The JAMC haven’t played live since around 2007 or thereabouts and the announcement of a handful of dates earlier this year, concentrating on a performance of their debut and seminal album, Psychocandy was an unmissable prospect. They didn’t disappoint and an opening salvo of big singles, Reverence, Never Understand, April Showers amongst others and then their debut in all its light and shade, blistering feedback and squawling entirety only reaffirmed how influential the JAMC have been on so many newer bands around right now.

  1. Pissed Jeans/Hookworms

Another incendiary, unpredictable performance from Pissed Jeans coupled with a ferocious support from Hookworms. A perfect double bill of al-trock noise and Krautrock influenced proto punk.

  1. The Afghan Whigs

A near perfect performance from one of the great bands of the ‘90s in the stunning setting, sonically and visually, of Manchester Cathedral.  Coupled with the new album, Do To The Beast, a very welcome return from Greg Dulli and Co.

  1. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

A packed out Gorilla saw the return of Jon Spencer, Russell Simins and Judah Bauer as the Blues Explosion (“are No1 Baby1..”) Locking into a groove from the off, they switched between songs, improvised and free form jammed through an extensive back catalogue and throwing in Bag of Bones and Black Mold of the last album Meat and Bone.  All Killer and no Filler, as they say.

  1. Guitar Wolf

Dragging a kid on stage and teaching him to conjure the essence of feedback from his Guitar, Guitar Wolf gave him unbeatable bragging rights in a blistering performance of Jett Rock from outer space via Japan.

Hello Robbo here, DJ at T.R.A.S.H Your Life at the Dog and Partridge in Bolton, and occasionally at Retro Bar in Manchester. Garage, punk, 60s, kitsch, library tunes, all the good stuff.. Labels: InTheRed, Goner, Swami, Sympathy, Estrus, AMREP, Domino, Touch & Go, Dischord, Rough Trade. Shops: Beatin Rhythmn, Vinyl Exchange, Fopp, Charity, Vintage.