Something for The Weekend



With Britain being wrecked by two old Etonians this song is now more documentary than allegory.

Haven’t watched any live Jam videos for a long time and it was a pleasure to be reminded how bloody great they were. I made the right choice of favourite band when I was a teenager.

I Have Twelve Inches


Looking around my iTunes library for a suitable track to go with the previous post I found this which I recorded off my 12″ vinyl copy a long time ago but never posted for some reason.

Remixed in 1982 from an earlier b-side, this a sleek Euro-disco groover that glides along on Mick Karn’s rubbery bass playing and some honking sax. I was never a huge Japan fan but this does make me want to suck in my cheekbones and go pose outside a Berlin nightclub. Hopefully I’d be allowed back in England after.

Download: European Son (Extended Remix) – Japan (mp3)

Anarchy in The UK


Well, this is a fine mess we’ve gotten ourselves into.

I’m all for people rebelling against the establishment, and I understand the impotent rage people feel against the forces of globalization wrecking their lives, but all the Brexit result will do is hand power from one bunch of rich toffs to another, ones who have since been shown to have lied about their promises and have no plan for what to do next. If voters outside London think those wankers are going to invest in them as much as the EU has they’re in for a rude awakening. I wish I could feel some schadenfreude over that but I’m too fucking angry.

As there seems to be some buyer’s remorse setting in, and with the economic consequences of Brexit already apparent (not to mention the potential break-up of the UK) some think that the next PM will bottle out of going through with it. But that will only enrage the hardcore Leavers and lead to a surge in support for UKIP from them — violence against immigrants is already on the rise. And just when you need a strong opposition to provide an alternative, the fucking Labour Party goes and implodes.

I really don’t see a good way out of this at the moment. Thanks Cameron!

Download: There’ll Always Be An England – Vera Lynn (mp3)

Something for Le Weekend



I’m posting this before the final result is in, but this clip is proof that Britons are better in Europe than out.

The Neon Lights are Bright


The Drifters 1963 version of “On Broadway” is a classic as any fule kno, but I also love George Benson’s live version from 1978, probably more so.

The Drifters’ rendition has a melancholy feel as if they didn’t really believe they could make it there, which was probably the case for a black man in early 1960s. Benson, on the other hand, sounds completely convinced that he will be successful, especially the way he shouts “Cause I can play THIS HERE GUITAR!” — which, given that he made his name as a Jazz guitarist, wasn’t just bragging.

While I tend to side more with the world-view of The Drifters version, it’s hard not to get caught up in George Benson’s peppy positivity. Plus, it’s funky as hell.

Download: On Broadway – George Benson (mp3)

Photo: The Lights of Times Square by Andreas Feininger, 1957

Tees Up


Introducing the Music Snob collection, perfect for the smug hipster in your life — or maybe yourself. As usual they’re only $14 for a very limited time so buy one before everyone else does.

Download: Music – John Miles (mp3)

This 1976 hit is the Cecil B. DeMille of pop records: an overblown Pomp Rock epic that’s a bit stupid but also kind of glorious.

New Monday



Trying to describe the music made by English duo Let’s Eat Grandma has me reaching for the Encyclopedia of Music Genres to list all the styles they mush together: Indie, Prog, Psychedelia, Rap, Electronica, Folk, and even School Orchestras to name a few of them. They describe it themselves as “psychedelic sludge-pop” and while their childlike gothic vibe does sound a bit like CocoRosie at times, they’re more eclectic and prone to take strange detours.

Their debut album I, Gemini has just been released and it’s one the most surprising and off-kilter records I’ve heard in a while. Even more remarkable is that it was made by two 17-year-old girls from Norwich.

Bloody kids today. Lazy, selfish, making great debut albums.

Something for the Weekend



This was originally a #3 UK hit in 1969 but did even better in 1988 when it topped the charts because of its use in an annoying Miller Lite commercial. Usually that can put you off a song forever and the fact that it didn’t (well, maybe for a little while) is a testament to how great the record is. It’s a bit sappy but those soaring harmonies get me every time.

Not sure why they were performing it on a TV chart show in 1975 though.

What’s it all about?

The sentimental musings of an ageing expat in words, music, and pictures. Mp3 files are up for a limited time so drink them while they're hot. Contact me: lee at londonlee dot com

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