|Mary Love, Kent 25th Anniversary, London, October 2007|
1. The StanTracey Trio – “Free” (1959)
Tracey swops his piano for cool vibes, Kenny Napper plays an incessant bass but it’s the Afro-rhythms and snaps of Phil Seamen – at once ancient and modern - which really catch the ear. Sounds far out even now.
2. Derrick Harriott- “Monkey Ska” (1965)
A song about a ska dancing monkey released on the Gay Disc label, what’s not to love?
3. Mary Love – “Let Me Know” (1966)
Both Bobby Bland and Mary Love checked into Blues and Soul Heaven this month and were introduced to thousands of us youngsters via their inclusion on numerous early Kent compilations. It was tempting to pick Mary’s “You Turned My Bitter Into Sweet” but instead I’ve gone for this equally gorgeously sung 45 for Modern Records.
4. Rodriguez – “Cause” (1971)
Rodriguez’s Glastonbury set yesterday was like riding a very rickety roller coaster: moments of heart in mouth beauty (“Sugar Man”) and others (most of the bizarre covers) of terrifying horror. One listen today of Coming From Reality has restored the equilibrium.
5. Kevin Ayers – “Shouting In A Bucket Blues” (1973)
Footage of Ayers doing this on The Old Grey Whistle Test cropped up on BBC4 the other Friday night and had me adding Bananamour to my to-get list.
6. Siouxsie and the Banshees – “Spellbound” (1981)
Was very lucky to see one of Siouxsie’s two gigs for the Meltdown Festival this month performing the entire Banshees’ 1980 Kaleidoscope LP, followed by a Hits and More set, followed by two encores of which “Spellbound” was the final song. Two hours long and the crowd stood from the first note to the last, which I’ve never seen in the Royal Festival Hall before.
7. The Pale Fountains – “Jean’s Not Happening” (1984)
It’s quite incredible how this wasn’t a massive mid-80s hit. Or even a minor one.
8. BMX Bandits – “Serious Drugs” (1993)
Teenage Fanclub’s Thirteen reached number 14 on the UK charts in 1993 yet their Glaswegian label mates and cousins in BMX Bandits struggled to give away Life Goes On, an album every bit as good as anything the Fannies ever made. And I don’t say that lightly. One listen to “Serious Drugs” and you’ll be hooked.
9. Hidden Masters – “She Broke The Clock Of The Long Now” (2013)
Some achievement by the Hidden Masters here as they’ve condensed the best parts of the 20-album Rubble series of late 60s UK psychedelic rock into one track. Of This & Other Worlds is an impressive album: a mix of close harmonies and tightly woven inventive playing and song writing.
10. Mavis Staples – “Woke Up This Morning (With My Mind On Jesus)” (2013)
Mavis’s new album One True Vine is perfect Sunday morning music. Hallelujah.