Thursday, 7 July 2016

PJ Harvey

Thanks for the question you texted me Laurie Hulme. I’ve seen PJ Harvey play sixteen amazing gigs in ten different cities. I saw her eight times on and just after the “Uh Huh Her” tour when the band included brilliant bassist Simon Ding Archer who has also played bass in The Fall, Black Francis band and Bobbie Peru and currently As Able As Kane and Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. It’s a shame that band never recorded an album. I saw three early gigs when she had her hair in a ponytail and dressed all in black. I saw three solo “White Chalk” gigs, in Barcelona, Madrid and from a seat close to the front at Bridgewater Hall. Perhaps the best gig I saw her play was in Hulme NIA Centre when she and John Parish played the whole of “Dance Hall at Louse Point” accompanied by three dancers who were upstaged by Polly’s movements. I reviewed that one for a local newspaper based in Hulme and so I was on the guestlist as I was for exactly half the PJ Harvey gigs I’ve attended, although I was on the guestlist of L7 for the Cult in the Park one day festival where Gallon Drunk also played, and two of them (James Johnston and Terry Edwards) are in PJ Harvey’s current live band and play on her most recent album “The Hope Six Demolition Project”. So I have seen her play less gigs than Killing Joke, Wire, Thalia Zedek, Shellac, Mudhoney, The Fall, Bardo Pond, Brainiac, Girls Against Boys, Fugazi, Throwing Muses, Pavement, Dinosaur Jr, The Breeders, Leatherface or Therapy but more than Sonic Youth or Swans or Nick Cave or Neil Young. I started writing a much longer version of this but it seemed to be turning into a book and I don’t want to give google copyright.


In 1989 or so I lived in a shitty student house in Toxteth, Liverpool with a geography student called Nick Smart whose enthusiasm for the music he loved was infectious. He was way more into Husker Du than me. I had their last three albums but he had everything and took great pleasure in enlightening me to the emotional rollercoaster Zen Arcade.  I’d only heard a few REM singles but never been that bothered by them but he had all their albums and by the time they released Green I was hooked. Life’s Rich Pageant was their album that really turned me on, beginning as it does with their two most exuberant and joyous songs and following them up with two of their most tragic. When we saw them on the Green tour at Liverpool Royal Court it was so perfect I never needed to see them ever again and never did. They slowly grew ever more bland after Green, but most albums had at least one song worth hearing until eventually they made an album so boring it wasn’t worth listening to twice or remembering its title but it was almost certainly the one after Up if you care which I don’t expect you do. Whilst the Peel session version of Walk Unafraid is the last thing they recorded that I think is worth a listen or three, sounding like it could have been recorded for Green unlike the inferior album version, and Accelerate was OK if unmemorable, their final moment of greatness was this cover of a Leonard Cohen song. I hope none of you are stupid enough to consider me anti-semitic for preferring it to the original.

Everything Turns to Shit, Except Music

During the two weeks at the end of June and the start of July when everything turned to shit I was listening to:

Thalia Zedek Band – Eve (promotional download of new album from

Tom Settle and Friends – Old Wakes 2LP

Flexibles – Pink Everything LP (Richard Youngs with his 8 year old son Soley Youngs)

Swans – The Glowing Man 2CD/DVD

Heartless Bastards – The Mountain CD (2009)

Rhys Chatham – Pythagorean Dream CD

David Grubbs – Prismrose CD

Husker Du – Do You Remember Radio? 2CD (2 gigs 1981/85)

Mogwai – Atomic CD

Sunn O))) – Kanon CD

Boston Spaceships – Camera Found the Ray Gun (4 song CDEP, 2010)

Yo La Tengo – Stuff Like That There CD

Swans – Feel Good Now CD (live 1987)

The Necks – Drive By CD (2003)

Tad – Live Alien Broadcasts

Nancy Garcia – Be the Climb CD (2009)

Bruce and Carl – This is Art (8 song tape)


I watched Under the Skin DVD and I Am Alan Partridge DVD

I read The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel

I listened to live music from Radio Birdman, Bloody Heads, Aggressive Perfektor, Denim and Leather, TV Crime, Exxxecutioner, Destruction Unit, Gnod, Richard Youngs, The Birth Marks, Bruce and Carl, Shareholder, The Rebel, Mica, Elephant Blood, Tom Settle and Edwin Stevens duo, Tekla and Tom Settle solo.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Mission of Burma in Leeds

Mission of Burma were one of the main attractions at Stewart Lee’s All Tomorrows Party in Prestatyn so four days later a trip to Leeds to hear them in action again seemed a good idea. Before they played a similar but slightly different set, a Leeds quartet Rats on Rafts warmed the stage with some dynamic indie rock. Whilst not overtly goth they had a sound that had Leeds band all over it. Their best moments were when a song stopped dead and revved up again on a drum break. Their weakest link was the undistinctive vocals. They seemed to have almost as many records for sale afterwards as Mission of Burma!

Just like Prestatyn Mission of Burma started with “Funworld.” There was a small delay after Roger Miller strummed the riff for “Spider’s Web” before bassist Clint Conley and drummer Peter Prescott were ready so I got to do a little acapella “world flips when an animal gets its soul” in the interim. Clint’s first lead vocal of the night was “2wice” if I remember correctly, and Peter’s “Sectionals in Mourning.” Mission of Burma have a sound a like a juggernaut crashing off the tracks and taking half the road with it, although the experience is a hell of a lot safer. Maybe not so safe for the ears though, as it’s well documented that they had to stop in the eighties due to Roger Miller’s hearing damage. Peter Prescott still wacks the drums hard, and there is still a perspex screen between him and Roger both this and the Prestatyn performance were not as loud as they have been on past occasions. “1,2,3 Party!” had a roadie in a Ramones T-shirt join them to say the “1,2,3” part but had to be aborted at first attempt due to transformer problems. Bob Weston filled in with some varispeed digital loops of guitar drone and about five minutes later they were ready to resume the party. “Let Yourself Go!” hollered Peter, so we did, as he drummed like a ten car pile up. There was some neat manic slide guitar from Roger on “This is not a Photograph.”  There was a new song they didn’t play in Prestatyn, unless it was some obscure cover version. “I’m so tired…” sang Roger at the start of “New Disco” which perfectly described my physical state all week after the Prestatyn party. Then he looped himself out of a personal grudge. “Fame and Fortune” was still a stupid game. I forget which song it was but towards the end Roger knocked his microphone at a tricky angle and had to lean over to sing into it. After falling into the water and reaching for their revolvers they escaped their certain fate by walking off for a quick break. Despite singing them a bit of “Wounded World” I didn’t get my song request but the encore was a triple wammy of “Peking Spring,” “The Ballad of Johnny Burma” and “That’s How I Escaped My Certain Fate.”

The next day they should have been playing the cancelled All Tomorrow’s Party curated by Drive Like Jehu but instead had arranged a last minute support with Fire records label mates Pere Ubu in London. They ended up backing David Thomas on a rendition of “Heart of Darkness.” Then they flew to Belgium. Not quite the heart of darkness perhaps. More like the heart of chocolate and strong beer.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Stewart Lee's All Tomorrow’s Parties April 2016

“No fun beyond this point” read a sign near my chalet. It seemed an appropriate motto for a weekend that might end up being the last event like this, considering all the behind the scenes financial problems. It could also describe only too well how everything that happens for the rest of the year will pale in comparison, it really was such a wonderful weekend. Some witty punter had actually taped over the word “bikes” in “fun bikes” on the sign. If I describe everything I enjoyed it’ll take up about a third of this zine, so here are just some snapshots of my fondest moments.

The new BARDO POND song that had a chorus where Isobel Sollenberger channelled the “Day in the Life” McCartney when he went into a dream that could be their best song yet. I cried tears of joy during their set including some older surprises and at least three, maybe four new songs.

The moment of the first drum beat in BOREDOMS set. They began with a very long subdued drone that slowly increased in volume and the tension grew…that first beat made one guy whoop and that made everyone down the front laugh. They then sounded like they’d never done before and also made me cry tears of joy, despite only having two drummers now.

Terrie Ex grabbing my hat and having a short tug of war with me towards the end of his hilarious set with brilliant drummer Han Bennink. It was Han’s seventieth birthday. What a fantastic celebration!

Needing full on rock action after a pleasant mellow Saturday afternoon and getting it in spades from THE HEADS. Just like curator Stewart Lee it was the first time I’d seen them play and they were even better than I’d hoped.

The moment the mighty MISSION OF BURMA played “Max Ernst” and people started going wild down the front. Afterwards I bought Roger Miller’s new single by his new band Trinary System and he signed it and I can happily report that it is excellent. I’d met Clint Conley outside earlier in the day and during our conversation he told me that “Slow Death” by the Flamin’ Groovies is one of his all time favourite songs.

Roky Erickson having his shit together despite disgruntlement over money and going on with the show to play a blinding “Rollercoaster” even if the bass was cranked way too high for the whole set and the electric jug was inaudible.

Meeting my beautiful friend Annie Davey who I maybe hadn’t seen since the very first Shellac curated ATP.

My excellent chalet sharer Markus Moises, a photographer from Nuremberg.

THE EX. They always bring the party. The fact that John Cale pulled out shifted them to the perfect time slot later in the evening. I didn’t give a shit that Cale didn’t play. It was also nice that Andy Moor of The Ex was selling improv CDs from his Unsounds label for a mere fiver after his excellent set with abstract saxophonist John Butcher.

Saving Stewart Lee from a mithering critic near the start of THE NIGHTINGALES’ sadly under-populated set and making him laugh with the first thing I said to him. This guy was saying, “I like your early work but blah blah blah…” and I jumped in with, “I don’t like any work. I’m a lazy sod!” Mr Lee laughed and walked off.

Richard Youngs playing the very song a lady called Leonie asked me to request at the end of his second set of the weekend. It turned out to be the best song he played, although the one his seven year old son sang the day before with Damon Krukowski was the most entertaining.

EX-EASTER ISLAND HEAD packing out the small room upstairs with their Branca meets Reich precision guitar percussion just after THE NECKS expanded our heads downstairs with piano, double bass and drum improv; a perfect sequence of performances and a great way to start a Friday evening after a little bit of John Cage's indeterminacy.

SUN RA ARKESTRA taking us all on a golden suited trip to Saturn last thing Sunday. Joining their ecstatic conga line with Miriam, Martin and Lou and dancing from one side of the room to the other. Could this be the last time?

Thursday, 14 April 2016

WIRE Cosmosis setlist and chords

Nocturnal Koreans  EB  EGAE

Diamonds  ECDE – GBAE

Mekon Headman  FF#Aflat – A#DAflatC#

Sonic Lens  EGGflat    ECGA

Joust and Jostle  EB.EBB.DB

In Manchester  E – GA.BC

Sleepwalking  E.B  GGflat x2

Stealth of a Stork (Witness to the Fact)  BGflatGBflat

Split Your Ends  CDA.DCG

Used To  CDA.DCG

Octopus  ECGGflatA-DACB

Blessed State  AEGflatG

Harpooned  EF#.AGE

Thanks to Graham Lewis for allowing me to Take It.
I think this was Colin Newman's setlist, but not sure.

REV REV REV Cosmosis setlist


A ring without an end


We can but dream






Just a spot

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Albums I liked listening to so far in 2016

In the first four months of 2016 these were the albums that I was enjoying:
Bob Mould – Patch the Sky
The Stranglers – Black and White Live

Aluk Todolo - Voix
Wire – Nocturnal Koreans

PJ Harvey - The Hope Six Demolition Project
The Drones – Feelin’ KInda Free
Mugstar – Magnetic Seasons
Gnod – The Mirror
Rev Rev Rev – Des Fleurs Magiques Bourdonnaient
Rangda – The Heretic’s Bargain
TV Smith – I Delete

Glenn Jones - something beginning with F
Tortoise – The Catastrophist
Immersion - Analogue Creatures (EP)

Linda Sharrock - (In) The Abyssity of the thingy 3LP
Kiran Leonard – Grapefruit
Songs for Walter
I was also listening to these older albums:
Suzie Stapleton – 45 Revelations Per Minute (6 song EP)
Suzie Stapleton – Obladi Diablo (5 song EP)
Jozef van Wissem – It Is Time for you to Return

Lightning Bolt - Fantasy Empire
Rocket From The Tombs – Black Record
The Chills – Silver Bullets
Battles – La Di Da Di
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Live from KCRW
Calexico – Edge of the Sun
Desmadrados Soldados de Ventura – Clifton Park vol 1
Desmadrados Soldados de Ventura – Clifton Park vol 2
Flying Saucer Attack – Instrumentals 2015
Silo – Work
Talk Normal – Sunshine
Mono – Rays of Darkness
Mono – The Last Dawn

Low - 2015 album

Yo La Tengo - 2015 album
Fairport Convention – First five albums
Richard Thompson – You? Me? Us.
Richard and Linda Thompson – I Want to see the Bright Lights Tonight
Super Luxury – Ten Solid Years of Applause
Black Sabbath – 13
Stiff Little Fingers – No Going Back
Bearfoot Beware – World Owes You Nowt
The Ministry of Wolves – Music from Republik der Wolfe

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

WIRE - Nocturnal Koreans (Pink Flag)

Eight new songs make up a new Wire album that in terms of studio construction seems to have much in common with their latter day zenith “Send” and its follow up, their latter day nadir “Object 47.” With a lighter touch than the darkness of “Send” this is closer to the bold and bright sound of “Object 47” and some of the earlier Githead tunes than their more recent albums, being recorded in the studio any witch way as opposed to being largely based on live performances of a four piece beat combo. Although there is nothing as heavy as my favourite song of 2015, the mighty “Harpooned,” overall I am enjoying this more than the album simply called “Wire” because it is more playful and adventurous and the lyrics are much more intriguing. Each song also has far more individuality. The highpoint for me is the final song, wherein Graham Lewis delivers his finest lead vocal since “Feed Me” collapsed the first side of “The Ideal Copy” nearly thirty years ago. Whilst musically “Fishes’ Bones” could be yet another endless remake of experimental touchstone “Drill,” the vocal is a silly Dome-like bit of daft ranting about chickens and back doors and mixing his metaphors counting rings in fishes’ bones. Perhaps this is a reflection upon aging? The song that presumably closes side one of the vinyl release recalls the private doom of “A Public Place.” Actually so similar is “Forward Position” in atmosphere and tempo that I keep expecting Bruce Gilbert’s abrasive rhythmic guitar clanks to juxtapose the desolate melody but of course they never do. When Colin Newman ponderously croons “From my room and long forgotten,” for the first couple of listens I thought he was singing, “From my room in Longford Garden.” However he wasn’t name checking the park on the Chorlton and Stretford border in Manchester, near where I live. This wouldn’t be so far fetched as Colin lived in Chorlton years ago. The opening ditty about “Nocturnal Koreans” was debuted in a slower form two British tours back. It has now been considerably tightened up and delivers what is presumably a metaphorical reflection upon the international isolation of North Korea. The word capable doesn’t scan with the tune so Wire lost a cap and did do some bad grammar, with Colin singing, “Do you think you are able of finding your way?”  That’s about as rock’n’roll as the nocturnal numbers get until the start of the second side when Colin references the “Pink Flag” song that britpap abominations Elastica raped singing, “Still willing to rhumba,” on the urgent “Numbered.” The upbeat song after that “Still” has fuck all to do with Joy Division and actually sounds rather like a robotised Guided By Voices trying to play Indians with Githead. “Pilgrim Trade” has a rolling beat that is very “Object 47” sucking cash out of pockets, air out of lungs and documents the worship of a triangular man. Who could that be? Maybe someone on TV. “Fishes’ Bones” have no TV and march into “Internal Exile.” This second song on the album is Wire at their lightest and brightest, a very optimistic tune that is better than the old “Send” reject  it lyrically references, “Trash/Treasure.” Inside “Internal Exile” are some very synthetic sounding trumpets with no pot to piss in. “An idle glance absorbs the terror.” But no, this is not Stiff Little Fingers or the Undertones cod soulboyism; neither is it as tasteful as the cor anglais on “A Mutual Friend.” The third song is the one I’ll mention last as it seems to throw up a good line with witch to end this review. Colin sings the verse of unlikely pathways and Graham sings the chorus about retrieving lost chapters from a distant forest on “Dead Weight” but don’t expect “German Shepherds” or serious snakes. Even if you can glide like butterflies you’ll be dead waiting for animals like that.

“Nocturnal Koreans” see the light of day on April 22nd.

Monday, 11 April 2016

PJ Harvey – The Wheel 7” single

Is it any wonder that people don’t buy singles as much as they used to thirty years ago? Why pay seven or eight pounds for one song when you can listen to it for nothing but the fee you pay to a corporation that had nothing to do with making the song? The sound quality on youtube is probably inferior in terms of compression, however at least “The Wheel” isn’t warped on the internet and one doesn’t have to contend with a stylus bouncing off vinyl as it tries in vain to connect with the audio content which will upon album release be irrelevant anyway.  As there is nothing but a daffy etching on the flipside I doubt I’ll ever play this again once I have the album and have paid a smaller fee for the same song again. Piccadilly Records in Manchester, where I bought this, told me every copy they had was warped and it was doubtful that they’d be able to get any more copies in to replace the warped singles as Island records wouldn’t have pressed enough. I was happy to pay seven pounds for one song for two reasons. It’s a great song. Go listen to it on youtube if you haven’t already. The other stupid capitalist bullshit reason is that because Island records have inevitably pressed a limited quantity of this pointless and environmentally damaging artefact it’ll be worth at least twenty pounds in a couple of years, assuming the current monetary system still prevails.  Nevertheless I think Island records and PJ Harvey should do something to compensate everyone who bought this faulty product. If it wasn’t warped I could put up with the rip off of only putting one song on the singles, even though there are at least two songs that could have been used as a musical B-side:  the song about Guantanamo detainee “Shaker Aamer” that was given away as a download on  or “The Water is Wide” a rendition of a traditional folk song recorded for a TV show I have never seen. Instead we get an etching of a coat of arms that is just a visual remix of “The Hope Six Demolition Project” album cover with a goat and a two headed dog cavorting about gaily in warped hell. Don’t try playing the etching. The stylus will reject that goat and dog even more fervently than it does the intro to “The Wheel.” Luckily “The Wheel” has a very long intro for a single, so it doesn’t matter that much if I have to skip the first five seconds or so just to get the stylus to stick in the groove and ride along a tale of missing children. If I want to hear that parping sax all the way from the very beginning I can always go on youtube can’t I? If PJ Harvey wants to make up for this warped single she is welcome to come and play in my house. I suspect she wouldn’t have time to do that for everyone who bought a warped “Wheel” so maybe a more practical apology would be for Island records to give everyone who has kept a receipt for this single a discount on the new PJ Harvey album. Fat fucking chance!

The Wheel without The Warp:

Shaker Aamer: better than an etching!

The Water is Wider than the Etched Warp...

The Warped Six Demolition Project

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Gnod "The Mirror"

“What happens when your dreams turn into your worst nightmares?” asks Paddy Shine. The brutal Swans inspired pounding mayhem that surrounds that question on “Learn to Forgive” seems to give part of the answer, or at least a cathartic reaction to “The rich man’s crime.” Tory scum got re-elected. Like so many people this pissed off the children of Gnod. Their incredulous frustration and hatred of the situation bled into the creation of this monstrous onslaught of doom. Reverting to their old ways they hit drums, guitar and basses to try to break “The Mirror.” Hopeless massed choirs lurched out of the darkness to wail and gnash teeth in tortuous agony, summoned by new Gnodster Steve Wagner from Sunday Mourning. The three long slow grinds that make up this bad trip must have shaken the walls of Islington Mill where Sam Weaver recorded it. Public Image Ltd’s wretched “Theme” and the second punishing side of Black Flag’s “My War” reflect from my mirror on “The Mirror.”  If we all put on blood red coats and went Tory hunting then this is the album to blast them with after tying them to giant speakers. Maybe if we gave them some real cuts then Gnod could sample the screams for a sequel. Gnod aren’t known for sequels, however, so maybe the next album will celebrate the infinite possibilities of happy calypso. Unlikely, as Paddy informs me that it’ll feature two drummers. Let’s hope the suicidal tendencies this music implies don’t overtake Paddy, Marlene, Chris, Alex and Steve and they live long enough to get even angrier about the greedy economically illiterate puppets who are selling off and fucking up our country.
This review was written for Optical Sounds zine.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016


How considerate of Wire and White Hills to come and play a short walk north up Bridgewater Canal from my cool abode. All the other bands, the babble of beautiful women, the henna tattoos and Finnish skull T-shirts were just a great big bonus.
I made it inside around the time Rev Rev Rev were starting their set. Howard Jones (no not that one, he drums for Last Harbour) and Penfold 666 had no idea where the Aether stage was, nor did a beautiful blonde woman at Water stage. Big man at bar knew it was upstairs. Up the stairs mister there were three guitarists of Desmadrados Soldados de Ventura, later to play on Fire. Dylan Hughes had a clue and set me off in the right direction. Just around the corner someone was calling my name. It was another Desmadrados guitarist Nick Mitchell. I said hello and waved goodbye quickly and barrelled off straight to the front of the small and rather under-populated Aether stage having missed just half a song from Rev Rev Rev. Leaning on the metal barrier and trying not to burst the three balloons tied to it, I got a good look at them for the first time as I dug the My Bloody Valentine vibes of their loved up mind float ditties. The singer is a woman but I could tell that from their album. However I now learned that she is quite short, not a midget, just petite. The guitarists either side of her were quite tall and none of them moved about much, letting their exquisitely crafted dream rock do the talking. Towards the end they played my favourite song of theirs, "Ripples." It has a very Wire feel to the riff but doesn't really sound like Wire, more like Loop. Wire however always sound like Wire, whether heavy, soft or in a rhumba. Most of those who gathered to hear them had to be content with not seeing them as the Earth stage was inadequately low and the area before it was packed out ten minutes before they set up. Lucky for me DJ Marc Riley played "Jesus Built My Hot Rod" by Ministry, giving me the momentum to shove all the fucking hippies out of the way and get down the front in time to witness two hats, two guitars, some drums, one bass, a plethora of pedals and thirteen songs, all executed by four male humans, as far as I could tell. Some executions were glorious, for example "Sonic Lens" and "Diamonds" the two songs so new they aren't even on the new "Nocturnal Koreans" eight song album. One execution was gory; the excess volume onslaught of "Harpooned" which inevitably closed the set. It was Manchester so they has to play "In Manchester," a much lighter execution. Most of the set was culled from the eponymous album released last year (2015) and the only song from "Nocturnal Koreans" was the title track now streamlined and sped up from its early incarnation two tours back. The performance was better than the three gigs I saw on their 2015 tour. The first major annoyance of the day was having to miss Desmadrados Soldados de Ventura as they played on Fire at the same time Wire drilled Earth. The second major annoyance was having to miss all but the first song The Jesus and Mary Chain played in the midnight hour because White Hills were playing at the same time. Until then, the only band I knew I liked was the Lucid Dream so I was tempted to walk on home and listen to the Stranglers in an environment where the cider is actually drinkable and not horrendously overpriced. It must have been the mediocrity of Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats who got me thinking that way. Why the hell this toytown NME crap was on the big bad Air stage when Wire were infinitely more deserving of being there I cannot fathom. The Air stage was also referred to as the main stage by a well ear-plugged security woman who was having none of this hippy bollocks. Up on the balcony overlooking Air, I struck up conversation with a London lady called Diane who suggested I stick around to watch the Raveonettes with her. They turned out to be a quite enjoyable mix of Mary Chainish Suicidisms. Whilst I quite enjoyed the Danish trio rollin' 'n' rockin' I don't think I'd be tempted to shell out for any of their records. Brian Jonestown Massacre seemed bland so I set off to experience a Lucid Dream on Fire. I can't recall much about their marvellous psychedelia except that it sounded better than I've ever heard them before. Yet again the stage was too low to see the band from the back of the room where I spent most of their set chatting to an Iraqi glass collector called Dasha. She said she'd enjoyed Saint Agnes on the same stage earlier in the day. Are Sleaford Mods the most over-rated load of fuckin' bollocks since the shitty Stone Roses? Just a tenth rate Fisher Price Suicide rip off with some fucker fucking swearing about the antics of miserable fucking twats like some rejected Eastenders script. They were the one band who played that day who made me fucking glad I'm not them. They were however a great excuse to run around the back of the room like a feckless chicken fuckin' swearing at every fucker. I soon got bored of that and fucked off up the fuckin' stairs, where a fuckin' friendly Finnish skull T-shirt lady told me I would be wise to check out K-X-P. I did just that and found them pleasingly like Neu! Very good for a dance around the back of the room without swearing.
At last a band I could truly rock out to and go wild with down the front: WHITE HILLS. They earned capital letters for being the most insanely enjoyable band of the day, with the caveat that if Wire had played later on a stage of the size their popularity deserved I would have enjoyed them as much. Not a hell of a lot has changed since their last gig at Islington Mill, so go read my review of that. According to the set list I purloined from guitarist Dave W the played Dead, Radiate, No Will, Lead the Way, Paradise, DBA, In Your Room, No Game, £SD or USB, Walks and Oceans. I was so drunk on rip off pink wine I forgot to buy their new album.
The Cosmic Dead seemed as drunk as me when they blasted us out of our brains but WHITE HILLS proved an impossibly tough act to follow. Nevermind, they were good for drunken stagger about towards the end of a grand noisy day, with a hug from Jenny and a kiss from Katie.

In order of excellence, the bands I experienced:

1. WHITE HILLS (entire set)
2. Wire (entre set)
3. Rev Rev Rev (all but half the first song of their set)
4. The Lucid Dream (most of set)
5. K-X-P ( about half the set)
6. The Cosmic Dead (entire set)
7. Raveonettes (entire set)
8. The Jesus and Mary Chain (just April Skies far way from the Air stage)
9. Brian Jonestown Massacre (about 10-15 minutes)
10. Sleaford Mods (about 10-15 minutes)
11. Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats (shite)

This review was written for Optical Sounds zine.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Prelude to COSMOSIS

I do believe I might have been the very last punter off the Cosmosis site. A review has been spewed up for Optical Sounds and I have set lists for Wire, White Hills and Rev Rev Rev. I could scan them later maybe. I had such a great time I even enjoyed the Sleaford Mods. With apologies to Polly Harvey for going all Wm Burroughs on her lyric, and love to all those lovely ladies who I completely failed to get to come back to mine very late on Saturday. Sing this to the tune of "...The Hope Six Demolition Project"

This was Cosmosis heavy listen project
Tripping out on Trafford Wharf Road
A mind blown pathway of love
At least that's what I heard
And here's the one Stretford WIRE gig
A short walk north from my house
OK now the drinks were expensive
Cider's shite but wine's alright
In the community of dope
Hear the original PJ Harvey song here
See more
PJ Harvey - The Hope Six Demolition Project New Album Released 15 April 2016 Directed by Seamus Murphy Produced by James Wilson Edited by…

Pere Ubu @ Ruby Lounge 22.3.16

David Thomas might need a stick to help him get around but he can ably support himself. In conversation with John Robb he was a one man whirlwind of comedic rock'n'roll philosophy. Tangents to questions eventually led us across America from east to west with a soundtrack of Television, Harry Partch, Terry Riley, the Velvet Underground, Pixies, Electric Eels, Raspberries and Miles Davies, studying "Trout Mask Replica" in the back seat whilst Jack Kerouac and Raymond Chandler wrote the western urge up front until it met the immovable Pacific object. "You hope there's not Enough Time to recall every Satisfied City you passed," said the curious Mr Thomas, always pushing on to find out what's around the next corner, what fragment of space / time can be fractured off the next junction.

"We were allowed to drink and drive back then." When John asked about Pere Ubu hometown Cleveland we learnt that the title of the compilation of early Pere Ubu singles "Terminal Tower" was a tribute to the tallest building in the city, an industrial urban sprawl Thomas viewed not as a wasteland but as a modern art museum. "We all live in ghost towns. Modernity leaves in its wake ghost towns. The tumbleweeds blow through the streets of my mind all the time. When we realised nothing was as it appeared to be, it was not a great leap to realise modernity leaves destruction."

The 1978 Pere Ubu EP that compiled their first two singles with a bonus track was "Datapanik on the Year Zero." "People become junkies of data flow. Too much information! Facts are an impediment to information flow." Before you click back to facebook, I've got to tell you about some fine, fine music. That fine fine music is rock'n'roll, not punk rock.
Anyone can pick up a guitar and kick up a racket. David Thomas was adamant that that was the original rock'n'roll attitude, merely reprised by punk rock: "I warned you people about this punk rock thing!" The first song they played, their magnificent classic debut single "Heart of Darkness" has more a feeling of devolved sixties psychedelic garage rock, like everybody going triple bad acid. David Thomas' tone deaf vocal explorations of complexes of perspectives and geometries are just one wild card Pere Ubu play. Another is the wildly skewed synth burbles and theremin swoops played with jocularity by Robert Wheeler, wearing a baseball cap with a headlight that made him resemble a cyclopean Cylon centurion. Punk was just comic book crap, a dog returning to its vomit. The MC5 had already kicked out the jams, and taught David Thomas everything he needed to know about rock'n'roll. They hadn't taught us everything we needed to know, otherwise why would we gather in Ruby Lounge to hear Pere Ubu? On this opening date of the co-ed jail tour Pere Ubu were playing exclusively oldies from 1975-82. Having talked for over an hour before the gig, David Thomas was less loquacious between songs than he often is, however he did find time to make a call on his vintage pink telephone during "Real World." I couldn't hear much difference between the funny phone mic and his regular mic, but presumably it's running through different effects. Like drummer Steve Mehlman he sat down for the whole performance. Before him was a music stand full of lyrics. Guitarist Tom Herman, bassist Michele Temple and Robert Wheeler all stood so hopefully the folk at the back could see something. I was right down the front as soon as we travelled into the "Heart of Darkness." Pere Ubu: two hats, two guitars and five people who hear the world as it really is and show us how to do "The Modern Dance." David Thomas might not be able to sing like Roy Orbison and if he could the only Pere Ubu song I could imagine that way is "Heaven," played near the end of a satisfyingly long set. For three songs the synth was out of action due to a faulty DI box, but the other four Ubu folk carried on like true troupers. It bounced back in time for "Misery Goats" and Robert Wheeler wasted no time waving his hands at the metal loops like a showroom dummy who just broke the glass. A guy next to me tried to steal a setlist before they finished but Tom Herman politely asked him to return it. It was a good job he didn't try to make off with David Thomas' comical parping clarinet type horn thing or things could have turned ugly! Peering out through hooded eyes, looking like a crazy hybrid of Orson Wells and Mr Magoo, David Thomas promised us a four hour set, just like Hawkwind in the seventies. sadly that wasn't to be, but we did get a "Final Solution" for "Dub Housing" and got to spend the day underwater with him not getting around much, not falling in love much. Those were "My Dark Ages." Yours too Magoo.

This review should appear in the issue after next of Optical Sounds. The next issue was full up unfortunately.        

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

The Stranglers in Sheffield 17.3.16‏

Once upon a time there lived a nine year old boy in a village nine miles from Stonehenge. He like to watch the telly, especially Dr Who and Blake's Seven. One day he saw a program called 'Jukebox Jury' presented by Noel Edmonds. He showed videos to a panel of pop celebrities who then cast judgement upon them. One song's video could not be shown because it had been deemed blasphemous by the BBC censors. The reason was the video had been shot in a church. Presumably the BBC spoke with god and so knew that it would be alright to show a still photo of the band dressed as overgrown choir boys in the same church. Only if The Stranglers moved would the wrath of the patriarchal lord of public broadcasting be invoked. The song was "Duchess" and five years later it would change that fourteen year old's life. Back in 1979 "Duchess" sounded a hell of a lot better than his previous favourite composers Gustav Holst (The Planets), John Williams (Star Wars music), The Beatles, Abba and Mike Batt (The Wombles). Only five years later would he have enough money to buy a tape of "The Raven" and soon collect all ten Strangled aural sculptures that existed in 1985. The Stranglers blew the door open on punk rock and much to his poor mother's chagrin he'd soon be blasting Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned, Buzzcocks, Wire, Killing Joke, Subhumans, Conflict, Crass, Magazine, Banshees and The Fall as loud as the stereo could go.

Burning up time, somehow years rolled on by, The Stranglers changed singers twice and he became me. At 45 revelations per minute I found myself in Sheffield in front of The Alarm. They were a bit too Bryan Adams, a bit too middle of the road for my liking but singer Mike Peters had enough charisma to entertain whilst I waited for the Meninblack. When he got everyone near the front singing along to a "Na-na na-na" refrain I'm pretty sure I was the only one singing "Melt Banana." They're an amazing fast band from Tokyo, Japan. Check 'em out! I laughed my head off to one side when he sang about having one guitar because he quite clearly had two: one electric and one acoustic. I didn't give a damn as by that point I was as close to the bass amp as I've ever been at a Stranglers gig and they were about to play my favourite album "Black and White" all the way through. In 1978, The Stranglers took an apocalyptic turn into the shadows, Westminster was razed down to the ground, the robots took control of dystopia and they foresaw the end of time. Five minutes and they were almost there... how I cackled to a short "Waltzinblack" intro before they rolled on in their very own metaphorical "Tank." Behind his array of keyboards Dave Greenfield looked the part of the commander, barking a chorus of orders into his headset mic. To the left behind JJ Burnel drummer Jim Macaulay was the tank driver. JJ Burnel and Baz Warne were the ground troops expertly dispatching explosive attacks with their SLR guitars. They gave their old mothers and fathers something to be proud of as they did the prowl for "Nice'n'Sleazy" and Dave did the backwards lazer beam synth madness that really lifts the song. I suspect the reason this is the first tour I've seen them play without their almost number one hit "Golden Brown" in the set could be that "Outside Tokyo" is of a similar tempo. The end of time is arguably a more interesting lyrical topic than the pleasures of heroin or hashish anyway and it must be a more fun bass line for JJ to play. 
There are actually two more common versions of "Black and White," three including the old tape that wedged "Mean to Me" in towards the end of side one. This tour the Stranglers were using the slightly reshuffled CD reissue version rather than the original vinyl track sequence, so the robots rose before they got to tell us about "Sweden." Dismissed by original singer/guitarist Hugh Cornwell as a throwaway song, "Hey! (the Rise of the Robots)" is actually one of my favourite Stranglers songs and one of their most frenetic; arguably the last song they wrote that was full on punk rock. I like to sing my own version of "The Rise of the Cylons." Instead of "Versatran, Series F" I sing "Leoben, Caprica Six." This will only make sense if you've seen the remake of "Battlestar Galactica." Now Jet Black is too old and tired to drum, his former drum tech Jim Macaulay can rev the Robots up as fast as they can rise. There was no saxophone, but maestro Dave Greenfield was capable of compensating with keyboards. He also had some slight embellishments on the arpeggiating run that raises "Sweden" from its hypochondriac tombstone blues. If ever there was a Stranglers song that should've been a single it was "Sweden." If it had been released everywhere and not just in Sweden I think it would have been a much bigger hit than "Nice'n'Sleazy" and could've gone all the way to number one. The Swedish single "Sverige" was sung in Swedish by Hugh Cornwell as he lived there in the early seventies before he got Strangling with Jet, JJ and Dave. Every song from "Hey!" through to "Threatened" is a number one for me. "Toiler on the Sea" is probably a bit too long for a single, even if the Shadows style twangy guitar riff is a fine hook for an epic Norse saga that prefigures their next album "The Raven." They took her back up north and lost her in the fog...
Not much time to think before "Curfew" fell. Based on chords that are supposedly the devil's music and recounting visions of nuclear war and martial law in Britain, the title track with a different title is probably my favourite Stranglers song. JJ Burnel almost spoke the lyric, without the venom he furiously spat out like an exterminating Dalek back in '78. Every night this March tour JJ Burnel has sung, "Westminster is razed down to the ground, the government has fled into thin air." Meanwhile the current Tory scum administration is fleeing not from invading men from the Steppes but from each other. Maybe their mean spirited cuts program has been "Threatened." I always thought the keyboard intro to "Threatened" was purloined as the basis for the Associates' "Party Fears II" but no one I've ever mentioned that to can seem to hear the similarity. Liverpool had been a great big singalong with everyone near me singing all the songs in tune which sounded fantastic. Sheffield seemed a bit less vocal, but most people joined in on the "Bring me a piece of my mummy" drop away. The threatening prowling bass heaviness of "In the Shadows" soundtracked my trip to the bar to refuel on rum. Sheffield 2016 was the first Stranglers gig I've been to where they didn't play "Peaches". They did play it in Liverpool, but as "In the Shadows" is a song of similar tempo and style it seemed a suitable substitute. Dave asked us "Do you wanna blow your mind?" looking like a priest preaching from his pulpit and of course that segued into the night's best shout along "Death and Night and Blood." Surely the most challenging song to play is "Enough Time" as the disruptive guitar is so at odds with the bass line, and the slowed down grinding halt ending was executed admirably. "What if there's no way of moving back?" I guess you just get pulverised by that jolly old JJ Burnel bass rumble apocalypse.

One album down but just over half a gig to go. The Stranglers always give their fans a nice long set, maybe playing longer than any other band I go out to hear. Barely a pause for breath before they reminded us that the only crime they ever did was playing rock'n'roll with their first classic single "Grip." Fan favourite "Walk On By" preceded a small surprise. They hadn't played "Norfolk Coast," "I Lost Control" or "Freedom is Insane" in Liverpool and the last of these was especially welcome as its my favourite Stranglers song since Hugh Cornwell left the band. I could gladly swap "Princes of the Streets" and her piece of meat for "Sometimes" or "Down in the Sewer" but I guess a few slow numbers are necessary in a two hour set when half the band are in OAP land. Whilst "Always the Sun" has been a a set staple for years, we never tire of singing along. After all we're all made from sun, and in that context ancient sun worship makes a hell of a lot more sense than organised religions whose primary purpose is social control. The song's more of a Bob Dylan kind of protest ditty than anything to do with sun worship or a shitty newspaper, and really should have been number one. Two heavy apocalyptic singles "Nuclear Device" and "Five Minutes" fit right in with the "Black and White" album. The last four songs all tripped back in time to 1977 when feeling like a wog meant "Something Better Change." The encore was "Go Buddy Go" but it wasn't quite time for an exit because there were still "No More Heroes." Then we spilled out into the night, down the car park ramp and into a pub where the friendly DJ was playing the Stranglers every other song.

PS. The Stranglers also played "A Soldier's Diary" and "Relentless" that night. "Hanging Around" and "Peaches" were on the set list for the encore but unlike Liverpool and Manchester they didn't play them.

This review was written for

Friday, 4 March 2016

Gang of Four @ Islington Mill (Fat Out Burrow) on 28.2.16

Black Lung drove me back to the Burrow entrance, not so much because their music was too loud or horrible or bland, but because they used a drum machine. I can't stand synthetic beats at high volume. With two guitarists and a bassist swamped in dry ice it seemed like they were taking a trip back to eighties gothness via the Sisters of Mercy and the Bolshoi. A friend thought they sounded a bit like the Verve and she had a point with the phased guitar sound at least. Paddy from Gnod was more succinct in his reaction as he fled the room: " A load of shite!" Whatever, they were too bland for my liking.
Last time I saw Gang of Four at Leeds Brudenell it hadn't been widely broadcast that original singer Jon King had left the band, leaving guitarist Andy Gill as the only remaining original member, so the new singer John Sterry was a bit of an unpleasant surprise for most people. People were quite down on him that night maybe as much because of that rather than the difficulty of walking in another man's boots. Now he's had time to wear those boots in, cut his hair and dyed it blonde, he seems much more suited to get some credit. Using two mics, one either side of the stage, he'd parade himself from left to right so everyone could catch a glimpse of his blonde crop from the packed Burrow floor. Andy Gill looked and sounded sharp, sparking shards of jagged guitar skree far from his smart suit. It's not surprising that they still play more songs from their debut "Entertainment" than any other albums as it's an unsurpassable classic. History's not made by great men but "Entertainment" is a great bit of history that still reflects our capital failing times with critical questioning. "Please send me evenings and weekends," should be a manifesto for a life well lived and even if it isn't "Return the Gift" is still great fun to dance around to with a trio of tattooed girls down the front.
About five songs in Andy Gill got "Paralysed" on the mic and got me down the front where there was actually much more room than further back in the Burrow. More people really should have been dancing as tunes that remind us "What We All Want" and scream "To Hell with Poverty" can't be beat for inspiring movement. After "Paralysed" I paraphrased the lyric back to Mr Gill: "You were good at what you did." He politely replied, "Thank you." So I asked him to do it again and he obliged with his eternally "Damaged Goods." Maybe the highlight was "Love Like Anthrax" with Andy hurling his guitar to the floor so it could feedback like a malevolent Hendrix ghost as it played itself to death. The girls loved to see him shoot, but some of us preferred synchronised swimming to football. After that fine onslaught, John Sterry introduced "Do As I Say" with the ironic comment, "This is another three minute pop gem." Maybe he had the post-Anthrax blues, but his come down wasn't hard to bear with spiky grooves like "At Home He's a Tourist" and "I Found That Essence Rare" for us to dance madly to. "He'd Send in the Army" to smash a microwave oven with a metal bar. Andy reckoned the final kiss goodbye "Essence Rare" was the best they'd ever played it. Now please send me more evenings and weekends.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

The Birth of The Birth Marks

A Very Bon Friday night in a vegetarian cafĂ© south of Manchester's sexy student scene was the place where some fortunate fuckers bore witness to the birth of the Birth Marks. The straight life had taken its toll on the rhythm section of garage rock quartet Sex Hands so the ever prolific guitarists Dylan Hughes and Edwin Stevens, who also play in Desmadrados Soldados de Ventura, Irma Vep and Yerba Mansa, hunted down the bass skills of Oliver Costello and drum-diddling of Alex Hewett, more often recognisable as the frontman of slick soul-funk outfit Aldous RH. The Birth Marks are no great departure from Sex Hands, and most of their set was actually songs that would have been Sex Hands songs had half of them not had too much work on their hands. If anything this was an upgrade, simply because their new songs are the better than the old ones. Dylan and Edwin still trade Lou Reed licks like an explosion of plastic inevitability and holler away incomprehensibly. Tonight I thought Edwin was singing about the womble Orinoco, but he probably wasn't. Dylan had a whole lotta pedals but Edwin had just one distortion overdrive gizmo clicking on and off fast and furious. Dylan was the style rebel, forgetting to wear a peaked cap like the other three. Alex's hat bore the logo of the artist generally known as Prince even if he didn't want to be. He screwed up one drum intro, but that didn't matter. Edwin reckoned they'd played the first live fade out ever, but that's probably been done before. Maybe the most fun number was a herky jerky instrumental, a bit like the Velvet Underground's "Guess I'm Falling in Love" but actually a dance for a "CGI Dad."

...more to come...
I need to buy a laptop, OK?

They played "Too Tired" and you can hear it here:

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Bob Mould @ Manchester Academy 2 on 7.2.16‏

Since reverting to raw power trio mode with the superlative "Silver Age" Bob Mould has really been on a roll doing what he does best: great catchy tunes high on emotional content surfing waves of guitar noise that most bands would need two or more guitarists to equal. I never saw Husker Du play a gig so its nice that he's recently been playing some of their songs, although I don't think there were any oldies in the set that weren't also played last time in Manchester. Bob looked as though he was really enjoying himself, dispatching songs in quickfire trios, much like Husker Du used to. "A Good Idea" indeed. No need to make some "Changes" as "I Apologize" sound a great blast from a past full of so many classics he could have played for hours!  His thick glasses made his eyes seem to bug out at us, but fashion tips be damned its the songs that matter. Just before standing on the edge of the "Hoover Dam" as he so often does, big eyed Bob asked us all if it was loud enough. It certainly was, but not over-powering like last time in the smaller Academy 3. I took the opportunity of the comedic volume debate to take a piss break and from the toilet the intro to "Hoover Dam" sounded like "Classifieds." Despite a big backdrop with the Bob Mould logo from the hub cap album there were no songs from any but the three most recent albums released under his Mouldy name rather than a band name, although Sugar's "Come Around" offered  a short break from the otherwise frenetic pace.The new songs all maintained the high standard of "Silver Age" and "Beauty and Ruin" although he played maybe just less than half of it. Whilst it would have been nice to hear a few more "Silver Age" songs, it was really those from "Beauty and Ruin" that stood out in terms of the tightness and enthusiasm. "Mr Grey" was my personal highlight of the set and "Kid with Crooked Face" wrong-footed me for a  moment as I mistook it for Husker Du's "Real World." That wasn't in the set, but he finished with extended wild "Chartered Trips" and a headlong dive through "Something I Learned Today" then an encore of three songs from the first Husker Du album I ever heard: "Flip Your Wig," "Hate Paper Doll" and "Makes No Sense at All." That brought him full circle for me, as he finished with the first Bob Mould song I ever heard. If I had to churlishly throw down negative criticism it'd be that a change of oldies might be in order, as he seems to be sticking to a tried and tested few, but right now I'd be more than happy if he keeps touring with bassist Jason Narducy and Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster. However if the past is anything to go on, Bob might soon feel the need to make some changes...

This review was written for Optical Sounds zine.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Mudhoney Goin' Back to Ritzville

I long ago lost count of the number of times I've seen Mudhoney play but opening self-styled "middle aged folk singer" Barton Carrol was new to me. Playing an acoustic guitar alone he had to battle crowd chatter but bearded Mudhoney guitarist Steve Turner joined him for a couple of songs which helped. He had a bit of amusing banter between songs about his Appalachian roots and saved the best for last, a song about an unfortunate German woman's experience at the hands of Russian Soldiers at the end of the second world war. Rape was subtly implied but not made explicit. The folk angle continued with Wolf People, a dynamic English two guitar quartet. Although they had the same instrumental set up as Mudhoney their sound was more akin to Fairport Convention and Arbouretum. The singing guitarist and bassist had haircuts that looked very English Civil War.

Mudhoney might not throw themselves around like they did a quarter century back but these jovial children of the Stooges played with as much raw power as ever. As they were playing the Ritz, it would've been great if they'd opened with "Ritzville" or at least played it, but that was not to be. Instead the single from "Piece of Cake" hardy perennial "Suck You Dry" did the honours and "Into the Drink" and "I Like It Small" ensured energetic lift off. Four songs in Steve Turner struck up the "Cinnamon Girl" coda they lifted to start "Broken Hands," a song I don't think I've heard them play since the "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge" tour, and also the song I'd have asked for if I'd had a request so I was happy. Mark Arm looked mournfully down what could be the best nose in rock as he wailed desolately about the bones in someone's hand getting crushed. Old favourites "Sweet Young Thing" and "Poisoned Water" really got the crowd moving but everyone slowed for
"Beneath the Valley of the Underdog." That segued nicely into a revved up punk attack on anti-abortionists "Fearless Doctor Killers" which I at first mistook for a new song, it being so long since I'd listened to 'My Brother the Cow!' In the end they played no new songs but what the hell? They had enough old ones! Touring with no new album out is quite unusual and it was good of them to do so. They had plenty of old albums, DVDs, T-shirts and badges to sell anyway. Unlike Wolf People they had no tankards but had a neat line in advertising those tankards for their support band between songs, and bassist Guy Maddison took great pride in swigging from one. He also had to laugh when someone heckled a request for their Spacemen 3 cover "Revolution." A request for "Let It Slide" also went unheeded, but we did get many righteous blasts from the past: "Flat Out Fucked," "Get Into Yours," "No One Has" and sadly just one song from 'The Lucky Ones' "I'm Now." Of course "Touch Me I'm Sick" got the biggest reaction, and their most psychedelic song in the set "Sonic Infusion" wrong-footed many clappers with its false ending. Way too much booze got thrown about considering how expensive it is in the Ritz, but thankfully none of it was in skull crushing Wolf People tankards, The end of the long set of more than twenty songs found Mark Arm let loose from guitar, free to twist and shout around a mike lead at one point dangled from up above his head as he sang skyward. Amongst the 'Vanishing Point' songs "What to do with the Neutral," "The Final Course," "The Only Son of the Widow from Nain" and "Chardonnay" were a couple of old punk covers; Angry Samoans' "You Stupid Asshole" and the Dicks "Hate the Police." As the latter is a frequent finale it was a surprise when "Chardonnay" followed it with even more hate. After some collective stomping they were back for a fine five song encore of "You Got It," "Who You Driving Now?" "Here Comes Sickness," "When Tomorrow Hits" and "In'n'out of Grace." The last two were neatly segued: as Mark sang, "That's the lowdown" he hit the opening "In'n'out" chords and soon Dan Peters was playing the most welcome silly extended drum solo in rock as Mark and Steve drank and watched. Guy joined in on a bass run and the tension was released in the most cathartic muffin' explosion of super fuzzed gunge grock that day. No wonder they end so many of their gigs that way.

This review was written for Optical Sounds zine.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

HArpooned into the Unknown

Killing Joke really wiped the floor with everyone last year in terms of my favourite songs of 2015 witch wir:

1. Wire - Harpooned
2. Killing Joke - Into the Unknown
3. Killing Joke - Dawn of the Hive
4. Killing Joke - I am the Virus
5. David Heumann - Ends of the Earth
6. The Pop Group - The Immaculate Deception
7. Killing Joke - Autonomous Zone
8. Killing Joke - New Cold War
9. Bardo Pond - In Every Dream Home a Heartache
10. Loop - Radial

Twenty Fifteen

My fifteen most listened to records, CDs and tape of 2015 were

KILLING JOKE - Pylon (double CD version)
WIRE - Wire
WHITE HILLS - Walks for Motorists
THE POP GROUP - Citizen Zombie (and remix 12")
DAVID HEUMANN - Here in the Deep
LOOP - Array 1
BARDO POND - Is There a Heaven?
ELEVENTH DREAM DAY - Works for Tomorrow
DBH - Mood
DEAD SEA APES - High Evolutionary
TALONS - New Topographics

The last 2 were released in 2014 but I only heard them last year.

Since then I've also listened to and liked the 2015 albums by Low, Yo La Tengo & Lightning Bolt.