Loving The Alien


A homage to the legend that is David Bowie comprised of song titles from all his albums.

Feeling Low and full of Sorrow, as The Man Who Sold The World has gone. Fill Your Heart with Shapes of Things, After Today, until Kingdom Come. Time Will Crawl so Hang On To Yourself, Move On and Join The Gang, Because You’re Young. From Station to Station and through Breaking Glass, Changes will happen Outside, nothing is meant to last. It Ain’t Easy, After All, but Everything’s Alright, Here Comes The Night. A Space Oddity; The Prettiest Star will shine Anyway, Anyhow Anywhere as the Diamond Dogs howl in a Moonage Daydream. Where Have All The Good Times Gone? Who Can I Be Now? What’s Really Happening? Is There Life On Mars? Through the Golden Years, Boys Keep Swinging on this Fantastic Voyage. Fashion and Fame, It’s No Game, Day In Day Out, Jump They Say, Don’t Look Down. Little Wonder, Time will heal, and we will be Heroes for one day. Ashes to Ashes, Love Is Lost but You Will Set The World on Fire and Never Get Old. After the Blackout, comes the Slow Burn of a Blackstar which some could call Modern Love. Without You the world is full of Scary Monsters and it feels like we are Always Crashing In the Same Car. Through Sound and Vision to The Next Day you will always Rock ‘N Roll With Me. So Let’s Dance, Oh! You Pretty Things, Tonight!

RIP Starman



Couldn’t Get It Right

3 – Couldn’t Get It Right – Climax Blues Band

Lacking a much needed hit for their 1976 album Gold-Plated, the Climax Blues Band at the behest of their record company RCA, conjured up Couldn’t Get It Right from, according to bassist Derek Holt, “absolutely nowhere”. The song was written about being on tour in the US and made it to #10 in the UK singles charts and hit #3 in the US Billboard charts the following year. The band, originating from Stafford, formed in 1968 under the original name of the Climax Chicago Blues Band. In 1972, following pressure from the American band Chicago Transit Authority, they shortened the name to the Climax Blues Band.

Why is it a classic?

Not only does it sound like The Bee Gees, Wall era Pink Floyd and 10cc flirting with Chic style funk but it is more American sounding than the majority of Amercian releases of that year. The likes of Funkadelic and Parliament edge it in terms of sheer funkiness, but the Climax Blues Band managed to capture probably the most infectious groove ever to come out of Stafford!

Year of release – 1976
Highest UK Chart Position – #10

The most recent cover of the song was by Fun Lovin’ Criminals.

Moon King – Roswell

Toronto’s Moon King are childhood friends, Daniel Woodhead and Maddy Wilde. Their debut album, Obsession, released on the One Big Silence label (run by Fucked Up’s Mike Haliechuck) in 2013, was described by Drowned In Sound as “electro-tinged dream-pop” The duo release their latest album Secret Life in April this year and Roswell is the first single from it. And what a gem it is! Imagine stepping into a rocket, with Wilde as your sole companion and being jettisoned into outer space, powered by an explosive mix of Neu! and Hawkwind and you have got the essence of the track.

Described by Woodhead as a transition from the old Moon King style to the new, Roswell is a taster of what to expect when the album lands in April. The band embark on a UK and European tour next week and play Birmingham’s Hare and Hounds on 29th.


Introducing: Chartreuse

Birmingham 4-piece Chartreuse are a band hotly tipped for great things in 2015. Playing a few support gigs at the tail end of 2014 at venues such as The Rainbow, Bull’s Head and Sunflower Lounge, they describe themselves on Facebook as an Indie/soul/pop band.

They first came to my attention at this year’s Oxjam Brum, where they took the 9pm slot and piqued everyone’s interest for the proceeding 30 mins. Combining subtle shades of the more alternative end of Britpop (Salad, Sleeper, Echobelly) with a certain woozy ethereality, the band produce a sound that both swells and delights, with Harriet Rose Wilson’s vocals flowing through it like liqueur.

Named in Brum Notes list of Ones to Watch in 2015, this is a home grown band that are going to quickly rise to the surface and successfully transition from support act to main event.

In a nutshell…

Brum 4-piece that combine the subtle hues of alternative Britpop with flowered up soul.


Counteract Magazine

Of Monsters and Men – “If you want to go really traditional then you should try fermented shark and a drink called brennivín – ‘Black Death’.” (Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir)

Katzenjammer – “I make a very good chocolate cake and cheesecake. I am famous for my cheesecake!” (Anne Marit Bergheim)

Alice Gold  – “There are lots of aspiring men and women around. I don’t really like to separate men and women in a way as I do think that good music rises to the surface.”

The Pierces -“..maybe we will get back into ballet and realise that we are still good at it.” (Catherine Pierce)




Born Music

Telegram – Rule Number One
Vanbot – When My Heart Breaks
Superfood – Superfood

Brum Notes

Lola Colt – Away From The Water (Printed in October Edition)
Allo Darlin’ – We Come From The Same Place (Printed in September Edition)
Dark Horses – Hail Lucid State

Counteract Magazine

Savages – Silence Yourself
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Mosquito
Cold War Kids – Dear Miss Lonley Hearts
David Bowie – The Next Day
Matthew E White – The Big Inner

Tom Forbes – Train Back (EP)
Hot Chip – Flutes


Born Music

HAIM | Swim Deep | The Rolling Stones | Matthew E White | The Strypes | Kodaline

Brum Notes

Lamb | Kasabian | The Eagles

Counteract Magazine

Parquet Courts | Marika Hackman | KT Tunstall | Laura Mvula | The Weeks |
Unknown Mortal Orchestra | Evil Alien | Policia | Of Monsters and Men | Stealing Sheep |
The Crookes | Saint Saviour | The Killers | Katzenjammer | Life In Film | The Features | Citizens! | Poppy and the Jezebels | Pond | Alabama Shakes | Hustle Records Launch |
Emeli Sandé | Alice Gold | Spector | Howler | Various Cruelties | DJ Shadow | Laura Marling |
Oxjam Brum Takeover | Cults | The Bluebeat Arkestra | The Moons | The Pierces |
James Blake | Toy Hearts | Rites of Spring Festival | Mona | Ellie Goulding | The Vaccines |
I Blame Cocco | Max Raptor



I Believe In Father Christmas

‘Tis the season to be jolly and so for the next Golden Oldie I have chosen one of the lesser known Christmas songs.

2 – I Believe in Father Christmas – Greg Lake

Released in November 1975 the song, now part of the familiar canon of Christmas songs, was intended to be a protest against the commercialisation of Christmas. The lyrics were written by Pete Sinfield who was also one of the main lyricists for Greg Lake’s band, 70s prog rockers Emerson Lake and Palmer. Sinfield states that the little boy in the song is based on his own experience of being 8 years old and coming down stairs to see a wondrous Christmas tree. The song then takes on the wider issue of how Christmas becomes more about commerce than sentiment. To prevent the song venturing too far off into the bleak midwinter, Sinfield wrote a hopeful and cheery last verse claiming the song on the whole to be a humanist song.

Why is it a classic?

The best Christmas songs combine a sense of nostalgia with a subtle hint of melancholy (see Lennon’s Happy Xmas (War is Over), Wham’s Last Christmas and The Pogues Fairy Tale of New York). Lake’s song has both these elements wrapped up in a warming 70s pastel-shaded blanket. With brass and choral sections the traditional sounds of Christmas are well catered for and there is even room for a classical excerpt at the end, based on Prokofiev’s “Lieutenant Kije Suite“. This was arranged by Lake’s band member Keith Emerson. The melody was written in Drop-D tuning which produced the cascading riff but Lake didn’t really have an idea as to what the song could be. Driving along one day and with the melody playing on his mind he realised that Jingle Bells fitted perfectly over the top of it and he decided that it could be worked into a Christmas song. It was kept off the number one spot by Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

Year of release – 1975
Highest UK Chart Position – #2

The most recent cover of the song was by U2.