Category Archives: Music

How Spotify ruined Christmas

An article for Sabotage Times about how the decline of physical music formats has made Christmas shopping much more difficult.

The digital music revolution has created something of a Christmas shopping conundrum: what do you get the music fan who has Spotify? The music streaming service, along with iTunes, 7Digital, Amazon and the like, has given us instant access to almost every song ever recorded. We have more music than we know what to do with, and we don’t need or want any more for Christmas. That’s a shame, because for the past 25 years or so, CDs have been the ideal no-brainer Christmas gift. Now no one wants CDs – and digital music is much more difficult to wrap.

Read the full article over at Sabotage Times.

Chris Sievey, Frank Sidebottom and The Biz

When Chris Sievey died in June, several of those who knew him best described him as a genius. Chris was best known as the man inside the oversized papier mache head of Frank Sidebottom, but before finding cult success with his aspiring pop star alter-ego, he had attempted to carve out a music career of his own, and produced a pioneering computer game based on his experiences called The Biz. Typically brilliant, the game remains thoroughly playable more than 25 years after it was released. It’s also incredibly innovative – a multimedia music release created long before anyone had any clue what a multimedia music release was….

Read the full story at Sabotage Times.

How World In Motion changed English football forever

We ain’t no hooligans,
This ain’t a football song,
Three lions on our Mars,
I know we can’t go wrong.

And there, in 30 seconds of televisual madness, John Barnes manages to both hit a new career low and defile the greatest football record ever made.

Quite an achievement for a man whose playing career ended with lumbering embarrassment at Newcastle and relegation at Charlton, and whose managerial career with Celtic (‘Super Caley go ballistic’ etc) and Tranmere must surely rank as one of the least successful of all time.

Barnes never exactly pulled up any trees playing for his country either, and some might say his original rap on World in Motion was the best thing he ever did in an England shirt. It would be hard to argue with that opinion. Continue reading

The Duke and The King live review

The Duke and The King
The Cluny, Newcastle, 26 April 2010

Every so often you get blown away by a band, and tonight was one of those occasions. I might not even have been here tonight had Danny and the Champions of the World not been on the supporting bill. The always-entertaining Danny (operating in reduced circumstances with opening act Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou joining him for a stripped-down set) was great, but The Duke and The King were even better – undoubtedly one of the best bands I’ve seen up here for years.

Originally a side project for Simone Felice of The Felice Brothers, The Duke and The King (named after a pair of travelling hustlers in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) has now become Felice’s priority, and seem destined for very great things. Felice (The Duke) and Bobbie Bird Burke (The King) recorded debut album Nothing Gold Can Stay in a one-room woodstove-heated cabin. It’s a good album – warm, catchy Americana – but it becomes really great in a live setting. Continue reading