Cliff Richard: 75 At 75

We were going to say that Cliff’s best career move would have been to choke on an olive in about 1964, then he’d be remembered as that cool rock ‘n’ roll singer who never fulfilled his potential (for lachrymose Christmas songs). But listening to CD1 on this collection, he was never cool in the first […]

False Advertising: False Advertising

We’ve played this a lot in the past couple of weeks and despite its charms it’s just failed to hit the spot. We can’t make a connection with it in the way you do with albums you really like. False Advertising are from Manchester and play grunge; you could add “indie punk” to that description […]

New Order: Music Complete

We can’t have been alone in wondering how New Order’s first new album without Hooky would sound and here’s the answer: a classic. We remember Hooky talking about Waiting for the Sirens’ Call and his basic critique on any track was how much of his bass there was. He’s an iconic player but any band […]

Stimmwerck: Flos Virginum, Motets Of The 15th Century

As far as we’re concerned you can’t go wrong with heavenly voices from the 15th century (at least, modern musicians singing heavenly music from the C15th), and this is about as good as it gets. Admittedly there’s not a lot of variation but Stimmwerck, a German vocal quartet, prove that the human voice is the […]

Gary Clark Jr: Sonny Boy Slim

The only thing that’s traditional electric blues about this new CD from Clark is the title. For a man who could presumably get very rich playing formulaic blues with lengthy solos, it’s a good move. Who wants to play dull music for white men in cardigans, after all? Eric Clapton’s got the market covered. Instead […]

Editors: In Dream

While Darktown Jubilee (see below) are busy sounding a bit like a poppy version of Editors, that band has refined its sound to somewhere between Depeche Mode and Bronski Beat, singer Tom Smith making as much use of his falsetto as his baritone. This new album was recorded in Scotland and it sounds like they […]

Darktown Jubilee: City of Light

This is the second album from Manchester band Darktown Jubilee and it’s accomplished and mature. We did an internet search thingy and among their recent gigs was Knutsford Beer Festival. Honestly! Talentless no-hopers on television being milked by Simon Cowell on one hand and a talented band playing for tipsy Knutsfordonians on the other. Pah. […]

Stuart McCallum: City

Although Manchester guitarist McCallum’s album is out on Naim Jazz (his second on the label), this is more a soul album than jazz. The more jazzy sections are on the verge of being easy listening, though they stay the cool Pat Metheny side, rather than going all Bob James. It’s a chilled, late night album, […]