Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou: Madjafalao

This is surely going to go down as a classic in world music. It’s ace. Poly Rythmo are from Benin and play afrobeat, funk, soukous and other styles, often based on religious music rhythms. They formed in 1966 and recorded around 500 songs between the late 1960s and early 1980s. We came across them via […]

Trainspotting: OST

Trainspotting was a hit film in 1996, both the film and the Britpop soundtrack summed up the state of the UK at the time. Britpop was never our cup of tea, with a few exceptions; rock stars shouldn’t hobnob with prime ministers either. Pulp and a few others aside, there were loads of rubbish bands […]

Columbo: We Know Who You Are

At first listen, we though this band was either eccentrically brilliant or just eccentric. Anything that includes the hook from the Good The Bad And The Ugly and the classic theme from Rhubarb And Custard has got to be something to do with inspired. Maybe not actually inspired, but at least living next door. The […]

Saint Leonard’s Horses: Good Luck Everybody

This album will be a classic. You read it here first, so remember. Kieran Leonard (who is Saint Leonard’s Horses) has a cv to make you feel totally inadequate — he’s spent much his life travelling and the people he comes across recognise a unique talent: Ryan Adams let him use his studio, Stanley Kubrick’s […]

Dr John Cooper Clarke and Hugh Cornwell: This Time It’s Personal

The original new wave poet and Strangler produce an album of their favourite tunes. Given that an early Stranglers classic was Walk On By it’s perhaps no surprise; what is a surprise is how good Cooper Clarke’s voice is; think Richard Hawley. Nearly as good as Walk On By is their cover of MacArthur Park, […]

Haçienda Classiçal

Hooked On Classics was the album that gave the rock/classical crossover a bad name, classical hits over a lame dance beat. It didn’t deter people from mixing rock and orchestras; Metallica’s S&M (Symphony and Metallica) sold lots but was divisive. It always seems a bit of a flawed idea (unless you’re Jeff Lynne, in which […]

Smokey Joe and the Kid: Running To The Moon

Well, we might have gotten us right here our most played album of the year. Yessir. It makes you talk like this because it drops in bits of dialogue from top movies and is a bit 1920s. The opening track has lines from O Brother, Where Art Thou?: “You work for the railroad, Grampa? I […]

Shakin’ Stevens: Echoes Of Our Times

The Brexit vote, the death of Elvis, John Major/Edwina Currie — some events are so unexpected that they change your world view. Right up there with them is this is new album from Shakin’ Stevens. It’s very, very good. In a proper, serious rock, sounds-a-bit-like-the-Beatles way. It’s a collection of strong songs with a blues/ […]

Jeff Finlin Life: After Death

This is another album to beat anyone who says “there’s no good music any more” over the head with, before administering a blow to the temples. True, Finlin is a veteran performer who has a decent fan base but not his own Wikipedia page; he’s probably one of those people whose fans can’t believe he’s […]

Various: Beating Heart Malawi

This is a hard album to review: it’s for a good cause but the quality is varied. African music goes down well in the Review Corner, the rootsier the better (ideally one player on a two-string guitar and another with krakebs) so this looked promising: traditional music from the International Library of African Music remixed […]