Newsletter. March 2020
Boomtown Rats – Citizens of Boomtown
It’s a Boomtown Rats Album…a fookin’ Boomtown Rats Album!! …That’s what this sounds like. That should be the review. Done.
I put the pre-release record on in the shop and a customer says …Ooh I haven’t heard this for ages! I tell them you haven’t heard it at all… it’s not out yet …. But guess what? She is exactly spot on.
If you were so discontented with the winter of ‘78 that you Rip Van Winkled the years all away just after Bob and his cohorts had given us the new wave pop perfection of ‘Rat Trap’ and banished the saccharine sweetness of ‘Summer Nights’ from our Top of the Pops Thursday night screens…. I could tell you that this album, Citizens of Boomtown …was the follow up to Tonic For the Troops and you know what? You would eat it up with your Angel Delight.
Citizens of Boomtown is an album that is a reconnection …. a reconnection, to the cacophony of noise of young boys with guitars, to a punchy swagger and to a “know more than you” attitude. Now yes, of course, these songs are played by a bunch of old men, who possibly should know better, but they don’t, and they don’t really care what you think…. and good on them for that.
But what of the stories? Following the ramped-up feedback guitar intro of the lead single Trash Glam Baby…Bob sings ‘Another Shit Saturday Night’ connecting this song, this Album to ‘Rat Trap’. (in the same way Bowies ‘Ashes to Ashes’ is connected to ‘Space Oddity’ 10 years after the fact.)
Of course, Billy and Judy were inevitably caught(trapped) and worked in some factory, and started a large family ,their fate utterly, inevitably unremarkable… …Adele however, their granddaughter, finally escaped the provisional repression of some small town nowhere …she now works in a Charity Shop most likely in Stoke Newington, N16 and delights the vintage chic and mirror-ball confection of the hipster bright lights. But the dissatisfaction is still present and palpable in spite of the song’s delightfully skewed bravura.
Throughout the album the band continue in such style… and Bob channels Dylan, Reed and Springsteen. This Isn’t plagiarism or homage; it’s just they swim in the same primordial soup…revelling in the poetic imagery of the ordinary and mundane. Bob Geldof at his best, fascinated in the things that fall apart…and full of passionate intensity.
The Rats were never the trendiest of the post punk new wave groups…but success on the scale they had it will do that. And this album most likely won’t change the myopia that they are not the real deal… too arrogant, too clever and too focused on the prize. “I Don’t like Mondays” and subsequently Band Aid/ Live Aid cemented the negative NME orthodoxy that had always surrounded Bob and The Band. However, orthodoxy never knew a good time and these Rats are worth listening to with fresh ears…as if ‘Mondays’ had never happened, and Midge had never taken Bobs phone call. It’s a fookin’ Boomtown Rats Album and its rather fab.
Whether Lou Macari, Daniela Nardini or Armando Iannucci; the Scots and the Italians have always had an affinity. Matinee are an Italian Band with close and fruitful connections to Belle & Sebastian and Franz Ferdinand. They bring a distinctly 80s-euro sound to the fore on their new album Event Horizon.
Sweeping synths that rise and fall, precise guitar lines, gated drum and anthemic chorus surround and envelop this lovely collection of songs. The Melody and the vibe is up …even though the lyrics are somewhat darker than you would think. The songs ask question after question. “Do you know yourself behind all your books and your fears” and “Why are you still swimming in your fishbowl?” are sinister chat up lines which in the fluttering Neon lights of this euro club hide a sense of detachment and distant longing?
But this is a fun album, and if you are of a certain age, Its celebratory of a sound and a style which is lodged in your past. For the young ‘uns this is modern music but standing on the shoulders of Fairlight giants. Matinée know their stuff and present this with some fantastic hooks and tunes which will follow you about all day, and all night, long! You may have an urge to roll up the sleeves on your jackets, put gel in your hair and cruise the urban landscape and that’s fine…but listen to the album. Listen to it as the purest collection of pop songs that you are likely to hear for some while. And enjoy
Waspjuice- Private View
The duality in the title of this album is very much our entry to the witty, wordy world of Chris Blunkell and his band, Waspjuice. A private view is the description of those sort of events, full of cheap sparkling wine, canapés and inane chatter in room full of art and opinion. Friends and family dutifully on hand. Most artists I’ve ever known face these events with a mutual sense of dread and release. Conversely, many of these songs feel like gently stepping into the semi clandestine thoughts of the middle-aged flawed man who has travelled the gravelled road of true love and true life.
Chris shares his ‘private views’ in a plaintive voice which reflects the experience of the passing years, set against a confident, unflashy arrangement and production. Acoustic guitars, brushed drums, humming organ and a meandering piano serve the songs with distinction. Supplemented by the occasional flourish of a harmonica and memorably on “Waiting for Annie Hall” trumpet. The musicianship on these songs is confident and understated. Brian Barnett’s exquisite guitar work is pitch perfect for these songs.
Chris’s lyrics, like arty European films of the sixties and seventies, settle into a language colloquial domesticity, the everyday objects and events which are the dull flotsam and jetsam of our lives, seemingly unimportant, insignificant, and yet at the core of our memories and our being. Chris has a turn of phrase which creates evocative images, such as a “Crayola held loose between finger and thumb” “waiting for Spurs to score” both generic and yet intensely personal, sung with a melancholy which accompanies those Proustian rushes and mean more now than they did back then.
Released on the new and exciting label ‘At Swim Music’ based in Whitstable, Private View is a special collection of songs from a self-assured and entertaining band, having fun. It is grown up music, songs which resonate with warmth, humour and a contented, settled ennui. Highly recommend.
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Record Store Day 18:04:20
Record Shop Day (yes, I know!!) is coming to Faversham. On Saturday 18th April your very own, Creekside Vinyl will be taking part in the international celebration of independent Record shops.
RSD is the coming together of Independent Record shops, celebrating our unique culture. Special Vinyl releases are made exclusively for the day. Many shops and cities host artist performances to mark the occasion. RSD is one of the biggest annual events on the music Calendar.
We are newbies in this jamboree and so I honestly don’t know what to expect…RSD HQ will make public the full list of “exclusive releases” on March 6th. I will be looking over the list of special release and ordering in as broad a collection as I can. Once I know what we’re getting I will publicise our list and what records we will be stocking. No reserving or pre-ordering is allowed…so you just have to turn up on the day and see what we’ve got in stock as the day progresses.
We are sure it will be a fun and celebratory day…and as such we have arranged for the rather fine and Dandy Band “Waspjuice” to perform in store during the day. Their splendid new album “Private View” will be available in the store for the band to sign as well as sing!
We hope to see you on Saturday 18th for an A1, Tip Top, Record Shop Jam Fair. It will be a sandwich of fun on ecstasy bread wrapped up in a big bag like disco fudge*… laters ‘gators!
*borrowed from TV funny show… “spaced” ta muchly.
Up coming In -Store Events
Spring is busting out all over and we have a veritable panoply of fantastic instore events as the evenings get lighter, the temperature gets higher and mood is Up! Up! Up!
We are just bowled over to be offering our performance space to some incredible artists who are going to blow you away with their musical acumen and verve!
This is the who and this is the when, with you tube links to give a taste of just what joy to expect.
Monday March 30th Matinée
Italian Nuovo New Wave Synth Pop anthems. “Synthemic!”
Sunday April 5th Ned Roberts
Sublime Acoustic Singer Songwriter with poetic heartfelt songs.
Saturday April 18th WaspJuice
Local band. Seasoned songs tell of a life well lived. Beautifully crafted with a subtle melancholic sense of humour.
Monday May 4th Samantha Crain
Songwriter, Poet, Producer and Musician; Critically acclaimed multi award winning performer.
These events are always hugely popular and loads of fun…come along, catch some very special performers up close and personal…be a part of the hoopla!
On occasion due to unforeseen circumstances these dates can shift at the last minutes its always worth checking our social media regularly.