Breithlá Playlist

Right muchachos time for some reflection of sorts.

So I’ve kept up this blogging malarkey for over two months now and I’m enjoying sharing my musical (and other) views and discoveries with you all. Traffic to the blog has been growing steadily and I would like to thank you all for continuing to listen to my ramblings. I’ve been thinking of ways to make the blog better, hopefully I will get around to implementing these ideas. Consequently if any graphic designers would like to help me come up with a blog banner/logo I’d be forever indebted. Oh suggestions are always welcome on how to improve things.

As it’s my birthday I had hoped to knock a mix of some sort together but I never really got a chance, after mulling over the possibilities I decided  to post some good cover versions instead. Semi-inspired by listening to LCD Soundsystem’s Joy Division cover comes The National, The King Blues, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Hot Rats, Babyshambles (& Friends) and The Kooks take on some classics. Personally speaking, it’s a good selection of covers doing justice and giving a new lease of life to the originals.

That’s not all, there’s two of my favourite songs, Gang of Four’s ‘Armalite Rifle’ (Riot Dog would be proud)and HMHB’s ‘All I Want for Christmas is a Dukkla Prague Away Kit’.


Mp3: The National – Pretty in Pink (Psychedelic Furs Cover)

Mp3: The Hot Rats – Drive My Car (The Beatles Cover)

Mp3: The King Blues – A New England (Billy Bragg Cover)

Mp3: The Kooks – Victoria (The Kinks Cover)

Mp3: Echo & The Bunnymen – Ticket to Ride (The Beatles Cover)

Mp3: Babyshambles – Janie Jones (The Clash Cover)

Mp3: Gang of Four – Armalite Rifle

Mp3: Half Man Half Biscuit – All I Want for Christmas is a Dukkla Prague Away Kit

IELB Get on Down

A shameless bit of plugging here today for one of my favourite online haunts, Irish Election Literature Blog, a pretty amazing archive resource of Irish political leaflets from way back when to the present day. It’s got plenty of stuff for any of you interested in politics or design but there are piles of hilarious ones too, remember Clifford T Reid’s Euro Campaign?

It’s a blog that I’m delighted to say I have been donating some stuff to lately, it’s definitely worth checking out and if any of you have old election materials lying around send them on.

Elections? Sure it’s always the same result.

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David Cameron ‘Common People’

With just ten days untill voters in the UK go to the polls I’m pretty sure lots of you have already seen this but I hadn’t until today. Someone has cleverly remade Pulp’s classic ‘Common People’ as though David Cameron was singing it, unsurprisingly he isn’t portrayed favourably, it’s no William Shatner version but it’s definitely worth a giggle.

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Achtung Save 6Music!

Unless you have been in hibernation you’re probably already fully aware of the campaign to save 6 Music in the UK from closure as part of the BBC’s cynical cost cutting exercise.  Far from me to repeat ever-changing news it’s just easier to point to the various Facebook groups and websites, which suits my lazy disposition:

The battle  to save the station has taken a rather strange and personally interesting twist with campaigners encouraging the station’s small but dedicated band of listeners to propel Half Man Half Biscuit’s ‘Joy Division Oven Gloves’ into the charts. Birkenheads finest poets, whose tours used to coincide with Tranmere Rovers away fixtures are one of my favourite bands of all time and are utterly unique in the music world, so much so that the ‘masses’ are unlikely to fall in love with them. Although they’ve recorded far more epic, leftfield, amusing and interesting songs, which they could have assaulted the charts with, it’ll be pretty interesting to see how it  fairs out, more so than the RATM Christmas number 1 campaign anyway.

One of the campaign’s coordinators, Chris Shade spoke to the Guardian this week saying:

“We don’t mind if it gets to six or 36,” it had started out as “a bit of a joke”, but the song – from the band’s 2005 album Achtung Bono – has now become an unofficial anthem of the station.

“The important thing is that a lot of people are getting very passionate about saving 6 Music,” Shade said. “I hope it will help make the BBC see sense. It is too important a station to lose. With expanding digital radio coverage I think they will attract a much larger audience to the station if only they give it a chance.”

We’ll have to wait till later on to see how it all goes but best of luck to the campaigners and HMHB, enjoy the tune after the jump.

Belfast Ahoy!

I’m Belfast bound today and it got me thinking about the rich cultural and musical heritage of the city. I’m not going to bore you with a long-winded article about cultural history or differences that exist in the city as I’m pretty sure we’re all aware of this and it sounds more like a module to be tackled on an undergraduate degree course. Both past and present there has been a steady stream of great bands and musicians to emerge from the city but for me  it will always be what it brought to the world of punk that makes it special.

In the late 70’s at the height of ‘The Troubles’ very few musicians would dare journey to Belfast or elsewhere in the North of Ireland with the exception of Rory Gallagher that is. This must have fed the musical despair and anger which led to one Belfast band in particular, Stiff Little Fingers setting the world alight with their debut album Inflammable Material. One of the key elements of their music is like all the great punk bands they looked at the socio-political environment they lived in and challenged it, in their case it was writing non-sectarian songs about the Troubles not just causes far away like the classic ‘Alternative Ulster’ and bloody curdling ‘Suspect Device’ to the brilliant much-needed and humourous ‘Barbed Wire Love’. The album became the first to be distributed by Rough Trade records and was the first independent album to chart in the UK when it reached number 14 in 1979.

Inflammable Material is still worthy of attention years later and their brash and angry punk is still as rousing today as it was then (I can imagine) especially if your lucky enough to get their material on vinyl. Lest we forget that Belfast is the city of Good Vibrations record label and store founded by Terri Hooley in the early 1970’s which is responsible for bringing Derry’s The Undertones to the world too.

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The photo is thanks to Zoe52