Monday, 4 July 2022

Great moments in music video history #4: Free Yourself

It's not their finest moment musically, but this promo video for the Chemical Brothers' 2018 release Free Yourself is quite astonishing really, and the fact that it might not astonish you or other viewers is really just a sign of how blasé the world has become about CGI and computer animation. I've no idea what this film cost to make - and really that's what it is, a short film rather than a music video - but the fact that it's in budget at all is, when you think about it, astounding.

So, here's Free Yourself - think I, Robot but with a big beat instead of Will Smith. And don't forget to sit through the credits, for a little coda.

Sunday, 3 July 2022

Sunday shorts: A Perfect Reminder

Craig over at the always-excellent Plain or Pan has written a book about The Trash Can Sinatras' album I've Seen Everything, and that's all it took to remind me of this little ditty. You might say it was, ahem, the perfect reminder.

Friday, 1 July 2022

Kitchen karaoke

Found myself singing this in the kitchen last night, whilst cooking tea. I might have got a little carried away, as Mrs New Amusements got up from where she was working in the dining room and closed the kitchen door. But honestly, it's lost none of its power, even with me belting it out. So here are three versions of Sleep Well Tonight - the first is the official promo video, salvaged from VHS by Gene super-fan Lewis Slade. The second is a live TV performance from Mark Radcliffe's much-missed Channel 4 show The White Room, from either '95 or '96. And finally, there's fan footage of Martin Rossiter, at the warm-up gig for his farewell show last year. All brilliant. But then you knew I'd say that, right?

Thursday, 30 June 2022

More new to NA: Afflecks Palace and "Nu Madchester"

I don't know who coined the phrase "Nu Madchester" and I'm not sure it's entirely accurate, for Afflecks Palace are more Roses than Mondays. But the name has gained traction. The four-piece guitar band wear their influences proudly, and you can hear them in every song, and that works for me, I have to say. Am a bit less fond of bucket hats making a comeback, but singer J seems keen, wearing one (or something equally daft) in most videos I've seen. And if I tell you that the band's website is called The Spirit of Spike Island ... well, you get the picture. Oh, and for extra Manc kudos, the band are named after the former name of the alternative indoor market on Oldham Street, in Manchester's Northern Quarter. Here's a taster from J, guitarist Dan Stapleton, bassist Pete Darling and drummer Pete Redshaw, Carpe Diem.

A bit of a browse around that Spirit of Spike Island website reveals some other, like-minded bands. My interest was piqued by this track, Deeper Than Holy, by Pastel.

And if two bands ploughing the baggy Manchester furrow aren't enough for, relax, there's a third: this is Come Out 'n' Play by Vega Rally:

I'm not sure about "Nu Madchester" though - quite apart from it being a terrible, lazy name, if I want to listen to music that sounds like The Roses, Mondays, Charlatans, Inspirals, well, I'll just get all my old CDs out. Whilst there's nothing wrong with championing your influences, I think these three bands need to forge their own identities rather than trade on the past glories of others. That said, from a day spent YouTubing them all, I think they all have the potential to do exactly that. And good news, the three bands are going out on tour together, so you can get to take in all three in one evening - just don't wear a bucket hat, please?

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

More new to NA: Northern Portrait

Not new to everyone else, of course, but today I finally got around to listening to the three Northern Portrait songs I possess. Turns out the Danish indie four-piece are rather good. Example, you say? Well, I've been suffering from what Rol euphemistically called "low mood" lately, but listening to Criminal Art Lovers, in particular, has cheered me somewhat.

Good, isn't it?

Monday, 27 June 2022

Monday long song: The Chemistry Between Us

Don't think I've featured much, if anything, from post-Bernard Suede before, so let's remedy that today. The Chemistry Between Us was from 1996's Coming Up, released at a time when Brett's own chemical use was starting to get a little beyond him. Whatever. At the time, the "class A, class B" lyric might have seemed a little risqué - now it seems barely noteworthy, something even Ed Sheeran sings about.