This week we mark BCB’s 25th anniversary by looking back at some of the best music that was doing the rounds in February 1992 – that was when we first started broadcasting as Bradford Festival Radio.
Here’s the full list of what we played:
Team Picture – Back To Bay Six
Elbow – Magnificent (She Says)
Terrorvision – Urban Space Crime
Stereo MCs – Step It Up
Primate – Break My Fall
Nirvana – Come As You Are
Arrested Development – Everyday People
Crowded House – Weather With You
Tasmin Archer – Sleeping Satellite
Suede – The Drowners
Sleaford Mods – BHS
Pigeon Detectives – Enemy Lines
Not only do rats spread disease, they also saved TVam, which was far worse.
Having avoided fully referring to BCB’s Studio 4 as a sea-faring vessel I now find that the metaphor would be rather useful not in only that, as a committed land-lubber (again in not in literal terms, though I can’t pretend I’m especially taken with sailing), I’m set to leg it from the aforementioned craft but also because a water rodent theme briefly developed on this week’s Selection Box. Whilst I am not a rat, and indeed Studio 4 is presumably built upon sound foundations and therefore I’m unlikely to disappear into a sink hole like that poor fellow in America, there does seem to be a varmint of a metaphor just sat there waiting to be smacked by my rolled-up newspaper.
Anyway, I appear to be drowning in metaphors. Metaphorically. As featured on this week’s programme, here’s some actual Rats, but not actual rats, courtesy of that there YouTube what all the kids are talking about now whilst they play with their yo-yos and trade Garbage Pail Kids cards.
For reasons far too dull and footling for even me to remember, this week’s Selection Box was recorded in Studio 4 of BCB instead of it’s regular home two doors away in Studio 2. Much like its Thunderbird of the same numeral, Studio 4 is something of a minor player in the BCB cannon compared to the all-important live broadcast hypersonic variable-sweep wing rocket plane of Studio 1, the heavy supersonic VTOL carrier lifting body aircraft that is Studio 2 and the re-usable, vertically-launched single-stage-to-orbit spacecraft we affectionately know as Studio 3. It’d be a stretch of an already tenuous metaphor to suggest it is a small utility submersible for underwater rescue, but, to flick to a barely more relevant simile, using Studio 4 instead of one of the other recording holes is like suddenly trying to use a Commodore 64 joystick to play Fifa when you’re used to the Duashock 3 controller.
In basic terms, the controls are different. In basic terms, it’s basic. Whilst to a novice the myriad of fiddly knobs, light-emitting diodes and push-me-pull-you faders may look more daunting than a desk with an abacus and a twisty crank, when you are used to the former you know how it works and, more to the point, how to correct something if it goes wrong. If you have nothing more than an on / off switch and a big red button that says, “DO NOT PRESS” on it then finding a way of piloting the vessel away from the big broadcasting black hole you’re about to get sucked into is more problematic. And thus it was that I fully expected disaster to befall the programme this week with every given push of a button or slide of a fader. Save for an odd moment a few records in, where my voice seems to appear mid-sentence for reasons I’m still not entirely clear of, I seem to have come out of my Studio 4 journey unscathed, which makes me blase for next week when I am in there again and will, therefore, no doubt end up die screaming as I plough the ruddy thing at full pelt into the hot burning sun.
Anyway, a quick bit of housekeeping is required on here before I get onto the weighty subject of the playlist, namely that the show this week began with Local Natives and you can still hear the interview I conducted with them at Leeds Festival on this ‘ere Soundcloud wotsit here. You can even download it should you be so very inclined – simply click on the arrow on the player and save it as you feel appropriate.
Nothing says Folk more than a set of welding goggles
Last Wednesday was a good evening for Kris Drever. Â At virtually the same moment he was stood on stage, towering over his Lau bandmates Martin Green and Aidan O’Rourke as they picked up the Radio 2 Folk Award for Band of the Year, he was also treated to an even more thrilling achievement in that his solo recording of Harvest Gypsies, from the album Blackwater, was the opening track to Selection Box. Â I dare say that life will never quite be so exciting for him again.
I did suffix the track by saying that it was one of my favourite records of the last five years, then suggested that it may well be older than that. In doing so I have made myself right and wrong simultaneously as it is in fact an astonishing 7 years since said offering was released. Â No matter, though, because I’ll just readjust my hypothetical lists and declare that it is one of the best records of the last seven years.
I think we can safely assume that time travel is impossible (which is a shame, because I’ve already written this entire thing once and then accidentally irretrievably deleted it [although admittedly this would be footling use of such a powerful tool - shall I stop the Holocaust? No, I'll undelete the BCB piece I wrote and lost which was largely about myself. Still Marty McFly didn't do much more than make his family rich and everyone seems to love him]) so I think I can be forgiven for failing to play David Bowie on last week’s show. As I have previously explained, the cunning fox sent his new single Where Are We Now? out into the World just a few hours after I had recorded my show. Still, it provided a perfect opener for this week’s Selection Box. What is more remiss of me is the fact that the 70th birthday of arguably the greatest ever pop singer, Noel Scott Engel aka Scott Walker (anyone now yelling “Frank Sinatra!” at their computer can go and shove it up their badger. I’ve never understood the fuss over Ol’ Short Arse and never will), passed me by on the very day my first show in the new timeslot was broadcast.
Whilst I would always maintain that some of the greatest vocalists of all time are people who cannot actually sing (Mark E. Smith being a primary and quite astonishingly brilliant atonal example) when hearing Walker open his trap and, indeed, his throat I feel the pressing need to point people at the speakers and say, THAT is how you sing. I can’t imagine anything I’d like to see less than a guest appearance from Scott Walker on The X Factor, but if such a thing took place at least the result might be that the long queue of neat-haircutted chicken-in-a-basket warblers might just nudge each other and say, “Come on, we may as well go home.”
Not that such a thing is likely, of course, because these days Walker’s output couldn’t be further removed from the conveyor belt claptrap offered by ITV’s flagship God-it-goes-on-forever entertainment piece. Indeed is hard to think of another successful artist who has moved as far leftfield as Scott Walker. I cannot help but applaud any bloody-minded artist who is determined to challenge their own boundaries, experiment with new sounds and seek to explore untrodden avenues, and to hell with shifting units and keeping the bank balance high enough to afford another swimming pool in the back of a stretch Hummer. However, that’s not to say this necessarily results in a more rewarding output because, as much as I love music that takes you somewhere you’ve never been before, I must confess that some of Scott Walker’s more experimental material leaves me rather cold – indeed parts of his 2006 album The Drift were frankly unlistenable. When his new album Bish Bosch was released last month I was, therefore, left with a ummm ahh hesitation as to whether I actually wanted to hear it, let alone buy it. However, I have decided that hard-earned brass must be shelled out as the wares from the album I have heard thus far have been really rather splendid.
This includes the extraordinary Epizootics – which featured in this week’s Selection Box as our long track for the Thanking Your Kind Indulgence section of the show – a 10-minute brooding stew of tribal drums, a malevolent squealing three-note trumpet motif and Walker’s haunting vocal with the added bonus of hearing our hero intoning that we should “take that accidentally in the bollocks for a start.” What’s not to like, frankly?
As I prepared a couple of tunes to play you here on the blog, I thought to myself, “Haven’t I included this new Frankie Rose single on the BCB Music Blog before?” And the answer, it turns out, is yes I have, back in February. It’s a cracking tune though, so I don’t begrudge it being re-released.
Double helping from me - two playlists for the price of one.
Fill yer boots with these lovelies on The BCB Sessions...
Wed 21st March 2012
Love Bites - LUST /LUST
Bowerbirds - Tuck the darkness in
Weird dreams - Hurt so bad
Firefox AK - The wind
Shearwater - You as you were
Reptar - Stuck in my Id
Me and Cassity - Fred Astaire
Yeti Lane - Sparkling sunbeam
Diagrams - Ghost lit
Laura Gibson - The fire
Bonobo - Eyesdown feat. Andreya Triana & Dels
Deco Child - Pray
School of Seven Bells - Love from a stone
Tindersticks - Slippin' shoes
Wed 14th March 2012
Robert Ellis - Friends like those
Slugabed - Sex
Waters - Take me out to the coast
Ellen and the escapades - All the crooked scenes
Crocodiles - Sunday (psychic conversation)
Sweet lights - Handle with care
Casiokids - Kaskaden
Spoek Mathambo - Let them talk ft. Yolanda
Martyn - Hello darkness
Simone Felice - You and I belong
Nada Surf - Looking through
Yppah - Blue Schwinn
Crybaby - We're supposed to be in love
If you missed the shows - no panic! Listen again via www.bcbradio.co.uk
And if you've got tunes you'd like me to play then get in touch: @laurarawlings or firstname.lastname@example.org
See you Wednesday night at 9pm on 106.6fm (in Bradford) and online at www.bcbradio.co.uk