Wednesday, 11 February 2009


Dam' it all, when is it going to stop being so cold? Yeah, I know, it's still winter, but it seems to be taking the piss this year. At least the snow has more or less disappeared - there are still a few clumps on the platform at Catford Bridge station - but it seems to have been replaced with endless sheets of rain.

Which is why we need music more than ever, to cheer us up through those long cold days, and keep us going until the next episode of 'Q.I.' and 'Whitechapel' (Rough Trade East has yet to make an appearance in this last, though there was a shot of several disgruntled coppers, including the marvellous Phil Davis, lounging around near Cafe 1001 across the road.) This week saw the arrival in the shop of a fair chunk of the mighty Ghostbox back catalogue. It's been getting a lot of press of late - the Guardian carried a review recently - mainly because of the new Belbury Poly album, 'From An Ancient Star', which had us scratching our heads as to where exactly to place it in the shop. After a brief stay in 'British/European', we pondered 'Nu Disco' or 'New Folk', Spencer suggested 'Krautrock', which I shot down in my puritanical belief that only music from a.) Germany and b.) the seventies should be in that section, before it finally landed in 'Electronica'. But really, it should have its own section - 'Electronic Folk TV Themes' possibly coming the closest, as it sounds like a mediaeval minstrel having a throwdown with a synthesiser and then being commissioned to come up with some music for the output of a regional TV station in the mid-seventies. Well, that's as close as I can get, anyway. We also have two other albums by the mighty Poly - 'The Owl's Map' (which makes me think of the classic Alan Garner kids book, 'The Owl Service' - if Belbury Poly had been around in the seventies, maybe they would have made the music for the TV version of that) and 'The Willows' , alongside titles from The Advisory Circle and The Focus Group - all of which are, as Phil would say, on the same tip.

I also managed to get a load of classic soul and funk back catalogue on the shelves this week, courtesy of the mighty Ace Records, who are, as their name implies, pretty damn Ace. If you pop into Rough Trade East this week, don't be surprised if I don't try and turn you onto the beautiful harmonies of The Delfonics (whose song 'Funny Feeling' is in my All Time Top Ten Songs), the dirty psychedelic funk of The Pazant Brothers, or maybe the earth-shaking delights of the 'Super Breaks' compilations (three volumes high and rising) or the 'Super Funk' series (six volumes and not a duffer in sight), curated by the ever - funky Dean Rudland.

Otherwise, you might catch me trying to slip on 'Disco Dream And The Androids', a classic piece of seventies Moroder-esque pulsing space disco which has recently arrived on lovely twelve inch vinyl.

One more thing I should mention before I take my leave is a book that's selling like the proverbial hot cakes at the moment (shades of a classic 'Big Train' sketch here), 'A Year Of Festivals' by Jarvis Hammond. For those of you thinking of heading to a festival this year - and I'm sure that's most of the customers in Rough Trade covered there - this book will be indispensible. Check out his website for more details!

And that's me for now. The only thing that remains for me to say is that you should tune into Counter Culture Radio on Resonance FM on Thursday 12th at 12 noon, when our own Kyle will be spinning some no doubt great folk, psych, freak and kraut nuggets for those lucky enough to be able to tune in. Good luck with that, Kyle - looking forward to seeing what you play!

And now, in the words of the great Jewish Scottish poet Rabbi Burns: Awa' !

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