Tag Archives: Belly

10 Records in 10 Days: Day One

11 Feb

Over on the Facebook at the moment, there is one of those frustrating ‘post X amount of Y for X days and nominate someone’ chains going around. We say frustrating because half the time, we couldn’t give a fig about your top 17 secondary characters from a cancelled sci-fi show featuring wormholes. However, the one going around at the moment is about favourite albums, which is a little more up our street at least.

The concept is simple. ”Post an album a day covering your 10 all time favourite albums. What really made an impact and is still on your rotation list, even if only now and then? Post the cover, no need to explain, and nominate a person each day to do the same”.

We’ve been nominated but rather than post without explanation, we thought it would be more fun to provide a little context. That is just the first of the rules we plan to break in this series. We are also not nominating anyone else (if you want to join in, you are more than welcome to do so) and we are also not adhering to any of the other implied rules either.

For the purpose of this series, we’ll be posting in the first person.

Here we go then with Day One and an album that will surprise no-one who knows me or who has read the site for many a year.

Belly – Star

Star was the album that opened the door to live music for me. It was the first time I had been so in love with an album and a band that I immediately knew I had to see them play live. It was the first time I would see the gig listed in Melody Maker and immediately beg my parents to let me go up to Cambridge to see the show.

This was also the album where I started to step out with my own musical tastes and identity. Up until Star, I had been extremely reliant on my friends tastes and recommendations. Belly was the first band I remember finding and getting excited about on my own.

“Feed The Tree” was the track that first had me hooked, it’s easy pop-bounce served as an easy gateway into the world of Belly. That world was one I wasn’t fully prepared for on first listen, but one I soon got lost deep inside. “Someone To Die For” is lullaby soft but its twisted romanticism comes from somewhere darker, but just as beautiful.

In fact, much of Star is like looking through the world from the otherside of the glass. From the ominous foreboding of “Low Red Moon” to the heady frenzy of “Slow Dog”, the whole thing drifts and jumps majestically. Marbled and distorted colours and sounds make new, hypnotic shapes. It’s the realm of dreams made into music.

The energy and infectious indie-pop hooks still have me dancing around the kitchen whenever it makes one of many outings. The guitar jangles are still as elastic and rawkus as ever and Tanya Donnelly’s otherworldly and haunting vocals still intoxicate me.


Tracks Of My Teens: #1 – Alphabet Bands

26 Feb

Tracks Of My Teens

We’d been thinking for a while now, we spend so much time talking about the music our favourite acts are making, and the new sounds we are loving, yet we hardly ever look back to the sounds of the past. The sounds that we, or indeed our favourite acts, loved way back when. The sounds that made us fall in love with music, had a profound impact on our life or even that we associate with special or important memories.

We thought we should do something about that, and open up the vaults so to speak. So we have invited musicians, bloggers, promoters and the like to talk to us about the music they loved in their formative years in what we hope will be a regular feature, Tracks of my Teens. In the spirit of not asking people to do something you wouldn’t do yourself, we are going first with the three tracks from his youth that had the biggest impact, in one way or another, on Editor Adam H.

Belly – “Feed The Tree”
“Feed The Tree” may not have been the most startlingly brilliant piece of indie to come out of the nineties (to be fair, it wasn’t even the best track that Belly recorded), but it had a massive impact on my musical life as hearing it led to my first ever experience of live music.
I’d seen Belly perform “Feed The Tree” on Friday night ‘youth TV’ show, The Word and thought they were great. I went out and bought the album, Star and fell in love with Tanya Donnelly’s soft vocals as they contrasted with the sharp guitar sound. Such was my enthusiasm that I got a bunch of mates together to go see them at the Junction in Cambridge, way back on 24 February 1993 (support was from The Cranberries, before they hit the big time). I was blown away by the experience of seeing a band like that live, the rawness of the sound, the proximity of the group to and the interaction with the crowd and of course, the crowd reaction, jumping up and down, dancing and singing along with each of the songs. I was hooked and haven’t looked back since.

Tori Amos – “Cornflake Girl”
This is quite a personal one, though that is pretty much the point of this feature, so please indulge me. This is a song that I shall forever associate with my first girlfriend. We started going out around the time Amos’ Under The Pink was released and “Cornflake Girl” was everywhere. She (I’ll spare her blushes and not reveal her name) was a big fan and would play the album again and again, along with her Blind Melon album, the one with the girl dressed a bit like a bee on the front. So while it may not have had a huge influence on me per-se, it is a track that I shall forever associate with my teenage years.

David Bowie – “Space Oddity”
Don’t worry, I’m not some medical marvel who managed to be a teenager in two different decades. This feature is about tracks that had a profound effect on you when you were a kid, not about when they were released. I first heard “Space Oddity” on the school bus one morning. The driver would let people put music on his tape player and the bigger kids, the sixth-form students who sat at the back and looked so very different to the rest of us fresh-faced oiks in our uniforms, would take advantage of this and bring in tape after tape to play. The one they kept coming back to was a compilation, which I presume one of them had made at home, of tracks from the late 70’s and early 80’s. Alongside Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”, “Space Oddity” really took hold of me. It was like nothing I had ever heard before in my life, it was amazing, incredible and it began my never-ending love affair with the music of David Bowie. That evening, after school, I ransacked my Dad’s record collection to see if he had “Space Oddity” or anything else of Bowie’s. He did and it took him years to get it back.

So there we go, we’ve given you a small insight into our musical history, come back soon when we will have our first trip down memory lane with an actual real musician.