Tag Archives: Kate Bush

Tracks Of My Teens: #12 – Lisa Redford

17 Sep

Tracks Of My Teens

More fun for you this week in our occasional series, Tracks of my Teens, as Alphabet Bands (and Whispering Bob Harris) favourite Lisa Redford delves deep into memory bank to share three tracks she loved and was inspired by in her teenage years. Enjoy.

Lisa Redford TomT

Morrissey – “Suedehead”

The Smiths and Morrissey have been a soundtrack to my life ever since I heard The Smiths’ eponymous debut and Hatful of Hollow. There are so many songs to choose from that have resonated with me but “Suedehead” has always been a favourite and reminds me of my first trip alone to the US to visit friends who were living in San Francisco. They’re also huge Morrissey fans and I have fond memories of travelling along the freeways in the California sunshine singing along to that equally summery guitar riff. I also have a soft spot for some of his B-sides and “I Know Very Well How I Got My Name” is a gem which appears on the 7″ vinyl and 4 track CD. I liked that one so much I ended up recording an acoustic version.

I love Morrissey’s unique lyrics and humour and those early solo singles like “Everyday is Like Sunday” and “The Last of The Famous International Playboys” with Stephen Street are excellent. I also really like the poignant video for “Suedehead” where he is in the US on a pilgrimage for one of his heroes James Dean.

It was during the release of my favourite of his solo albums, Vauxhall & I that I first saw him live at Brixton Academy. I’ll never forget the intensity and energy of a live gig and in the heightened excitement I even endured being trampled on by a crowd of ardent fans much bigger than me eager to attain a small piece of his shirt that he’d thrown into the adoring audience desperate to have something of his to treasure.

Kate Bush – “This Woman’s Work”

I’ve had to include a Kate Bush track as listening to her music was also very much part of my formative years. Her music is so unique and has this really magical quality. It was unlike anything I’d ever heard before. As a young teenager I wore out my parents’ copies of the albums The Kick Inside and Hounds of Love in the days when you actually listened to a whole album from beginning to end and I would love listening intently to each track and enter Kate’s ethereal world. “This Woman’s Work” is one of her very best songs and is just so moving, definitely a song to give goosebumps.

The Supremes – “Someday We’ll Be Together”

I’m lucky that my parents are such huge music lovers as that gave me an eclectic taste. As well as growing up listening to a lot of classic songwriters like Neil Young and Simon & Garfunkel, electronic music, indie and punk, I also heard a lot of soul and Motown. I remember this song being the last track on a Best of Supremes album and it was definitely the one that moved me the most. It’s such a beautiful song with a really heartfelt sentiment. Another soulful emotional track I love is “Abraham, Martin and John” which Marvin Gaye recorded.

I was struck by the lovely melody of the song and the effortless emotion of Diana Ross’s sweet soulful voice. The song has stayed with me and I was recently filmed doing a ukulele cover. The video is filmed in a cafe in Norfolk by local photographer and film maker Claudia Taveria Photography.

Lisa’s latest track, a cover of OMD’s “So In Love”, is available as a free download (below) and you can catch her live at the Norwich Sound And Vision Festival at the Bicycle Shop on Thursday 11 October.
Entry is £5 on the door or FREE with a festival wristband

Read more about: Lisa Redford

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Tracks Of My Teens: #7 – Breaking More Waves

9 Apr

Tracks Of My Teens

Another look across the blog world in this week’s Tracks Of My Teens for you as we ask Robin Seamer to delve deep into the dark recesses of his mind and recount tales of the songs that changed his world. Robin is editor of one of the best blogs going, without question, the always high quality and influential Breaking More Waves. Come with us as Robin pulls the old cassettes out of his walkman and shares his memories of years and songs gone by, it’s a cracking read.

Breaking More Waves

So as this is called tracks of my teens I think I should first spell out exactly when, in my case, those years were. I turned 13 in 1982 and 19 disappeared into 20 in 1989. I’m pleased about this as it makes my supposed formative years all slap bang in one decade; none of this two decade straddling stuff. Here are three songs that meant a huge amount to me then and still do now.

Howard Jones – “New Song”

The 80’s of course meant synths and gloriously bad fashion, the school populace was full of the later and I was beginning to become more and more fascinated with the former. In amongst the usual characters that you’d probably find in any educational establishment yard (the cool kids, the bullies, the picked-upon and the brainboxes) there was one band that seemed to be more popular than any other. It wasn’t The Smiths, The Cure, Depeche Mode or any of the other groups that are probably now associated with being the best of that decade. No, the band that everyone loved was Level 42.

Yes read that again. Level bloody 42. With their slap bass and funky pop, everyone who was everyone was into Level 42. It didn’t take me long to realise with absolute clarity that following the crowd just wasn’t for me.

Instead I was listening to another pop act. A spikey haired geezer from High Wycombe in his early 30’s. He was playing these exceptionally raw one man shows with a bank of keyboards around him accompanied by a weird bald mime artist who interpreted the songs on stage; a sidekick visual stimuli of sorts. His name was Howard Jones. He was never seen as cool at my school; he was too old, too intelligent and too positive about life. It was and still is my view that being sarcastic and cynical about things is an easy way to get in with the cool crowd, but cool is transient and ultimately leaves you on the rubbish tip as time moves on.

Jones expressed views in his songs that 100% aligned with my own rapidly forming ideas on life. “I don’t wanna be hip and cool, I don’t wanna play by the rules, not under the thumb of the cynical few, or laden down by the doom crew”, he chanted over absurdly bouncy electronics, hooky keyboard snatches and percussive beats. Here was a song I could really relate too, way more than Mark bloody King and all that jazz funk pop rubbish about “The Sun Goes Down (Living It Up)”.

Jones debut album Humans Lib transported me further into his world of philosophical pop; songs that made me think about life and question what I wanted to be. He sang of “challenging preconceived ideas,” something that touched a nerve in me and a philosophy that I’ve held true to this day. This may have just been a pop song, but it meant so much more, it was in a strange way almost spiritual.

New Song set me on a journey where music became my religion. I’m still obsessing, talking and writing about it thirty years on.

Goodbye Mr Mackenzie – “The Rattler”

In 1988 I went to a gig that changed my life. Or at least it changed the way I viewed live music. Up until then, the few bands I’d seen had been in soulless concert arenas such as Wembley Arena, the gigs being entertainment more than anything transcendent or life affirming. The support band was a mild distraction that nobody was interested in and the shows, whilst all pleasantly diverting, were nothing more than that.

I’d become a big fan of the frisky buzz-pop of The Primitives, their single “Crash” had kicked its way into the UK’s top 10 singles, a beautiful blonde sore thumb of indie guitar melodies that stood out against the majority of the bland late 80’s chart rubbish and took the trip to London to see the band with a friend of mine.

The event was a revelation. We stopped for a drink in a pub close to the venue (I was still a teenager but old enough to drink legally) – the Town & Country Club in Kentish Town – and I found myself surrounded by kids with black leather jackets, drainpipe trousers and attitude. There was no one selling glossy programmes outside, no hot dog stalls and the jukebox was playing The Jesus & Mary Chain, The Cure and Half Man Half Biscuit. Downstairs in the Town & Country Club itself there were no seats. It was the first time I’d ever been to a standing show. It felt exciting and very different to the ‘safe’ shows I’d been to until that point.

What’s more there were two support bands and the people who arrived early took notice of them. It was the second of the two – Goodbye Mr Mackenzie – who entranced me. Mixing edgy pop melodies with punk and post-punk influences, their suave lead singer sneered and crooned with menace and delight, guitarist ‘Big’ John Duncan filled the stage with both physical size and personality, and lurking in the shadows on keyboard a slight but beautiful gothic looking girl provided backing vocals. Her name was Shirley Manson and a few years later she would have international success fronting the band Garbage.

Suddenly going to gigs became a complete experience. It wasn’t just about turning up to see the main band and being entertained. It was about getting there early because something lower on the bill might be astounding. It was about the energy of standing shows; later when the Primitives played I was literally and metaphorically swept off my feet under the audience’s excitement. It was the realisation that sometimes the best gigs weren’t about the best musicianship, the best light show or even the best sound; it was about the emotion they generated and how they made you feel and think.

I came out of the Town & Country Club sweating, fired up and on a massive high. I wanted more. Over twenty years on I haven’t stopped.

Kate Bush – “Hounds of Love”

My third and final selection is the song Hounds of Love by Kate Bush. Taken from the album of the same name the song is not only a thing of huge scope but one of classical and poetic beauty. As my love for music grew more and more as I developed as a teenager I began to realise that there were fundamentally two sorts of record. The first was the one night stand; a song that sounded brilliant instantly, that you immediately fell in love with, but a few years on you’d just remember as some sort of hazy glory. Then there were the long term relationships. These were the records that slowly grew on you, developing a life of their own that maybe wasn’t apparent on the first listen. Then there were those things of utmost rarity; the records that were both the one-nighters and the long termers all rolled into one. Hounds of Love is one of those records.

I remember the first time I heard it. Probably like many other teenage boys who fall in love with music (and who like me don’t have an older teenage brother or sister to introduce them to the good stuff) a friend played it to me. I was already obsessed with Wuthering Heights and when my friend asked if I’d heard the new Kate Bush song I shamefacedly admitted I hadn’t. He put it on and we sat and listened in silence. At the end he looked at me and saw my serious face.

“Don’t like it?” he asked.

A grin slowly began to spread across my face. It just kept on getting bigger.

“I bloody love it. Play it again.”

We played it on repeat about twenty times that day and I could still happily do so today.

Hounds Of Love is an incredible record that still sounds utterly contemporary, even though it was released in the mid 80’s; not only a track of my teens, but a track of my whole life.

Robin Seamer is editor of Breaking More Waves, a fully independent and unfunded new music blog from south-central UK and a purveyor of A.M.A.Z.I.N.G new music. He is also partly responsible for the annual Blog Sound Of… poll and quite a giggle on Twitter.

Free Download: Paper Crows Cover Kate Bush – Cloudbusting

21 Dec

While the majority of music critics fell over themselves to praise Kate Bush’s first new album in forever to the hilt and shoe-horn it into end of year lists, we were left more than a little underwhelmed. It is true to say that like most, we were very excited by the prospect of new material from Ms Bush, so much so that we originally overlooked the frankly ridiculous premise and execution of lead track, “Wild Man” and allowed it to make us even more excited for what 50 Words For Snow had in store. Ultimately the delivered album felt like a letdown and a major disappointment. Yes, there are many that will disagree (we can hear the emails being typed out as we speak) but there you go.

Thankfully salvation is at hand, not from Ms Bush herself, but from London-based goth-pop duo, Paper Crows, who have taken it upon themselves to remind us of how good she could be by releasing their haunting cover of “Cloudbusting” as a free download. The track has been kicking around online for ages but that should not detract from its quality. Emma Panas’ ethereal, icy vocal is a lovely and surprising contrast to Bush’s warm, rich voice and the addition of Bjork’s drums from “Human Behaviour” actually sits perfectly underneath it all.

You can stream the track below and if you love it, which hopefully you will, you can download it for free from the bands website.

Listen: Brand New Kate Bush Track – “Wild Man”

10 Oct

Back at the beginning of September, we shared what was perhaps the biggest music news of the year; that Kate Bush would be releasing a brand spanking new album, 50 Words For Snow.

Now we are pleased to bring you a brand new song from the album, “Wild Man”. The track, which will be available digitally tomorrow (Tuesday), is all about the Yeti. Which kinda makes sense really, given that whole album is about snow. As well as references to legendary creatures, the song also features guest singer, Andy Fairweather Low from Amen Corner.

Check the track out below and let us know what you think in the comments, are you excited about the new album or is it a resounding meh?

New Kate Bush Album – The Rumours Are True!

12 Sep

The Press Association today reported confirmation that Kate Bush would be releasing an album of new material later this year. There had been rumours all year that the reclusive singer would be making a return to music but hope of new songs had appeared to have been dashed with the release of Directors Cut, reworkings of songs she originally recorded 20 years ago.

The album, 50 Words For Snow will be released on 21 November and is her first album of new material since 2005 when she released Aerial.

The album consists of seven tracks, which has a running time of 65 minutes, and each one is “set against a background of falling snow”.

The full tracklisting for 50 Words for Snow is as follows:

  • Snowflake
  • Lake Tahoe
  • Misty
  • Wildman
  • Snowed in at Wheeler Street
  • 50 Words for Snow
  • Among Angels