Surf’s up for 2011



I’m a sucker for faded seaside glamour, ’50s cool, Phil Spector’s
Wall of Sound and surf-pop, which is why I have fallen head over heels
in love with Two Wounded Birds – my top tip for 2011.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that they hail from some cool Californian 
city, but the truth is they’re actually from Margate, the English
coastal town.

Their five-track debut EP Keep Dreaming Baby is a killer collection of
songs that sound like they were found nestling at the bottom of Brian
Wilson’s sand pit, or at the back of the cupboard where Richard Hawley
keeps his Brylcreem.

The title tune is gorgeous Good Vibrations-meets-garage-pop, while
Summer Dream is all early Beachboys and scuzzy, fuzzy Jesus and Mary
Chain teenage thrills.

It’s not all fun, fun, fun, mind – Two Wounded Birds can also
perfectly capture the other side of summer.

My Lonesome (my favourite song of theirs) is pure moody ’50s film
noir, with twanging guitars and creepy fairground organ – like a
soundtrack to David Lynch doing a surf movie.

Things get even spookier on I’ll Come And Get You – a twisted
Tarantinoesque tale of revenge – and Night Patrol – all rockabilly
riffing and murder and mayhem under the cover of darkness.

So come on in – the water’s lovely, but you’d better be careful,
because you never know what’s lurking just beneath the surface…




My Top 15 albums of 2010


It’s that time of year again folks, when journo types start compiling
lists of their favourite things from the last 12 months.

So here are my Top 15 albums of 2010, with some lovely visual accompaniments.

Bring on the pub arguments!

1) The National – High Violet

2) Lucky Soul – A Coming of Age

3) Quiet Loner – Spectrology

4) Cherry Ghost – Beneath This Burning Shoreline

5) Louis Eliot & The Embers – Kittow’s Moor

6) Luke Jackson – And Then Some

7) Edwyn Collins – Losing Sleep

8) Teenage Fanclub – Shadows

9) Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan – Hawk

10) I Am Kloot – Sky At Night

11) Pete Molinari – A Train Bound For Glory

12) Manic Street Preachers – Postcards From A Young Man

13) Tokyo Sex Destruction – The Neighbourhood

14) Pernice Brothers – Goodbye, Killer


15) The Coral – The Butterfly House