Thinking of a place

This week I’m heading back to the UK for Glastonbury. So as well as a lot of new albums, I’ve also been listening to a lot of stuff on the lineup. If I’m honest, it’s not as strong as previous years but, that doesn’t really bother me so much as I know we’ll have a great time regardless of who’s playing. This time around I’d like to go see some stuff that I wouldn’t usually go to, which has influenced a lot of my listening habits over the past few weeks. I’ve been enjoying the latest Thundercat album, Drunk [2017]. Can’t say I know too much about the guy, but after a quick read of his Wikipedia entry, I am now informed he’s worked with a bunch of people I’ve never heard of before. Straight after his set on the West Holts stage on Sunday afternoon, BadBadNotGood are on. Their latest album IV [2016] is also one I’ve had on a lot lately, and would highly recommend listening to that.

Of course, Radiohead‘s latest A Moon Shaped Pool [2016] has been getting some airplay. Not to mention a lot of their older stuff too. Looking forward to their headline set on the Friday. Rag’n’Bone Man, another who I wouldn’t usually listen to, but I’ve been enjoying his debut record, Human [2017].

Ride returned with their first record in over 20 years, and a bloody good one it is too. Weather Diaries [2017] is probably my favourite new release of the past month or so. Definitely up for seeing them in the John Peel tent. They’ve also announced a show in Berlin for later on in the year, so I’ll hope to get tickets for that too.

Away from Glastonbury themed listening, I’ve come across a bunch of new stuff that I’m enjoying. The self titled debut LP from Cigarettes After Sex is a fine piece of work. The new Kevin Morby LP, City Music [2017], is a strong album. Digging a Tunnel [2017] by sir Was is a nice little album. I missed his show in Berlin by a few days. I also think the new Paul Weller album, A Kind Revolution [2017] is decent. We were hanging around Neukölln the other night, and I just so happened to be wearing some sand coloured desert boots, drain pipe jeans and a Fred Perry polo, when we saw a bunch of people wearing Paul Weller t-shirts walk out of a Späti. He was playing at Huxleys Neue Welt, but I didn’t fancy dropping over 40€ there and then for a ticket.

Rock N Roll Consciousness [2017], the new Thurston Moore album is also a very good listen. His live session on 6Music the other week was pretty good. Turns out he’s playing Glastonbury too, but there’s noway I’d be able to catch the whole set and make it over to The Other Stage in time to see Liam Gallagher. Talking of which, I quite like Wall Of Glass, his debut solo effort. Lets face it, was I not going to like it?

I was a little gutted I missed Record Store Day this year. Of course, record stores in Berlin were taking part, but seeing as all my vinyl are in storage back in the UK, it would seem somewhat silly to carry on buying stuff only to struggle to take it all home – whenever I do return that is. Anyhow, The War On Drugs released a limited 12″ featuring a new song, Thinking of a Place. I think it’s excellent. Might be one I have to buy on Discogs.

Here’s a couple of gigs I’ve been to in the last month:

British Sea Power – Friday 19th May @ Privatclub, Berlin
I’ve lost count how many times I’ve seen British Sea Power over the years, must be at least double figures. The Delph Bar in Lincoln, Westminster Library, Bournemouth Pier… I could go on. This sweaty Friday evening in Berlin was the first time outside the UK. Touring their excellent new album, Let The Dancers Inherit The Party, BSP played to a sold out crowd which, according to the internet, is only 200.

A set consisting of mainly new material with some BSP classics thrown in for good measure. No Lucifer, Remember Me, Waving Flags and a favourite among the loyalists, The Spirit of St. Louis – a 7″ b-side to single The Lonely from way back in 2002. As always, a great gig. The new stuff sounds great live. Was good to see them at such an intimate venue too.

Support came from Pictish Trail, who I’d recommend. His latest LP ‘Future Echoes’ is a good listen. I’ve seen him before ya know, but for the life of me I cannot think where. By the way, he’s got the Scottish entry for the Eurovision sorted if Scotland do get independence.

John Bramwell – Monday 5th June 2017 @ Berghain Kantine
I Am Kloot are one of the most underrated bands of the past 20 years in my opinion. They’re a band I listen on a weekly basis almost. A few days before the gig I saw a Facebook post by John Bramwell – chief songwriter from Kloot, saying he was about to go play some dates in Europe showcasing some of his new material. Berlin was on that list. Without any hesitation I booked tickets. I’d last seen Kloot at London’s Electric Ballroom back in 2015, so to see John play solo at such an intimate venue was quite exciting.

Much of the set was a career spanning, stripped back, set of Kloot songs. Black and Blue, a track released back when people knew him as Johnny Dangerously, got played too. Support came from fellow Northerner Dave Fidler, who joined John on stage later in the set to play some of his new material.

Great gig. I could have watched him play all night. You can read a proper review of that gig by Even The Stars.