Future Islands at Coachella

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was chasing the new Future Islands album. I caught it just before we left for Namibia, but there wasn’t much time to give it a good listen on the Orange River. And when I did get around to it, it was actually rather disappointing. The new Elbow album wasn’t like that – it was instantly captivating. But sometimes you need to hear things a couple of times before they grab you.

Patience, grasshopper.

Now I’ve heard it a bit more, I’m there. Right with it. Singing along, loving it. And then there was this:

Sam Herring emulating his infamous Letterman appearance – at least in part – live on stage in California last weekend. For the record, the latest single, Ran, is also available on the Coachella channel. There’s some good Radiohead too, but that’s not what this post is about.

As for the album, from a slow start, it’s become a very real contender for the coveted 6000 miles… Album of the Year award. I’m really intrigued to see what gets released from it too. I have my favourites (spoiler: they’re Ancient Waters and Cave), but let’s wait and see if the band/record label agrees.


As predicted, today has been busy. But don’t panic – I’ve got us covered with a gentle melody from [wince] 25 years ago. Yes, it’s the gentle harmonies of The Beautiful South with Bell Bottomed Tear. And I’ve chosen the live version because it features Paul Heaton, Sheffield United fan and ex-pupil at my Infant school*.

Taken from their 1992 album, 0898 Beautiful South (the dialling code representing premium rate phone calls – mainly sex lines – at the time), this was TBS at their peak – the third of their seven Top 10 studio albums, and also featured 36D, We Are Each Other and the brilliant Old Red Eyes Is Back.

At the end of the original video, our selfish male protagonist finds himself on a Mediterranean beach, faced with a number of angry women brandishing baseball bats. Baseballbatophobes will be pleased to hear that there’s no such nastiness in this live version.

* when I say this, I mean that we went to the same infant school. I don’t actually own an infant school or anything.


The “old” Future Islands album Singles, was – in my humble opinion – massively underrated. Now, they have a “new” album called The Far Field and it promises great things.

Ran, an intense, desperate tale lamenting a lost love, is the first single off the album. I love it.
The album came out last Friday, and should I have managed to procure a copy in time, may well be providing the soundtrack to this holiday – if I can manage to take any music in a kayak down the Orange River.

The Circle

No, not some secret LCHF cult or anything. This single from the massively underrated Brummie Indie-Rock geniuses, Ocean Colour Scene. I just heard it on BBC 6 Music and had to share.

That riff. Wow.
This was the third Top 10 song from the 1996 Moseley Shoals album. The height of Britpop and weren’t they all about it?

As part of the 90s revival, they’re doing a world tour which includes dates in the UK, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand, but which comprehensively fails – once again – to include SA.


My iPod is full. Yes, I still have an iPod. I realise that having an iPod is horrendously old-fashioned, but I still have an iPod.
Also, it’s a big iPod. So it’s even more uncool.

But being uncool is not what this post is about. This post is about the fact that my iPod is full. And with so much good music coming out recently and soon (Depeche Mode, Future Islands, Slowdive to name but a few), I need some more space.

It’s either a new iPod or some culling. And because I’m still poor after buying my Mavic (and will be so for the next several years), I’m going to have to lose some music. But what should go, because I love all 11,000 songs on there, otherwise they wouldn’t be on there, right?


Well, I have started a random playlist on my journeys to and from work. And when a track comes on that’s obviously bilge, I check who is performing it, and I decide whether they get culled later. Not everything will go based on one song. Everyone has their off moments. But it will put them in the firing line.

So far? Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley (who were really only ever on there for a roadtrip with the mother-in-law), Train (saw them at Glastonbury 2003: one good song, otherwise trash), Robbie Williams (through it all, he offered me protection), Kylie Minogue (probably bought for a party in 2012), and Lana del Rey.

That last one raised an interesting question though, namely:

What the f… (ishcake) is Lana del Rey doing on my iPod?

Is this some sort of illegal land grab on my iPod’s hard drive? Do I need an interim court order to get it removed? (spoiler: no, I just click delete). The most worrying bit about this is that I don’t ever remember putting her stuff on there.

And we’re only one day in.
It’s left me very worried about what else I’m likely to discover on there.

But the premise is good: concentrating more on quality rather than quantity. Just like I don’t do on this blog.