My Pick of The Pops for Summer 2016


It’s time for another round up of what’s been feeding my ears for the last few months, but let’s go crazy and throw some books in too…..

Tim Book Two

Tim Book Two by Tim Burgess

After his autobiography Tellin’ Stories I popped along to Tim’s Q&A in Norwich and got a copy of his new book. This one is all about crate digging (or buying vinyl records to your average joe) something I’ve spent most of my life doing when I have the time. If he’d asked me to contribute I wouldn’t know where to start.

Higher Than The Sun book

Higher Than The Sun book by Tim Worthington

A new book about my favourite era in music, autumn of 1991 saw four albums released with three on Creation and one on Heavenly. Whilst we’ve had books on Creation before it’s nice to have the addition Saint Etienne’s debut longplayer. If you are an anorak on the subject this book is unlikely to tell you anything new, but is a pleasant read for a fiver. David Cavanagh’s Creation book is still the benchmark, whereas Paolo Hewitt’s book on the same subject was just a namedropping yawnfest.

Lush - Gala sleeve

Lush – Gala

What’s this? An album over 25 years old being featured here? Lush reissued their back catalogue as a box set this year and this old album got a spin again from me, really enjoyed their gig at The Roundhouse in May too. They were never my favourite band but it was like seeing some old mates again when they played live.

Minor Victories sleeve

Minor Victories – self titled

Supergroup, supergroup, supergroup… every review or article of this band begins using that word. Rachel from Slowdive and Stuart from Mogwai along with some dude from Editors and his brother made an album together and its flippin’ ace. As Alan Partridge would say “The band Slowdive or Mogwai could have been!” Their set at Latitude last week was marvellous and if they carry on like this they’ll be headlining in a few years. Definite contender for album of the year.

Beyond The Wizards Sleeve - The Soft Bounce

Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve – The Soft Bounce

Anyone remember Nu Balearica? The Ministry of Sound compilation album (don’t be put off by the MOS name) out about a decade ago was where I first stumbled across this lot and their Ark compilation album was a real treat. Nearly a decade later they’ve finally made their first proper studio album which mixes all kinds of 60s pop, psychedelia, shoegaze, electronica and it’s another potential album of the year.

William Onyebar

William Onyebar – This is Onyebar

Another old album I’d been after for a while and discovered in the racks of my local shop, if you’re a fan of Nigerian Electro Funk (who isn’t?) you’ll love this. It’s a great story too and I hope Mr Onyebar finally plays some gigs in the future.

The Avalanches - Wildflower

The Avalanches – Wildflower

2000 seems like only yesterday, except when you watch the news and see what a mess the world is these days so it’s good to have The Avalanches back. I saw them once in 2001 and can’t really remember too much about it, their debut album was great and this is more of the same.

DIIV - The Is Are

DIIV – The Is Are

There’s so few interesting guitar bands around these days but DIIV certainly hit the spot. They dress like clowns, behave terribly, cancel tours cause they needs drugs and make brilliant music. Their The Cure meets shoegaze sound is great and even redeems Sky Fererra after that awful Primal Scream track, she should of been in Sonic Youth by the sound of this. This is not just a contender for album of the year but people will be raving over this in 20 years time, a must purchase and if I was a teenager today I’d be obsessed by this lot. Hooray for DIIV!

Andrew Weatherall - Convenanza sleeve

Andrew Weatherall – Convenanza

Picking up where his Aspohells album left off a few years ago, Andy Weatherall’s made another great album. Shall we call this Cockney Electro Funk?

Sennen - First Light sleeve

Sennen – First Light

Album number five from Sennen and I still love them including possibly the greatest pop song of this century in Frances. I can’t believe it’s 11 years since we released their debut, since then there’s been loads of tours, US TV shows and even a reality TV dance competition too look back on. They always said they wanted to be like Sonic Youth with several albums under the belt before anyone heard of them!

The Field - The Follower sleeve

The Field – The Follower

It’s also album number five from Alex Willner’s The Field. More minimal techno if that is still a genre of music. I prefer this one to Cupid’s Head, a return to form if you insist he lost it on the last longplayer.

I’m still listening to New Order’s Music Complete on a regular basis too, I was overjoyed to see them at Latitude last week despite what the moaning fans of their early work say. Am also looking forward to the new Factory Floor album loads. Here’s a taste below.

Ya Ya Ya until next time….

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