Archive for the ‘Books’ Category



Over the last few years, I’ve started keeping lists of everything I’ve watched and listened to, interviews I’ve done throughout the year and gigs I’ve seen.

2016 was busy but there’s always room for improvement. I would have liked to get to more gigs, for starters, and this year I will make an effort to get out more for non-work stuff, as well as read a hell of a lot more.

58 interviews, 33 gigs, countless albums, 11 books (pathetic!), 71 films, 17 TV series/documentaries.

Must try harder.

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Yep, it’s that time of year again, and as I mercifully find myself in the rare position of being finished my year’s work early for once (!), I thought I’d list my highlights of the year.

I do love a good list, but not necessarily to rank ‘x’ over ‘y’ – I find that it’s really helpful to read other peoples’ lists and maybe get a good sense of any albums/songs/films that may have bypassed you during the year. It’s so easy to overlook records when you’re listening to so much stuff for work, and it can be difficult to keep up with the sheer volume of stuff being released. Nevertheless… below are my  favourites of 2013.

Have a lovely Christmas! Continue reading


I’m a bad blogger, please forgive me.


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Sorry I’ve been crap at blogging lately. I’ll try to be better. Here’s a short one to keep things ticking over… recommendations always appreciated.


Yuck – ‘Yuck’

Very taken by Yuck’s album… like The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, it’s totally derivative but the songs are GREAT. Bits of the Pixies, Pavement, Sonic Youth. Great name, too. Continue reading



I recently finished this book, and (eventually) thought it was ace. I love Belle & Sebastian, but can see how their tweeness rankles with some people (although not so much these days, it must be said. I prefer B&S version 2.0 to their early stuff).

This is a collection of online diary entries written by Stuart Murdoch in the years before, during and after the release of their albums Dear Catastrophe Waitress and The Life Pursuit, and also documents the seeds of his God Help the Girl project. It took about a hundred pages to really get going, and is pretty disjointed by its very nature of journal entries, but I found it totally absorbing after that. Continue reading



Mark Oliver Everett’s ‘Things the Grandchildren Should Know‘. A tome that’s been sitting on my shelf for two years, I wish I’d read it sooner. It’s both chuckleworthy and cry-into-your-palms sad. I’m spotting a trend with my recent reading material. I’m going to go back to Eels over the next couple of weeks now. The music doesn’t always do it for me, but he’s an extremely good writer, I’ll give him that much.

The BBC documentary about his physicist dad, ‘Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives‘ is also worth watching. It’s on YouTube.


I just finished reading this book. Whether you’re an Edwyn Collins/Orange Juice fan or not, it’s highly recommended. Written by his wife Grace Maxwell, it chronicles the journey that they’ve both undertaken since his stroke in 2005, and it’s one of the most poignant, inspiring books I’ve read in a while. The subject matter is undoubtedly sad, but in-between, there are big fat glimmers of hope and laugh-out-loud funniness. What’s more, it’s really wonderfully penned by Maxwell, who probably didn’t realise that she was writing one big love story when she sat down at her desk to start it.

I admired Edwyn Collins before his stroke anyway, but I think I admire him in a different sort of way after reading this.



Hi folks. Sorry I’ve been a bit rubbish at posting lately. House-hunting, work, and life in general have been getting in the way. I’m working on finishing my ‘Albums of the Noughties’ series and that should be up over the next week or so. In the meantime, I’ve been to some gigs over the last few weeks that I’ve enjoyed. Continue reading