On 1 August 1971 T Rex were top of the charts with 'Get It On' and yours truly took his first lungs full of air…..

As such, August has always been a fond month – I can still vividly remember blowing all my 21st birthday money in Vinyl Exchange in Manchester (then, as now, far and away the best second hand record shop I have ever chanced upon) on obscure singles and cheap CDs. Now 13 years on nothing has really changed. I still regularly blow pots of money at Vinyl Exchange…….

In keeping with previous months, I buy loads of singles, but surprisingly not any albums.

Morning Runner's 'Gone Up In Flames' is okay, but doesn’t completely satisfy, while Manchester boys, Nine Black Alps' 'Unsatisfied' does. Stars' 'Ageless Beauty' is very St Etienne and White Stripes' 'My Doorbell' is one of their better efforts. Newcomers Maradous' strike a reasonable cord in a vague Libertines kind of way with 'Revolution Over The Phone', but Babyshambles 'Fuck Forever' isn’t a patch on Pete Doherty’s finer moments.

Singles by the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, the Coral, Elbow, JJ72, Kaiser Chiefs, Bravery and Dandy Warhols are all worth a spin, as they maintain past formula. My Latest Novel and the Harrisons are one to watch for the future if they fulfil their promise, while the Research continue their progression with 'C’mon Chameleon', likewise Sons and Daughters with 'Taste The Last Girl' and Crane Builders with 'Public Space'.

The five singles that really stand out for me in August are the Rakes' 'Work, Work, Work', easily their best effort to date and probably an indie-disco anthem for the future ; the Magic Numbers' 'Love Me Like You', further proof that plain overweight people can still prevail in these manufactured music times ; Broadcast's 'America’s Boy' – a great return from the group that brought us the sublime 'Come On Let’s Go' single a few years back ; New Rhodes 'From The Beginning', brilliant vaguely Morrissey/Smiths stuff and Richard Hawley's 'The Ocean', which is like a modern day indie Sinatra that tugs at your heart-strings……….


As another cricket season ends with the euphoria of Ashes success being dulled by my personal failure (for the third year running) to drag my own team of cricketing under-achievers back to the top division, I head for warmer climes to allow my aching muscles chance to recover.

As such I don’t buy a huge amount of stuff, but do manage to catch Broadcast playing to a packed Night and Day Café in Manchester a couple of days after my return. Despite being a fan for a few years, it’s the first time I’ve seen them live, and it is definitely worth the wait. Singer Trish Keenan sings like a 60's chanteuse and looks like a particularly foxy Sandie Shaw. The songs match her beauty perfectly and when she sings 'Come On Let’s Go' I’d gladly go anywhere with her! Suitably inspired by a great show I shell out a tenner to buy their new LP from the merchandise stand and listen to it in the car on the way home. It’s good, but as so often is the case the live show was better.

Having been blown away by his 'The Ocean' single in September, and after having heard him perform a couple of songs on the radio, I buy Richard Hawley’s 'Coles Corner' LP. One or two of the tracks don’t work for me, but on the whole it’s a great record. 'Born Under A Bad Sign' is simply stunning. The amazing thing is that he has the broadest South Yorkshire accent ever, but has a crooner’s voice to match any of the greats!

On the singles' front, I make a dozen or so purchases, but there are some great ones:-

Battle -'Demons' – only their second single and already looking like stars of the future. A great B-side too. Typical indie guitar pop.
Ordinary Boys – 'Life Will Be The Death Of Me' – average track from their average 2nd LP, but I’ve got all their others…..
Arcade Fire – 'Rebellion' – Another great single – I really must buy their LP
Echo and The Bunnymen – 'Stormy Weather' – Good by most groups standards, but poor by theirs.
Doves – 'Sky Starts Falling' – another good single from this Manchester three piece. I once saw their lead singer nearly get run over crossing Corporation Street in Manchester (too busy listening to his I-pod), but that’s another story…..
Hard-Fi – 'Living For The Weekend' – aren’t we all? Good single from the band that used to be Contempo.
New Order – 'Waiting For The Sirens Call' – Good stuff, but again basic nursery rhyming lyrics – they really should employ me!
Franz Ferdinand – 'Do You Want To' – They’re back with a bang
Boy Kill Boy – 'Civil Sin' – Average – not a patch on their debut ('Suzie'), which I find in a bargain bin for a £1!
Editors – 'Bullets' – One of the highlights from the debut LP, but I bought the original when that was released a few months back, so it loses some of it’s gloss.
Art Brut – 'Good Weekend' – Not quite as good as 'Emily Kane', but contains the line “I’ve seen her naked TWICE!”, which kind of reminds me of someone…
Film School – 'On and On' – Okay in an Americans trying to sound like 80’s Manchester kind of way, but it does drag on a bit.
Go Team – 'Bottle Rocket' – Eclectic and great and not my usual bag.
Coldplay – 'Fix You' – Didn’t play this until late November – saw someone dancing to it and now it sounds great…..

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Commenting On: August/September/October 2005 - Confessions of a Vinyl Junkie

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