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Were the 60s Mods the footsoldiers who propelled Margaret Thatcher to power?

One of the most intriguing books about popular culture in a while went on sale last month. Richard Weight’s Mod: A Very British Style is not a rose-tinted, nostalgic romp through the history of a movement that has had profound impact on British culture, but a serious academic (yet still very readable) study of what Mod is and was and how the 60s Mods have influenced British society. It scope – which goes way beyond most books about Mods -has already attracted criticism from hardcore …

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AshleyWere the 60s Mods the footsoldiers who propelled Margaret Thatcher to power?
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The Three O’Clock announce rarities album and star on US TV show

Some big news this week from The Three O’Clock – quite possibly the 80s finest pop psych band. The Paisley Undergrounders, who reformed this year to play Coachella (and please, please, please some UK dates too), have announced the release of a new old album which pairs many of their most popular songs with a some rarities. Titled The Hidden …

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AshleyThe Three O’Clock announce rarities album and star on US TV show
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The genius that is Edwyn Collins and his superb new Understated album

Simon Poulter of What Would David Bowie Do? fame salutes a pop legend. Europe is cold. No matter which part of the continent you find yourself, it is as cold as the proverbial sorceress mammary gland. Brass monkeys. ‘Taters. Choose your analogous epithet. In Europe’s southern half, where I currently find myself, it is not only cold and wet, but …

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AshleyThe genius that is Edwyn Collins and his superb new Understated album
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Ten great vinyl only albums – The Beatles, Velvet Underground, The Cleaners From Venus and more

Not long to wait now. Record Store Day is coming a week on Saturday and I’ll be spending that day hunting down  obscure 80s indie singles and long lost psych albums. And to celebrate – well we have got in a tad early – here is a list of ten of the greatest albums that have are vinyl only and …

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AshleyTen great vinyl only albums – The Beatles, Velvet Underground, The Cleaners From Venus and more
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The Stones at Glasto. The Roses on tour. Is rock and roll now an old man’s game?

Well it wasn’t me who said it. The words actually came from the lips of one Robyn Hitchcock. But then again he has a new album to promote – which is very, very good – and it is his 60th birthday. But it does strike me that there might be a grain of truth in his words, what with those …

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AshleyThe Stones at Glasto. The Roses on tour. Is rock and roll now an old man’s game?
aardvarks

Psych round up – Ulysses, Bedrugs, Shadow Kabinet, Mmoss, Magic Theatre, The Primitives and more

It has been a really great week for albums with a pair of excellent new releases. Band of the week has to be Ulysses who return with their second album Kill You Again, and just like that debut it is an absolute corker. Think noisy glam rock meets Who-like psych with a few outrageous musical steals along with way. Best …

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AshleyPsych round up – Ulysses, Bedrugs, Shadow Kabinet, Mmoss, Magic Theatre, The Primitives and more
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Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon – masterpiece or over-rated prog rock noodlings?

Simon Poulter of What Would David Bowie Do puts the case for the Floyd album which is 40 years old this week. Along with the ubiquity of fast food drive-throughs, questionable road surfaces and sparring with trucks large enough to have their own electorate, the essence of the American road trip lies in wading through the alphabet soup of radio …

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AshleyPink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon – masterpiece or over-rated prog rock noodlings?
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Amazing pics of the day The Beatles played to just 18 people

Take a look at this pic. It is quartet of likely looking fellas from the early 60s enjoying a sneaky beer. Look again though and it becomes clear that in the picture is a very young John Lennon and an even younger George Harrison – who at eighteen is only just old enough to be swigging from the bottle. It …

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AshleyAmazing pics of the day The Beatles played to just 18 people
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Rock and Roll Is Dead – ace new Twitter inspired novel from Steve Lawson

If you are a serious bass player chances are that you’ll know the name of Steve Lawson. Over the years he has written countless articles about his beloved instrument, recorded a series of acclaimed albums, and via social media, delivered some very interesting perspectives on the future of the music industry. He has fascinating views on Spotify. So we have …

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AshleyRock and Roll Is Dead – ace new Twitter inspired novel from Steve Lawson
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Review: David Bowie is, Victoria and Albert Museum (March 23rd to August 11 2013)

I’ve always loved David Bowie. From Ziggy Stardust via the Thin White Duke to the smartly dressed Hamlet-inspired creations of the Serious Moonlight Tour. Even the movie roles in The Man Who Fell To Earth and (very differently), Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence.  These ‘characters’ shaped the style and attitude of my teenage years, while Bowie’s music of the period touched …

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shinychrisReview: David Bowie is, Victoria and Albert Museum (March 23rd to August 11 2013)
orgone-box

Vinyl psych revival – reissues incoming for The Orgone Box and The Monochrome Set

Push comes to shove my favourite unheralded psych pop album of the 90s is the debut from the Orgone Box. It is a power pop tour de force where every track boasts a stellar tune, soaring harmonies and wonderfully psychedelic guitar. The great news is that it is going to reissued shortly on vinyl. I know there is a CD …

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AshleyVinyl psych revival – reissues incoming for The Orgone Box and The Monochrome Set
moz-thmb

Early demos from The Smiths show up on YouTube

Now this is amazing. Some early demo tapes of The Smiths, noted by Slicing Up Eyeballs, have just popped up on YouTube. They are called “The Pablo Cuckoo Tape” run for forty minutes and feature work in progress versions of songs that would eventually grace the band’s first album and early singles. The track to listen to first is Reel …

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AshleyEarly demos from The Smiths show up on YouTube
bowie-sennheriser

Sennheiser launches Momentum limited edition headphones inspired by David Bowie

Rock star endorsed hardware has been a huge trend over the late few years, from Dr Dre’s Beats through to Motorhead’s goes louder than eleven audio range, every influential musician seems to be getting in on the act. Now Sennheiser has landed one of the coolest collaborations of all. It is offering a limited edition (500 copies only) pair of …

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AshleySennheiser launches Momentum limited edition headphones inspired by David Bowie
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Tame Impala re-issue debut EP on lovely red vinyl

Good news for Tame Impala fans, the band are reissuing their hard to find debut EP on vinyl for this year’s Record Store Day. It will come in red vinyl and features the six songs on the digital version – two of which were’t available on the digital EP. The band have come a long way since their debut, but …

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AshleyTame Impala re-issue debut EP on lovely red vinyl
Suede

New Suede album Bloodsports: suprisingly good shocker – listen to it here

Band reunions don’t tend to end too well now do they? Sure that mammoth one off gig in front of adoring fans is a win for both band and its devotees. It is when the band decides to regroup in the studio that the fun seems to end as invariably the band create music that adds very little to their …

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AshleyNew Suede album Bloodsports: suprisingly good shocker – listen to it here

The 10 best psych pop albums of 2013 (and a couple from last year)

It might only be March, but already it has been a vintage year for lovers of wonky sixties influenced pop aka psych. Last year’s great hope, Jacco Gardner, has already treated us to a very fine album that delivers on the promise of his exceptional early singles. While Robyn Hitchcock, the spiritual godfather of British psych has turned out an album that …

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AshleyThe 10 best psych pop albums of 2013 (and a couple from last year)
bowie-nme

David Bowie’s The Next Day – the best comeback album ever?

Simon Poulter of the excellent What Would David Bowie Do? blog salutes the magnificent return of his hero. When What Would David Bowie Do? was conceived in a fit of pique one June morning in 2010, it was generally assumed that the object of its title was quietly enjoying retirement in New York, walking daughter Lexi to school and basking …

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AshleyDavid Bowie’s The Next Day – the best comeback album ever?
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Happy St David’s Day – ten absolutely stunning Welsh psych pop tunes

Aaah Wales – land of Portmeirion, some of the World’s best castles, and that amazing street in Cardiff that is all chip shops. Even as a die-hard Englishman with hardly any Celtic blood in my veins I can say for now I love the Wales and the Welsh – though I must admit I am still traumatised by the sight …

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AshleyHappy St David’s Day – ten absolutely stunning Welsh psych pop tunes
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Robyn Hitchcock’s 60th Birthday Bash at London’s Village Underground

I do find it astonishing that Robyn Hitchcock isn’t celebrating his 60th birthday with his rock royalty chums at Wembley, rather than with a few hundred diehards at a lovely, but small-ish East London venue. After all what is not to like? He has a voice like Lennon, songs that recall both Barrett and Dylan, jangly guitar episodes that summon …

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AshleyRobyn Hitchcock’s 60th Birthday Bash at London’s Village Underground
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Sorted – The Baggy revival is on its way – with Jagwar Ma leading the charge

A year and a half ago I wrote about how if fashion was to stick to a strict chronology then the late 80s fifties influenced styles (Chambray shirts, angular hair cuts etc) that were popular at the time would soon be usurped by the look of 1989 – Baggy. For the uninitiated – you are probably either too young or …

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AshleySorted – The Baggy revival is on its way – with Jagwar Ma leading the charge