2012 – Number 2: Under The Westway

For me this is a real grower, and the sort of Blur I prefer. Under The Westway is not the ‘knees-up guvnor’ of Park Life – or the Lo-fi grunge of Song 2 – but something in the tradition of thoughtful, subtle anthems like The Universal, Tender and For Tomorrow. This song means a lot to me, as I walked under the Westway to school everyday and then worked for nearly 25 years at a building off the A40. This live video, shot on a roof north of the A40 and broadcast live on the web is lovely. You can … Continue reading 2012 – Number 2: Under The Westway

2012 – Number 3: Brilliant

I certainly would not have predicted at the start of the year that not only would both Dexys and Ultravox  produce their first albums since 1985, but that they would be really good.  This, the lead single and title track, would have been a guaranteed top 10 back in their heyday and is the third video in this rundown to feature the Olympics – this time pre-Olympic teasers. It takes some nerve to call your comeback album ‘Brilliant’. I bet the NME would have had fun with that back in the 80s….. Continue reading 2012 – Number 3: Brilliant

2012 – Number 4: Little Talks

I know that of Monsters & Men aren’t to everyone’s taste, but I love the way the male and female voices interlock and their music puts a smile on my face. To me they sound like a Bjork spin on the Arcade Fire. Either way it is quite incredible how a country with a total population of just 320,000 has produced so much fine music. Possibly rivalling Andy’s choice of First Aid Kit (see number 11) as the least ‘Indie’ thing here. Continue reading 2012 – Number 4: Little Talks

2012 – Number 5: Madness

So we come to the all important number five. Some of you may remember that back in the late 70s and early 80s, the UK chart was released not on a Sunday but at 12:45 on Radio 1 on a Tuesday lunchtime. The nation’s schoolkids would gather round transistor radios in playgrounds across the country to hear the new chart and where there favourite band had placed. Back then the charts really mattered –   the Premiership table of pop –  and the suspense was heightened because the DJ would not do a straightforward rundown from 30 to 1, but … Continue reading 2012 – Number 5: Madness

2012 – Number 6: Leave Your Body Behind You

Richard Hawley had passed me by until this album,  Standing At The Sky’s Edge. Not surprising – given the album and single titles –  it’s a psychedelic affair, but accessible in a warm summery way and very pastoral if you will allow me to be pseudo-intellectual for a moment. However the ‘video’ clearly did not break the bank…. Continue reading 2012 – Number 6: Leave Your Body Behind You

2012 – Number 7: Incapable Of Love

The second single released from my number one album of the year ‘ One Day I’m Going To Soar’ by Dexys. Fully twenty seven years since their last album, the neglected masterpiece ‘Don’t Stand Me Down’, I cannot recommend the album strongly enough. It’s something of a concept album tracking Kevin’s trajectory from loner to romance and back again, and features the trademark ‘conversational’ approach pioneered on ‘This Is What She’s Like’ and central to this video.  Music as storytelling. Continue reading 2012 – Number 7: Incapable Of Love