Tuesday, 30 April 2019

ELBOW - St. Paul's Cathedral 2011 (Flac)


St. Paul's Cathedral Crypt
London, England
Thursday, 26 May 2011

I bought Elbow's debut CD not long after its release in 2001, inspired specifically by the track Scattered Black and Whites, which I had heard on a cover mounted 'Uncut' compilation. Since then over the last fifteen years they have written a catalogue of songs that have few rivals amongst their peers.

Certain live recordings just stand out, even after hearing only a few minutes, this one impressed me and eight years on those initial thoughts that this was a special show, that would be worth passing on down the years have been vindicated. I listened to this during last Christmas holiday period and marked it down for a blog post. It's a bootleg of sheer class with perfect sound quality, and a sublime performance in which you can hear and feel the ambience of such an unusual venue.

Absolute Radio recorded and streamed Elbow in FLAC technology (Fully Lossless Audio Codec) for a superior audio experience for fans.

Lineage: Soundboard > PC > Magix Music Editor to track, name & burn to cdr > Accurate rip to Flac level 8. (from the first broadcast on Absolute Radio on 5 June, 2011 between 7 and 8pm)


"It was when Guy Garvey was forced to hush his girlfriend because her off-stage chatter was disturbing him during one of his songs that you truly realised this was no ordinary occasion. Elbow have always appeared the most intimate of bands. Recent success may have propelled them into the arenas but last night, amid the low, vaulted ceiling of the crypt of St Paul's Cathedral, the Bury band found a stage to deliver an intense and personal concert.

It was the first time a band had ever played here. With its historic tombs - Nelson, Wellington and Sir Christopher Wren are all buried here - the venue could have felt sepulchral, crowded with dead souls. Instead, buoyed by the warmth and goodwill that poured out from the 300-strong audience towards them, the five piece - a rag tag collection of old suits, paunches, beards and baldness - gave them an experience bordering on the religious. Careful not to overpower such a small space, the band took the opportunity to jettison some of their more rousing material and instead show off some of their subtler songs. The resulting 90 minutes were a triumph.

Opener Mirrorball set the scene, as gorgeous and thrilling as when first heard. Open Arms was transformed from a stadium sing-along anthem into a pared-back hymn to the healing power of friends and family. The finely tuned dynamics of the performance centred, as ever, on Garvey's extraordinary voice in all its careworn perfection. But the unplugged style also lent greater weight than normal to Mark Potter's finely picked acoustic guitar and his brother Craig's inventive, lilting interventions on the piano. Backed by strings and Richard Jupp's shuffling drums, the band mixed old favourites - Great Expectations, One Day Like This - with unexpected selections from their back catalogue, with the epic, swelling romance of Switching Off a particular stand-out. Songs from their latest album seemed written with this gig in mind. Highlights included a bass-heavy Jesus Is A Rochdale Girl, Lippy Kids, their paean to golden youth and an unexpected outing for Dear Friends, the soaring, dreamy coda to the record.

Garvey's Northern charm and self-deprecating humour - "I've got bluster enough for the sails of a clipper" - combined with the optimism and hope that suffuse his bittersweet lyrics, invited each member of the tiny audience to believe every song was being sung just for them. This was never truer than on the final number, the little-played Scattered Black and Whites from their 2001 album Asleep in the Back, a moving and beautiful recollection of early memories, soaring and tender in its loveliness. His rich voice bolstered by aloe vera juice, Garvey at times looked overcome by the intimacy of the occasion - organised by Absolute Radio for a special high definition broadcast - and appeared to wipe away tears from his eyes several times. Towards the close, Garvey glanced up at the ceiling towards the cathedral above and remarked that he and the band felt humbled. "And in our rightful place in the basement," he teased. Such modesty, after an evening like this, was hardly necessary."   Review by Matthew Bayley, 27 May 2011

01. Introduction & preamble
02. Mirrorball
03. Open Arms
04. The Night Will Always Win
05. Great Expectations
06. Jesus Is a Rochdale Girl
07. Grounds For Divorce
08. Switching Off
09. The River
10. One Day Like This
11. Lippy Kids
12. Dear Friends
13. Scattered Black & Whites


Monday, 29 April 2019

RADIOHEAD - Kid A 2000 Live Promos (Flac)


In an NME article published on 30 September, 2000. James Oldham wrote that "Three years on from the release of 'Ok Computer', 'Kid A' is the sound of a band struggling to surpass a record with a critical and cultural importance that is unmatched in recent memory. Recorded in four studios and three countries over a 12-month period rife with false starts and inter-band friction, the very least you can say about it is that it represents a complete and definite break with the past.

It trades the ambitious, heavily treated guitar sounds of its predecessor for a detailed skeletal electronic framework of meandering ambient clouds and fractured, subsumed vocals. Supported by brittle drum patterns and keening static, the songs drift by with minimal human input, utterly at odds with their live counterparts. If 'OK Computer' vividly articulated Yorke's anxieties, then 'Kid A' shrouds them in sonic fluff. It's almost as if Yorke has chosen to erase himself from the group completely."

In closing and summing up 'Kid A' James Oldham writes "that following  'Ok Computer' was always going to be a near impossible task, and Radiohead have opted for a route which, first and foremost, ensures their survival. 'Kid A' sounds like what it is: a record that's been slowly and painfully edited together. It's a brave, but flawed affair. It attempts to mimic the arrhythmic sounds of Autechre and Aphex Twin but ends up mired in compromise.

'Ok Computer' wasn't fantastic because it was radical sonically but because the quality of the songwriting was exceptional 'Kid A' sees them abdicating responsibility, as if Thom was frightened he couldn't reach the same standard again (hence the exclusion of all the actual songs).
Making experimental music is the easy way out. For Radiohead, and in particular Thom, it seems to have been the only way. Time will judge it. But right now, 'Kid A' has the ring of a lengthy, over-analysed mistake."

The pertinent point made is that "the songs... are utterly at odds with their live counterparts." It is why I and many Radiohead fans prefer these songs when performed in front of a live audience. For those who wish to hear more I can recommend listening to the Warrington 2000 and the Oxford 2001 shows in their entirety.

At the moment North America can see Radiohead live on tour (July 2018), while we in the UK have President Donald Trump on tour. Who said anything about an unfair exchange?

The original download is included here, along with some slight editing. I've used the first 7 songs and added 3 bonus tracks to make a live version of  'Kid A'. It's been done before, but the London tracks are new to circulation and Dollars & Cents and Morning Bell are available now from pre-FM sources.

The bonus tracks were taken from the 'Secrets to be Told' collection, apart from In Limbo which was sourced from the Warrington pre-FM. Treefingers is the only 'Kid A' song missing.

01. Optimistic (24 September, London)
02. The National Anthem (24 September, London)
03. How To Disappear Completely (24 September, London)
04. Idioteque (24 September, London)
05. Everything In It's Right Place (24 September, London)
06. Dollars And Cents (8 September, Copenhagen)
07. Morning Bell (7 October, Dublin)

      bonus tracks
08. In Limbo (2 October, Warrington)
09. Kid A (8 June 2012, Bonnaroo)
10. Motion Picture Soundtrack (26 August, 1997 New York)

Included in a separate folder are alternate live versions of:
How To Disappear Completely (2000-10-06 Dublin)
The National Anthem (2000-07-01 London)

Thanks go to JWB for getting these promo tracks into circulation.


Sunday, 28 April 2019

WOMAD UK - 2017 (Flac)


World On 3 from the Womad Festival
Charlton Park, Malmesbury, England
Friday 28 July - Sunday 30 July 2017

BBC Radio 3 lossless stream   

01. Toots & The Maytals - Funky Kingston (6:32)
02. Alsara - Albahr (3:21)
03. Afro Celt Sound System - The Magnificent Seven (4:23)
04. Trad.Attack! - Ysan’Kene (4:56)                 
05. King Ayisoba - Brother They Can See You (3:47)
06. Xaos - Pontos Blues (6:31)
07. Lamomali - C'et Air (4:49)
08. Las Cafeteras - Tiempos De Amour (3:42)
09. Grupo Canalón de Timbiquí - Lolita (5:56)
10. Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Homeless (3:59)
11. Bonga - Mona Ki Ngui Xiça (4:11)
12. Ska Vengers - Frank Brazil (4:02)
13. Oumou Sangaré - Kounadia (7:37)

Recorded from the BBC Radio 3 Lossless FLAC stream > Audacity > editing, tracking and fades > WAV > TLH > FLAC (8)

This was assembled from recordings I made of the BBC Radio 3 broadcast lossless streams from the UK Womad Festival 2017. Eleven hours of music, over four programmes, were broadcast during the last weekend in July. This disc compiles over an hour's worth of those broadcasts to give a sampler of some of the 95 acts that took the stage. (thebasement67, August 2017)


01. Toots & the Maytals
Toots Hibbert is among the pantheon of Jamaican reggae greats. It’s almost half a century since the Maytals’ 1968 single “Do the Reggay”, was the first song to use the word ‘reggae’ as ska and rocksteady morphed into a new beat. Toots and his band have been doing it ever since and Bob Marley even name-checked the Maytals alongside the Wailers in his 1977 hit “Punky Reggae Party”. Expect a righteous roots set featuring such timeless Toots classics as “54-46 Was My Number”,  “Funky Kingston”,  “Monkey Man”, “Pressure Drop” and “Reggae Got Soul”.

02. Alsarah & the Nubatones
The Sudanese singer Alsarah was a child when her family were forced to flee the country following a coup. She was eventually given political asylum in America where, after taking a degree in ethnomusicology she formed the Nubatones in 2010 with percussionist Rami el Aasser.
With a line-up that includes her sister Nahid on backing vocals, bassist Mawuena Kodjovi, and oud player Haig Manoukian, the ensemble released their debut album Silt in 2014.
Alsarah’s mesmerising blend of ancient tradition and East African pop has since entranced audiences wherever they’ve played – including a memorable appearance at the first music festival to be held in Somalia in 20 years.

03. Afro Celt Sound System
When the Afro-Celts re-emerged last year with The Source, their first new album in more than a decade, nobody knew quite what to expect. Would the group’s trademark global dance fusion that had sounded so thrillingly cutting-edge when they first appeared at WOMAD in 1996, now sound out-dated?  We need not have worried, for it transpired that the long hiatus had reinvigorated the band.
With their swirling mix of African rhythms and Celtic melodicism augmented by thundering bhangra drumming, the critics hailed their return as an unqualified triumph in which the Afro-Celts were sounding “bigger, better and bolder than ever.”

04. Trad.Attack!
Trad.Attack! have turned Estonian folk music on its head since releasing their 2014 debut album AH! Combining the bagpipe playing and vocals of Sandra Vabarna, virtuoso guitar of Jalmar Vabarna and inventive percussion of  Tõnu Tubli, the trio take their inspiration from old archive recordings of Estonian traditional songs.
But folk music is merely their starting point and not their boundary as they reconcile past, present and future in a dynamic postmodern furnace of folklore, beats and rock’n’roll.
The trio’s second album Shimmer Gold is due for release in May 2017, neatly timed for this year’s round of summer festivals.

05. King Ayisoba
Apozora Ayisoba has built a huge following in West Africa with his unique update of traditional styles played on the two-string lute known as a kologo and sung in an intense, hard-edged voice.
His current album, 1000 Can Die is a thrilling mix of traditional Ghanaian rhythms and contemporary beats with echoes of hiplife, the local hybrid of traditional African highlife and hip-hop.
Listen out, too, for his definitive hit ‘I Want to See You, My Father’, which announced his arrival a decade ago when it won him song of the year, and is certain to feature prominently in his regal set.

06. XÀOS
If WOMAD had a long-service medal, Nick Page – sometimes known as Dubulah – would be one of its first recipients. Over the years he’s been a key force behind such global fusionist festival favourites as Transglobal Underground, Temple Of Sound, Dub Colossus and Syriana. His latest project XÀOS, finds him exploring the musical heritage of his Greek mother in partnership with the electronic composer Ahetas Jimi and a supporting cast of traditional Greek musicians.
The epic album they made together took a decade to complete, its electronic pulses and traditional shadings uncannily echoing the tensions and struggles which Greece itself has been undergoing in an uncertain world.

07. Lamomali
The French singer-songwriter, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Matthieu Chedid, alias -M- has been collaborating with musicians from Mali for 20 years, including Amadou and Mariam and kora legend Toumani Diabate. His latest project teams him once more with Toumani and his son Sidike Diabate, who in addition to playing the kora is a key mover in Bamako’s vibrant hip-hop scene.
 “With Lamomali I planted the seed and I watched it grow so that a multi-coloured African universe can be born,” says Chedid, who is of partly Lebanese-Egyptian origin. “It must be my African side in me because I felt like I had finally returned home.”

08. Las Cafeteras
Emerging from an ethnically diverse and politically active working-class neighbourhood of East Los Angeles in 2005, this Chicano band have built an enviable reputation with their radical and socially-conscious mix of Mexican folk styles, hip-hop and much else besides, using their songs to tell stories about the streets where they were raised, the communities in which they live and their dreams for a better world. Their second album, Tastes Like LA, has just been released and includes a song titled “If I Was President”.  As singer Denise Carlos puts it: “The President says he wants to build a wall. Las Cafeteras want to build bridges”. Their WOMAD performance will be a UK and European debut.

09. Grupo Canalón de Timbiquí
Nidia Góngora blends felicitously with the African-style chanting of a female chorus.
Hailing from the town of Timbiquí on the Pacific coast of Colombia, Grupo Canalón met in school, where their music teacher taught them the traditional folk songs typical of the coastal region, sung for generations by the women of the town while washing clothes in the river and praising their patron saints. The voice of lead singer Nidia Góngora blends felicitously with the African-style chanting of a female chorus, backed by marimba and folkloric percussion, and between touring and recording, several of the group’s members still dig for gold in the mines around Timbiquí.

10. Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Founded in the early 1960s by Joseph Shabalala, then a young farm boy turned factory worker, the joyous harmonies of South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mabazo have been uplifting audiences for more than half a century.  The a cappella Zulu male choir emerged on to the world stage in the 1980s when they were given a starring role on Paul Simon’s landmark “Graceland” album. Simon returned the compliment by producing the group’s first worldwide release, “Shaka Zulu”, which won a Grammy.  Since then they’ve toured the world endlessly, winning countless further awards and recording with a vast array of guest vocalists ranging from Stevie Wonder to Dolly Parton.

11. Bonga
For veteran and much-loved godfather of Angolan music, 2017 marks the 45th anniversary of Bonga’s seminal debut album Angola 72.
The record became the soundtrack for Angola’s battle for independence from Portuguese colonial rule and was banned, forcing him into exile as a wanted man. Since independence he has divided his time between Europe and his homeland, recording a prolific string of peerless albums characterised by his rasping, powerful voice and the rippling Angolan rhythms of semba.
At 74, he remains a potent and charismatic force-of-nature on stage and insists that he has absolutely no plans to retire any time soon.

12. The Ska Vengers
The name tells only part of the story. The Ska Vengers hail from the Indian capital of New Delhi and their musical palette encompasses not only the irresistible  chk-chk’ rhythms of Jamaican ‘ska’ but  elements of dub, punk, jazz, rap, psychedelia and Latin music.
Formed in 2009, their debut album appeared three years later and has come to be regarded as a landmark on the contemporary Indian music scene. Live their energy is palpable and their first UK tour in 2016, which included a performance at the Notting Hill Carnival, was a revelation that brought them to a new and appreciative audience.

13. Oumou Sangaré
Stylish, elegant, feisty and charismatic, Oumou Sangaré is not only one of  the most powerful female voices in African music but a striking role model who has used her music to campaign fearlessly to improve the position of women in Mali’s male-dominated society, singing against such injustices as polygamy and child marriage. Following an eight year absence from the recording studio she returned to the fray in 2017 with her fifth album Mogoya.  While the record remains rooted deep in Malian culture and tradition, the more contemporary arrangements break new ground on the funkiest set of her career to date.


Saturday, 27 April 2019

V/A - Exodus 40 - 1Xtra Remake (2017)


Exodus - 1Xtra Remake
David Rodigan
BBC Radio 1 FM
31 December 2017

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Bob Marley & The Wailers album 'Exodus', 1Xtra has re-created this masterpiece with the likes of Protoje, Chronixx, Kiko Bun, Morgan Heritage, the Marley Brothers and more. It includes an extended interview with Chris Blackwell.  Side One of the album, always the stongest again shines best on this project. Although Jamming & Turn Your Lights Down Low are well conceived versions too.

01. Sly & Robbie & The Taxi Gang - Natural Mystic (1Xtra Exodus Session, 7 Feb 2017)
      (ft. Noel “Bunny” Brown) (3:29)
02. Cosima - So Much Things To Say (1Xtra Exodus Session, 30th May 2017) (4:27)
03. Chronixx - Guiltiness (1Xtra Exodus Session, 22nd May 2017) (6:29)
04. Protoje - The Heathen (1Xtra Exodus Session, 13th May 2017) (4:14)
05. Dre Island - Exodus (1Xtra Exodus Session, 9th February 2017) (5:49)

06. Kiko Bun - Jamming (1Xtra Exodus Session, 30th May 2017) (4:09)
07. Morgan Heritage - Waiting in Vain (1Xtra Exodus Session, 8th May 2017) (4:33)
08. Christopher Martin - Turn Your Lights Down Low (1Xtra Exodus Session, 8th Feb 2017) (3:54)
09. Angel - Three Little Birds (1Xtra Exodus Session, 7th February 2017) (2:52)
10. Stephen Marley, Damian Marley & Julian Marley - One Love
      (1Xtra Exodus Live From Glastonbury, 20th June 2007) (4:10)

11. Chris Blackwell Interview (25:28)

Programme first broadcast on BBC R1Xtra Sunday 4 June, 2017 at 7pm. This repeat is a first time broadcast on FM radio. The first 8 minutes of the Chris Blackwell interview were patched in from the BBC i-player as the beginning of the FM recording missed it.


Friday, 26 April 2019

LAURA VEIRS - The KCRW Sessions (Flac)


A short break from the alternate 100 bootlegs countdown. Previously I ran a series of special posts to add a little variety to the blog, including artists not previously featured, these were discarded to begin the alternate 100 rundown. For newer blog readers I have decided to re-run them as a short series of six special posts.

Another disc I pulled from the DM's box under the stairs featured a Laura Veirs session from 2010. Her latest KCRW session was broadcast recently to promote the new album The Lookout. Here are both sessions together in one post, if you burn to cdr both will fit onto a single disc.

"Laura Veirs grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she often spent summers camping with her family, which gave her much of her songwriting inspiration. Veirs has said that she didn’t seriously listen to music until she was in her 20s; instead, she just heard what was in her environment. She listened to folk, country, classical and pop music around the house and on the radio during her youth.

Attending Carleton College in rural Minnesota, Veirs latched onto feminist punk rock from the Pacific Northwest, eventually starting an all-female punk band called “Rair Kx!”. Laura studied geology and Mandarin Chinese. After college, she embraced older country and folk music. Her first foray into songwriting started with a geological expedition in China, where she served as translator. She was miserable and immersed herself into writing lyrics as a way of coping."

Laura Veirs - Live in Session on Morning Becomes Eclectic, 2010
KCRW Radio FM Broadcast, Santa Monica, California

Live In Studio Session at time of broadcast
Aired: Tuesday March 9, 2010

Lineage: FM > Onkyo HT-R520 > Analog Out > HHB-CDR 800 > Taiyo Yuden CDR. WAV  > TSSTcorpCDDVDW SH-S202N > EAC > CD WAVE Tracking > Flac.8)

01. Intro
02. Wide Eyed, Legless
03. Sun Is King
04. Carol Kaye
05. July Flame
06. Interview with Jason
07. I Can See Your Tracks
08. When You Give Your Heart
09. Life Is Good Blues
10. Spelunking
11. Make Something Good
12. Song My Friends Taught Me (incomplete)

Additional Lineage:
Original download > HD files flac > dbPoweramp WAV > editing WavLab6 > TLH (Flac 8)


The Band:
Laura Veirs - Vocal, Guitar & Loops,
Eric Anderson - Bass, Drums & Vocal,
Alex Guy - Viola & Vocal,
Nelson Kempf - Keys, Bass & Vocal

"On this album, Laura Veirs parts company with Nonesuch and opts for a self-release in the USA, via her Raven Marching Band Records imprint, with a Bella Union airing in the UK. After 2007's Saltbreakers it wouldn't have been unreasonable to have expected Veirs to have catapulted into far broader success, but on July Flame she maintains the hallmarks of her cult status, all underpinned by an honest approach to song-craft that's never overcooked or outwardly commercial.

The record (produced with Decemberists collaborator Tucker Martine) sounds brilliantly put together, and tellingly, remains intimate and humble even when Veirs starts to pile up the arrangements, as on the great, string-stacked title track, or the miniaturised orchestrations of 'Silo Song'. There's nothing quite so immediate as 'Don't Lose Yourself' was on the last album, and the sequence gets off to a slightly sleepy start with the likes of the Fleet Foxes-esque 'I Can See Your Tracks' (which features My Morning Jacket's Jim James rather than any of Fleet Foxes) and the un-self-consciously countrified 'Sun Is King', but it's these more pared down moments that make the record such a joy on repeated listens.

This is a seriously strong collection of songs - possibly Veirs' best to date - and gives off all the right signals to suggest it might just be loitering around those end-of-2010 charts."

Laura Veirs - Live in Session on Morning Becomes Eclectic, 2018
KCRW Radio FM Broadcast, Santa Monica, California

Broadcast: Wednesday 23 May, 2018

01. Margaret Sands
02. Everybody Needs You
03. The Meadow
04. interview
05. Seven Falls
06. Watch Fire
07. Heavy Petals
08. True Love Will Find You In The End
09. The Lookout


 Lineage: FM Receiver -> CDRW700 -> EAC -> Soundforge -> FLAC

A prolific songwriter for nearly twenty years, Laura Veirs proves the depth of her musical skill on her tenth solo album, The Lookout. Here is a batch of inimitable, churning, exquisite folk-pop songs; a concept album about the fragility of precious things. Produced by Grammy-nominated Tucker Martine, Veirs’ longtime collaborator, The Lookout is a soundtrack for turbulent times, full of allusions to protectors: the camper stoking a watch fire, a mother tending her children, a sailor in a crows nest and a lightning rod channelling energy.

“The Lookout is about the need to pay attention to the fleeting beauty of life and to not be complacent; it’s about the importance of looking out for each other,” says Veirs. “I’m addressing what’s happening around me with the chaos of post-election America, the racial divides in our country, and a personal reckoning with the realities of midlife: I have friends who’ve died; I struggle with how to balance life as an artist with parenting young children.”

Written and produced on the heels of Veirs’ acclaimed album with Neko Case and kd Lang (case/lang/veirs), The Lookout integrates the fluency of collaboration with Veirs’ notorious work ethic. The twelve songs on the album are the result of a years’ worth of daily writing in her attic studio in Portland, Oregon.

“Twenty years ago when I was just starting out with my punk band, it never occurred to me to write five versions of a song,” says Veirs. “I’ve learned to see how malleable lyrics and melodies can be. I have more tools as a musician so I write many versions of songs until I find the right fit.” Such range is demonstrated on the operatic vocals of “The Meadow” and the intricate finger picking on “Watch Fire.” “The Lookout,” the album’s title track, is an ecstatic anthem to trusted relationships.

The Lookout draws on the talents of a time-tested crew of musicians: Karl Blau, Steve Moore, Eli Moore, Eyvind Kang and Martine. Says Veirs, “These guys are a good hang, ego-free and wonderful players who just want to serve the songs.” Sufjan Stevens and Jim James provide guest vocals.

For Martine, who fell, almost two decades ago, for Veirs’ unique sound after listening to a tape cassette she’d sent him in the mail, this album reflects a bar that keeps getting raised. Both familiar and strange, The Lookout gets better with repeated listens, warming to the skin like a cherished saddlebag, critical for the journey ahead." (http://bellaunion.com)