Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Based on a memoir by his wife Deborah and directed by Anton Corbijn, Control chronicles the far too short life of Ian Curtis, and the music he made with Joy Division. Featuring outstanding performances from Sam Riley as Curtis, and Samantha Morton as his ever patient, loyal wife Control works on two levels, both as a musical biopic and the story of a life.

The film mainly concentrates on the last seven years of Curtis’ life and never once seeks to sensationalize or romanticize him. In some ways Control is similar in style to the 1960’s Northern kitchen sink dramas with its central storyline of a moody teenager whose aspirations in life are put in check by the daily realities of married life. Of course the film is so much more than that with Curtis’ inner turmoil never far from view. His suicide, at only 23, has been well documented over the subsequent years and is never far from your mind as the film unfolds towards its inevitable conclusion. Corbijn sank large amounts of his own money into making Control and his passion and commitment to the subject shines through the entire movie. Shot in black and white the film captures the mood of industrial Manchester in the late 70’s and is essential viewing for fans of the timeless soundscapes of Joy Division.
Wonderful cinematography, terrific performances and the majestic music of Joy Division combine seamlessly to make one of best rock biopics you will see. 


Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Throw a slice of Talking Heads, Devo, Prince and LCD Soundsystem into a musical blender and the end result wouldn't be far off the sound of new Glasgow based 4 piece BooHooHoo. Their debut EP, the wonderfully titled DebutHooHoo, saw the light of day at the tail end of last year and immediately sent out a message that this is a band to look out for in 2017. With its synth laden, infectious energy their debut EP drew its sound largely from 80's pop while at the same time sounding completely new and very much of its time. Although they wear their influences on their collective sleeves they somehow manage to sound uniquely like BooHooHoo, which is no mean feat. In this new era of May and Trump we need, more than ever, bands like BooHooHoo producing music that is danceable, interesting and leaves you with a big grin on your face. With some rave live reviews under their belt already, 2017 could well be a very good year indeed for one of the most exciting Scottish bands to emerge in quite some time.

Friday, December 16, 2016

And The Stars Look Very Different Today...

Despite all the great new music released this year 2016 will be remembered as the year we lost so many iconic artists. Here's hoping that 2017 does not follow a similiar trajectory. Like so many I grew up listening to the music of David Bowie, always eagerly awaiting what he would do next. Over the course of 29 studio albums he remained a musical pioneer with a breadth of vision that was unparalleled. My introduction to the music of Bowie was the Let's Dance album which, although not amongst his best work, certainly piqued my interest and started my journey into Bowie's back catalogue. From there I worked my way backwards to the classic 70's albums, with Station To Station becoming, and remaining, one of my all time favourite albums. Even now, almost a year after his death, it is hard to believe that we will not get to hear a new Bowie abum in the future. 2016 however saw the release of his best work for many years with Blackstar quite rightly sitting atop most of the year end best album lists and is a fitting end to the career of one of the most influential and enigmatic musicians these Isles have ever produced. I had the good fortune to see Bowie in 2003 on what would turn out to be his last tour. With a setlist including Rebel Rebel, Changes, Starman and Ziggy it was a night I will never forget and illustrated why the music and legacy of David Bowie will never die.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas Folks...

Merry Christmas folks, hope you all have a great day today and all get to spend time with your loved ones. Eat, drink and be merry x

Monday, November 2, 2015

Cool Eyes...

As far as I know I have never posted any Jazz on Spools before, primarily because I don't really listen to any. However I am a bit partial to a little slice of Horace Silver. I could probably fit everything I know about Jazz on the back of a postage stamp and apart from a couple of obligatory Miles Davis albums the only Jazz albums I own are by the pianist born Horace Ward Martin Tavares Silva. Both albums were bought for £1.00 in a Virgin closing down sale many years ago and don't come out of their sleeves too often but the other night I decided to give 6 Pieces Of Silver a wee spin and it wasn't too shabby at all. Recorded in 1956 for the Blue Note label I find it goes well with a nice botle of red. I read a couple of reviews earlier today that describe it as hard bop. I'm sure they are right, all I know is that after giving it another listen I might have to been too quick to dismiss Jazz music out of hand...then again maybe that's just the red wine talking...

Cool Eyes

Saturday, October 31, 2015


Five years ago today I did my first ever post on Spools Paradise. As it was Halloween it seemed only appropriate that it would be on The Cramps. As they were the first band I ever saw play live, on the Date With Elvis tour, they have always held a special place in my musical heart. As a 16 year they quite literally blew my mind and although I saw them a few years later it was that 1986 gig that sticks in my mind like it was yesterday. The tour was immortalised forever on the Rockinnreelininaucklandnewzealand live album from the very last night of the tour. Live albums generally don’t work for me, but it is a pretty decent recording on the last date of the tour when they were entertaining the good folks of New Zealand. Nowadays I rarely listen to Cramps albums, but as a live act they had few equals, they were everything that live acts should be. Their unhinged rockabilly sound left a lasting impression on this 16 year old and, although I have been to better gigs over the years there are not many bands who had the stage presence, energy and sense of fun that The Cramps delivered time after time, year after year. I have no idea how many gigs I have been to over the years, but can safely say that it would not have been so many if not for the glorious introduction I had. God Bless Lux, Poison Ivy and all the others who have served their time with one of the greatest bands ever, The Cramps....

It was never my intention to have an extended break from the blog and, if I’m being honest, I don’t really have one specific reason why I have not posted for a while. All I can say is that life kind of got in the way and, before I knew it, one day led to another and before I knew it a couple of months had passed. Thank you to those who left comments and sent emails and hopefully I’ll post a bit more regularly and, more importantly, get back to checking out what all the other wonderful bloggers out there are posting.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Some Sunday Soul

I have posted a couple of tracks previously from Sweet Inspiration, the songs of Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham. It is one of those rare albums that you could post any of the 24 tracks on it, it really is that good. The album is a collection of the key songs they wrote during the 60's and early 70's and showcases the masterful songwriting talents of both men. Today's track features the inimitable voice of Ted Taylor with one of their lesser known tracks, Feed The Flame. Taylor first entered the studio as a member of the Cadets and Jacks in the 50's before going on to record for labels such as Okeh and Ronn in the 60's. If today's track piques your interest there is a nice wee compilation of rare recordings for Ronn Records available that is well worth a listen...

Feed The Flame

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sacred Heart Hotel...

I have been working away down in Guildford, with limited internet access, for the best part of the last few weeks hence the lack of posts. Haven't really seen my fellow bloggers postings either so will spend the next couple of days catching up on what I have missed.

Today's track popped up a few times on the shuffle while I was away so seemed only appropriate to post it today. Once labelled Ireland's answer to The Byrds, Gram Parsons and the Velvet Underground all in one package, The Stars Of Heaven released two albums on Rough Trade in the mid 80's before calling it a day at the start of the 90's. In their short career they managed to record four Peel sessions and had one of their tracks covered by Everything But The Girl. Another great wee band who never quite fulfilled the promise of their excellent debut album.

Sacred Heart Hotel

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Giant Steps Are What You Take...

When I was growing up there was always a clear line between my musical taste and my brother's. I was into The Jam, The Specials and Madness and my brother was The Police fan. At the time I didn't really get The Police, but in the last few years have really got into the first couple of albums in particular. When they reformed a few years back we went down to Manchester to see them and was pleasantly surprised at how good they were. Easy to forget how many good singles they had over the years. If push came to shove, Regatta De Blanc would be the one for me, full of great pop songs with all three members contributing equally without being overly flashy. It also sounds as though the band were having fun, which you don't get so much on the later albums.

Looking back I probably just didn't like them at that age because my brother did, but thankfully now I can appreciate them for the great band that they were. Of course none of this detracts from Sting's solo output being, by and large, awful.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Wonders Don't Care...

Due to having no internet access for the next week tonight's post will be the last one 'til next week. Been listening to a lot of records recently from '76 to '78 taking in the likes of Pere Ubu, Magazine, The Clash, SATB, and Patti Smith amongst others. Something must have been in the air in those 3 years with the amount of quality music that was being released every single week. Not all of it has aged well while others still sound really fresh, innovative and exciting. One track I have been listening to quite a bit has been The Adverts' classic One Chord Wonders. Released in April '77 on Stiff Records, it still sounds like a 'headlong rush of energy', as it was described by the music press of the day. Single of the week in both Sounds and Melody Maker when it was released with some wonderful self deprecating lyrics, in which they fully understood their limitations at the time.

One Chord Wonders