Paul McCartney – Driving Rain

It must be really difficult constantly being compared to somebody, like your father for example, but even more so if that somebody is your younger self. McCartney set such a high standard with his first solo LP, McCartney, RAM and then the initial Wings offerings including the excellent Band On The Run, that any dip in form seems amplified and somehow more disappointing. I actively avoided a lot of it as I preferred to remember one of my heroes at his very best. Was that unfair? Was I wrong to do so? Let’s find out….

Attacco Decente – The Baby Within Us Marches On

All or Nothing! Records, 1988 A difficult to describe band and quite obscure it seems, Attacco Decente were around from 1984 to 1996, a long enough time to have heard of them, you’d think. The sleeve notes might give us a clue what to expect here – Flamenco Guitar, Attacco Harp (the harp, one assumes, that gave the band half of its name), Tiple (a plucked string chordophone!), Appalachian Dulcimer, 12-String Guitar and Penny Whistle. And that’s just one member, Mark Allen ! However, whilst that does indeed set us up for a flavour of what is to come, it […]

XTC – Skylarking – Virgin 1986

Close your eyes, imagine laying on a rug in a field, mid summer. You can smell the freshly cut grass, the flowers, and hear the insects buzzing around, the crickets and barking dogs. It’s the English Summer perfectly captured in sampled sound and droning organ. Summer’s Cauldron is a perfect introduction to the album. It sets the theme brilliantly and you know something special is about to happen.