Friday, 31 July 2009

Do you remember, the very first time...

...when September first released these songs everywhere outside the UK? Well forget that ever happened because the compilation of all her 'worldwide' hits is out at last (given that special UK Radio Edit treatment, whatever that is), out on Monday. This is really her greatest hits album, come early. Cry For You comes hot on the heels of the single Until I Die, which unfortunately did just that. I'm thinking now, my Seven 4 Summer post jinxed them all! Sozz!

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Got a big surprise...

Talk about THE most irratating teaser. Clicky here for Jake and the girls' 'big surprise'...

Nice Muji slippers, though.

The madgepie of pop

A great example of pop eating itself here. Madge's warhol rip-off for her new greatest hits collection, by LA street artist, Mr Brainwash comes hot on the heels of MPHO's new pop art album sleeve. Great pop magpies thinking alike...

By the way, there's still no sign of MPHO hitting the UK Top 40 in the midweek charts. Gulp!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Love comes quickly

The 'Rams have finally found a home for their new album Viva Bananarama. Above is a radio rip of the first single Love Comes synched to their performance at the Isle of Wight Festival a couple of weeks ago. Fascination Records are releasing the single on 6th September and the album a week later.

Will it get radio play? Who knows. Will it get into the Top 40? Who cares. The gayers will love it and the boom-boom mixes will go down a storm at your local gayspot. Welcome back girls!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Shhh. Don't say boyband...

Boyband was such a dirty word in the late 80s. You could have Andy Warhol direct your video, or SAW write you a hit. You could pretend you wrote all of your own songs, anything to NOT be tarred with the stigma of being in a boyband. But at the end of the day, you were hawt, young, pur-rity and had singles to flog. Face it honey, you were in a boyband...

Example 1

Curiosity Killed the Cat - Misfit

How good-looking were this band? This Andy Warhol directed video makes the most of their looks (especially Bendy Ben). And the fashion is so on trend for 2009. The band still insist they were pigeon holed into becoming pin-ups but funnily, never complained about the party lifestyle which followed!

Example 2

Brother Beyond - The Harder I Try

Again, this band look hawt. Nathan is the epitome of the late 80s good-looking fella: glossy, shiny, a No. 1 short back and sides with quiff and a floaty bolero-type jacket to top it off. He describes Brother Beyond as being a bona fide band before this SAW production provided them with their biggest hit (skip to 7.00 here).

Example 3

Bros - When Will I Be Famous

Bros never really denied they were a boyband until the odd one out, Craig Logan, was pushed. After that, they definitely weren't a boyband. Matt and Luke Goss were a brother duo who produced serious music. Yeah right. If only they had stuck to the brilliant pop they were good at, kept Craig - the brains who went on to manage Pink - and not go on to produce this serious rubbish.

And then there was Big Fun. Bless. A law unto themselves...

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Beats and pieces

Over the past week, a clear winner has emerged from T in the Park. Snow Patrol? Nah. Kings of Leon? Noooooo. Blur? Schmur. It's Pet Shop Boys who have triumphed, garnering praise from all corners for an immense performance at what is predominantly, a rock festival. Just look at the glowing comments here. And if you're in the UK you can watch THE WHOLE amazing hit-filled performance at the same link. It's essentially the Pandemonium tour show, ever so slightly condensed. For some great images of the merchandise and the tour programme being created, go here to Mark Farrow's site. Scroll down though!

More PSB news... the Boys are Number 1 in the Billboard Dance Charts with Love Etc. Or at least they will be on Monday when the new chart is released. Quite a feat considering the first of the NINE number ones was West End Girls in 1986. The rest are: What Have I Done to Deserve This? (1988); Can You Forgive Her? (1993); Go West (1993); Before (1996); To Step Aside (1997); New York City Boy (1999); Break 4 Love (2002); Love etc. (2009).

MPHO, with her new single Box 'n' Locks and upcoming album, Pop Art, is causing everyone to fizz at the gash. Something her peeps have picked up on. The lovely XO gets and honourable mention on the Brixton singer's own website here. She has a vare entertaining blog detailing her exploits including a phone call from Martha (as in 'and the Muffins') wishing her luck with the single sampling the Echo Beach riff. XO's Middle Eight also previews the Pop Art album with a special YouTube sample mix. It sounds bloody marvelous!


Here's the video for London synthpop singer James Leon's first single, Purple Heart out soon on Swedish label Electric Fantastic. Watch this space for more details. Also, this is where I declare more than a vested interest. Go here to listen to a remix, included in the single package, done by liddle ole me! Bona!

Chicane's video for Poppipolla is an entertaining update of the Guardian newspaper TV ad from the 90s. But the song is even better. Sampling (heavily) Sigur Ros' Hoppipolla this is a PERFECT summer driving track. Picture it: bright sun; hot breeze through the open window; blue skies, beach to the left. Oh. I've just looked out of my window at grey clouds over London. I think I'm going to cry.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Seven 4 Summer

Our summer's blowing hot and cold in the UK this year. But at least these tracks make the sunshine moments last longer. In a playlist headed Seven 4 summer, it's amazing how they brighten the dullest of days. So pour yourself a glass of Sangria, relax and listen to them one by one below and I guarantee the sun will come out...

1. NYC Bad Girl - Purple Crush

mp3 players

Courtesy of the brilliant Sheena Beaston comes Purple Crush, a New York electro duo who describe themselves on their Myspace thus "imagine if prince really was gay and he and jimi hendrix were married and adopted kurt and courtney love" and have been around since those heady electroclash days in the early noughties. This track cracks pavements it's so hawt. Go buy it here on compilation album You Been Crushed V.1

2. Box 'n' Locks - Mpho

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Brixton lass, Mpho (pronounced mm-poh) devines Martha and the Muffins' Echo Beach to produce this zingy, fresh as lemons tune destined for the UK Top 10 when it's released in a couple of weeks. Born in South Africa, Mpho has an album due out called Pop Art (devining PSB for that title) in the Autumn. Get the track for a credit crunching 50p here. And check out the classy vid here.

3. Dead End - Master Shortie

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As one of the BBC Sounds of 2009, Master Shortie aka Theo Kerlin needs to 'do a La Roux' and find an audience with this bouncy UK indie-tinged hip-hop. The chorus is a killer and vare radio-friendly. It first came out late last year, but a summer re-release makes a lot more sense: the festival-loving crowd will hear the sunshine in this track. It hasn't made this week's Top 75 which is a bit of a blow, but being on the B-list at Radio 1 provides some hope at least.

4. Shark in the Water - V V Brown

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V V Brown
, another on Radio 1's B-list, went straight in at number 38 this week. For all the hype and acres of fashion magazine coverage, this track delivers on the promise. From the opening infectious backing vocals to the Finlay Quaye inflections and ballsy chorus, it's a quirky song with a sense of humour. Go here to Kickin'the Peanuts for a brilliant Louis La Roche remix.

5. Styfling - Square1 featuring Siobhan Donaghy

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Square1's beats are a bit 1999 but this track is perfect for the balmy evening as the sun goes down. Siobhan could sing the telephone directory and imbue it with emotion. Until she does another proper album, this'll more than fill the gap.

6. Until I Die - September

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She hasn't quite established herself here as a bankable hitster, but September's at least got the backing to give it a go. Despite the immense back catalogue, she's been pigeon-holed as the tweeny clubber's favourite and this track won't change any of that. It's boom boom-tastic with awful lyrics "I live, until the day I die". And I loves it. Go here to Scandipop for an interview which neatly sums up her recent worldwide success.

7. Give It To Me Right - Melanie Fiona

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This record sounds vare British: that sixties retro soul thing used by everyone and their dog recently. But Melanie Fiona is Canadian. Watch the lovely Lorraine Kelly simpering away about her on GMTV recently.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Summer night city

Over the past few weeks there have been some magical musical moments...

Pet Shop Boys
at the O2 Arena, London? Bloody marvelous but terrible sound. Magnificent staging complete with dancing skyscrapers. 16,000 people going ape at the hits and hearing album tracks like King's Cross played live. Go here for a great review.

at the iTunes Festival, the Roundhouse, London? Condensed goodness in an amazing venue. A so-so crowd (who were there for David Guetta anyway) but an electric performance from the band who could lift the roof off with their own audience. Duncan Mills on drums playing like the Muppets' Animal and looking like Matt Lucas' George Dawes. And singer Heidrun Anna Björnsdottir is a revelation as a live performer: she's amazon-like, bestriding the stage with a powerful top-notch vocal.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

DSB deffo does PSB

It's true then...

"Shirley Bassey is in London recording the song we've written for her right now".

Direct from Pet Shop Boys on Twitter. And the producer is David Arnold (skip to the news section). How deluxe!

Cheers Tricky Richard!

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

1983: Wham Rap - Wham!

And so the decade of beige goes on - forget all that crap about it being all neon and gaudy. But at least in the summmer, sunshine made the brown a more palatable yellow. Ten London DJs are choosing tracks which holler summer to them. Here we are at 1983, which is surprisingly colourful in my memory. This is probably because it was Best Ever Year in Music. Says me and someone else...

Here's Talia, who DJs at the legendary Popstarz.

In 1983, I was one. Given I am writing about songs from the 80s, this may disgust as many people as it does when I now think that people who are heading to university this summer were born in 1991. In any case it means whatever song I chose from 1983 probably wasn't one I spent that literal summer bopping my head to. Growing up in Blackpool with my non-music listening grandparents meant it took the advent of the Spice Girls before I started my quest of shouting about amazing pop music.

The sensible choice 'du jour' would be to choose Billie Jean but probably everything that's every going to be said about that song has (apart from perhaps - isn't it better when you listen to the S Club Don't Stop Movin' mash up? No??). Can I ignore Indeep's Last Night A DJ Saved My Life whose words cheesily adore my bedroom wall, and which criminally only reached #13 in the charts? What about Bowie's Let's Dance - another artist I didn't really know or understand until moving to London and beginning my Friday night DJ rituals at Popstarz. In fact will I even be allowed to continue playing there if I ignore the 1983 power autumn of indie featuring This Charming Man, Love Cats and Blue Monday?

My choice therefore represents not my 1983 but my 1999 when at sixth form, my best friend Joanne and I 'discovered' the mighty Wham Rap. Much like when we fell in love with Evita and proceeded to buy everything Madonna had ever touched, George Michael's Ladies & Gentlemen album in our Christmas stockings set us off on a George & Wham discovery path that has lasted throughout our friendship. The seafront clubs might have been filled with the likes of Club Tropicana and Freedom, which we might have adored, but it was Wham Rap that soundtracked us learning to drive, sitting in our common room annoying the rest of the girls' who would rather be listening to Puff Daddy.

Forgive my ignorance, but I have to admit that I didn't and probably still don't really understand the bleak landscape of 1983 in terms of jobs and politics was like, but thinking about it I'm fascinated by the idea of George Michael shouting 'DO YOU WANT TO WORK? NO!' and dancing about to such a unequivocally happy sounding funky bassline. A strange and brave choice of debut single in any case.

It might have been 16 years too late for the message the song actually wanted to give but "Do you enjoy what you do if not just stop" was a brilliant motto for us about to head off into the big wide world to have dancing about in our heads."

Wham Rap (Enjoy What You Do) - Wham! (zShare)

Here's the, quite frankly, brilliant video. How Georgeous Michael ever got away with being STRAIGHT for so long is anyone's guess seeing as this first vid camps it up from the off.

Talia not only DJs at Popstarz and likes BOTH of Holly Valance's albums. She edits the music section of and also produces her own fabulosa blog,

Previous 80s summer posts
1980: Jump to the Beat - Stacy Lattisaw

1981: Japanese Boy - Aneka
1982: Dancing in Heaven (Orbital Be-Bop) - Q-Feel

Thursday, 2 July 2009

WIN!! Tickets to see Cicada

The brilliant Cicada are performing at the iTunes Festival at The Roundhouse in Camden, London next Wednesday on 8th July. If you want to go but have spent all your money on drugs, I can help. Not with the drugs, of course, but with tickets. I've got a pair (oo-er) for you lovely people to give away in a competition. Oh, and by the way, someone called Kelly Rowland (nah, me neither) will be headlining along with French DJ de jour David Guetta.

Just answer this question to win:
What is the name of Cicada's new album? (Clue: clicky here)

Send your answers to

I'll draw the lucky winners on Monday morning (6th July).