Ocean Colour Scene – B-sides, Seasides & Freerides

FrontI was listening to the Gaslight Anthem’s b-sides album which made me think of my favourite b-sides album ever.

It is a tough call between Oasis’s Masterplan and this album but I think OCS just shade it for me.

I remember buying the deluxe limited addition version of this album when it came out…I was and still am pretty big OCS, though their recent albums haven’t been as good as their height in the 90s.

Some great tracks on here including acoustic version of Day We Caught the Train and The Circle, plus the obligatory Day Tripper, which was always the last song on there set.

I went to see them at the Ulster Hall in Belfast just after Marchin’ Already was released. Probably one of the best gigs ever…plus another time at the Barrowlands they played for about 3 hours with 3 encores!

Awesome band!



The Jeevas – Cowboys and Indians (2003)


People can be divided on Crispian Mills…Some say genius…some say annoying fecker.

I was a huge Kula Shaker fan and quite like the Jeevas too despite them only lasting two albums before he reformed Kula Shaker.

I went to see them on this tour and they were awesome live as well. The first album was probably more like Kula Shaker with this album more of a homage to american culture.

I remember at the time How Much Do You Suck? and the Master of War cover were big at my uni for the anti-bush war at the time.

My favourite track is probably Rio Grande at the end of the album. I like to sing it to Annabel to get her to sleep πŸ™‚


Ben Howard – Every Kingdom (2011)


Not sure where I got this album from but I was suddenly reminded about it lately.

His latest EP The Burgh Island has a great track on it called Oats in The Water and listening to it reminded me of this album.

Its a great little album with some really good acoustic songs on there.

I really like the opening tracks (Old Pine) guitar work and Diamonds is probably the most commercial song on there.Β The Wolfs is probably my favourite track though.

Now That’s What I Call 2013


So another year, another load of albums listened to, another load of gigs enjoyed and 10 albums that are the sound of 2013. I have to say I didn’t think it was a great year for music…a lot of bands trying to sound like yesteryear, whether that’s the stones, oasis or anything from the 80s. But I did have a clear 10 that were top albums for me, and perhaps another 5-10 of alright sounding stuff:

10. Jake Bugg – Shangri La (England)

I really like Jake Bugg…I like the way he doesn’t try to change himself and seems pretty into his music. But I did prefer his first album more than Shangri La and if it wasn’t for Slumville Sunrise and What Doesn’t Kill You this probably wouldn’t have made the cut. Still a good offering though.

9. Foals – Holy Fire (England)

Another band that probably didn’t set the world on fire but a lot of catching tunes on this album. My Number is a great little song and Out In The Woods stands out as well.

8. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Mosquito (USA)

An album I probably didn’t expect to have on my list but when I heard it the first time I really enjoyed it. Didn’t have much play for a while, but have been enjoying it again over the last few weeks. Really like Sacrilege, Area 52 and Mosquito.

7. Johnny Marr – The Messenger (England)

I am a huge smiths fan and it pains me to say that I didn’t enjoy this ablum at first…maybe I’m too critical, maybe the Healers album was just too good, maybe I just really want a smiths reunion tour??? But lately I’ve softened and this is a good album after all. Upstarts is one of my favourite tracks of the year and I really like the energy of the opening track The Right Thing.

6. David Bowie – The Next Day (England)

When I first heard this album I though man that’s the best thing since sliced bread…but lately I haven’t dug this album as much. I think the big thing at the time was no one expected this album so it blew everyone’s mind. On reflection, I really like the first half of the album but think the second half fades away a bit. Fav track is Valentines Day.

5. BRMC – Specter At The Feast (USA)

I’m a huge BRMC fan and as such enjoy any album by them. I probably preferred their last album, Beat The Devils Tattoo, to Specter but I still thing this was a good offering. Hate The Taste is probably my favourite track as it is the kick start into the second half of the album which strangely blows the first half away.

4. The Veils – Time Stays, We Go (England)

The Veils, the Veils, the Veils….I love this band so much. Some times this would be the number one album of the year and some times its just number 4…today is a number 4 day. I have to say I wish the gig earlier in the year was better (shit sound) and that’s probably the only reason they are number four and not second today. Dancing With The Tornado blows everything else away on this album!

3. Queens of The Stone Age – …Like Clockwork (USA)

This is very unlucky not to be 1 or 2 on my list as its an awesome album. Really looking forward to seeing them live again and a bit of Feel Good Hit of The Summer time!! I Sat By The Ocean is my 2nd favourite track of the year! More to follow…

2. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City (USA)

A band that I have a little soft spot for and when I looked at my play count was surprised to see this as the second most played album…hence why its second on my list πŸ™‚ I like all the tracks on this album but I particularly like Hanna Hunt, especially about half way though when the tempo steps up and he starts to shout the lyrics…I could listen to it all day and be happy.

1. Arctic Monkeys – AM (England)

Some might say that I named my daughter so that her initials are the same as this album!! I could not possible confirm or deny such rumors! In all seriousness though this album is godsend! I love the opening bars of Do You Wanna Know? and R U Mine? is the track of the year for me (just for the Tracey Island name drop). I think this album shows how much they have grown up over the last few years and a bit of Josh Homme influence thrown in there has made them into one of the best bands around. I am so looking forward to this gig later in the year!!

The thanks, but no thanks…

Strypes – Snapshot

Palma Violets – 180

City and Colour – The Hurry and The Harm

Elvis Costello – Wise Up Ghost

Jagwar Ma -Howlin

The I just didn’t get it award goes to:

Arcade Fire – Reflektor…anyone who swaps a c for a k deserves to be shot.

E.P. that I enjoyed most

The Flaming Lips – Peace Sword (I did think the Terror was shite though)

Gig of the year

Easy….This Is The One!!!

Tired Pony – The Ghost of the Mountain (2013)

FrontWow – I did not see this album coming. Not only didn’t know about it until it was released but didn’t expect too much from it.

Needless to say this is up there for one of my albums of the year. I wasn’t a big fan of the first album but maybe I just need to relisten to it.

For me Lightbody’sΒ vocals are cracking that makes the songs come to life. All things come at once for example – you can feel the pain in those lyrics with his croking / emotional vocals.

Not usually a fan of supergroups but I think this is one of the exceptions for me: Snow Patrol, REM, Belle & Sebastian and Iain Archer! Can’t beat that mix!