The Proclaimers – Sunshine On Leith (1988)

Stu’s Album of the month for March

OK……I’m no doubt setting myself up for a few pelters here but what the hell. The Mighty Brothers Reid of Edinburgh have been producing Scottish Folk\Pop\Country tunes for over 30 years now, and this is correctly attributed as being their best album. I realise they aren’t exactly the coolest cats in town, but they certainly know how to produce a catchy pop song. It’s easy to write them off as being nothing more than merchants of music for the masses but I genuinely think they are excellent song-writers and lyricists. No really……

Of course the opening track, and unofficial Scottish national anthem, is the big hit, but for me that’s just the start of what is a cracking wee album. The title track of Sunshine on Leith is simply beautiful. I challenge you to listen to this album in its entirety and come away feeling anything other than uplifted, sunny and generally happier than you were 46 minutes prior.

Oh, and did I mention they were from Edinburgh?

Broken Bells – After The Disco (2014)

Stu’s Album of the month for February

The Broken Bells debut is one of my favourite (and most played) albums from the last few years. So it’s not a great surprise to say that I have been looking forward to hearing “After The Disco” since I read about it last year.

I got the album the day it came out and although not as instantly appealing as their debut, I have enjoyed it immensely. The record has a more natural flow than their previous release, which comes as no surprise really as Broken Bells always seemed to be more a collection of great songs than a true album. So in short, this is a very, very good follow up, and I think it’s fair to say if you enjoyed their first outing this is sure to deliver.

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)

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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 1.2.3.4 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 🙂

 

Ben Howard – Every Kingdom (2011)

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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. The Wolfs is probably my favourite track though.

James – Hey Ma (2008)

Stu’s Album of the month for January

When Tim Booth left the band in 2001 I feared that was it for one of my favourite bands of the 90s. However, after not releasing an album for nearly 8 years, James burst back onto the scene with this record in 2008. “Laid” will always be the high-water mark for me, but with Hey Ma they released an album worthy of sitting alongside their late 80s and 90s finest.

“Waterfall” is just classic James.