It’s raining icepicks on your steel shore

Grunge is NOT dead is back next week – new venue but same grungey music, old and new. Continue reading


Sunspots have faded

Radio Seattle are back in action in a couple of weeks’ time. We’re at the Fiddler’s Elbow on Thursday 15 June for the next instalment in our “Grunge is NOT Dead” series, and we’ll be joined by Almagram and Sick Joy.

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Chris Cornell 1964-2017

I never wanted to write these words down for you… Desperately sad and incomprehensible news today, to hear of Chris Cornell’s tragic passing, aged only 52. To his family, bandmates and friends, my deepest condolences.

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Seems to be such a long time

My occasional series on Pearl Jam tour posters has proved pretty occasional, all things considered. So, to remedy this (somehow, but don’t ask for details), I’ve decided to start up a second occasional series. This second series has the working title of “Alt rock bands from the early 90s that weren’t strictly speaking grunge as such, but included similarities to the grunge bands, be that in sound or attitude”. ARBFTE90sTWSSGASBISTTGBBTISOA for short. Guaranteed winner.* Continue reading

If I knew where it was…

‘Look what I picked up at Record Store Day,’ my friend Dave emailed me the other day, along with the picture below.

Ahh, yes, Record Store Day. Curses. I keep forgetting it each year. The above look like two fine additions to anyone’s record collection. Continue reading

Come down, and waste away with me

Spring is here again – it keeps happening every year seemingly – so what better way to celebrate nature’s perennial revivification and those lengthening evenings than a grunge night. Radio Seattle is kicking the year off with an unplugged set courtesy of Jonny and Mark (and a couple of new songs, including one pushing the grunge envelope a touch but which you’d be foo-lish to gainsay…). Yes, Croyattle is back, at a new venue, The Scream Lounge, and the line up includes Superfecta, Trevor’s Head and Alice in Chains UK (you can catch them doing Sunshine at the last Croyattle here). Tickets £5 (door). Continue reading

No matter how cold the winter

On 4 March 1861, just shy of 156 years ago, Abraham Lincoln stood before the Capitol to deliver his first inaugural address. Seven southern states had recently seceded from the union, and the country faced imminent conflict. In a febrile, fissiparous atmosphere, Lincoln presented a clear-headed account of his determination to preserve, protect and defend the United States Constitution following his recently sworn oath as the 16th president, and concluded with an eloquent plea that conflict be avoided. The language might seem florid to modern ears, but there is no doubting Lincoln’s ability to combine a lucid message with a poetic ear.

I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

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A riddle so strong


Grunge is NOT dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. … Grunge was NOT as dead as a doornail.*

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You can’t be neutral on a moving train

Riot Act cover

Riot Act turned 14 earlier this month, along with its immediate predecessor Binaural a somewhat underrated album in the middle of the Pearl Jam pack.* Both albums were critically acclaimed on release, but over time their lustre has seemingly dimmed for many (though not for me; they remain strong personal favourites). Unsurprisingly, perhaps, it’s the early albums, along with the more overtly straightforward rock contained in Yield, that continue to have find more favour generally, as evidenced by this Rolling Stone readers’ poll from July 2013.**

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Sleeping with a full moon blanket


Procrastination is, as someone famous once doubtless said, the mother of invention. I’m terrible at procrastinating, but for this post at least I got something positive about it. (You’ll have to read down a few paragraphs of digressive text to get there. Please simply skip on to para four if you wish, you’ll just miss out on a bit of gentle whimsy.) Sometimes when writing blog posts, I get a touch of writer’s block. Well, nearly always in fact. This block manifests itself in varying ways and to varying degrees; it can be a little while after the event before some reviews emerge blinking into the sunlight.* Other times I get distracted by ‘researching’ things to include in the post, be that youtube clips from the gig/tour or official videos of the songs.** Or I need to reorder the setlist to see what’s come from where. Worse still, I end up playing Spider Solitaire when listening to said youtube clips. Black mark.*** Continue reading

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