FIFTY3 FRIDAYS: WIRED TO THE MOON


I always knew I should write this column a week in advance. It’s wise to have a PlanB (gratuitous mention of erstwhile, though still legendary, Kingston covers band). On the other hand, I do prefer to write in the moment as far as possible. So, let’s just say it has been a bit of a week and a combination of illness and a persistent mouse that just won’t leave the house has left the Fifty3 Fridays cupboard somewhat bare this week. Nonetheless the show must go on so, while I take a short break from mouse surveillance, here is an apologetically truncated version of your usual Friday offering.

You might have caught Chris Rea’s cameo appearance on Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Christmas Fishing in December. It was the great man's 70th birthday yesterday. I’ve been a fan of the Middlesbrough maestro since the early 80s. He is a wonderful guitar player and gifted singer-songwriter, many of whose songs are inspired by his Teesside roots.


Last Saturday we were blessed by the appearance of the Snow Moon; the February full moon that usually marks the beginning of spring (though I thought Punxsutawney Phil had already called that). The moon looks especially large against the sky while at its shortest distance from the Earth. Anyhow, I thought I’d mark the two events by reprising the blissful title track to Chris Rea’s 1984 album, Wired To The Moon. Whoever you love, just keep them wired to the moon.


Photo of the Snow Moon by Rosalind Hardy

Here are some other songs I enjoyed this week, though without the full customary limpid prose. [No need to clap – Ed].


John Moods - “So Sweet So Nice”

Once of the band Fenster, Berlin’s Jonathan Jarzyna adopted the moniker John Moods to release a solo debut album in 2018. He’s now back with a dapper video to accompany this deceptively jaunty take on mortality with an 80's bounce, entitled "So Sweet So Nice".

Temptress – “SOS”

London-based R&B duo Temptress have been regularly releasing singles since 2016. I particularly like the DIY aesthetic the pair bring through its video for “SOS” and the evocative London street scenes, while the song is bright and chilled in all the right places.

Lindsay Munroe – “Need A Ride”

I really like the transatlantic slacker vibe Manchester’s Lindsay Munroe brings to her new single, “Need A Ride”. Confidently asserting the independent upside of a relationship break, she brings a sense of real swagger to self-isolation.

Mint Julep – “Pulse”

There’s another two weeks to wait till the Portland, Oregon wife and husband duo of Hollie and Keith Kenniff, aka Mint Julep, releases its new album, In a Deep & Dreamless Sleep. Meanwhile you can simply lose yourself in the heady atmospherics of “Pulse”.

BANDCAMP FRIDAY

There must be something about Fridays. Bandcamp is a platform where artistes can create their own online stores to promote and sell their music – physical and digital – along with merchandise. Today is a great day to support emerging acts as on the first Friday of the month, Bandcamp currently waives its revenue share to help support the many artistes and labels who have seen their livelihoods disrupted by the pandemic.


On Bandcamp Fridays, an average 93% of purchases reaches the artist/label (after payment processor fees). Make a purchase on any other day of the month, 82% of payments still go direct to the artist/label, so even if you don’t make it today, any day is still good.


FEBRUARY PLAYLIST

You can access a new Fifty3 Fridays Spotify Playlist each month. As long as the songs are listed on Spotify, it features all the songs from each month’s Fifty3 Fridays. The February Playlist with 22 songs in the order they appeared over the past 4 weeks in this column is HERE.


FIFTY3 champions

outstanding new music through Fifty3 Fridays and occasional features. 

 

Music is a great passion of mine. In my teenage years I was an avid record collector and concert goer. Stints as a booking agent, running folk clubs, promoting gigs and even a crack at artiste management followed. While it never became my main occupation, music was always on my personal radar.

 

During the past 11 years I have written for the leading US music website Consequence of Sound and breakthrough act site, BestNewBands. I am a judge for Glastonbury Festival's Emerging Talent Competition and have reviewed the festival for both the above sites.

 

Nothing gives me more pleasure than unearthing good, original new music and championing independent musicians. You’ll find many of them on this site alongside the occasional legend of times past and I hope they will bring  you as much joy as they give me.

Tony Hardy

UPCOMING GIGS 

 

Covid-19 has rather put paid to them but may I commend:

Mondays at 8pm: Cressida Ford's Almost Acoustic Show on Radio Scarborough

 

Wednesdays at 6pm: Hattie Briggs - live stream on FB & Insta

 

Daily on Twitter: Tim Burgess' Listening Party

Anytime for great live sets:  KEXP's YouTube channel 

banquetrecords.com: Kingston store is still physically closed but please support online. Check out live streaming shows too!

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