“Fancy listening to something which is going to brighten your day and get your body pumping in no time? The rhythm section could even get your granny, tapping her foot. Musically, they are in top form.”
In case you hadn’t already guessed it, the psychedelic Sixties are a major influence on the NDX sound, along with soul, funk and garage rock. In a tribute to the psychedelic era, our bass player Amar ‘The Groovemeister’ Grover has developed some striking versions of an image shot at one of London’s most iconic venue The Fiddler’s Elbow last year.
Liberally wielding digital photo effects, he’s created a short burst of vibrant – almost – blinding pictures, which you can find on our Facebook page.
Whether you’re old enough to remember them or not, the classic teen movies of the 1980s are worth checking out – if only for the fashion and, of course, the music!
Led by US director John Hughes, they launched a genre that has proved enduring ever since. Arguably the original and best was The Breakfast Club soundtracked with the classic Simple Minds anthem Don’t You Forget About Me. Although the band we’re about to venture beyond their sell-by date, this remains a great song and sets the scene for what is a masterful coming-of-age flick.
Brat packers Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson and Anthony Michael Hall led the cast and proved to be a blueprint for what followed.
(Re) Discover the best sounds that brought these movies alive with the Guardian’s take on the best songs from teen movies below. Which are your favourites?
Hot off the press, here’s an exclusive shot of NDX bass player The Groovemeister performing solo in the classic venue used by rock gods Pink Floyd for their seminal movie Live In (you guessed it…) Pompeii.
As you can see, Mr G’s performance without any instruments was just as enthralling as the Floyd’s.
After leaving the amphitheatre to a standing ovation (from his wife and kids – almost as big an audience as commanded by the legendary prog rockers), Groover said: “There’s now a small ‘exhibition’ here paying homage to the Floyd filming their live ‘concert’ here (with an audience of about 10 – the film crew, roadies, etc) in 1972, plus clips on a loop. Very satisfying indeed,” adding: “Roman stuff a bit of a bonus!”
Here’s a slice of the Floyd in action in 1972 playing the amazing One Of These Days.
Meanwhile, here’s their outstanding axe man David Gilmour playing the same track on his return in 2016… bit more of a crowd there this time! Which performance is best? You decide…
At NDX, we love a bit of horror, and integral to every great shock flick is a wonderful, often eerie location. One of my favourite’s isn’t a town or and city, but a house – the one where Poltergeist is set.
I watched the movie for the first time in the 1980s with my housemates at the time. We were renting in South Harrow in London and bizarrely the fridge was in the living room close to the TV. The room was dark as the film played. One of the guys opened the fridge to grab a beer. The light from the fridge filled the room, just like when a door opens to a room occupied by the poltergeist in the movie. Needless to say, I shat myself!
I’m not sure that this is really the case, but this feature by Radio X is certainly a good read. Here’s my favourite of the 10, and you can read the rest here.
6. Ride – Tarantula
Oxford’s Ride were indie royalty at the start of the 90s. Their second album, Going Blank Again, went Top 5 in 1992 in an era when indie was still a minority pursuit. But when label Creation signed a little-known Manchester group called Oasis, Ride were no longer the golden boys. Their fourth album, Tarantula, was released on March 11 1996 and deleted one week later. Andy Bell later sought solace by joining Oasis. If you can’t beat ’em…
Whether you’re old enough or not to have ever watched an original edition of The Old Grey Whistle Test when it was first broadcast, it’s highly likely you’ve seen archive clips on BBC4, which frequently plunders its back catalogue when airing one of its many music retrospectives.
Every member of NDX can remember the first presenter Whispering Bob Harris, who acquired the moniker on account of his low key presenting style, which was simply as result of him never having presented anything on TV before and lacking any kind of confidence.
It ran from 1971 to 1988 with Annie Nightingale taking over from Bob to herald the punk and new wave era. With only really Top Of The Pops providing access to new popular music on TV, TOGWT was a must watch for anyone wanting something that wasn’t mainstream or in the charts. Pretty much anyone who released a record in the UK in the 70s and 80s was on the show, whether that was Captain Beefheart, Roxy Music, King Crimson, The Damned, Dire Straits, U2 or many more…
The name always fascinated me. I still think it’s one of the best and most appropriate TV programme names ever. The name was derived from a Tin Pan Alley phrase. Whenever a new record was pressed up, it would be played to doormen. They were know as Old Greys, because they wore grey suits. If they could remember a song after one or two plays and whistle the tune, then the record was said to have passed The Old Grey Whistle Test. What a great way to test out a catchy tune!
Click here to read The Guardian’s interview with Bob and Annie about the making of the show. It really did bring ‘album’ bands to the masses!
No, not that guy in the accounts department at work, the rock star who recently sold out two nights at The Royal Albert Hall.
The chances are you haven’t. Yet his latest album To The Bone topped the UK charts this summer.
To those who know him, he’s a minor music god; to those who don’t he’s invisible.
Perhaps that’s because the 49-year-old has been dubbed ‘the king of progressive rock’ – not the coolest of genres. Perhaps it’s his age and the fact that he wears classic NHS black-rimmed glasses. Who knows?
The truth is that his music isn’t really that prog at all. More emotive AOR really. His new single Permeating is described by The Guardian as “unashamedly euphoric pop inspired by ELO and Abba”.
Check out the track Pariah below from his new album and make your own mind up.
As you can imagine, the invisible ‘king of prog’ has been around for a bit. He has recorded 50 albums most of which aren’t remotely prog. He has done ambient noise (as Bass Communion), postmodern psychedelic rock (as Porcupine Tree) and dreamy trip-hop (as No-Man). So perhaps it’s the genre-hopping nature of Mr Wilson that has kept him out of the spotlight – as soon as it hits him, he moves on.
Whether you like his music or not – and his new single gets the NDX stamp of approval – there’s no doubt Steven Wilson is quite a phenomenon.
For anyone familiar with excellent electro-pop maestros Hot Chip, Joe Goddard is the thick set bearded member, who generally plays a background, but vital, role in the band – although recently he seems to have dropped the beard!
A couple of months ago he released his first solo album, Electric Lines, which has some trademark Hot Chip moments, but is an altogether dancier affair, with gloriously hypnotic beats and sumptuous production, delivering some great songs.
I believe Music Is The Answer was his first solo single – it’s great and so is the video!