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NDX live in Pompeii!

Well, a quarter of NDX that is…

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…

Michael Stipe’s favourite REM songs

The main man of arguably one of the world’s best ever bands told the Guardian recently what are his favourite REM songs and why in a fascinating interview, which you can read at the link below.

His top three might surprise most REM fans: World Leader Pretend (1988, Green), Country Feedback (1991, Out Of Time), Strange Currencies (1994, Monster).

It’s tough choosing your fave REM songs, but here’s my current top 10:
The One I Love
Strange (plus the NDX live version)
Fall On Me
Orange Crush
All The Way To Reno
The End Of The World As We Know It
Radio Free Europe
Drive
Losing My Religion
Everybody Hurts

What’s yours…?

Read the Guardian article…

Talent

 

What are the best horror movie locations?

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!

Anyway, enough of my pant-filling escapades. Here are 10 of the Guardian’s top horror movie locations, but more importantly what’s your favourite?

Talent

The 10 unluckiest albums

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…

 

Making The Old Grey Whistle Test

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!

Plus here’s a classic clip from the early days…

The most successful British musician… no one’s ever heard of

Ever heard of Steven Wilson, 49?

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.

NDX recommends… Joe Goddard

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!

NDX recommends… Jane Weaver

First popping onto the music seen back in 1993, Ms Weaver has since collaborated with numerous musical colleagues, formed a raft of bands and launched her own record label Bird Records in 2001.

She has released several solo recordings since, turning towards distinctly Krautrock tinged psychedelia for 2014’s Silver Globe, which received plenty of critical acclaim.

She honed this sound even further this year with the release of Modern Cosmology, the wonderful title track of which you can hear at the link below.

Jane’s touring the UK this autumn – we’re going, are you?

Hidden gem… Please by U2

Their recent gig close to my home at Twickenham Stadium prompted me to put all my U2 albums on shuffle on my iPod in my car and made me realise just how good they are.

Ask many people what their least favourite U2 album is and they’ll probably say the 1997 experimental POP. That’s a shame, because the Nineties trio of releases Acting Baby, Zooropa and POP contain some of the mega-group’s more inventive and exciting music.

‘Please’ slips under the radar as POP’s track 11, but exceeds all expectations through it’s brooding dubby groove, haunting lyrics and chugging, funky guitar. Magnificent!

U2 may no longer – or have ever really been – hip, but they have chucked out some kicking tunes!

 

By Talent

NDX recommends… Ryley Walker

The large West Holtz stage at Glastonbury wasn’t the best place to discover Ryley Walker’s intimate acoustic folk jazz musings, but it was still amazing to see this young guitar troubadour at work – his accomplished finger picking guitar style and gonzo jazz backing band.

At once reminiscent of a cross between John Martyn and Tim Buckley, he takes music back to the early Seventies, but adds a sharp urban Chicago edge to his lyrics.

Our choice of track Sullen Mind is off Ryley’s latest album out in 2016, the wonderfully titled Golden Sings That Have Been Sung, is a wonderful rambling opus that builds into a full on 40 minute wig out live.

http://ryleywalker.com