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So here we are again, looking to bring a few singers or bands who haven’t featured before on this particular version of the blog, some of which will have only come back into my mind as a result of me faffing about and tidying up the i-tunes. It’s ‘B’.

mp3 : Bad Lieutenant – Sink Or Swim

Back in 2008 it appeared that New Order had broken up for good this time, especially when Barney announced he was forming a new band which was to be called Bad Lieutenant, named after the infamous 1992 film which starred Harvey Keitel as a cop having a breakdown.  Phil Cunningham and Stephen Morris were also involved in the band and so in some ways you could almost look on it as a Hooky-less New Order.

After a couple of digital only singles, October 2009 saw the release of a debut album entitled Never Cry Another Tear.  I didn’t buy it immediately, deciding it was late enough in the year to wait to suggest to a few family members that it could eventually be a Christmas present.   It would have therefore been the following January that I finally listened to it.  It was dreadfully bland and unimaginative plod-rock, a view that didnt;t change on second listen a ew days later.

The third time it’s been played is the past few hours.  It still has no redeeming features.  It’s only on here as just about every other New Order spin-off has featured at some point or other.

mp3 : Banderas – This Is Your Life

I know for a fact this superb single from 1991 was posted on the old blog.

Banderas were a female duo consisting of Sally Herbert (keyboards/violin) and Caroline Buckley (vocals), both of whom were part of The Communards.  They released three singles and one album, calling on the likes of Jimmy Somerville, Johnny Marr and Bernard Sumner to play on the records while Stephen Hague was happy to occupy the producer’s chair.

Theirs is a sound not a million miles removed from the smoother synth-pop of the Pet Shop Boys but with a vocal contribution that is powerful yet soulful.  Sally and Caroline didn’t really play the game of fame in the pop world – they had crew cut haircuts and their dress sense could be best be described as androgynous – as they tried to demonstrate that female acts, especially in the dance field, did not need to be highly sexualised to be a success.

This Is Your Life was the debut and it was a deserved #16 hit in the singles chart.  For a follow-up, they chose the biting and uncompromising She Sells in which the use of the female image in advertising  to flog all sorts of products that are solely of appeal to men is given a good kicking over a catchy beat.  Sadly, the record stations and record buying public ignored it and before too long they called it a day.

mp3 : The Bats – Made Up In Blue

There will, I’m sure, be readers who are well qualified to tell the story of The Bats.  They’re a four-man line-up from New Zealand who have been making well-crafted and intelligent guitar music since 1987 apart from a short hiatus between 1995-2005 when bringing up children became the priority.  There’s been eight albums all told along with loads of singles and EPs.

I only discovered them through the internet having downloaded some songs from another blog – I wish I could say which but I genuinely don’t know.  The featured track is the lead track from an EP dating back to 1988, just after Daddy’s Highway, their debut album (partly recorded in New Zealand and in Glasgow!!) was released on Flying Nun Records.

mp3 : Bettie Serveete – Hell = Other People

Some indie-style music from the Netherlands.

Bettie Serveete initially consisted of Carol van Dijk (vocals and guitar), Peter Visser (guitar), Herman Bunskoeke (bass) and Berend Dubbe (drums). They initially tried to make a go of it in the mid 80s but to no avail.  By the time the four of them were in their 30s they tried again, this time with a fair degree of success and longevity with nine albums in a twenty year period from 1992, albeit they have gone through a succession of drummers since 1998.  The featured song is an album track from 2006

mp3 : Bloc Party – Banquet

Bit of a surprise that I’ve never mentioned Bloc Party before as I’m a fan of their debut album, the million-selling Silent Alarm, released back in 2005 (although I was horrified in looking it up to realise just how long ago it was!!).

My big problem with bands who emerged around that time was that I got interested in blogging back in 2006 and started focussing on nostalgia, not paying too much attention to new music unless it was on my doorstep in Scotland.  I’m sure Bloc Party have made great records since the debut but I haven’y actively sought any of it out.  If there’s ay long-time fans out there, then I’d be very happy to post an ICA….

Cheers.