September 27, 2013


The observant among you will notice that this blog, if not quite dead, is certainly resting.

However I still receive a steady stream of enquiries from all over the world asking for help in researching information for books, TV projects, pHD’s, websites etc.

To save me replying individually here are the pertinent facts.

I don’t have an exact list or searchable database of the copies I own, nor can I easily search for reviews, interviews etc. other than picking up the physical copy and scanning each page. This seems to come as a surprise to many, particularly those born into a world where Google and the internet have always existed. In case it appears otherwise, this blog is not the product of a small business start-up. This blog is the product of a single, recently divorced man, sitting alone in a room late at night and manually scanning pages of old music mags with a shitty home scanner.

If you want to find a specific article or research your pHD then the place to start is at the British Library (in London) which holds a complete archive of all MM and NME’s.

You need to register for a reader pass and the best thing to do is to pre-register online. You will need to bring proof of your identity and your address (and your student ID if you have any).

You can search most of the catalogue with your pre-registration.

When you request something it will usually take up to 70 minutes for them to give it to you. If you need to get a particular book, it may take up to 48 hours so that ideally you request everything a couple of days beforehand.

However, all the magazines, NME, Melody Maker, Mojo, Select etc. etc. can be accessed straight away in the Humanities 2 area. They are grouped by year in big book sleeves. You can just take them out, read them, take notes (only pencils and laptops are allowed)

You can photocopy and scan articles. As the magazine paper sizes are really big (at least the old ones are) you are only allowed to scan them which is quite expensive. It’s 37p per scan. Museum staff will watch you so there’s no way around it. Alternatively, if you have a smart phone, apps like CamScanner do a good job of scanning a page such that it’s readable, albeit not reproducible in print or broadcast TV

You can’t remove any of the books or magazines from the library.

I hope this helps.

My thanks again to all the writers, photographers and bands that made this pre-internet period of music journalism so vibrant and exciting.



The Third Coming

July 3, 2012

If you’ve found this due to the recent Stone Roses gigs then welcome. This blog has been dormant for a while but it’s not dead, just resting. I’m still planning its resurrection but in the meantime, rest assured, I still read and approve all comments and contact messages. Charles

2010 in review

January 2, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 100,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 4 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 34 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 318 posts. There were 40 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 96mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was March 14th with 852 views. The most popular post that day was Melody Maker review of May 1987 with staff picks by Carol Clerk.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for damon albarn, sinead o’connor, kurt cobain, the cult, and caitlin moran.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Melody Maker review of May 1987 with staff picks by Carol Clerk October 2008


Steve Sutherland interviews Damon Albarn, 16th September 1995 June 2009


Sinead O’Connor N.M.E. cover 1988 May 2008


Barry Egan interviews Sinead O’ Connor, 29th October 1988 November 2008


Damon Albarn on the cover of NME, 16th September 1995 July 2008
1 comment

Backlash edited by Simon Price, 9th December 1995

“Do you love anyone enough to give them your last Romo?”

Yes I’ve dusted off the scanner and once again sit scanning ephemeral pop trivia late into the night. There’s been too many requests in the intervening months for me to try and fulfil, this just caught my eye. Got love Pricey tearing Pearl to shreds, although I do quite like her Price Cube dig. Anyway…I guess this goes with this.

Oh and Andy Catlin got in touch. Go to his website to see nice pictures.

Taylor Parkes reviews The Stone Roses 9th December 1995

Taylor Parkes reviews The Stone Roses, 9th December 1995. Photo Mark Benney.

“…and the collected non-old people of Bridlington and its surrounding villages go bananas (raisins, coconuts, sultanas)”

It’s terrible but it made me smile; and the glaring indignity of the fact that Brown has managed to carve out some sort of post-Roses career while Squire has retreated to his painting is underlined by the subsequent review.

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Blur Oasis on the cover of Melody Maker, 9th December 1995

Blur / Oasis on the cover of Melody Maker, 9th December 1995. Photo by Tom Sheehan.

So last night I saw the Blur doc, No Distance Left To Run which left me feeling a little disjointed. It’s hard to put my finger on why. I suppose, as the cliché goes, I’ve grown up with Blur. But it’s more than simple nostalgia. They’ve somehow bisected with my life in a way that no other band has and while I watched Blur’s youthful exuberance become slowly grubbied by alcohol, cynicism and (whisper it) heroin, I was repeatedly reminded of my various triumphs and failures. Mostly failures. Fuck it, it is just nostalgia isn’t it?

I was at art college in London in 1990, not Goldsmiths, but one very close by. One group of friends had come from Colchester art college and were good friends with Damon’s sister. One even ended up marrying her. It all came back last night and more.

I remember how I heard Leisure at a BBQ weeks before it was released. I remember Damon running off to get the tube after coming to our graduation show; and how shortly afterwards, Modern Life is Rubbish, ended up sound tracking my hateful commuter walk during the misery of my first full time job. I remember the lonely walks from Hackney to The Barbican on Sunday afternoons. I remember the Subterranea and how you could often find Damon puking his guts up in the toilets. I remember Britpop, the Loaded parties and the hangover that kicked in around 98 when we all suddenly realised we weren’t young anymore and had stopped talking to each other. I remember the scurrilous rumours, the friends boyfriend who’d shagged Justine and how I’ve had to leave that life behind me. I remember thinking how much they’d done and how little I’d done. I guess I felt sorry for myself.

But most of all…most of all, I remember thinking…make another fucking record.

Here’s a great recording of the pre-Blur Seymour, clips of which were shown in the doc.

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Carol Clerk R.I.P.

March 14, 2010

Carol Clerk lost her battle with cancer over the weekend. If you’ve arrived at AMP to find out more info then there’s some discussion about it here on the ILXOR forum with some links to her work. Clearly The Quietus are planning on running a tribute in the week to come but until then ET has posted up a piece on his blog. Here’s a real-time Twitter search and here’s a memorial Facebook page.

Only 2 pieces from Carol in AMP unfortunately, type Carol Clerk into the search box to find them. Hopefully more to come soon.

Ian Gittins interviews Happy Mondays, 28th November 1987

Very early interview with the Mondays. Oh how the time has simply *flown* by. Don’t believe me? Well compare and contrast the above with this recent gem.

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Hofmeister Ad, 28th November 1987

Further proof that Hofmeister Lager definitely wasn’t deliberately marketed to under age drinkers. I mean just because George the Bear is pictured with party balloons, clutching a Virgin megastore bag and blowing a streamer it’s just CO-INCIDENTAL! Ten years later you could flog 2-4-1 vodka Hooch lemonades and no one gave a shit. Thankfully, these days it seems like some of us have finally grown-up.

Best thing I’ve seen this week is this fantastic (and growing) Flickr set of scanned in Smash Hits. 1979-1980 there so far but looks like it’s being done chronologically so one to keep checking back on. I’ve thought about doing this with AMP over the years (gosh years! plural) and this convinces me I should.

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Jonh Wilde interviews Public Enemy, 28th November 1987

Jonh Wilde interviews Public Enemy, 28th November 1987. Photos by Andy Catlin.

Good to hear from Kulkarni regarding this issue in the comments. Here’s the interview that “utterly changed [his] life forever”. Hope it stirs happy memories.