Pop: This Week's Album Releases



Live 1966: The Royal Albert Hall Concert


1966 WAS pop music's annus mirabilis: Revolver, Pet Sounds, Freak Out! and Blonde On Blonde were all released then, and Bob Dylan spent much of the year promoting the latter on a world tour, backed by his new band, The Hawks.

Within a few years, this particular concert had become the most celebrated of bootleg recordings. The sound was loud and uncompromising, and the usual response from Dylan's army of die-hard folk fans was angry bewilderment, captured here in the constant fusillade of boos, catcalls and slow handclaps.

Things are all right for the opening solo acoustic set: Dylan breezes through "Mr Tambourine Man" and "Desolation Row". But when he returns with The Hawks in tow, all hell breaks loose, each song greeted by noisy dissent. Things reach a head, ironically, after Dylan's scathing put- down of incomprehension, "Ballad Of A Thin Man", when some aggrieved old folkie shouts out "Judas!", to general audience acclaim. "I don't believe you!" spits back Dylan, before instructing the band, "Play fucking loud!", as they power into the climactic "Like a Rolling Stone". Faced with the combined volume and anger of the song - one of rock's most impassioned, triumphant performances - the audience is finally cowed. But too late: Bob and his band have gone, and the ensuing murmur as the crowd departs seems sheepish and embarrassed, particularly when it's shattered by the tinny recording of the national anthem which suddenly blares out across the hall. It's presumably included here as Dylan's tart commentary on insular British attitudes. Listen, he's saying, this is what these people are stuck with - what a pitiful bunch! He was right, too.


Without You I'm Nothing


SPARE A thought for the unfortunate recipients of Brian Molko's amorous attentions, dragged through the gutter here on songs such as "Brick Shithouse" and "Burger Queen". It's not unusual for songwriters to mine their own history for material, but rarely has it been done with such apparent lack of consideration for others. Molko still relies exclusively on the tease value of his ambivalent sexuality - nothing wrong with that, and nothing new about it, either - but the whiny, narcissistic theatricality of his voice is rarely tempered here with the suggestion that he might spare a thought about someone else.

This lends a somewhat sinister edge to songs of sexual infatuation like "Ask For Answers" and the title-track: he's either trawling for new victims, or exacting revenge on those who've spurned him, in the mistaken belief that his fanciful self-image ("I'm unclean, a libertine") excuses his behaviour. He's equally ruthless in the way he plays to sulky audience sensibilities on "You Don't Care About Us", a Manics-lite anthem of teen angst on which he claims "It's your age/It's my rage". He flatters himself.


Step Inside This House


LYLE LOVETT'S latest album takes its title from Guy Clark's classic song about the personal treasures (mementoes, photos, etc.) which define our histories - the bric-a-brac which, though worthless, has an intrinsic value beyond calculation. Thus are the 21 songs collected on these two discs, written by cult Texas icons such as Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Willis Alan Ramsey and Steve Fromholz, meant to represent Lovett's personal heirlooms of Texan identity, the treasures which determined his musical identity.

As such, there's a remarkable homogeneity of themes and approaches, with lots of songs about wanderlust, lost love, endless highways, dying towns, and getting out before things get you down - nowhere better expressed than in Walter Hyatt's "Babes in the Woods", a valedictory salutation to "those still on the road/and those on the road back". It's all impeccably performed, and undeniably moving at times, but it does beg an obvious question: if Texas is such an all-fired, wonderful place, how come they all dream of leaving so much?


The Perfect Kellulight


THE EXTRAORDINARY cover photo of Missouri quartet Flick's debut album refers back to the group's origins, when Oran and Trevor Thornton's older brother and musical mentor, Bradley, was killed in a car crash (though not the one in the photo). Spurred to commemorate him, they've come up with a more than usually interesting variation on the standard Smashing Pumpkins post-grunge style.

The basic sound of The Perfect Kellulight relies heavily on the ubiquitous fuzz- guitar riffs and sullen ennui of most American indie rock, but there's an imaginative approach to the details which give the music its particular character - the subdued speeding-engine noises on "The End", the gamelan tinkle that introduces "Electric Pear", and the sliding-plectrum noise in "Drag". Their appeal lies partly in their diffident ambition: apart from the single, "Freezer Burnt", which features Oran's curious falsetto, Trevor Thornton's intimate, understated vocals lend a strangely secretive atmosphere which sets them apart from most of their contemporaries. One to watch.



Go! Discs/Mercury

MORE OF the same from The Beautiful South, with the usual easy-listening music disguising uneasy sentiments. The dominant musical colour this time round is provided by noodling electric piano, which lends a subdued Seventies jazz-funk feel to several songs, minus most of the funk. Against this complacent-sounding backdrop, Paul Heaton and Dave Rotheray have inscribed their usual litanies of pessimism - the first couple of songs here find them claiming "flowers smell the sweeter the closer you are to the grave" and "suicide's just the anarchist that kicks down modesty", whatever that means.

They have two basic modes: sympathetic evocations of life's losers, such as "Window Shopping For Blinds" and Heaton's cri du coeur "I May Be Ugly"; and blunt bouts of sexual politics such as "Your Father and I" and "Perfect 10", the latter a risque love song on the theme of measurement. But though they take brave liberties with scansion, narrative and attitude, their courage ultimately fails them on the music, which seeks no more discerning an audience than Radio 2's.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Christopher Eccleston (centre) plays an ex-policeman in this cliché-riddled thriller

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey looks very serious as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

TV This TV review contains spoilers
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Wiz Khalifa performs on stage during day one of the Wireless Festival at Perry Park in Birmingham

Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury


Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars creator George Lucas


Arts and Entertainment


Arts and Entertainment
A shot from the forthcoming Fast and Furious 7


Arts and Entertainment
The new-look Top of the Pops could see Fearne Cotton returns as a host alongside Dermot O'Leary


Arts and Entertainment
The leader of the Church of Scientology David Miscavige


Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce, Boris Johnson, Putin, Nigel Farage, Russell Brand and Andy Murray all get the Spitting Image treatment from Newzoids
tvReview: The sketches need to be very short and very sharp as puppets are not intrinsically funny
Arts and Entertainment
Despite the controversy it caused, Mile Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video won multiple awards
musicPoll reveals over 70% of the British public believe sexually explicit music videos should get ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant in the fifth season of Game of Thrones

Arts and Entertainment

book review
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
    Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

    Confessions of a former PR man

    The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

    Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

    Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
    London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

    The mother of all goodbyes

    Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
    Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

    Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

    The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
    Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions