Known Pleasures – Guy Keeble
Posted on July 12, 2017
Guy Keeble is Head of Commercial Entertainments and Sport at MEN Media and as a veteran of working in Mancunian Media knows a thing or two about the arts scene in this great city.
Guy gives us his thoughts on some tracks he is currently spinning.
A Lover’s Holiday (A Jim Burgess Mix)
When it comes to my usual listening habits I’m very much a man of guitar – indie, alternative, folk – if it’s got six strings as it’s central sound, I’m in. However more recently I’ve been on a bit more of a disco tip, specifically the ‘Post Disco’ period circa late 1979 through to the mid 80s when DJs and producers started to push the boundaries of more commercial disco music that had come before. If you’re looking to dig into stuff, get on some of the remixes of Larry Levan who had held the pioneering club nights at The Paradise Garage in New York. This track in particular though is an absolute gem. Staccato key boards, funky bass, soulful almost gospel like vocals…I challenge you not to dance.
Third of May / Odaigahara
This lot have been around for sometime now, with their self titled debut released back in 2008. A combination of folky, pastoral tales, lifted by Robin Pecknold’s unbelievable, cherubic vocals. After a few years hiatus they released their third LP Crack Up back in June. At first I wasn’t overly taken with it. However it’s rich tapestry of tunes soon comes into focus. For me, you can’t beat a record that rewards with repeated listens. It almost becomes addictive and you end up thinking about the tracks even when you’re not listening to them (maybe that’s just me!). This, the bands first single from the album, is it’s centrepiece. Perhaps more accessible than some of the other tracks it showcases their new richer sound brilliantly.
After beginning their career with an anthemic sound, best displayed on the appropriately titled debut ‘Funeral’, Arcade Fire have gone all disco on us. Perhaps influenced by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy who worked with them on previous release Reflektor, the band are now all synths, chirpy backing vocals and low slung funky bass lines. Bit mad on paper but it works brilliantly. First single Everything Now, though only released 2 months ago, has classic written all over it.
Rain or Shine
I heard this on it’s ‘initial airing’ when the band won the Mercury Music Prize back in 2014. Though it’s inclusion on the excellent soundtrack to Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting 2 brought it back to my attention more recently. One of the most immediate tracks in years. You can tell they really mean it (and that’s rarer than it should be these days). Genre bending…one second it’s punk, the next it’s hip-hop. All sung urgently over a jerky Hammond organ. Doesn’t get much more post-modern than that.
Tell Me, Momma (The Real Albert Hall album – London, 1966)
I couldn’t do this without including something by Bob Dylan. I’m obsessed by him and never far away from listening to something from his seemingly endless back catalogue. That’s the thing with Dylan, there’s so much to dig into, so many different sounds, approaches, even genres, that you’re constantly unearthing a new part of the story. I came across this recently, a live version of the ‘Real Albert Hall’ concert in London 1966 (not the more famous, yet endlessly misnamed gig that had actually taken place at Manchester’s Free Trade Hall). This was bootlegged for years, subsequently receiving a deserved official release on ‘The 1966 Live Recordings’ box-set in 2008. ‘Tell Me, Momma’ starts off with a gentle strum of an electric guitar before exploded into a loud blues onslaught. This is Dylan at his cool, sneering best. Very aware that his audience were pinning him into their own box of being a folk singer, the voice of their generation, he wanted nothing of the sort. Consciously pushing the boundaries with an attitude of a man knowingly way ahead of his peers.’