Wednesday, 3 January 2018


It has become virtually impossible to listen to the radio, switch on the television or enjoy an artisan pork pie in Manchester’s trendy Northern Quarter without being confronted by the ubiquitous bristles of Elbow frontman Guy Garvey. When not presenting his own 6Music radio show, he’ll be chatting to Lauren Laverne or Marc Riley about the latest Elbow studio album, best-of Elbow album, Guy Garvey solo record or collaboration with I Am Kloot.

He’s only gone and broken into television too, adding profound wisdom as a talking head on last year’s BBC4 Tom Waits documentary (“If I did what Tom Waits did, I’d be kicked out of Elbow”), ruining The Beatles on the John Lewis Christmas advert, and playing a cameo role in the acclaimed sitcom Peter Kay Berates A Ditzy Woman Who Is Deemed Less Intelligent Than Him In A Small Car For 30 Minutes.

It turns out all this was merely the first phase of Guy Garvey’s sinister plan to dominate the entire BBC schedule, as demonstrated by this glimpse at the forthcoming listings...

Desert Guyland Discs
Each week Kirsty Young asks a celebrity castaway to select which eight Elbow songs they would take to a desert island. They can also take a book with them, besides their complimentary proof copy of Garvey’s forthcoming autobiography Good Guy To All That. Episode 1’s guest is none other than the legendary Sir Guy Garvey.

The Guy At Night
Not content with his daytime monopoly of the media, Garvey sleeps soundly while amiable scientists Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Brian Cox provide running commentary on the astronomical beauty of the snoring giant.

Elbow Selecta!
A reboot of Leigh Francis’ vulgar sketch show in which Garvey plays a grotesque caricature of resurrected chart botherer Craig David. Unlike Francis, Garvey doesn’t require a latex mask because his face is already unfeasibly huge.

Stars In Their Guys
The timely relaunch of the Matthew Kelly-presented talent contest in which members of the public impersonate pop stars. The twist here is that every single week all the contestants are forced to mimic the one and only Guy Garvey. It’s still less monotonous than The X Factor.

Les Misera-Elbows
Big budget movie adaptation of the successful Broadway Elbow musical set in the nineteenth-century French town of Angoul√™me which as we all know is twinned with Bury, Greater Manchester. Craig Potter plays the anonymous “Elbow Member 00002”, imprisoned for stealing a loaf out of Doves’ feeble indie shtick. Sing along at home, everybody: “I dreamed a dream of Garvey, Guy / Rugged, handsome, Seldom Seen Kidding / I dreamed a dream of Garvey, Guy / Though I found his music to be middling...”

Thursday, 21 December 2017


King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Have A Flying Banana
With seven members, two drummers and a flagrant disregard for patience, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard released more albums in 2017 than Donald Trump sent spectacularly ill-informed tweets. The first of about 692 LPs was performed entirely on customised hollowed-out fruit and consisted of one 45-minute Australian psych-rock reinterpretation of the classic cockney knees-up ‘Let’s All Go Down The Strand And Have A Banana’.

Morrissey - Low In IQ
On his eleventh solo album, indie rock’s surliest martyr stuck it the to the nefarious forces of the mainstream media by unleashing a much-needed truth bomb on the sedated minds of the sheep-like public. Via his MOR warblings Morrissey informed us that Queen Elizabeth II, Emmanuel Macron, Michelle Obama, Barry Scott from the Cillit Bang adverts, Ant & Dec, Jamie Redknapp and The Weeknd are all sinister illuminati lizard people. You just have to squint your eyes a bit and spend too much time by yourself in an LA mansion. The Mozfather also revealed that our tap water has been laced with fluoride with the express purpose of making the public more susceptible to the art of Banksy who is secretly a double-agent of MI5, that Lena Dunham was an inside job, Ellen Degeneres died in a tragic accident back in the 1990s and was replaced by a doppelganger of Owen Wilson, Hurricane Maria was faked by the BBC news, no one will let you say Christmas anymore, and Israel proudly invented the banoffee pie.

Queens Of The Stone Age - Bellends
Oh come on, he didn’t mean to kick her in the head. He was just trying to help her get a better shot of the underside of his shoe. Anyway, you can’t even boot an innocent female photographer in the head anymore without being hounded by the alt-left forces of oppression. It’s political correctness gone mad! She was probably fat and ugly anyway which is why she’s behind the camera instead of in front of it like lovely Kate Moss. I bet she has no sense of humour and I could easily beat her in an arm-wrestling contest, wrote Giles Coren in his latest column for The Times.

LCD Soundsystmeh - Amehrican Dreameh
In 2011 Jamehs Mehrphy disbanded LCD Soundsystmeh even though the act is essentially just him anyway. This year Jamehs Mehrphy returned with a new LCD Soundsystmeh album. The whole thing was orchestrated to make money and everybody was fine with that, as that is what music is for. Mehking lots and lots of mehny.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Polywonkyplonkywoowoo
By mid-April, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard were already on their 116th album of the year. Building on the 115th’s innovative fusion of tinned spaghetti instrumentals and operatic Go Compare vocal work, Polywonkyplonkywoowoo was a concept album in three chapters which narrated the interlocking stories of Zuko: Destroyer Of Planets, Flabby Ian The Moss Monster and a final character based loosely on the classic Sega Master System protagonist Alex Kidd. All this was set to a furious neo-psych post-prog soundtrack complete with complex polyrhythmic freebop cyber beats. So quite similar to Elbow’s Little Fictions, then.

Arcade Fire - Everything Foul
One of the most irritating promotional campaigns in recent times saw Arcade Fire impose a strict dress code at their concerts which dictated that no audience member was allowed to wear a band t-shirt bearing the name of any musical group objectively superior to Arcade Fire. That didn’t exactly narrow it down. The campaign rolled on with Arcade Fire claiming ownership of the millennial pastime of eating Subway sandwiches while watching repeats of The Big Bang Theory on their iPhone in a crowded quiet coach.

Then all of a sudden the whole thing was revealed as an elaborate hoax. Not just their most recent album rollout but also Arcade Fire’s entire career, including even Funeral when they were still good. It had all been one long spoof conceived by Jim Carrey when he believed he was the resurrected spirit of Andy Kaufman with some assistance from that Lee Nelson bloke.

Liam Gallagher- As You Wad
When the ex-Oasis frontman announced the first solo album of his career, few expected to it to consist entirely of songs originally performed by the British reggae outfit Aswad. Despite some critics having expressed discomfort with Gallagher’s brazen appropriation of black culture, most agreed that the material was not as dubious as Gorillaz. Without any doubt, As You Wad proved significantly more successful than the second album by Beady Eye, 2013’s UBE40.

First a footballer, then Guy Ritchie’s go-to movie hard man, and now an award-winning multi-instrumentalist who’s every bit as handy with a slide whistle as he used to be with a sliding tackle, there really is no end to the talent of Vinnie Jones. Many of the songs were said to be inspired by the impressive eyebrows of Eric Cantona, one exception being the opening track ‘Hang On Me’ which was written from the point of view of Gazza’s trouser plums. The record fared better than that terrible X-Men film he once did, even if St Vinnie lacks the effortlessly cool charisma of Lana Del Ray Wilkins.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard featuring King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Fuzzy Wuzzy Pomegranate Gasblimp Part I
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s 442nd album of the year was their most ambitiously conceptual work to date. Using innovative Holodeck technology and formal advice from The Ghost Of Christmas Yet-To-Come, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard 2017 were able to collaborate with their future selves in the form of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard circa 2049. Together the cross-period 14-person supergroup managed to create the busiest psych-rock album since King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s 441st album of 2017. No band needs four drummers, mind.

Richard Dawson - Pheasant
Prior to his latest release, everyone had assumed that the alt-folk troubadour was a north-eastern everyman. It turns out that he was a privileged member of the landed gentry all along, as Dawson (real name Richard “Dickie” Davenport-Fiennes IV) revealed in this concept album about the illustrious history of his favourite game bird. Little has been heard of Dawson since his latest gig at Islington Assembly Hall, although sources close to Nicholas Witchell claim to have seen him playing an aggressive round of croquet with Princess Eugenie after a night on the razzle with Ed Sheeran and The Bluntmeister.

Saturday, 7 October 2017


Following the success of Josh Homme’s rendition of Julia Donaldson’s Zog on the CBeebies channel, the BBC have booked a succession of other desert rockers to read bedtime stories.

However, the ambitious scheme has already run into various setbacks as it turns out that most desert rockers do not possess the same level of professionalism as the hardworking and charismatic singer from Queens Of The Stone Age.

For example, Homme’s ex-bandmate Nick Oliveri was forced to cancel his intended recital of Where The Wild Things Are after proving wilder than any of the wild characters from Maurice Sendak’s classic tale by driving naked down the Pacific Coast highway with a kidnapped radio promoter in his car boot while firing an unlicensed assault rifle at the sky.

The starkers bassist’s intended replacement, Scott Wino of Saint Vitus, informed BBC staff that he was venturing into the Californian desert to research his performance of an extract from Louis Sachar’s Holes but was last spotted in a confused haze, circling around and around the same cactus while muttering prayers to Helios God of the Sun.

Perhaps the most farcical booking to date comes in the form of the stoner trio Sleep who, having being asked to narrate a picture book together, are thought to have confused what is meant by a “joint” reading. An inside source said that the band has been holed up in the same BBC broom cupboard for the last 18 months with marijuana smoke seeping constantly out of the crack under the door. “Having said that,” added the source, “it’s nothing compared to the scenes of degradation that defined the Andi Peters era.”

At the time of writing, Sleep’s story is still intended for broadcast although producers have voiced concern that the band’s hour-long meditation on Each Peach Pear Plum is never going to squeeze into its proposed 10-minute broadcast slot.

Friday, 28 July 2017


Contemporary journalism has been widely criticised for eschewing traditional investigative practices, nuanced politico-social commentary and specialist arts criticism in favour of desperate and nihilistic click-hungry ranking. Ranking members of the Kardashian family. Ranking singles by Ranking Roger. Ranking yourself into apathetic numbness as the world around us slowly burns.

Here at Spinal Bap we are not above such unashamed rankery and seeing as Arcade Fire have a new cassette tape out or something and they’ve appealed to complete rankers since day one, we thought we might as well rank all their albums.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the order we came up with!

In first place we have the first Arcade Fire album, obviously. Released in 2004, Funeral offered everything from a semi-tragic back-story to a post-Godspeed propensity for additional viola players. The album earned an unprecedented nine-point-infinity rating from Pitchfork even though it contained nothing that Hope Of The States hadn’t already nailed. Still, there’s no denying this was their first album.

Neon Bible
Arcade Fire’s difficult second album was difficult for the band to make and even more difficult to be excited about unless you happened to work in the offices of Pitchfork. It had that song about cars on it and, y’know, that other one, the other one about the cars. It was better than what was to follow, however, and anyone who disagrees has clearly lost their bag of spherical rolling toys.

The Suburbs
Arcade Fire’s difficult third album is also third in the respect that it is their third best. Not to be confused with a competition from the pages of an upper-class Victorian periodical, Win Butler is the frontman of Arcade Fire. Win described The Suburbs as a cross between Depeche Mode and Neil Young even though neither of those artists peaked with their debut album. Pitchfork were euphoric once more, comparing the record to The Clash’s Sandinista!, Bruce Springsteen’s catch-all genius and The Earth by a supreme being known to some humans as “God”.

If their third-released and third-best album was a little on the long side, Arcade Fire’s difficult fourth album was a never-ending road trip down the dull freeway of Win Butler’s self-indulgence. Across two discs produced by the confidence man who pretended to split up LCD Soundsystem, Reflektor explored dance-rock, art-rock and dub reggae, but mainly dance-rock. New Order remained untroubled. Pitchfork remained in thrall, enjoying the results as much as oxygen, orgasms or cake.

Everything Now
Everything? No. Not with a title track that sounds exactly like Dan Gillespie-Sells from The Feeling covering ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ in an ABBA wig with a panpipe breakdown. Arcade Fire’s difficult follow-up to their difficult fourth album was marketed in an even more patronising fashion than Radiohead’s previous six promotional campaigns combined. The actual music, which they’d spent less time on, was so bad that even Pitchfork scored it lower than the third Kaiser Chiefs LP.

Monday, 10 July 2017


Nostalgic fans who are only interested in Neil Young’s boring old material will be thrilled to learn than the cantankerous Canadian will finally release one of his long-lost albums on July 14. Hitchhiker was originally recorded in 1976 but the material was binned when Young became distracted with other projects such as cocaine.

Young isn’t the only musician with an album or twelve tucked away at the back of his audio pantry. Here are six more records that have yet to see the light of day that it would literally be worth injecting your own grandmother with a lethal dose of diamorphine to hear.

Green Day - Cigarettes And Valentines And The Same Three Chords
The Californian trio abandoned this album when its master tapes were stolen by a benevolent Robin Hood figure hoping to spare the masses from yet more Green Day. Instead, Billy Bobby Thornton and co. dusted themselves off and wrote the bloated concept album American American. But what would that original album have sounded like? Pop-punk, obviously. Working titles included ‘Oi Oi’, ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah’, ‘Boohoo Ballad’, ‘Spank Spank’ and ‘Mickey The Mohawk’s Tragic Tale Of Social Security Woe (Woe, Woe, Woah)’.

U2 - Trilogy
According to Bono’s water-polo partner George W. Bush, U2 have at least three albums worth of unreleased material which ranges from bombastic arena rock to acoustic arena rock. I’m not surprised because one of them once slipped down the back of Bono’s sofa only to find its way into my iTunes library and now I can’t delete it without the webcam taking my picture without permission and automatically adding my name to a secret government list of known atheists.

Donald J. Trump - The Art Of Making A Really Really Great Album Like A True Champ
Much like Jesus, little is known about Donald Trump’s teenage years other than he was almost certainly a precocious tool. One theory is that the young Donald spent much of that time working on an ambitious space-prog concept album inspired by Orson Welles, golden shiny things and several books he hasn’t read. It is thought that Trump abandoned his musical aspirations when it finally dawned on him that he could not operate any grown-up instruments with such tiny hands. He then decided to focus on his second dream of becoming America’s least qualified human.

Billy Joel - Everything Since 1993
In a reversal of the hideous portrait in Dorian Gray’s attic, the songs Billy Joel records in his secluded basement are as sprightly and vibrant as the work of his youth while, externally speaking, Joel slowly transforms into a pink fleshy egg. In concert, Joel’s piano has to be secured to the stage floor with extra reinforced bolts to prevent it from being sucked into the air by the force of an entire arena crowd gasping in unison at this upsetting reminder of mortal decline.

Gary Barlow - Eyebrow Of The Tiger
At the nadir of his portly wilderness years, Gary Barlow recorded an entire concept album dedicated to his own right eyebrow. Tracks included ‘Back For Eyebrow’, ‘Everything Eyebrows’, ‘A Million Eyebrows’, ‘How Deep Is Your Eyebrow’, ‘It Only Takes An Eyebrow’, ‘I Will Eviscerate Robbie Williams And Feed His Gunky Entrails To That Prickhole Max Beesley’ and ‘Relight My Eyebrow’. Gary Barlow’s right eyebrow was so touched by the gesture that it has remained raised in erotic stimulation ever since.

Noel Gallagher, John Zorn and Autechre - Vol. 1: Definitely Quabungzizz-X
A couple of years ago, word got out that the ex-Oasis songwriter had recorded a whole album in collaboration with the avant-garde composer John Zorn and groundbreaking electronic duo Autechre. Regrettably, Gallagher shelved the project when he suddenly remembered that it could jeopardise his long-cultivated reputation as Britain’s dullest musician.

Saturday, 8 April 2017


Most of the time the phrase “Easter egg” will make you think of stuffing your insatiably greedy face with Lindt rabbits while intravenously injecting the gunk from a Cadbury’s Creme Egg directly into your bloodstream. However, in the world of video games, films and software, “Easter egg” doesn’t have anything to do with the resurrection of Christ. It basically means hidden messages or secret quirks, like when pressing up-down-left-right-left-right-start-up-up-up-down-up-down-up-poweroff-start-pause-pause during Level Three of Desert Strike for the Sega Megadrive would reveal a bonus cut scene in which defenceless Iraqi hostages were murdered in cold blood by Gilius Thunderhead from Golden Axe.

There are plenty of them in music too, including secret songs, backwards voices and loads of other rubbish. Here are five of the best Easter eggs in music. Please don’t tell us your own favourites in the comments below.

The Beatles - Her Majesty
Not listed on the original sleeve, this track was never intended for inclusion on Abbey Road given that it is essentially Paul McCartney’s confession to having an unhealthy sexual obsession with Elizabeth II. In recent years, the ex-Beatle has taken stalking to new extremes by following the queen wherever she goes while encouraging strangers to continuously repeat the “na na na” bit from ‘Hey Jude’ in an unending, maddening loop until she finally agrees to wed him.

Nirvana - Endless Nameless Pointless Celebrities
When Nirvana’s Nevermind was released in 1991, listeners were shocked to discover that if they waited long enough for ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ to end then they’d be bombarded by 12 more tracks of self-pitying grunge pop. Similarly, listeners who waited long enough for Nirvana to end were subsequently bombarded by Dave Grohl’s own horrifying Easter egg which he named The Foo Fighters.

Tool - 10,000 Days
If you play all the tracks on Tool’s 2006 album 10,000 Days at the same time while simultaneously holding separate sleeves of the LP up to windows on opposite sides of the room, then a hologram of lead singer Maynard James Keenan (pictured above) will appear and gleefully announce that there will be eight Pucifer records, another A Perfect Circle reformation and three more appearances of Halley’s Comet before the next Tool album arrives, you patient maggots.

Desert Sessions - Shepherd’s Pie
Absent from some copies of the album, this piss-around track was reputedly inspired by the delicious shepherd’s pie that PJ Harvey (pictured above) cooked for Josh Homme, Twiggy Ramirez, Chris Goss and other rockin’ rockers as they recorded together in the Californian desert. I wish PJ Harvey would cook some shepherd’s pie for me. Why does PJ Harvey never cook shephard’s pie for me? God I’m lonely.

Radiohead - 0 to 10
OK Computer and In Rainbows both have ten letters in their title. The latter was released a decade after OK Computer, on October 10th. The band made it available for download on ten servers. When touring the album, Radiohead’s support slots were given to Tenpole Tudor, The Three Tenors and Ten Inch Nails. What’s the significance of the number ten? Create a playlist that alternates the tracks of OK Computer with those of In Rainbows, and you end up with one massive seamless Radiohead album. Unfortunately though, it’s still a Radiohead album which is 10 million per cent less enjoyable than Jason Donovan’s seminal debut record Ten Good Reasons.

Sunday, 22 January 2017


Following the success of their atmospheric movie soundtracks, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis have been hired to provide the backing music to the forthcoming series of the BBC’s toughest cookery competition.

In what looks to be the biggest shake-up of the show’s ambience since it was rebranded MasterChef Goes Large and then quickly re-rebranded back to MasterChef again, its producers felt that Cave and Ellis’ gothic soundscapes could bring a sense of drama and class to the format which has recently suffered from an over-reliance on thumping house music to embellish the acts of dicing up carrots and deconstructing a fish pie.

A statement from their management said that both musicians are huge fans of the show, even though Cave’s own diet is limited strictly to snakeskin soup, washed down with the crimson blood of virgins.

MasterChef co-presenter Gregg Wallace was also deeply involved in the recording process, advising, guiding and critiquing the composers despite possessing zero musical ability of his own. Producers felt that by shouting “you’ve got three minutes” at Cave and Ellis as they approached the desired running time, Wallace made a valuable contribution in his own special way.