Friday, 8 January 2021


With venues closed for the foreseeable and several legends dead from Covid, some say now is not the time to be snide about music but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. And certainly not while Gary Barlow and Cliff Richard remain on the loose, making insincere charity appeals from their gold-plated tax havens. Looking more wrinkly than ever with his strained voice now clearly unable to pant its way through his own decades-old hits, your gran’s favourite singer really struggled when duetting with Cliff.

Here are Spinal Bap’s top albums of 2020. Look on my blurbs, ye Mighty, and despair.

Gary Barlow – Music Played By Humans

While most musicians acted responsibly in the face of a pandemic by refraining from gigs and staying at home to create quirky bedroom pop and soothing ambient soundscapes, Gary Barlow decided now was the moment to come into contact with more people than he’s ever worked with before. For his album of sub-Bublé drivel he packed a whole orchestra into the recording studio where they were able to share ideas, harmonies and lethal respiratory droplets.

Gary Barlow, who is definitely human, reasoned he had grown tired of music that relies on computer technology and progress. In an interview with BBC Radio 2, he said:


Gary Barlow – Music Played By Animals

You may remember that back in 2016 the crackpot cosmic orderer Noel Edmonds decided to launch a radio station exclusively for pets. More recently Edmonds hooked up with everyone’s least favourite tax-dodging crooner for this album performed by animals. Gary Barlow was delighted to work on the project, having been a massive fan of Noel’s House Party and especially its bizarre mascot Mr. Blobby. With his clumsy balloon-like physique and amusing habit of repeating his own name in a ridiculous voice, Gary Barlow used to be a member of Take That. While most musicians were acting responsibly in the face of a pandemic by refraining from gigs and staying at home to create quirky bedroom pop and soothing ambient soundscapes, Barlow and Edmonds packed a whole animal orchestra into the recording studio, including several Chinese bats and queasy-looking pangolin.

Gary Barlow - Music Played By A Handmaid

It is well known that in her horrific dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood included only things that have already happened in human history, most of these having occurred within the music industry. A stickler for tradition and pining to create the kind of music he grew up with, Gary Barlow went back-to-basics on his latest record. He enslaved one of his few remaining fertile friends, dictated what she should wear and forced her at gunpoint to perform take after take until she started coughing up blood. “As a long-term supporter of the Conservative Party I have always admired Phil Spector’s working methods,” said Barlow, “and have long been fascinated by how he got such incredible performances out of his singers.”

Idles - Ultra Mono (XS/S/M/L/XL/XXL)

In September 2020 Idles continued their innovative approach to the music business by releasing a new album to promote their latest line of t-shirts. Soon enough the t-shirts were analysed in painstaking detail by Anthony Fantano, the world’s least entertaining rock critic. In a 20-minute video uploaded to his like-and-subscribe-like-and-subscribe-like-and-subscribe YouTube channel The Piddle Drops, Fantano praised the passion and intelligence that singer Joe Talbot had put into the band’s t-shirts. “With their past merch Idles would often shroud the political points they were making in a bit of absurdism or deliver a story where the point didn’t come across until you finished reading the back of the t-shirt,” the skinheaded vlogger explained. “In the case of their new t-shirts, though, the messaging and topics are way more straightforward, much more in-your-face and to-the-point.” Aptly one of the t-shirts had a cock on it.

Sunday, 22 December 2019


Lana Del Boy - Nicholas Fucking Lyndhurst!
In 2019 the artist formerly known as Lizzy Grant formed an exciting new superduo with Sir David Jason, a national treasure formerly known as funny. Just like in Still Open All Hours, there was no room for comedy here. In its place, Lana Del Boy’s debut album offered harmonious heartache and emotional sincerity aplenty, all anchored around an eye-opening conceptual portrayal of the life and times of Nicholas Lyndhurst from Goodnight Sweetheart. Nicholas Fucking Lyndhurst! was patently influenced by Lana’s appearance on last year’s Wanderer by Cat Power, but the idea that this was some cut-priced, knocked-off, second-hand LP from a mush in Shepherd’s Bush was as daft as a Trigger.

In fact, deep and meaningful engagement was made with the album’s muse, i.e. New Tricks star Nicholas Lyndhurst. The oblique efforts made by the album’s principal protagonist to negotiate the fault lines of working-class community spirit in a moment of hyper-individualism and his angular vacillation between traditional familial commitments and new patterns of cultural capital typified the cross-cultural relationships of late modernity. You plonker. Because of the lacklustre quality of the singing, acting and punchlines on display, Lana Del Boy has been associated with abject apathy. However, Nicholas Fucking Lyndhurst! ended on a more positive note than expected. “Hope is a dangerous thing for a Trotter like me to have,” went its lyrics, juxtaposing the capacity to thrive with the fear of survival. Crucially, on understanding hope more fully through the prism of Nicholas “Butterflies” Lyndhurst, Lana concludes, “But I have it, I have it, I have it. This time next year we will be millionaires. Mange tout! Mange tout! Lovely jubbly! Pukka! Pukka! Pukka!”

The Murder Capital – When I Have Furs
Definitely the most exciting band ever seen by anyone since the previous most exciting band seen by anyone. They move around stage! Can you imagine? I even saw the singer smoke a fag once. While the band were playing! Pow!!! Take that, nanny state! Stick it to the man! Which man? Not the man at Philip Morris International. The other man. You know, that guy. The person running an independent venue on extremely tight overheads who is worrying about losing their licence as a result of The Health Act 2006. That prissy bellend!

The Murder Capital wear clothes! But clothes on steroids! And have I told you how much they run around? But it’s like running around... on steroids! Much like the Olympics. And they have shiny boots to boot. Shiny boots on steroids!

When I Have Furs is a crushing reminder of the perpetual, circular crisis of masculinity, a predicament embodied yet ultimately contradicted by this collection of shouty, broody, swaggery men dressed as the cast of an ambitious but ultimately under-cooked youth theatre production of a Quadrophenia/Peaky Blinders mash-up who were hastily costumed in whatever could be found during a speedy trolly dash at a local charity vintage shop.

When these young men perform, they are gazed on lovingly by a similarly clad yet more sombre bunch of formerly shouty, broody, swaggery men who are imagining the time when they dressed more flamboyantly and watched previous shouty, broody, swaggery men in their youth, or were shouty, broody, swaggery men in their youth who in turn saw other generations of shouty, broody, swaggery men in their youth… As the man who didn’t dress cool has explained: Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. There is no hesitation. This is your situation. Continue a blank generation. Blank generation. Same old Blank Generation. Grooving blank generation. Swinging blank generation. Repetition, repetition, repetition. And as the bearded scruff Karl Marx told us: history repeats itself, first as tragedy then as farce, then as farts.

Amehnda Palmeh - There Will Be No Intermehssion
Paid for in advance by her misguided fans, this was the latest in a long line of crowdfunded vanity projects from the millionaire wife of Neil “poverty is a terrible thing now please watch my new television series on the tax-avoiding media platform Amazon Prime” Gaiman. The album was 77 minutes longer than feasibly endurable but its lyrics did address some important topics. Alas, the fact that the objectionable Madame Backfire was singing about them meant the songs automatically converted even the most level-headed listeners into the gun-toting murderers of perceived heathens and instilled in most normally empathetic observers the sudden the urge to grab the p***y of the nearest unsuspecting stranger before signing up to ISIS.

To make matters worse, Palmeh was so outraged that The Guardian neglected to cover her latest mehsterwerk that Her Mehjesty’s subsequent project is said to be a streampunk rock-opera based around Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe for home-baked brioche. Its working title is Let Them Eat Cake.

Janet Weiss - I’d Like To Play My Drums Please And You Should Appreciate That Percussion Is An Important Part Of Making Art As A Collaborative Process
Janet Weiss would like to play the drums. Drums are important. They are part of the music. Drums are at least as important as the music, the words, the guitar solos, and that synth you just bought off a man with a mad haircut. Let Janet play the drums. The drums count. The drums are part of the process. We like the drums and the drumming. We like drummers. You can’t just force out a living, breathing human drummer. You can’t just replace them with an inanimate object that doesn’t possess any kind of brain or soul, like a drum machine or Tommy Lee. Where are the drums? St Vincent’s drums are rubbish. Let Janet play the fucking drums. THE DRUMS! THE FUCKING DRUMS! Remember when Janet played the drums? DRUMS! DRUM! DRUMS! DRUMMY DRUMMITY DRUM DRUMS!

Boyd’s Sons Of Nubya’s Collective Moses Featuring Theon’s Ezra’s Kamaal - That London Jazz Album That I Must Really Get Round To listening To
In a scene marked by collaboration and synergetic musical connection, Boyd’s Sons Of Nubya’s Collective Moses Featuring Theon’s Ezra’s Kamaal really exemplifies the energetic remoulding of jazz with its connections to the grime and afrobeat music that flow through the capital city’s veins. I think. I mean, I haven’t listened to it and I haven’t even visited London for a few years now because I live in West Worcestershire. But I like to think if I were there, and if I had listened to it, it would be exactly the kind of album and scene that I like to imagine is really exciting and thriving. It’s hard to tell when I’m just reading about them in the back pages of The Sunday Telegraph while waiting for space to clear around the reduced ready meals in a Waitrose in rural England.

Bill Callahan - A Sheep Singing About A Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest Who’s Counting Sheep To Get To Sleep
“A song is just three chords and the truth,” as Howard from the Halifax adverts once said. He never asked for this much truth though, nor in quite so much personal detail. Ever since everybody started reading the autobiographical so-called novels of Karl Ove Knausgård and documenting their every brunch on Instagram, it’s been assumed that any thought that passes through any human’s brain is actually worth sharing with the public. In the music world, it was Mark Kozelek who pioneered the craze for singing-what-you-see, a genre now known as post-Catchphrase. Phil Elverum added tragedy and depth to the genre by singing of the death of his wife in intimate and uncomfortable detail. Now the bloke once known as Smog is at it as well, banging on for 20 tracks about everything that’s happened to him since the last album - birth, death, life, love, marriage, bicycles... - as if he’s the first person in history to experience such matters. He’s even written a song about writing, called ‘Writing’.

Have you ever seen Family Guy? It’s that cartoon for adults whose minds are too underdeveloped for South Park. Anyway, one early episode features a parody of Randy Newman. In this caricatured depiction, the famous LA musician plays his piano and sings words that merely describe exactly what is happening, in real-time, in front of his eyes at that very moment. We are all Family Guy Randy Newman now.

Lizzo - Cuz I Luvvie
People who review albums and don’t make music themselves should be unemployed. People who discover a rotting hamster carcass floating around in their vegetable soup and complain to the waiter about its inedibility but haven’t established a restaurant empire themselves should be burnt alive in a pizza oven. With anchovies! People who express an opinion on the practicality of manoeuvring a transit van through Luton Airport multi-story car park and haven’t studied architecture for seven years in advance of their negative comment should be thrown immediately from the top of the building’s roof. Historians of the Second World War who write groundbreaking biographies of Joseph Stalin based on extensive research and previously unearthed documents that have only just come to light and haven’t served in a prominent position as a member of the Soviet Union’s Politburo of the 1930s should be exiled to the Siberian gulag. People who Lizzo glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Kate Tempest - The Book Of Traps And Lessons (Sorry. Did I Say Book? I Meant Album. The Album Of Traps And Lessons. It’s A Bit Like A Book Though Isn’t It Cos I Just Talk All The Way Through It. The Book Of Traps And Lessons: The Audiobook.)
There once was a poet called Kate
To whose sanctimony we all could relate
Finally! A poet who’s cool
Unlike the ones learnt at school
Even your English teacher thinks that she’s great

Weezer - Weezer (The Imperial Purple Album)
Rivers Cuomo and his chums continue to work their way through the Farrow & Ball chart. This isn’t a paint-by-numbers covers record, though. Weezer prove quite the dab hand. Indeed, theirs is a brush with greatness. Of course, when they combine their blue album with a red album they will be marooned. But which colour-themed Weezer album is best? Lets call this one a draw. Forget the titles for a minute, because let’s face it they’re all beige. How many members of Weezer does it take to paint a wall? Depends on how hard you throw them.

Dave - Psychodrama (For the Record)
Every Prime Minister is expected to cash-in on their time in Number 10. Eschewing tradition, David Cameron chose to release his memoirs via the medium of his debut rap album. At first, the work appears smooth and efficient. The initial psychodrama at the heart of the piece is centred around the scrapes and japes of old school-chums gently ribbing each other. After a while, however, the record deepens to expose the inner thoughts of a chaotic, vain individual who is entirely lacking in principle. Once the psychodrama of the public school stutters and slips - almost whimsically or accidentally - onto a wider stage, a different picture unfolds. Here, the more traumatic and material drama of unrepentant austerity, structural violence and catastrophic delusion prevails, and it is documented by Dave in often harrowing detail. It makes for raw, tough and bewildering listening with a shattering fallout. After Dave has delivered this crushing state-of-the-nation address and the final track draws to a close after an exhausting six-year running time, Dave doesn’t so much drop the microphone as turn his back to it, walking into the distance and singing the album’s final, devastating words, addressed less to his captivated audience than only to himself: “Doo Doo, Doo Doo...”

Thursday, 21 February 2019


Euchrid Eucrow, the protagonist in Nick Cave’s debut novel And The Ass Saw The Angel, has penned a touching reply to a 10-year-old fan who wrote to the character asking for advice.

“Dear Euchrid,” wrote the boy, “all that my idiot schoolmates listen to is chart music and the only books they own have been written by that camp bloke off Little Britain. Many of them still believe in Santa Claus, the cretins, and they write to him regularly. But I believe in you, Euchrid, so I am writing to ask if you have any advice for me? Mummy says the only reason I’m disruptive in class is because I’m cleverer than all the other children.”

Eucrow’s empowering response can be read below:

As ah dictate this here letter, ah am up to mah feeble chest in quicksand and so ah believe ah had better make this a brief consultation, most unlike mah creator’s first novel. As ah am certain you are already aware, ah am a mute who speaks in a southern states dialect so our two situations are rather different. Come to think of it, how does a cottonpickin’ mute even begin dictating a letter? Anyhow. Mah pa was a cruel man and like most women mah momma was a drunken bitch-whore... Like you, ah was always different from mah fellow townsfolk and to cut a very long story short, here ah find mahself in a patch of God’s own sinking sand awaiting mah unfortunate fate.

Advice? Blessed advice. Mah chief instruction is to scribble down material inspired by the Old Testament. Pen lyrics about murdering females in the most cowardly way. Glamorise criminals, thieves, ruffians, villains, rogues, scoundrels, executioners, and Kylie Minogue. Form a troupe of wandering minstrels. Attack members of your own audience. They’ve paid you to busk, and they can goddamn pay again... with a suckerpunch to the temples! Embrace opium; it is a well-known creative aid and helps maintain a strict routine. Write an incomprehensible novel about a no-good mute such as I. Follow it up with a dark sex comedy set in the old country about a bedraggled old pervert who's obsessed with Avril Lavigne’s pert buttocks. How old did you say you were, again? Photograph your wife as naked as the day she was born for an album cover, while you stand fully suited in close approximation of the sleeve to Spinal Tap’s Smell The Glove. The world is waiting for you, kid. 

As for me, death’s delights are a-coming and ah had better prepare mahself for mah almighty reckoning. Oh, and don’t forget to befriend Will Self. Amen!

Friday, 21 December 2018


Low - Double Negative

When Low had almost completed work on their latest album, a bored studio intern rested his elbow on the wrong button and accidentally wiped over half the music with dusty fuzzy noises. Instead of starting the recording process from scratch, Low decided to weather the storm and just release the botched results anyway.

Lo(w) and behold it turned out to be the most critically acclaimed thing they’d ever done. Every reviewer on the entire planet was soon hailing Double Negative as the masterpiece Low had always promised, an apparently thrilling sonic evolution with its spilt-coffee white noise effects acting as some kind of metaphor for societal collapse.

I’m not saying those people are wrong but if your favourite Low album is the one on which you can hear THE LEAST AMOUNT OF LOW then maybe you aren’t really a Low fan at all. Maybe you should just detune your wireless slightly when listening to Radio 3.

(Having said that, the clumsy intern still proved himself a more talented knob-twiddler than Jeff Tweedy did on that terrible one he produced.)

Robyn - Honey
Why aren’t you listening?
I mean... why are you STILL not listening?
What do you mean you’re not interested?
Hello? Hello? Where are you going? Wait.
She’s the...

The 1975 - An Online Inquiry Into Briefs
The latest album from Wimslow’s answer to leading INXS tribute band INXSIVE was promoted via a series of puff pieces printed in respectable publications with a clearly premeditated and sensationalist “my struggle with heroin” angle. Talk about glamorising the use of hard drugs to impressible young pop fans. Tell you what Matty “Matthew” Healy, come back to us when the habit’s gotten so hard you haven’t performed for over half a decade and you’re found dead from a speedball overdose like the sorry bloke from Alice In Chains. That’s what a real rock star looks like. Decomposing and surrounded by paraphernalia. Not nicely posing, surrounded by Pale Waves’s Heather.

Nine Inch Nails - Sandwich
Nine Inch Nails’ “ninth studio album” (six tracks, 30 minutes, £16.99 on vinyl from HMV) was conceived as a political protest record. However, during the recording process it soon evolved into a concept album about sandwiches. It includes the tracks ‘A Bread Of Ourselves’, ‘Starch Of The Pigs’, ‘Big Man With A Bun’, ‘That’s What I Baguette’, ‘Head Like A Wholegrain’, and ‘I Do Not Want This Ham And Cheese Toastie Because I Ate Too Much At Breakfast Time’.

Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer
This is the greatest hits album we’ve been waiting for: all of Prince’s biggest hits packed onto one disc. Arguably the most influential artist of the 1980s, Prince is one of the very few musicians of this or any other era to find a massive and intensely loyal audience while still being praised by critics and musical contemporaries alike for his bold experimentalism and prodigious instrumental skills. His brash, high-energy mix of pop, rock, funk, and psychedelia picked up where Sly Stone left off, and the result was music that was revolutionary in its sonic experimentation and provocative fashion. This collection brings together the absolute best of Prince’s Warner Bros. recordings on one hit-jammed disc.

Thom Yorke - Suspiria (Music For The Luca Guadagnino Film)
“Look Jonny, I can do film music too. I can. I CAN. I can do film music too. Why do I keep repeating myself, myself, myself? I can do film music too. I can. I can do film music too. Filllmm musiiic toooo. Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon. Yesterday I woke up scoring a remake. Yesterday I woke up scoring a remake. Yesterday I... Ice age coming. Ice age coming. Why do I keep repeating myself, myself, myself? Look Jonny. Jonny, look. I can do film music too. I can do film music. I caaaaaan doooooo fillllllllm muuuuusic toooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo...”

Chris Rea and The Queens - Chris
The ‘Driving Home For Christmas’ star sent shivers down the spine of the pop world earlier this year when he decided to shave off his famous beard, drop the second part of his name and reinvent himself as simply “Chris”. This was no fickle attention-seeking gesture, however. The freshly clean-faced Chris invented a whole new form of woke pop defined by its emotional inclusiveness, informed in its discussions of gender, sexuality and class, and steadily determined in its ambition to overturn masculine and feminine social stereotypes. Still had quite a lot of songs about cars, mind.

Ed O’Brien - 50 Shades Freed (Music For The James Foley Film)
Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien followed in the footsteps of his bandmate Jonny Greenwood by composing his first ever film score for the adaptation of E.L. James’ ‘milf filth’ novel Fifty Shades Freed. O’Brien noted that “Jonny’s just so far ahead - he understands orchestral works, he can read music, he’s studied it all” adding that “so I copied him but with more RUMPY PUMPY.”

Philip Selway - Avengers: Infinity War (Music For The Film By Whoever Directed That One)
Radiohead’s Philip Selway followed in the footsteps of his bandmate Jonny Greenwood by composing his first ever film score for the Marvel Comics superhero blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War. Selway noted that “Jonny’s just so far ahead - he understands orchestral works, he can read music, he’s studied it all” adding that “so I just copied the soundtrack from Avengers Assemble and stuck a new track on the end called ‘BIG CGI BADDIE MAKES FIFTY PERCENT OF CAST VANISH DRAMATICALLY THEREBY CUTTING STAFF COSTS FOR THE NEXT EXPENSIVE SEQUEL.’”

Colin Greenwood - Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (Music For That Stupid Abba Film)
Radiohead’s Colin Greenwood followed in the footsteps of his bandmate and brother Jonny Greenwood by composing his first ever film score for 2018’s jukebox-comedy-musical-sequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. Greenwood noted, “Jonny’s just so far ahead - he understands orchestral works, he can read music, he’s studied it all” adding that “so I just forced Pierce Brosnan to sing ‘Morning Bell’ over and over again and insisted each one was a different original ABBA song. Nobody was any the wiser.”

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 Angoulême 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.