Back From the Dead? or just Getting Older?

Summer of 2010... or '74? :: Photo Jo Colbert

Last year while Jo was working in Britain she sent home this photo of the Hop Farm festival poster; we had a good laugh about what decade she had fallen back in time to.

The other week while reading the May issue of the Stool Pigeon it was neat to see how many musicians, either reformed or still at it, were on this year’s summer concert bills. Alongside some of my favourite current musicians are a few from my past that I would love to see. Sometimes its ok for the past catch up with you.

London’s 1-2-3-4 festival: billed along-side the Black Lips and The Ravonettes are Lydia Lunch and Can’s Damo Suzuki.

Leicester’s Summer Sundae festival: billed along-side the Born Ruffians and Wolf People are John Cooper Clarke and an all-grown-up Shonen Knife. On the downside (time for a beer) so are Showaddywaddy.

Suffolk’s Southwold Latitude festival: contemporaries Avi Buffalo, Bombay Bicycle Club and Glasser are lined up with Linton Kwesi Johnson and Edwyn Collins. Again on the downside (time for pee), so are The Waterboys.

London’s Field Day: our own Connan Mockasin and the ever-so-groovy Omar Souleyman share the stage with John Cale and Faust.

Coincidently, with Flying Nun Records celebrating their 30 birthday in November, it got me thinking about the stamina of some musicians; how glad I am that among the grey-beards and silver-shadows there are folk with an appetite for fresh and challenging music. Still.

We recorded our own Flying Nun 12″ in 1984; Phantom Forth The eepp. Later in 1986 I co-released – as This Is Heaven the 7″ book/record 200 Variations – with Flying Nun and Industrial Tapes. Getting Older indeed.

Phantom Forth March Flying Nun 1984

The Clean Getting Older Flying Nun 1982

If you are unfamiliar with London’s independent newsprint, the Stool Pigeon, a sub is a bargain, or you can read/download at the

Lightning Dust – down from the Black Mountain

Black Mountain

Black Mountain have been a favourite since I heard Don’t Run Our Hearts Around nearly half a decade ago, so I was stoked when a new album Wilderness Heart was released late last year. I especially like their bolshy trad-rock songs which remind me of my musical upbringing, as a bonus they spare the family from having to share to many nostalgic Sunday afternoons with Wishbone Ash, Rory Gallagher, Chicken Shack and Be Bop Deluxe (Charlie Tumahai on bass!).

Some time early this year I became enchanted by the melancholic swing of Antonia Jane from Lightning Dust, it wasn’t until last week however – after trawling the NPR Tiny Desk back catalogue – that I realised Lightning Dust was Amber Webber and Joshua Wells from Black Mountain.

Lightning Dust

I found another piece of the jigsaw this week – after finally managing to get a copy of the Cave Singers debut Invitation Songs (having been fixated with their second, Welcome Joy for a year or so) – I see Webber contributes backing vocals and Well drums to a couple of songs.

Lightning Dust aren’t the only familial group to come down from the mountain, Pink Mountain Tops is Black Mountain’s frontman Stephen McBean’s side project. McBean, like Webber and Wells can be more revealing when left to their own devices, which makes me think that Black Mountain is their nostalgia trip too.

You can download songs by all three artists from their label Jagjaguwar:

Black Mountain Don’t Run Our Hearts Around from Black Mountain 2005

Black Mountain Old Fangs from Wilderness Heart 2010

Lightning Dust Antonia Jane from Infinite Light 2009

Lightning Dust I knew from Infinite Light 2009

Pink Mountaintops Gayest of Sunbeams from Outside Love 2009