Another new series, which will be of an occasional nature.

Some pieces of vinyl sitting now in various locations in the Towers are one-offs in that the single or album happens to be all I have by a particular singer or band.  Such as this, from 2000:-

mp3: Add N To (X) – Plug Me In

I didn’t actually buy this in 2000 – indeed, that was a period when any new music was almost exclusively on CD.  It was picked while I was browsing among the small selection of vinyl in a bric-a-brac shop on the south side of Glasgow just a few months ago.  It’s a song that I recall hearing back in the day, and I’m sure I saw the promo video on television at some point, although the fact that wiki states said promo consists of porn actresses playing with sex toys means I’m surely much mistaken!

Anyways, the song turned out to be everything I remembered, a funky piece of electronica, although listening more closely to the lyrics than I must have done in 2000 reveals it very much on the risqué side.

Add N To (X) first started making music in 1996 and had made two albums, as well as going through some line-up changes prior to signing to Mute Records in 1999.  The trio who made this single were Barry Smith, Ann Shenton and Steven Claydon, with Shenton the only one left from the original line-up.  After three albums for Mute, they called it a day in 2003.

The b-side has a cracking title:-

mp3: Add N To (X) – The Vic Hallam System

I thought that it was a tribute to a footballer from the 1970s who had played for many clubs but is best recalled for his contribution to Sunderland’s FA Cup winning run of 1973….but it turns out his name is spelled Vic Halom.

Turns out it is named after the owner of the construction company which produced prefabricated timber-based, flat-roofed classrooms for schools in the 1950s.  Known as the Derwent System, the method enabled authorities, at a time of shortages, to quickly and cheaply provide space for pupils.  The method was also deployed to construct office buildings.

Not surprisingly, the use of such materials and the style in which they were built led to severe problems within not more than a decade, and very few examples of the buildings remain in situ.


PS : A Public Service Announcement

5.30pm on Monday evening. Just back from accompanying Rachel to an afternoon showing of Moonage Daydream, the recently released documentary on the life of David Bowie.

I’m no great fan, so my instant reaction that the two-and-a-quarter hours felt like four is perhaps understandable.  Rachel, on the other hand, is a lifelong fan (having seen the Ziggy Stardust tour as a 14-year old back in the day).  She was scathing of the film, thinking it was all over the place and that it ignored far too many periods of his career; but the biggest failure was the lack of acknowledgement for the roles certain people played in his life – she singled out Angie Bowie and Iggy Pop.

Neither of us understand why so many critics are fawning over it.