‘Spillin’ The Beans – The Jackson Lamb novels of Mick Herron

This week, I’m taking a break from reviewing music, mainly because I’m not that enthused by what I’ve got in the review pile, and I’d rather say positive things than negative ones. So, instead I thought that I’d write about some spy fiction that I am currently reading avidly.


There are actually four novels in paperback, Continue reading

RR Films: Cars and Driving

With the surprising implication that someone might actually be driving the Brexit bus from a front seat, BoJo attempts to hijack the future with alternative facts from the past. Donny would be proud of the blonde blusterer: a chip off the old duplicitous block.

But it provides an opening to look at films about driving, whatever the vehicle. And there are whole genres contained therein: the Road Movie and the Race Movie. I’m picking the first full-length feature from a chap called Spielberg (wonder what he’s been doing since?): Duel. It’s classified as a TV Movie but I’m sure it has since kept cinema audiences on the edge of their seats as they watch the increasingly dangerous cat-and-mouse manoeuvres by the wheeled protagonists. What a way to announce the start of your career.

What films featuring motorised land-based vehicles (cars, trucks, buses, lawnmowers…) would you recommend?

Earworms 18 September 2017

Good morning! More juicy worms for you, and quite a varied selection. Please note that Mogwai start off very quietly, so as to bring you gently into Monday. If you have an earworm you would like to share, please send it to: earworm@tincanland.com, together with a few lines about why you’ve chosen it. Many thanks to all contributors.

Mogwai – Another Country’s Sun – abahachi: I imagine that most people reading this will long since have made up their minds about Mogwai, and will either have been listening avidly to the new album since it was released last week, or will be completely indifferent to this. But I don’t care… 

Rostam – Don’t Let It Get To You – Magicman: Even with only a half of the album released at the time of writing Rostam’s ‘Half-Light’ will clearly be my Album Of The Year.  Shades of Vampire Weekend, of course, which actually is a relief because I love their records very much, but much much else besides – no two songs sound alike, from the George Harrison drenched ‘Wood’ (Rostam is Iranian-American) to the strange choric 21st century pop of EOS.  Bloody marvellous!

Mighty Baby – Egyptian Tomb – CaroleBristol: Mighty Baby were a band that existed from 1968-71. The band’s most noteworthy member was the late Martin Stone who went on to play in Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers, The Pink Fairies, 101ers and many other bands. This track is from their eponymous 1969 debut album and is called Egyptian Tomb. I like the jazzy feel and the rather good guitar work, courtesy of Martin Stone and Alan ‘Bam’ King, who went on to be a founding member of Ace, of How Long fame.

UFO – The Coming of Prince Kajuku – AliM: Sarah’s Wheel of Your Tune last week reminded me of UFO’s excellent second album, “Flying (Space Rock)” (1971), which I only had on cassette. Now remedied by downloading a re-mastered version for a princely £2.99. “Flying” is on side 2 and is over 26 minutes long, so I’ve chosen a shorter instrumental track for you.

George Thorogood – Pictures From Life’s Other Side – Ravi Raman: From his recently released Party Of One. My favourite acquisition so far this year. Flubs and all I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

The Albion Band – Poor Old Horse – severin: From 1978 – unless my memory is playing up I think John Peel described this as a land shanty. There are certainly no nautical references despite the shanty-like format. Very odd lyric, in fact. Did he say “the cheeks of her arse”? I think he did. Anyway, If you like English folk rock this is a treat. If not it probably isn’t. I think it is.

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Sounds on Sunday 47

More new sounds on Sunday for you. Hope you find something to enjoy, and please feel free to comment below. Many thanks to all contributors.

Tove Styrke – Mistakes: Newly released single from this Swedish singer-songwriter. A platinum selling and Grammy nominated artist in her native Sweden, Tove Styrke has been on a fast rise since the release of Kiddo, bolstered by striking lead single, “Borderline,” as well as strong follow-ups, “Ego” and “Number One.” The album paved the way for a full North American headline tourSXSW appearances, a performance on Late Night with Seth Meyers and widespread critical acclaim.

Jim Button – Just A Little Less: “Only a few years ago while curing herself from her anxiety of sleeping in the dark while hiking through Norway the woman that goes by the name of Jim Button decided to go for a career in songwriting. The back then photographer wanted to write songs. Songs for others to perform. To do so she simply taught herself to play six chords on the guitar and got started. It did not take too long until she realised that there was more to her songs. From that moment on she wrote for herself as well.”

Topia – Lay It On The Line: “Born from a love of euphoric and gothic pop, Los Angeles electronic duo TOPIA, consisting of Jack Payne and Jack Guimon, set out to explore that yin and yang… “Lay It on the Line” is a track that deals with emotional honesty, specifically about how it’s difficult to explain how you feel about something or someone, but it’s always worth it to make that effort. It’s a leap of faith, hoping the feelings will be reciprocated, while coming to grips with the possibility they won’t be.”

Patrick Joseph – Waiting to Begin: New single. “Pittsburgh native, Los Angeles resident & Award-Winning singer/songwriter Patrick Joseph has been active in the music world for years now, having toured extensively … With the support of music licensing, having landed dozens of film and TV placements (including The Office, Grey’s Anatomy, Gossip Girl), and the support of influential independent radio such as KCRW and KEXP, Joseph has independently forged a spot for himself as one of LA’s brightest young songwriters and rising stars on the indie scene.”

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The Wheel of Your Tune

The Wheel of Your Tune works like this; I metaphorically turn my spinning top to reveal a random letter and number. The letter relates to an artist or the name of an album in my collection and the number relates to the track by that artist or on that album. This week’s spin landed on N8.

I seem to own a phenomenal number of tracks and albums by artists beginning with N. I’ve got a lot to choose from so have chosen a favourite track 8. This by Nitin Sawhney from his 2001 album Prophesy narrowly pipped Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (Are You) the One That I’ve Been Waiting For. Here we are then:

Breathing Light

What’s your N8?

Marvelous Middle Eights – Discuss

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Better late than not at all….


A spooky thing happened to me last week on my way home from work and when cooking dinner a bit later.  I had a random playlist on in the car (always far too loud so as to distract me from the annoying traffic), for once I was really listening to the music rather than allowing the issues of the day to invade my subconscious and begin to worry me.  A song called Shining Light by Ash came on.  It’s a sweet tune from 2001 with some lovely lyrics you could send to someone in the hope they’d pick up your meaning…it’s not as rocky as Girl from Mars, but still passable commute listening.  As the song progressed, it suddenly changed tempo and key “Ah that’s a lovely little middle eight right there” I thought to myself – I never think of these things generally, so it was a weird thought to have.  End of little anecdote number 1.

Here’s the track as a reminder:

Later I was cooking dinner with a new releases round table discussion on the radio in the background.  They played the new St Vincent release called Los Ageless. (which is a great track btw).  The panel members loved it, but one of the guests (Jimbob from Carter USM) mentioned how brilliant the middle eight was in her track.  How bloody weird!  I’ve never really thought about middle eights and there it was; twice in the space of a couple of hours.

I agree with Jimbob; a good middle eight keeps you interested and moves the track on.   There are loads of great Motown tracks I can think of with very good middle eights – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough as a starter.  The Beatles and The Beach Boys were pretty good at middle eights too.  I love the middle eights in Stevie Nicks’ Edge Of Seventeen and in Justin Timberlake’s Rock Your Body.  Both tracks ramp back up after their middle eight lulls, propelling the tune to its end.

Since last week I have tuned into so many middle eights in the songs I’ve listened to; I notice them even when I’m not really paying attention.  There was a middle eight RR topic back in 2009 and the songs that made the list are all good examples (although I can’t claim to like all the songs – Kaiser Chiefs???).  So, yet again ‘Spillers I come to you to discuss this issue. What do you know about all of this? What are your favourite middle eights?  Or maybe you think they are a waste of time and an attempt by the artist to self indulgently show off?  Discuss.

‘Spillin’ The Beans – “To The Bone” by Steven Wilson


This week, I am taking a slightly different approach to ‘Spillin’ The Beans because I am going to discuss an album released by a major artist back in August. That album is Steven Wilson‘s fifth solo release, “To The Bone“. It isn’t really a review, more of a personal reflection upon the music and how it has been received.


Now, first, a confession. Continue reading