Videos of the Day: Sharon Van Etten || Archie Bronson Outfit || The Ukiah Drag || Bleech || Sleepy Sun

Videos of the Day

An absolute plethora of cracking new music videos for you today from the brilliant Sharon Van Etten, the welcome return of the rumbling Archie Bronson Outfit, the desert-burnt junkyard indie of The Ukiah Drag, the super trippy Sleepy Sun, and a satirical sex-education video from Bleech.

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New Album From Sharon Van Etten

New Album From Sharon van Etten

The wonderful Sharon Van Etten’s new album Are We There is out at the end of May via Jagjaguwar.

The first taste is the hazy dream-pop of Taking Chances, her gorgeous vocals drifting over a smooth, polished rhythmic backdrop. It is as close to Beach House as anything else and perhaps heralds a slightly different direction for the album.

Listen for yourself.

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Polly Pocket’s Top Songs Of 2013

Polly Pocket's Best Of 2013
As well as our Top 100 tunes of the year that we’ve posted over the past few days, each of the MM contributors have put together their own lists. The fourth instalment comes from Polly Pocket – thanks for putting them arse backwards Poll!

1 Junip – Line Of Fire
This has been in the top spot since the beginning of the year. Beautiful vocals courtesy of Jose Gonzalez, it all sounds so effortless whilst building up to that epic finish. Unfortunately, this song also reminds me of seeing Junip this Autumn where, having got Mr Gonzalez to sign my album I then proceeded to tell him that he and the band were ‘awesome’. He was a gentleman about it but it remains embarrassing.

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2 Cash Savage and The Last Drinks – Hypnotiser
Full of attitude and lots of swagger. This is definitely a Friday night cocktail favourite (goes particularly well with a Dirty Martini). If you don’t end up singing along with the gospel choir you are not listening to it right.

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3 Phosphorescent – Song For Zula
What an epic tune this is with its fine strings and heartbreaking lyrics to match. A timeless classic.

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4 Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – Jubilee Street
It has taken me longer to love Nick Cave than it should and I am sorry to those who have tried to show me the right path in the past. Thankfully I have learnt the error of my ways and it is Jubilee Street that helped me see the light. Storytelling at its best.

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5 Telekinesis – Ghosts and Creatures
There is something familiar and comforting about this indie tune. Love all that distortion and a beat that makes me want to dance, or at least sway a little in a kind of early 90′s way. Turn it up and you will feel uplifted.

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6 Agnes Obel – Fuel To Fire
This beautiful song stopped me in my tracks when I first heard it a couple of months ago. All a bit haunting and full of melancholy. The album is a treat but Fuel To Fire stands out at the front for me.  A great find for 2013. Lovely.

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7 Deptford Goth – Union
It’s the simplicity of this tune that first got me hooked.  Its also a song I would have been in love with as a teenager. It might be electro pop but there is a fair amount of misery and sorrow in there too so what’s not to love?

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8 HAIM – Falling
A last minute change around has put HAIM into the top ten, every time I hear this song I am reminded of just how good I think it is. Very polished, really well produced, love those harmonies and that retro feel. HAIM are like marmite. I like marmite.

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9  Tired Pony – All Things All At Once
Boasting quite a line up Tired Pony have got it all going on. All Things All At Once has a pure, unpolished feel to it, like they all just happened to be together and decided to start playing and recording and here it is. Country? Folk? Americana? Who knows. Whatever it is it sounds bloody good to me.

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10 Laura Marling – Devil’s Resting Place
I couldn’t have a top ten without Ms Marling featuring in it somewhere (23, how can she be just 23 and getting better with every album?).  I love the exotic, dark sound to this song. Once I Was An Eagle is a very fine album, if you don’t own it you should.

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11 Half Moon Run – Full Circle

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12 The Cave Singers – Canopy

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13 Gaz Coombes Presents – One Of These Days

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14 Barbarossa – The Load

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15 Cerny Brothers – Whiskey

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16 Pickwick featuring Sharon Van Etten – Lady Luck

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17 Jules Larson + AG  – Bend To The Break

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18 PHOX – Noble Heart

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19  Shadows At Play – Into The Sun

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20 Dim Peaks – Reason

Mad Mackerel’s Best Covers Of 2013

MM's Favourite Cover Songs of 2013

Here are our favourite covers of the year.

Marissa Nadler & Angel Olson – Frisco Depot
(Original by Mickey Newbury)

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Shearwater – Fucked Up Life
(Original by the Baptist Generals)

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Unknown Mortal Orchestra – (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay
(Original by Otis Redding)

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Betse Ellis – Straight To Hell
(Original by The Clash)

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Jessica Lea Mayfield – I’m In A Hurry (And I Don’t Know Why)
(Original by Alabama)

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Shovels & Rope – Johnny 99
(Original by Bruce Springsteen)

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Benjamin Francis Leftwich – Swim Until You Can’t See Land
(Original by Frightened Rabbit)

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Milo Greene – Parents
(Original by The Descendents)

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Pickwick featuring Sharon Van Etten – Lady Luck
(Original by Richard Swift)

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Natural Child – White Light/White Heat
(Original by the Velvet Underground)

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Phosphorescent – Storms Never Last
(Original by Waylon Jennings)

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Phosphorescent – Ya Hey
(Original by Vampire Weekend)

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The Avett Brothers – Hammer Down
(Original by Jason Molina)

MAD MACKEREL’S TOP TRACKS OF 2013: 75 – 51

MM's Favourite Tracks Of 2013: 75 - 51

The countdown of our one hundred favourite tracks of 2013 continues…today we reach halfway as we bring you 75 down to 51.

75 GRMLN – Summer Days
Thrashy, catchy, singalong rock’n’roll with platform shoes and ridiculous flares.

Download GRMLN – Summer Days mp3

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74 Sisters – Clearhead
Here are my shoes. See how I gaze at them. It says 2013 on the label, but I’ve gone back to the early 90s. Lovely. (Mrs M)

 

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73 Courtney Barnett – History Eraser
Deadpan, conversational, charming, funny, literal and literate – a drunken night’s tale told with an upbeat lo-fi jangle and amiable vocal delivery.

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72 Pickwick – Lady Luck
Gorgeous cover of the Richard Swift tune, and featuring Sharon Van Etten.


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71 Holograms – A Blaze On The Hillside
Most thrilling riff of the year?

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70 Willie Nile – American Ride
The best roadtrip song we’ve heard in many a moon, impassioned and infectious.

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69 Cerny Brothers – Whiskey
Moonshine Americana straight from the back porch.

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68 Mickey Gloss – Are You Happy
Wry social commentary meets punk DIY and garage psychedelia in a distillation of antipodean sun and London melancholia.

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67 Nick Cave – Wide Lovely Eyes
Oh clever, clever Nicholas Cave and his voice so hypnotic, deep and dark. You could imagine this as part of a recruitment drive to join a cult (yes you, with your wide lovely eyes). With a teasing yet subdued musical arrangement, this is the gospel according to St Nick. (Mrs M)

 

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66 Barbarossa – The Load
A sparse and delicate ballad, undercut by a distorted organ refrain, and constructed around remarkable and tender vocals.

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65 The Orwells – Who Needs Who
Roaring drums and aggressive, snapping vocals gave us the most thrilling garage punk single of the year.

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64 Fuzz – Sleigh Ride
Heaviest riff of the year?

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63 Cass McCombs – Big Wheel
Hypnotic, rumbling, country-dirt travelogue.

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62 Arcade Fire – Reflektor
We are right in the mix here: a bit of dance therapy needed. Remember the hypnotic triangle of cooker/fridge/sink? Throw some shapes, make a curry, go knock yourself out; I didn’t want to dance, but they made me. (Mrs M)

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61 Chelsea Light Moving – Lip
Hardcore anthem of the year.

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60 The Cave Singers – Canopy
Sun-drenched, mellow indie folk opener from their Naomi album.

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59 Coma Cinema – Virgin Veins
Spare and haunting. Talking of quiet suffering, loneliness, ugliness and confusion, “The heart is a monument / to a childhood of abuse.

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58 Dune Rats – Stoner Pop
In a parallel world somewhere, this was the smash hit of the summer.

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57 Wooden Wand & The World War IV – I Hate The Nightlife
On Wooden Wand’s wrist is a tattoo: WWNYD – What Would Neil Young Do? Our guess? Buy this record. Epic, taut, tense, and full of the fiery guitar so beloved of NY.

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56 The Head & The Heart – Shake
The bass drum kicks this one into action, a little bit of clapping and then, hello, the rest of the band follows. There’s a sweet change of tempo for the chorus: ‘And the memories we made will never be lost, no.’ Maybe not, but watch out for that prevailing wind. (Mrs M)

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55 Half Moon Run – Full Circle
A captivating blend of exquisite guitar lines and delicate folk melodies.

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54 Quiet American – Wild Bill Jones
Old time folk for modern times, Quiet American bring new light to the many faceted tale of all-American bad boy Wild Bill Jones.

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53 Gaz Coombes Presents – One Of These Days
Heartfelt, beautiful melancholia set to a piano and strings and a pulsing bass line.

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52 Blitzen Trapper – Feel The Chill
That old wreck of a shack buried in evergreen and murky darkness at the bend in the road up on Jackson Hill where we used to drink and never failed to give me a chill driving by in the old Impala for it’s implacable mystery.” That’s where Feel the Chill takes place.

 

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51 Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – Gammy Leg
I underestimated this offering from Australia’s finest when I first listened to it. Essentially a tale of the immense bad luck befalling the protagonist and his ‘gammy leg’ it’s easy to dismiss. That would be a mistake. The wonderful deadpan, matter of fact delivery is laced with some brilliant throwaway lines and the black humour never wavers for a second. (CP)

Mad Mackerel Recommends…Ed Askew

Mad Mackerel Recommends...Ed Askew

Until recently I knew nothing of Ed Askew, but an intriguingly positive review of his album For The World in one of the music monthlies piqued my interest and so when, by chance, we received a digital copy via e-mail shortly afterwards I was more than curious to hear what it contained. Not only that, but the album features the wonderful Sharon Van Etten (who’s a huge fan apparently), Marc Ribot and Black Swans amongst others.

According to Allmusic, “next to nothing is known about outsider folksinger Ed Askew. Although Askew has been recording songs since the late ’60s, only one album has ever been released, 1969′s Ask the Unicorn, a psychedelic folk masterpiece.” However, further investigation reveals he has been consistently self-releasing music in underground circles and should you pay a visit to his Bandcamp page, you will discover a whole host of releases to sample there.

But what of For The World? It rambles for sure, seemingly content to follow its own path, but Askew’s quivering vocals, once absorbed, reveal thoughtful, emotional depths and a sureness of foot that means there are no missteps wherever the music goes. Daniel Johnston, Joanna Newsom, Randy Newman, even Phosphorescent are all touchpoints, but no more than that, because Askew, just like those brilliant songwriters, also possesses that uniqueness of vision and quirky world view that sets him apart from the norm, and the majority.

Whilst it is less heart-breaking than the aforementioned Ask The Unicorn, there are still washes of melancholia that sweep through some of the songs, but the overall sense once the album has played through is simply one of having been utterly charmed in the most beguiling and engaging of ways.

Listen to the title track, one of three songs to feature the lovely Sharon Van Etten.

MM Shorts 346: John Denver Tribute

MM Shorts 346: John Denver Tribute

The compilation The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver sees an official release today and features artists including Sharon Van Etten, J Mascis, Evan Dando, Lucinda Williams, Josh Ritter, Emmylou Harris and many more reinterpreting some of the pop icon’s classic tunes.

Listen to a few choice selections from it below and order it via iTunes (USA) here.

Round Up Time Again – Part 2

Round Up Time Again - Part 2

Following on from our Round Up Part 1 post yesterday, comes 16 more tracks from the in-box, our favourite blogs and the web in general for your aural delight.

Kicking us off are Summer Hours and their single Close and Closer from forthcoming album Closer Still. Although they may initially sound simple, closer listening reveals complex song structures with intricate bass and guitar melodies.

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Cobalt Cranes blend elements of desert, psychedelic and shoegaze sounds, taking a modern approach to classic California rock. Their debut LP Head In The Clouds (out April 9 via their own Anticc Records) is heavily influenced by hard rock album narratives of the early 1970s and versatile shoegaze rock of the early 90s, as well as modern sounds. The band is offering up a free download of the title track.

Download Cobalt Cranes – Head In The Clouds mp3 (from Head In The Clouds)

After spending time as a musician in both Nashville and New York, Kait Lawson returned to her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee to record her debut album, Until We Drown. Her uncompromising songwriting takes a wry, yet deeply personal look at broken homes and fractured relationships in songs that are haunted by Guthrie and Kerouac, regretful cigarettes, midtown Memphis, squandered youth, temporal angels, perfume from the graveyard, goodbyes and the lies of Judas. Download the wonderful Place In The Ground.

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Seattle’s Pickwick released a three song covers EP this week. The first track is the Richard Swift penned Lady Luck featuring collaboration with Sharon Van Etten and is available for free now on the band’s website. The EP also features covers of Damien Jurado and The Primitives.

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Pere Ubu return with their first new studio album for over three years this month, the thirty-fifth anniversary of the group’s debut (The Modern Dance). Lady From Shanghai will be released on Fire Records and has been picking up some top-notch reviews. This is a disorienting mix of midwestern groove rock, “found” sound, analog synthesizers, falling-apart song structures and careening vocals. It is a mix that has mesmerized critics, musicians and fans for decades. Click through for a free download of the brutal and bruising 414 Seconds and of another album track Free White.

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January also sees Fire Records reissuing two spectacularly beautiful albums; Eyes Rind As If Beggars by cult NZ noise pop band The Garbage and The Flowers and the beautiful and bewitching SOS JFK from Josephine Foster’s first band The Children’s Hour. Here’s a track each from those records for you to enjoy…just click through to download for free.

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The Lovely Bad Things are a garage-punk four piece who will release The Late Great Whatever on February 26 via Volcom Entertainment (cassette on Burger Records). Taster track Fried Eggs is a gem of a taster.

Download The Lovely Bad Things – Fried Eggs mp3 (from The Late Great Whatever)

We posted recently about the stunning track Honey by Torres and her minimal, ragged and raw self-titled debut is released next week. This is Mother Earth, Father God.

Download Torres – Mother Earth, Father God mp3 (from Torres)

At just 24 years old, Keaton Henson’s songs, artwork and poetry are known by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Yet he is a virtual stranger, whose anonymity is no accident. Keaton has never posted on social networks, has not played live until very recently, and barely leaves his hometown or his bedroom. Lying To You is the superb second single from his forthcoming album Birthdays which can be pre-ordered from here.

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Rice Cultivation Society are an indie rock band based out of Long Island, NY who cherish the DIY work ethic. Self-produced, Sky Burial is not your typical DIY record. Influenced in part by Tibetan philosophy, it’s often a meditative record, clean and spacious with soaring guitar riffs – check out first single Honey Hide and another free track King Midas.

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Thick Shakes non-stop garage punk has featured on MM before. This is I Said So, a free download of their latest high octane single.

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We have another track from psych-pop masters The Ruby Suns new album Christopher. This is In Real Life.

Download The Ruby Suns – In Real Life mp3 (from Christopher)

Finally, for today, we have a track from Alison May’s raw folk tapestry Earnest Keep, which sees a release next week. This is A Good Stone.

Download Alison May – A Good Stone mp3 (from Earnest Keep)

Part 3 tomorrow…

Mad Mackerel’s Favourite Albums Of 2012 Part 2: 15 – 1

The final post about our favourites of the year, here are numbers fifteen down to top spot of the albums we have most enjoyed in 2012.

Don’t forget to check back for our 100 Favourite Tunes and the MM contributor’s best of lists too.

Shearwater Animal Joy

15 Shearwater – Animal Joy

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Patterson Hood Heat Lightning

14 Patterson Hood – Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance

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Sharon Van Etten Tramp

13 Sharon Van Etten – Tramp

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Tame Impala - Lonerism

12 Tame Impala – Lonerism

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Wintersleep - Hello Hum

11 Wintersleep – Hello Hum

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Justin Townes Earle Nothings Gonnna

10 Justin Townes Earle – Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now

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Mark Lanegan Band - Blues Funeral

9 Mark Lanegan Band – Blues Funeral

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First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar

8 First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar

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Two Gallants

7 Two Gallants – The Bloom And The Blight

Download Two Gallants – Broken Eyes mp3 (from The Bloom And The Blight)

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Sun Kil Moon - Among The Leaves

6 Sun Kil Moon – Among The Leaves

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Delta Spirit

5 Delta Spirit – Delta Spirit

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Tom Williams - Teenage Blood

4 Tom Williams & The Boat – Teenage Blood

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Willy Mason Carry On

3 Willy Mason – Carry On

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The Walkmen - Heaven

2 The Walkmen – Heaven

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Father John Misty - Fear Fun

1 Father John Misty – Fear Fun

Mrs Mackerel’s TFI Friday (26th October)

Mrs Mackerel's TFI Friday (26th October).

To celebrate the end of term, daughter sprat and I loafed into the local market town today. Her treat was a trip to the fishy foot parlour, and Mama went too… Nothing has given me such a fit of the giggles in quite some time. Sadly, the fish didn’t share the joke. I thought I saw a few waving white handkerchiefs while others threw themselves out of the tank onto the floor. Not really.

So it’s a trip to London to the theatre (darling) tomorrow. How bloody exciting – and travelling on the train too. I’m going Jumpy courtesy of Jenny Wren with Mrs Olive Grove. We’re going to the matinee because we’re old and we can lunch before hand and still be home in plenty of time for Match of the Day and a cup of cocoa. I know how to live.

Come Sunday, it’s off I jolly well go to see Welsh Spanner in (yes, you guessed it) deepest darkest Wales with Sprat 1 and 2. I feel that once again we will be testing the golden rule of trips to Pembrokeshire: that it doesn’t rain in Wales. Sorry to disappoint you kids, but you’re deluded. Anyway, crazy but hugely lovable Auntie Spanner is always great value and after 20 plus years she will even hug me and my children willingly. I was born an enthusiastic hugger/cuddler. The very first birthday of hers that we celebrated together prompted a spontaneous hug from me. Her response? I grew up on a farm, Scares; we don’t do hugs. This was followed by me presenting her with a cake adorned with those re-lighting candles. We had to evacuate the building as the fire alarm went off. Happy days.

Still, I believe hugging is good for the soul. Happy Friday.

Mrs Mackerel x

Download Thin White Rope – The Fish Song mp3 (from The Ruby Sea)

Download Franz Ferdinand – The Dark Of The Matinee mp3 (from Franz Ferdinand)

Download Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs – I Wanna Hug Ya, Kiss Ya, Squeeze Ya mp3 (from Dirt Don’t Hurt)

Download She Keeps Bees & Sharon Van Etten – Cuddle Alone mp3 (from Let’s Kiss & Make Up (Slow and Fast))