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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Tuesday, March 15, 2005
    Touched by this deep confessional
    The first disc of the new Rough Trade Shops compilation Counter Culture 04 is the quiet one; and it brought a perfect end to one-of-those-days. The West London shop staff who put these collections together (this is the third annual) have fine, fine, taste. And, as I guess true music shop staff ought, they really excite the listener with their enthusiasm for their subjects.

    So already I am in love with Susanna And The Magical Orchestra and the exquisite Magoo; my admiration of shadow giants Coil, Holly Golightly and the lost genius Elliott Smith is affirmed; and better yet, my heart has melted, imploded, missed some beats at the rediscovery of a 40-year old Merseybeat gem, Please Stay by The Cryin' Shames, which sounds so fresh, so good in this context. This is what Simon from Rough Trade says about it:

    "From Sonic Boom's ace Spacelines compilation, this pearler came to be known simply as 'Track 9' earlier in the year, as we repeatedly rocked the shop with it at full blast. Selling copies of the comp. by the dozen after starting them off with this deep confessional. The dusty vocal, cutting like a knife when it first appears, stops everyone dead in their tracks, every time. And what about those harmonies and strings!"

    Fine words, precious sounds.

    MP3 samples: [Please Stay] [All tracks]