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Boxed In, back in.
So it goes that my annual selection touches on similar themes. Boxed In featured last year with “Full Circle”. How could I resist this fantastic groove, another to mix and mingle the blatantly retro with the cutting edge?
For “Running Out”, those retro touches are unbridled tributes to synth pioneers over a twenty-to-thirty year period. It rushes past you quickly and unashamed: this is power pop with something of the swish, the urban, the inner city. The outside world can be pushed aside with the strut of this track’s attitude, just put in the noise-cancellers and get out there.
I compare and re-visit the previous lists quite often. Patterns do emerge, of course they do. Humans like their patterns. Maybe there was, just at the back of my mind, a narrative reason behind choosing certain songs to follow each other. An inner DJ thinking process? Occasionally showing that I can review and research these things, now and then? A little from column a, a little from column b.
Click here for Track 8
Don’t get me wrong, I like Manchester. Decent ales, some of which are affordable. The trams are good for the one day each week they run on time. Excellent gigs in tucked away/underground/squashed places which feel, to this Lancastrian, exciting even if the native audience just consider it another ordinary night. You know Manchester, though, it’s good to leave. It’s because of – and you’ll see what I’ve done here – the scene.
Yes there is a ‘Manchester’ you all know from over-exposed photographs of maudlin singers smoke-plumed and solemn, but there’s a whole different side, and it thrives in spite of the image builders, not because of them. The true ‘Manchester”s narrative is best written by people too eager to jot down all the fine details, including Pierre Hall, I wouldn’t wonder, Golden Glow being by and large he.
All at once (it appears) gig organiser, lead singer of The Lead Balloons, Akoustic Anarchy stalwart, and “crowd surfing scenester” (NME’s words, not his), Hall’s fast-forward through Manchester looks to be a life very well lived. ‘The Scene’ is a press on the pause button. Hypnotic and suggestive of a poison-tipped love letter, the song builds on two questions floating on a repeated melody that echoes the sound of scenes from Manchester and beyond. Taken from the forthcoming Golden Glow release “Duty/Beauty EP”, this gentle punch is a beautiful and intriguing song, and I know more of the same will come in the new year.