RIFF RAFF VOL. 3

Don’t you just love it when artists put the sax back into rock? If you just love a bit of sax, read on

FANTASY SETLIST: U2

What more can be said about U2 as a live entity? Well, maybe look at it from a personal perspective - in this case, U2’s performances’ impact on the life & times of Paul Smernicki, music manager (Hyyts, swim school, Magnum Haus, Jessie Buckley) and long-time label executive. And at one fleeting moment, a potential addition to U2’s management team. Listen and read.




ELECTRONIC EARS

Aha! At last, we’ve convinced Fenner Pearson to expand his wonderful Electronic Ears brand into the Song Sommelier as a playlist series. Now we can all begin to appreciate this expansive genre just that little bit more. This first ‘excavation’ episode sets the context with a little history, and subsequent volumes will take us wherever they may take us! Read on

PRIMAL SCREAM:UNDER THE INFLUENCE

Across a lifespan covering four decades and counting, Primal Scream have fundamentally displayed two core characteristics. First, a shapeshifting restlessness - always on the move - directing themselves down whichever musical pathway inspires and excites them at the time. Read more

FANTASY SETLIST: BOB DYLAN

Bob Dylan is undoubtedly one of the global titans of modern music - perhaps of music from any time. His countless hits, vast album catalogue, decades of touring, industry awards, Legion d'Honneur and Nobel Prize for Literature all testify to this. However, despite all this, Dylan remains impenetrable to many music fans. That’s something hard to deal with for diehard Dylan fans. Read more

DARK & STORMY SOUL VOL. 4

For this edition of Dark & Stormy Soul (Vol. 4!), timed with ‘National Rum Day’ I thought it would be an idea to accompany the music by expanding on the theme of rum recipes for the cocktail (The Dark & Stormy). But ‘researching’ this (cough) I hit a serious snag. Read on

THE CITY AND THE SCENE: HULL

Welcome to the very first ‘The City and the Scene’ in which we playlist the music incubated or hosted, by a particular place. For ‘Episode 1’, we just had to begin in Hull. But why? Only one way to find out. Read on

TALKING VOICES, WITH LEONARD COHEN

Just before his death late in 2016, Canadian singer-songwriter and auteur Leonard Cohen was receiving rave reviews for his 14th studio album, You Want It ­Darker. It was the first time I had spent any considerable time listening to his music. Read more

THE BOUTIQUE HOTEL BAR

At The Song Sommelier, we consider what we do to be a suitably ‘lean forward’ experience. In plain English, we expect you come here to seek out great music and then spend some of your precious time listening to it and paying attention to it. This is the reason we exist. Read more

Cruise Control Yacht: Bright & Breezy Edition

Think yacht rock gave up the ghost in '86? You'll be pleasantly surprised. This edition is all new/recent tracks. The Cruise ship has had a lick of paint, so smash the champagne and bless all who sail with her - Toto (back), China Crisis, Zervas & Pepper, Young Gun Silver Fox, HAIM, Ruel, PREP, Fat Nights. Sail on

Dark & Stormzy: Glasto Shoutouts

Glastonbury 2019. Entering stage left, protected by a stab-proof vest (we later discovered was designed by non other than Banksy), Stormzy felt it appropriate to remind his audience - half way through the opener Know Me From - that this was “only the fucking beginning”. Read more.

Alternative Glastonbury Legends: Sunday Afternoon Slot

Ah Glastonbury! Good to have you back after a fallow year. If you’re like us, you will be casually drifting from stage to stage (VIP areas only), getting close up to the action. Drink in hand and with access to gourmet food trucks left and right, we’ll find something to enjoy in the line-up. Read more

DARK & STORMY SOUL VOLUME 3

Fire up your phone and load up Dark & Stormy Vol.3. Hit play. Good. You’ve got five minutes. You’ll hear a violin loop, the deepest cello. A double bass accompanied by the high hat. After 30 seconds the snap of the snare drum beat. Wait. Is that the accordion? That’s your clock ticking. Read more

DESPACIO DISCO DOUBLE

Not only do we despatch another Despacio (vol. 4!), but like a London bus, you wait for ages for one to come, to find two of the buggers arrive in a convoy. Unlike the buses however, you need both of these. Read more

CRUISE CONTROL: SUNSHINE YACHT ROCK

Have you heard of yacht rock? Do you enjoy cruising? Er, well you've never been on a deck at happy hour quite like this one. The usual: Toto, Fleetwood, Boz Scaggs, Hall & Oates. The unusual: Morrissey, Two Door Cinema Club, Sports, Alan Parsons Project, Sex On Toast. Rock up for a Tequila Sunrise sundowner. Confused? Nah, you’re seasick is all. Get to the bar, then hit the floor. You’ll be fine. Read More

SOUL CONNOISSEURS CHART

We wanted something modern and fresh to compliment our Funking Good Floor Fillers and make up the perfect soul weekender. We didn’t have to look too far. Read more.



FUNKING GOOD FLOOR FILLERS

We are heading for the dance floor and staying there, for these 20 belters. The first half has a northern soul feel, before we segue into Studio 54 disco land. Stabbing brass, virtuoso bass, disco strings. Should you feel an overwhelming desire to attempt the Brooklyn Shuffle, don’t hold back on our part. Track-by-track.

THE COMEDOWN VOL. 2

Just when you think summer has arrived, the air turns and a chilly snap of spring reminds you - you’re not out of the woods quite yet. That might be the blue moon at work. Apparently, this particular blue moon is the last one until August 22, 2021, making it the final blue moon of the decade. Read more.

ALTERNATIVE EUROVISION

In 2019, Eurovision hits its 64th competition. The institution is more than twice as old as the European Union and will possibly outlast it. In the UK, Eurovision has attracted some ridicule, its recent surge in popularity more down to a sense of irony than respect. How wrong we are…read more