Tagged: laurence and the slab boys

My Top 5 Albums of 2012 (and joint 6th's)

We usually do an Elba Annual in December where we ask people their ‘best of’s’ from throughout the year but seeing as we’ve had a particularly quiet year on here, we decided it probably was best to give it a miss and hopefully get it going again next year.

I did however, want to share my Top 5 albums of the year with you. I am asked each year by Peenko to submit my albums of the year for inclusion in the yearly BAMS (Blogs and Music Sites) list and this year when Lloyd from Peenko realised he’d run out of fingers to count up the albums, he called on me for my ninja spreadsheet skills. That list is still to be announced however, so I thought I’d get my list up before A) I forget and B) The BAMS list spoils my thunder.

Limiting albums to a Top ‘whatever’ is always quite hard I think. It depends on mood or the time of year, so in my Top 5, I could probably interchange about 3 of the 5 that are included below. In fact, in the three weeks since i sent over my albums of the year, I’ve changed the order in my head several times. However, I’ve gone with my original list but a few albums which on any other day would have made my Top 5 were;

6= Yusuf Azak – Go Native
6= The Pure Conjecture – Courgettes
6= Laurence & The Slab Boys – Lo-Fi Disgrace
6= Beach House – Bloom
6= RM Hubbert – Thirteen Lost & Found
6= Stars – The North
6= Randolph’s Leap – …and the Curse of the Haunted Headphones

But anyway, to the Top 5…


5. Best Coast – The Other Place

“Summertime in 11 tracks”



4. Francois & The Atlas Mountains – E Volo Love

“I find it hard not to love this album as it is but having seen them play live, it takes them to another level altogether. A highlight of 2012”



3. Chris Devotion and The Expectations – Amalgamation and Capital

“heard it prior to 2012 (just) and it still gets frequently aired in my house. There’s no messing about here. Catchy, two minute rock n roll tunes.”



2. Meursault – Something for the Weakened

“I loved Meursault’s first album. I love Meursault’s second album. ‘Settling’ = shivers”



1. Django Django – Django Django

“Another that I can’t seem to put down. Just a really great listen that I never seem to tire of. Again, have seen them a couple of times over the last year and a bit and they are always excellent.”

They Made Us A Mixtape…Larry (Laurence and the Slab Boys)

At last count, we’ve made eight mixtapes so far which are sitting up there (^^^) in the mixtapes tab for your aural attention. We even add liner notes for each mix. There’s been one thing missing though. We reckon that one of the best things about making mixtapes, is when you get one back in return. That moment where you look at the tracklisting and think, I’m not sure if I’m going to like that and then the slow smile that broadens across your face as you think, “wow, this opening track is brilliant, who is it again? Black Angels? Must check them out.” Then as you delve further in you discover that The Sister Ruby Band song is as beautiful as the ‘mixtaper’ said it was, and what’s not to love about a band who clearly listened to Spiritualized for all of their formative years?

This mix comes to us courtesy of Larry from Laurence and The Slab Boys and we’ve bookended Larry’s mix with a couple of tracks from their forthcoming album, ‘Lo-fi Disgrace’ simply because it’s a rather good album and we think it may be worthy of your attention. Lo-Fi Disgrace is released on Monday 18th June (officially) on Grumpy Records. However, if you hop along to their bandcamp page now, you can order yourself a copy or buy a download. We’ve chosen the album’s penultimate track, ‘Cry Wolf’ to open up the mix and ended it with recent single ‘Mushroom’. The filling in the Slab Boys sandwich is excellent and we really hope you enjoy.

Laurence and the Slab Boys – Cry Wolf

Black Angels – You On the Run

Our bassist, Matt, switched me on to this band. I think he meant to demonstrate that sheer rock and roll adrenaline should make click-tracks obsolete when recording, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him that this was still recorded with a click. Everyone’s at it, but this is a good song.

Dum Dum Girls – There is a Light That Never Goes Out

Smiths songs are sacred, and a hairy cow attempt a cover, but this is brilliant. I kinda know the Dum Dum Girls’ manager, and I should really ask about a support tour, but I’m sure he thinks I’m some sort of drunken lout, and there is a chance that I owe him money.

Entrance Band – Lookout!

I heard this for the first time in a bar in Berlin. The singer from my last band and I were taking a break from recording, and things weren’t going well. We were too bogged down with stupid, whimsical nonsense, and hearing this made us feel ridiculous – we broke up soon afterwards.

The Sister Ruby Band – Graceland Smile

I presumed this guy was huge, but seemingly not. The melody sounds like Dylan when he was still distilling Scottish folk. The lyrics are perfectly audible, but I couldn’t tell you what they are. Usually the lyrics are the core of the song for me, but not here – he could be singing the shipping forecast for all I care, with a timeless melody like that.

Boy Friend – Spirit Burner

This song is really good, even if the production is mental. I was pretty keen to remix their record for them, and I’d have done it for free, such is the brilliance of their sound. They seemed up for it, but their manager must have told them that it was a mental idea and it came to nothing. Anyway, use your imagination…

Sister Vanilla – Pastel Blue

This is the side-project that Jim and William Reid did with their sister, Linda. Our drummer is friends with the chap who played bass, Jamie Holman. He’s a good guy and he helped our band out a while back, but I daren’t ask him about this chapter, as he’d think I was just a fan-boy, and he’d be right.

The Scottish Enlightenment – Little Sleep

This might be the most pretentious band name ever, and it reminds me

of sitting listening to lectures at Glasgow University about smarty-panted agitators from bloody Edinburgh. When my pal Al said he was putting out the record on his label, I wanted not to like it, but there is no escaping the fact that it’s first-class and I love it.

Joensuu 1685 – (You Shine) Brighter Than Light

These Finnish boys sound like they grew up with Spiritualized stuck on repeat, which is just aces with me.

Laurence and the Slab Boys – Mushroom

Elba Annual 2011 – Laurence & The Slab Boys

It just occurred to me that there’s a couple of similarities with today’s post and the first instalment of this years annual;

– both of the interviewees names feature prominently in the band name

– both have albums due out in 2012

both of the afore mentioned albums are excellent

If you aren’t familiar with Laurence & The Slab Boys, Laurence was the guitarist in The Cinematics. The Slab Boys, well, they’re a bit more of a mystery. As I mentioned before, they hopefully will have an album out next year, we’ll make sure you know about it if they do.

I’ll now leave you in Laurence’s capable hands…

– Album of The Year

I know it’s trendy to say the King Creosote/Jon Hopkins record, but that was not the album of the year, no matter how many bloggers write it. The PJ Harvey one was good, but my favourite was probably the Bon Iver record.

– Song of the Year

Spirit Burner by Boyfriend.

– Best gig you played

I haven’t played all that many, to be honest, as I’ve been recording a lot. However, we did play with the Pains of

Being Pure at Heart, which was cool.

– Best gig you saw

I saw Teenage Fanclub at Lido in Berlin. I had forgotten just how many immaculate pop songs that band have written. One of my friends was describing them to his girlfriend before the gig and he said they were the “Scottish Nirvana” but I’d say they were more like the Scottish Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Beach Boys, Byrds, Nirvana, Dinosaur Jnr and Big Star rolled into one. The Twilight Sad also deserve an honourable mention for their live prowess. They are a great band and it always annoys me that they get less kudos than other bands from Scotland or on their label.

– Any musical thoughts to share on the year 2011?

There are a lot of clever and pleasing makers of music out there, but for the most part I don’t believe a word anyone says or sings.

– What does 2012 have in store for you?

We’ll put our first record out, tour a bit, play some festivals and then probably record another album, or an EP at least. I’ve already written a few songs for a new record- I want it to be uplifting and brilliant, because I’m sick and tired of the darkness.

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