My Juhachiban/’Go-to song’

Recently The Japan Society asked for contributions from members on the topic of their juhachiban or ‘go-to song’ at karaoke. Juhachiban literally means ’18’, but, according to the definition Wikipedia, its the term given to the one song which singers are especially good at and which they use to show off their singing abilities and…

‘Japan Says Western Pop? No, Thanks, Don’t Do It’

On 10 September I gave a presentation at the British Association for Teachers of Japanese (BATJ) annual conference in Cardiff. I spoke about ‘Western’ pop acts in Japan. In 1995, Guy De Launey’s article ‘Not-so-big in Japan: Western pop music in the Japanese market’ was published. It sought to explain some of the reasons why…

‘Japan Says Western Pop? No, Thanks, Don’t Do It’

I have been invited to give a presentation at the British Association for Teachers of Japanese annual conference in September 2022. I will be speaking about ‘Western’ pop acts in Japan. In 1995, Guy De Launey’s article ‘Not-so-big in Japan: Western pop music in the Japanese market’ was published. It sought to explain some of…

“The Heart is Strange” by xPropaganda – Heaven from ABBA in Hell

In my previous post I mentioned the appropriateness of finishing a book on nuclear culture having just given a presentation on a related subject at a conference in Cologne, where we also visited a nuclear shelter. That wasn’t the only bit of synchronicity that happened. While I was in Cologne, xPropaganda (the current name for…

Music Review: Pet Shop Boys Live

Having previously done a review of a concert that featured Altered Images, Tom Bailey, and The Human League, I’m doing one about the Pet Shop Boys concert that I went to last night. This was the second time that I have seen the Pet Shop Boys (one of my favourite acts), and again, like both…

Book Review: “World In My Eyes” by Richard Blade

I like to read autobiographies (most recently “Heart and Soul” by Carol Decker of T’Pau) and biographies. When I was listening to an episode of the Don’t You Forget About Me – The New Wave Music Podcast, during which they did a review of “Science Fiction” as well as “Transcendance” by Berlin, they mentioned how…

Book Review: “Heart and Soul” by Carol Decker

One of my favourite bands in the 1980s was T’Pau and I have previously done a post about their album Essential (which is an absolute bargain, and you should pick up if you don’t have a copy). As I noted in my review of Essential, like me, T’Pau hail from Shrewsbury. That was one of…

Welcome Back To Vinyl

I’ve not had a record player since 1989. Mine did not make the move to university when I started there, nor did it go to my parents’ new home when they moved there the same week. I would have access to a record player at their house, but by that time I was buying only…

Music Review: Altered Images, Tom Bailey, and The Human League

Further to some posts where I reviewed albums (e.g. “Europa” by Holly Johnson, “432-1 Open The Vein” by Nasher, “Transcendance” by Berlin, “Science Fiction” by Tom Bailey, and “Essential” by T’Pau), this post is about a recent concert that I went to. The concert was on 17 December 2021 and the headline act was The…

Book Review: “Did They Steal A Million Yet?” by James Crookes

It’s December 2021. But it’s also December 1984. Yes, after the highly enjoyable “Do They Know It’s Christmas Yet?“, Tash, Jamie, and company are back for another crazy ride between two time lines. Unlike the first book, this one doesn’t have the premise of needing to ensure that a key thing happens so that history…

The Power of Frankie and Going to Liverpool

Over the past year or so I have been working on a book about Frankie fans and Frankie Goes To Hollywood – see Frankie Fans Say. Due to this I went back to Liverpool last week to re-visit the Frankie exhibition at the British Music Experience and hear a special performance by Nasher. The event…

“Europa” by Holly Johnson – Frankie’s Third Album?

Continuing with my recent music review posts, this time I am covering “Europa” by Holly Johnson. As I mentioned in my post about influential albums… Europa – Holly Johnson. Great return to form from Holly Johnson. Extra bonus of having a signed copy. The concert in 2014 was amazing too. Some brilliant songs and lyrics….