I saw Bellowhead on Friday night in Ipswich. Only just pipped at the post by A Silver Mt Zion at Colchester Arts Centre as the best live band I've seen this year so far. They were truly fantastic - dark, stylish, brooding, dancable and very very tight, they whipped the crowd into a frenzy of traditional English folk tunes, jigs and sea shanties performed by a big band, (there were 11 of them squeezed onto a tiny stage) with a jazz horn section. I did make the mistake of, on being introduced to someone who was an ex-Morris Dancer, of stating that I wouldn't hold it against him, but I think that was the evening's only faux pas. He was a bit of a folk purist and thought Bellowhead were 'disturbing' so I'm not too bothered. Anyway, this band are highly recommended and if they are playing near you in the next few weeks on their UK tour, do yourself a favor and make sure you go and see them. Morris dancing is optional.
On a brief aside, I had reason to pass through Strood nr Rochester (in Kent near where I once lived) today and saw where I bought my first LP proper, if you discount 'Remember You're A Womble' bought with a record token when I was seven or eight. The record I bought at the tender age of 11 was Blondie's Parallel Lines and I felt so grown up buying 'adult' music. It therefore seems only fitting when I wandered into a CD Fair about an hour later in Rochester that I should buy a Blondie 'best of'. The record shop in Strood is now a newsagent.