Well, it’s been very quiet around here, recently, hasn’t it? My big secret is that I used to write most of the posts during my commute, and… well, thanks to the pandemic, I haven’t had one for a little over two years now, so it’s been harder and harder to keep up. I’m sure there will be a reboot one day, but for now, I’m sorry – we’ll stay in this holding pattern for a while longer.

I even managed to miss the tenth anniversary of this blog! Just by a few days, and it seems a slightly bitter milestone given that the ninth anniversary was only a few posts ago, but there you go. Time to celebrate a decade of, er, Decadence on this blog, with this lovely collaboration between Pet Shop Boys and Johnny Marr from 1994.



Well, I’ve been away for a while. Obviously not really, but I haven’t been posting here, mainly because I’ve been busy with home life and other personal projects. I had intended that I would start posting again when my commute started once this whole pandemic thing died down a bit, but I still haven’t commuted for nearly two years, and while I’ve still got plenty to say for myself, I’ve run out of backlogged posts. So anyway, things will still remain pretty quiet, I’m afraid.

Did you miss me? No, I didn’t think so…

I thought I would pop my head around the door with a couple of recent discoveries. First up, thanks to Adam Buxton‘s podcast I discovered this beautiful work from Laurie Anderson, which most of you had probably heard before, but for some reason (maybe because I wasn’t entirely sentient when it came out) I never had.

It’s fascinating to listen to, because there’s obviously an element of this where Anderson is just messing around with a sampler and a vocoder. I’ve got tapes with these kinds of experiments too, but they’re nowhere near this evocative. Excuse the superlatives, but it’s rare these days that I hear something quite this exciting.

Then there’s this. Bad dance cover versions were all the rage in the nineties (that might be an unintentional pun actually, because it was Rage who recorded this passable cover of Bryan Adams‘s Run to You in 1992, complete with house piano (good) and unnecessary rap section (bad):

But then there’s this. The Connells’74-’75 is a decent pop-rock song, which apparently some people called Hands of Belli and a singer called Nanci Edwards decided needed turning into this monstrosity:

And that, I’m sure you’ll agree, is quite enough of that for now. Bye.


If you’re reading this, it means this blog is paused for some reason. Perhaps I fell under a bus on the way to the circus. Maybe I’m tied up rescuing evil old ladies from lovely little kittens. Or I could have just forgotten to write any more posts.

Whatever the reasons, Music for stowaways will be back with you as soon as possible. In the meantime, please enjoy the archives!

Nine years of stowaways

Firstly: happy ninth birthday to this blog!

Secondly: sorry that you find us in the middle of a quiet period! Trying to continue blogging through a pandemic and with a growing family turned out to be chaotic, to say the least. You’ve still seen about 140 posts since the first lockdown hit this part of the world, and some of those even have some interesting content, so we’ve done OK.

I’m working on a number of projects at the moment, and unfortunately the blog isn’t quite getting the attention it deserves. That will start to change over the next couple of months, so we’ll be back soon – with actual content, as well, such as reviews! But for now, please be patient, and continue to…

Greatest Hits 2021

It’s with sincere regret that I realize that I didn’t actually manage to bring you a single new review in 2020, thanks to personal commitments and the ongoing lockdown. For the time being, while I’m unable to bring you more, here are ten of the greatest hits from the history of this blog:

  1. Garbage – Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go)
  2. Jean-Michel Jarre – Chronologie
  3. Kraftwerk – Aerodynamik
  4. Moby – Ambient
  5. Olive – Extra Virgin
  6. Rex the Dog – The Rex the Dog Show
  7. Sparks – In Outer Space
  8. Sébastien Tellier – Politics
  9. Way Out West – We Love Machine
  10. The xx – xx

Dawn of a new era

I decided to pause regular service today just to pause and celebrate the death – however brief it ends up being – of fascism in the USA. Yes, Wonderbras aren’t American, but it’s still a good excuse for some Rammstein.

Looking back at 2020

This has not been, I think we can all agree, a year that we will look back upon particularly fondly. We finally saw a perfect storm of long-building problems with climate change, civil rights abuses, far-right politics, and more, and subsequently all spent most of the year locked up in our homes.

The world of music, meanwhile, has been an interesting one. I suspect revenues hit an all-time low, as pretty much nobody went out to any concerts for most of the year. Dance music in particular has taken some interesting side steps, as nobody had anywhere to go and dance, so the US and UK Club Charts have been on hold since March or April.

In spite of that, there have been many bright moments, with plenty of free concerts on YouTube (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark‘s recordings and Jean-Michel Jarre‘s somewhat successful attempt at an immersive virtual reality experience spring to mind). My age-old favourite band The Beloved have forged ahead with reissues of their first two albums, and the brilliant Sophie Ellis-Bextor took the first UK lockdown as an excuse for a greatest hits album, which is very astute indeed.

There is, of course, plenty more that we could mention, but I’ll leave it to you to consider what. In spite of everything, there has been lots of creativity to celebrate in 2020, and while I think we all hope that 2021 will see some degree of return to normality, I hope the inventiveness continues.

Jean-Michel Jarre, by the way, is trying again tonight, with his Welcome to the Other Side virtual concert, which should be a suitable way to close out this disastrous year, in case you don’t have any other plans.

Eight years of stowaways

So it is that we limp past the eight year mark for this blog. Little did I think, all those years ago, that it would still be going after all this time. Well, it barely is – I used to post every day, then every weekday, then a few times a week, and then the fun of the lockdown meant I barely had any time to slow down and listen to music, let alone to write about it.

But I can’t really complain – I’m still here, eight years on, looking back at over two thousand posts of general music-related drivel. I was going to post something linking back to the first post, but I see now that it was about Pet Shop BoysWinner, which I always thought was unfairly derided, but it was hardly one of their finest moments. So let’s do this instead, which definitely is – here’s Thursday:

Greatest Hits – Covid Edition

I’m all too aware that there haven’t been a lot of new reviews around here lately – sorry for that. For now, with the lockdown firmly in place, let’s roll back to some of the reviews from the last couple of years that you might have missed!

Longest Day

Well, these are interesting times, aren’t they?

For a number of reasons, actually completely unrelated to the reason you might be thinking of, posts have dried up here a bit recently. There was a time, back in the day, when I was able to stay well ahead with writing reviews, and never had any shortage of content. Time passed, and gradually life got busier, and honestly this blog has been limping along for a while now.

So, what now? I may have run out of posts, but I’m not short of ideas, so this blog will definitely return – probably not seven days a week again, but maybe once a week, and probably not for a little while, unless I suddenly find a lot of free time for some reason. For now, while I’m housebound, I’m afraid family duties have to take top priority!

So let me leave you with this, the ninth most played track in my iTunes library: the brilliant Dave Gahan, providing vocals for Soulsavers, on Longest Day. Please take it easy, stay safe, and enjoy the silence!