Wooden Shjips
Sunday, July 31, 2011 at 2:53PM

I'm really enjoying Wooden Shjips' latest album West. The critics tend to be a bit sniffy about their stoner/Krautrock grooves and go on about all the songs sounding the same. There is something in that, of course, but when you've got such a distinctive and irresistible sound, why not go for it?

Excellent driving music, though I suspect my partner may need some persuading, as we head down through France tomorrow...

Even if there is something in the argument that you only need one of Wooden Shjips' records, West may well be the one to go for - recorded in a proper studio and sporting what looks like it will be a very fine, evocative sleeve. A vinyl copy is on order...

I see them as the natural heirs to Hawkwind, who featured in an good documentary I caught on BBC4 the other week. I saw them back in December 1972 at the King George's Hall in Blackburn, Lancashire. (Think of it as the Fillmore North... and you will be almost completely mistaken.) One of the first gigs I went to and wonderful... pleasingly loud, great lightshow, the wonderful Stacia dancing, a certain Lemmy Kilmister on bass. What more could a fifteen year old want? A lift, actually, so as not to have to rush for the last bus back to Clitheroe.

Anyway, In Search Of Space and Space Ritual are still worth a listen, if you're in that sort of mood. 

An interesting fact or two to finish with: Stacia is now an artist, living and working in her native Ireland. You can see some of her work here. She married Roy Dyke, the drummer in Ashton, Gardner & Dyke - they of the 'Resurrection Shuffle'.

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