Let's get it over with first, because were it not such a teethgrindingly dreadful phrase the Proclaimers' 500 Miles would be one of our guilty pleasures alongside Glass Of Champagne and Kon Kan's I Beg Your Pardon (you....you don't?), and given this is The Proclaimers feat Brian Potter & Andy Pipkin's (I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles we're all going to be sick to the back teeth of it by June. If the label re-releases I'm On My Way next somebody will have to pay in blood. Onwards and upwards, and as good as it is that they're going the self-released route through Ruffa Lane, we can't help feeling Lucky Soul would be all over the place were they being distributed through a household name, such is the immediate pull of their retro-modernist DIY soul. Add Your Light To Mine Baby makes it four swooningly cracking singles out of four, the one before the album in fact (craven memo to anyone passing by from the band or their associates - promo, plz. Oh, and play a UK gig outside London at some point), and the video features an acquaintance of ours' hand for about four seconds. The new Maximo Park album takes some getting used to, having lost some of the quirky New Wavities and grown a set of teeth, but then A Certain Trigger was a proper grower too, so come back to us later. Our Velocity is a great way to kick part two of their career off, regardless. The Rumble Strips' surefire march to advance stardom seems not to have quite kicked off, despite the full-on Prozac Dexys stomp of Alarm Clock being a Scott Mills record of the week, but we can only keep on hoping. The gaping post-Gorky's Zygotic Mynci gap marked 'Welsh oddball' looks finally to have been filled by the not all that dissimilar Radio Luxembourg, whose EP Diwrnod Efo'r Anifeiliaid shows no end of indie-psychedelic promise. On a multilingual tip, remember how Diplo was going to bring Brazilian favela to the masses three years ago? That may never have escaped the style pages but his label have signed baile funk popsters Bonde Do Role (although licensed to Domino here), responsible for the party sound of Solta O Frango, allegedly 'release the chickens' in English. That's spoilt the global pop village lingua franca image, hasn't it?
Such slim pickings in this area this week that we were very briefly tempted to include the Bananarama back catalogue which is being remastered and reissued. Come on, it's consummate eighties pop before SAW signed them up and ignored the tight twisting of the format's ground rules that made them what they had been. Instead we have in terms of brand new releases the inventive beats of Brooklyn Company Flow veteran El-P on I'll Sleep When You're Dead, Newcastle powerhouses Kubichek!'s Not Enough Night and the Rakes' so far distinctly underwhelming sophomore effort Ten New Messages. Atlantic have found a new reason to throw out a load of their soul back catalogue, including Stax and Gamble & Huff's Philadelphia, it being their sixtieth anniversary this year. Platinum Collections all round, then, for the extraordinary Stax house band Booker T and The MG's, second division but ever promotion contending (pre-Blues Brothers) ex-gospeller Solomon Burke, Otis Redding's spotlight-suggesting protege Arthur Conley and Philly soul one hit wonders Archie Bell And The Drells. Somewhat less of an anniversary occasion sees a 2CD tenth anniversary version, featuring B-sides, demos and live tracks, of Pioneer Soundtracks (actually released in 1996, but nobody's counting) by out of time and hence undervalued ambitious louche romantics Jack. Produced by Scott Walker's recent sideman Peter Walsh, its four singles were all Melody Maker singles of the week, and this being the modern day here's videos for two of them, White Jazz and Wintercomessummer.