I was quite shocked recently, coming across this clip of Phil Collins performing Against All Odds. I know he has had his health problems, which include a bad back, but his voice is pretty much shot now and he looks pale and ragged. It’s quite sad to hear him trying to hit the high notes. I don’t mind some Genesis and dabbled in some solo Collins during my youth, his book is actually quite a revealing read, but should he give up the live work now…?
As the brexit process continues smoothly with no hitches, let’s celebrate with some appropriate songs. That lovely six letter word can be featured in the song titles if required, a few to start off with…
Brexit Bloody Brexit-U2 I Need Direction-Teenage Fanclub Money For Nothing-Dire Straits Stuck In A Brexit You Can’t Get Out Of-U2 Something About Brexit-Level 42 Sorrow-Pink Floyd Sweet Little Lies-Fleetwood Mac Down Down-Status Quo The Land Of Make Believe-Bucks Fizz
I came across A-HA’s unplugged version of Take On Me the other day. In its stripped back form, the intro sounds quite like Radiohead’s Karma Police. I think the whole unplugged thing has been overdone now, but this is quite a nice moment and not too forced as it were…
I know R.E.M.’s album Around The Sun isn’t regarded as one of their finest moments, but in my humble opinion, I would put Leaving New York right up there with some of their best songs. What other great songs spring to my mind from bands/artists in the twilight years of their sometimes flagging careers?
I miss Brian Matthews Sound Of The Sixties on a Saturday morning. Blackburn does a decent enough job and know one could fault his enthusiasm, but wish they had kept the show at the same time from 8-10am. I struggle a bit with radio on weekend mornings, some Danny Baker for a bit if I’m in the mood. Although the music is generally okay, find Huey Morgan annoying on Saturday mornings and Cerys irritating on Sunday morning as she cackles on. I normally resort to listening to World on 3 on Saturday mornings from the night before and Jazz Record requests on a Sunday morning from radio 3 the day before. What are your thoughts, listening habits re weekend radio? I find the afternoons better on 6, Giles P, Craig Charles both usually very good.
‘What a year we’ve had” smiles a radiant Steve Hogarth, as the band close with final encore Three Minute Boy. Clearly jubilant, Marillion are going through a golden period at the moment; they played the London Palladium the night before and Prog Magazine awarded them band of the year. With a five star review in the Guardian for their album F.E.A.R. and a recent triumphant show at the Albert Hall, all things are gold in the Marillion camp at the moment. The packed ‘family’ of Marillion fans look like they want to remain, ignore the curfew and carry on singing (at times badly),but they can’t complain, this has been a set which just gives and gives.
Beginning with the most thought provoking and at times heart wrenching Eldorado suite from F.E.A.R. it climaxes with the title track, Steve Rothery’s powerful guitar chords and Hogarth screaming “You Can’t See Into My Head”. With themes of terrorism, the state of our once proud nation and world, it’s a sombre start, but is dispelled as Mark Kelly’s fluttery piano signals the intro of Slaine Mhath from their 1987 Clutching At Straws. Originally sung by Fish, Hogarth » Continue Reading.
I remember the days, when there used to be a lot more grumbling re bands using backing tracks and the like, maybe it’s just me, but people don’t seem to be bothered about it as much now with acts using Apple Macs and the like on stage. The last time I saw Marillion live, they used quite a lot of backing tracks for backing vocals etc and the last time I saw Richard Hawley live, he had some backing tracks too on some tracks, it almost seems to be the norm these days. I enjoyed the first half of U2s show earlier in the year as it was just the four of them playing on a small stage as a band with no hidden extras. I know on some of their tours in the nineties they used to have a couple of extra guitarists playing under the stage. What are your views? Do you mind seeing a live act with backing tracks or would you rather see a band with extra players helping out onstage?
Stuck in the shed today, no gardening due to the never ending rain. The lunatic will soon be on the White House grass then , this song seems to soundtrack today. Everything will be alright won’t it? I always take comfort from this Marvin Gaye song.
It is so sad to hear that the saga of York Minsters axed bell ringers, tolls on, and to also further learn that we are unlikely to hear bells ring out across this historic city, until the New Year.
Earlier in the year, the evening bells offered much comfort , as I walked regularly from the city hospital, across the River Ouse and back to the railway station, after sometimes harrowing visits to see my father.
Silence over the dark winter months, seems to be unacceptable, whatever the health and safety issues, after all the hundreds of years, that the bells have rung.
Recently awarded for a Nobel award in literature, Bob Dylan sums it up so well in his magnificent song ‘Ring Them Bells’:
“Ring them bells Saint Peter where the four winds blow, ring them bells with an iron hand, so the people will know…”
Substitute the letter T for Trump in a song or album title:
In Trump Air Tonight-Phil Collins Trump Me To The River- Al Green Trump Walk Of Life-Dire Straits Smells Like Trump Spirit-Nirvana We Gotta Get Out Of Trump Place- The Animals The Most Beautiful Girl In Trump World- Prince
Just when you think 2016 can’t become any stranger, Marillion’s new album F.E.A.R. has entered the album charts at Number 4. Their highest entry since 1987’s Clutching At Straws! No doubt it will plummet next week, but it’s good to see some prog back in the charts. I’m on the fourth listen and it’s slowly unleashing its charm.
For some bizarre reason, Sting’s Englishman In New York, shuffled onto my phone the other day. I quite like the song, but Sting likes his toast done on one side. I have never had toast done just on one side, have you? If I go for a cooked breakfast or cook my own, I like a round of toast with both sides toasted. I admit sometimes at hotels, you can be waiting for ages at the toasting machine, as your bread moves round slowly on the metal conveyor, it sometimes flops out toasted on just one side.
“I don’t drink coffee I take tea, my dear I like my toast done on one side”
Since the demise of Bowie, it does seem that things have all gone a bit pear shaped in 2016 and there’s plenty to be concerned and worried about in the world right now.
But how has 2016 been for you so far, what have been your highlights?
The year has certainly been a different one so far for myself and after nearly twenty years, I finally left the office and am now working as a gardener for the local council. It’s lower pay, hard graft and I’m still learning the ropes, but feeling fitter and healthy than I have done for years.
One day at a time, I may or may not be kept on through the winter, but as Colin Baker the sixth Doctor once said after regeneration: “Change my dear and not a moment too soon…”
Gig of the year so far was a 3 hour set by the Brian Jonestown Massacre at Leeds University.
How about you?
I see that Ross is back on Radio Two on a Thursday evening on the Arts Show. I really used to enjoy his show on a Saturday morning on Radio Two and think he is a great radio broadcaster. Radio Two seems to suffer from no longer having a regular later evening radio show. Each to their own, but I don’t think the different programmes they have each evening work later on. I quite like Jamie Cullum Jazz’s Show on a Tuesday evening. Whiley is slightly more tolerable now in small doses. My evening radio habits now often range from FIP (great jazz music every night from about 6pm) or Jazz FM for a bit. I dip into Marc Riley’s show, Gideon Coe, or LBC. Throughout the night (on low volume) it’s Classic FM or Radio 3. I’ve tried Radio X but it’s just too blokey, heavy on guitars and indie landfill. What are your thoughts/listening habits on an evening?
Matt Johnson recently played some songs online on Radio Cineola and premiered a new The The song-We Can’t Stop What’s Coming. It was a one off show and I missed it due to a prior engagement, but will hope to hear this apocalyptic titled song soon. A new documentary is on the cards, which should be worth waiting for. I last saw The The on their Naked Self Tour at Leeds Town And Country Club. So many great songs, such a brilliant songwriter, it would be great to hear some new material from The The, in whatever form that might appear as… Like Prince, an artist who keeps tight control of his material, there’s little footage on You Tube etc from The The. This is admirable and The Whisperers is just one of my favorite songs, but there are so so many…
I guess we all have our bad days, worst and most embarrassing moments, a few of mine would include:
1) Attending the early birds fast lane swimming at the local pool a few years ago, changed and was about to confidently dive in, when I realised I still had my socks on.
2 ) Working in a mind numbing former position as a file clerk for the D.S.S, years ago, called into the very nice mangers office very nicely and assumed I would be offered a rise/change of position. Manager produced job application I had forwarded to another company in a “borrowed” DSS envelope which had been returned to D.S.S, due to insufficient postage! It took some explaining, but I wasn’t sacked!
3)Mate’s mobile phone slipped down the back of sofa seat in local hotel bar. He couldn’t reach down for it, I leant forward to help him and as I lurched forward, put my head through window behind seat. Whole back window shattered.
I’m sure you have some, you may wish to share.
I see that Marillion’s new album will be titled F.E.A.R. (F*** Everyone And Run) I’ve pre-ordered my copy, will be interesting to see what it sounds like, I don’t think the title is that great or original.
What other albums border on the ridiculous re titles?
What are your thoughts on ACDC using a replacement vocalist for Brian Johnson?
I never thought Queen (well the duo May and Taylor) would continue without Freddie Mercury but they have, yet I can’t imagine U2 continuing without Bono and The Rolling Stones without Mick.
What other groups can you not imagine without their lead singer?
There is always a tambourine present on some of the greatest records isn’t there?
I strongly believe that David Bowie’s Blackstar album will test the time for many years to come, I feel his Outside album still hasn’t dated either, very ahead of its time.
Bit of a cliché, but Radiohead’s OK Computer is another, it still sounds as fresh as ever, I remember buying it from one of those MVC Stores in Leeds in 1997.
What other albums haven’t dated? I listened to Collin’s Face Value yesterday and it has dated badly.
Many of you will no doubt, when you read this post.
It seems that Phil Collins is having a bit of a comeback, his first album Face Value and Both Sides Of The Story now repackaged with new updated covers showing an older Collins. More to come I assume?
In my early teens, I did dabble with some Collins and have a few of his albums. His first album is one that I would like to go back to and is probably his finest. I’ll probably buy the repackaged version of Face Value. To this day, In The Air Tonight still sounds pretty unique.
I do like some Genesis as well, it’s not rocket science, but I guess the trouble with a lot of latter day Genesis tracks was that there was little distinction between Collins material and Genesis.
Even if you’re not a fan , their film “When In Rome” is highly entertaining and self-deprecating at times.
Thank you for reading to the end, goodbye for now, please Take Me Home.
Recently head Liz Kershaw naming David Bowie’s last album as “Darkstar”, a slip of the tongue no doubt. Also have a friend who always used to refer to the Chris Rea album “Road To Hell” as “Highway To Hell”.
In a parallel world, what would other albums be named?
Sisters In Arms- Dire Straits, Non-Automatic For The People- R.E.M. Wish You Weren’t Here-Pink Floyd, Bedsit California-The Eagles
Call me old fashioned and I guess this has maybe been discussed before, but was listening to Test Match Special this morning and even Michael Vaughan has now resorted to using the phrase “Going Forward” all the time. It’s so annoying, constantly heard at work all the time in pointless meetings, as is the term “guys” What other sayings do you find hard to abide these days?
The last gigs I attended were P.I.L. and U2 last year, nothing booked as of yet, but hope to manage a few this year. Bit out of a loop with gigs at the moment, tried to obtain tickets for the Ritchie Blackmore gig in Birmingham, but they went too soon. Would be interested to hear who you are going to see this year for inspiration…