In the mid 90s, Bangor, NI, singer/songwriter Iain Archer made two acoustic-based albums for Glasgow label Sticky. In between he recorded a blistering stoner rock album that never saw daylight. Here it is.
…you meet someone who saw Elvis Presley at the Louisiana Hayride. My friend Kyle, a former music retailer, scenester and one of the alternative candidates to Terri Hooley as ‘godfather of punk’ in Northern Ireland, operates an Airbnb place. He occasionally has interesting guests. A while ago it was someone from free-jazz pioneers AMM, this week it’s a nice fellow from Shrieveport who can make the above claim (he was aged 4 at the time). The next gig he saw was 13 years later, also in Shrieveport – Jimi Hendrix. That’s a rather impressive sequence, isn’t it?
Feel free to take the post heading ‘ ‘It’s not everyday that…’ – and fill in your own interesting encounters. 🙂
The fabulous Disreali Gears… and yes, that’s how they spelt it 🙂
These guys were brilliant – their complete output in a montage:
…you might like the Minnows. One of the great pop acts from Northern Ireland in the early 90s, who didn’t quite make it out of NI (three singles/EP 1991-92 on Good Vibrations), I had the pleasure of including them on two live various artists CDs I organised in 1995 and ’96. Here are those tracks plus a rare 1994 cassette single and a 1997 v/a industry promo sampler track, with images from the releases and other ephemera including two interviews I did with principal songwriter Mickey Rafferty in a regional newspaper in 1995 and 1996. They released an album in 1996, a second in 2007, and will allegedly release a third in 2020. Slower than the Blue Nile 🙂 Quality above quantity.
My pal Lonesome Chris Todd filmed a promo last week for his new EP ‘Dark Horses’, using the faded grandeur of Lissan House in County Tyrone. It’s a beautiful track about complicated circumstances and a walk through a forest. Typical fare for a bluesman, obviously.
It’s been a while since we’ve caught up with Stray-meister Mardl Boehm, beloved of Afterword legend Mojo Working. It looks like he’s funking it up with his current album. What would Mojo think?
Inspired by Twang’s post on great drumming tracks, I’ve been listening a lot recently to the new Focus album ‘Focus 11’ (no, wait… come back…) 😀 and I’m intrigued by the opening tune ‘Who’s Calling?’ Specifically, I’m intrigued by its arrangement and not least the drumming.
‘Who’s Calling?’ was originally recorded by the one-off reunion of Jan Akkerman and Thijs van Leer in 1985 for an album called ‘Focus’. It is, in my view, one of the great Focus melodies, certainly worthy of revival. The current Focus, which has been fully operational since ‘Focus 8’ in 2003, is led by Thijs van Leer and for the past couple of albums and associated touring has also featured the great Pierre van der Linden on drums, from the classic era 1972-74 band. The current Focus has done a grand job of re-interpreting a few oldies on record, but is this latest effort a success?
I’m in two minds. What does the Afterword prog massive think? Is Menno’s bolted on riffing a good idea or should it have formed the basis of another tune entirely? And is Pierre’s galloping double time drumming a revelation or a man falling down the stairs with his » Continue Reading.
By the always great Vincent Lyons – terrific stuff. And I’ve been enjoying their new album ‘Focus 11’, in the post today 🙂
‘Unpentangled: The Sixties Anthology’, from Cherry Red at a mere £23, is a 6CD set collecting John Renbourn’s three 1966-68 solo LPs, his two LPs with Dorris Henderson (1965 & 1967) and 1966’s ‘Bert and John’, with Bert Jansch, under one roof. It includes the handful of bonus outtakes that were previously added to Sanctuary CDs of ‘John Renbourn’ and ‘Sir John Alot’ and the three Dorris/John singles sides, plus ‘Lucky Thirteen’ appended to ‘John Renbourn’ and ‘The Waggoner’s Lad’ appended to ‘Bert and John’ (both of these being Renbourn/Jansch instrumental collaborations originally found on Jansch LPs of the period).
Progressive small-group jazz of the Horace Silver/Charles Lloyd variety was a big influence on Renbourn in this period, alongside other influences such as medieval music, British and Celtic folk song, and blues. These albums show together how John assimilated all of these influences into the style he brought to the Pentangle and later refined as a solo artist in the 70s.
David Wells has written and excellent essay and I supplied a load of period ads, pics and reviews to the 24-page booklet. Oli Hemingway did the mastering, which is excellent, and I asked him how he felt the » Continue Reading.
I’m travelling in England this week and I’ve bought a couple of train tickets using a credit card online, to be collected ‘with any card’ plus the reference number from machines at rail stations. I’m sure lots of you have everyday experience with this – my question is this: am I likely to need my credit card PIN? I was stiffed for over £100 by a scumbag car rental firm in Yorkshire recently for not knowing this, despite the booking having been paid online beforehand. I can’t quite get my heard around this instruction about getting my ticket ‘with any card’ plus the reference number. Do I have to pay something again? Or is it just an identification thing?
Word on the street is there might be some Thompo fans around here. If so, here’s a 1973 concert I’ve just digitised:
I thought some here might enjoy this – Gay & Terry Woods with Gary Moore sitting in, at a folk club in Kent, 1971.
Just stumbled on this wonderful performance and thought I’d share it…
I wonder will the great man perform this 1975 Mahavishnu classic, unearthed for his 4th Dimension set during his 2017 ‘Farewell America’ tour? Let’s hope so…
I haven’t been able to identify this (lyric Googling has yielded nothing). Vocal reminds me of Nick Lowe, but I don’t think it’s Brinsley Schwarz. Oh, who knows…
I suspect Twang will know.
My friend Lonesome Chris Todd’s solo debut ‘Dark Horses’ EP was released digitally yesterday – two originals, two blues classics: the former recorded in studio luxuriance, the latter in ‘field recording’ style (one mic, one home recording gadget).
Here’s the amazon download link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=Lonesome+Chris+Todd&i=digital-music&search-type=ss&ref=ntt_srch_drd_B07P5G7XWN
I just digitised this from a reel, Pete Atkin’s sole BBC radio session of the 70s, with a terrific string quartet and band – and words, of course, by Clive James. I’ve always liked the idea of Pete & Clive but never cared for the one album I’d previously heard. But I’m rather taken with this.
Here are 8 acts whose identities have eluded me. Tracks found on reels of otherwise identified Peel session acts, with odd LP tracks here and there. Some of these might be LP tracks. Who knows? Hopefully the Massive…
Leafing through Ken Garner’s ‘In Session Tonight’ book, I noticed a UK act called Gypsy (i.e. not the US west coast one) who racked up no less than 10 BBC radio sessions between 1971-73, all but one for Peel and Bob Harris.
I’d never heard of them.
Discogs tells me they made two albums and a handful of singles for United Artists – records released in the US as ‘English Gypsy’. The members were David McCarthy, Robin Pizer, Rod Read, John Knapp and Moth Smith.
No, me neither…
Anyone else heard of these people? Did they live locally to Maida Vale or something?
I’ve compiled two audio montages – around 80 minutes’ worth in total – from various fragments of Peel’s late-night episodes of ‘Night Ride’ from 1968, from a couple of off-air reels. Poets, ethnographic oddities, folk, blues and beyond. Some of the music is from LP, most is from session recordings – full details in the blurb under each video. Most of the poets are live in the studio, a few are poetry recordings from unknown stage performances. Session tracks include Stefan Grossman, Marc Brierley, John Renbourn & Jackie McShee, Fairport Convention, Pentangle and others. Poets include Adrian Mitchell, Brian Patten, Roger McGough, Pete Morgan, and Adrian Henri with Andy Roberts. Enjoy.
I’ve been posting various John Peel Night Ride and Top Gear sessions from the late 60s as montages on YouTube recently. There’s 16 sessions or bits of sessions there so far. Feel free to investigate. Here’s one, a very atmospheric Michael Chapman session on Night Ride in 1968 (his first of a dozen for JP):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvQz1l6_UGcVideo can’t be loaded: Michael Chapman – Peel session – Night Ride 12.6.68 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvQz1l6_UGc)
Someone on a forum I’m in asked that question earlier today. In fact, there were SIX ‘first Peel sessions’… and they were all actually John Peel/Pete Drummond sessions. I’ve compiled a snapshot of that first 1/10/67 ‘Top Gear’ and the following few shows in a montage.
The six ‘first Peel sessions’ were by The Move, Big Maybelle & the Senate, Tomorrow (featuring Keith West), Tim Rose, Traffic and Pink Floyd. All were broadcast on ‘Top Gear’ on 1/10/67. The first three of those acts recorded their sessions on 21/9/67, the other three on 25/9/67.
Strictly speaking, ‘Top Gear’ didn’t become ‘John Peel’s Top Gear’ until 4/2/68. Between 12/11/67 – 28/1/68 John co-presented the show, and thereby its exclusive session recordings, with Tommy Vance. There were six shows between 1/10/67 (the first episode) and 5/11/67, and these were co-presented by a pool of presenters. John Peel and Pete Drummond did the first one. John co-presented two of the other five with Drummond, while Drummond co-presented the other three with Tommy Vance, Mike Ahern and Rick Vane. Yes, a case could be made that several legendary early ‘Peel sessions’ were actually ‘Drummond sessions’.
In this montage, I’ve assembled tracks from three » Continue Reading.
We don’t often hear people covering Pentangle soings, do we? Here’s their near-hit in three time signatures given a spring clean by a woman from, I’m guessing, the Netherlands.