I’m delighted to have been involved in this project, driven by former Transatlantic senior staffer Laurence Aston – held over from last year (dating the start of the label was happily flexible between 1961/62). Starting next week. Here is the PR sheet:
On 28 September BMG will begin the Transatlantic Records 60th Anniversary roll-out campaign, releasing 30 albums from the label’s vaults over the period of one month.
Transatlantic was founded by Renaissance man Nathan ‘Nat’ Joseph, who was in the tradition of great record company bosses like Jac Holzman (Elektra), Mo Asch (Folkways), Chris Blackwell (Island) and Tony Stratton-Smith (Charisma). Named after his practice of importing US records into the UK and selling them to retailers, Transatlantic was the first UK record company to license releases from prestigious jazz labels Prestige and Blue Note, and American folk and blues from Folkways and Elektra.
The label’s slogan ‘Where Trends Begin’ was a manifesto it always strived to live up to, from its humble beginnings of releasing recordings by controversial sex educationalist Dr Eustace Chesser (aka Dr Keith Cammeron), actors Sheila Hancock and Tony Britton, TV calypsonian Cy Grant and jazz singer Annie Ross, to the ‘satire » Continue Reading.
Just noticed this 1982 Lindisfarne clip and thought it sounded familiar… the groove… the riff…
Denouement in the comments/
…that a late-night affray at Rufford Park in Nottinghamshire involving poachers and gamekeepers gave rise to a classic folk song. Using the British Library’s subscription online newspaper archive, I found a report of the incident in several local papers in October 1851 along with reports of the court proceedings a month later… and reference to the song in an opinion piece on songs about criminals from 1862. So, 11 years for a folk song (author unknown) to be created.
I’ve long thought the 1987 BBC radio session version by Martin Carthy to be his finest rendering of the song – and Martin agrees. He vividly recalls the way the engineer miked his guitar. It will, of course, be on the 20CD ‘Martin Carthy at the BBC’ planned for next year. 🙂
…that the Mahavishnu Orchestra Mk 1’s third and final album ‘Between Nothingness & Eternity’ was recorded. Three tracks from two nights in Central Park, New York, on August 17-18 1973.
This is the (splendidly) remastered sound from the ‘Complete Columbia Albums’ box set of 2011, which added around 90 seconds of music edited from the original vinyl plus an extra disc of one take each of all but one of the other tunes played over those two nights. If I had the opportunity to curate a Mahavishnu box set we would, of course, have every note played over those two nights.
In the early 2010s I had a run of four years in which circumstances – frugal but doable – allowed me to write three research-heavy books in succession: ‘Bathed in Lightning: John McLaughlin, the 60s and the Emerald Beyond’, published by Jawbone Press in 2014, was the first. That run of 3,500 sold out a year or more back and second-hand copies online are very scarce. Not very many people buy my books but those who do have a tendency to keep them! 🙂 So I decided to reprint it myself – it was economically borderline for Jawbone to do so but viable for me on a smaller scale, and Nigel and Tom at Jawbone very kindly gave me the physical rights and digital print files.
My stock arrived today – 80 copies manufactured by the always reliable Biddles Books, with minor tweaks to the original edition.
As was the case with ‘Dazzling Stranger: Bert Jansch and the British folk and blues revival’ (Bloomsbury, 2000), two thirds of the book traverses London in the 1960s – with a different lens, but with some characters cropping up in both. I don’t believe you need to be a McLaughlin diehard to » Continue Reading.
This is fun – someone with time on their hands has pieced together all the bits of ‘teaser trailer’ film from the forthcoming-this-week ‘Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ series that have been released here and there online by Amazon Prime up to August 20 to create a 10-minute montage in what they believe to be the correct story order, I have my doubts about the whole venture – created entirely from Tolkien’s six historical appendices to LOTR, on events in Middle-earth preceding the period covered in LOTR – but it certainly *looks* spectacular.
The lead character seems to be Galadriel, and Elrond is prominent too (both of whom appear in the LOTR books and films, sets thousands of years later, being near-immortal). Unfortunately, like TV quiz show personality Alexander Armstrong, this Elrond actor has a face one feels inclined to punch! Also glimpsed is a balrog, an Ent (in the distance) and (partially) Sauron.
In 1983 Chris Groom, a young designer, had his portfolio politely declined by one of Strat’s managers at one of his whimsical record label, Charisma’s, several offices in Soho (the company premises undulating around the square mile over its 15-odd year existence, never far from a pub in which Strat could hold court and in which his employees could louchely skive). Groom never did meet the Great Man but he has done him a great service in writing this book.
Born in 1933, Strat died in 1987, only 53. It was a full life, with the maverick record mogul era only the best-known and most recent part. But even that has perhaps faded from memory somewhat, making this book all the more welcome. Indeed, when he died, his loyal lieutenant Gail Colson rang ‘Music Week’ to report the news only to find the staffer had never heard of him. She received an apology from the editor after that, but maybe today not a soul at ‘Music Week’ (if it still exists) from the editor down would know the name of Tony Stratton Smith without resorting to Google. The likes of Chris Blackwell and Richard Branson, his peers, lived » Continue Reading.
Colin H on Bert Jansch at the BBC
The following information was prepared for possible inclusion in the ‘Bert Jansch at the BBC’ box set, but not used. It is gathered from the BBC Written Records Centre, the BBC audio licensing database, communications with several current and past producers, BBC transcription discs, listings in Radio Times and references in other period newspapers, surviving off-air recordings, off-air notes made by listeners at the time and anecdotal evidence. With the caveat that someone somewhere probably recalls hearing Bert on this or that regional BBC station at some point in the 1980s, 90s or 00s, it represents – with one caveat – all that can now be known about Bert’s many performing appearances on BBC radio and television. The caveat is that research at Caversham was not completed before the Covid-19 lockdown. Consequently, there are several instances of missing ‘songs played’ information that would have been retrievable from programme-as-broadcast microfiche – a task for some ardent fan in the future.
CONTINUES IN COMMENTS…
This has been a long time in the making, and I’m glad to played a part in hauling Bert’s BBC survivals into the lifeboat of posterity. Here is the PR material:
Bert At the BBC is a comprehensive collection of Jansch’s appearances at the BBC, featuring over eight hours of rare and unreleased recordings, including live-on-air spots, studio sessions and full concerts straight from the BBC vaults, delving further into this legendary performer’s canon. Bert Jansch was the very essence of folk music, providing inspiration for everyone from Paul Simon and Neil Young to Led Zeppelin and countless folk revivalists.
This unparalleled limited-edition compendium is available as a 4xLP and 8xCD set, housed in a coffee-table bookback set with 40 pages of liner notes, tracing the recordings from Bert’s earliest moments at the BBC. It includes interviews and insights from Lauren Laverne, Jools Holland, Johnny Marr, Jacqui McShee, Bob Harris, Bernard Butler, Mark Radcliffe and many more. Twenty broadcasters, producers and collaborators contribute at length to the booklet, with great affection for this gentle, maverick genius.
Bert’s BBC legacy remains the most significant and exciting untapped reservoir of his music. The undeniable advantage of recordings made for broadcast » Continue Reading.
This is my occasional ‘studio band’. We are the Alan Parsons Project without the success 🙂 Amazingly, 2022 is the 25th anniversary of my crackpot collective. There’ll be a digital release best-of later in the year. In the meantime, ‘Days Full of Rain’ – a 17-track / 78-minute album is released on Friday. Strictly, 250 physical copies. Crowd-funders and the NI Arts Council’s Creative Recovery grant made it possible. (Ten tracks plus two others will appear as a digital release version of the album in due course.)
This time around, the Legends are a happy gang of personalities and friends from Northern Ireland’s blues, punk, folk, pop, jazz, classical and classic rock worlds:
Lead vocals: Breige Devlin, Dave McLarnon, Colin Harper, Lyndsay Crothers, Barry Devlin
Backing vocals: Mickey Rafferty, Ben Trowell, Lisa Brady, Ellen Weir, Jim Lockhart
Guitars: Colin Harper, Anthony Toner, Pat McManus, Eugene Davey, Ben Trowell, Big Bill Campbell, Norman Boyd
Piano/organ: Scott Flanigan, Cormac O’Kane, Jim Lockhart
Trumpet/flugelhorn: Linley Hamilton
Clarinet: Rachelle Cathcart
Low whistle: Jim Lockhart
Bass: Ali Mackenzie, Barry Devlin
Drums: Louise Potter, Petesy Burns, Victor Bronzini Fulton
It’s July in 15 minutes. This came to mind – the B-side of the late, great Duffy Power’s last single for Parlophone, in 1967. A baroque pop classic, from the Nina Simone repertoire. Duffy later recorded two versions of his own ‘Stormy July’ (in 1995 and 2000), unreleased in his lifetime. Both are on the forthcoming 3CD ‘Live at the BBC & other innovations’ set on Repertoire – released in July.
Any other songs of July?
Somehow, my Katie Spencer – sensationally talented but a notable non-beard-wearer – was involved in a follicular misunderstanding that led to her being booked at the Beardy Folk Festival. In heated eleventh-hour negotiations with organisers, she got away with it by agreeing to perform only material written by beardy people, including this one.
Pat McManus playing a deft homage to Rory Gallagher at the latter’s annual tribute event recently. I immediately thought ‘Twang will enjoy this..’ So here it is.
…broadcast today. A splendid listen – their sole album ‘Swaddling Songs’, a magical work, released 50 years ago.
The documentary features Alison & Clodagh from the band plus their manager Ted Carroll, the LP’s engineer, Donal Lunny and Andy Irvine etc. If you’re not familiar with the album, you will want to hear it straight after the doc. 🙂
My pal Ali Mackenzie (the greatest bass player in Ireland, in my view) has four albums coming out in the next couple of months – his second solo album ‘Sanctuary Wood’ (mostly instrumental, some surprisingly fun vocal numbers); a second album with the Mighty Mojos (an occasional blues 4-piece in which he is a sideman); a Legends of Tomorrow album (me and a cast of many, always including Ali); and a first album with a collaborative trio called Ragbone.
Ali played me the album on a drive back from a gig we attended recently and I was knocked out. It’s not really my thing on paper – being reminiscent, broadly, of late 70s US melodic rock (Tom Petty, F Mac etc.) but something about it was compelling. It’s fabulously mixed by Victor Bronzini-Fulton and the arrangements throughout are layered and inventive – and the playing is fabulous, but kept within a concise pop/rock form (no overlong jams).
Only one track is ‘out there’ currently, called ‘Sunday Night’, and as it’s Sunday night, this seems a good time to share it. 🙂
The world is going to hell in a handcart but are Northern Ireland politicians concerned? No. They’d rather be entitled, childish, undemocratic and small-minded. The latest McGuffin is an administrative border for certain trade items in the Irish Sea. Because they don’t like it – despite voting for Brexit, of which this trade border was a construct so inevitable only a moron couldn’t see it coming – and because the NI Assembly has an unusual aspect whereby if one of the two largest parties (one each designated ‘nationalist’ and ‘unionist’; the Assembly also includes those designated ‘other’) takes the ball away then no one can play, Jeffrey Donaldson’s DUP have collapsed the NI regional government.
This nonsense is paid for with public money. For 3 years (2017-20) we paid 90 people millions of pounds in salaries and expenses while they did nothing of value because the workplace was closed. Only belatedly in those three years did the UK govt start docking salaries, and only by 15%.
The UK government must immediately stop the salaries of the 25 DUP MLAs elected last week.
Jeffrey is remaining as an MP as well as a newly elected MLA. He has two salaries. » Continue Reading.
It’s Great Kate – make a date and don’t be late! 🙂 Catch the elfin voice, guitar and songs sensation at the following places:
28.4 BROMSGROVE | Bromsgrove Folk Club and Festival 30.4 CHESTER | Alexander’s Live Chester 06.5 HULL | Wrecking Ball Music and Books 07.5 KETTERING | The Old Forge Tea Room (SOLD OUT) 12.5 BARRY | The Small Space 13.5 PEMBROKE DOCK | Cwtch coffee shop & Art Gallery 14.5 RHAYADER | The Lost ARC 15.5 HEREFORD | WEIRDSHIRE presents Katie Spencer 19.5 MANCHESTER | Crumpsall Folk Club 20.5 SHEFFIELD | Cafe#9 22.5 YORK | The Crescent Community Venue 24.5 BIRMINGHAM | Kitchen Garden 25.5 LONDON | Green Note 26.5 MARGATE | Rosslyn Court 27.5 BRIGHTON | The Folklore Rooms 28.5 PORTSMOUTH | Groundlings Theatre 29.5 HALIFAX | The Grayston Unity 04.6 LEEDS | Seven Arts Leeds
Raised in the East Yorkshire flatlands on the fringes of Hull, Katie Spencer’s landscape has always been that of open skies and widening rivers. Industry still shapes the city here. The people, as with the land, are moulded by tides and stark horizons. Stand in the same place for long enough and you can watch the sun rise over » Continue Reading.
The public can contact the PM via this link:
I did so, saying this:
Prime Minister, You are guilty of breaking the law in office and treating the public with contempt. Talk about being even more focused on delivering or focusing on Ukraine is pathetic. You MUST resign. Parties happened in your home, on your watch, while people died alone and their loved ones followed the guidance to stay away. Your behaviour has been rancid and disgraceful. Resign now.
If you feel the same way, it’s a democracy – we can all have our say. You know what to do.
Length of Read:Medium
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
‘Dazzling Stranger’ (!), Bryant & May novels
One thing you’ve learned
Bill Leader lived down the road from Mantovani, his contemporary, in Mottingham.
It’s easy – far too easy, believe me – to write glum songs in a world of unrelenting bad news. With a recording project in the offing at that point, I thought I’d have a go at writing something cheery last year. I didn’t have anything cheery to say that was new or authentic so I delved into the well of music past and, like BJH with ‘Titles’ (composed entirely of Beatles song titles), came up with this.
This is the first sample from my album with Breige Devlin. It was conceived as a bit of fun, but the sentiment borrowed from those Beatles (and Reg Presley) in the refrain seems as true and necessary as ever. 🙂
I made a field trip into the world of 70s punk last night for a triple bill of Petesy Burns’ Hoakers (actually, a new power trio performing entirely new and fabulous repertoire), Henry Cluney’s XSLF (i.e. the guitar player from SLF’s first three albums plus some other guys – including a blistering drummer from the Defects on this occasion) with a guest appearance from a man from the Defects singing ‘Alternative Ulster’, and then the legendary 999.
It was good fun. Perhaps we need to help 999 get to that 50th anniversary (four years away) but seeing their shows and buying their t-shirts? One tip, though – have the right money at the merchandise stand. 😀 Nick Cash seemed to go into some fugue state when the matter of three quid change for a T shirt purchase came up. But maybe that’s why they call him ‘Nick Cash’… We got there in the end. 🙂
With her new live-in-lockdown album The St Buryan Sessions drawing critical raves and appearing on best-of-2021 lists on three continents, Sarah McQuaid is once again preparing to hit the road – this time for a six-week tour of Ireland and the UK.
The tour coincides with the release of a new video filmed earlier this month at the behest of The Bert Jansch Foundation, as part of their “Around The World In 80 Plays” project.
In what would have been the legendary guitarist and singer-songwriter’s 75th year, the Foundation set three Yamaha LL TransAcoustic guitars travelling around the globe from guitarist to guitarist, each playing a song or tune inspired by Bert.
Videos of all the performances feature on the Foundation’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/bertjanschfoundation), including contributions by such iconic guitarists as Richard Thompson, Johnny Marr, Bernard Butler, Tony McManus, Tommy Emmanuel, Alex de Grassi – and now also Sarah McQuaid.
“I was tremendously honoured to be invited to take part,” says Sarah. “It was incredible just to handle an instrument that’s been played by so many guitarists I’ve worshipped from afar for so long, and to see their signatures on it and sign my own name under theirs. It » Continue Reading.