… who has a quick look at the bottom of the page every time I log on to see if the site motto has been changed to ‘OK boomer’ yet?
The Royal Albert Hall, Kensington
What a night. What a phenomenal night! How to celebrate this extraordinary man who has spent more than 50 of his 70 years writing extraordinary songs of apolalypse and redemption, and coupling them with unmistakable guitar playing to the acclaim and adulation of far too few? Stick on a big gig at a prestigious venue and bring along a bunch of family, friends and acolytes to help out, that’s how.
From the get go we were promised an evening of song, friendship and nepotism by our MC Jack Thompson (Richard’s youngest, you see what he means?) and that’s what we got in spades. It is in the nature of a guest list show, with every performer getting one or two songs before making way for the next, that you hope for a collection of highlights rather than a consistent narrative, so I’m going to lean heavily on the setlist which someone stuck up on Setlist.fm with admirable speed and comment on each one, rattling through the songs and guests off the top of my head rather than tackle the evening in themes. The result is far too long and barely edited » Continue Reading.
Van Morrison has just announced a short series of dates at the London Palladium in spring, and from the blurb on the Palladium website I strongly suspect that whoever was given the job of writing the advance notice said ‘Who?’ before gathering the barest information they could from Wikipedia to paste onto the page. Wouldn’t his management have provided a press release with prose less desperate than this?
The legendary Van Morrison, one of the finest singer-songwriters and hardest working live performers of his era, is coming to The London Palladium for five very special shows next year.
Fans may know him from some of his biggest hits, including Brown Eyed Girl, Have I Told You Lately, Moondance and Into the Mystic.
To date, Van Morrison has released a whopping 40 albums and with new material and projects in the pipeline, he’s showing no signs of slowing down.
And it’s so long then to fRoots, which is to cease publication. Probably no great surprise to anyone even though it obviously a shame. Even a someone who’s musical taste puts me in the target demographic I rarely picked up a copy, and it may be that such specialist music is better served by online communities.
I’ve just bought tickets for Ross Noble’s next tour. The London Palladium show to be precise. That’s the London Palladium show on 3 May 2020, 11 months away.
Is this a record?
Ealing Blues Festval,Sunday 21st July, with Nick Lowe headlining.
Open, Norwich, and Union Chapel, London
What a difference a lighting rig can make.
I have loved Thea Gilmore’s music for most of the couple of decades that she has been releasing superb, occasionally dipping to merely very good, albums and always catch a gig on each tour as well as buying every album in the week of release. This time The Light and I plumped for a train and Travelodge trip to Norwich rather a school night visit to London and the chosen show, at Open, fell on the day of release of Small World Turning.
Matt Owens, formerly of Noah and the Whale, played a short but amiable opening set before reappearing on electric bass with Thea’s band, along side Katriona Gilmore, no relation, on a variety of stringed instruments (right handed fiddle but left handed mandolin oddly enough) and Thea’s musical and life partner Nigel Stonier. At times the bass dominated the acoustic guitars, and I wondered about the lack of drums.
The performance was highly enjoyable with plenty of songs from the new record and a smattering of old favourites, notably a couple from 2001s Rules for Jokers, but … It » Continue Reading.
The King Crimson CD with the new issue of Mojo is really very splendid, and I write as someone who has always found them easier to admire than enjoy on my infrequest previous encounters. The track listing is in the link below (the first track is missing its ‘Schizoid’ rather than some unreleased obscurity).
Rock City is a 1973 rockumentary which I confess I have never seen, but with input from various Stones, Floyds, and Whos and footage of Hendrix, Otis, Ike and Tina and so it has to be worth a look. ‘Vintage film footage from the hey-day of the London’s rock and roll scene. Interviews with rock artists and London’s hippies and flower children.’ says IMDB.
Friday evening, 10pm, Talking Pictures TV (Freeview Channel 81).
If the Afterword has a patron act it must surely be Richard Thompson. Even the fact that there are cloth-eared fools among us who dispute his brilliance fosters discussion and so is in keeping with the ethos of the site.
Today he reaches 70 years of age, and as anyone who has seen the trio format band recently will attest he can still rip up a stage with the best of them. I like to think that some people who haven’t been keeping up think that buying a ticket for an elderly ex-Fairporter will guarantee an evening of mellow acoustic folkiness. Those same people presumably stumble out two hours later with fixed, glazed expressions and whistling ears. He can deliver masterful mellow acoustic folkiness too of course, and I would be hard pressed to pick which version of his show to see if I was given a straight choice.
We spend a lot of time here celebrating the greats once they have gone, but here’s the chance to share your favourites from one of the all time best while he is still giving superb performances on record and stage.
Nothing to add other than this is a very sad start to Monday morning.
What does it sound like?:
I have already written rather gushingly about the Heartworn Highways gig at the Betsey Trotwood last weekend, and one of the highlights of a gig full of great moments was discovering Louis Brennan, an Irish, London based songwriter.
I ordered his album from his Bandcamp page (on CD, because I’m old fashioned like that) straight afterwards and have had it on repeat play every since. I honestly can’t remember the last time an album made such an instant impression on me to the extent that nothing else musical is quite hitting the spot at the moment. There is no justice when someone of Brennan’s skills is so obscure when others of no noticeable talent draw a huge audience (what scientists refer to as the Sheeran Paradox).
The first thing which will strike first-time listeners is the voice, a deep baritone which sweeps lower to huge dramatic effect when necessary. It put me in mind of Johnny Cash or Lee Hazelwood, and the video I posted under the Heartworn Highways review drew a comparison to Jake Thackray, throw in a hint of John Grant too with a suggestion of Leonard Cohen and you’ll be » Continue Reading.
The Betsey Trotwood, Farringdon, London
I may already have seen my favourite gig of the year and it’s only February.
A night filled with song, musicianship and love saw 12 musicians crammed into the tiny upstairs room of the Betsey Trotwood in Farringdon, as well as the lucky 30 or so paying audience members they managed to squeeze in as well. I say paying, but at a tenner a ticket I reckon the entrance fee must just have covered the cost of the room, mics and camera. I can’t believe the singers were doing this for anything other than the love of the music, and the couple of bottles of Jack Daniels which circulated freely among them.
The musicians involved were [deep breath] Partick Ralla, Michele Stodart, Louis Brennan, Felix Holt, Zak Hobbs (Richard Thompson’s grandson, fact fans), Ren Harvieu, Romeo Stodart, Laura Tenschert, Angie Gannon (making three out of four Magic Numbers on the bill) Robert Chaney, Naomi Larsson and Joe Harvey-White (the evening’s organiser). Before the event I had wondered how they were going to get that many people on and off stage, even allowing for the 3 hours scheduled. In the event » Continue Reading.
David Hepworth posted this in his Twitter feed earlier to mark the 51st anniversary of the release of Astral Weeks (Yes, I know. I was surprised too.)
God knows why but the decision was taken to allow the release to written by an overexcited schoolboy virgin who is incapapable of writing a sentence without including a mention of what he imagines sex to be, and tempts the lucky potential buyer with the promise that it will ‘attack your senses like the sudden sniff of a whore’s knickers.’
There’s more …but … but … no! Go now! I must rest and I would be alone.
(Release, in more senses than one, in the comments.)
A Matter of Life and Death was on BBC2 this afternoon, so of course I watched it. That makes perfect sense because it is the best film ever made, but less sense considering I already own 3 (maybe more) copies, I must have seen it at least 10 times, and last time I looked it was on YouTube and I could have watched it any time I wanted to even if I didn’t have a hard copy.
Is there anything that you will watch when it was broadcast even when you don’t need to wait? A film that will stop you in your tracks as you channel hop despite having a copy on a shelf a few feet away?
It’s a chilly morning here in the UK and I couldn’t decide what to play to put a spring in my step on the walk to work. I put the iPod classic on shuffle and up popped Jackie Leven, subject of much admiration here this week. I wasn’t really surprised. iPods are psychic like that.
This made me think that we haven’t had a randomiser thread for a while, so here we go. Usual rules apply – set your device of choice to play tracks in a random order and let us know what the first 5 are. No cheeky editing to make your playlist look cool or we’ll know.
Mine took it’s lead from Jackie Leven and delivered an exclusively male list of tracks in a singer-writer vein, all very Mojo.
1) Gomez – Devil Will Ride 2) Elvis Costello and Steve Nieve – Why Can’t a Man Stand Alone? 3) Roger McGuinn – Lover of the Bayou 4) Richard Thompson – Dad’s Gonna Kill Me (NPR live session) 5) Pulp – Help the Aged
I was in a local Poundland today, rummaging through the end of season mulled-wine-scented candles, tinsel door decorations and so on when I found a stack of LP cover frames (black plastic frame with glass). Not a pound, not 50p, but just 25 of your puny human pence each. Fill your boots.
Year: 2018 Director: David Soutar
I don’t suppose that many of the Massive were Brosettes in their youth, which is a shame. Not because of the music, mercifully little of which appears in this jaw-dropping programme, but because it might mean that you have missed out on one of the TV highlights of the year. Fear not, it’s on iPlayer, which is where I saw it during the dire Christmas Day TV schedules after seeing what a stir it was creating on Twitter.
For those of you who have managed to suppress the memory, twin brothers Luke (drums) and Matt (vocals) were the heart of one of the biggest boy bands of the 80s. They went their separate ways, and although they have adapted to the ageing process in very different styles they are of course still twins. To help you tell which is which it might be useful to remember that Matt is the one with the rug. Now they are to reunite for a show at the O2 and the cameras are in tow, presenting documentary footage without narration nor captions, leaving the brothers’ words and actions to tell the story.
These days both live in California. » Continue Reading.
The tree is always up around my place, though the baubles and angel are seasonal. The tree is practically through the ceiling these days. So I’ve showed you mine now you us yours.
The Halcyon Gallery, 144-146 New Bond Street, London
This show will probably be old news to the more on-the-ball Bob-cats among us, but I confess I might never have heard about it if I hadn’t seen mentions on Penn’s (of Penn and Teller) Twitter feed. Consider this my alert for anyone else who would regret missing it if I hadn’t written about it on here. You’re welcome.
This exhibition at the Halcyon Gallery gathers several dozen hand-written Bob Dylan Lyrics, each of them accompanied by a pencil sketch by Bob, along with several of his acrylic on-the-road paintings and, this came as a surprise to me, some examples of his ironwork. The selection is broadly greatest hits, and I don’t think there are any lyrics here which will be unfamiliar to the casual admirer. The more trainspotterish fan will delight in reading every word and spotting subtle changes to lines, the rest of us can just enjoy the art and juxtapositions of word and image.
Regarding the art, there is no doubt Dylan can draw. Time and again I found myself enjoying the fold in a piece of clothing or the flow of a limb » Continue Reading.
Live stream from Shrewsbury Folk Festival just about to begin on YouTube.
How long have the web goblins been waiting for us to pick up on that?
… for the irrepressible Afterword lyric / pun instinct to do its stuff.
Jarvis and Candida from Pulp go head to head with Bez and Rowetta from the Happy Mondays on Bargain Hunt. (Story picked up from the Accidental Partridge Twitter feed.)
The schools round here break up tomorrow, which fires the starting gun on peak holiday season. What do you have planned?
For us there is no pressing reason to seek out the sun this year. A local weather page confirms that my corner of Essex has had no rain for 31 days, and a grand total of 1.1mm in the last 50. Perhaps the kids breaking up will act as the traditional invitation to the rain gods?
We usually go away in the last week of June, which covers The Light’s birthday, but her daughter’s graduation last week took priority. Much as I like Manchester it’s not what you would call an exotic holiday. (A wonderful week though – Apart from the highlight of the graduation there was a show in London to start, Squeeze at Brentwood Festival to finish, a 100 plane RAF flypast straight over my house in between, then the finals of Wimbledon and the World Cup to round things off).
We have just booked, literally this evening, to go to Dubrovnik at the start of October too, which I’m already looking forward to. Apart from the obvious Game of Thrones sites (we have a terrific » Continue Reading.
My current mattress, a cheap Silentnight which has given sterling service for a decade, is showing signs of sag and will soon be retired. I have a mind to go for memory foam, or memory foam / spring combo this time round, and as I’m in better financial shape than a decade ago don’t mind making an investment in something which will bring comfort for years.
Does anyone have experience of Eve, Kaspar and so on (you know the ones – the mattresses which seem to sponsor every podcast with promises of special offers and discount codes). Perhaps you’re chosen brand of memory foam developed amnesia after 6 months, or the spring in you summer mattress began to fall by the time winter came around.
Front runner at the moment is probably the Hypnos mattress which Premier Inn use (I’m actually typing this sitting on one, ready to check out as soon as the unfamiliar water falling from the sky eases up). As always I’ve found the Peremier Inn beds wonderfully comfortable with just the right degree of give. Any thoughts to share?