Well, well…there has been a deafening silence…until now. Surely this means there WILL be an Abbey Road box..?
No, not the Springsteen song (as such) but the record shop. I have been in Cheltenham where I went to college exactly 50 years ago. A lot is the same – a prosperous town with a shopping centre to match, and now with added food and drink outlets. I found they have an HMV in one of the shopping arcades and investigated to see how they are shaping up these days – this branch had racks of vinyl records on the ground floor with a large selection of CDs also very prominently displayed. I didn’t buy anything, but came away far less depressed than after visits in recent years.
Then…down a side street I came across Badlands. I remember the name from a few years ago and had bought things by mail order, but they had gone off my radar. I never even realised they were in Cheltenham (for 33 years, apparently), and it was a real treat to go into a proper record shop again. I had a lovely time going through the racks and chatting to the young chap behind the counter. They sell a lot through eBay now by all accounts, but only have the one, small, » Continue Reading.
I had an email from Spotify yesterday saying that there had been ‘suspicious activity’ on my account and I should change my password. I wasn’t locked out or anything, but my recent activity list clearly shows music I have never played! An internet search shows I’m not alone and techy sites report many users have had this email.
Obviously I have changed my password, but has anyone any thoughts on this..? The implication from my ‘activity’ is that someone has used my account to listen to some music, but I don’t quite understand how that would work, and also this seems to be a large scale problem rather than one just personal to me, so it doesn’t quite add up in my little brain.
I have used Richer Sounds on and off since the 80s when I first discovered their London Bridge shop. As a customer I always found them helpful and obliging, and enjoyed the slightly quirky approach. They seemed to move from the bargain basement approach to embrace listening rooms and decent mid-range gear and the shops gradually smartened up over the years.
It appears that Mr. Richer is indeed something of a model employer and is giving his employees a stake in the business as he retires, instead of selling up and riding off into the sunset. Good for him I say!
This month’s MOJO has a big article on the Rolling Thunder Revue and a casual mention of a 14 CD box set and a new Martin Scorsese documentary…has this slipped past the Afterword hive mind while we were arguing about Game Of Thrones?
I heard this from the kitchen on the 6o’clock news, and got all excited….then I rewound the item and couldn’t believe it. People are getting all in a lather about 11 seconds of film of someone’s tv in 1966 showing the Beatles only ‘live’ appearance on TOTP, playing Paperback Writer. The original BBC video recording was, of course, wiped, but this was discovered in, of all places, Mexico.
Now, I’m as big a Beatles nut as anyone, but to describe this as ‘the holy grail’ seems a bit rich. There was a long piece on the later News as well, with an interview with someone eulogising about it in Liverpool at the Beatles Story exhibition (by the way, that’s a bit crap anyway).
Is it me…? There is loads of great quality footage of the Fabs, so I really can’t see the significance of this besides a faintly interesting story about how this was made and survived, but it adds close to zero about what we know.
Endorsed by his widow, so that’s OK then. They’ve dug poor Buddy up now with the excuse that it is 60 years since his last recordings and it will realise ‘what Buddy woulda wanted done’, according to his older brother Larry. The irony that Buddy died in that plane crash because he coudn’t get hold of royalties is probably lost on these grave robbers.
Author:Colin Hanton with Colin Hall
I recently spent some time in Liverpool exploring the Beatles related sites, and was lucky enough to do the taxi tour with someone who really knew his stuff and who took us to places that the bus tour never visits. We stopped off in Penny Lane (of course) and he took us to the Community Centre (where the Quarry Men did play when the building had a former guise) and there is a terrific shop displaying memorabilia and selling Beatles related stuff (I even handled a Quarry Men guitar!). The guide pointed me to a book which had recently been published, and it was signed by the author – Colin Hanton – and I bought it by way of a souvenir as much as anything. You quickly realise that the Beatles had essentially gone by late 1963, so I became really interested in those early, pre-fame, days.
A couple of weeks ago I picked it up and, once started, I couldn’t put it down. I have loads of Beatle books, but this has the distinction of being the first hand memories of drummer Colin, who bothered his parents for a drum kit and found that » Continue Reading.
Pretty pissed off about this – paid £99 per ticket last year, booked accomodation etc. and they’ve just announced that the charity that runs it has gone into administration. The Term and Conditions state that there will be no refunds in the event of cancellation, so that’s nearly £200 down the swanny and a long weekend in Looe with no music!
Just popped into my inbox – Steely Dan and Steve Winwood are doing 4 dates next February. You can register for a pre-sale on 6th Sept and on general sale on 7th.
Wednesday Feb 20th – Glasgow Thursday Feb 21st – Manchester Saturday Feb 23rd – Birmingham Monday Feb 25th – London – The SSE Arena
The bastards have been at it again. First they came for Elvis, then poor old Roy Orbison…..and now the Beach Boys have the honour of being slathered in string arrangements. I love the Beach Boys, so much so that this has made me mad as hell. What next? The Kinks? The Small Faces?? I guess anyone who feels they need to wring just a bit more out of their recorded legacy will go for this treatment.
Oh, and the snippet of Fun, Fun, Fun you can here via the link sounds just awful…
Last night I witnessed this for the first time. I guess this is because I don’t usually go anywhere near the sort of band that attracts this sort of audience, but we were at a gig last night headlined by Ferocious Dog as we like and support Sam Green, who was supporting. We had seen FD at a festival and really like their stuff – fiddle led, sort of like the Pogues, quite political, with a dash of punk and reggae. I actually had a word with the lead singer at a festival, and he is the nicest bloke you can imagine. They even had people bring donations last night for the local food bank, so they are pretty right on.
But…thank the Lord we were in the balcony seats as the smallish standing area at the Exeter Phoenix became a seething mass of blokes with their shirts off throwing themselves at each other. Clearly this was expected behaviour and was all part of their evening’s entertainment, but from above it was just about the most frightening thing I’ve ever witnessed, with guys frequently disappearing to the floor under a mass of bodies.
I’ve obviously led a very sheltered gig » Continue Reading.
After what must be one of the longest ‘lives’ of any band, the Searchers are finally packing it in after 55 years (at least). I suspect many of you won’t care very much, but for me they are a very special group as they were one of the first loves of mine after The Beatles grabbed my attention in 1963. I never really took to Gerry and The Pacemakers, The Swinging Blue Jeans, Billy J. Kramer et al – not enough to invest in their records anyway – but this lot were different. Their early records smacked of energy and urgency – Sweets For My Sweet, Sugar & Spice, Needles and Pins, Don’t Throw Your Love Away were the first four singles and they were number 1,2,1,1 respectively. Astonishingly, in a year spanning mid 1963 to mid 1964 they released those 4 singles plus 3 hit LPs – they were second only to the Beatles at this point. Unfortunately for them, in retrospect it is easy to see that the reasons that this couldn’t last – most significantly, they didn’t have strong songwriters and relied largely on Chris Curtis to identify material. They did have a decent producer in Tony » Continue Reading.
Reports around this evening that Lyndsey Buckingham is no longer in Fleetwood Mac – some say he has quit and some say he was fired.
This would seem to be a fairly fatal blow to the ticket sales for that projected farewell tour! Like them or not, he is pretty indispensable I would say.
Well, well, well….Brian Wilson at a folk festival!
The Barnfield Theatre, Exeter
I wouldn’t have gone if an old mate hadn’t talked me into it. Don’t get me wrong, I gave up being sniffy about tribute acts a long time ago after seeing the Bootleg Beatles, Think Floyd, Bookends, Roxy Magic and others who are absolutely terrific, but I really wasn’t sure about this….and I was right not to be. The show is an outline of Bob’s career, with a mostly predictable soundtrack performed live by Bill Lennon as the Zim – outlier selections include It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry and Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat, but all the usual suspects are present and correct. Oddly, they try to vary a couple of songs by departing from the recorded versions – Hurricane has the first verse spoken and acted by the band, and Knocking On Heaven’s Door is done as a singalong. The band are good, and the versions of Rainy Day Women Nos 12 & 35 and Highway 61 are really good, but the weakness here is Bill Lennon’s aproximation of Bob’s vocal sound. It occurs to me that it is easy to mimic the nasal version » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
Simply, this doesn’t sound much like a typical Joan Baez album. Forget the semi operatic approach from her early days, nowadays her voice sounds lived in and sometimes world weary. Frankly, she seems to struggle now to reach some top notes. Hasten to add that this is not necessarily a bad thing – it means that the songs take centre stage rather than the performance. Firstly it comes as a surprise that for her first album in ten years that this is essentially a covers album; there is not one of her own songs here. On reflection, perhaps she has always been a greater interpreter of other’s songs rather than a first rate songwriter. In summary… The title track is the opener, a song by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, which sets the tone of the album – a simple, clear, intimate, arrangement and a tale of leaving, intimations of mortality, regret, and the state of the world – a typical Waits tune, this is rather wonderful. ‘Be Of Good Heart’ is a Josh Ritter song of loss, as are many here, but this addresses someone leaving her. It is a slight song in » Continue Reading.
So….me and Mrs. T are sat in bed this morning enjoying a first cuppa, and she is reading a Facebook post with a picture of CSN&Y saying that they may reform because they are united in their hatred…’Are they talking about Trump?’…’Yes’, I reply, ‘I saw that the other day’. ‘Oh, right…..is that Colin Bluntstone?’…..’Er….no, that is Neil Young….there’s a clue in the name’……*thwack*! I suppose I deserved that for the sarcasm.
It led me to think….any other cases of daft mistaken identifications out there?
Some help and advice required! I was wondering how you lovely people play your high quality audio files? I have a high quality traditional hi-fi setup (turntable, CD player, pre and power amps) to which I added a Cambridge streaming device a few years ago which I now mostly use to stream Spotify and internet radio, but I have my huge iTunes library on a NAS hard drive and I had the original intention of streaming this as well, but I found that Spotify is much more usable and there is now no real need to stream ‘regular’ stuff of my own, so I really only need to stream the stuff that isn’t on Spotify or CD. Also, iTunes uses mp3s rather than high quality FLAC files, so I find myself in a quandary – how do I stream the FLAC files? Do I create a new, much smaller, database of the FLAC files somehow? How do you people play your files?
What does it sound like?:
I would imagine everyone will know exactly what this sounds like! Gary Moore’s guitar sound was distinctive and immediately recognisable and of course you get that in spades in this set. Blues and Beyond is released on double CD, 4 LP and as a box set, the latter of which includes unreleased live recordings and the official Gary Moore biography ‘I Can’t Wait Until Tomorrow’ written by Harry Shapiro as well as a number of memorabilia items including gig ticket, launch event invite, AAA pass etc. I had the full set of recordings to review, but not the package itself or the book, so I can’t comment on them here, however for just over £40 (currently) this seems pretty good value for the fan, although the studio recordings are taken from previously available albums. The real interest is the live set – this is where Moore really comes into his own and is hugely enjoyable if you enjoy blues/rock – his playing is incendiary at times, but I was really taken by some of the slower numbers – for example, Surrender is simply beautiful, and I was struck by just how good a singer » Continue Reading.
Just a bit of a heads up – I have found that it is worth having a moan about delivery from Amazon. Over the past few months there have been a few occasions when I have ordered something offering Prime next day delivery and the delivery takes longer or, as yesterday, is projected to take three days. I have either spoken to someone or chatted online to them and they nearly always offer to extend your Prime membership by a month as compensation. My Prime was due to run out at the end of October….it now runs to 26th February! That’s four free months worth around £26 at annual rates.
The Pavilions, Plymouth
I had mixed feelings before this gig – sure, it would be great to see Robert Plant once again (last time was a rather larger event at the O2 10 years ago with one of his old bands whose name escapes me), and I really like the last 4 albums (Raising Sand onwards)… but…oh, I don’t know….I was expecting a whole heap from the new album and probably a couple of Led Zep re-workings to keep the old fans happy.
So, what was it like..? Flippin’ amazing, that’s what. Seth Lakeman had done a great half hour support slot totally solo – he was clearly delighted to be involved in all this, and he was on home turf (‘This is my easiest ever commute to work – 9 miles!’) and the crowd were very warm and enthusiastic. ‘Imagine you’re in a folk club’ he said at one point, and it was great to hear him in this large venue. He mentioned family a freinds in the audience and I spotted his Dad, Geoff Lakeman, during the interval looking suitably chuffed.
After a rather unnecessary half hour interval, the Sensational Space Shifters hit the » Continue Reading.
The following was posted on Facebook the other day and I responded as I saw Dylan at the Isle Of Wight. I’m going to be in the book apparently! Neil Cossar has done a similar book on Bowie which was quite well received.
Did you see Bob Dylan in the 60s or 70s? We are working on our new book Bob Dylan – I Was There. We would love to include your memory in the book, if you did please email email@example.com
I have three great tickets for the Bootleg Beatles in Brighton just before Christmas – row B – which I am now unable to use. Offering here first before I go the stubhub route. Face value to an Afterworder!
It seems that, at last, we going get some archive stuff from the 60s. It has always irked me that the Stones have been unwilling or unable to release BBC recordings and so on, so maybe this is the first of such releases. These have all been available before on good quality bootlegs (that is an assumption at the moment as I haven’t been through the track list with a fine tooth comb yet), but these have been picked apart at Abbey Road and remastered, so should sound great.
60s outtakes and alternative versions next….??