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….??
Beatles Sgt. Pepper big box at £79.99, Fresh Cream 4 disc set at £29.99 and the George Harrison vinly box about £100 cheaper, amongst other deals..! I’ve ordered the Cream, although currently out of stock they say they will be getting more….
It means having to watch the One Show, but footage shot by Leo Mckern in Austria during the filming of Help! is being screened and discussed this evening by Eleanor Bron, Abigail McKern and Paul McCartney’s stunt double (I just hope he’s called Billy Shears).
Actor Neil Pearson wants to sell this for £35k!
My patience with Doctor Who has been stretched to breaking point in the last couple of years with far too much clever-clever plotting and story arcs that make absolutely no sense to me, and I’m far from a casual viewer. I felt Capaldi was desperately under served by the Moff, and wondered why no one had actually realised this who had anything to do with the production.
So much was my disillusionment that I actually put off watching the Christmas special until quite recently – it was better than I feared, but stiil approached the new series with some trepidation.
But…what’s this..? An episode that actually made sense, with genuine humour, mild jeopardy, some scarey stuff and a sense of a new beginning. The word ‘reboot’ came immediately to my mind, and the title of the episode (The Pilot) may be quite clever. You could start anyone here as it required no knowledge of previous Who, and was all the better for that.
Final thoughts – Capaldi finally had a script worthy of the name, the new companions are fun, and the trailers for the series at the end look genuinely exciting.
Anyone else bothering to watch..?
To be honest, I’m not sure why I’m posting this, except that I have to share it with some friends, and Facebook just feels too public. I also need to deal with this somehow, and maybe some of you have had similar experiences.
On Saturday 11th February I was driving from Devon to Essex to celebrate my cousin’s 60th birthday. I had my son alongside me, my wife in the back, and the iPod was on shuffle. It had been a good journey, and we were on the M4 not too far from London. I was in the middle lane, doing around 70, and about to overtake two cars, when the first car suddenly swerved towards us just as I was alongside….I instinctively swerved to the right to avoid a collision, and I was now heading for the central barrier and was swiftly turning sideways, so I managed to turn the car out of that, and now it was now fishtailing down the road and I was convinced it would flip over….somehow I managed to bring the car under control from that, and we carried on. The enormity of what COULD have happened soon sank in…if there had been » Continue Reading.
Released at midnight! Download and streamed only at the moment apparently.
The video for No Plan features a series of TV screens in a shop called for Newton Electrical, a “wink, wink” reference to his character in the feature film The Man Who Fell to Earth. The song is included on a new EP that was recorded for the musical Lazarus.
I now have a spare ticket for this gig. Steve is an absolutely superb songwriter and raconteur- will be a splendid night. Downside is that you will be sat with me! £16 – that is a concession price for an old person but I’m sure that won’t matter as we can upgrade if necessary.
As a Prime member I had an email today flagging his Bobness on special offer starting at 18.12 (!) this evening. No price detailed yet…might just go for this as I was tempted at £99.99, which is the current price.
What does it sound like?:
It’s a bit odd to claim that a mono version of a record can be revelatory, but this truly is! I have to ‘fess up and admit straight away that I have coincidently just upgraded my CD player, but playing the ‘old’ versions to compare confirms that these are (mostly) brilliant. A particular success is the first album, which packs both a real sonic punch and also allows you to clearly hear the instrumentation as if you are in the studio. Similarly, Aftermath is a particular treat in this respect. Beggar’s Banquet and Let It Bleed have probably only been included for completeness (particularly the latter), but my original vinyl BB was mono, so this is fine for me.
What does it all *mean*?
Well, it means buying the flippin’ albums all over again, but it does mean a definite upgrade to the listening experience. A few gripes – the discs are in nice replica record sleeves, but omit the Decca and London logos for some reason (and include an abkco reference…grrrr!). I would have preferred the same approach as the Beatles mono set, which are in perfectly detailed period sleeves, including the inner » Continue Reading.
Booked the moment this went on sale, I’d seen him at the same venue on the last tour (just before Wake Up The Nation) and he’d been fantastic, so was really looking forward to this! The venue was configured as part standing and part seated, but we went for seats this time – best in the house, right above and behind the sound and lighting desks. He opened with Uh Huh, Oh Yeah, but the set was light on hits, with the audience growing a bit restive as they waited for the next tune they recognised. The new material though is strong – I particular liked White Sky and I’m Where I Should Be, and he played 5 new songs out of 24, but there was the distinct impression he was trying stuff out on the first night of the tour. The crowd only really got going for Porcelain Gods (bloody brilliant version), Peacock Suit, Broken Stones and the closer, Changing Man. Tellingly, the two encores weren’t really as a result of the audience clamour, more of a going through the motions! Sound quality at the Pavilions can be variable, and this one was » Continue Reading.