Just discovered that the Kindle edition of Dave Hill’s Slade memoir, “So Here It Is” is one of the current 99p Kindle bargains at the Big River. Some of these offers are for one day only, so probably best bag it quickly, if interested.
I believe there are one or two folks on here who enjoy the delightful racket of Cardiacs, but who may not have heard that the mighty Tim Smith was recently awarded an honorary Doctor of Music by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. This news really made my week, particularly considering the dreadful ongoing health problems which Tim continues to experience following complications arising from his heart attack in 2008. Below is the YouTube video of the relevant part of the degree ceremony. It includes a terrific short film about Tim, and a beautiful heartfelt acceptance by his brother Jim. I think I felt something in my eye.
The first band I ever saw live on stage was Van der Graaf Generator, at the George Hotel in Walsall. It was 12th December 1971. I was 14 years old; my friend PJ’s dad drove us all there and picked us up after the gig. In between, I had my tiny mind blown. I’d heard the band’s albums, but nothing prepared me for the full-on, uncompromising intensity of their performance. Many celebrity musician fans – including John Lydon – have cited them as a formative influence, pointing out that their brand of prog-rock was more like sonic terrorism than cosy virtuosity, and I think that’s why I liked them so much, and continue to do so. Like most bands of the time, surviving live footage is thin on the ground, so it was a relief when, on re-forming in the early noughties, with the “classic” line-up intact, they’d lost none of their fire, and recorded a show in Germany, in 2005. This song, originally from their 1974 album “Godbluff”, sets out their stall pretty well, I think. The show’s available as a 2CD+DVD set called “Live At Rockpalast – Leverkusen 2005”, and is probably the best chance we’ll have to » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
This is a welcome reissue of the third album by a band who were quite a favourite of mine back in the (early ’70s) day, given the remaster treatment by Cherry Red Records’ Esoteric Recordings label, and coming complete with a second bonus disc of the band’s BBC recordings from the time.
Dave Greenslade’s keyboards played a defining role in the sound of late 1960s supergroup Colosseum (whose live album remains one of my all-time favourites). So it was good news when, following Colosseum’s split in 1971, Greenslade formed his own eponymous band, with Colosseum bandmate, bassist Tony Reeves.
Unusually, Greenslade featured two keyboard players, adding keyboardist/vocalist Dave Lawson and drummer Andrew McCulloch. No guitarist – quite radical for 1972. The band’s reputation as a live act always exceeded that of their albums, which were good enough but never quite caught fire, I felt, in the way of their live shows.
Which brings us to this, their third album, originally released in 1974, and their most commercially successful (number 34 in the UK). In something of a departure, the album featured a guest guitarist on two tracks – Dave Clempson, formerly of Humble Pie » Continue Reading.
I’m sure those of you with Kindles may be interested in the fact that today (March 13), for one day only, Amazon are offering David Hepworth’s recent book “Uncommon People”, in Kindle format, for a measly 99p, as part of their “Deal Of The Day”. Bargain!
Now, this is odd. Back in January the book-crowdfunding site Unbound started a campaign for the second volume of memoirs by Martin Newell, whose first volume, “This Little Ziggy” had been earlier recommended several years ago in Word magazine, and was indeed an excellent read. Having enjoyed the first volume, I eagerly signed up to support volume 2, “Taken To The Cleaners”, which promised to cover the illustrious career of Word favourite The Cleaners From Venus.
If you’ve never tried Unbound, I should mention that one of the aspects of its funding process which I’ve always found frustrating is that not only do you pay upfront (unlike other crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter), but there’s no specified timescale for the funding bid. Sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter tell you clearly how much is to be raised, and to what deadline (e.g. £50,000 in 3 months), but the goal is not specified at Unbound. Furthermore, there are books I’ve supported on Unbound which have been crawling towards funding for well over a year, and I’ve NEVER seen any mention of a book “failing” to meet its funding target – it seems everyone’s happy to let even the slowest funder limp on » Continue Reading.
I just started studying a short FutureLearn course on cyber security, and discovered that the lead educator is one Dr. Steve Riddle, whose name (and photo) I’m sure I recognise from the days of the old Word website. It was a weird feeling, seeing someone from a music-fan context suddenly pop up in an IT education context. It felt not dissimilar to those weird moments when you’re on holiday somewhere distant, and bump into the people who live down your street, or who you know from work. Steve, if you still frequent the Afterword, I promise not to “do a Chris Packham” and pepper my course comments with quotes from obscure XTC songs!
Just a quick plug for my new blog – would love to see any Afterworders there, so please have a look and leave some comments. It’s looking a bit bare at the moment, but plenty more posts to come!
A couple of years ago, I was tipped off about an Oxford-based prog band called Sanguine Hum. I bought the two albums then available, and thought they were pretty good, though unable to resist the usual “not as good as those golden-age prog bands” caveat. However, Sanguine Hum have recently released their third album, and it’s a corker. Whether you’re a prog fan from those far off days of the early 70s, or a nu-prog youngster, I strongly urge you to check out their double-CD behemoth, “Now We Have Light”. Not just a prog album, but a prog CONCEPT album, by golly! I really didn’t think I’d ever hear another prog album as dazzlingly original as this one. Here’s a taster – if you like it, I assure you it’s all just as good as this.