Have never been to Glastonbury and confess that the sheer size of it would deter me anyway. However have just seen this years line up – Janet Jackson, Stormzy and Miley Cyrus?? They are either aiming to be wilfully perverse, targeting a different audience or scraping the barrel. Either way it seems to be a shadow of its former self.
Hare and Hounds, Kings Heath
First time have been to a seated gig at the Hare and Hounds but it was a welcome change. Stumbled across this gig by accident a couple of weeks ago and glad I did because Peter Case is someone I have wanted to see for a long time since I heard his debut album in 1986. But first Sid Griffin came to the stage – full of funny stories he definitely has a sunny disposition and a decent back catalogue to choose from. However in my opinion he is better suited to the raucous sound of the Long Ryders. His set covered songs from the Ryders, his solo stuff and also Coal Porters. It was okay but nothing in it to elevate it to greatness. Before the show I had wondered who would headline as Sid Griffin possibly better known over here. 30 seconds into Peter Case’s set all doubts were removed. He was simply brilliant from start to finish. Many songs from his most recent release Hwy 62 and covers by amongst others Memphis Minnie, Leadbelly, Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. An excellent raconteur he also had the audience joining » Continue Reading.
I first saw Alabama 3 in their acoustic incarnation at SXSW in Austin in 2008. I was bowled over and saw them about 7 times in the next 3 or 4 years which was easy enough to do as they are one of the hardest working bands on the circuit. I bought all their albums including fan site releases. In short I was a big fan and then about 3 years ago I kind of stop following them – they played Birmingham shows but I was absent. I only saw that this gig was on 4 days before the actual show but as it was the acoustic band that excited me all those years back I decided to go. The show perfectly encapsulated what I found exciting about them and what had also made my interest wane. They are ramshackle and that is part of their charm, Hearing We don’t danse to Tekno anymore and Speed of the Sound of loneliness brought those memories flooding back but there was a feeling that they haven’t evolved in any significant way which is a little disappointing.There were a couple of new numbers released sine I stopped » Continue Reading.
The new Felice Brothers album Undress arrived on my doorstep yesterday. There is a song on there called Days of the Years which is just brilliant. Sadly not on Youtube yet but do yourselves a great favour and take a listen. The art of songwriting is alive and well and thriving in the Catskills.
What does it sound like?:
You would think that with probably close on 60 years of guitar driven popular music that it would be difficult to find any true innovators of the instrument. Trailblazers who are questing to find a different angle. Chris Forsyth is one such dude. Where do we pitch him? Tom Verlaine with more guile, Richard Thompson without the vocals possibly even Steve Hillage. He is a strange amalgam of all three but is certainly not short of ideas. Either solo as in this case or with his Solar Motel Band he always has something new to say. On his Solar Motel band album Rarity of Experience he went down the Miles Davis/John McLaughlin route on The first ten minutes of cocksucker blues.On the last album Dreaming the Non-Dream the title track went into dance territory with the title track having Stevie Wonder Echoes. And do to this album – 7 longish mainly instrumental tracks (The occasional voice is an instrument rather than lyrical). All different styles all very pleasant until the penultimate track (Living on) Cubist Time which has a circular motif with a slightly Moorish feel. All the has gone before the final track » Continue Reading.
I have a brand new Mac that I am about to throw out the fucking window. I turned it on on Friday and it didn’t recognise the Magic Mouse. I have charged the mouse up – it should be charged now but there is no way of knowing because it doesn’t light up when being charged. When I turn the Mac on there is a black arrow on screen and no movement of the cursor or anything. I read in the booklet that pressing command,option’,escape key would get rid of the arrow – well they are lying scumbags. It is still there. Anyone have any ideas before I do some damage?
What does it sound like?:
Not sure why the need for this 3 cd release given the number of previous Best of’s that Stevie has. Is it coincidental that former band mate and significant other Lyndsey Buckingham released a 3 cd anthology last year? I think not but it is arguable that Lyndsey was more in need of a reappraisal given his lower profile. Anyway notwithstanding this I think you know what to expect with Stevie – your get the uptempo anthem songs and the first cd starts off at a fair lick with a trio of Edge of Seventeen, Rooms on Fire and Stand Back. that’s three of my favourites out of the way right there. When Rumours was released in 1977 I thought Dreams was the sexiest song I had ever heard. It is present and correct here but over familiarity has dampened its sensuality or I have grown up or both. Has anyone written anything for you? its still a fabulous song and we get a splendid slowed down Rhiannon with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra which is a high point of this set but there was one exquisite surprise for me. The Walter Egan song Magnet » Continue Reading.
I know there are some Stephen Duffy fans on here – get yourselves over to SDE as Pete Paphides has launched a new label. One of his first releases is the Stephen Duffy I love my friends album from 1996 with a bonus cd of rarities/unreleased songs. You can get a signed version and support a noble cause which if successful might help get further Duffy rarities released.
Had been looking forward to this night for a few weeks as big fan of both Glenn and Wilko. The Robin is a venue that supports a lot of tribute bands and some medium size acts. I have been many times before but this was the first night I had been where it was completely sold out.Glenn come on stage promptly at 8pm looking dapper and the picture of health. He engaged with the audience from the off with a few of Squeeze’s top songs Cool for cats, Pulling mussels and Up there Junction. He added a couple of his solo songs and some splendid covers in the form of Oh Well, I hear you knocking and Always something there to remind me. Highlight of the evening however was a brilliant Tempted which was prefaced by a superb electric guitar intro. He is such an inventive player and this was a perfect finale to a fabulous set. Hope to see him with Chris later in year. Then onto Wilko – saw him 2 years ago in Leamington and he was excellent. Tonight he was decidedly average. Going through the motions, not engaging with the » Continue Reading.
You know when you go into a record shop and they have one of those 3 for a tenner deals. You find 2 that you want and then pick up a third you are ambivalent about just to fulfil the deal? Well this happened to me. Byrds Sweetheart of the Rodeo and The Style Council Shout to the top collection both Items I wanted. For the third I opted for Level 42 Something about you – the Collection. Was a fan back in the day, saw them live 3 times – pretty good – at the time. This purchase was about 3 months ago – just got around to playing the ’42. vFuck me that hasn’t aged at all well. Why is that? Style Council still sound fab and the Byrds are ageless. What makes a band sound shit after being okay – is it fashion or just production vales? Most stuff from the 60’s still sounds great – the 80’s didn’t fare so well.
In another post there was much talk about copying or plagiarism or call it what you will. The one is too close to call and don’t ever recall seeing any credits but here is Horace Silver doing a cracking copy of Rikki don’t lose my number:
https://youtu.be/CWeXOm49kE0Video can’t be loaded: Horace Silver – Song for My Father (https://youtu.be/CWeXOm49kE0)
This post is not to resurrect the Ryan Adams story but to ask a genuine question prompted by the latest shocking allegations of child abuse by Michael Jackson. The substantial and numerous claims against Jackson have not diminished his popularity nor sales of his cd’s/dvd’s/ memorabilia and his publishers continue to reap huge rewards from his work. Gary Glitter and now it seems Ryan Adams have had their careers destroyed for allegations on a far less industrial scale. The cynic in me would would suggest the allegations against Jackson have been largely brushed aside to avoid killing the golden egg. Pretty shocking all told.
Today we learn of the passing of arguably our best goalkeeper Gordon Banks. However of deeper resonance to me and for shaping my love of this beautiful game I mourn the death of Fred Pickering who passed away yesterday. For two glorious years he was the centre forward for Birmingham City – in 1967 and 1968. 1967 was the year I started watching football. In that year and the following year he was a free scorer in a team that regularly scored 5 or 6 goals in a home game yet were dire away from home. 1968 was the magical year of a glorious FA Cup run. in the 5th round we drew away at Arsenal. The replay at St.Andrews was on a blustery Tuesday night, my Dad took me to the game but we were locked out as a crowd of 55,000 watched us topple Arsenal courtesy of a brace from Barry Bridges, the winner being an overhead kit. Next up the quarter final against Chelsea. This time I had a ticket. I remember the euphoria when Fred Pickering stooped the head the only goal of the game in the 64th minute. We were in the semi final at » Continue Reading.
There was a lovely tribute by Junior Wells to this great man who died recently. I must confess that I wasn’t aware of his work but took steps to rectify that.A compilation has been on repeat play since it arrived on my doorstep. Beautiful melodies and a great voice. This song in particular has grabbed me:
Of the two I would say that Lou Reed has legendary status yet to me John Cale has always been more interesting. The albums Paris 1919, Fear and Helen of Troy surpass any album that Reed made even though I am a fan of some if not all of his output. I also think Vale is much better live than Reed ever was. So how come the skewed reverence?
A month ago I would have said no chance. Seemingly the deal on offer is doomed to failure. Once it has failed does TM risk failure in a second General Election? Does she instead run another referendum poll – then if the vote is still to leave does she resign? Interesting times.
Continuing my plan to avoid going old prematurely I have arranged for my wife and I to go to our first festival next year – Cambridge Folk Festival in case you are interested.
The last time I had a tent was in the summer of 76 when I inter-railed Europe with my mate. To be honest it was his tent and he did the putting up etc – I was a bit like Art Garfunkel in as much as my job was knocking in the guides or whatever you call them.
Anyway I will need to buy a tent – does anyone have any recommendations? I need easy to assemble and waterproof. The rest I can take care of.
With a few Sweden residents on here I am reasonably confident of some helpful replies. My wife unexpectedly received a long service travel voucher and as a result we are off to Stockholm with our daughter and her boyfriend the first week of January. We know it will be very cold but aside from the Abba Museum which has already been marked as a must can you please provide some helpful tips and recommendations.
Driving through Lichfield one night last week we came to a temporary traffic light on red for some road works. It seemed to be on red for an inordinate length of time. My daughters boyfriend said ‘If you flash your lights repeatedly it thinks you are an ambulance and will turn to green to let you through. We used to do it all the time when I was in the car with my mum, its hilarious’. It occurred to me that how would we know if this was true or not because there is not evidence that it would be the case – more coincidence. Also an ambulance would drive through regardless of whether the lights were red or green. Is this an urban myth, an old wives tale or a shaggy dog story? There are many around, what are your favourites?
Their first album together was very good. They just released their new one No Mercy in this Land and it is rather lovely. A lot of driving blues and some stupendous Harmonica playing from Musselwhite but I am rather taken by this ballad which is the closing track on the album:-
My folks often used to say ‘it wasn’t like that in our day’ or such like. I can look back on my childhood with fond memories but the reality is that in my lifetime we have taken massive strides to achieve a better standard of living. Putting aside our propensity for war which unfortunately has never diminished I can think of these things that I certainly do not mourn the passing of:
Linoleum – dreadful stuff. Outside toilets Mangles – I remember putting my fingers in one, it was fucking painful. Electric bar fires instead of central heating Black and white TV’s with 3 channels that closed down every night around 10pm. ‘Snow’ on the tv just when you got to the critical part of a programme resulting in having to stand next to the tv tapping the side or moving the aerial around. Blancmange – what were we thinking? Evaporated milk – again what were we thinking? Black and White Minstrel show Cod Liver oil The stick at school Short trousers at school Bastard teachers who took pleasure in giving you the slipper and had apparent homo erotic inclinations. Belisha Beacons – did anyone take any notice of them? » Continue Reading.
The Beatles are possibly the most copied band ever. I usually cite Joe Cocker’s With a little help from my friends as my favourite Beatles cover but I forgot about this. From the recently released Stone the Crows/Maggie Bell compilation:
Buxton Opera House
A big of Natalie, this night couldn’t come around soon enough. On a sweltering night in Buxton she cam on stage at 8pm prompt accompanied by her long time sidekick on acoustic guitar Erik Della Penna. For just over 2 hours they entertained us with a marvellous set covering the whole of her solo output and a smattering of 10,000 Maniacs songs. I have been a fan off his since In My Tribe which on its release got played regularly for a number of years – possibly my most played album for a few years I enjoyed it that much. Last night for the first 5 or 6 numbers she played without any conversation with the audience – the highlight of this section being a delightful Motherland. Then she started chatting profusely and she was warm. funny and very slightly coquettish. The shot continued with a few missed lines for Life is Sweet which prompted a fit of giggles and repeat attempts to get it right. She playfully admonished herself and then later on Build a Levee Erik made a bomb note and she jokingly suggested ‘he should go now’. Aside from that » Continue Reading.
Jimmy LaFave sadly passed away early last year leaving behind a legacy of great recordings. He had a fabulous voice and was perhaps the best ever interpreter of Dylan songs. Along with Baron Harkonnen I was privileged to see him play live in Austin about a year before he died. It was a magical evening that will live long in the memory. His last recordings will be released as a double album Peace Town tomorrow. It would be great if this album sold a few copies in his memory as it would certainly help keep alive the memory of a great artist: