I heard a song from this hit musical on 6Music at the weekend. Loved the song but didn’t know about Hadestown until I googled it. Now I am desperate to see it. Its run in London finished earlier this year. It is showing whilst I am in New York next June but the ticket prices are eye watering. Has anyone seen it and if so your thoughts? Worth a second mortgage or forget about it?
Just an alert that the new Wilco album is £7.99 for pre-order with the Tax dodgers.
What does it sound like?:
A few years back there was a band called Staff Benda Belili who gained notoriety as a Paraplegic group out of the DRC playing instruments made from Cans, Plastic bottles, car radiators etc picked up from the streets of Kinshasa. Kokoko are the latest band to plough a similar furrow although they have added some electronics and some beats. Less organic if you like but no less exciting. Of course the best way to witness them would be in a live setting preferably in a sweaty nightclub in a Kinshasa backstreet. Since this was not an available option I settled for an armchair in my Lichfield abode. How do I begin to describe their music? Firstly the sounds are not easily identifiable yes the percussion is obviously a driving force but are they conventional drums? In most instances not. There is an insistent driving riff with a strong use of repetitive refrains – think if you like an African motorik. Personally I love it. A couple of standout tracks are L.O.V.E, Zala Mayale and my favourite Kitoko. This last track starts off with an unidentifiable plucked intstrument, a nice repeating bass refrain and what » Continue Reading.
Okay lets gets the reason I was here out of the way first. I like Ms Streisand more as an actress than a singer. My wife loves her singing and since she is in her words ‘enduring’ Cambridge Folk Festival with me in August it was only fair I got tickets for one of her favourite singers. We got there halfway through the Kingdom Choir set I must have had my head under a rock because I didn’t know they sang at Meghan and Harry’s wedding – why would I come to think of it? They did a pretty decent version of the Coldplay ‘classic’ fix you and took away the histrionics that irritated me in the original. A couple of other half decent covers and they were not bad as a warm up act. Then came Kris Kristofferson. What can I say? The artist with the best songs on this particular day had the worst voice by some distance. He had Merle Haggards band providing outstanding accompaniment throughout but his voice was shot to bits. A half decent Me and Bobby McGhee but a risible Sunday Morning coming down. Help me make it » Continue Reading.
For some reason this song has been played on 6Music twice that I have heard in the last week. It is an old song I wasn’t aware of and it has wormed its way into my brain to the extent that I need to buy the compilation album that it appears on. No idea why it has something of a resurgence but I am glad I heard it:
What does it sound like?:
I am loathe to even mention the words ‘return to form’ because in my mind his last couple of albums have been up there with the better stuff from his canon of work. Where do I place this? Right at the pinnacle – as good as if not better than Abraxas which is my favourite Santana album. Firstly his guitar playing is to the fore throughout, there is lots of it and it has not sounded better to these ears. The title ‘Africa speaks’ is a trifle misleading as it intimates an African vibe. The truth is this is Latin music at its core with some African influences and very few Western influences. A centerpiece of the album is the longest track Blue Skies – clocking in just over 9 minutes. It has a co write With Laura Mvula who shares vocals with Spanish singer Buika. It starts off in a Coltrane vein and then extends out into some beautiful guitar playing by Carlos. I really like the female vocals, they add a sassiness. The album really ups a gear with two back to back gems Breaking Down the door and Los Invisibles. The » Continue Reading.
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.