Twang gathers Tiggerlion, Nigel T, Dai and occasional guest Simon for a discussion on the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” and its recent remix/rerelease. A stimulating discussion ensues which has to be brutally cut short at 1hr 30m, lovingly represented here in stereo (the mono remix will be available shortly from specialist web shops). We cover the history of the album, where it fits in the Beatles universe, songwriting, recording, remix approaches… A wide spread of opinions are aired, context and judgement applied and in the end most of the team admit they’d buy it whatever it was like. Advice is offered for potential purchasers on the different formats available and Twang confesses it doesn’t sound much different to the 2009 remaster to him.
What does it sound like?:
This is a live album from Steve Hackett’s gigs last year touring Genesis songs with a band, orchestra and choir. I went to one of the London shows and lost all the hearing in my right ear a day later which I don’t blame Steve for but the pass pedals generated frequencies which made your entire skeleton rattle so it may have been a contributing factor. Seriously though, it’s pretty epic sounding. A big band playing big prog numbers with a full orchestra and choir is not really going to sound small, lets face it.
The album opens with “Dancing on a volcano” from “Trick of the tail” with Steve’s signature guitar loud and proud centre stage. He was always an interesting player, focussing on melody and texture and various other guitar tricks to add variety (he was a very early adopter of the now ubiquitous tapping you hear all over metal albums). For the Genesis songs the band sensibly replicate the Genesis parts wherever they are key to the arrangement and the orchestra adds heft and drama aplenty. For Steve’s own material they stretch out more and extend the studio versions making full » Continue Reading.
Twitter generally deserves its reputation as a cesspit of unpleasantness. But occasionally someone rises above the ordure. Frank Gardener tweeted this:
Country pub down a village lane, a clear starlit night, temperature dropping, scent of woodsmoke in the air. Autumn in Britain. Love it.
My favourite season. Here’s TMT.
Ahead of a gig in Thornton Hough with family in attendance singer songwriter Kathryn Williams sits down to talk box sets – her 20 year spanning Anthology flying off the merch table like so many hot Kiplings. The excited hubbub is audible as we discuss covers, working with Neill MacColl (who makes an extended cameo appearance), outtakes and demos plus her tour and future projects
I know there are fans of Ben Watt here so just sharing this – new album in February, and if you pre-order you get priority booking for the tour (also in February). I’m in already. The site store also has copies of the last one – “Fever Dream” – which I think may be his masterpiece on vinly for a very reasonable £9.99 so i sprang for one of them too. Here’s the first new track.
This was a public service announcement.
Twang welcomes Tiggerlion to the pod for a one to one taking in his lifelong love of music in almost all its forms (though our guest admits he hasn’t found the metal album he likes….yet). In a discussion ranging from The Beatles to Eminem via Miles, Coltrane and Lana Del Rey, Twang leaves with a list of actions of stuff he should have heard of. A playlist of the vast span of music Tig recommended is in the comments.
If you fancy joining Twang in the pod for a 121 natter, PM forthwith!
It just occurred to me that I haven’t eaten pilchards on toast for decades. I used to like them. What don’t you eat any more? *
* I realise this could die in a ditch.
Just flirting with the idea of downsizing and moving away from the madness of being 30 mins from London. Too many choices! So help me out, if you could live anywhere in the UK where would it be, and why? Could be where you are now, of course.
An old pal (and occasional guest on the podcast) were having a strum on our lovely sounding 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars and came up with the idea of recording a bunch of classic covers with two guitars, two voices, done live. So here it is! Enjoy!
Here’s “Two of us”.
Starting on Saturday a mate and I are doing a 4 day motorbike tour of Wales – not all, sadly, but a good run about. We’re riding the length of the A5 to Holyhead, stopping overnight in Corwen, then circumnavigating the Llyn peninsula before taking in southern Snowdonia and down to Barmouth for night 2. Following day, diagonally across the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains to Chepstow for the third night, then up to Gloucester, and back to Hertfordshire via the A40 and over the Chilterns.
Any tips on good things to take in, from cafes, pubs etc very welcome!
We often, sadly, have to express our emotions at the loss of our heroes as they pass to the great dressing room in the sky. But let’s remember those whose gift was taken away too early, leaving them to do, well, other stuff. Sam Brown lost her amazing voice due to side effects following throat surgery. One of my personal heroes, Nic Jones, largely lost his amazing gift in a nasty brush with a brick lorry in the early hours of the morning after a gig. Linda Ronstadt is still well but tragically we will never hear her stunning soprano again. See also Joni Mitchell.
So let’s remember those who just had to, well, stop.
This episode, germ-free adolescents Dr Volume, FentonSteve and Rigid Digit kick around in a post-industrial wasteland and talk all things Post-Punk with Twang, a man who chose not to attend *that* infamous Sex Pistols gig at Manchester Lesser Free Trade hall, nor pop round for tea with Ian Curtis. Is Post-Punk just Punk with keyboards and less spitting? What happens when Punks refuse to go ’Post’? How will Twang react to the swinging sounds of The Raincoats and Swell Maps and can the team make it through to the end without using the words ’Edgy’ and ’Angular?
Lets suppose you could go back in time – which era would you like to visit? Have a look at the Anglo Saxons? Bring some light to the Dark Ages? Follow the thrills of the Wars of the Roses? Or perhaps a bit of Regency decadence? There have to be rules of course:
– you have to stay a year – you have the same relative affluence as you do now – you can only go back before1950 so no reliving the summer of love etc.
Me I’m contemplating a spot of 1920s jazz age good vibes, but I might be more ambitious and try the Elizabethan golden age.
Dropbox have pushed up their process for paid cloud storage and I wondered what everyone uses (assuming you use the cloud at all). I use OneDrive for work stuff as it integrates with Microsoft so well, free Amazon Cloud for photos and Dropbox (1Tb paid) for everything else, but I’m wondering if there’s a more cost effective option. What do you do, if anything?
I just bought little USB fan for my desk. It plugs into the USB port and blows welcome cooling air onto my sweating visage. I love it. What’s your thing of the week?
Twang is joined in a pod basking in summer heat and thick with the sweet smell of sinsemilla to discuss reggae from its ska roots, a groove mutated by Caribbean musicians playing covers of American R&B, through the rock steady hits of the 60s and into the 70s global stardom of Bob Marley, The team consider the important acts of the time, consider British reggae, the rise and dominance of dub and later evolutions such as disco mix.
The hotly awaited reissue of the mighty Tull’s “Stormwatch” has been confirmed for 11th October. It’s definitely one of my favourite Tull albums, not top five but certainly top 10. It’s a much darker sounding album that its folky predecessors, and quite dense sounding so I’m looking forward to the Steven Wilson remix which I’m hoping will shine some new light into the songs. The band lost the fab John “Old Brittledick” Glascock half way through the sessions and Ian Anderson played most of the bass parts, maintaining the Tull tradition of recording sessions being fraught with difficulty. It’s another 4 CD bonanza in book format and I’m confident will maintain the high standard set by the earlier reissues.
Twang welcomes Feedback File to the pod for a ramble through his musical past and other life stories. Unusually the boys are together in person, so Skype has no opportunity to introduce technical excitement this time. We cover teenage boy prog appeal, yuppies, classic pop, 80s work culture, writing music, books, podcasts….
To book a moment in the podcast sun PM @Twang and schedule a 121!
I’ve been very much enjoying the Smershpod podcast recommended by @neela which is a review of all the Bond films and related work (other films using the same actors etc) and other representative films he fancies talking about. He’s having a run at the 80s at the moment, notable for the endless explosions, paper thin scripts, big hair, cocaine production soundtracks and glossy haired perfect cheek bones (and that’s only the blokes). Much hilarity ensues – the “Top Gun” one is brilliant. There’s fun to be had in those films though.
I’ve been on a gritty 70s jag for a while now, and in many ways those films don’t date – The French Connection or The Godfather are as brilliant now as ever. 60s films, less so.
Back to the black and white 50s they still have their charm but seem from a different world, a cool one (Casablanca anyone) but even so.
Someone said to me the other day that they don’t watch “old films” as modern telly is so good you don’t need to. Au contraire, I said, you need to more than ever. They capture an era and an atmosphere that a modern production » Continue Reading.
I’ve done this post a couple of years running now and it’s always produced real gold so here we go again. Please recommend, for holiday (or otherwise) reading which is:
1. A page turner novel
2. Something historical
3. Something political
4. Non fiction
5. Wild card (you choose).
Year: 2019 Director: Erik Nelson
The film takes footage captured in 1943 by esteemed director William Wyler as part of the war effort which was then made into an allied morale booster called “The Memphis Belle”, named after the B17 bomber and crew on which the film focussed. Director Erik Nelson took the original 5 reels of film and completed an astonishing work of restoration to bring them back to life, adding authentic sound recorded from one of the 9 remaining airworthy B17s. The musical soundtrack was written and partly performed by one Richard Thompson.
The story is told by the surviving members of the flight crew who are now well into their 90s. As ever you are astonished by the ages of these guys – the “old guy” on one plane was 26, and the tail gunner telling the story was 19 when the war ended… Needless to say they look amazing in the wartime footage – square jawed, resolute and handsome but not, they are all at pains to stress, heroes. The heroes, they tell us, are the ones who didn’t come back.
The film opens with a recently discovered Nazi propaganda short telling the population that » Continue Reading.
Not much reggae on here though I know there are fans. I was just in an enjoyable debate with a pal about which is the best Bob Marley album. He’s “Survival”, I’m “Uprising”. You?
I thought that might get a few people’s attentions. Anthony Robustelli is a guy with serious muso chops who wrote a fairly definitive guide to Steely Dan in “The Steely Dan FAQ” which exhaustively gets down and nerdy on the Dan.
However, as if that wasn’t enough, he then took the various unfinished Dan demos which are knocking around on the internet and on shonky CD “releases” and recorded them properly with a seriously good set of musicians to create an album called “Steely Dan – Interpretations of Unrealised Classics”. And it’s really good!
There’s a good podcast where he talks about it at some length, but in a nutshell where the Dan demo was a clear statement of intent he was faithful to their arrangement etc, but where it is more of a sketch he took artistic liberties adding sections, lyrics and grooves to where he thought it would have gone had Walt and Don fully developed it. Then recorded it in Royal Scam/Aja style analogue sonic quality (i.e. avoiding the slightly glassy sound of Gaucho and to a degree Two Against Nature).
Those who know the demos will recognise them here and spot the additions, and if you » Continue Reading.
Twang is joined by Dai, Blue Boy and newbie Bogart to discuss Bruce Springsteen, AKA The Boss. From his earliest beginnings they consider the three phases of Bruce (an absurdly reductive concept inflicted on the team by ringmaster Twang), the monumental live performances and what they want him to do next. Much fun is had and the result is a stadium sized pod as befits its subject.
Is it possible to have an edit function for reviews? Despite endless checking a few clangers always creep in which need mod effort to fix but probably would only take seconds for the author. Is it a load of work to do it?