Twang welcomes legendary record producer Mike Vernon to the pod to discuss his career spanning numerous classic albums but especially Afterword favourite John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton” (AKA “The Beano” album) and the first generation Fleetwood Mac, plus a catch up on Mike’s more recent activities. Mike is happy to go deep on the nerdy stuff and Twang periodically proves unable to avoid going into gush mode.
as brilliance goes
As the PM drags her heels out of No 10 slowly enough to have been in office for (just) longer than Gordon Brown, the record she leaves behind wouldn’t look out of place in the Thread of Shame. What cultural reference points would be a suitable tribute to her?
May, I be amazed?
As the (division) bell rings, the May polespins?
Nuts in May?
Ok so no HJHs but it’s got analogue synths, the Grateful Dead, drugs, the sixties and a roadie in it. A very late April fool, or was the Grateful Dead’s roadie really called Oswley Stanley. Of course he was. I thought for a second that was Oswald Moseley – which would have been even better. Enjoy.
Following on from the Thread Of SHITE I thought we should dig deeper and find those tracks from your favourite artiste that make your toes curl. You wonder how they produced some of your favourite music but also managed “that”. An off day, change of direction, bad advice or just a shite song that proves we’re all human.
Mine is Billy Mackenzie’s ( as The Associates) cover of “Heart Of Glass”. Desperate for a hit, no producers knowing what on earth to do with him or that voice. Some bright spark decided to take Blondie’s finest added the worst excesses of 80’s production and asked Billy to tone the singing down a bit. Then there’s the video. ….. Did Steely Dan do a stinker? Is there such a thing as bad Beatles? Did Kate Bush do any clunkers? Over to you. ..
The latest volume in this long running and consistently first class series featuring Inspector Logan McRae, along with his usual cohorts, Steel, Rennie and Quirrell. The plot this time centres around the abduction of a high profile anti Scottish independence campaigner – but are radical pro Nationalists really responsible, or is it the work of someone trying to smear their campaign? There’s a war brewing between the pro and anti independence factions, not to mention infighting in the ranks of the police themselves, and the whole thing is being played out in the relentless glare of the media. Throw in an investigating officer with a chequered past and a turbulent present, who McRae, now working in Professional Standards, has his arm twisted to babysit, and you have all the ingredients for another great story, and one which covers some very topical and current themes.
No-one combines police procedurals with sardonic quirky black humour quite like Mr MacBride, and this excellent novel is certainly well worth your attention – another fine addition to this ongoing series.
Length of Read:Long
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
If you’re already a fan of these stories then you’ll love this new » Continue Reading.
With Mr Hannon’s next album on the horizon, I thought now is a good time to show some appreciation for, I think, one of Britain’s most underappreciated songwriters. Great fun live too. Their commercial peak may well be long gone, but as part of my expedition to fall back in love with music I’m focusing on an artists’ back catalogue every month, and May has been most enjoyable listening back to ‘Fin de Siecle’, ‘Foreverland’ and ‘Bang Goes The Knighthood’.
I had an email from Spotify yesterday saying that there had been ‘suspicious activity’ on my account and I should change my password. I wasn’t locked out or anything, but my recent activity list clearly shows music I have never played! An internet search shows I’m not alone and techy sites report many users have had this email.
Obviously I have changed my password, but has anyone any thoughts on this..? The implication from my ‘activity’ is that someone has used my account to listen to some music, but I don’t quite understand how that would work, and also this seems to be a large scale problem rather than one just personal to me, so it doesn’t quite add up in my little brain.
What does it sound like?:
Today, quite incredibly to me as it barely seems possible, marks the 45th anniversary of the original release of this album. It’s now been reissued on coloured vinyl to commemorate the occasion, in line with Bowie’s earlier albums. This era, Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Pin Ups and this one, encompasses most of my favourite Bowie albums, maybe because of my own age when they came out I think. They are the ones where the music has stayed with me over the years, and that I’ve returned to time and again.
Denied the rights to produce a musical piece based on Orwell’s seminal 1984 novel, the songs Bowie had already composed by and large ended up on the second side of this record – 1984, Big Brother, We Are The Dead etc, while the first side dealt with his vision of life in a future apocalyptic world. There really is some consistently great music on here, my own favourite being the atmospheric Sweet Thing/ Candidate section, but it’s fair to say there are no duds here. This album marked the end of Bowie’s glam period – typically, it was time to move on » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
Mavis Staples is eighty in July. She has no intention of slowing down. There have been three celebratory events where the likes of David Byrne, Maggie Rogers, Jason Isbell and Norah Jones have shown their appreciation. Live In London, recorded at The Union Chapel was released in February. There is this brand new studio album and the small matter of a mini world tour: in June, she will perform at Glastonbury, Dublin, Amsterdam, Norrmalm and Antwerp. As she pithily puts it, “I’m over the hill, but now I’m going over the mountain.”
Mavis has evolved as an recording artist over the decades. Her voice is less sweet than in the sixties and is now darker in hue, capable of an authoritative growl. She is always willing to embrace modern producers and songwriters. However, her message of peaceful protest has been consistent and she still knows how to fully inhabit a song, unerringly finding its core and drawing out its strengths.
The nearly fifty year old young man occupying the producer’s seat this time is Ben Harper. He was brought up in a household full of Soul music, so Mavis Staples is part of his » Continue Reading.
I am in dive bar – the other side of the tracks – literally – in Jacksonville FL. Living in the Past – Jethro Tull on the jukebox. Has any music been MORE out of place. Over to you ……
Penpontman is mikethep’s nom-de-plum over there on Instagram. If you are on Insta and not following him, you really ought to be. His adventures in the world of secondhand books are a delight, as are his photos of architecture in Brisbane, Folkestone and elsewhere.
This week Mike really captured my imagination with a photo of Blue Angels and Whales by Robert Gibbings. (see below), a book which was the very first piece of writing commissioned by Penguin in 1938. Gibbings (1889 – 1958) was a very talented Irish writer and engraver who was rather well-known in his time. Read his biography on Wiki! He was quite a character.
Anyway, this got us on to other writers who were once successful household names and now are largely forgotten. What an interesting idea for am AW thread, I thought. Mike was less convinced, Too limited and esoteric! So, please, blow the dust off those neglected paperbacks and help me prove him wrong. He will be delighted.
I would like to hear about those books (and authors) which were once in the bookcase in every home, or in the rucksack of every globetrotter yet are now largely forgotten.
Children’s writers are very welcome. » Continue Reading.
He is clearly looking to be a Santa this year!
Open, Norwich, and Union Chapel, London
What a difference a lighting rig can make.
I have loved Thea Gilmore’s music for most of the couple of decades that she has been releasing superb, occasionally dipping to merely very good, albums and always catch a gig on each tour as well as buying every album in the week of release. This time The Light and I plumped for a train and Travelodge trip to Norwich rather a school night visit to London and the chosen show, at Open, fell on the day of release of Small World Turning.
Matt Owens, formerly of Noah and the Whale, played a short but amiable opening set before reappearing on electric bass with Thea’s band, along side Katriona Gilmore, no relation, on a variety of stringed instruments (right handed fiddle but left handed mandolin oddly enough) and Thea’s musical and life partner Nigel Stonier. At times the bass dominated the acoustic guitars, and I wondered about the lack of drums.
The performance was highly enjoyable with plenty of songs from the new record and a smattering of old favourites, notably a couple from 2001s Rules for Jokers, but … It » Continue Reading.
Cardiff-based Morrissey fans need to find a new music shop following Mozzer’s support of For Britain.
SDE reports a 2CD or 3LP live album taken from the 2017 Manchester International Festival, snappily entitled ∑(No,12k,Lg,17Mif) New Order + Liam Gillick: So it goes…
In the absence of Hooky, I wouldn’t normally be interested, but this was great on the idiot latern with tuness majorily reworked for 12 keyboard players.
Out 12th July.
What does it sound like?:
This is the first release of a discovery of a treasure trove of Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac live recordings and unreleased studio sessions from 1968 and 1970. The 1970 material will be released later but volume one concentrates on 1968 when the band had only just formed. Those who love the first album will know what to expect here. Peter’s playing is loud and proud, confident and flowing and remarkably assured for someone who had only just taken centre stage in his own band and in fact had only stepped out as a lead guitarist a matter of years earlier. Peter’s voice is as soulful and uncannily bluesy as a white boy can be, especially as he makes no attempt to impersonate black blues singers preferring to find his own tonality and mood. The Fleetwood and, well, Mac rhythm section is tight and swinging. To this listener Jeremy Spencer is the weak link – I know he was a key part of the early band’s live appeal etc but his two bottleneck licks become wearing when repeatedly played and I have to wonder what other special sauce he brought to a band already » Continue Reading.
To those who had the misfortune to read my post from last night. A culmination of stresses in my personal situatuion, plus alcohol leaked over into a very poorly thought out rant. That is really not me.
I am going to take an internet break for a while, hopefully you can look more kindly towards me on my return.
As a teenager I was obsessed with music – I mean completely obsessed. I devoured singles, albums in painstaking detail. Everything, the lyrics, the music, the production, the sleeve, the promo video. Since last week I have been listening to The National’s new album – at home whilst cooking, housework etc. I’ve had it playing on my commute work or in the background whilst working at home. And it’s pleasant enough, I like some of the songs, really like a few, but nothing really, really grabs me. And I’ve realised that nothing has really grabbed me for years, possibly decades. It’s easy and obvious to blame digital music, and I partly do – too much choice, losing the art of listening to albums and not having a physical copy in my hand. But, I also blame myself – music just doesn’t give me the rush it once did – and it’s all rather worrying! Does anybody else feel the same? Is anybody actually more in to music than they were when they were younger?
Apparently, in another department here at work, there is a David Howie.
Does anyone know anyone else similarly one letter away from Fame?
Do you know a Milly Gibbons, a Neil Fung or a Mark F Smith?
You wonderful folks have helped my daughter with her homework before you may remember (finding a british comedy skit ), so if it’s OK I would like to ask for you help again. This time she has to perform, on the violin, a tune but in a different genre. You know the sort of thing – rock to bluegrass, pop to classical, classical to rap even classical to folk. She is an accomplished fiddle player (grade 8 ish) so quite able to do fairly tricky things. She can sing but hates singing. Im thinking a well known pop song in a classical style – Smells like Teen Spirit for example, although that’s been done loads of times. She knows how to play both classical and folk well, Anybody got any interesting ideas? Once again, grateful thanks for your consideration.
Van Halen introduced us to the widdlly diddly rock guitar.
A fine album.
Lib Dem for me.
Bollocks to Brexit!
As a companion thread to Ganglesprockets “Thread of Sh**e’, how about the worst music video – i.e. the song may be good and so not warranting a mention in that thread, but the video is awful / cheesy / etc etc……
We all know that the actual worst ever video is David Bowie / Mick Jagger’s “Dancing In The Street”, but what else comes a close second…….
Jake Black aka The Very Reverend D. Wayne Love of Alabama 3 died yesterday, best known for “Woke Up This Morning” – the song played over the opening titles of the Sopranos.
I first saw Alabama 3 in 1998 supporting Primal Scream and subsequently bought their debut album “Exile on Coldharbour Lane”. I loved that album, still do, it’s their bestselling recording to date (a fact which I know pisses the band off after a dozen or so releases) and as the 20 year anniversary of its release approaches they are/were due to tour this autumn playing it in its entirety.
Recoding wise the novelty soon wears off with the country/acid house/gospel schtick, but a live Alabama 3 show was always entertaining, a festival set especially so, one can only wonder what will happen without D. Wayne.