Three dates in Sweden and Norway, then a quick dash round the UK.
Much as I dislike the Cambridge Junction, I’ll have to go. I’ve not seen them since 1990.
I imagine these will be postponed.
Celtic Connections has a special place in the heart of many musicians. It is the festival whose namechecks sound most genuine. Collaboration and cross-pollenation (musically, please, Moose) are the names of the game, and both artists and audience come away invigorated – or at least they do after they have recovered from partying in Glasgow for weeks on end. That last point explains why I have only been the once. To do the whole festival, if you are not a resident of the Central Belt, would consume a chunk of your annual leave and, personally, I like to get value for money for my leave, measured in daylight hours. Further, my preferred form of festival accommodation is a gazebo over the back door of my Landrover. It needs no explanation why that doesn’t appeal during a Scottish January.
So, this is one occasion when I’m really quite pleased that a festival has had to go online. It’s ‘pay per view’ as it were, which is a positive, contributing to both artists and the future of the festival. I’ve signed up for the full ‘Festival Pass’ (a snip at £40) which will give me links to at least one gig » Continue Reading.
I wasn’t originally going to post this on the Afterword, because it isn’t related to music, books, TV, Richard Thompson, progressive-rock, etc. Plus, in these times, we *all* have friends in difficulties of one sort or another – and there’s only so much any of can do.
But on reflection, it’s a friend in need, a long way from home and it’s potentially life-changing… so I’ll just leave the link here and if you want to share it somewhere or contribute a small sum, then great.
In brief: Veronika is from Slovakia, and is a massage wizard. She has lived/worked in Belfast for a few years, but has only one relative in the UK. She very recently married a fellow mainland European in Belfast, who was also in Belfast more or less alone, but who has relatives in Scotland. Veronika was diagnosed with a brain tumour late last year – and moved to Scotland a few weeks ago, permanently, with her husband (both giving up their jobs), for two reasons: (1) to get surgery with one of the best UK surgeons for this condition in February; (2) to stay with her husband’s relatives while recuperating, which may take months.
… is the third album by The Eisenhowers. The music might best be described as adult-oriented (by that, I mean middle-aged) pop/rock, drawing on influences like David Bowie, Elvis Costello and Steely Dan. The album boasts high production values and there is some quality musicianship throughout, with the lyrics putting the spotlight on a varied cast of characters.
‘I like your girlfriend’ features a sleazy b-list television personality on the prowl, while ‘Mr McIntosh has left the building’ channels the spirit of The Kinks in reflecting the thoughts of a retiring office clerk as he spends his final day in employment. In the acerbic and spikey ‘My gang’, an ambitious and grasping politician lays bare his polarizing philosophy, while ‘How will you know when you know’ explores the state of mind of an impoverished and disillusioned musician. In ‘The Joker and The Penguin’, two comic book characters have a discussion about the nature of free will. There’s a David Bowie tribute thrown in for good measure (‘And then he flew towards the sun’), while the uplifting country rocker ‘Read my Lips’, might, in a parallel universe, have been a hit for Shania Twain.
The album is available » Continue Reading.
Hello all – just a heads up that I’ll be hosting a Twitter listening party on January 1st at 7pm GMT with esteemed author and Pushing Ahead Of The Dame blogger Chris O’Leary. We’ll be rattling through The Man Who Sold The World. I’ve never done this before, so hope it won’t be too much of a disaster but would love to have the AW Massive on board!
At 5:00 p.m. (UK time) Songs From Under The Floorboards presents a Factory Records Special programme, travelling on a journey from the first record on that label in 1978, to its final release, just before going into bankruptcy at the end of 1992.
The show will take in, naturally, the big-hitters – Joy Division, New Order and The Happy Mondays – but also include some American Urban music, Algerian Rai, as well as a number of the (potentially) lesser-known names. Tune-in here to listen live on Thursday:
Also, I’d like to thank @fentonsteve for mentioning me and these shows in the Blogger Takeover thread.
(with profuse apologies for not giving advance notice)
“Following radio programmes with music from Manchester and Sheffield, we travel north of the border, and make a round-trip musical journey from Edinburgh to Glasgow, via Dunfermline, Dundee and other places along the way..”
If you wish, you can listen to it here:
“Songs From Under The Floorboards is back again on GNet Radio this Thursday 12 November at 5:00 p.m. UK time with something a little different…
…Instead of a 6-song look at an independent record label in the middle of the programme, this show will be a Rough Trade Records special. A number of requests have been received to feature Rough Trade, but given the longevity of the label (1978 to tomorrow), it is impossible to cover.
Therefore, from Stiff Little Fingers (1978) to Hello Forever (2020), via Robert Wyatt, The Fall, The Smiths, This Is The Kit, The Strokes and many more, nearly every song will be from that label.
I hope you can join us!
You will be able to listen live here:
Listen again here:
And, if you wish to catch-up on last week’s Bonfire Night show:
“After he hosted a well-received personal history of Manchester music at the beginning of this month, Martin Tolcher now turns his attention to an (almost) A to Z of music from Sheffield…
26 artists, from ABC to Zongo Brigade – ‘Almost’, as there are some letters missing, but there should be plenty to entertain, inform and educate (in that order!) in this 2 hour show.
Available live here:
And on listen again:
In case you missed the Manchester show, it is available here:
This is somewhere between a Blog post and a Noticeboard item. First, the Noticeboard bit. News from Sarah McQuaid:
A bit of sad news: I’ve very reluctantly made the decision to cancel both my 5-week February-March tour in Netherlands/Germany/Denmark and my 3-week April-May Ireland tour. It just feels like too risky a time to undertake any international touring, given the risks of lockdowns, quarantines and so on. That leaves both me and Martin Martin Stansbury Audio – Cacophony Cottage Studio with another 6 months of mostly empty diaries to fill … so this would be a good time to (a) contact Martin about any recording, mixing or mastering projects you might have in mind (see https://www.facebook.com/martinstansburyaudio for info and testimonials) and (b) consider joining me on Patreon, if you haven’t done so already. I’m also available to record backing vocals and guest guitar/piano parts, as well as for score commissions.
I have lots of plans for writing and co-writing new material, working on my songbook project, beefing up my composition and home studio skills, and improving my guitar, piano and percussion chops — but none of that generates any income in the short term, so I’d be very » Continue Reading.
A dignified calling-it-quits from the great man. Here is his Facebook announcement:
It’s been a great 50+ years of being a working entertainer, but I reached the difficult decision that touring and stage shows are no longer possible. I’ve cancelled the upcoming shows, and am not accepting offers for new ones. That’s the short version. For the longer version continue reading… As a folksinger, I never really thought much about getting older. It seemed to me that I could just continue year after year, decade after decade, singing and playing as I had done for most of my life. As the years went by, it got more difficult to keep touring, but I did it, mostly because I’d been doing it my entire life. It was the life I knew and loved.
In 2016 on April 1st, April Fools Day, I got really dizzy in the parking lot of the hotel, and started seeing as though I were looking through a kaleidoscope. That evening the show went on as though nothing had happened. I had no idea I’d just encountered a mini stroke until weeks later, when I was told about it. It didn’t appear to affect » Continue Reading.
Petesy Burns – Outcast, legend, bucket of positive energy, source of earthy wisdom and 70s punk spirit, Motown aficionado and writer of songs, powerhouse drummer, coiled-spring vendor of blistering riffs on guitar and driving bass, a lover of lattés and a teacher of Tai Chi on the beach… a man with a big grin and a beard… an anarchist with humanity.
And now he needs our help.
Anyone who has ever met Petesy Burns will know his many qualities. If you’re feeling down, he’ll take the time to lift your spirits. If you need a band for a charity thing, he’s there.
He’s a very difficult man to pay. If there is something he can do for you, it’s all you can do to get him to take some petrol money, and even then…
I’ve only known Petesy for a couple of years. In late 2018, I was raging against NI government corruption and hubris, and felt the need to make a punk recording to highlight the problem. I wrote ‘Smash the System’ – but who’s interested in a bourgeois nonentity playing old-school punk? I needed some credibility… and I knew someone who knew Petesy. At that time, » Continue Reading.
Some real bargains from a German supplier of musical comestibles. Save £££ and not give your dosh to the tax-dodgers. I draw particular attention to the Rubettes complete for about £15.00.
At 5:00 p.m. today (UK time):
“Join Martin, as he takes us through a personal history of Manchester music, digging deep into his own collection to tell us about and play songs from 1963 up to the last week or so”.
Features 30 November 1989!
At 12 noon a performance of part of Gustav Holst’s “Mars” will take place. 20% of the piece will be played, by freelance musicians conducted by David Hill. This performance will be followed by 2 minutes silence. Only 20% to be played because the government’s latest SEISS grant only offers a maximum of 20% support for freelancers. The event will be Covid-19 safe and adhere strictly to social distancing regulations. It will be reported live as it happens on the Musicians Union Twitter Feed. Later in the day union General Secretary Horace Trubridge will be speaking to the Lords Economic Affairs Committee, which you can watch live on Parliament TV from 4pm. Some AfterWorders may know Horace better for his stint in Darts, when he was known as Horatio Hornblower.
Focus – 50 Years: Anthology 1970-1976
Dutch progrock band Focus has been a household name worldwide for 50 years with hits such as “Hocus Pocus”, “House Of The King”, “Sylvia”, “Tommy” and many others.
In honor of this monumental band, Red Bullet Productions will release a new boxset available from 13th November: Focus – 50 Years: Anthology 1970-1976, consisting of 9 CDs and 2 DVDs with remasters and never before released material, such as the ‘Focus At The Rainbow’ concert film from 1973.
This box set contains the complete work of Focus as released between 1970 and 1976, the years in which the band featured 4 of the most talented musicians originating from the Netherlands during the 70s: guitarist Jan Akkerman, keyboard player Thijs van Leer, bass player Bert Ruiter and drummer Pierre van der Linden.
In the period 1970-1976, Focus was the first continental European rock group to reach a worldwide audience meanwhile touring extensively in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and Japan. The band scored two worldwide hitsingles, sold several million albums and was the first Dutch rock group claiming Melody Maker’s Brightest Hope award for 1972. One year later, Focus hit the US Billboard » Continue Reading.
I’ve been listening to a lot of JJ Cale recently, who seems to suit my mood, and started writing songs which, if not like him (no one is like him) caught some of his mood. So I recorded them in a little EP I present here for your pleasure. There’s a cracking guitartastic track with old pal David called Brand New Blues where “licks” are “traded”, and elsewhere Twang Jr makes his recording debut on lead guitar and alto saxophone. It’s bluesy, tuneful, fun and a bit melancholy. My basic mood at the moment.
As the song goes…
“In these troubled times I wanna chose The gentle rocking sound of JJ playing the blues”
Link thingy here:
Folk/blues scenester, performer, club organiser, sometime broadcaster, former ‘Froots’ editor and personality Ian Anderson started a record label in Bristol in 1970. In this new podcast/cyber radio thing, he plays a track from everything the label released – 24 LPs and a few singles. My favourites from the label are Al Jones, Chris Thompson, Wizz Jones and a bit of Dave Evans. To my taste, you probably ‘had to be there’ for a couple of the other acts, but that matters not – hats off to Ian for making it happen in an era when independent labels were relatively rare. He had a decent hit rate, quality wise.
The link contains the pod / radio thing plus a few paragraphs of history on the venture and lots of LP sleeves and adverts.
I must listen to it myself…
Tomorrow (18 September) from 15:00 UK time, on the 50th Anniversary of Jimi’s death, my friend Keith will be presenting a “3 hour celebration of his musical genius”…
Keith is a major fan/afficianado/obsessive. ’tis his tattoo featured above too.
In case you miss it:
One feels sure this will appeal to a number of Afterworders!
Analogue Hashtag’s debut album is inspired and influenced by some classic TV themes, in particular the work of composers like Edwin Astley, Barry Gray, Lalo Schifrin and Ron Grainer. The imaginative listener might just detect a narrative thread running through the album. This might involve an agent during the cold-war period being sent behind the Iron Curtain on an espionage mission. As the plot unfolds, he might be drawn into a tangled web of intrigue before being captured, imprisoned and interrogated. During his interrogation, as the prospect of escape fades to the distance, he might well find himself retreating to a space inside his head in order to avoid giving away any crucial information to the enemy. Any similarity with plots of old TV shows and /or films is deliberate, because the aim of this project is to record theme tunes and incidental music for films and TV shows which exist in a parallel universe (or something). ‘One of our agents is missing’ is available on Spotify, i-tunes and various other sites, but a ‘free’ download (dependent on a small donation to a nominated » Continue Reading.
Just the press release for those interested….
Since her debut album arrived in 1968, Joni Mitchell’s songs have been embraced across generations, inspired multitudes of artists around the world, and earned every conceivable accolade. She is now opening her vault for the first time to create the Joni Mitchell Archives, a new series of boxed set releases that will span the next several years, featuring deep dives into unreleased content from different eras of her storied career. Mitchell has been intimately involved in producing the archive series, lending her vision and personal touch to every element of the project.
The series debuts on October 30 with JONI MITCHELL ARCHIVES VOL. 1: THE EARLY YEARS (1963-1967), which features nearly six hours of unreleased home, live, and radio recordings that flow chronologically to paint a rich portrait of Mitchell’s rapid growth as a performer and songwriter during the period leading up to her debut album. This treasure trove of unheard audio includes 29 original Mitchell compositions that have never been released before with her vocals. The collection will be available as a deluxe 5-CD set as well as digitally.
The collection begins in 1963 with her earliest-known recording » Continue Reading.
Thought some may be interested that Songs From Under The Floorboards will be returning to the airwaves next Thursday (10 September) at 17:00 UK time.
On Saturday 5 September, again at 17:00, I shall be a guest on 2 Fish & An Elephant for a Joy Division and New Order special. If of no interest to anyone else, @fentonsteve will get to hear a number of favourites he mentioned above.
Thank you very much!