Sunday, 29 November 2015


Green sleeves (and blue & red)

The Woodlands Gallery is fast approaching its first anniversary. It may not be have the same kudos as that afforded to The Tate or, indeed, The Metropolitan, but it works for me.

And it's not too late for a Christmas commission. You can get in touch via all the usual outlets. I think you'll find me very reasonable. I hope so, anyway; I'd be offended if you didn't.

That's right, Vision On's Gallery music

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Revenge porn?

To me, to you
Who would have thought that having your photograph taken with a pair of faded celebrities could be so problematical. What could be easier - you spot The Chuckle Brothers in a night club and ask them if you can have your picture taken with them? But within 24 hours it's all gone horribly wrong and Twitter is having a field day with you. To paraphrase Hank Hill, those boys ain't right.

Friday, 27 November 2015

What Are You Waiting For?

James Medd: provider of beef

I wrote What Are You Waiting For in January 2014 and recorded a one take demo of it earlier this year. But it needed beefing up. Last Thursday The Number One Son and I returned to the studio and between 7.00 and 9.00 pm managed to knock it into shape. I'm really pleased with the finished product. James nailed the solo in four takes. Not that there was anything wrong with the first three. But take four sounded nothing like the first three. It is sublime.

John Medd: What Are You Waiting For. Now with added beef. 

John Medd - Vocals, acoustic guitar James Medd - Electric guitar Carl Hetherington - Producer

Tuesday, 24 November 2015


The worrying thing about Jake Bugg is not how good he is - the lad is extremely gifted. Or, indeed, how young he is - he’s still only 21. No, what frightens me most is just how good he will be in, I don’t know, five years time. As a youth growing up in Nottingham, and still at school, he started to get a few pub gigs playing covers to pissed up punters on a Saturday night. Figuring out that writing your own songs is not a cross between rocket science and brain surgery he started dropping his own material in to his set. And what sensational material it is. He wrote Broken when he was just 18. A more emotionally charged song you'll be hard pushed to find. Trust me.

Here's a version with just Jake and his guitar:

And here's a version recorded at The Royal Albert Hall. With a choir. The boy from Clifton done good.

Sunday, 22 November 2015


The Archies, a fictional cartoon group who had a string of bubblegum hits in the early seventies, could literally only ever be two dimensional. Unlike the young girl below, who obviously caught the eye of the BBC camera man.

Sugar Sugar was co-written by Andy Kim who later went on to record Rock Me Gently - the best Neil Diamond single Neil Diamond never sang. Kim was also a Monkee for a while (another bubblegum band who existed somewhere between the second and third dimensions) when Mick Dolenz and Davy Jones, then just down to a duo, needed a dig out with songwriting duties.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

I'm just waiting on a friend

Steve's coming up on Friday for the weekend. It's been a while since we've seen each other, but we'll pick up where we left off - nothing's so sure. A lot of tunes to listen to. A lot of beer that'll need drinking. And we'll have a lot to talk about - we always do. All the usual stuff; there may even be some new items on the agenda. You know, the sort of things that creep into conversation in the wee small hours.

Frank Sinatra: In The Wee Small Hours

The Stones: Waiting On a Friend

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Bridging the gap

Nick Lowe, not Gordon Medd
Dad's up with us again for a few days. Oil and tyre pressures would have been checked yesterday morning before the wing mirrors were positioned and driving gloves put on. And a new PB of under two hours was set. It really is a good job that there are no fixed speed cameras in this part of the world.

I look forward to him coming up and enjoy his company; since losing mum, I look forward to our conversations which, by turn, are gradually becoming more and more wistful. He's more open than he ever used to be and we seem to have reached that point, on a number of issues, where we each know that nothing more needs to be said - we have an understanding.

Before we went out last night for a couple of beers and a bite to eat, we played cards. Mum and dad were always inveterate card players and they taught me me and my brother all sorts of card games from when we were old enough to count. It was while we were playing a few hands late yesterday afternoon that he dropped into conversation something I'd never even thought about before. After mum died he can't play bridge. Or rather, he can (obviously the rules of the game haven't been wiped from his brain), but not without a partner who can second guess how he will bid and lead and all the other complexities and subtleties that make Bridge Bridge. Mum knew what he was thinking. She probably knew him better than he knows himself. How do you replace that? You can't. But dad's readjusting. He's moving away from being someone who always had a life partner on hand to tell him what to do next, to someone who can work it out for himself thank you very much. He's bridging the gap.

Friday, 13 November 2015

She lies sleeping in a half filled bed of rice

Dodgy: Fibbers, York

* The new Fibbers p*sses all over the old Fibbers

* I bet Paul McCartney wishes he'd written So Let Me Go Far

* Matthew Priest is Brian Blessed

* They got them dancing down the front - I love to see women *point* when they dance

* Some real toe tappers on the new album - promised Easter 2016

* Grassman really is a nineties song

* The sign of a good gig - when you can't believe they're introducing the last song already

* Who knew my god daughter would be there tonight? Hugs and kisses were the order of the day. Amanda would only have been eight when Staying Out For The Summer came out

* In A Room - home of the best misheard line in pop, ever

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Ten things I like about Wreckless Eric

A Stiff Penguin?

    In no particular order:
*  My first published writing was a review of one his gigs
*  Whole Wide World
*  His bus driver's badges
*  When you meet him he's genuinely pleased to see you
*  He's not frightened to cover Tom Petty songs
*  Amy Rigby, his delightful wife
*  No two Eric gigs are ever the same (Friday's excellent show in                 Nottingham being a case in point)
*  His blog
*  The Wreckless Eric Radio Show
*  He's just a bloody nice bloke

Sunday, 8 November 2015

If I was a painter I'd paint you every day

Anyone who knows me will attest that today's subject matter is right up my strasse: Peter Dreher has been painting the same water glass every day for over forty years. The German artist first painted the glass in his studio in 1974. He now has literally thousands of unique life size paintings of the same glass. Always painted in the same location, always from the same perspective. Many are painted during the day, many more at night.

And yet it's not until you see them laid out before you, this entire collection is often exhibited, that you begin to see the subtle differences. It may not age like a human face but the glass is forty years older than when he first painted it. I know, it's a concept I struggle with, but I admire what Dreher has set out to achieve here. I also admire his sheer stubbornness. There must be days when he must think 'Fuck, not that glass again.'

Heaven forbid he should ever drop it.

Friday, 6 November 2015

In a State

Our last Songwriters meeting on Monday was interesting for all sorts of reasons. Not least because one of our brethren rocked up with five new songs he'd written since last month. Five! That's got to be some sort of record; I've barely written five new songs all year. And I wouldn't mind, but they're all good. Mind you, they play his stuff on local radio round here, that's how good they are. There was one in particular that could have come straight off the soundtrack to Garden State - Zach Braff's delightful
2004 film. When he's recorded it I'll post it up here.

In the meantime, and because since Monday night I've been playing Garden State on a loop, here's Colin Hay from said soundtrack. I think it would be fair to say that since setting up our Songwriters Circle we're all aspiring to write songs half as good as this.

Colin Hay: I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You

Sunday, 1 November 2015


Since first mentioning to Phil that a move may be on the cards at some point in the future, he has, touchingly, said that he will, single handedly, build a wall wall around the town and lock the gates. In the meantime he has plans to turn our little town into a metropolis: one that I would be 'mad to leave.' And he tells me this with such conviction and such passion that I suspect he may well be onto something. I then proceed to park up the hate part of my love-hate relationship with the town and forget how things are slowly beginning to unravel.

Last night was one of those parking up nights. A new venue he's opened that has, overnight, turned a derelict space into a speakeasy with leather sofas, low ceilings, cocktails and, if last night's opening is anything to go by, a buzz. They also got this lot to play a couple of live sets: Rocketsmith are one of the many many excellent bands that reside here (something we would miss dearly if we were to hit the highway).

Here's a perfect song that will be finding its way onto all sorts of year-end compilations and one they played in a stripped down acoustic format last night.

Rocketsmith: By the Rails

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Can we just go back to the start?

Anyone who watched Cold Feet first time around will remember three couples, six friends, living in faltering relationships and generally not making a great advertisement for marriage - falling in and out of love - sometimes with each other, sometimes not. I was the same age as these people back in the nineties and found the whole thing mesmerising. And having a soft spot for Helen Baxendale I always thought Rachel could have done better than Adam. As it turned out, it was all immaterial. Life really is too short.

Sometimes all we want to do in life is stand up and say: 'Can we just go back to the start?'