Thursday, 16 August 2018


Two songs below that share the same title. Both make me happy. One deliriously so. I'll let you guess which. And it's all in the brain. Music lights up our limbic system and quite literally turns us on. It's official. But I'm just a mere layman, I won't insult your intelligence with my mumbo jumbo - read all about it from people who know their shit. Ok this might not be Stephen Fry, probably more Brian Cox, but you get the drift. Now, those two songs:

Exhibit 'A' 

Pharrell Williams - Happy (2013)

Exhibit 'B' 

Rolling Stones - Happy (1972)

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Jelly (Helplessly Hoping - Again)

Don't worry lads, I'll play yours next time

Got a favourite song, but haven't got a Scooby as to what it's all about? I've got a shed load of them, as I guess you do too. I've even been known to avoid reading the real words to incomprehensible songs and using my own which I think work better. I know, I need to get out more.

I could've told whoever wrote this about one of my top tunes that it's like nailing jelly to a wall. As much as I love Helplessly Hoping, and even though every word in it is as clear as a bell, I think its meaning changes every time I listen to it; none the worse for that. It keeps me on my toes, that much I do know. But right now I think I've sussed it - right time right place, perhaps. Though if I revisit this piece in six months it may be a different story.

They are one person
They are two alone
They are three together
They are for each other

And just like the last time I posted it, I have, perversely, chosen the most delicate of covers.

Jellywine - Helplessly Hoping (written by Steve Stills in 1968)

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Don't walk towards the white light

Cured Bacon
I was reading on the train yesterday how Richard Bacon cheated death; a very powerful story. One minute you're feeling a bit unwell on an aeroplane, the next you're in Intensive Care with more tubes sticking out of you than can possibly be good for you. He was told by the Consultant that if they didn't put him into an induced coma for at least seven days in the next 20 minutes he would die. No ifs, no buts.

As he was digesting this news the sleep inducing drugs were already in his system and slowly shutting him down. He remembers his wife whispering into his ear - "Don't walk towards the white light." And there, wrapped up in six words, is my new mantra.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Lucky You

A whole month of World Cup action recently came and went and I managed to keep this sleepy digital backwater a football free zone for the duration. Likewise today, on what is Ian Broudie's sixtieth birthday, I'll try not to mention that song; you know which one I mean.

Ian Broudie has written some cracking songs over the last thirty years or so. His band the Lightning Seeds was really nothing more than a vehicle to take the songs he'd written on the road and play them live. Like a lot of musicians he's much more at home in a studio working by himself, writing, recording, refining. The Lightning Seeds was just a name above the door. When he recorded the tracks for what would become Jollification, apart from some additional vocals by Alison Moyet and Terry Hall, Broudie played every note of music himself and, of course, produced it. Quite literally a one man band.

Jollification came out slap bang in the middle of the Britpop boom and could be seen and heard rubbing shoulders with the likes of Oasis, Blur, Dodgy (who he also produced), Ocean Colour Scene et al. The fact that it spawned four hugely successful singles should not have come as a surprise to anyone. Except, maybe, the slightly morose, slightly awkward scouser who wrote them all.

This one has, for a number of reasons, become something of an ear-worm just lately. Lucky You may not have set the charts alight, but nearly 25 years later it still ringing in my ears; lucky me.

Lightning Seeds - Lucky You

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Hong Kong Ping Pong

Every now and again you come across a mixtape that you wish you'd put together yourself, such is the quality not just of the tunes, but the inter-song banter, the timing, the pace, the very feel of it. And so it is with Hong Kong Ping Pong Mixtapes. I'm reliably told they operate out of a club in Bristol; all I know is I'm hooked - I've had it playing in my ears all week.

Mixtape  #10 - it's funky, it's jazzy and it's got soul - with a capital S O U  & L. See what you think. You might love it, you might hate it. But, just so you know, I love it. The intro is particulatly elogant - it's lifted from Deadwood and the hilarious, I think, 'Wu sketch'. Fill yer boots: