Thursday, 18 July 2019

Take that to the bank


I have absolutely no comprehension how it must feel to be in a place where your only source of nourishment is through your local food bank; to reach a point where the rug has been pulled from beneath you, your pride is through the floor and your stomach is painfully empty. Yet in the UK thousands of adults AND CHILDREN most certainly do. What a shameful country we live in right now. And it's only getting worse.

Paul Carbuncle - Food Banks and Ferraris (2017)

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Led Zep VII


Thanks to Peter Grant, their thug in a suit manager, Led Zeppelin never released singles in the UK; it was beneath them. Not so in the States, however; Grant wasn't quite so precious about what his charges released over their on 45. Their seventh single on the Atlantic label was a delicious slice of cod reggae with John Bonham's drums very much to the fore. I think the reason I like it so much is because their po-faced bass player, John Paul Jones, said publicly, many times, that he hated it; hated the song, particularly hated the title. Get over yerself Jones.

Led Zeppelin - D'yer Mak'er (1973)


It only made No. 20 on the Billboard charts, unlike the album from which it was lifted. 'Houses of the Holy'. which sat at No. 1 for weeks on end.

Friday, 12 July 2019

1929

Edward Kennedy 'Duke' Ellington (1899-1974)
You can't overestimate the power of music: during the Great Depression, which took a hold in the United States from 1929 (the Wall Street crash in October launched the country off a cliff) and lasted for much of the 1930s, it was music - jazz music - that got people dancing.

Of course the country was still in freefall - but listening to, and dancing to, this surgent musical uprising (often during 24 hour Dance Marathons) was what got a lot of Americans though one of the bleakest periods in modern history.

They'd be throwing shapes to stuff like this. Duke Ellington's band would often go by a string of aliases. This was one of them.

The Whoopee Makers - Flaming Youth (1929)

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

1979


It's long been acknowledged, between me and Steve anyway, that the 70s actually started in 1968 and probably kept going till around mid-1983. Culturally, musically definitely, and sportingly - mavericks ruled the world in concert halls and football grounds the world over. So when you talk about 1979 be under no illusion that the 1970s still had plenty of gas left in its tank.

Some stonking albums came out in '79. I particularly remember buying Joe Jackson's Look Sharp, Valley of the Dolls by Generation X (produced by Ian Hunter), this classic by Graham Parker and The Damned's Machine Gun Etiquette. It was also the year In Through the Out Door - Led Zeppelin's swan song was released, and the Clash's eclectic mixed bag, London Calling.

Tom Petty was busy too. Together with his band the Heartbreakers, he released Damn the Torpedoes the day before his 29th birthday. And if you were to press me for one song from today's featured year (go on, press me) I reckon it would have to be this:

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Refugee (1979)

Monday, 8 July 2019

1969



The events of 1969 are currently looming very large. There are a number of monumental 50th anniversaries going on right now; not least Apollo 11 - a must see movie is on general release depicting just what Neil Armstrong and the real Buzz Lightyear got up to when they were floating in their tin can half a century ago.

I remember Aldrin saying in Andrew Smith's Moondust that NASA were very candid with the crew when they signed up for the mission of all missions: their chances of coming back alive were given at no more than 50/50. This is one film I will not be missing.


And Abbey Road. The Beatles' final recorded album (Let it Be, despite coming out in 1970, was already in the can before the Fabs entered EMI Studios in Abbey Rad for the last time). Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn is touring the country later in the year giving his unique take on the events that made Abbey Road, quite literally, The End. And he's coming to a venue near me, so I'm well chuffed.

Joey Ramone may have left this earth (as too have all the original Ramones), but he still looks down on New Yorkers: the sign for Joey Ramone Place, if you look high enough (it's been stolen so many times it's now been sited where it can only be reached by basketball players) is in the Bowery district, close to the site of a (long gone) club where he and the band played many of their 2,500+ gigs: CBGBs - the New York punk venue.


Joey Ramone - 1969


Sunday, 7 July 2019

Yesterday


Went to see the much hyped Yesterday yesterday. Being something of a Beatles nut (clock the number of Beatles and Lennon & McCartney posts on this blog [left]), I thought it would be massively churlish of me if I didn't scribble a few words about it here.
I'm usually pretty quick out of the traps when it comes to rating and ranking new movies, but this is a little bit different - I'm still processing it, would you believe; a fantastical plot (a world without the Beatles - really?) with seemingly more holes than a used dartboard, peppered with more than a few comedy cul-de-sacs and incorporating a typically lame Richard Curtis crow-barred rom-com. And yet, and yet...


That soundtrack; those songs. For all its faults, and there are many, it's the music, ultimately, that carries this film over the line. Himesh Patel who plays struggling singer-songwriter Jack Malik, has been gifted the most fantastic set of songs served on a silver platter and ready to be devoured. And they are, for the most part, played brilliantly.   


Patel is not just a talented actor but he can play a bit too. That means there's no awkward miming or contrived camera angles to disguise the fact that a non musical actor is holding a strange instrument around his neck and doesn't know what a chord is, let alone know where they can be found on the neck of a guitar.


Himesh Patel - Yesterday (2019)


Apart from Malek's performance (and the Beatles music, obvs) I took three positives away from the film:

Lily James - who played the love interest with just the right amount of girl next doorness. 

Ed Sheeran - just a good egg. The ginger superstar was quite happy to sit on the subs bench for much of the movie, but was given some great lines nonetheless.

The best gag in the film - when Jack Malik realises, after an internet search, that his friends really aren't winding him up when they tell him they don't know who the Beatles are, he then Googles Oasis - nothing but a clutch of exotic holiday websites. "That figures" he says.

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Giveaway

Bloody brilliant!
Paul McCartney would often gives songs away: Mary Hopkin (Goodbye) and Badfinger (Come and Get It) being two lucky recipients that spring to mind.
One that a lot of people overlook is a song called 4th of July. In 1974, between the Band on the Run and Venus and Mars albums, Macca recorded a very loose demo but never did anything with it; instead he gave it to John Christie. Polydor put it out as a single, but, despite its lineage, it never amounted to much.

In 2010, when Venus and Mars was given the Macca remastering treatment, they chucked 4th of July in with the extras. Like a lot of stuff McCartney was writing at the time, it walked that fine line between bloody brilliant and twee. For what it's worth, I quite like it.

Twee?

Monday, 1 July 2019

Two to Know


Our next Sunday Vinyl Session (our 4th) is a little bit special: the album, Pink Floyd's 'Relics', has been chosen by Martin Stephenson - he of the Daintees - who will not only curate the afternoon, but also be playing a gig later in the evening in the very same pub!

We've kind of broken our own rule regarding compilation albums with this one, but, hey, it's a belter. Although it's obviously very much Syd's collection (it was Barrett's band, after all), Dave Gilmour can be heard setting his stall out on Side 2.


Here's a rather tasty bit of footage of a Gilmour gig at the Albert Hall in 2006. With very little by way of introduction Gilmour brings an old friend up on stage...


Arnold Layne


Where? Running Horse, Nottingham 
When? Sunday 14 July 2019 - Relics 2-5pm; Martin Stephenson gig 8-10pm

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Sometimes. Always. Never.


I love stylish movies. I love funny movies. Sometimes Always Never is filmed like a series of Hopper paintings with jokes hidden in plain sight. If you like your dialogue crisp and your establishing shots crisper, this is the film for you.
Bill Nighy's name is above the door in this terrific directorial debut from Carl Hunter. Frank Cottrell-Boyce's screenplay about a retired tailor looking for his prodigal son is given a seemingly minimalist treatment by Hunter, but look a little deeper and this tight family based drama is a rich seam of Scrabble words, missing children, Marmite gags and red Triumph Heralds; what's not to like when references to Pickwick label Top of the Pops albums and which buttons to do up on your suit jacket* flow as naturally as Jenny Agutter walking out of the bathroom wearing nothing more than a towel?



And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, it turns out the soundtrack is only written and performed by Edwyn bloody Collins. This is a film I will watch time and again; I just know it.

Edwyn Collins - It's all About You (2019)


* Top (sometimes), middle (always), bottom (never).

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Cretin


I have precious little time for Elton John. I have even less for the present occupant of the White House.
The artist formerly known as Reginald Dwight wrote a couple of good tunes* way back when, but now appears to be more famous for his annual spend at Interflora. And his rug. Trump, on the other hand...

Don't get me started; really, don't. Suffice it to say you don't need me to tell you he's got a reading age of eight, and uses the word 'huge' a lot. Here, take a look at this. But not before you've read this - Donald Trump, speaking in Montana:

“I have broken more Elton John records, he seems to have a lot of records. And I, by the way, I don’t have a musical instrument. I don’t have a guitar or an organ. No organ. Elton has an organ. And lots of other people helping. No we’ve broken a lot of records. We’ve broken virtually every record.” Cretin.

Apparently there's a We Will Rock You style bio pic currently on release showcasing/shoe-horning some of Elton John's songs into a shoddy narrative. I'm sorry, but while there's a new Bill Nighy movie to catch, and the latest Toy Story, I'm afraid I'll be a no-show.

* Here's one of those tunes he wrote with Bernie Taupin. I'm not sure who sang this version** but it's not half bad.

Top of the Poppers - Rocket Man (1972)


** Reg himself used to sing on these early MFP/Pickwick soundalikes, ironically.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

The Toys are Back


Sequels. Prequels. Sequels to prequels. You'd be forgiven for thinking that the film industry is somewhat bereft of new ideas; maybe they are, I don't know. Hollywood, for sure, know that putting a number after a film makes it odds-on that punters will come back time and again. And again. And again.

Normally I would say 'Down with that sort of thing', but every now and again I hear the clarion call. A call so strong I can do no more than slavishly beat a path to my nearest picture house and wait patiently in line with fellow devotees.

The cowboy has been calling; I'm on my way, Woody.

Chris Stapleton - The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy* (from Toy Story 4) - 2019 


* Written, of course, by Randy Newman

Sunday, 16 June 2019

My Father's Name is Dad


Dad's just rung. He thanked me for his card and then proceeded to tell me that he's going travelling round Ireland at the end of the month. He's 83. Respect. I think the last time he took the car on the Holyhead to Dublin ferry he was driving a 1963 Ford Anglia. And they still had the Punt. Cars and currency may change but my dad's determination is locked-on. There will be stories when he gets back; to be sure, to be sure.


The Fire - My Father's Name is Dad (1968)

Friday, 14 June 2019

Dotage


My love of David Bowie is based, essentially, on a handful of albums and singles from, in the main, the period 1970-1975. Yes, I know this is shortsighted of me and, yes, I know he was so much more than that. But, like opera, Shakespeare, and beetroot, I think I've been saving latter period Bowie for my dotage: in effect, Bowies's dotage if he did but know it. 

This may or may not turn into a feature that I'll return to on rainy days and Mondays. Or even Fridays. As a holding statement I'll just put this out for today. It's taken from Heathen - his 22nd studio album. Released seventeen years ago and produced by Tony Visconti, I'm still to be convinced that Everyone Says Hi was not co-written by Ian Broudie. Have a jolly Friday everyone.

David Bowie - Everyone Sys Hi (2002)

Monday, 10 June 2019

Leave Your Stepping Stones Behind


Bob Dylan recorded It's All Over Now, Baby Blue in 1965. And since then it's been covered by every man and his dog. Far be it for me to tell you which versions are worth seeking out, and those that belong on the turkey farm - I'll let you make your own minds up.
That said, I am rather partial to Chris Robinson's version. I'm not too sure if the former Black Crowe ever released it officially, but this was recorded in a New York radio station a couple of years back. Check the beards out, too.

Chris Robinson Brotherhood - It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (2016)


We're a man down: one of our blogging fraternity -  The Swede - is not too good at the moment. I'm sure we all wish him a speedy return to form, and hope he's back in harness before too long.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

More Cunning than the Raven


Moose Allain regularly appears on my Twitter feed. His cartoons put a smile on my face most days. A must when wading knee deep in imbecilic rants from the POTUS; not to mention right wing ramblings from several of our own swivel-eyed loons.

So, crows. What's the story morning glory? And just how do you tell a crow from a raven? Well, look no further. Proof, if proof were needed, that 'Are We There Yet?' also has a charter to inform, educate, and entertain. It can also shoehorn a song from the fabulous Black Crowes into any blog post at the drop of a hat. You're welcome.

The Black Crowes - Remedy (1992)

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Imagine

Dirty John

There are a number of songs I don't need to hear again. And at least two of them were written by John Lennon. Imagine is one; mawkish. Woman is another; anodyne. The latter was lifted from Lennon's Double Fantasy album just days after he was assassinated, and put out as a single. Whereupon it went straight to Number One; of course it did.

Double Fantasy was Lennon's first album in over five years. He'd turned his back on music in 1975 and had been working part-time for Warburtons. His new record, released only three weeks before an infamous autograph hunter lay in wait for the ex-Beatle outside the Dakota building, had generally been ignored by the press and public alike. Mark Chapman, however, changed all that.

But if you take Lennon's killing out of the equation, it's a very ordinary album; considering it was made by a very extraordinary man. It's slushy for the most part and a bit of a let down. With the exception of one track. I'm Losing You had been demo'd by Lennon with members of Cheap Trick and it was John at his lowdown best; dirty John, if you will.

But when it came to the finished studio version the rough edges had all been sanded down and his studio musicians had taken all the life out of it. Shame on them.

The Cheap Trick version appeared about 20 years later tucked away on an anthology. And it's still classic Lennon, sounding just how you've always wanted John Lennon to sound. Imagine if the rest of the album had been this good.

John Lennon with Cheap Trick - I'm Losing You (1980)

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Hitchcockian

RH

Robyn Hitchcock's tweets have been most amusing this week; you see, he has a doppelgänger - another grey haired English singer songwriter of a certain vintage, no less. I'll let the polka dotted former Soft Boy explain.


NL

And, for the avoidance of doubt and any conspiracy theorists out there who say that you never see Robyn Hitchcock and Nick Lowe together in the same room...

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Not the Cheshire Regiment


Badge. Noun - a small piece of metal, plastic, or cloth bearing a design or words, typically worn to identify a person or to indicate membership of an organisation or support for a cause. 

'the Cheshire Regiment'
'they wore plastic name badges'

As ever, I'm indebted to the OED for their succinct definition. I strongly urge you to take no notice of those Urban Dictionary folk; what do they know, anyway?

Anyway, all this is, by way of a preamble, to tell you that Sunday Vinyl Session have got some shiny new badges to give away. If you'd like one, get in touch. Better still, come and see us, why don't you? On June 9th. we'll be talking about, and playing the Beach Boys' 1966 iconic album, Pet Sounds. It's a date.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Silver Star


Seeing the Who at Charlton in 1976 as a young teenager was a big deal for me. A very big deal indeed. I wrote about it, briefly, here. Who knows, I may even get round to writing a proper (and somewhat belated) gig review; one day.

On that Bank Holiday 40+ years ago as well as the 'Oo, Alex Harvey, Little Feat and loads of other turns, there was a DJ on the bill - spinning discs between the bands and bouts of intense rain - Messrs. Daltrey, Townshend, Entwistle & Moon very nearly bailed that night such was the inclementness of the weather in south east London that night. His name was John Peel.

I can't remember an single record he played all day. Apart from this - the album version of Silver Star. I think the reason I remember it was it went on for bloody ages. And, on certain days, it's still one of my Desert Island Discs. All six minutes of it.

The Four Seasons* - Silver Star (1975)



* Though not sung by Frankie Valli. Valli was out of commission for much of the late seventies and never sang lead vocals on this, or December 63 (Oh What a Night): it was Four Seasons' drummer, Gerry Polci.


Monday, 27 May 2019

Noel Gallagher's Wheeltapping Shunters


The EP is dead; long live the EP. Noel Gallagher regularly puts out Extended Plays (the awkward cousin of the album and single) and this year he's releasing three. The title track from his new one (out in a couple of weeks), Black Star Dancing, is up there with anything he's put his name to in the last 10 years. It is obscenely good. And whosever idea it was to shoot the video using archive 70s footage from Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club - ITV's then Saturday night banker - needs knighting in the next New Year's honours list. Genius.

"Ladies and gentleman, can we have it now for Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds..."


And here Gallagher Snr. tells Johnny Vaughan how the song came about.

Friday, 24 May 2019

Could you be more Pacific?


808 State's Pacific State* was "the song that made a nation chill out." So said some hack at the Independent; and, you know what, I think they were spot on. "Mellow but insistent beats", they went on to say, "a light garnishing of wildlife noises, and a soprano sax threading through it like a viper in the Eden undergrowth."

What then, would it sound like if a brass band got hold of it and transcribed the dots for cornets and euphoniums?

Pretty much like this I guess, from the album 'Acid Brass':

The William Fairey Brass Band - Pacific 202 (1997)


* Graham Massey - 808 State head honcho - once said "there's about 42 different versions of Pacific. Pacific 707 is the single we put out on ZTT."

808 State - Pacific 707 (1989)

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Trees


Anyone familiar with the Archers will be aware that Jill’s new gentleman caller, Leonard (played by Paul Copley - better known to younger listeners on Radio 4 as Tom Wrigglesworth’s dad*), can’t paint trees for toffee. Not even if his life depended on it; he recently passed off a picture he acquired from a gallery as one of his own. Charlatan.

These are for you Lenny.


* As opposed to older Radio 4 listeners who will remember him as Mr. Long in King St. Junior which ran from 1985-1998.

Monday, 20 May 2019

A lighthouse; or two


"What time are you on tonight?", I asked her in the pub. "We're on at half eight, but Tim's on at half seven - he's really good, I think you'll like him." So said Rachel Unthank when I saw her in the Prince Rupert, just round the corner from the Palace Theatre on Friday evening. She'd just sound-checked and was with her sister Becky and the rest of the entourage having their tea.

I'm sure I'll wax lyrical about the headliners (and my chance meeting with an Unthank) - I may link to my gig review in the local rag. I might even post the photo of me and Rachel.

But, for now, I'm just gonna put this up here: I did get to the venue for half seven. I did see Tim. And, yes, he is really good. Thanks for the heads up, Rachel.

Tim Dalling - Two Lighthouses

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Quite

No need to turn to page 26; he's a bit nearer than that

Baxter Dury was interviewed in 2005. The Beatles cropped up... 

"My old man rejected the Beatles and white rock'n'roll from England, he was pretty dismissive of it, so you grow up precociously being dismissive of it yourself. There is something I still hate about the Beatles, but when you're trying to write songs you're an idiot if you don't acknowledge them, 'cause they're brilliant."

Quite.

Baxter Dury - When I'm Sixty-Four (2012)

Monday, 13 May 2019

I'm Partial to Your Abracadabra


In the same way he wouldn't be able to sing Helter Skelter anymore, or I'm Down, Macca would struggle to reach a good 90% of the notes he shrieked when he covered Ian Dury's Partial to Your Abracadabra. It was for a Dury charity album released the year after his death - Brand New Boots and Panties - with the likes of McCartney, Suggs and Robbie Williams covering the great man's tunes (many with the Blockheads as house band). This was probably the last time Sir Paul of Kintyre really tore it up.

Paul McCartney - Partial to Your Abracadabra (2001)

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Trombone


I've spent much of today in hospital wards and waiting rooms; where staff are kind and caring and dispense care and sympathy to all-comers 24/7. They are places where an hour can last a day and vice versa; you're as well taking your watch off when you enter through their cavernous sliding doors - you leave when you leave. I have no right to judge, I wasn't there in a patient capacity. Not today.

So the time passes - reading, listening to podcasts, looking up to see if there's a familiar trolley being wheeled in your direction. And then, when you need a shot in the arm (vending machine coffee ain't all that), a few tunes to tap your toe to on the cleanest floors this side of anywhere.

This isn't remotely medically linked or themed, but it appeared in my ears twice today. It's Nick Lowe's brand new single which has its official release next week. I hope you like it.

Nick Lowe - Trombone (2019)


Monday, 6 May 2019

You Can't be too Strong

Phonogram RIP

Unlike other stand alone record labels, Phonogram was never a label per se, but an umbrella company with a host of catch all labels in its stable including Philips, Mercury, and Vertigo. As with so many other labels and imprints it was subsumed by Universal Music; any identity these labels retain today is purely nostalgic. Which is probably why I paint them.



One of Vertigo's star players from the seventies was the maverick Graham Parker. His silky skills provided the perfect counterpoint to the emerging punk and new wave. I love this song.


Graham Parker - You Can't be too Strong (1979)

Thursday, 2 May 2019

I Wanna be Adored


1989 was a momentous year. For all sorts of reasons. The collapse of the Berlin Wall, and the Tiananmen Square massacre - to name but a couple. How trite, crass even, would it be on the back of that to say that on May 2nd - 30 years ago today - the Stone Roses released their debut album?

But they did. An album so audacious it threw paint at anyone who even looked in its direction. It covered the indie rock crowd, and fair splattered the dance fraternity too. Many column inches have been given over to just how groundbreakingly awesome this was in 1989. And it was. But you don't need to read all that again today. Instead, I've chosen the track you would, if you had to explain to an alien who had just beamed up from another planet, play to him/her/it, and, in its resplendent 4' - 33" they would totally 'get it'.


Stone Roses - I Wanna Be Adored (1989)

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Walk and Talk


Nottingham Poetry Festival 2019 is in full swing. Curated and overseen by its Creative Director, the effervescent Georgina Wilding - the whole thing runs from 26 April to 5 May. And, as you would expect, there's a fantastic smorgasbord of poets doing full-on gigs, readings, workshops & open mics in scores of venues across the city.

I was lucky enough to see Georgina on Sunday supporting Caroline Bird (more on her to follow, I can assure you) at one of Nottingham's newest venues, Metronome. Georgina was Nottingham's Young Poet Laureate 2017/2018 and has had an extremely busy 12 months - taking her work all over the county, and beyond (she was recently in India). She is currently in the process of completing her first soon to be published anthology and, in a few days time, is jetting over to Poland for a few weeks to write, gig, teach and perform. Not bad for someone who was telling me after Sunday's gig that she never thought of herself as academic when she was at school.

Georgina Wilding - That's Where We Live (2018)

Monday, 29 April 2019

Where Dreams Go to Die

Don't ask me. Seriously
You wouldn't want me as your phone-a-friend if Chris Tarrant Jeremy Clarkson was asking you the £million question on John Grant. Ask the audience, I would beg you. My knowledge of Grant probably amounts to the square root of fuck all.

That said, I do absolutely 110% know that Where Dreams Go to Die is a beautiful song. An utterly, utterly beautiful song.




John Grant - Where Dreams Go to Die

Saturday, 27 April 2019

What happens next is private, it's also very rude

I'm absolutely thrilled to announce that our second Vinyl Session album will be Ian Dury's New Boots and Panties. After the success of our debut session (when we dissected David Bowie's Hunky Dory) we will, once again, be convening at Nottingham's Running Horse to listen to the Blockheads' 1977 classic - in full.

It would be rather wonderful if you could join us on Sunday May 12th; the Runner is a very convivial venue with a great PA and some rather splendid beers.

We kick-off at 2:00 p.m. whereupon lots of Dury and Dury associated chit-chat will, no doubt, ensue. And, of course, the album will be played in its entirety. If you can make it, please feel free to bring along any Blockhead related goodies - singles, ticket stubs etc. and we'll celebrate the quite unique talent of Ian Dury.

Ian Dury - Wake Up and Make Love with Me (1977)


Ian Dury (1942-2000)

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Square Route


A midweek smash and grab raid on that London yesterday. Quality time spent in the company of Brother Mondo and Brother Steve. We zoned in on some of the West One Squares with Beatles and Bowie connections. And nearby pubs too. Obvs. First, the EMI Building in Manchester Square and, just around the corner, is where David Jones was snapped reading all about it. We volunteered a German passer by, showed her Bowie's pic and asked her to recreate same; despite a bit of camera shake, I think we just about get away with it.


Staying in the same zip code you then come across Montagu Square - it's actually a rectangle - and situated at No. 34 is where John Lennon holed up for most of '68. It's not Strawberry Fields, but it's got a blue plaque outside, nonetheless. 

A huge thank you to the boys for another great trip to the capital. Let's do it again in the Summer.



Tuesday, 23 April 2019

What's in Store?

"Do I hear 25 quid?"
I very rarely mention Record Store Day around here; maybe it' something to do with the very fact that we now refer to them as stores; I was brought up with (and, for a time, virtually lived in) record shops. Quite when we changed the lexicon (and why) is unclear. Am I being petty/churlish? Probably. Can I move on and not let it spoil the rest of my life? Of course.

But while I'm here, and while RSD19 is still, for some anyway, fresh in the mind, another thing that annoys the hell out of me - folk queuing thru the night to enter the store at 9:00 a.m. and buy a single by, let's say Generation X, for a fiver (red vinyl, picture sleeve) and, by eleven bells, are selling it on ebay for a score. Probably the same charlatans who buy four tickets for a gig, keep two and sell the other pair on the secondary market. We are the secondary market and everyone is now a tout - since venues stopped selling their own tickets exclusively and it all went online.

I don't know what Tony James (bass player with Gen X - pictured above) would have to say about it. Though he's probably too busy preparing for the re-release of the band's eponymous album - first released in the Summer of 1978. Back when the hair atop his head was all very much his own.

Generation X - Your Generation (1977)

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Making an exhibition of myself


A collection of my photographs is currently being exhibited at A Room Full of Butterflies in Nottingham. A big thank you to Andy Welch at the gallery; Andy thought my 'Bio' was too self deprecating, so has asked me to have another go and big myself up. We'll see.


A Room Full of Butterflies
632 Mansfield Road
Sherwood
NOTTINGHAM
NG5 2GA


P.S. 30 April 2019.

So, this is how my (revised) Bio. reads:

John Medd


John has been photographing people and places all his adult life. This collection brings together six striking images that capture the colours and textures of life in a city - and beyond. His work regularly appears in his vibrant blog - Are We There Yet? 

John lives in Sherwood, and in winter can often be seen photographing puddles. 

www.johnmedd.com

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Pure & Simple

Calling my Gig of 2019 in April may well be premature. Provocative even; but not unheard of.
Eleanor McEvoy is, I must confess, my new crush. After a truly stunning show last week (she's literally just finished the UK leg of her Gimme Some Wine tour), I grabbed a few words with her and was *absolutely* starstruck. Pure and simple.


Eleanor McEvoy - Slow Hand