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)