Wednesday, April 30, 2014

This blog is no longer 'a going concern'

Sorry about that.

On the plus side, there is a six year archive of blether here, so feel free to pad about in it, if you're so inclined.

These days I can mostly be found on that Twitter...

I did that Mixcloud thingy up there for Cooking Up A Quiet Storm 
- there is a lot of groovy music over there from lots of nice people: you should pop in and say hello x

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I'm taking a break from blogging.

I appear to have lost my Ghost mojo.

I'll see you I hope on Twitter and Soundcloud and This Is My Jam - and in that chair in the corner of the Snug.

Happy New Year companeros x

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Have Yourselves A Merry Little Christmas

Merry Christmas lovelies - and thanks for your company again this year.

You made this a very happy place x

Friday, December 20, 2013

Merry Christmas Baby

I'd forgotten all about iTunes Protected AAC Files (R.I.P.) until I realised ye olde download I have of this is one.

So here's a Soundcloud thingy instead - of 'Take 1' as you can see, a slightly different version to the one we all know and love (which is 'Take' what, I wonder?).

I'd offer you an egg nog if I knew what one was.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Gee Whiz

Banish those bad Christmas music blues - let Carla show you how.

Carla Thomas - 'Gee Whiz, It's Christmas' (1962)

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18th July 1918 - 5th December 2013)

'For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others'

Miles Davis - 'Amandla' (1989)
Letta Mbulu - 'Amakhamandela (Not Yet Uhuru)' (1991)
Ladysmith Black Mambazo - 'Long Walk To Freedom (Halala South Africa)' (2006)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Through His Eyes, Awkwardly

I've got this on Tamla Motown's 20 Mod Classics and I'd upload it for you were it not for that pesky bandwidth issue.  Also, today I picked up my new varifocal lenses and I'm feeling woozy with them - this before I've touched a drop, too.

Onward, awkwardly onward, to the corner shop for Guinness.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Big Deal

You'll have heard this if you're a regular BBC6Music listener, they're playing it a lot.

I really like its slow dragging shoegaze-whoozy MBV fuzz and XX-style m/f vocals.

The song title's not for your Nan, I'll concede, but the choon'll sure heat up your frosty Friday.

Those big Damon radio files I posted and other fab grooves you've been giving some lurve to mean I bust my download limit this month.

What should I do till it tops up again in December? Post some favourite recipes? Bugger off for a bit?
Answers on a postcard to the usual address.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Yeah Baby

Let's get the funkin' weekend in heah.

Charles Earland - 'Coming To You Live' (1980)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sir John Tavener (28 January 1944 – 12 November 2013)

John Tavener - 'The Protecting Veil: I. The Protecting Veil' (1992)

[London Symphony Orchestra (conductor: Gennady Rozhdestvensky); Steven Isserlis (cello)]

Friday, November 08, 2013

Gloria's Choice

I said to him, 'You need some decent bloody music round here and a bit less of all this Damian Albran crap and the reggy' (not that I mind a bit of reggy now and then if it has a good beat but I will NOT tolerate the funny cigarettes, not after the business with our Darren who's even now never off his arse and that bloody gameboy, the useless sod) and what does Mr High And Mighty say but "Alright then Glo, YOU choose the music for Friday" like he's doing me a big bloody favour all of a sudden, so here I go. And you can spare us your sarky backchat Van Dyke, I knew your mother when she'd nobbut two bob to rub together for a pair of bloody knickers.

This is for my Norman, God rest his soul.

Les Paul & Mary Ford - 'Goodnight Irene' (1965) 

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Capital Radio Two

I don't listen to Radio 2 so I missed this at the time, but it made it into that wonderful repository-of-all-things-groovy that is Soundcloud recently and I liked it so much I thought I'd share it here.

In a two hour show 'standing on his head for' Dermot O'Leary, Damon and co-host Paul Simonon (yes, that one) talk Blur, The Clash, English music hall and North Korea, interview Ken Dodd and Idris Elba and play Johnny Cash singing in German and the theme from 'Are You Being Served?'. Simonon also reveals that Joe Strummer was troubled by the startling resemblance of the 'Spanish Guns' melody to another 70s TV theme...

If you've some ironing, washing up, train travel or DIY to do this week, this'll oil your wheels nicely.

Damon Albarn on BBC Radio 2 - Part 1 (2013)
Damon Albarn on BBC Radio 2 - Part 2 (2013)
Damon Albarn on BBC Radio 2 - Part 3 (2013)

[Tracklistings in the Lyrics tab when played in iTunes. First broadcast Saturday 5th October 2013]

Monday, October 28, 2013

Magic And Loss

We'd been remembering John, and I was remembering Dad, who died in May and would have been 90 yesterday; all these years and I never realised he shared a birthday with Roy Lichtenstein (to the day), Sylvia Plath and Dylan Thomas. Many thoughts of not going gentle into that good night, therefore. And then I wake from a post-lunch snooze and turn on the internets and hear about Lou.

Well, that was one I didn't expect. It always seemed like Lou would outlive us all.

And we've probably all got an opinion on him, and he hated to be pinned down. He was a curmudgeonly misanthrope, he was a romantic; he was a dark literato, he was a waspish doo-wop fan; he was an ex pop hack, he was an avant gardeist; he was New York City tough, he was a fucked up nice Jewish boy from the suburbs; he was a conceptualist, he was a three chord guitar player with his bullshit detector tuned.

He was REAL (maaan); he invented himself (in true Warhol style).

You pass through arrogance, you pass through hurt
You pass through an ever present past
And it's best not to wait for luck to save you
Pass through the fire to the light

He was Lou.

There's a bit of magic in everything
And then some loss to even things out

Lou Reed - 'Magic And Loss - The Summation' (1992)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Reggae # 40 (Keeping It Peel)

Thanks for everything John, but especially the reggae x

Steel Pulse - 'Drug Squad' (Peel session) (1980)
Steel Pulse - 'Sunshine And Shining' (Peel session) (1980)
Steel Pulse - 'Nyabinghi' (Peel session) (1980)

[respect to the original taper]

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Reggae # 39

Why aren't there groups with ace names like Tommy McCook & The Supersonics any more? Eh?

The Jamaicans - 'Ba Ba Boom' (1967)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Yeah Baby

Make mine a large one, fnarr.

This is a groove.

Lou Donaldson - 'Who's Making Love?' (1969)

Monday, October 07, 2013

Notes & Tones

Miles Davis - 'Moon Dreams' (1950)

a davyh vinyl rip, with crackles.

This blog is now seven years old.

'Thanks for dropping by, it'd be stupidly lonely here without you' x

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Hats Off

As if seeing Young Marble Giants after a mere 33 years on Sunday were not enough, I am off to catch Roy Harper at the Royal Festival Hall later this month courtesy my good friend Dr.Al, who was nifty in picking up tickets as soon as they went on sale. All the reviews I have read of his new album (and all the things I have heard from it) have been very, very good indeed, so I'm looking forward to it mucho.

Incidentally, so taken was I by the Union Chapel on Sunday (my first visit...I tried to see Goldfrapp there a few years back but it was several times over sold-out) that I looked up a bit about its history. According to Wikipedia, past church organists there have included John Henry Gauntlett, Ebenezer Prout, Fountain Meen and John Hooker.

That is the finest list of fantastic names I have seen in a good while.

Here's some (new) Roy.

Roy Harper - 'Time Is Temporary' (2013)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Yeah Baby

I've heard this a few times in the past week because of the Sound Of Cinema malarkey on the BBC.

And so have been reminded of its greatness.

'Look at me, what do ya see? You see a bad Mother'

James Brown - 'The Boss' (1973)

[There's a 'blaxploitation' soundtrack special on the Huey Show this Sunday].

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Foggy Day

We woke in a real pea-souper today, so this was the first thing that came to mind.

In the time it's taken me to get the software working and the vinyl computerised, the sun's come out, but that's OK because it does musically too, a minute in, thanks to Jimmy Rowles (piano) and Barney Kessel (guitar).

Incidentally, if you fancy hearing a version of this classic George & Ira Gershwin song 'narrated' by Dirk Bogarde (and why wouldn't you?) you can do so on Andy Weatherall's 'Selector After Dark' mix for the British Council (thanks Swiss Adam), which contains many other splendid things besides.

Billie Holiday - 'A Foggy Day' (1957)

a davyh vinyl rip

Friday, September 20, 2013

Yeah Baby

'When you speak, a symphony begins'.

5' 22 of  awesomeness. 

I shall require a beverage.

Donald Byrd - 'You And The Music' (1975)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Autumn Art

A davyh vinyl rip, for sure.

Art Pepper - 'Autumn Leaves' (1960)

[Art Pepper (as) Dolo Coker (p) Jimmy Bond (b) Frank Butler (d)]

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Out Of The Cool

More autumnal jazz, wistful for warmer places - this from the long-time Miles Davis collaborator, orchestrator and friend's 1960 big band album, one of the first four releases on the legendary Impulse! label.

The Gil Evans Orchestra - 'Where Flamingos Fly' (1960)

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Into The Cool

That last blast of heat gone, and in comes the cool; slanting sunlight through the trees, and sad jazz piano's now the thing, it really is.

Michael Garrick Trio - 'Prayer' (1972)

Sunday, September 01, 2013


David Sylvian - 'September' (1987)

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Round And Round

Just back from frolics Up West for the eldest's fourteenth birthday today: pedaloing on a sunny Serpentine, noodles in Wagamama and this crazy ride on the Southbank (them, not us - I can't do the round and round, and Mrs H can't do the heights).

I thought it'd be a wheeze tonight to post the number one record from when I turned 14, but my Guinness Book Of British Hit Singles tells me it was 'Don't Like Mondays' by The Boomtown Rats, which hardly seems appropriate.

So here's another one from my early teens that I'd always sing to her when she was little.

Blondie - 'Pretty Baby' (1978)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Post West

It was a short, sweet week, golden in the way that good weather weeks are at this time of year; sunlight buttery on fields still green. I never usually do crosswords, but I did one every day, sitting in a beach chair under a tree, seven buzzards above the house one hot mid-afternoon, and in the evenings watching the swallows wheel.

Trips to the seaside. A sunny Bank Holiday, who'd have thought it, and the Brits out doing what the Brits do best. Sand in the shoes and salt on the skin.

Less pleasantly, today I had laser surgery in both my eyes for ocular hypotension. Happy days.

Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance - 'Harvest Home' (1976)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Wish You Were Here

Here's a lazy repeat another chance to hear my Zummerzet mix thingy from two yers ago.

We're back to that London tomorrow.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Yeah Baby

I've been Up West today with all those foreign tourists in their purple kagoules, stonewashed denim and Nikes; mullets, rucksacks and city maps. London seems drained of Londoners - and it'll be drained of us too from Tuesday when we're off to Zummerzet for a week, ooh-arr.

I have one more work thing to do - Frankfurt and back on Monday for just three hours work. Mad.

Tell you what, here's 7:58' of some well-jazzy dubstep.


Skream -  'Summer Dreams' (2006)

Monday, August 12, 2013


I was playing this last week, as you do when the season comes around, and out of curiosity happened to look it and Bobby Hebb up. I'd never thought of it as any more than a sweet soul/pop song, the kind of thing that crops up on 60s summer compilations (that's where I have it): I had no idea it had such dark origins or was rooted in any kind of tragedy.

Turns out that like another lovely 60s pop song, The Beach Boys 'Warmth Of The Sun', it was written in the dark aftermath of President JFK's assassination on November 22nd 1963; worse still for Bobby Hebb personally, in the shadow of his brother's death in a knife fight outside a Nashville nightclub, just a day later on November 23rd.

Hal Hebb had been something of a mentor to his kid brother, and a singer himself with doo-woppers The Marigolds, who had a Top Ten U.S R&B hit in 1955 with “Rollin’ Stone” (Hal sings tenor).

Bobby told the story of how he came to write 'Sunny' in a TV interview with US TV host Joe Viglione in August 1995...

“I find it more psychological the way I was thinking…it’s your disposition…you need a lift, an up, that’s all. Sometimes everyone needs an up. So “Sunny”, to me, is that disposition, you need a Sunny disposition to get away from whatever, just as I said before, “amuse me”, “make me forget what I just saw man”, “I don’t wanna know, I know I have to know, but I don’t know how to deal with it right now. I will deal with it, I’m not running away from this.  I just need a break.

So this was the idea behind “Sunny” – (it) was (to) give me a brighter idea so that my emotions will not be as disturbed as they are. I need a calmer feeling so that I can balance myself and adjust and then continue forward, onward.”

Bobby died in 2010 - on August 3rd. So it turns out I was playing his song and reading about all this just a few days after the anniversary of his passing...

Bobby Hebb - 'Sunny' (1966)