Friday, May 30, 2008

Feeling Supersonic...

Ah, so there you are, I've been expecting you. You're just in time to join me for a spiffingly thirst-quenching gin and tonic to celebrate the official start of Friday night (remember, it's always five o'clock somewhere): personally I like mine Spanish-style in a tall glass with a ton of both gin and tonic poured over crushed ice, and a good slice of fresh lemon on the top. I'll concede that lime's OK, but spare me the 'slimline' tonic perlease.

Now, where's that official-start-of-Friday-night record we mentioned earlier in the week...?

Aha! It's right here...


The Jones Girls - 'Nights Over Egypt' (1981)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Late Show

I dug this out today, not sure why it'd been on my mind...though it is lovely.

It takes me back, my children, to a time when 'jazz' in Britain, which for so long had been the preserve of beardy white middle-aged blokes with beer bellies (bless them, they kept it alive here) was suddenly a musical place where young British black men, the children and grandchildren of Windrush and after, came to play...and Courtney, born a year before me in West London, and a kid that grew up like me on Trumpton and Mary, Mungo & Midge and Pete and John and Val, was making this music not just in the African-American tradition but soaked too in a kind of Caribbean-Britishness, and even (believe it) selling records of it too - by the cartload, in fact.

It was all very groovy.

This smooooth track from the 'Songs From Our Underground' E.P (which - Anglo-American - also features a cover of John Barry's theme from Jukebox Jury and Hoagy Carmichael's 'Skylark' with Ellis Marsalis) is a song made famous by The Stylistics and The Jones Girls and 'goes' (as they say in late-night radio) 'out to' all of you who like me are prone to noodling with your PC and music whilst the ones that you love and who love you forever are asleep. And possibly dribbling.


Courtney Pine - 'Children Of The Night' (1990)

[Lead vocal - Linda Muriel. Courtney Pine's website here]

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Come down
Your tea's on the table
Seems to matter anymore

And if you're good we'll go out on Sunday
Spend the whole day thinking of you
Take you sailing across the water
To a faraway place

When life was lovely
Was captured in your smile

When we were young and life was hopeful
No-one threatened our existence
We were laughing
They couldn't stop us
No-one in the world

The Jam - 'No-One In The World' (demo) (1980)

Friday, May 23, 2008


If this doesn't make you want to dance then call a coroner Jack, you're dead.

Gilberto Gil - 'O Eterno Deus Mu Danca' (1989)

Too Hip For Eurovision

OK, so here it is and you have just over 36 hours to grow to love it and tell all your friends to vote, vote, vote for it, though I reckon you'll only need 3 minutes, such is its electropop Beach Boys loveliness.

For me, it really does join the mere handful of half-decent pop songs ever entered for the annual fete de fromage.

Sebastien Tellier - 'Divine' (2008)

Though I have fond memories of this and Auntie Barbara liking it, it's pretty cringeworthy now...

...and I still remember this despite myself (45p from Ronnie's in Torquay Market, but isn't Lynsey De Paul a proto Kate Bush here??...And check out Ronnie 'Steed' Hazlehurst!)...

....and I really only like 'Waterloo' so much because of this ('you're terrible Muriel')... all know by now that it's Vicky that does it for me every time and damn it, but I'm going to re-post her.

Vicky Leandros - 'Apres Toi' (1972)

Meanwhile, with the weather outside set to be traditionally UK Bank Holiday-esque this weekend (i.e. it will piss down), I shall be pouring a defiant rosado, spinning this solid gold nu-Balearic classic and transporting myself back to Cafe Mambo in 2005, sand in my toes, salt in the air and hope in my heart.

Douze points!

Sebastien Tellier - 'La Ritournelle' (2005)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Derek Runs The Numbers

That nice chap Derek from the Computer Room (pictured here with the lovely Maureen from Personnel) has been crunching my stats all week and I'm thrilled to report that according to his very impressive 'print-outs' The View From Her Room by Weekend has been by far the most downloaded record I have posted recently, which just goes to show 1) what great taste you all have (hurrah!) and 2) how infernally difficult it is to get hold of. Probably.

Lots of people elbowed their way in to grab the Coldplay too, but that's to be expected and I don't imagine many of them stuck around for a cup of tea and a chat afterwards; it's click and Save Target As and not so much as a by-your-leave from those people, I can tell you (me, I've played that song about, ooohhh......twice).

Much more pleasingly, Mr Roy Harper's lovely song came in third by number of downloads, and according to Derek many more of you than I'm sure would publicly admit it have clearly been enjoying 'The Captain Of Her Heart' by Double. Good for you!

Anyway, acoustic lo-fi things from studenty British girls in charity shop dresses on small, independent record labels circa 1982-3 always seem to find an appreciative audience here. Quite rightly.

So here's another.

Marine Girls - 'Don't Come Back' (1983)

I've just ordered this, so there's a good chance there'll be some new-old Alison Statton here soon. And it's Eurovision on Saturday and the French are singing a good record in English! Can we stand the excitement?!

Friday, May 16, 2008


That's quite large hair.


If you grew up like me in small provincial towns in the days before the internets, long, long my friends before the internets, you'll remember how hard it was to find the records you liked. In my teenage years in Paignton, Devon we had just one proper record shop and a very small, inadequately stocked one at that (SOUNDZ: owner's catchphrase -'It's coming in Monday') and sometimes in desperation I would be driven to frequent card shops and electrical retailers just for the few singles they might sell at the back. Imagine it. You would hear groovy tracks on Kid Jensen or Janice Long or Peel or Mike Read's breakfast show and you would know you would not have the proverbial snowball's chance in hell of finding them in the bloody English blasted pigging bloody so-called Riviera, oh no. It was a mighty bore I can tell you.

I started going off piste, as it were.

I worked out that away from the town centre there were funny little bric-a-brac shops smelling of musty Pan paperbacks and old tins of St Bruno ready-rolled, and whilst I knew I'd never find 'The View From Her Room' by Weekend there, it did become clear that if you called in often enough, and steeled yourself for the disappointment that nine visits in ten would inevitably bring, sometimes, one time, right out of the blue, you might find amongst the pensioner-donated Vic Damone Extended Plays in that naggedy cardboard box a crackly old soul or funk single some forty-something bloke who used to run a disco had been forced by his missus to dump.

It doesn't sound like much, does it - but at the time it was water in a parched desert to a thirsty man. They could go on playing their bloody 'Don't You (Forget About Me)' in those tawdry Torquay 'nite spots'; I had found a record that was all mine.

This is one of those records.

It is TSOP - The Sound Of a Paignton junk shop, circa 1980; and now I am sharing it with the world ;)

Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes - 'Satisfaction Guaranteed (Or Take Your Love Back)' (1973)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Chewing out a rhythm on my bubble gum
The sun is out and I want some
Its not hard, not far to reach
We can hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach

Up on the roof, out on the street
Down in the playground, the hot concrete
Bus ride is too slow
They blast out the disco on the radio

Rock, rock Rockaway Beach
Rock, rock Rockaway Beach
Rock, rock Rockaway Beach
We can hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach

It's not hard, not far to reach
We can hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach


The Ramones - 'Rockaway Beach' (1977)

[In memoriam Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee - and Big Boy Tomato's Olivier. I'm short of time this week, but 2 mins 7 should nail it]

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Ah, por que estou tão sozinho?

Strangely we seem to be at a Christmas ski-lodge swimsuit party in this clip, but hey! nothing can stop me wanting to play this loveliest, oldest and famousest Brazilian pop song (written by the great Antonio Carlos Jobim) in my current mood.

You know, it really doesn't matter how many cheesy marimba/rubbishy Hammond, easy-listening, shopping mall muzak or elevator chop-up versions of this I hear, I will always love that interplay of Joao, Astrud and Stan on the definitive recording.

Yet maybe you are beginning to tire of even that loveliness through over-familiarity; and if so, may I offer the original cast's 1964 'in concert' take from Carnegie Hall as a way of helping you hear it all afresh (again)?

From the way Getz holds back on his entrance (fnaar) to allow for Astrud's applause then turns it into a new little riff, through the slightly off timing and duff vocal mic'ing in parts (louder with Astrud's second verse than her first) it all speaks rough and live, and of course it's those little imperfections that make me love it even more. *sigh*

Stan Getz (with Joao & Astrud Gilberto) - 'The Girl From Ipanema' (live at Carnegie Hall) (1964)

Friday, May 09, 2008

Rosado Time

It's rosado time in London, England - the sun is bright and the temperature's high.

Continuing our Brazilian theme, here are some Latin-inflected Housey bar tunes in a handy takeaway threepack, just for you.

Be gentle with me pro-mixers, it's my first time.

Davy H's Latin House Threepack (Just For You) (mp3)

S.Tone Inc - 'Saudade' (1999)
Ian Pooley (featuring Rosanna & Zelia) - 'Coracao Tambor' (2000)
Can 7 - 'Cruisin' (2000)

Isto e um repost

Mondo's been airing his Brazilian Wax and now everyone wants a go. I'd missed the last shards of direct sunlight last night by the time I'd got barefoot in the garden and poured the rosado but with the air warm I could still open all the windows and shove this on the stereo nice and loud. So I did.

It's my second ever re-post here, but it's a so this time of year and type of weather record and it also seems kind of apt in this funny week in our corner of the interweb when so many companeros have been busy or away and balls of tumbleweed have blown through many a blog.

If it has been a hard day's night give thanks my friends, for the short week is done and your Friday is already here, amen.

Joyce (& Banda Maluca) - 'A Hard Day's Night' (2003)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

One Of Those Days In England...

...we've been saving up to spend.

Roy Harper - 'One Of Those Days In England (Part One)' (1977)

Backing vocals - Paul & Linda McCartney.

Picture - me, today, Barnes Common x

Friday, May 02, 2008

Hello Sandie

Oh God, if I'm going to have to listen to endless bloody rolling news interviews with smug bastard Tories all pigging weekend then I'm going to need some thrilling music from groovy left-of-centre personages to carry me through and a bit of blog tennis with Simon might be a good place to start.

I absolutely bloody love Sandie Shaw and I was thrilled skinny to see her at ULU back in '88 when the Hello Angel album came out - she was sexy, sassy, smart, funny, gorgeous and quite, quite magnificent and we ought to thank not just The Moz for his well-documented role in the Sandie-relaunch back then, but also those Heaven 17 boys who first (re) introduced her to 80s pop pickers with their Music Of Quality And Distinction project. Which is not to take anything away from Sandie herself, whose determination to certainly not be anybody's puppet on a string again burst through big-time on this solo LP and continues, and not just with music, to this day.

These are my favourite three songs from the record, two of them originals penned with Chris Andrews (who had written material for her in the 60s, including the lovely 'Girl Don't Come') and the third an absolutely cracking cover of The Jesus & Mary Chain's 'About You' from their Darklands LP.

Sandie Shaw - 'Nothing Less Than Brilliant' (1988)
Sandie Shaw - 'Hello Angel' (1988)
Sandie Shaw - 'Cool About You' (1988)

Finally, some Smiths-covering footage to give a flavour of Ms Shaw 'live' at the time; scarily, she was younger then than I am now....

PS: I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you Ken, but it's not looking good.

Thursday, May 01, 2008