Friday, July 31, 2009


Another year older, another year wider.

Me and the lovely 'Jo' Rowling celebrate the not-especially-significant 44th anniversary of our births today - she, I do not doubt, in a manner befitting her glamourous lifestyle and hard-earned wealth, me with a curry at the local tandoori.

Cracking to have a birthday on a Friday though, eh Gromit?

According to the lodestone of eternal truth that is da Wiki, 44 is : the international telephone dialling code for the UK; the number of Barack Obama's presidency; a kind of Magnum revolver and associated blues tune; a Vicks cough suppressant.

Since I am not in possession of said blues tune and did the obvious 'post the Number 1 song when I was born' thing last year, here is a big Friday Smash Hits-reviewed disco floorfillin' Philly 12" in the traditional manner, with a suitably uplifting message perhaps reminding us, like Dickie and Miss Ally are always saying, that still being alive is, frankly, cause for celebration enough.


McFadden & Whitehead - 'Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now' (12") (1979)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Some Candi Singing

It being a slack, sluggish week of unpredictable weather and no work (stroke, money) I finally got round to new turntable-spinning and for-convenience computerising that old Candi Staton b/w Bettye Swann LP we've mentioned before in despatches, and it sounds just glorious, glorious, glorious my friends, yeah baby and amen.

Everything on it was famously re-reissued on this, but my compilation, a bit of a curiosity with its 60s style, one-artist-per-side Beatles Versus The Four Seasons kinda thing, came out in 1986. I can tell from the neatly biroed date on the inner sleeve (sorry, really I am) that I bought it two years later, on the day after my 23rd birthday. Musta gotta voucha.

Anyway, I thought I'd post some tracks here since 1) they are what's going round at my place right now, and what's going round at my place is, as you know, what's going up on this and 2) this is my 500th post, and some Candi singing seems a better way of celebrating than me blethering on about...well, anything, really.

Thanks for popping in on however many of those 500 you made x

Candi Staton - 'I'm Just A Prisoner (Of Your Good Lovin')' (1969)
Candi Staton - 'Evidence' (1970)
Candi Staton - 'I'd Rather Be An Old Man's Sweetheart (Than A Young Man's Fool)' (1970)

Readers already in possession of CD versions may find these vinyl uploads unaccustomedly warm.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New (To Me) Soul Music Tuesday

I utterly, utterly love this and have pretty much only just discovered it/him.

We'll certainly have to describe it as hard-hitting funk-soul from the James Brown mould, with a contemporary kick (OW!).

Lee Fields - 'Problems' (2002)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Yeah Baby

I woke with this in my head this morning and I don't really know why, but I'm betting the old popclock is at work again and the day I found it in that Paignton junk shop was a wet one in late July.

We had the A side a good while back* and since this is a 45 you flip over and back again and over and back again, loving both songs equally and all the more because they're so contrasting, I think it's time the B made an appearance here, don't you?

You'll forgive me I'm sure that this Friday spin is a Philly ballad not a funk or disco tune, and you'll pardon the crackles too if I know you as well as I think I do because you'll be too busy lying back and diggin' Teddy to carp about such nonsense.

It's raining, so pour me a gin.

Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes - 'I'm Weak For You' (1973)

* I've re-upped it

Monday, July 20, 2009

'Moon Landing'

It's natural the Boys should whoop it up for
so huge a phallic triumph, an adventure
      it would not have occurred to women
      to think worth while, made possible only

because we like huddling in gangs and knowing
the exact time: yes, our sex may in fairness
      hurrah the deed, although the motives
      that primed it were somewhat less than menschlich.

A grand gesture. But what does it period?
What does it osse? We were always adroiter
      with objects than lives, and more facile
      at courage than kindness: from the moment

the first flint was flaked this landing was merely
a matter of time. But our selves, like Adam's,
      still don't fit us exactly, modern
      only in this---our lack of decorum.

Homer's heroes were certainly no braver
than our Trio, but more fortunate: Hector
      was excused the insult of having
      his valor covered by television.

Worth going to see? I can well believe it.
Worth seeing? Mneh! I once rode through a desert
      and was not charmed: give me a watered
      lively garden, remote from blatherers

about the New, the von Brauns and their ilk, where
on August mornings I can count the morning
      glories where to die has a meaning,
      and no engine can shift my perspective.

Unsmudged, thank God, my Moon still queens the Heavens
as She ebbs and fulls, a Presence to glop at,
      Her Old Man, made of grit not protein,
      still visits my Austrian several

with His old detachment, and the old warnings
still have power to scare me: Hybris comes to
      an ugly finish, Irreverence
      is a greater oaf than Superstition.

Our apparatniks will continue making
the usual squalid mess called History:
     all we can pray for is that artists,
     chefs and saints may still appear to blithe it.
- W. H Auden (1969)


My very long-standing Wystan fanclub membership aside, I am still (not having seen Buzz) planning to personally commemorate the event tomorrow, in my own way.

Whoop it up, boys.

Shirley Bassey - 'Moonraker' (1979)

Friday, July 17, 2009

School's Out For Summer

Can it really have been a year? Again home come the masks they have made and the pictures they have painted, the pots they have fired and the papier-mâché they have, er, mâchéd. Tears in the playground from the leavers and the teachers who are being left, and flowers and chocolates and things the kids have made for their favourites and six weeks (six weeks!) of holidays begin.

With classic timing, the heatwave has crumbled and the skies are grey.

When I was little I knew we wouldn't be going anywhere exotic, it'd probably be Mid Wales again, and a long journey up the motorway in a Hillman Minx that rattled when it hit speeds above 60mph; for the most part though we'd be at home bombing about on our bikes, wishing the sun would come out so we could go to the beach, waiting for Something To Happen that never did. In the Famous Five they'd be off to Kirrin Island and caught up in a smugglers plot with gypsies, but we had Why Don't You Turn Off Your TV And Do Something Less Boring Instead, Belle & Sebastian and Flash Gordon films from the 30s (in 1975!). The summer holidays never really lived up to the hype, and a week in Tenby or Minehead hardly compensated.

Unless there was crazy golf, of course. Or we went to Butlins and rode the monorail (in the future we would travel everywhere on one of those....).

Happy holidays children.

Alessi Brothers - 'Oh Lori' (1977)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Simplicity Of Expression: Depth Of Thought

Another vinyl rarity, £1 from my newest charity shop - today!

Funny, since we were talking about Billy Cobham only recently.

If you liked that and this, and Terry Callier's What Color Is Love, you'll dig this, baby.

Billy Cobham - 'Early Libra' (1978)

[Vocalist - Kenneth Kamal Scott. Randy 'American Idol' Jackson on bass - '110 percent']

Friday, July 10, 2009

Yeah Baby

What's that Davy? New stuff ? On a Friday night?!

Oh yes! because this is so big and crunchy and synthy and funky, and we'll even forgive them for ripping off the Rotary Connection pose since they were decent enough to choose 'I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun' as their 'show and tell' track on Radcliffe & Maconie this week.

Groovy! To the bar!!

The Phenomenal Handclap Band - 'You'll Disappear' (2009)


Thursday, July 09, 2009

Doo Wop That Thing

The Persuasions are an a cappella group who began singing together in Brooklyn, New York in the early 1960s and have gone on to produce many albums covering a wide range of musical genres, yet all filtered through their own four-to-six-part a cappella doo-wop sensibilities. During their major years of recording, to date, they have produced 25 original albums (not including compilations of their material) within a 35-year period, in addition to appearing on numerous recordings by other popular artists. They continue to perform and record on a regular basis, appearing in concert many times each year, and constantly expanding their repertoire to include more current compositions than the "street-corner" rhythm and blues doo-wop on which their style was founded (Wiki).

I've had this LP since my Camden Town rummage days and there are many lovely things on it, but this is the one I always come back to.

Goffin and King at their Brillest, and a fine song for a bright, crisp morning in the city.

The Persuasions - 'Up On The Roof' (1969)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Pop Clock

When exactly did cassettes become fetish objects? Just look at that baby...!

So I woke up this morning with 'War Baby' in my head, and then 'Cruel Summer' and 'Forbidden Colours' and I couldn't work out why, until BING! it dawned on me that all of these things were on this tape I made off of the radio Top 40; and when I checked the date they were all in the chart and the music-killing home taping must have occurred, I realised it was at exactly this time of year in 1983.

Kids, the Pop Clock never lies.

(DavyH has done his A Levels; he is hanging out down the beach; he will protest about, but still go on, a final holiday with his parents to Majorca in September before starting college in London in October).

The other things on the tape are: 'Come Live With Me' by Heaven 17 ('I was 37, she was 17' - curses! I'm nearly 44!!!) 'Do It Again/Billie Jean (medley)' by Clubhouse (it's Steely Dan with the diddle-diddly dinga ding guitar bit from Billie Jean plonked in the middle! A mash up before mash ups!) 'Club Tropicana' by Wham! (c'mon!) 'The Crown' by Gary Byrd (Kips!) 'Wherever I Lay My Hat' by Paul Young (erm...) and 'Right Now' by The Creatures (which I don't think I have heard since. And is excellent. In fact, I am so excited about hearing it again that I've just secured an mp3 of it which I present here for your delectation).

As if all of this were not frisson enough, at the end of the tape the not-quite 18 year old me stuck a load of little drum bits from various records together - Lord alone knows why, but it must have taken hours and occasioned a chronic case of pause-button finger.

The quiz-minded and/or terminally bored amongst you may have some fun with it...

Drum bit montage thing by DavyH, aged 17 and three quarters (1983)

And here's Siouxsie and Budgie...

The Creatures - 'Right Now' (1983)

PS: Yes. The cassette label really does say 'an embryonic journey down the acoustic annals of a great Revolving semi-styletto breath...' . I must have had some 60s psych stuff on it before. Cough.

PPS: Oh go on, have a Bananarama too, I won't tell.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Friday Reggae # 12

It's the Bob Marley record no-one plays!

Which is, on the one hand, a great shame, since it is full of 'conscious' Afro-centric reggae music and mighty rhythms, but also, on the other hand, quite a good thing, since it has not been over-exposed in a thousand 'Bob Marley Bars' from Phuket* to Paphos.

I have been loving it all week @ 28 degrees C.

Bob Marley & The Wailers - 'Zimbabwe' (1979)
Bob Marley & The Wailers - 'Babylon System' (1979)
Bob Marley & The Wailers - 'Ambush In The Night' (1979)

*I actually have been in one there. It was at the end of the beach no-one went to. It was not really very Irie, but possibly they meant well.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Sound D'Afrique

Five days in a row of 27c + temperatures in London and it's all gone tropical, baby - I have the midge bites to prove it. Obviously this will all end in an almighty storm sometime around Friday, but for now I'm all shorts and sandalled up and walking like a Jamaican (slowly and to an imagined reggae beat - it's the only way to stay cool).

Coincidentally, the eldest daughter has a Caribbean Day at school today; she has taken a coconut, and a steel band are allegedly dropping in later.

Meanwhile, I figured you could use some 'infectious guitar-based Soukous from Zaire' (Democratic Republic Of Congo) from a cassette I ordered from The Observer newspaper 20 years ago (and Sound D'Afrique Vol II, hipsters).

Pablo Lubadika Porthos - 'Madeleina' (1981)

Help with your moves here.