Monday, December 31, 2012

The Best Song Wasn't The Single

This was my (new) Track Of The Year, in case anyone wondered. Terrific album, Channel Orange.

I also very much liked the lilting loveliness of the Lightships record, which sadly seems to have gone unheralded in all of those trendy end of year lists.

The Gregory Porter album had some absolutely beautiful things on it, like this...

...though I'm not sure that on the whole I liked it better than Water.

We loved Damon's Dr Dee at ENO, and it was splendid to meet yer man at the stage door after: there are two or three songs on the record I think are amongst the best stuff he's ever done. In the year of  'Under The Westway' and, oh yes, 'Poison' that was quite a thing.

I hope to see Bear's Den again in 2013 - as I felt the strange urge to scribble on Last FM,  I am in general too old and jaded to be easily impressed by acoustic guitar/ banjo-wielding beardy twentysomethings from the Home Counties, but these lads have talent and I think I *heart* them.

Their potato-printed EP had at least two of my favourite songs of the year on it ('Pompeii' and 'Stubborn Beast').

I liked the Chromatics cover of 'Ceremony' so much (thanks chocolategirl64) I'm going to investigate their album. And the Donald Fagen single swung, sorry Dan haterz.

As ever though, so much more of the music that was new to me in 2012 was, actually, old.

Thank you ally and Rob '99p Soul' Ryan, Darcy and Drew in particular for keeping my soul fires burning this year; Swiss Adam for, amongst much else, the heads-up on Michael Rother's 'Flammende Herzen' (wow - and I've still got to get some La Dusseldorf!); and all of you for your quips, tips and bloggy lurve.

Happy New Year x

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Chill

No, I really don't want anything more to eat or drink alright maybe just a crusty roll and, oh gone on then, that Guinness in the fridge isn't going to quaff itself.

Dot Allison - 'I Wanna Feel The Chill' (1999)

Monday, December 24, 2012

The (Seasonal) Smiling Hour

It'll be my famous fish pie tonight. And Carols From King's.

And, well yes, a nice cold Guinness I should think, plus a few Vina Sols.

Thank you for your company this year, you lovely people.

And have yourselves a Merry Little Christmas, do x

Tony Bennett - 'I'll Be Home For Christmas (live on the Jon Stewart Show)' (1994)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

John Peel's Other Christmas Records

Have I been a tad parsimonious with me Christmas records this year?

Oh well, you know, what with one thing and another. Plus, I've posted most of my favourites before.

Can I more than make it up to you with this bandwidth-busting so grab-it-while-you-can complete upload, in two parts, of Peel's Christmas Eve show from 1992?

With his typically eclectic selection of doowop, blues, soul, punk, country, ragga, reggae and avant Christmas choons ?

'Guaranteed Greg Lake free' ?

Well, can I?

John Peel - 'John Peel's Other Christmas Records - Part One' (1992)
John Peel - 'John Peel's Other Christmas Records - Part Two' (1992)


[Tracklistings in Comments - and visible in the Lyrics tab if uploaded to iTunes].

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


I'm off to Devon for a couple of days, taking the girls to see their grandma, who will turn 90 on Christmas Eve, and hopefully their grandad, who's just been transferred to a care home, in a not entirely trauma-free fashion. It won't be easy - it even looks like we'll be driving into filthy weather.

Should be back Friday, though probably a little late for all the usual mallarkey here x

Saint Etienne - 'Driving Home For Christmas' (1995)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Yeah Baby

Once upon a time here....our occasional series of extended disco classics built into a magnificent library your whole family would enjoy.

Do you know, I miss those times.

So on probably the peak night for Christmas office parties nationwide (oh how glad I am to be free of all that) I'm posting this.

It's a davyh vinyl rip, as you can tell from the crackles.

They are crackles of love.

Pint of Pride please Glo.

Freeez - 'Southern Freeez (LP version)' (1981)

Thursday, December 13, 2012


I mentioned on that Twitter recently that Ian McCulloch's 'Candleland' is one of those 'kind of sparkly-seasonal without being too Christmassy, too early' records, and so is this (not just because of the title).

Both tracks of course feature former Cocteaus (Liz Fraser with Mac) - well, you could always expect some, er, spangle-making from them.

I shall be off out for sort of a 'works' do tonight - deep breath.

Robin Guthrie - 'Sparkle' (2009)

Monday, December 10, 2012

In Memoriam December 10th 1941

The crew of the sinking HMS Prince of Wales abandoning ship to the destroyer Express

Seventy one years ago today Japanese aircraft torpedoed and sank the British battlecruiser HMS Prince Of Wales off the East coast of Malaysia with the loss of 327 men.

My Dad, an Ordinary Seaman of just 18 at the time, was a gunner on the ship, and survived. Had he not I would, of course, not be writing this now.

At around this time of year throughout the 80s and 90s Mum and Dad would attend Prince Of Wales crew reunions, although as the years went by the number of people there who'd actually survived the action steadily dwindled. My parents themselves stopped going a few years back, as they got older and less mobile and the long train journeys north to Liverpool or Newcastle became more and more difficult for them. Dad of course is still a 'survivor', but I don't suppose that as he sits in his chair in the hospital today he will remember the day.

The sinking of HMS Prince Of Wales and her sister ship HMS Repulse (with the loss of 508 men) was a significant moment in the history of warfare: these were the first ships to be sunk on the open sea by air power alone. But a self-deluding British Government believed them to be invincible - great symbols of Imperial Power.

My Dad used to tell me how the crew were told of the unlikelihood of any attack as the ships, intended to intimidate by their very presence, sailed towards Singapore.

'What about aeroplanes Sir?' he remembered asking, a little nervously.

'Aeroplanes?' scoffed an officer, 'You don't want to worry about aeroplanes son'.


The ships still lie 223 feet deep in the water off Kuantan in the South China Sea.

To this day it is traditional for any Royal Navy ship that passes nearby to hold a service in remembrance.

This is my small commemoration on behalf of my Dad: remembering for him, if you like.

Friday, December 07, 2012

The Smiling Hour

OK, I couldn't resist.

Brubeck is more than worthy of two posts this week, and this superb, live, extra-long 'Take Five' from French TV will get our Smiling Hour off with un swing.

Pint and a whisky chaser please Glo *croak* - it's a parky night and I've a pesky lurgy to shift.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Dave Brubeck (6th Dec 1920 - 5th Dec 2012)

Dave Brubeck has died, just one day short of his 92nd birthday.

He'd been playing and composing right until the end.

That track and that album were right there at the start of my foraging into jazz, aged 16. I play them now as often as I ever have.

Of course there were many other things over many other years too - many, I'm still discovering.
"You never know what's going to work," he once said, "You just go with what you believe in, whether it's a success or not".

Sleep tight sir.

The Dave Brubeck Quartet - 'Kathy's Waltz' (1959)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Yeah Baby

 A race of angels
Bound with one another
A dish of dollars
Laid out for all to see
A tower room at Eden Rock
His golf at noon for free
Brooklyn owes the charmer
Under me

His lady's aching
To bring a body down
She daily preaches
On where she wants to be
An evening with a movie queen
A face we all have seen
Brooklyn owes the charmer
Under me

A case of aces
Done up loose for dealing
A piece of island cooling in the sea
The whole of time we gain or lose
And power enough to choose
Brooklyn owes the charmer
Under me

Steely Dan - 'Brooklyn (Owes The Charmer Under Me)' (1972)


Friday, November 23, 2012

Yeah Baby

A BBC connection here too: this has been playing on trailers for The Hour.

Drove me crazy trying to remember what it was.

Bass and drum loop from Brubeck's 'Take Five', vocal sample from Marlena Shaw's 'Woman Of The Ghetto' live at the Montreux jazz festival; blouse model's own.


St. Germain - 'Rose Rouge' (2000)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

2LO Calling

Did you know that BBC Radio turned 90 last week?

You might have missed it, on account of all the other brouhaha.

This is the commemorative 'sound collage' Damon Albarn made for broadcast across the Beeb's global network after they asked him nicely and let him have a rummage through the radio archives. There are snippets too of 21st century children airing their hopes and fears for the next 90 years.

I really like it.

The little tune he puts around the pips in the last thirty seconds is, in particular, gorgeous.

Thinking of putting this into a mix thingy along with clips from the shipping forecast, and some Eno.

Damon Albarn - '2LO Calling' (2012)

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Smiling Hour

A davyh vinyl rip.


Peggy Lee - 'Alright, Okay, You Win' (1962)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

More Than Enough To Last

So, yes there's all that. And all the usual too - 'now featuring dark mornings'.

A breather, a mug of tea, some Marvin and Tammi?

Oh I think so, don't you?

Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell - 'What You Gave Me' (1969)

Friday, November 09, 2012

Afraid Of The Dark

My Dad has dementia.

Last night we learned that he has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act because he has become aggressive towards my Mum, a woman he has loved unreservedly for 68 years. They took him away in an ambulance at 7pm.

I wrote here about my Dad's love of music, but I don't think the Readers Digest box sets have been played for years, most have gone to charity shops, and the easy listening cassettes are gathering dust on their crappy Woolworths plastic carousel.

Throughout my childhood he would sing random snatches of popular songs from the 40s and 50s in a bad, mock Howard Keel baritone, with parodic lyrics ('Hey there, you with the straw in your ears').

All those old Rodgers & Hammerstein numbers were grist to his mill of mangling.

He'd have gone for the Carousel version of this, but as his last son and a 60s baby, I'm posting Gerry.

And trying to keep it together.

Friday, November 02, 2012

The Freestyling Hour

So Mr Perry, what were the skies like when you were young?


I am grateful to the Laird Of Lanark for bringing this to my attention.

And I shall require a beverage.

The Orb featuring Lee 'Scratch' Perry - 'Golden Clouds' (2012)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Terry Callier (May 24 1945 - Oct 28 2012)

Heading back home from a big family blow-out lunch in deepest Country - first a train then, (occasional?) rain falling, a wait at the bus stop and in the back seat downstairs, never my favourite, an idle Twitter-noodle, to pass the time; to learn - this...

: (

Terry Callier -  'I'd Rather Be With You' (1973)

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Smiling Hour


Half Term hols!

Vinyl-ripped rhythm & blues!

My shout!

Take it Esther!

Little Esther (Esther Phillips) - 'T'Ain't Whatcha Say It's Whatcha Do' (1956)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Midweek Groove

Something sparky for a gloomy Wednesday.

Vocals from 5:46 by producers the Mizell Brothers, who also sang on Bobbi Humphrey's splendid 'Harlem River Drive' which I tweeted earlier.

As well as producing groovy fusion records for Blue Note, Larry Mizell once worked as an electrical engineer and performed testing and reliability work on the Lunar Module for the Apollo space programme, fact fans.

Donald Byrd - 'Lansana's Priestess' (1973)

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Smiling Hour

It's been one hell of a week.

I shall require a beverage.

And some vinyl-ripped rhythm and blues (you'll like this one).

I do hope someone is going to the bar?

Otis Smith - 'You're So Good Looking' (1959)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Personal Message

The greatest Françoise Hardy song you've (probably) never heard.

Hello autumn.

Françoise Hardy - 'Message Personnel' (1973)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Smoke With Fire

The eldest daughter and I enjoyed Smoke Fairies (KCLSU, Tuesday). They sure can sing and play geetar, those gals (could maybe do with a sparkier tune now and then, but still...).

We also liked support band Bear's Den, not least because they had printed their own E.P sleeves with potatoes; not so much the overly shouty Tom Williams & The Boat.

It was a strange but lovely thing to be watching all this at the alma mater, in the hall we used for student discos and productions nearly thirty years ago - and with her ladyship, at her first proper 'gig'; by far the youngest person there (13, but don't tell), and right in front of the stage.

Life stuff eh?

She's going to see Green Day with her friends at the Emirates Stadium next summer, which'll be a bit different, I imagine.

Smoke Fairies - 'She Sells Sanctuary' (2012)

[The Cult!]

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Friday, October 05, 2012

Now We Are Six

A Soft Southern Jessie

Never mind your Twitters and your Spotifys and your Mixclouds, it were all fields round here six years ago.

And, with notable exceptions, your "mp3 blogs" mostly blethered on about 'indie' (younger readers, ask a grown up): I'd be chuffed if I've played even the teensiest part in helping to change that a tad.

There needed to be more reggae - and pop and soul and disco and funk and hip hop and jazz and Krautrock and country and post-punk and Eno and Sinatra and, er, Elizabethan choral music - in the blogosphere. And more foolish bar-talk and less standing around in black trying to look cool.

So here's to you, companeros, near and far: for your kindness and your comments and your.....friendship; and for the many, many splendid records you've played me in return.

My life is the better for this, and you.

So 'it it!

The Clash - 'Hitsville U.K' (1980)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Frank Wilson (5th Dec 1940 - 27th Sep 2012)

Yes, he recorded the Northern Soul classic and ultra-rare 45 'Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)' but rather unjustly was less famously the writer and producer of many hits for Motown including this glorious thing.

Full obit here.


Monday, September 24, 2012

"Metal Inside Me"

« Sound of footsteps on the edge of a scream »: the most representative picture I’ve made of my life in hospital.

[These words and this picture arrived from France today by email. I have cut & paste with no edits. There are two sides to every story, and this is A's - dh]

« In July 2004 I was involved in a motor accident in Montpellier, France »....

I was a motorcyclist and the other party was a (hire) car.

At a junction, I went through a green trafic light. Not too fast, but in a rush. I wanted to arrive home after a long shooting (filming) trip. I saw a car that was waiting to cross and I thought he had seen me.

Unfortunately the car moved, the impact was inevitable.

I was badly injured. But the injuries are less important than the road to recovery.

The English driver seemed not to stop immediately, but came back after a moment. Few months later, the case went to court in France and against the doctors advices, I came in a wheelchair to hear him. But the driver did not come and was charged very lightly because, at that time, the after-effects of the accident were not assessable. I could have continue the procedure but one warned me off that it could go on many years due to the required exchanges between the two countries. I decided to drop the charges, did not want my healling process hampered by anger.

First, the doctors said that I would not keep my left leg. Then, that I would never be able to bend it… but I had only one thing on my mind : rowing again was my goal! I am practicing this sport since I am ten and it taught me a lot about tenacity.

Twenty three surgeries and two years of physiotherapy later, my first rowing attempt was not really hopeful! So, I designed a special foot stretcher, very simple. And after some time and help, the footstretcher was improved with a modern pivot and springs! 

When I realized that with training I had a chance to be selected in the French rowing adaptive team, it was obvious: I have to go to London! This will be my « peacefull » revenge! 

The dream became reality, « London Calling » echoed in my mind!

When I bought some tickets for my family and friends, something unconscious made me buy some more…

Whatever happened that tragic day, I wanted him to see what I am able to do now! These races will be my cry : « I survived and you did not stop me! »

I called a first time, no answer. A second time, no answer … I sent the tickets anyway. You know the story.

Our team result is not the one we hoped for but we realized our best races! No regrets, and great pleasure with this amazing atmosphere and organisation.

And on Sunday, just after the Final B, a « Games Maker » asked me if I was the French rower who had a car accident ? I was surprised, and he told me that he read the story in Twitter. The « unknown » driver received the tickets in time, came to Eton, saw me rowing, and wrote a touching post. 

At this moment, I knew that I did not shout into the void…

I texted him, we met. It was the hardest day of my life after our first meeting. Maybe he felt the same way. Today, I do not know where I got the strength. I was prompted by something invisible to do it … I can not explain it, it was stronger than me.

I won’t lie to you, tears come every day since our meeting. But I am so glad to know now who you are.

David, you never stopped telling me how brave I am, I want to tell you that you had a great courage to face me, be sure of that.

« My fish-eye lens view of what happened is now wide-angle; with multiple édits » 

It is true for me also. You are not the villain bearded driver of my memories anymore! You are like everyone else, like me. Our roles could be reversed. An accident can happen to anyone at any time, and it is difficult to live with it whoever you are, victim or responsable, that’s the conclusion.

After all these hardships, I understand also that victory can sometimes be elsewhere than on a podium. These games will be unforgettable and it is maybe just the most important!

Thank you David for asking me to write this ending post. I hope that it will help us to conclude this « British rowing accident » story.

Maybe our roads will cross again, but certainly not in the same way!

For sure, I have less weight on the chest, and I can now breathe in more deeply than ever for Rio…


Friday, September 21, 2012

The Smiling Hour

Been on a jazz tip all week.

'S the way it goes round here, sometimes.

Breaking into cocktail hour with this swingin' mother.


Roy Haynes - 'Dorian' (1977)

Monday, September 17, 2012


Portobello quiet on a Monday; no jingle jangle bracelet and brooch bric a brac and military hat guys under the Westway, and nothing at all north of there to Golborne, but the fruit and veg stalls of course in the other direction and the sun shining and still a fair few tourists, like the fair few leaves still green on the trees in Kensington Gardens. I did a big walk - from Ladbroke Grove up and left and right to the Gate and then down Kensington Church St to the high road and the park and all along the Serpentine to Park Lane. Heading nowhere, wearing shorts, starlings washing their feathers in a row at Round Pond while others dried by benches and the tiniest squirrel determinedly lugging the hugest still green and spiky-sealed horse chesnut home to his treetop gaff. Gold sun, and tame herons posing obligingly for tourist pictures and this lovely sculpture, new to me, joyous.

This 'freelancing' lark has its downs, but its ups, too.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

And Speaking Of Grace...

Something lovely from that fab 90s new wave of black British jazz I've mentioned here before.

The Grace in this case was SW's Grandmother, if memory serves.

The vocalist is the legendary Abbey Lincoln.

I have a tape of this (TDK!) made from a public library LP, somewhere.

Steve Williamson - 'A Waltz For Grace' (1992)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Closing Ceremony

Well, we met, the French rower and me.

My fish-eye lens view of what happened is now wide-angle; with multiple edits.

He's a film-maker (really) and he is still shaping the narrative.

My sense of his immense courage - his grace - is greater even than before.


I have more to deal with, now I know the whole story: but I think that's only fair.

Horace Silver Quintet  - 'Peace' (1959)

Merci, A.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Friday Reggae # 36

This has been buzzing round my head all day like a late summer fly, and you know that means it gets uploaded here.

Hard truths, a mighty riddim.

25C and rising this weekend in London, the season's last great golden blast.

Don Carlos - 'Crucial Situation (Version)' (1981)

Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Reggae # 35

Well done to the French mixed coxed four who came fourth in today's rowing heat at the Paralympics, and so go through to the repechage. One Englishman followed your race with a different perspective to most.

Now revenons à nos moutons, as they say in France.

Isn't this lovely?

And to think you can get it free, if you're in the UK, along with nine other Trojan gems - on this.

Yes, I do think I shall require a beverage.

Janet Kay - 'Lovin' You' (1977)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"Spirit In Motion"

In July 2004 I was involved in a motor accident in Montpellier, France: I was in a (hire) car and the other party was a motorcyclist, who was badly injured.

The case went to court in France, but I wasn't obliged to attend. I was charged for 'failing to look right at a junction', fined very lightly (65 Euros - then about £40) and banned from driving in France for two weeks. Since I lived then, as now, in London, and the court knew that, this last was no penalty at all. It seemed over all that I'd been given just about the lightest penalty possible, so I assumed, though I did not know, that witnesses had confirmed the lights at the junction had indeed been green, as I'd told the police, that the motorcyclist had jumped it, had maybe been going too fast, had maybe occupied the wrong lane of the carriageway (these things were hinted to me, but never confirmed). All I heard about the motorcyclist was that he had been in and out of hospital for most of the year that followed, maybe would not walk again. It was a hard thing to think about, and mostly I tried not to.

I've never forgotten what happened, of course. I've never forgotten what I saw of the motorcyclist's injuries, and how often I'd asked if he'd be OK and him crying, in shock and pain, 'You didn't have the right of way'.

I still have a folder - 'Accident' - on my computer, documents I'll never delete.

But as summers passed, nearly ten of them, I rationalised I'd hear no more about the accident, the 'case', the motorcyclist.

I didn't feel entirely sure of that, to be honest.


Well, last night at about 8:30pm the motorcyclist called me and left a message, in English, on my phone (an 'international number', I'd ignored the call, thinking it was one of those spam competition things we get plagued with in the evenings).

He 'didn't know if I would remember him' (!)

He wanted me to know that before the accident he had been a rower. He wanted me to know that it had taken him two years to learn to walk again after the accident, never mind to row. He wanted me to know that he would be rowing in the French coxless 4s team at the London 2012 Paralympics. He wanted me to know that he 'did not make a judgement'. He wanted me to know that he would be sending me two tickets and would like me to watch him. If he didn't hear back from me, he would send them anyway, and I could do what I liked with them.


This afternoon I spoke to him.

He is sure he wants to do this.

He wants to know I am there watching him do this.

So I am going on Friday - to the first of the heats at Eton Dorney: how can I not?

['Spirit In Motion' is the motto of the Paralympic Games]

Monday, August 20, 2012

Gone West (Reprise)

We have gone again for a week to the place of sheela-na-gigs and old stone, where in the night-time garden you can hear only owls*

And there shall be quiet pints in ancient inns, a walk up Ham Hill; trips to the Jurassic Coast; and maybe a slap-up lunch at the Hive Beach Cafe.

Hugs. Will send some Twitter postcards.

Kings Of Convenience - 'Summer On The Westhill' (2001)

*but see the International Space Station pass at 21:18 on Monday, we hope

Friday, August 17, 2012

Never Mind The Balearics

We're off to Zummerzet next week. Ooh-arr.

Meanwhile here in London it's 28C and blissfully sunny so I've stocked up on the rosado and some ready-made tapas for the workshy and we're going to make believe we're in Ibeefa.

Here's a tune I put on every vaguely-Balearic/chilled tape or CD I made for at least a five year period in the early, must we call them, 'Noughties' (usually somewhere in the middle between the uptempo things at the start and the ambienty things at the end)


Banda Sonora - 'Guitarra G' (2001)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Quality Sounds For Under A Pound (Again)

There's always one song that jumps out at me from all of the rest. D.J Mr Rob Ryan this time 'brought the wrong box' but let me tell you that even Mr Rob Ryan's wrong box is the kind of box the rest of us'd kill for. Nevertheless That Tune didn't come from him this time, despite even lovelinesses like this. It came from our very own Ms Ally, and it was this.

Roberta Flack - 'Compared To What' (1969)

Thanks to all the seasoned 99p Soulers who made this newbie feel so welcome, again. And to think, I've still got the free CD to enjoy...x

Friday, August 10, 2012

Yeah Baby

Novos Baianos: babies welcome

 This was pretty good pretty loud on the A303 through Wiltshire back from Devon and the Aged Ps yesterday and will set up our Friday night nicely now, I reckon.

The geetar sound puts me in mind of The Allman Brothers 'Jessica', theme to Top Gear, a bit; but this is eminently niftier/groovier, and Brazilian, which is pretty much the same thing.

I don't mind telling you that I've just poured myself a rather generous G&T.

Novos Baianos - 'America Tropical' (1974)

Friday, August 03, 2012

"My News"

by davyh aged 47 and 3 days

This week was still holiday but we are at home. There was Olympics and we went to see the cycling because it was up our road and the others went to the real olympics but i didn't but i went to see bradley wiggins who is a mod which is a man with sideburns who likes the style council. he was very good and he won and i saw him pass me and then in the pub on the tv and people cherred very loud. before that on tuesday it was my birthday and i had cake and also a curry and i got three records which were by frank ocean which is very very good and a record of music from brazil in the 1970's and some madonna because i used to have it on a cassette but now i havent. i did not write anything on my blog because i did not have any ideers th end

Jimmy Cliff - 'The News' (1975)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Choose Life

We've had a fine holiday week at home, mostly because the sun has shone - proper hot sun with top temperatures, the lot. So it's been Kew Gardens, the seaside, sausage barbecuing at the back, that sort of thing. We also saw the Olympic torch relay through Richmond which, hulking great sponsor lorry crassness aside, was strangely moving.

In other news...Trainspotting director Danny Boyle Isles Of Wonder live sheep Beckham torch-ball cast of thousands Macca, er, Muse. Muse?

Underworld - 'Beautiful Burnout'  (2007)

Welcome to the greatest city on Earth, world.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Yeah Baby

I've been following Twitter trails to a lot of groovy music lately. Johnny Roast aka J.P's rare soul vinyl things on Soundcloud are especially glorious (are Soundcloud and Mixcloud steadily eclipsing mp3 blogs as a way of sharing and discovering great music? Probably).

I'm finding too that there are a lot of podcasted soul shows out there from specialist stations in both the UK and US; the archetype is great selections made by real enthusiasts, though you do sometimes have to tolerate rather hospital-radioey presenter styles.

I heard this last night on one such, loved it instantly and had to buy.

Classic soul horn sound.


Adriana Evans - 'Waiting' (2010)

Monday, July 16, 2012

New York - London - Tokyo

Lifting this wet Monday morning in London with the sunny Sunday afternoon in NYC this song describes: perfect.

An internet trail story here - how playing Yasuko Agawa's 'L.A Night' (continued thanks to glen) led me to the list of her most played tracks on Last FM led me to the nu-bossa B-side of that 12" led me to uncovering this uptempo 2009 remix from Quasimode - 'a four piece jazz band based in Tokyo, Japan' - led to general joy.

The vocal version by Eddie Jefferson of the composer's original is a bit groovy too.

Yasuko Agawa - 'New York Afternoon (Quasimode Remix)' (2009)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sans Culottes

It's Bastille Day tomorrow, vive la revolution and all that = a fine (ok, flimsy) excuse for posting a pin-up of prime time Bardot and a one of her pert poppy platters from the 60s.

Joyeux quatorze French amis: you have shown me nothing but kindness over the years, and thanks for all the cheese.


Brigitte Bardot - 'Tu Veux, Tu Veux Pas' (1962)

Friday, July 06, 2012

A Man Of England

Whilst great chunks of Britain are getting apocalyptic rain, in London this week we've had showers and then bursts of stinky hot sunshine. A bit tropical. It's confusing, musically. The weather always influences what I want to hear and by now it should be unbroken Balearica and things from Brazil, but those pesky clouds and dark spells keep knocking me back to winter. Am I coming or am I going? I really don't know.

We're off to see that nice Mr Albarn's Dr Dee show tonight at the English National Opera, no less. I don't imagine there'll be any stagediving but apparently there are live crows.

We'll walk there from Waterloo: rain or shine.

Chin chin.

Damon Albarn & Ray Davies - 'Waterloo Sunset (live on The White Room)' (1995)

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012

Yeah Baby

It's been a bonkers breathless week - but Friday come baby, Friday come.

Best intro bassline evah?

*boogaloos to bar (fridge)*

Lonnie Liston Smith - 'Expansions' (1974)

Friday, June 22, 2012


When I volunteered to be a parent governor at the eldest's school eighteen months ago, I couldn't have imagined that some bright spark would one day arrange a 'leadership strategy session' from 3-8pm on a Friday night. I'm sure you'll all agree that in terms of intelligent meeting scheduling, that sure bites the big one.

So....tragically I'll be late for cocktails tonight.


Do start without me, there's some booze in the fridge.

Larry Williams & Johnny Watson - 'Too Late' (1969)

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Been playing this over and over since Saturday too.

Gonna have to nip into Soul Brother Records Putney to pick up the 12" single, cos I wants that mother so bad.

Gregory Porter - '1960 What? (Opolopo Kick & Bass Rerub)' (2011)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Quality Sounds For Under A Pound

Poor quality snap by refreshed me of Mr Rob's actual 45 at actual event

Well the joint sure was jumping in EC1 on Saturday and I am so, so glad I went: very spontaneously and already a tad refreshed from the cooking tea at home and all, I do apologise Ms A.

This was the song that sent us home elated at the end of the night, played by Mr Rob Ryan who has, I will say, a few quite nice records I expect set him back a bit: standing ovation, cries for more, but it was 1am in the basement and the pub had to close and there were Night Buses to catch - thank you 99p Soul regular Sally for helping me head West on the right one(s); thank you everyone for being so lovely x

Frank Hutson - 'Old Man Me' (196-)

Friday, June 15, 2012

It's Friday...Let's Break Dance

Only kidding.

I might have a Goan fish curry though.

West Street Mob - 'Break Dancin' - Electric Boogie' (1983)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Life Of Brian

I've been listening to a lot of old Beach Boys stuff this week, I suppose for two main reasons (besides that I love it): 1) that new album, which I don't yet have, but have been streaming off the internets...the last three songs a beautiful mini-suite I hope in a way is the last thing Brian Wilson ever writes for them, it's so perfect 2) reading Fuel-Injected Dreams, a gift from Drew, which references that era, the pre-Beatles US pop period of surf songs and Spector and Brian.

Digging out an old/not-so-old Wilson solo album from the late 90s I hardly ever play and listening to it again, one song especially leapt out at me.

I looked the record up. And should have know this was an old song, one he'd noodled about with many times over the years but never officially released (massive shout out/acknowledgements here to Wanarkey's Beach Boys Blog whence the older tracks are sourced).

Here it is at an early stage - mostly the instrumental track but a work in progress with vocal parts being overdubbed...

The Beach Boys - 'Sandy (2nd vocal overdub)' (1965)

Here it is in 1976, the 15 Big Ones period, raggedy but kind of complete, with new lyrics and the girl's name changed, again not released...

The Beach Boys - 'Sherry She Needs Me' (1976)

And here from Imagination, with another new title and some big production that has just enough of the classic era sound to cut it...

Brian Wilson - 'She Says That She Needs Me' (1998)

There are lots of Brian Wilson songs like this...worked on, abandoned, revisited, worked on again through the years.

It tells us a lot, I think: that he comes back to things because he still hears them in his head and wants to get them 'out there'; that almost back on the sort of treadmill in the late 80s/90s that proved so disastrous to his mental health in the mid 60s, there was pressure like the old pressure to come up with material, but with the creative juices not flowing as easily, it proved pragmatic to dig out old stuff; but mostly that back then so much was flowing that even songs other people would sweat blood to create were left lying around - with always another elusive tune to chase, always another musical wave crashing on the shore.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Thunderclap Old Man

I know the Laird Of Lanark and I once famously opined otherwise, but today this is my Best Pop Record Ever Made.

*pours very large gin & tonic with big slice of lime*

The Ronettes - 'Walking In The Rain' (1964)

Friday, June 01, 2012

The Smiling Hour

Maria Bethânia, Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa

A tad louche too, these legendary Tropicalians lolling about in early 70s Brazil...what music, what music: from that olde compilation that goes on giving, and tracks that rip from vinyl sounding still so good.

Sonho meu, sonho meu
Vai buscar que mora longe, sonho meu

I've already cracked a cold San Miguel from the fridge.

It seemed rude not to, Ma'am.

Maria Bethânia & Gal Costa - 'Sonhu Meu' (1978)

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Smiling Hour

Hot sun, cold drinks and some louche Mancini?

I don't mind if I do.

From my Cafe Mambo Ibiza 2005...ah, thems was the times.

Henry Mancini - 'Lujon' (1959)

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Flat Horizon

I have struggled a bit to get going today, despite all the tea.

That Lightships record is lovely, though.

And it's made me want to hear this again.

Teenage Fanclub - 'The World'll Be OK' (2002)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Englishman In New York

Twenty five years after my last visit I am headed to New York this week, for work.

Back then I was a cash-strapped recent graduate with a Greyhound bus 'Ameripass' off on a coast-to-coast ramble, all desert boots and Dylan tapes; this time it'll be new suit and shiny shoes and doing my best to sound sensible.

New York playlist? Check (even contains Sting!).

And all being well I'll be back Friday night, though a bit too late for the usual around here, I expect.

'Follow me on Twitter'.

Deep breath - long flight coming x

Lloyd Cole - 'New York City Sunshine' (2006)

Friday, May 11, 2012

"What Would Jimmy Buffett Do?"

He'd say...

Pour me somethin' tall and strong
Make it a hurricane before I go insane
It's only half past twelve but I don't care
It's five o'clock somewhere


Friday, May 04, 2012

Friday Reggae # 34

Marguerite Lewars was the reigning Miss Jamaica when she appeared in Dr No.

And Jimmy was just 14.

Jimmy Cliff - 'Miss Jamaica' (1962)

[Yesh, it's Ska really Moneypenny, I know]