Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Funkin' In Firenze

I was working in Milan for a couple of days earlier this week and managed to squeeze in some sightseeing and record-buying. On paper, the highlight of my purchases was "L'Anthologia Funk" which - as the name hints at - purports to be an anthology of Italian funk music from the 1970s and 1980s. Take the word "funk" out of that sentence and you have a more accurate description - unless "funky" is defined as "has a bit of slap bass on it", this mostly isn't.

That said, it is not entirely without its charms, as we demonstrate below. I particularly like the track by Andrea Mingardi, who comes across as a sort of Italian Ian Dury.

"Xa Vur Dalla Vetta" - Andrea Mingardi (1981)

"Like Io, Funky Tu" - Enzo Avitabile (1983)

For today's clip, let's stick with some Italian music from the early 1980s. This is dedicated to my friend Lucia Liuzzi who, at the age of two, has discovered the joys of telling people to "Stop It!".

Friday, 24 October 2014

Lady Rock

I was pootling around on eMusic the other day and came across an excellent compilation called "Girls Gone Rockin'", which has 75 female fronted R 'n B and rock 'n roll tracks from the 1950s or thereabouts. There are some absolute crackers on there. Here is a small selection.

"Ring Ding Dilly" - Big Maybelle

"Black Cadillac" - Joyce Green

"Is There A Man In The House" - Lillian Briggs

"Go Get The Shotgun Grandpa" - Ann Castle

Ann Castle seems to be suffering from a bit of a jealous mind. RIP Alvin.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Bloody Hippies

Not those sort of hippies - these sort of hippies.

"Hippy Dippy Daddy" - The Cookies

"Hippy, Skippy Moon Strut" - The Moon People

"The Hippy, Hippy Shake" - Chan Romero

Here are a couple of those sort of hippies, at their hippiest.

Monday, 20 October 2014

John Holt R.I.P.

Very sad to hear about the death yesterday of John Holt. Mister F and I used to invoke his name whenever a song that was totally unsuited for performing in a reggae style came on the jukebox in the Little Driver. "John Holt could pull it off", we would say. And I bet he would.

Here are a couple of choice covers plus one of his own, while the clip features probably the best known cover of a John Holt original. Rest in Peace, Mr Holt.

"Baby I'm A Want You" - John Holt

"Sister Big Stuff" - John Holt

"Sweetie Come Brush Me" - John Holt

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Bahir Dar Days

Almost exactly two years ago I had a fantastic trip to Ethiopia. One of the many highlights was visiting the wonderfully decorated churches on the islands and peninsulas of Lake Tana.

The base for exploring Lake Tana is Bahir Dar, which is a pretty groovy town in its own right. While I was there a nice man in a local record shack bunged about 150 mp3s onto a disc for me and charged me next to nothing for the pleasure. I somehow managed to mislay the disc and have only recently rediscovered it. Here is a small selection of its many delights.

"Egnaw Entarek" - Neway Debebe

"Grmamogese Nesh" - Mikias Chernet

"Webetu" - Dagmawit Teshaye

Today's clip brings you the song that was all over the Ethiopian airwaves when I was there. For the record I would like to make it clear that I disapprove strongly of the inappropriate focus on feminine pulchritude in the video - obviously. But the song itself is ridiculously catchy.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Junior Choice

Last night I went to see Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express promoting the new album "Night Surfer". They were excellent as always, and very good value with a set clocking in at just over two hours.


Support was from Jonah Tolchin, who was pretty good in his own right. I was sufficiently impressed to buy his new album, "Clover Lane", which may feature here once I have had a proper listen. His set included a cover of "Lost Highway". I have count of the number of times I have heard people cover Hank Williams live. Wouldn't it be nice if, just once, someone covered his boy instead.

"Family Tradition" - Hank Williams Jr

"New South" - Hank Williams Jr

One of the unexpected treats of the evening was when Stephanie Finch (Mrs Prophet) took the mike for a very nice rendition of this old favourite.


Sunday, 12 October 2014

Cultural Overload

It was a busy day culturally yesterday, even for old "Two Gigs" Goggins (as I have never been known). It started in the afternoon in Trafalgar Square for the "Africa on the Square" festival, where much fun was had by all. I particularly enjoyed the set by Aar Maanta, a UK-based Somali who is much funkier live than he generally is on record.

Then I strolled over to the South Bank to meet the lads for "Language is a Virus from Outer Space", an event celebrating the centenary of William Burroughs that was "curated" by Richard Strange. I was only going to see the long-awaited reunion of Doctors of Madness, which was just as well because the rest of it was utter twaddle. Fortunately the Doctors were great, and probably clinched the "Most Unlikely Guest Appearance of the Year" award when Joe Elliott of Def Leppard joined them to share lead vocals on "Suicide City".

Here's "Suicide City" without Joe, plus a track from Aar Maanta and - as a bonus - Richard Strange's finest solo moment.

"Qalbiga" - Aar Maanta

"Suicide City" - Doctors of Madness

"International Language" - Richard Strange