Friday, 20 October 2017

Wizzz Into The Wekend

While browsing in the dustier corners of eMusic the other week I came across a series of compilations of vintage French psychedelia going under the collective name of "Wizzz". To be honest, most of it was utter drivel, but there were a few gems in there as well. Here are two of them.

"Toi Le Shazam" - Papy

"Maintenant Je Suis Un Voyou" - Bruno Leys

In other music news, I was down at the Sebright Arms a couple of nights ago enjoying the Nightingales and Ted Chippington who are doing a sort of Vindaloo Records reunion tour. Excellent overall, but there were two minor disappointments - Ted did a proper joke, and they didn't play the hit. I can never undo the memory of the first, but I can put the latter right now.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Junior Choice

Tonight we're going way, way back to way back when with Mr. Junior Wells.

"Messin' With The Kid" - Junior Wells

"The Things I Do For You" - Junior Wells

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Going Postal

One of the news stories in the UK that might have attracted more attention if the world was less demented than it is at the moment is the possibility of national strikes in the privatised postal service over jobs, pay and pensions. In a show of solidarity, here is our tribute to the humble but heroic postie; including, in the final selection, to the humble but heroic striking postie.

"Mr Postman" - Walter & The Beggars

"Thanks Mr Postman" - Bobby King with Orchestra

"Dreadlocks Postman" - Wayne Jarrett

"Nothing Was Delivered" - The Byrds

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Bebey, I Love You

Two classic tracks from the mighty Francis Bebey. Any attempt to describe them would be utterly futile.

"The Coffee Cola Song" - Francis Bebey

"Pygmy Divorce" - Francis Bebey

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Spacebombed!

I had a most enjoyable evening at the Barbican yesterday courtesy of the Spacebomb Revue - a one-off gig featuring an array of artists who have had their records released on Spacebomb Records and/or recorded in Spacebomb studios and/or produced by Spacebomb head honcho Matthew E. White.


Hosted by Mr. White, as was only right, the singers were rotated rapidly using the "if you don't like this one, there will be another one along in a minute" system. Fortunately I liked most of them, including some I had never heard of before such as Cocoon and Bedouine.

It helped that, musically, for most of the evening you could have been back in the 1970s. There was no shortage of Southern soul, louche funk and Laurel Canyon moments. Foxygen appeared to be going for the Lou Reed meets 'Discovery'-era ELO vibe. And as for Howard Ivans - while I'm not sure the world really needs a new Boz Scaggs, if it does then its him.

"Follow The Leader" - Foxygen

"Retreat" - Cocoon

"Skyline" - Bedouine

"Never Over You" - Natalie Prass

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Newness

We kick off October with a selection of some of the better freebies that I've received over the last couple of months. They are all from new albums that have either just been released or are just about to be. I've added the album title so you know what to look for when you decide you need to explore further.

"So True" - The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart (from "The Echo of Pleasure")

"Scene Here" - SISTERS (from "Wait Don't Wait")

"Ambulance" - Dylan Hicks (from "Ad Out")

"The Light Of Day" - Kacy & Clayton (from "The Siren's Song")

"The Moon's Detriment" - Shannon Lay (from "Living Water")

Another favourite recent freebie is "War Surplus" by Becky Warren. I was going to include it but then spotted that it first came out last year but is being promoted again. A good job too because I missed it first time round and I suspect many others may have done too. Here's a video clip:

Friday, 29 September 2017

Head to Head

Tonight's heavyweight DJ clash is between I Roy and Prince Jazzbo. On my card I make it a narrow points victory for I Roy - Jazzbo opens strongly but isn't as light on his feet and doesn't last the distance as well as his opponent.

"Straight to Prince Jazzbo's Head" - I Roy

"Straight to I Roy's Head" - Prince Jazzbo

Jazzbo accuses I Roy of being a mere U Roy impersonator. That is maybe a little harsh but, as good as tonight's two contenders are, I reckon U Roy could beat either of them with one hand tied behind his back. And as for his suits...

Sunday, 24 September 2017

A Little Bit Off The Top

Back in the late 1970s when I was a young paddler in the zeitgeist - gingerly dipping my toes into it rather that surfing atop it as I do so effortlessly now - there were two reggae albums that were 'must haves' for all us boys in the shallow end. One was "Two Sevens Clash" by Culture, and the other "Best Dressed Chicken In Town" by Dr. Alimantado.

"I Killed The Barber" has always been one of my favourites from the good Doctor's masterpiece. But it is only fairly recently that I finally heard the original track over which he meanders so magnificently. Here they are together.

"I Trim The Barber" - Jackie Edwards

"I Killed The Barber" - Dr. Alimantado

Friday, 22 September 2017

Murry and Mate

Yesterday evening was spent in an old church round the back of St. Pancras station listening a man effing and blinding away.

The man in question was John Murry, currently touring to promote his new album "A Short History of Decay". I am not quite sure how to describe his performance, but I'll settle on "charismatic". Certainly you can't take your eyes off him, even if his stage patter is largely incomprehensible. You should definitely go along to see him if you get the opportunity.

Support came from Nadine Khouri, a new name to me but worth a listen as well. She also has a new album out. It's called "The Salted Air" and that is where this track comes from.

"Silver and Lead" - John Murry

"Catapult" - Nadine Khouri

As is often the way, there was a reasonable sprinkling of twerps at the gig. One sat right behind us and insisted on bellowing along with all John Murry's songs in order to show off to his pals - which is fine on the raucous numbers, but less so when Mr M is dramatically re-enacting his heartbreaking heroin traumas.

And then there was another who kept asking if people knew "his friend", indie superstar producer John Parrish. I toyed with pretending I thought he meant Man Parrish, but in the end decided "what would be the point?".

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Have You Ever Seen The Wayne?

Some vintage reggae to brighten up your Sunday, courtesy of Wayne Wade, a man who should surely have his own tongue twister. "How much weight would Wayne Wade weigh if Wayne Wade would get weighed" perhaps?.

Both tracks come from his 1982 album, "Poor and Humble". All you Blue Mink fanatics out there will be intrigued and delighted by his cover of "Melting Pot", I am sure.

"She Don't Love Me" - Wayne Wade

"Melting Pot" - Wayne Wade

Two versions of "Melting Pot" in the same post may be a bit excessive - arguably one version is already excessive - so here are Blue Mink with their other hit for you.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Reunited

After the schlager slip-up last time out, normal service is resumed with a couple of tracks from a recent compilation on Strut Records called ‘Oté Maloya’ featuring vintage tunes from the island Réunion - more details here.

"P'tit Femme Mon Gate" - Cormoran Group

"Mele-Mele Pas Toue P'tit Pierre" - Hervé Imare

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Schlager Saturday

There was a bit of a misunderstanding in the pub last night, when Mister F and I were trying to impress a bunch of Germans by telling them about our love of schlager, only to discover that they weren't German after all and hadn't the faintest idea what we were on about.

I was thwarted then, but will not be thwarted now. Here are a couple of schlager standards, one vintage and one relatively recent.

"Pretty Belinda" - Bernd Spier

"The Boxer (Party Version)" - Musictramps

And to pre-empt the inevitable questions - No. Bernd Spier is not the German translation of Burning Spear. They are different people, as these clips clearly demonstrate.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The Man Maurity

The sun has made an unexpected reappearance in London today, which prompted me to set sail to the tropical regions of my record collection. I washed up on the shores of 1970s Brazil, where Ruy Maurity took me in. Watch out for some fine squeeze-box on "Xote do Amor".

"Sete Cavalheiros" - Ruy Maurity

"Xote do Amor" - Ruy Maurity

Those are pretty mellow tunes. But they are by no means the most mellow sounds to come out of Brazil in the mid 1970s.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Bonus Mabones

The original intention for this post was to bring you a selection of songs based on the "mabone" rhythm, which swept all before it in South Africa in the mid 1970s, and which was cheekily pilfered by Malcolm McLaren on "Double Dutch".

I brought in deep voiced country crooner Randy Travis to help me get the job done. Things started well when he dug out the West Nkosi hit from 1973 that started it all off. Then he dusted off the Mahotella Queens version from the following year.

And then he broke the bad news to me.

"Two Mabone" - West Nkosi

"Jive Mabone" - The Mahotella Queens

"You're Out Of My Bones" - Randy Travis

Monday, 28 August 2017

Scruntability

It's Carnival weekend here in London, so to mark the occasion here are a couple of vintage soca tunes from Irwin Reyes Johnson, better known as Scrunter. 'Woman On The Bass' features the most over the top use of the electronic tom since 'Ring My Bell', but don't let that put you off.

"Woman On The Bass" - Scrunter

"Sing In The Party" - Scrunter

For the purposes of comparison:

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Doctor's Orders

Here are half a dozen doctors for you. Most good, one bad, and one a worm. A personal highlight is "Dr. Thomas Chauke", an excellent tribute from one Tsonga music master to another, but they are all worth a listen. I even remembered to include the Mandaory Reggae Physician for you.

My sister Kate is a doctor and a general all round marvel, so this one is dedicated to her.

"Dr. Love" -  Bobby Sheen

"Doctor Worm" - They Might Be Giants

"Dr. Thomas Chauke" - General Muzka

"Doc Cunningham, 1868" - Bob Frank & John Murry

"Dr. Rodney" - Carl Dawkins

"Doctor Jon (The Medicine Man)" - Jon & Robin

Sunday, 20 August 2017

The Sunday Screech

I should know better by now. Experience should have told me that a double CD featuring music performed on "bicycle wheel, violin, saw, sarangi, voice and digital delays" was unlikely to be good. But I was intrigued and it was only 50p. Your Honour.

The CD in question is called "Freedom of the City 2002 - Small Groups" and features highlights from that year's free improvisation music festival in London. The performances are evenly divided between pretentious drivel and unlistenable squawking, so there is something for everyone.

The person playing the bicycle wheel with a bow is called Sylvia Hallett, and her set is actually one of the more bearable ones. See what you make of this little ditty.

"Violet Revisited" - Sylvia Hallett

I found myself wondering whether childhood trauma might lead people to want to make this sort of noise, and thought maybe Sylvia's parents could shed some light on the issue. So I got my friend Dr. Hook to ring up Mrs Hallett. This is his report.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Vive La France

There was a bit of an emotional breakthrough on these pages earlier this week when, commenting on the previous post, Charity Chic gave us a brief glimpse behind his Scottish Hard Man image and revealed he was partial to the girl groups of the 1960s. So let's see how he gets on with some French "ye ye" from around the same time, courtesy of the fabulous France Gall.

"Nous Ne Sommes Pas Des Anges" - France Gall

"Bonsoir John John" - France Gall

From John John, we move on seamlessly to Tom Tom. I had forgotten quite how dreary this was.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Mean Streets

Three little remembered girl group gems, from a compilation called "Boys Can Be Mean". We start with the title track.

"Boys Can Be Mean" - Sugar & The Spices

"Ain't That Love" - The Bouquets

"Here She Comes" - The Jelly Beans

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Glen Campbell RIP

Very sorry to hear the news that Glen Campbell passed away earlier today. It has been coming for a while, but is no less sad for that. Let's hope he has indeed gone to a better place. RIP Mr Campbell.

"A Better Place" - Glen Campbell

"About The Ocean" - Glen Campbell

"You Might As Well Smile" - Glen Campbell

Monday, 7 August 2017

Monday Morning Magic

Ease yourself itself the week with the smooth but funky sounds of veteran afro-jazz man and all round cool dude, Hugh Masekela. Both tracks are from his most recent album, "No Borders", which came out in 2015 and is his best for a while. 78 years old and he's still got it.

"Shango" - Hugh Masekela

"KwaZulu (featuring Themba Mokoena)" - Hugh Masekela

Friday, 4 August 2017

Pop in Penang, Part 2

We have had a request from George for some of the cover versions featured on the ace Malaysian 1970s compilation, "Kugirama - The Greatest Hots of Pop Band".

So here are Black Dog Bone demonstrating their mastery of both types of music - fast and slow - and Discovery with their squelchy version of "Gimme Litle Sign". As a special treat for you all, I've added Brenton Wood's incomparable original.

"Khayalan" - Black Dog Bone

"Hatiku Luka Lagi" - Black Dog Bone

"Berilah Ku Suata Tanda" - Discovery

"Gimme Little Sign" - Brenton Wood

In case you are struggling to place the Black Dog Bone tracks, here are a couple of subtle clues.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Pop in Penang, Bop in Borneo

More from Malaysia; specifically from a most enjoyable compilation of 1970s chart smashes called "Kugirama - The Greatest Hits of Pop Band". Strictly speaking that should be "bands" but let's not nit-pick.

A fair few of the tracks are Malaysian language cover versions of US/ UK hits of the day. The only one of them that varies from the original even slightly is Discovery's remake of Brenton Wood's "Gimme Little Sign", and if you ask very nicely I'll feature them both in a future post. Today, however, we have three tracks that are - as far as I can tell - authentic originals.

"Hey Hey Taxi" - Discovery

"Si Gadis Ayu" - Black Dog Bone

"Hanya Cinta" - Sweet September

Today's clip comes courtesy of the estimable abgcantik, who has uploaded a prodigious number of vintage Malaysian music videos to YouTube. I've not looked at more than a fraction, but I can't believe there are any others better than this. Thanks, abg!

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Doktrinal Days

Today we bring you the first of our slim pickings from Malaysia, bought purely on the basis of the cover:


As the eagle-eyed among you will spot, the album is "Masa Scarecrow" and the band is Doktrin Metos, which I am am advised is Malaysian for Metal Doctrine. Which gives you a pretty good idea of what you get - bog-standard metal of the era (1990) with a couple of less heavy tracks thrown in to show depth. It's not for me, but make your own minds up.

"Patahyna Sayap Malam" - Doktrin Metos

"Benar Atau Jelmaan" - Doktrin Metos

But whatever else might be said about Doktrin Metos, they are at least an improvement on the similarly named novelty band Doctor & The Medics.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Cavorting in Cameroon

Well, I'm back from my trip to Jakarta and assorted parts of Malaysia, and a great time was had by all. My visit to the Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak was curtailed by the arrival of torrential rain - I suppose the name of the festival should have been a clue - but I was taught how to use a blowpipe while there. I am sure that is a skill that will come in handy in the future.

Apart from the festival, the musical pickings were pretty slim. While admittedly I didn't scour every inch of Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur or George Town, I failed to find a single CD emporium in any of them. I had better luck in Kuching, where I managed to acquire a compilation of 1970s Malaysian pop plus what judging by the cover may be a concept album involving aliens. Let's hope so.

More of those anon. For now, let's get back in the saddle with some fun and frivolity from Cameroon. Both tracks come from a groovy compilation with the self-explanatory title of "Pop Makossa".

"Mussoliki" - Bernard Ntome

"Nen Lambo" - Bill Loko

As far as I know, "Mussoliki" is not a misspelt tribute to the former Italian dictator. We don't need that kind of thang.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Ring Rang A Dong Time

I'm heading off on my travels in a couple of days, back towards the end of the month. I'm looking forward to the trip - work in Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, and a couple of long weekends in Penang and Sarawak, with a visit to the Rainforest World Music Festival likely to be a highlight of the latter.

As usual, I'll leave you with a selection of tracks that were first featured here back in the pre-zeitgeist era of 2009. They aren't quite as exotic as some of the earlier selections but that is because the dredging is nearly done now. There are a few dodgy things that I couldn't bring myself to inflict on you twice - and I say that knowing that "Finnish Whistler" made the cut - but not much else.

See you soon, folks.

"Yho! Yho!" - Winston 'Mankunku' Nkosi

"She Don't Love Nobody" - Nick Lowe

"Cuckoo" - The Monks

"Strawberry Blonde" - Ron Sexsmith

"Fools" - Diane Birch

"Finnish Whistler" - Roger Whittaker

Monday, 3 July 2017

Mazhar and Moussa

A couple of slices of sunny, funky pop for you today. One from Turkey, one from Cote d'Ivoire, because that's how we do things round here.

"Bis Istersek" - Mazhar Fuat Özkan

"Black & White" - Moussa Doumbia

Which leads us inevitably to Greyhound. Those are some enormous microphones.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Jimmy Lafave R.I.P.

Some sad news to report. I found out a couple of days ago that the great Texan troubadour Jimmy Lafave died of cancer in late May.

I was lucky enough to see him play in London a couple of times three of four years back. He was very personable and he and his band knew how to put on a great show.


But the unforgettable thing about Jimmy was his incredible, emotive voice. There are very few singers, if any, who can more reliably bring a lump to my throat. R.I.P. Jimmy. It's not dark yet, but it's getting there.

"Home Once Again" - Jimmy Lafave

"I'll Remember You" - Jimmy Lafave

"Not Dark Yet" - Jimmy Lafave

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

For Goodness - Zakes

Later than intended due to unexplained Blogger problems, a couple of tunes from Durban-born songwriter, producer and performer Zakes Bantwini (or Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bantwini, as his friends call him).

Both are taken from his 2013 album, the extravagantly named "The Fake Book & Real Book: My Music Bible". Most of the album is a bit too mellow for my taste, but I like these two tracks - especially the "conscious soul" of "Marikana", about the massacre of striking mine workers by police in South Africa the previous year.

"Marikana" - Zakes Bantwini

"Ifumaya" - Zakes Bantwini (featuring J Martins)

Those of you who noticed the appallingly contrived title to this post will have worked out what is coming next, but possibly not which version. I can't find a single clip on YouTube of the Swinging Blue Jeans performing their signature tune live, so you are getting this instead.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Up Our Ali

To ease you into Saturday evening, here's a couple of tracks from smooth Pakistani popster, Ali Haider. Both are from his 2004 album "Tera Naam Liya To?". The first appears to have nicked a riff off George Michael's "Faith" while the second sounds like he has roped in Tom Petty or someone of that ilk, but don't let that put you off.

"Dildaar" - Ali Haider

"Hum Tumhein Bhool Ke" - Ali Haider

And as a bonus treat, here is Ali way back in 1998 looking remarkably fresh-faced performing his biggest hit.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

I've Got Good Genes

I regret to inform you that, while my brief visit to Kazakhstan has left me culturally enriched, it has also left me musically bereft. I have returned empty handed.

Never mind. Let's distract ourselves with some top notch tunes from assorted men called Gene.

"My Soul Is Black" - Gene Williams

"My Baby's Missing" - Gene Faith

"Rollin' Danny" - Gene Vincent

"Sign On The Dotted Line" - Gene Latter

"To Be A Lover" - Gene Chandler

"Pick The Wildwood Flower" - Gene Watson

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Songs of Strength and Stability

That Theresa May, eh? Blimey! Right now I bet she wishes she could go back to her carefree youth when the only thing she had to worry about was whether the farmer would catch her and her friends naughtily running through his wheat fields.

"Wheatfield Lady" - John Stewart

"Madman Running Through The Fields" - Dantalion's Chariot

"Fox On The Run" - Manfred Mann

Speaking of strong and stable government, I'm off to Kazakhstan in a couple of days and their President Nazarbayev seems to have cracked it as he is currently in the 26th year of his benign and wise reign. I'll be back in a week or so hopefully laden down with electric dombra freakout CDs to share with you. In the meantime, here's a word from Mrs May's nemesis.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Scrubbing Up Nicely

Wednesday is washing day in the Goggins household. Here's a couple of tunes Old Ma Goggins likes to hum along to as she squeezes my smalls through her mangle.

"Down At The Laundromat" - Black Randy

"Song Of Doing Laundry" -  Caidanzhuoma

The second track is Chinese, which makes it a sort of response song to George Formby's "Chinese Laundry Blues". I was going to add that but decided there is no room for innuendo and double entendre here - isn't that right, Black Randy (and, indeed, Old Ma Goggins)?

So instead here is a wholesome song about a young man who likes to wash his clothes in the traditional age old manner.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

New To Me

As a taste-maker and surfer of the proverbial zeitgeist, I am lucky enough to get sent loads of new music without having to go looking for it. And some good albums have come my over the last few months.

Some are reissues - I can't believe that any of you haven't already got "Two Sevens Clash" by Culture, but if you haven't you should invest in the new 40th anniversary edition. Some are new albums by familiar names, like Woods and Sera Cahoone. And some are by folks I would never heard of if they hadn't been good enough to get in touch. Here are a few choice selections from that last category.

"Sleepwalker" - Andrew Combs (from "Canyons Of My Mind")

"Problems" - Rev. Sekou (from "In Times Like These")

"Way Down In My Soul" - Zephaniah OHora with the 18 Wheelers (from "This Highway")

"Kingston-Rhinecliff" - Eerie Gaits (from "Bridge Music")

 As far as I know, the Andrew Combs album was NOT directly inspired by this 1960s classic. Which is a shame in a way.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

The Biggest In All Benin

I had an excellent evening yesterday, being entertained by the artistes formerly known as Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou (now rebranded as Le Tout-Puissant Orchestre Poly-Rythmo).

There were ten of them on stage, and judging by their ages I would guess about half of them were from the original 1970s line-up and the rest were recruited when they reformed in 2009. The infusion of relatively new blood has certainly paid off, as they were decidedly sprightly and funky.


The lads are touring to promote their new album, "Madjafalao". They played most of it last night and, judging by their performance, it is well worth getting hold of. Until you do, though, here are a couple of old favourites to tide you over.

"Se Tche We Djo Mon"  - Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou 

"Zizi" - Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou 

Monday, 29 May 2017

Big in Bohemia

Checking the blog today I found in the comments under my most recent post the following message from a George: "Never mind this, we need more German cover versions of Carole Bayer Sager songs".

I can't quite decide whether or not he is being sarcastic. If he is, then he deserves what is about to follow. If he isn't, he might actually enjoy it. It is some vintage Czech AOR courtesy of Michal Prokop & Framus Five. The first track is taken from their 1980 album "Holubi Dante" (which if Google Translate is to be believed means "Pigeon Dante"); the second was a single the previous year. Close your eyes and you can almost see the yachts on Černé Jezero.

"Noc Je Dlouha" - Michal Prokop & Framus Five

"Vlasy" - Michal Prokop & Framus Five
   
Today's clip is by way of a tribute to one of my childhood heroes, whose death was announced earlier today. John Noakes RIP.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Big In Bamenda

We have had some glorious weather in London over the last few days so, in keeping with the mood, here is some sunny music from a sunny place - Cameroon, to be precise.

"Nyam Ndolo" - Ndedi Dibango

"Douala By Night" - J.M. Tim & Foty

Hopefully the sun will continue to shine on the righteous at Wembley this afternoon. I'll be there keeping an eye on proceedings.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Ulle, Ulle, What's Going On Here, Then?

It's Wednesday, which means it must be "1970s Hits Reworked Only Partially Successfully In The 1980s By Moody Germans" Night. This week: Ulle Meinecke

"Heute Ziehst Du Aus" - Ulle Meinecke

"50 Tips" - Ulle Meinecke

This video of Ulle in action from 1983 is wonderfully evocative of its time. The bloke in the mustard coloured trousers steals the show.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Single Song Sunday

We haven't done one of these for a while, but we're back with a bang. A smooth and subdued bang, admittedly, but a bang nonetheless.

"Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" is one of the many fine songs written by John D. Loudermilk. It was first recorded in 1962 by one Don Cherry - judging by the rather decidedly square sound, I'm guessing not the trumpet tootling jazz improvising father of Neneh and Eagle-Eye of the same name. But it wasn't a hit until The Casinos took it into the Top 10 in the US in 1967. Eddy Arnold then had a number one country hit with it the following year.

We kick things off with those three for form's sake, but they are probably my three least favourite versions out of today's selection. The possible exception is the version by The Puddle. They are from New Zealand, this track is from an album released on Flying Nun Records called "No Love - No Hate", and I can't work out which of those best describes my feelings.

The other six versions (technically five and a half as Glen Campbell does it as part of a medley) are all excellent though. If forced to choose only one I would probably go for Bettye Swann, narrowly ahead of Barbara Lynn and Solomon Burke, but Gene & Debbe's pop-country crooning is a pleasant surprise. The Mandatory Reggae Version comes courtesy of Gene Rondo, who in a further case of identity confusion is presumably not Debbe's partner.

"Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" - Don Cherry

"Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" - The Casinos

"Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" - Eddy Arnold

"Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" - Bettye Swann

"Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" - Barbara Lynn

"Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" - The Puddle

"Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" - Solomon Burke

"Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" - Gene & Debbe

"Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" - Gene Rondo

"Don't Pull Your Love/ Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" - Glen Campbell
    
And here is another very nice rendition to finish things off.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Sound of the Underground

Vintage soul fans out there might want to check out a series of compilation albums called "Underground Oldies". Originally issued 15 to 20 years ago, they are now available on the likes of Amazon and eMusic. There are at least ten volumes for you to work through, maybe more.

As the name of the series suggests, the focus is on rare and hard to find singles from the 1960s and 1970s. It is not wilfully obscure - they feature plenty of artists you might have heard of, like Gene Chandler and Billy Stewart, doing songs you probably won't remember - but of course it does include its fair share of one or no hit wonders. Like these three.

"Oh My Love, Sweet Love" - The Hill Sisters

"Ooh I Love You" - The Electrifying Cashmeres

"(Lord) Send Me Somebody" - The Green Berets

"(Lord) Send Me Somebody" got the Green Berets to No. 31 in the Billboard charts in 1969. Shortly thereafter - with a certain grim inevitability - half the members of the group got drafted, and that was effectively the end of their career. Whether any of them ended up joining their namesakes I don't honestly know, but if they did you can be sure they will have done Uncle Sam proud.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Gallons of Gargling

I was in the Isle of Man last week for work, but had a bit of spare time to see the sights of Douglas. That didn't take long, so I popped into an excellent old school ramshackle charity shop - Manx Mencap in case you're in the area - and happily browsed their wonderfully odd selection of books and CDs instead.

My prize acquisition was "50 Jahre Jodlerklub Bärgfriede, Gstaad". Released in 1993, as the title says it was recorded to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the aforementioned Jodlerklub. The lads - and they are all lads - had to trek over to far distant Oberbottigen to record it, but it was well worth the effort.

Half of the tracks are instrumental versions of what I assume are Swiss folk tunes, performed by the club's stalwart band, which comprises three accordion players, two clarinettists and a man on the double bass. The other half of the record is devoted to choral yodelling. It is an acquired taste, and I think I am unlikely to acquire it, but it is probably the most peculiar sound I've heard since I got that Mongolian throat-singing pop album - a track from which I have included for comparison's sake.

"Staldejutz" - Jodlerklub Bärgfriede

"Four Mountains" - N. Naranbadrakh

If you are a yodelling fan - and who isn't? - then like me I am sure you were cheering on the Romanian entry in yesterday's Eurovision Song Contest. I find it frankly inexplicable that it didn't sweep to victory.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Av Böcker Och Skor

The erudite amongst you will have worked out immediately that the title of today's post is Swedish for "Of Books and Shoes" (sincere apologies to The Swede if that is not in fact the case - blame Google Translate).

And that in turn will probably lead you to think that you are going to be treated to some fine vintage Swedish psychedelia courtesy of Gothenburg's finest, The Tages.

Look, you were right!

"I Read You Like An Open Book" - The Tages

"I Left My Shoes At Home" - The Tages

Given the title of the first track, this seemed singularly appropriate for today's clip.



Oh all right then, here's the other one as well.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

The Magnificent Seven

We have a fine selection of cowboy-related reggae for you tonight. We start with The Duke, then Messrs Peck and Cotton recreate their duel in the sun, before we head into the Eastwood section and round things up with one of the most memorable theme tunes ever made.

"Call The Police" - John Wayne

"Poco Man Jam" - Gregory Peck

"No Touch The Style" - Joseph Cotton

"Stop That Train" - Clint Eastwood & General Saint

"Tax Me" - Josey Wales

"Van Cleef" - King Stitt

"Bonanza" - Winston Wright

And representing the opposition...

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

What The Fussell Is About

Earlier in the week I ventured up to darkest Dalston to see the exotically named Jake Xerxes Fussell at the hipster hangout that is Cafe Oto. Physically he definitely looks more like a Jake than a Xerxes, as I feel this photo shows.


Musically he specialises mostly in what our American friends might call "old-timey" music, but he does it in a very sprightly and appealing way. His new album, "What in the Natural World", is well worth getting hold of. This track is actually from his self-titled debut album and was one of the highlights of his performance; as was a very nice rendition of Allen Toussaint's "Freedom for the Stallion". Nobody does that quite like Mr Dorsey though.

"Pork And Beans" - Jake Xerxes Fussell

"Freedom For The Stallion" - Lee Dorsey

Today's clip is dedicated to the peculiar Emo Phillips/ Freddie Garrity hybrid who kept trying to block Mister F's view of the support act. It is a marvellous video but - and I can't emphasise this enough - it is for research only.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Awake In Accra

Some groovy Ghanaian sounds for you tonight. Both tracks from a compilation titled "Ghana Awake Volume 1", which came out in 2011.

I haven't been able to establish whether any further volumes were ever issued - maybe it wasn't necessary if this one succeeded in getting them all up and about in Accra and out of bed in Bolgatanga.

"Konka" - Rex Omar

"Ti Dimang Be Yoli" - Ibrahim Ramatu

Also from Ghana, the delightful Daddy Lumba...

Friday, 28 April 2017

Missing Merle

It is a little over a year ago that Merle Haggard left us. And it is little over 24 hours ago I acquired one of his little remembered mid-1980s albums in a record shop (possibly the only record shop) on Jersey - 1986's "A Friend in California".

It is not absolute vintage Merle by any means, but anything with that magnificent voice on it is always going to be worth a listen. So this post is a slightly belated "one year on" dedication to the great man. And the second track is also dedicated to everyone who is being missed an awful lot at the moment - like my friend Tracy's Mum and Charity Chic's Grandpa Jim - and to everyone doing the missing.

"The Okie From Muskogee's Comin' Home" - Merle Haggard

"This Time I Really Do" - Merle Haggard

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Big In Benin

Big in Benin, and Particularly Prominent in Parakou. Some vintage African funky jumpy stuff to get you into gear on a Sunday morning, courtesy of Orchestre Super Borgou de Parakou.

"Bori Yo Se Mon Baani" - Orchestre Super Borgou de Parakou

"Gandigui" - Orchestre Super Borgou de Parakou

Here's another orchestra that was quite popular in the 1970s.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Drive Carefully

Some excellent advice here from Little Village, sadly being ignored by the boys of NRBQ.

"Don't Think About Her When You're Trying To Drive" - Little Village

"Ridin' In My Car" - NRBQ

Here is another reminder of the importance of remaining focused while driving. It is really rather creepy.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Easing Into Easter

Apologies for being a bit irregular of late, but I've been travelling for work quite a lot. Now, for a break from all that travelling, I'm about to go on holiday. As usual, we'll fill the gap with a bumper selection of tunes first featured here back in 2009, when it was just me and the tumbleweeds.

"Boom Boom Mancini" - Warren Zevon

"Walking And Talking" - R. Black & The Rockin' V's

"Psychedelphia" - Mary Jane Hooper

"Capitalism Gone Mad" - Mighty Sparrow

"Finder Finder" - Loaf Boy

"Give Me All Your Clothes" - Microdisney

"El Baul De Los Recuerdos" - Karina

"This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)" - Shawn Colvin

Normally when we do these pre-holiday posts I finish off with a clip of DJ Sven and MC Miker G. But they cropped up a couple of weeks ago after I heard that a "famous Dutch DJ" had discovered Tsonga Disco. So instead here is something that is arguably even better. Have fun, see you in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

A Garland For Garland

I went to my gig of the year to date last night. After stopping for a pint in a sports bar that our resident punk historian (Mister F) told me used to be the Nashville Rooms, we ventured a few hundred yards further into the badlands of West Kensington. There we found an unobtrusive doorway next to the Sainsbury Extra, and in we went.

Upstairs was a great little venue called Nell's Jazz and Blues, and on stage - once they had made him some temporary stairs - was a great little performer, the utterly magnificent Garland Jeffreys.


Mr Jeffreys and his excellent band are over here promoting his new album, "14 Steps to Harlem", which comes out at the end of April. The man himself reckons it is his best album since "Ghost Writer" way back in 1977. Judging by the tracks from it that he played last night, he may well be right.

I suggest you rush out and buy it as soon as it becomes available. To keep you are going until then here are a couple of old favourites and - because I'm in a good mood - a bonus, unrelated Garland.

"Wild In The Streets" - Garland Jeffreys

"New York Skyline" - Garland Jeffreys

"It Rained Forty Days And Nights" - Garland Green

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Madlaks Returns

Newer readers may glance up at the strapline at the top of the page and wonder, what is "Bringing Tsonga Disco to the Masses" meant to mean? The veterans among you will know that when I started this blog eight years or so ago, it was specifically to share my love for the dance music of the Tsonga (or Shangaan) people of South Africa and Mozambique.

Most of the time the masses have been largely indifferent - and we have long since strayed from the purity of the original mission - but every now and then their interest gets piqued. In our own small way we have helped the likes of Awesome Tapes From Africa and DJ LeBlanc spread the good word to their hip and happening audiences.

And it appears the masses are having another burst of enthusiasm. The other evening I logged on and found three emails asking for help in tracking down music by Madlaks. According to one of them a "famous Dutch DJ" had been playing "Jikavonunu", they had fallen for it as I did, and their search had led them to me.

I was particularly pleased to learn that Madlaks and his "Ndlho Ndlho" album is getting more recognition, as that was the record that first made me fall for Tsonga disco. To celebrate, here's a couple of tracks from the album that we haven't featured before.

"Angaharikona" - Madlaks

"Misavaseyiherile" - Madlaks

PS I was very disappointed to learn in a later email from the same correspondent that the famous Dutch DJ was someone called Young Marco and not, as I had hoped, DJ Sven. He's still the king!

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Sweet Mother

Today is Mothering Sunday (a.k.a. Mother's Day) here in the UK, so this is for all you marvellous mothers out there. Especially Old Mother Goggins, the cream of the crop.

"Sweet Mother" - Prince Nico Mbarga

"Singing A Song For My Mother" - Hamilton Bohannon

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Chilala Land

I spent 48 hours in Lusaka last week. Needless to say, I didn't get to see very much of the place, but the locals were lovely - including this fellow I met during a brief visit to a game reserve near the airport - and hopefully there will be chance to go back to Zambia again and have a proper look around.


I didn't have the chance to go searching for sounds in central Lusaka, but I did pop into the small music shop in the arcade across the road from where I was staying. They didn't have a great selection - mostly gospel and Western pop - but I managed to find a couple of CDs that looked worth a try.

The first was "Mukachita Shani", the 2012 album by Brian Chilala. I don't know much about Brian but, if the website musicinafrica.net is to be believed, he is a former protege of Zamrock pioneer Paul Ngozi, who has featured here before. Not that Paul's influence is particularly obvious on this album.

"Kuli Zii" - Brian Chilala

"Ulupwa" - Brian Chilala


Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Chuck Berry RIP

There is not much point in me burbling on about Mr Berry and his extraordinary contribution to popular music, I'm not going to tell you anything you don't know already. So here's a handful of his marvellous tunes - five covers, one original. RIP Chuck.

"Brown Eyed Handsome Man" - Buddy Holly & The Crickets

"You Never Can Tell" - Emmylou Harris

"The Promised Land" - Johnnie Allen

"Johnny B. Goode" - Peter Tosh

"Maybellene" - Johnny Hallyday

"Tulane" - Chuck Berry

Thursday, 16 March 2017

A Question Of Toughness

On the face of it, Robert Wyatt may seem to be the odd one out. But it is him who provides our unifying theme: "If it's tough you want, then it's tough you got".

"Cry Tough" - Johnny Clarke

"Tired Of This Life I'm Living" - Tony Tuff

"I'm The Toughest" - Peter Tosh

"Team Spirit" - Robert Wyatt

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Large in Lusaka

Later today I'm off to Zambia for a few days' work. It will be my first visit, and I'm looking forward to it. I'm not going to be there long enough to get beyond Lusaka, but maybe there'll be a next time.

I don't have much Zambian music in my collection, so hopefully there will be a chance to put that right while I'm there. In the meantime, here are a couple of groovy tunes from the 'Zamrock' scene of the 1970s. The first one is particularly appropriate today.

"Sunday Morning" - Amanaz

"My Ancestors" - Chrissy 'Zebby' Tembo & Ngozi Family

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Who Was That Masked Man?

It shouldn't take you too long to work out the identity of today's mystery guest.

"Fish Tea" - Lone Ranger

"The Lone Ranger" - George Jones

"I Don't Want To Be A Lone Ranger" - Johnny 'Guitar' Watson

Monday, 6 March 2017

In Which The Facade Crumbles

Over the years I have been doing this blog, I have carefully cultivated an image of being a hip and happening guy with his finger on the pulse of whatever musical scene is about to burst forth - a surfer of the zeitgeist, if you will.

Sadly, I must reveal that has all been a facade. I am in fact a middle-aged man with an alarming weakness for Gilbert O'Sullivan. I went to see the Great Man last night on his 50th anniversary tour, and while not without the occasional moment of naffness - it was Gilbert, after all - he put on an excellent show. His leap onto the keyboard to conduct the communal singing on "Get Down" was surprisingly sprightly for a man of 70.


Here are a couple of personal early favourites of his, followed by a video of him performing his neglected 1980s funk standard, "So What". Herbie Hancock, eat your heart out.

"Houdini Said" - Gilbert O'Sullivan

"We Will" - Gilbert O'Sullivan

Saturday, 4 March 2017

The Story of Bitori

If you want the full story of Bitori you will need to go to elsewhere - I'll give you a clue, it's here. In brief, Bitori is an accordion player from the Cape Verde islands. He is a master of "funana", a musical style which has been around forever but was frowned on by polite society in Praia as being a bit common. The upshot was that, despite being a popular live act for decades, he didn't have a chance to record until the late 1990s by which time he was nearly 60.

Him and his band are still going strong - in fact, I'm hoping to see them at a festival in July - and those 1990s recordings were re-released on a CD called "Legend of Funana". Here are a couple of samples.

"Munana" - Bitori

"Natalia" - Bitori

Here's another Natalia for you. At least I assume it isn't the same Natalia.
 

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Anti War Songs

A couple of heartfelt pacifist cries for you today. It's perhaps a little hard to believe that the first was a number one hit in the US in 1960. But it's even harder to believe that it made the top ten in the R&B charts. R&B? Really? Anyway, personally I prefer the off-beat charm of the unholy mess that is the "cover version" by John Lennon's favourite doper, David Peel.

"Mr Custer" - Larry Verne

"Hey Mr Draftboard" - David Peel & The Lower East Side

I am no stranger to the pacifist cause myself. Back in my student days in the early 1980s - the last time that nuclear armageddon seemed like a realistic possibility - some friends and I went up to London to join a CND march. We were encouraged to sing anti-war songs, but then severely reprimanded by one of the more po-faced organisers when we started belting out the chorus to this one.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Maggie Roche RIP

I found out today that Maggie Roche sadly died last month. As a belated tribute, here are a few of her finest moments.

"Hammond Song" - The Roches

"Losing True" - The Roches

"You're The One" - The Roches

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Chucky P

Mister F and I were back at The Garage last night, a couple of weeks after the James McMurtry show. No free beer from the support act this time, but that is only a minor quibble when you have the ever excellent Chuck Prophet headlining.


Chuck and The Mission Express played a lot of stuff from their new album "Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins". I have not had a chance to listen to it yet, but judging by last night's performance it is well up to their recent high standards, and sounds decidedly rocking. Here, by contrast, are a couple of mellower numbers from much earlier in Chuck's career.

"Longshot Lullaby" - Chuck Prophet (from "Feast of Hearts", 1995)

"110º In The Shade" - Chuck Prophet (from "Balinese Dancer", 1992)

And, of course, they did this one, as they always do. Fortunately.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Fabulous Friday

It's Friday. It's Fabulous. Who beter to take us in the weekend than the Fabulous McClevertys?

"Landlady Want De Rent" - The Fabulous McClevertys

"Don't Blame It On Elvis" - The Fabulous McClevertys

And here is Elvis, behaving blamelessly.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Single Song Sunday

It has been a while since we've done a Single Song Sunday, and I thought we should put that right. I also thought we should spread a bit of soppiness to soften you lot up in time for Valentine's Day.

So we have gone for "Let It Be Me", or "Je t'appartiens" as it was called when Gilbert Becaud wrote and recorded in back in 1955. The first English version was recorded in 1957, but it took the Everly Brothers in 1960 to popularise the song in the US and the rest of the English speaking world. Four years later, Jerry Butler and Betty Everett had an even bigger hit with it, at least in the US.

Since then the world and his wife have had a go. Versions that did not make the cut include Elvis, Willie Nelson and Nina Simone, among many many others. But we do have Bob Dylan, from his experimental "let's try to sing properly" period. We also have the marginally less well known Doreen Shaffer, helping out on the Mandatory Reggae Version. And we have possibly the finest Czech version you will ever hear.

"Je t'appartiens" - Gilbert Becaud

"Let It Be Me" - The Everly Brothers

"Let It Be Me" - Betty Everett & Jerry Butler

"Let It Be Me" - Bob Dylan

"Let It Be Me" - Percy Sledge

"Let It Be Me" - Rosie Thomas & Ed Harcourt

"Let It Be Me" - Johnny Clarke & Doreen Shaffer

"Kéž Jsem To Já" - Karel Gott & Jitka Zelenkova

For such a frequently recorded song, there are remarkably few live performances on YouTube. But I did come across this little treat.

Friday, 10 February 2017

The Mighty McMurtry

On Wednesday, Mister F and I greatly enjoyed seeing the mighty James McMurtry, who is in the UK for the first time in quite a few years. I think the last time he was over may have been the tour that got captured on his "Live in Europe" album - listen carefully, and you can hear the two of us screaming girlishly in excitement on some of the tracks.


Mr McMurtry is at his best when singing his first person short stories about everyday life and losers in the middle of America. Here are three of my favourites. He played the first two the other night, but not "We Can't Make It Here" - maybe he feels the narrator of that particular song sounds a little too Trumpian these days.

"Choctaw Bingo" - James McMurtry

"Just Us Kids" - James McMurtry

"We Can't Make It Here" - James McMurtry

While we are here, I should pay due tribute to the support band, Alice Drinks The Kool Aid. Musically they were perfectly fine, if not really my cup of tea. I mention them because the singer runs the Lagunitas Brewing Company in Chicago, and he brought along a consignment of beer for us to sample. Very nice it was too - it certainly showed the local hipster effort to be the pale ale imitation that it is - but best of all it was free. So for that reason, I am voting them the best support band ever!


Get well soon, Chas.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Street Sounds

The other day I was strolling down my street when I spied an abandoned mud-caked CD lying on the pavement. Being a kind-hearted soul, I picked it up and took it home to get dried out and cleaned up.

It turned out to be the album "Don't Forget" by Italian jazz dude Tommaso Starace and his Quartet. It's probably perfectly OK if you like that sort of thing, but I have an allergic reaction to jazz. This track is the only one I was able to get through to the end of.

Fortunately, salvation was at hand in the form of the very next track listed on my iTunes. Let us all be thankful for the divine Ms Tommie Young - she came just in time.

"Divieto Di Sosta" -  Tommaso Starace Quartet

"You Came Just In Time" - Tommie Young

 And here is another Tommy to round things off.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

When John Met Sandra

Some good old-fashioned toasting, courtesy of Trinity. Both tracks from his 1977 LP "Three Piece Suit". When you listen to the Sandra song, the reason for today's clip will become obvious.

"John Saw Them Coming" - Trinity

"Ride On Sandra" - Trinity

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Tales Of Yesterday

Yesterday I went to a belated end of year works lunch at an excellent Peruvian restaurant called Andina in trendy Shoreditch. The food was great, but it was almost worth the money for the decor in the back room alone. It consisted of a large collection of vintage Peruvian albums and singles. I was seriously tempted to nick a few of them.

Amongst the acts on display were the leading lights of the Peruvian psychedelic movement, Traffic Sound. And here they are.

"White Deal/ Poco/ Big Deal" - Traffic Sound

"Tibet's Suzettes" - Traffic Sound

Then in the evening I met up with some old pals to go and see the Rezillos, who are still going strong after forty years or so.Very good they were too. They played all the hits of course - one of which is below - but for me the highlight of the evening was their raucous version of an old Scottish standard, featuring Eugene Reynolds on honking saxophone. So we'll kick off the clips with the original hit version of the aforementioned standard.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Scots Woo-Hoo

This one is for our Caledonian readers (you know who you are) - a little Burns Night special. Three from the Bard himself, and one modern equivalent. The Michael Marra performance makes even a stone-hearted sassenach like me a bit damp-eyed. Goodness knows what it does to you lot.

"Green Grow The Rashes" - Michael Marra

"Now Westlin Winds" - Dick Gaughan

"Ay Waukin O" - Christine Sparks

"The Sadness In Your Life Will Slowly Fade" - Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat

Not strictly Burns, but I could not let the occasion pass without sharing my all time favourite Scottish hip hop fusion classic.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Some Proper Music At Last

You can thank Regular Reader George for today's post. Or blame him. As you see fit.

Last time out I posted a clip of Paul Nicholas performing his popular 1975 hit "Reggae Like It Used To Be". George got in touch to express the trenchant and hard-hitting view that is was "not his best". Having taken a while to recover from the discovery that anyone could care enough to comment on a Paul Nicholas video, I decided I agreed with him.

We may, however, disagree on what Paul's best was. Judging by the rest of his comments, I think George would plump for "Grandma's Party", whereas I am very much a "Dancing With The Captain" man. Have a listen to them both, and make your own mind up.

"Grandma's Party" - Paul Nicholas

"Dancing With The Captain" - Paul Nicholas

Of course, back in the mid-1970s when Paul was at the height of his popularity, we were all dancing with the Captain. And with his lovely partner, Tennille.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

When Rai Met Reggae

Back in 2001, some bright spark had the idea of getting some rai and reggae artists together to collaborate. They managed to get some pretty big names involved - the likes of Khaled, Gregory Isaacs and Sly & Robbie - and the upshot was an album called "Big Men".

Unfortunately the results are not as entertaining as they would think they could have been. This could be because - from what I can gather from the sleeve notes - the Algerians did their bits in Paris then sent them over to Kingston for the Jamaicans to add to (and vice versa). Still, it has its moments.

"Life" - Larbi Dida & U Roy

"A Love I Can Feel" - Tarik & Chevelle Franklin

As far as I know the experiment wasn't repeated, so nobody had to work out what name to give to an exciting new "genre". Rai-Reggae? Reggae-Rai? Rai-ggae? I have no idea what to call it, but I do know that its not reggae like it used to be.

Friday, 13 January 2017

The Czechs In The Post

Some highlights from an excellent compilation with a terrible name for you today. "Czech Up! (Volume 1)" brings together some top notch pop tunes from 1960s and 1970s Czechoslovakia, as it was then, all of which were originally released on the famous Supraphon label.

The first three tracks are from "Czech Up!", including that by possibly the best pop group in Czech history, the Golden Kids (Marta Kubisova, Vaclav Neckar and Helena Vondrakova) - they only lasted 18 months before Marta was banned for being critical of the regime and they had to disband, but they made some great records in that time. I've added as a special treat one of Vaclav's solo singles - it is not on the CD, but has been scientifically proven to be one of my favourite pop songs ever.

"Nikdy Nebudu Tvá" - Atlantis

"Ve Světle Petrolejky" - Mahogan

"Nestůj A Pojď (U Nás Máme Mejdan)" - Golden Kids

"Papagallo Baby" - Vaclav Neckar

Here are the Kids at their most golden. With lions and fire and everything.

Monday, 9 January 2017

More Tsonga

After the rapturous reception for the return of Tsonga disco last time out - well, George liked it - here are a couple more I've been sitting on. Please welcome Lucy Shivambu and bad boy Benny Mayengani, with tracks from their respective 2014 albums, "Wa Mina Hi Wihi?" and "Vayuda"

"Ulo Tolovela" - Lucy Shivambu

"Monate" - Benny Mayengani

Here's a song about another Benny. I like the song, but you do wonder what on earth it was doing on "Soul Train".



That was OK, but my favourite Elton performance of that song comes midway through this clip from Saturday Night Live.
 

Thursday, 5 January 2017

The Tsonga Tsar

It has been months since we've had any Tsonga disco here. To be honest, I'm not sure the masses have noticed, but I am sufficiently concerned about getting done under the Trade Descriptions Act that I feel the need to put it right.

So here is a gentleman we've not featured here previously, Tsar Makamu - known as Robert to his dear old Mum - with admirable support from the Shilawuli Sisters. Both tracks come from his 2011 album "Rulani na Tsakani". Patson Chauke is at the controls, which is usually a good sign - and so it proves to be.

"Xihlovu Sa Le Mahweni" - Tsar Makamu & Shilawuli Sisters

"Vat E'n Set" -  Tsar Makamu & Shilawuli Sisters

And who was the Tsar's most deadly enemy? Why, Rasputin, of course.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Daisy Chain

You can see how this works. I may or may not try and turn this into a regular feature, who can tell.

Whether or not I do, you really need to listen to the Butterflies' track. As well as being a magnificent slice of South African soul, it is - to my knowledge - the only song dedicated to a woman called Petunia. And possibly the only one in which the singer describes the woman he loves as a "shareholder".

"You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve" - Johnny Boy

"Johnny Boy" - The Butterflies

"Drowning Butterflies" - Cleaners From Venus

Now, from there you can either go "Cleaners" or "Venus". I know my preference, but I'll let you decide.