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Sunday 25 September 2011

Hello There!

Service is going to be a bit irregular for the next few weeks. I am moving house in a couple of days time and then next weekend I am off to Eastern Turkey and Southern Georgia for a fortnight with my old sparring partners Mister F and Lord Roper. No doubt much fun will be had by all.

I had intended to cram a few extra posts in this past week to tide you over the fallow period to come, but the marvellous folk at British Telecom decided to cut my telephone line and broadband off a week early for reasons best known to themselves. As a result I have not been able to upload any mp3s to share with you.

Still I am one hundred percent confident they will redeem themselves and get it all set up at the new place on the right day, so I will hopefully be able to squeeze a couple of posts in before I go off to traipse around Trabzon, bathe in Batumi and pontificate in the Pontic Alps.

Until then, here is a song about moving out.

And especially for my friends at BT, here are New Edition. All together now: "Mister Telephone Man, there's something wrong with my line, and its your fault you useless b**t**ds, dum dum dum de dum dum".

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Glorious Gnahore

The South Bank in London hosted a festival of African music last week, and on Sunday night we went along to see Dobet Gnahore perform in the smallest venue, the Purcell Rooms. It was a fantastic show and I am sure she will be playing somewhere bigger next time she is in London. She certainly deserves to, and if you get the chance to see her - go.

Born in Cote d'Ivoire but based in France since 1999, Dobet's music has a traditional African base with a few jazzy flourishes - fortunately just enough to make it interesting without tipping over into noodling. Visually very striking, her dancing is almost as entertaining as her singing. She was backed by a fine three piece band. I was particularly taken with Willy, the smiling drummer from Cameroon.

We were lucky enough to be in the front row so had an excellent view of proceedings. I took some photos, some of which came out reasonably well. If you are interested you can find them all over at Flickr.

There are hazards of being that close to the stage, however. During the encore I had a brief moment of panic when she appeared to be instructing us to join her on stage. Fortunately just as we were about to get up, four people next to us leapt up and launched into a clearly rehearsed and extremely energetic dance routine. I am not sure Mister F and I would have enhanced the experience with our random dad-dancing.

Enough rambling. Here are a couple of her songs. Hopefully after listening to them you will go off and buy some more.

"Palea" - Dobet Gnahore [from "Na Afriki", 2007]

"Evigne" - Dobet Gnahore (featuring Soum Bill) [from "Djekpa La You", 2010]

And here she is live in Dakar in 2008.

Saturday 17 September 2011

Achili Funk

A few weeks back I picked up a promo copy of a compilation CD called "Achili Funk: Gypsy Soul 1969-79" for £1 in the Crouch End Oxfam shop. I am not quite sure what I thought Gypsy Soul was going to be, but it probably wasn't this, which in the main Spanish rumba spiced up with the pop and disco sounds of that period. That isn't a criticism. There are some great Saturday night tunes on the album - these three for a start.

"Pares O Nones" - Los Marismeños

"Gol" - Trigal

"Baila Mi Ritmo" - Los Chunguitos

Also from Spain around that time, here is a group that started with the rumba, added some pop and disco sounds, and then took the rumba out again. It's Baccara!

Thursday 15 September 2011

Catching Up

It isn't a good idea to dismiss something or someone too quickly. Way back in 1989 I bought Cindy Lee Berryhill's "Naked Movie Star" album, played in a couple of times, didn't much care for it and got rid of it. Since then I never bothered keeping up with what she has done since.

Until a couple of weeks ago, when I found her 2007 album "Beloved Stranger" going for £1.50 in the sale at Rough Trade. At that price, and with the promise of guest slots from the likes of Dave Alvin and John Doe, I thought I would give it a go. And I'm very glad I did. It is an excellent album. Here are a couple of choice cuts.

"When Did Jesus Become A Republican?" - Cindy Lee Berryhill

"Beloved Stranger" - Cindy Lee Berryhill

I was sufficiently enthused to go back and reappraise "Naked Movie Star". I prefer the more recent stuff, but it is an awful lot better than I remember. Here is an oldie but goodie.

"Old Trombone Routine" - Cindy Lee Berryhill

And here she is in action a couple of years ago.

Wednesday 14 September 2011

It's Spooky O'Clock!

I was on the Eurostar coming back from Paris earlier this evening, laden down with newly acquired CDs from Mali, Guinea, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire and Benin, which you will no doubt be subjected to soon enough. It was about 8.50pm local time and this came up on the iPod shuffle (no it did, it really did). Spooky!

"Nine O'Clock In France" - Elk City

Here are some more "o'clock" songs, in numerical order.

"It's Five O'Clock" - Aphrodite's Child

"Six O'Clock News (Daytrotter Session)" - Lambchop

"Ten O'Clock" - Question Mark & The Mysterians

"12 O'Clock Whistle" - James McMurtry

"Thirteen O'Clock Flight to Psychedelphia" - Plato & The Philosophers

Shortly after that we went into the tunnel. Emerging on the other side I had to follow the example of Mr Tyrone Davis.

Saturday 10 September 2011

All Over The Place

Tomorrow morning I head off to Paris for a few days - mostly work, but I also hope to get a chance to visit all the African record shops between the Marcadet-Poissonniers and Chateau Rouge metro stops. You'll know soon enough if I do.

To tide you over until I return here are eight tracks that have only two things in common: they all featured back in the early days of this blog when it was a sad and lonely pursuit, and deserve another hearing; and they are not from round here.

"Betty Boom-Little Monster-Doggie And Peggie At The Witches Castle" - The (Saint Thomas) Pepper Smelter [Peru]

"Cachete A Cachete" - Los Amigos Invisibles [Venezuela]

"Ruidos En La Ciudad" - Los Monjes [Mexico]

"Sola Oka Dancer" - Stiger & Sister [Botswana]

"Hobusemang" - Vagilased [Estonia]

"Goodbye Teens" - Plavi Orkestar [Bosnia]

"Pidmanula" - Vopli Vidopliassova [Ukraine]

"Citron Girl" - Sadistic Mika Band [Japan]

As a special bonus, how about some brand new, top notch Indonesian pop. The excellent White Shoes & The Couples Company release their new album, "Album Vakansi", next week. From what I have heard of the album so far its a real winner - classic 60s pop meets the Cardigans and Camera Obscura. This is the lead off track.

"Senja Menggila" - White Shoes & The Couples Company

Here is one of their old videos from a few years ago.

And here are the normally sombre members of Plavi Orkestar letting their bad 1980s hair down back in 1985.

Thursday 8 September 2011

Pledge For Pierce

Later this month the great Irish troubadour Pierce Turner will be making an all too rare London appearance, at The Slaughtered Lamb in Clerkenwell. I would heartily recommend any London readers to try get down there. The tickets are a snip ar £7, but it is a tiny venue so you may want to book early to be on the safe side.

To give you an idea of the treats that might be in store, here are a couple of tracks from his 1994 live album, "Manana In Manhattan".

"The Sky And The Ground" - Pierce Turner

"Musha God Help Her" - Pierce Turner

As it happens, Pierce is currently raising money to finance a new album over at PledgeMusic. If you like what you have just heard, you should head over there and dip into your pockets. It would give you a warm glow from knowing you have helped to make the world a better place. And if a feeling of smug satisfaction wasn't sufficient, he is offering some great incentives for you to invest.

Pierce is a Wexford man. I have Wexford roots myself through my mother's side (the Sinnotts not the Gogginses), so I am naturally well-disposed to anything from the area. The Clancy Brothers, on the other hand, don't have a good word to say about the place.

Tuesday 6 September 2011

Boogaloo From Peru

The Vampi Soul label, home of many excellent reissues from Africa and Latin America, has put out "Gozalo", a four part series of CDs featuring 1960s Peruvian boogaloo and big band tunes. "Four volumes", I can hear you ask yourselves, "surely one would do?". Well, judging by the first volume - the only one I have heard so far - you would be wrong. Wrap your listening ears around these two gems.

"Push Push Push" - Charlie Palomares y Su Yuboney

"Baby Boogaloo" - Nilo Espinosa y Orquestra

It appears Ringo was not an enthusiast.

Sunday 4 September 2011

Soul On Sunday

We have some top quality 1970s soul for you today from Mr Garland Green. Best known for his 1969 hit "Jealous Kind Of Fella", he was never able to capitalise on it in terms of chart success but continued to make great music for many years.

Here are three selections from an excellent 24-track compilation called "The Very Best of Garland Green" that came out on Kent Records a few years back. It ought to be required listening for any soul fan.

"Just My Way Of Loving You" - Garland Green

"I've Quit Running The Streets" - Garland Green

"You Played On A Player" - Garland Green

According to his Wikipedia entry, earlier this year Garland signed a contract with CDS Records, a soul label based in California, to release a new album. While it would be great it that is true I don't know whether this is reliable. There is no mention of it on the CDS website. CDS have however just released the latest record by Carl Sims. Here is Carl in action.

Friday 2 September 2011

Esta's Back!

We have had a request from Mano in Maputo for some more hit tunes from Esta M. It has only been two weeks since we last featured Esta and normally I would spread things out a bit more, but as Mano is a man renowned throughout the length and breadth of Mozambique for his sophstication and good taste, I am going to make an exception in this case.

So here are a couple more Joe Shirimani productions from the erstwhile Queen of Tsonga Disco.

"Swikwembu" - Esta M

"Loss Matheka" - Esta M

As I discovered last time I posted Esta, there don't seem to be any clips of her performing on YouTube. So I did some lateral thinking. There is one other feisty female singer whose name begins in E and whose fans have been in touch with me recently to make some imaginative suggestions (some of which, if taken literally, are physically impossible).

It's The Mighty Elk of course!!! Here she is, doing what she does best. With Robert Palmer on handclaps, and lots of men with lots of hair.