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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.