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Monday 31 December 2018

Celebration Time

It is a season full of celebrations for the Goggins family. Yesterday my dear old Dad turned 80, tomorrow my dear old Mum will do the same. In between we have the comparatively unimportant matter of New Year's Eve.

I don't understand the lyrics of the first song, but have rashly assumed that Asha Bhosle and R.D. Burman are strongly in favour of Daddy and Mummy. Let's hope so, anyway, because I am. Happy birthday to the best parents a boy could ask for.

"Hum Tum Daddy Mummy" - Asha Bhosle & R.D. Burman

"Another New Year's Eve" - Andy Ferrell

Today's video features a particular favourite of my Dad's (and is pretty much guaranteed to make my sisters blub).

Friday 28 December 2018

Lest We Forget (2)

This is the second and final part of our inadequate tribute to just a few of the many fine performers that we lost this year. Let's hear it for: Hugh Masekela (23 January, aged 78); Mark E Smith (24 January, aged 60); Big Tom McBride (17 April, aged 81); Bob Dorough (23 April, aged 94); Rachid Taha (12 September, aged 59) and Tony Joe White (24 October, aged 75).

"African Secret Society" - Hugh Masekela

"Oh Brother" - The Fall

"My World's Come Down" - Big Tom & The Mainliners

"Three Is A Magic Number" - Bob Dorough

"Foqt Foqt" - Rachid Taha

"For Ol' Times Sake" - Tony Joe White

We'll close with performances from a couple of the finest Charles's ever to grace a stage: Messrs Aznavour (1 October, aged 94) and Hodges (22 September, aged 74).

Thursday 27 December 2018

Lest We Forget (1)

It's that time of year when we pay tribute to some of those we lost during the last twelve months, all of them too soon. In this part, we'll salute a few fabulous folks whose departures you may have missed at the time as they didn't get much if any news coverage (at least not in the UK).

So in order of when they left us, here are: France Gall (7 January, aged 70); Denise Lasalle (8 January, aged 78); Tom Rapp of Pearls Before Swine (11 February, aged 70), Clarence 'Count Prince' Miller (16 August, aged 84) and Winston 'Mighty Shadow' Bailey (23 October, aged 77).

"Teenie Weenie Boppie" - France Gall

"Love Me Right" - Denise Lasalle

"Grace Street" - Pearls Before Swine

"Mule Train" - Count Prince Miller

"Dat Soca Boat" - The Mighty Shadow

We'll round things off with a nod to Kenny O'Dell (27 March, aged 73). Kenny made a few decent records of his own, but had more success as a songwriter. Here's Charlie Rich with his best known song.

Sunday 23 December 2018

Single Song Sunday

As our Christmas present to you all, an increasingly rare edition of Single Song Sunday. The single song is "Help Me Make It Through The Night". There are literally hundreds of versions knocking about, but after extensive research and hours of agonising we've narrowed it down to ten.

We start, as we should, with Kris Kristofferson's 1970 original, and follow it up with the biggest selling versions in the US and UK - Sammi Smith took it to No. 8 in the US in 1971, and John Holt to No. 6 in the UK in 1974. John's version also doubles up as the Mandatory Reggae Version, although there are plenty more out there.

As for the rest, we have some country, some soul, some mid-tempo moody gloominess, some jazz, some Tex-Mex and a Korean language version. Something for everyone!

"Help Me Make It Through The Night" - Kris Kristofferson

"Help Me Make It Through The Night" - Sammi Smith

"Help Me Make It Through The Night" - John Holt

"Help Me Make It Through The Night" - Gladys Knight & The Pips

"Help Me Make It Through The Night" - Johnny Cash & June Carter

"Help Me Make It Through The Night" - Wilson Pickett

"Help Me Make It Through The Night" - Mark Eitzel

"Help Me Make It Through The Night" - Cornell Dupree

"Help Me Make It Through The Night" - Flaco Jimenez

"Help Me Make It Through The Night" - Kim Se Hwan

We are now closing down for Christmas. Hope you have a good one. And if you can't have a good one, hope you survive it, see you on the other side.

Friday 21 December 2018

Major Undertakings

Three songs from men called Major. Unfortunately Major Look, Major Stare and Major Lose-Your-Underwear weren't available, but this lot are pretty good for a bunch of last minute stand-ins.

"Monkey Time" - Major Lance

"Babylon Boops" - Major Worries

"Love Won't Let Me Wait" - Major Harris

Tuesday 18 December 2018

Building Site

In real life I am an international taste-maker - a surfer, if you will, of the zeitgeist. But like many bloggers I also have a shadowy secondary life offline.

In that less vivid world I used to work for a regulator, one which had a report on its efficiency published this morning. It is a dry, technical document, as you might imagine, but in the middle of the summary section this florid passage of purple prose appears:

"This is an institution constructed in a different era – a ramshackle house, cobbled together with all sorts of extensions over time. The house is serviceable up to a point but it leaks and creaks, sometimes badly. The inhabitants of the house have sought to patch and mend. But in the end, the house is built on weak foundations. It is time to build a new house."

I have no idea what that is all about - presumably the author of the report wanted us to know that beneath their dull professional exterior there beats the heart of a poet. But it has inspired today's playlist, which I dedicate to all my old pals at the ramshackle regulator.

"Babylon Broke Dun Me House" - Winston Jarrett

"This Property Is Condemned" - Mike Henderson

"Building A Home" - Oscar Perry

"Under Construction" - Jim Ford

Sunday 16 December 2018

Christmas Karaca

What better way to get through a dreary December afternoon than listening to Turkish psychedelia. Here are a couple of tracks from the mighty Cem Karaca, both taken from his 1975 album "Nem Kaldi?"

"Baba" - Cem Karaca

"Ihtarname" - Cem Karaca

Friday 14 December 2018

Good Things Come To An End

In recent weeks I have been to a number of gigs starring what might politely be called "veteran" performers. All have been fantastic, both in terms of quality and quantity. They may be getting on, but they still put in a shift that would shame many of their younger peers.

First up was Swamp Dogg (76 years old), then Frankie Valli (84). Last night it was the turn of the Pretty Things, in what was billed as their last ever gig after a career lasting 55 years. Founding members Phil May (74) and Dick Taylor (75) are both still at the height of powers, and the juvenile guest stars Van Morrison (73) and David Gilmour (72) sounded pretty good too.

We were treated to three sets. The first was a selection from their back catalogue by the current line-up (or presumably now the most recent former line-up).

For the second, they were joined by all the members of the line-up that recorded their classic "S./F. Sorrow" album - Wally Waller, Jon Povey and Skip Alan - plus David Gilmour to play selections from that album.

The final set, for part of which they were joined by Van the Man, was mostly R 'n B standards (his and theirs included) with a bit of hippy freak-out thrown in for good measure, and followed by rollicking renditions of "Rosalyn" and "I'm A Road Runner" in the encores.

Of course, even with over two hours of music, there were plenty of their old numbers that they couldn't squeeze in. Here are a couple of personal favourites that I will now never hear them play (unless they were fibbing about it being their last gig).

"You Don't Believe Me" - The Pretty Things

"She Was Tall, She Was High" - The Pretty Things

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Think Global, Act Local

A two part post for you today. In the first part, some stonking samba courtesy of one Márcio Local. Both tracks are from his album "Says Don Dree Don Day Don Don", which came out on Luaka Bop in 2009. As a label I find them a bit hit and miss, but this is definitely one of the hits.

"Ela Náo Tá Nem Aí" - Márcio Local

"Sentimento Rei" - Márcio Local

The second part is a very nearly exclusive new video from Lesley Barth for her song "Pinwheels". Lesley premiered it earlier today on some obscure website called Facebook, but in case that doesn't work out she has kindly agreed to let us show it here as well.

I like "Pinwheels" a lot - there is something about the mood of it that reminds me of Sarabeth Tucek's "The Fireman" from a few years ago, which must be a good thing. If you want to download the track, and I would encourage you to do so, you can find it on Lesley's Bandcamp page along with her back catalogue (which is well worth exploring).

Sunday 9 December 2018

My Wild Youth

I was going to start this post by referring to Wild Youth as the leading lights of the original South African punk scene, but that would have been misleading as there wasn't really enough bands to call it a scene.

Apart from Wild Youth there was the wonderfully named Young Dumb & Violent and The Safari Suits, who were probably too arty to count as real punks anyway. I saw the Suits in Cape Town in 1978/9 and to end their first set they got one of their mates to charge on stage dressed as a policeman, denounce us all as subversives and threaten us with arrest. Unfortunately he did it rather too convincingly and most of the audience left immediately. There were only about four of us there for the second set, and I only stayed because I had to wait for my Mum to pick me up - very punk.

None of the bands were particularly brilliant, to be honest, but Wild Youth were definitely the pick of the bunch. Here are a couple of their finer moments.

"Wot About Me" - Wild Youth

"Radio Youth" - Wild Youth

Thursday 6 December 2018

Into The Next Century

A couple of weeks ago I did a post celebrating having had visitors from 100 countries. I mentioned then that we had dawdled in the nervous 90s for several months before reaching that landmark. It seems that now that the mark has been reached, the nerves have dissipated and they are rolling in. Earlier this week, we had visitors from three new countries in a single day: Sri Lanka, Honduras and Hungary.

I have a fair number of Hungarian records that I've picked up on visits there, certainly enough to do a few themed posts if I remember. In the meantime, here is an absolute belter from the mighty Kati Kovacs (who also stars in what may be the best video I have ever shared with you). Then we have one apiece from my considerably less extensive collections of Honduran and Sri Lankan tunes.

"Szolj Ram, Ha Hangosan Enekele" - Kati Kovacs

"El Paso de la Tortuga" - Banda Blanca

"Samuganna Aawe" - Clarence Wijewardene

Monday 3 December 2018

Into The Valli

I managed to wangle a free ticket to see Frankie Valli at the O2 Arena last night. I wouldn't normally go to the Arena - it is like watching tiny puppets at the far end of an aircraft hangar - but when it is Frankie for free, you've got to do it.

It was billed as his farewell tour, and as he is now 84 it may well be. He put on a great show, and at an hour and 45 minutes showed a level of stamina and professionalism that seems to be beyond many acts a fraction of his age. Maybe they just have a fraction of his material.

All the hits were played, with "Who Loves You" unexpectedly - but deservedly - getting the biggest round of applause on the night. Here are a couple of the less well-remembered tunes he treated us to.

"Tell It To The Rain" - The Four Seasons

"Swearin' To God" - Frankie Valli

Friday 30 November 2018

Visiting Time

Today being St. Andrew's Day, this one is for our Scottish readers.

Over the course of his career the late Bard of Dundee, Michael Marra, recorded a number of songs about famous visitors to Scotland. Here's a small selection. I'm not convinced all these tales are 100% factually accurate, but who am I to question the Great Man.

"Frida Kahlo's Visit to the Tay Bridge Bar" - Michael Marra

"King Kong's Visit to Glasgow" - Michael Marra

"General Grant's Visit to Dundee" - Michael Marra

"Mac Rebennack's Visit to Blairgowrie" - Michael Marra

If you thought you were going to get a Dr John video after that last track, you were wrong. You'll need to listen to the King Kong song to know why I've gone for this instead.

Monday 26 November 2018

A Long Song On Monday

Today's post is a combination of a tribute and a stopgap, although the fact it is the latter should not in any way detract from the sincerity of the former.

I've just got back from Genoa, a fine, lively city that is worth a few days of anyone's time. Later in the week I'm off on a work trip and I don't have a lot of spare time before then, so I thought I would do a quick post tonight in case I don't get another chance for a week or so.

The more discerning among you may already be familiar with Drew's excellent "Monday's Long Song" series, one which I notice has now attracted a number of other equally high quality contributors. As it happens, the only CD I bought in Genoa - an Italian 1970s prog rock compilation going for €1 in a junk shop - includes a track that fits the brief perfectly, clocking in at 18 and a half minutes.

So here it is. I haven't listened to it yet, and very possibly never will. Apologies if it is awful.

I have called this post "A Long Song On Monday" rather than "Monday's Long Song" in recognition of the fact that this is a cheap market stall knock-off of a post, and should not be confused with Drew and the others' finely crafted originals.

"Il Giardino Del Mago" - Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso

Wednesday 21 November 2018

100 Up

At the beginning of the year I finally got around to getting a flag counter for the blog. At first there were visitors from "new" countries almost every day, and the counter was clicking along merrily. Things inevitably slowed down and for the last few months we have been becalmed in the 90s, like a cricketer worried about giving their wicket away before they reach their century (a simile I realise will be utterly lost on most of those 90+ countries).

But all that has changed in the last 48 hours. Yesterday we had our first visitor from Togo, which took the total up to 99 countries. Then this morning, some lovely person in Bosnia & Herzegovina popped by to bring up the century.

To celebrate the occasion, here are a couple of tracks each from the homelands of our two newest friends. We have featured a couple of Bosnians before, but I think these are the first Togolese artists here. We top things off with what may be the weirdest ever performance at the Eurovision Song Contest. I love it.

"Bouyélé" - Bella Bellow

"Mala Glupača" - Elvis J. Kurtović & His Meteors

"Madjo" - King Mensah

"Diktators Song" - Zoster

Tuesday 20 November 2018

Unscheduled Addition

I hadn't planned on posting anything today, but the plumber I'm sitting at home waiting for is now four hours late and counting and I'm clearly not going to make it in to work today. I could complain that the day is wasted, but instead I see it as an opportunity to do something more important than mere work. So I have strapped my zeitgeist skates on, and off we go.

While today's post is unscheduled, that does not mean it won't be welcomed by the many lovers of 1970s Serbian folk-rock that make up my core audience. I have great pleasure in presenting Suncokret with a couple of tracks from their one and only album, 1977's "Moje Bube". "Suncokret" means "sunflower", but you probably knew that already.

"Ni Sam Ne Znam Kada" - Suncokret

"Moj Djerdane" - Suncokret

Monday 19 November 2018

In The Lee Stylee

A couple of slabs of 1980s dancehall from the illustrious King Jammy's stable, courtesy of Robert Lee and his friend Bunny General. Yes, it is that "Midnight Hour", but with added violence.

"Love Me Stylee" - Robert Lee

"Midnight Hour" - Robert Lee & Bunny General 

Readers of a certain vintage will quickly work out the link to today's video.

Saturday 17 November 2018

Dusty Corners' Corner 3

Welcome back to the final instalment of our series featuring songs about corners. I have a few others but we've either shared them in a non-themed way before or they are not really good enough to place before such a discerning audience as you.

We kick things off with an old song from Noel Coward which seems sadly more apt than ever these days. Then we'll bop about a bit with The Ad Libs, before taking a walk on the country side.

"There Are Bad Times Just Around The Corner" - Noel Coward

"On The Corner" - The Ad Libs

"Down On The Corner Of Love" - Buck Owens

"Four Corners" - Terry Allen

"Workin' In Corners" - Nanci Griffith

Wednesday 14 November 2018

Topp Dogg

I don't have a bucket list, but if I did there would be one item less on it today.

As I may have mentioned here previously, I have been a massive fan of the great soul singer and producer Swamp Dogg for many years, but never expected I would get to see him live. If you'd told me that not only would that happen but it would be in a small venue within walking distance of my home I would have dismissed it as crazy talk.

That is, however, what happened last night. His only UK date on a short European tour - and according to the Great Man Himself his first UK gig for 40 years - was at the Rich Mix here in London's fashionable Bethnal Green. In front of what was a scandalously small crowd for an artist of his stature, he treated us to a fantastic show.

The band was in top form, and Swamp's voice is in remarkably good nick for a 76 year old. He worked the crowd like the professional he is, and his insights into matters of life and love were clearly hard-earned (if a little eccentric at times).

Here are three old favourites of mine, including his classic BeeGees cover which got extended to about 15 minutes last night as he made his stately way round the venue shaking each of us by the hand. We round things off with the video for one of the highlights of his current album, "Love, Loss And Auto-Tune".

"I'm So Happy" - Swamp Dogg 

"I Can't Stand To Hear Her Say Please" - Swamp Dogg 

"Got To Get A Message To You" - Swamp Dogg 

Saturday 10 November 2018


Anyone else remember the short-lived "electro list songs" craze of the early 1980s? It briefly looked like being the next big thing, before it was usurped by the cool jazz sound of Blue Rondo a la Turk and the like. Anyway, here are a couple of typical examples of the genre.

"The Human Factor" - Music For Pleasure

"Citizen Europe" - Negative Response

Wednesday 7 November 2018

Krest Fallen

I had been looking forward to seeing Tamikrest in concert in London next week, and then I learned yesterday that they have had to cancel because the Home Office won't give them work visas. This is the third time this has happened to concerts I had tickets for in recent years, and on each occasion it was African performers who were affected - not a coincidence, I fear.

As a slight consolation for me, and a treat for the rest of you, here are a couple of tracks from the mighty Tuareg masters.

"Tamiditin" - Tamikrest

"Imanin Bas Zihoun" - Tamikrest

Sunday 4 November 2018

Single Song Sunday

It has been a while since we've done one of these, but Single Song Sunday is back. This time out we are featuring Donovan's hippy standard, "Hurdy Gurdy Man".

We start with the original release from 1978,and then the rest proceed in chronological order. First comes Argentina's answer to Sonny & Cher who rushed their version out the same year, then Eric Mercury (no relation) injects a bit of soul into proceedings with this take from his 1969 album "Electric Black Man".

Next comes what is possibly my favourite version, by Steve Hillage from 1976 - heavy but still hippy, and check out the live version in the clip which goes full freak out. And we finish things off with a cover that rocketed to number 98 in the UK charts in 1990.

There are plenty of other versions out there but frankly they are all crap. And despite extensive searching I have been unable to find a Mandatory Reggae Version. Apologies.

"Hurdy Gurdy Man" - Donovan

"El Hombre Del Organito" - Barbara y Dick

"Hurdy Gurdy Man" - Eric Mercury

"Hurdy Gurdy Man" - Steve Hillage

"Hurdy Gurdy Man" - Butthole Surfers

Thursday 1 November 2018

Georgie Gwala & Freddie Fame

There is absolutely no connection between these two tunes apart from the fact they both turned up on my iPod shuffle earlier this evening and I found myself shuffling along. Fortunately the office was empty apart from the two lovely cleaning ladies, and they are used to it by now.

"Seventh Son" - Georgie Fame

"Ngizotola" - Freddie Gwala

Tuesday 30 October 2018

Many Odysseys

Four bands, one name (well, one and a bit).

We start with the best known of the bunch, who had a string of hits in the 1970s and 1980s; the second lot put out an album on a Motown subsidiary in 1972, from which this track comes; the third were from New York and released this Janis Ian cover the year before; and we end with the great James Blood Ulmer and pals larking about in 2005.

"Don't Tell Me, Tell Her" - Odyssey

"Battened Ships" - Odyssey

"Society's Child" - Odyssey

"Happy Time" - Odyssey The Band

Vote for your favourite Odyssey now! I don't wish to be accused of trying to manipulate the result, but my money is on the one from the Philippines, seen here rocking Calamba City back in 2013.

Saturday 27 October 2018

Saturday, Tunde

Get your weekend off on the good foot with some sparkling Afro-disco courtesy of Mr Tunde Mabadu. Both tracks come his album "Viva Disco", originally released in Nigeria in 1980 but rediscovered and reissued earlier this year by Mr Bongo Records. Whether it was Mr Bongo himself who dug that particular crate or one of his minions known as the Bongettes I don't know, and it probably only matters to them.

"Alabosi" - Tunde Mabadu

"Angelina/ Sugar Daddy" - Tunde Mabadu

Tuesday 23 October 2018

Dusty Corners Corner 2

Four more corner songs starting, most appropriately, with "Four Corners". They are all reasonably funky, so consider this a tribute to Larry at the excellent Funky 16 Corners blog. He does this sort of thing four times better than we do.

"Four Corners" - Lee Dorsey

"Getting The Corners" - The T.S.U. Toronadoes

"Alex Corner" - Boyoyo Boys

"Street Corner Serenade" - Wet Willie

Friday 19 October 2018

Dusty Corners Corner

The first instalment of a new series of songs about corners.

I was originally just looking for something to play alongside Errol Scorcher's masterpiece, a record I've loved every since I first found the 12" version at a car boot sale in Cambridgeshire nearly 40 years ago. Then I discovered I had more "corner" songs in my collection than I had realised. We'll start with the reggae ones and see where we get to.

"Fire Corner" - King Stitt

"Lover's Corner" - Yellowman

"Roach In De Corner" - Errol Scorcher

Tuesday 16 October 2018

The Lads Who Would Give Them Hard Clouts

For the second time in the last few months, I spent yesterday evening at the Barbican listening to a bunch of Irishmen revisiting one of their landmark moments. Last time out it was Microdisney performing "The Clock Comes Down The Stairs". This time it was Andy Irvine and Paul Brady and their eponymous album from 1977, which is widely - and rightly - regarded as one of the classic Irish folk albums.

Andy and Paul are both in their seventies now, but you wouldn't know it because they are both sounding as good as ever. They were ably supported by the backing musicians from the original album, Donal Lunny and Kevin Burke, both fairly legendary figures in their own right.

We were treated to two full sets, a selection from their respective solo careers in the first half and then the whole album after the break. Inevitably, "Arthur McBride" was the stand-out moment, but the show was excellent from start to finish.

Here's one track apiece from Andy and Paul from the original album, plus as a bonus "The Cocks Are Crowing" from Paul's most recent album, "Unfinished Business" - one of the highlights of the first set.

"Mary And The Soldier" - Andy Irvine and Paul Brady

"Streets Of Derry" - Andy Irvine and Paul Brady

"The Cocks Are Crowing" - Paul Brady

Sunday 14 October 2018

Tsonga Tsunday

We have persisted with the claim in the header that we are "bringing Tsonga Disco to the masses" even though it hasn't really been true for a long time. It's not been a conscious decision, more to do with my access to new supplies of Tsonga Disco being more limited these days and there being so many more marvellous types of music to share with you.

But today we're going back to our roots with a couple of tracks from Armandinho, about whom I know nothing at all apart from the fact that he is from the Mozambique branch of the Tsonga nation. My guess would be that these tracks are 15-20 years old, but that is only a guess.

"Rendzeveta" - Armandinho

"Ta Vuyia" - Armandinho

Tuesday 9 October 2018

Choral Works

Does anyone else out there remember Frazier Chorus? I must confess I had forgotten all about them until I found a copy of their debut album, 1989's "Sue", in a local charity shop recently.

It is a bit samey but very nice. The two stand-out tracks concerns kitchens and living rooms. Just think what they could have achieved with a concept album covering every room in the house.

Fun fact: According to Wikipedia, lead singer Tim Freeman is the older brother of Martin of "The Office", "The Hobbit" and "Sherlock" fame. Hence today's clip.

"Dream Kitchen" - Frazier Chorus

"Living Room" - Frazier Chorus

Saturday 6 October 2018

Saturday Siren 1

I'm calling this post 'Saturday Siren 1' in the hope that it will encourage me to start a regular series of posts featuring feisty female vocalists. On past form it won't work, but let's see.

Kicking off, and possibly also closing, the series is the magnificent Croatian singer Josipa Lisac. Both tracks come from her 1973 debut album "Dnevnik Jedne Ljubavi" ("The Diary of a Love").

"Sreća" - Josipa Lisac

"Po Prvi Put" - Josipa Lisac

Wednesday 3 October 2018

Ssing Ssong

I've been to some weird and wonderful gigs this year, and last night's rates pretty highly on both counts.

I was at London's fashionable South Bank to see Ssing Ssing, a Korean ensemble who describe themselves thus: "We define the band's genre as alternative Minyo rock, Minyo referring to Korean folk music which is characterised by an emphasis on strong vocal lines and lyrics that sing about peasant lives".

Which is all very well, but it doesn't really prepare you for the sight (and sound) of two men in drag and a small but very noisy woman in a shiny skirt wailing, leaping and cavorting round the stage while the three musicians behind them crank out everything from disco and ska to doom metal. I really have no idea what was going on but it was bloody marvellous. You should go and see them if you get the chance.

I have added a bonus track. Ssing Ssing have no connection to the similarly spelt prison, but you should not need a reason to enjoy the Fabulous Fezettes.

"Cheongchunga" - Ssing Ssing

"Sashiraengyisori" - Ssing Ssing

"99 Years In Sing-Sing" - The Fire Hydrant Men With The Fabulous Fezettes

From Sing Sing to song sung...

Sunday 30 September 2018

Four Karens

After the Roys, the Karens. No particular reason other than that Ms Matheson popped up on the old shuffle, I thought we could use her as the inspiration and starting point for today's post, and I don't have any other Mathesons in my collection.

"Puirt A Beal (Mouth Music)" - Karen Matheson

"You Just Gotta Know My Mind" - Karen Verros

"To Get You Back Again" - Karen Small

"Something On Your Mind" - Karen Dalton

Friday 28 September 2018

Two Roys

How to conjugate the verb "to Roy": I Roy, U Roy, He Roys etc

"Leggo Beast" - I Roy

"2 Proud To Beg" - U Roy

Tuesday 25 September 2018

Who Loves Me, Baby?

At the beginning of the year I finally got around to investing in one of those Flag Counter things to help me keep tabs on who was visiting here.

During an idle moment on Sunday evening I decided to work out where the blog's most ardent admirers were based. I went very methodically through the 95 countries on the list and divided the total population by the number of unique visitors from that country so far this year to work out where we were relatively most popular.

It turned out to be a home win. The UK topped the table, with one in every 28,000 residents having visited the site - that is very nearly everybody! The second and third placed countries are more surprising - New Zealand and Greenland - and the top ten is rounded off by Ireland, Australia, USA, South Africa, Botswana, Portugal and Canada.

My methodology may be flawed. There has only actually been one visitor from Greenland, but because there are just 56,000 of them in total they go straight in at number three. There has only been one visitor from Vietnam as well but, through no fault of their own, they find themselves being the sole representative of 96 million people. And as for Nigeria - nearly 200 million people and not one of them has popped in to say hello!

As a thank you to some of our most loyal supporters, here are some tunes from New Zealand, Greenland and Botswana (I am particularly thrilled to be able to feature one of the leading lights of Greenland's thriving hip hop scene). And to show there are no hard feelings, we've added some tracks from Vietnam and Nigeria too. Happy listening!

"She's A Mod" - Ray Columbus & The Invaders

"Inupiluaqqat" - Nuuk Posse

"Sengwenegwene" - Shumba Ratshege

"Mua Sai Gon, Mua Ha Noi" - Khanh Ly

"Boju Bari" - Orlando Julius

Saturday 22 September 2018

Big Kev

It's Kevin Coyne Saturday! That's a real thing! Both tracks from 1976's "Heartburn", an underrated minor gem.

"Shangri-La" - Kevin Coyne

"Big White Bird" - Kevin Coyne

More white birds and Shangri-Las below.

Thursday 20 September 2018

We All Love Laila

Earlier in the week, as part of our tribute to the recently deceased Rachid Taha, we featured his excellent version of "Rock the Casbah". Well, it seems that he was only one of many North African musicians with a fondness for the poppier variety of vintage British punk and new wave - as demonstrated here by Hamadth Kah.

Both tracks today are taken from "Laila Je T'Aime", a compilation of music from the Western Sahel region and one of the many excellent records released by Sahel Sounds. I can't praise them highly enough for giving us a gateway into a musical world we would never know about otherwise.

"Ce Weeti" - Hamadth Kah

"Etran, Association Des Jeunes" - Abba Gargando

For today's clip, I could have gone for "Layla" but I've also found it a bit dull. So I've opted for the second part of the album title instead.

Monday 17 September 2018

Annie Day Now

I'm delighted to be able to announce the long-awaited return of an old friend of the blog.

Readers of long standing may remember our enthusiasm for Annie Dressner's records, "Strangers Who Knew Each Other's Names" and "East Twenties", when they came out in 2011 and 2013 respectively. After a five year break from recording, during which she was doing important things like starting a family, Annie has got a new album coming out next month.

The record is called "Broken Into Pieces" and I'm pleased to report that Annie is sounding as good as ever - as you can tell from this track from the album. She's also doing some touring in the UK during October and November. I'm going to do my best to get along to one of the shows and I suggest you do too. And don't forget to buy the new album while you're there.

BONUS FEATURE: To celebrate Annie's return, here are a few songs by or about other, entirely unrelated, Annies.

"My Bonneville" - Annie & The Beekeepers

"Loving Kind Of Woman" - Annie Blue

"Annie's Got Hot Pants Power" - Syl Johnson

"Annie's Going To Sing Her Song" - Tom Paxton

Sunday 16 September 2018

Rachid Taha RIP

I got back from my break this morning, and normal service will be resumed in the next few days. But first, a brief tribute to the mighty Rachid Taha, who sadly died while I was away. I was lucky enough to see him in concert once - what a showman!

"Fakir" - Rachid Taha

"Ida" - Rachid Taha

Friday 7 September 2018

The End of the End of the World

I am calling time on the Apocalypse series. There are two reasons. The first is that I'm off travelling for ten days and I can't be sure there will be anything to come back to. The second, more mundane, reason is that I'm beginning to run out of material - I suspect, for example, that Bob Seger is not actually singing about the lake of fire that the Book of Revelations says will engulf us all - and I would rather go out with a bang than a whimper.

"Earthly War" - Ras Brando

"Four Horsemen" - The Clash

"Fire Lake" - Bob Seger

"Out Of Time" - Chris Farlowe

"Come Throw Youselves Under The Monstrous Wheels Of The Rock 'n Roll Bandwagon As It Approaches Destruction
- The Juggernauts

Today's clip is nothing to do with the Apocalyptic theme, unless you see the sad passing of Burt Reynolds as a harbinger of worse things to come. RIP Bandit.

Monday 3 September 2018

Apocalypse Monday

I know, I know, its the wrong day for the Apocalypse Thursday series. But when The Mighty Wrath is unleashed, you won't get to choose the date either.

That statement makes no logical sense, I realise, but then neither do predictions of The Mighty Wrath.

"John The Revelator" - Son House

"Great Tribulation" - Hugh Mundell

"Waiting For The End Of The World" - Elvis Costello

Speaking of The Mighty Wrath, here he is a couple of years ago bashing out one of his old - and highly appropriate - hits.

Friday 31 August 2018

From The House Of Klaus

It isn't always easy being an international taste-maker, living in the constant knowledge that one false move will leave you drowning in a sea of scorn rather than surfing the zeitgeist. But it can't be denied that there is a big upside as well.

That has rarely been more true than over the last couple of days. Last night I wangled myself onto the guest list for Erin Rae's show at the Slaughtered Lamb in London's trendy Clerkenwell. It was highly enjoyable and I would heartily recommend going to see her if you get the chance. I would equally heartily recommend her current album, "Putting On Airs", which I plugged here a couple of weeks back.

Then at lunchtime today I found myself sitting round a table in London's trendy Brick Lane listening to the legendary Klaus Voormann sharing a few anecdotes. The occasion was a combined promotion for his new book collecting some of his graphic art from the last 60 years called "It Started In Hamburg", and for the Reeperbahn Festival being held in Hamburg next month. I can't get over for it, unfortunately, but it sounds like it would be worth doing so if you can.

Klaus is a fascinating fellow and it was a real privilege to have the chance to listen to him. My favourite story was about being asked by John Lennon to design the cover of "Revolver". At that point he had hardly picked up a pencil for the previous two years, and he described his reaction as "Oh shit, now I have to start drawing again".

Like many of you I was familiar with some parts of his career - the friendship with the Beatles, his stints as bass player with Manfred Mann and the Plastic Ono Band and the graphic design etc. But what I had not previously appreciated was quite how successful he was as a session musician in the 1970s.

He played on any number of major hits, and not just Beatles related ones like "Imagine" and "My Sweet Lord". That's him on "Perfect Day", "You're So Vain" and "Without You", for example. And on these less heralded gems from his back catalogue.

"Tribute To Spree" - Van Dyke Parks

"Each And Every Day" - Manfred Mann

"Back Home In England" - Bobby Whitlock

"Fresh As Sunday Morning" - Bert Jansch

 And, perhaps most unexpectedly of all, Klaus also produced this:

Tuesday 28 August 2018

Apocalypse Tuesday

Yes, yes, I know the name of this series is "Apocalypse Thursday" not "Apocalypse Tuesday", but I'm going out on Thursday and won't have the time to do a post then. If we really are approaching the time of the Great Tribulation then waiting for the Thursday after may prove to be pointless. So with apologies to the orderly among you, here goes.

"The Great Judgement Morning" - George Jones

"Fire And Brimstone A Go Burn The Wicked" - Johnny Clarke

"End Of Time" - Robyn Hitchcock

Saturday 25 August 2018

Syrian Saturday NIght

Some stomping Syrian sounds to get you in the mood for Saturday night, courtesy of the rightly acclaimed Omar Souleyman. Both are from an album called "To Syria, With Love" which came out last year.

"Khayen" - Omar Souleyman

"Ya Boul Habari" - Omar Souleyman

Today's video clip has absolutely nothing to do with Omar, but its magnificent.

Thursday 23 August 2018

Apocalypse Thursday

Listening to the news most mornings, you could be forgiven for thinking we are rapidly approaching the End of Days. If that turns out to be the case, there won't be an opportunity to commemorate it after the event, so I thought I should get in early. Welcome to Apocalypse Thursday, the first of what may turn out to be a very short-running series.

"The Four Horsemen" - Aphrodite's Child

"In A Armagideon" - Winston Flames

"The End Of The World" - Skeeter Davis

Sunday 19 August 2018

An Outbreak Of Newness

Regular readers will know that I am dreadful old fart who shies away from modern music on the grounds that - as Granny Goggins wisely put it many years ago - you can't make out the words and its all just "bang, bang, bang".

Every now and then, though, something new comes along that doesn't fit that description and I find myself liking it despite my best efforts not to. We have two such examples today.

First up is Erin Rae, whose debut album "Putting On Airs" came out in June. Some of you may have heard "Love Like Before" already as it featured on an Uncut freebie earlier in the year. I can confirm that the rest of the album is just as good, and if you haven't already bought it you should put that right a.s.a.p. As if an album wasn't enough, Erin starts a tour of the UK next weekend. Details are on her website. I'm going to do my best to get along to one of the London shows.

Second, and last, up is Ric Robertson. His debut album also came out in June, and it is also splendid. It is called "The Fool, The Friend". There are hints of Ron Sexsmith about some of the tunes and Thad Cockrell in his voice, both of which are definitely good things. No word of any gigs, but it seems he is a pal of Dori Freeman and a member of Rhiannon Giddens' tour band, so I wouldn't rule it out.

"Love Like Before" - Erin Rae

"The Fool" - Ric Robertson

Thursday 16 August 2018

Aretha RIP

There's nothing I can write that could do Aretha justice, so I'll settle for just saying thanks for a lot of wonderful music and safe travels.

You may think the third selection seems an unlikely choice, and perhaps it is, but it brings back many happy memories for me of the summer of 1985 when I was young, free and courting a Norwegian nurse.

"Since You Been Gone" - Aretha Franklin

"Precious Memories" - Aretha Franklin

"Who's Zoomin' Who" - Aretha Franklin

Wednesday 15 August 2018

A Man Of Mud

Some jolly pop country from 1962 for you, courtesy of one James O'Gwynn. "My Name Is Mud" was the biggest and last of his six hits on the US country charts. Produced by Pappy Daily, who produced and guided George Jones in the early stages of his career. You can imagine the young vigorous George doing great things with "You're Getting All Over Me".

"You're Getting All Over Me" - James O'Gwynn

"My Name Is Mud"- James O'Gwynn

Sunday 12 August 2018

Hardy Amies

We open today with a photograph of Carla Bruni and Patrick Dunham-Roper at some sort of event for Bulgari. It is a long story, and not one I intend to subject you to, suffice to say hopefully the pair of them will stop pestering me about it now.

Carla's presence does at least give me an excuse to feature another French singer and style icon, one who I have been infatuated with ever since I first found this record in a junk shop back when I was an impressionable teenager. I suspect I may not be the only man of a certain age or above (or, indeed, below) who has a bit of a thing for Françoise Hardy.

Apologies for the sound quality, particularly on "Only Friends", but they are taken from the actual vinyl EP itself. I don't think it detracts too much.

"Only Friends" - Françoise Hardy

"Find Me A Boy" - Françoise Hardy

Thursday 9 August 2018

Para Jorge

Word reaches us from Portugal than George has been in a continual state of overheated excitement ever since I revealed I have a copy of "Biografia do Pop/Rock", a compilation of the hits that had them bopping in Braga and swinging in Setabul in the 60s and 70s. It is time to put him out of his misery (or possibly increase it).

The album is a bit of an ovo de um clerigo, as they say in Portugal. I know that George had high hopes of Os Chincilas version of "I'm A Believer", but sadly it's a dull and direct copy of the original. Never mind! There are plenty of goodies to be found. Here are a few of them, in chronological order.

"Olhando Para o Céu" - Daniel Bacelar E Os Gentlemen (1963)

"Chevrolet" - The Strollers (1967)

"Page One" - Pop Five Music Incorporated (1970)

"A Bananeira" - Petrus Castrus (1974)

If you are wondering where you have heard "Chevrolet" before, it's Donovan's "Hey Gyp (Dig The Slowness)" by another name. Mind you "Hey Gyp" was Memphis Minnie's "Can I Do It For You" by another name, so Donovan can't complain.

What else did the Portuguese music scene have to offer during that period, I hear you ask. Well, some magnificent hair for a start.

Tuesday 7 August 2018

The Real McKay

A bit of reggae for you tonight. The main act is the late Freddie McKay. Both of his tracks can be found on an album called "Magic", which seems to be a sort of reissue of his 1979 album "Creation" with a few tracks removed and a few others added.

As a bonus we have the very much alive Freddie McGregor - "Go Freddie Go" was released as a single earlier this year - and we round things off with a famous piece of reggae Fredness.

"Good Minded" -  Freddie McKay

"Rainbow" - Freddie McKay

"Go Freddie Go" - Freddie McGregor

Friday 3 August 2018

No Pier Here

I'm off to Southport in the morning by way of Wigan, both places famed for their piers. I thought about doing a themed post featuring only songs about piers, but abandoned the idea when I discovered I don't appear to have any. So instead you're getting a couple of tracks from my current favourite album.

The album in question is "Mudei De Idéia" by Antonio Carlos & Jocafi. Originally released in 1971, it is a mighty slab of mildly psychedelic Brazilian pop. I can see this going down a storm in sunny Southport.

"Kabaluerê" - Antonio Carlos & Jocafi

"Conceição da Praia" - Antonio Carlos & Jocafi

The last couple of times I went to Southport in the summer there was a crooner belting out the hits of the 1960s to a crowd of pensioners outside the cafe next to the crazy golf. On both occasions he was doing his best with this old favourite of mine. Let's hope for a hat trick tomorrow.

Wednesday 1 August 2018

Call Me Ismaêl

Three men, one first name. Mr. Lô is from Senegal and Mr. Isaac is from Cote d'Ivoire; as is Mr. Wonder, despite the obvious Geordie influence in the song title.

"Raciste" - Ismaêl Lô

"Joe Bleck" - Ismaêl Isaac

"Hawayo" - Ismaêl Wonder

Here's another Mr. Wonder for you.

Sunday 29 July 2018

All Hail The Queenie

Some Sunday soul for you today - a couple of belters from Marie "Queenie" Lyons, to be precise. Her online biography is somewhat scant. She hails from Ashtabula, Ohio; toured with James Brown and King Curtis; made her album, "Soul Fever", in 1970; and as of 2014 was back in Ashtabula running a bar.

In my twenties I used to be on nodding acquaintance with a nice old dear called Queenie who frequented our own local pub, the Prince of Wales in Stoke Newington. So this one is for her, wherever she may be.

"Your Key Don't Fit It No More" - Marie "Queenie" Lyons

"Daddy's House" - Marie "Queenie" Lyons

Another occasional visitor to the pub in those days was Sam Brown of "Stop" fame. One year she roped her dear old dad into performing at the local street party. He was quite nifty.

Friday 27 July 2018

The Wreck Of The Old 97

Some cool summer sounds for you today courtesy of Cacique '97. "Cacique who?", I hear you ask. I'll let the good folks at Ethnocloud explain:

“Nowadays Lisbon is a huge pot of creativity which attracts artists from all over the World and it is a privileged space where musicians find each other, share ideas and mix rhythms. It is from this mixture that, in 2005, afro beat collective Cacique´97 is born. With musicians with Mozambican and Portuguese origins, this collective incorporates members from groups such as Cool Hipnoise, Philharmonic Weed and The Most Wanted, well known projects in the areas of funk, reggae and the afro sound.

The passion for the music of Fela Kuti and Tony Allen has united these musicians for the pursuance of a common goal: to create a collective that mirrored the Lisbon mixture, by crossing the characteristic urban Nigerian rhythm which is afro beat, with the musical tradition of the African Portuguese speaking countries and of Brazil, whom has always been very present in the Portuguese capital.”

I've never heard of any of those "well known projects in the areas of funk, reggae and the afro sound ", but Philharmonic Weed sounds like something that needs to be tracked down. Until then, here are The Caciques with a couple of tracks from their very enjoyable 2016 album, "We Used To Be Africans".

"Chapa 97" - Cacique '97

"Mahala" - Cacique '97 (featuring Azagaia)

Today's video clip is a belated birthday tribute to the estimable Charity Chic. If you believe he is as old as he claims - and I'm not sure I do - then this was topping the charts in the UK on the day he was born.

Tuesday 24 July 2018

The Eternal Gods

First pickings from the Porto haul come from good old Gilberto Gil - specifically, his 1989 album "O Eterno Deus Mu Dança". 

"O Eterno Deus Mu Dança" - Gilberto Gil

"Baticum" - Gilberto Gil

From good old Gilberto Gil to good old Gilberto Sullivan. Call me a soppy old fool, but I love this song.

Sunday 22 July 2018

Sunday Shuffle

I have returned from my break in Porto and surrounding areas much refreshed and laden down with many CDs to share with you all.

If you are passing through the city, both Louie Louie and Tubitek are well worth a visit. The Spanish psychedelia compilation and complete works of Jabula from the former look very promising, as do a couple of Brazilian albums from the latter.

Further afield, I'm particularly looking forward to listening to the 4 CD box set of Angolan music from the 1960s and 70s acquired in Aviero. I'm not so sure about the 'novo sertanejo' and 'Sinead O'Connor sings the folk songs of old Ireland' CDs I bought from a lady with a stall in a deserted car park in Santo Tirso, but I felt a bit sorry for her as she clearly hadn't had a customer in years.

More of all of that anon. But first, here's Young Jessie.

"Shuffle In The Gravel" - Young Jessie

"Be Bop Country Boy" -  Young Jessie

Young Jessie, or Obediah Jessie as his parents called him, started his musical career in The Flairs. One of the other members was Richard Berry, who wrote a song so legendary than over sixty years after it was first recorded there are hip Portuguese record shops named after it.

Friday 13 July 2018


I'm off on my holidays in a few hours - Porto, since you ask - and I thought I should leave you with something to tide you over until I return. So for no particular reason, here are six songs in sequence. Hope you like them, see you soon.

"20 Miles From Shore" - Hawkshaw Hawkins

"21 Girls Salute" - Barrington Levy

"22 Days" - Ryley Walker

"23rd" - John Cooper Clarke

"24 Hours" - The Chefs

"25 Miles" - Edwin Starr

Sunday 8 July 2018


In anticipation of England's World Cup semi-final with Croatia, here is a little something I picked up on my most recent visit to Zagreb last month. Some of my colleagues are actually going to be there this week but unfortunately I am missing out due to a prior commitment. A shame - it would have been a fun night whatever the result.

Anyway, here are The Spoons, a garage band from Pula. Both tracks are taken from their 1994 album "Web Of Fuzz".

"Bye Bye Baby" - The Spoons

"Moonlite Rider" - The Spoons

As will become quickly apparent, "Bye Bye Baby" isn't a cover of the old Bay City Rollers hit. But we're giving you that as well in memory of Alan Longmuir, who died last week.

Friday 6 July 2018

It's Not Rude To Intrude

Some sweet soul music for a sultry summer evening, courtesy of The Intruders. They were the first group to benefit from having Gamble & Huff writing and producing for them, and it was their success with the likes of 'Cowboys to Girls' that made the Philadelphia International label possible. They also had a penchant for sporting metaphors it seems.

"(Win, Place Or Show) She's A Winner" - The Intruders

"(Love Is Like A) Baseball Game" - The Intruders

Wednesday 4 July 2018


Flower Children of Scotland, when will we see your like again?

"Wear Your Love Like Heaven" - Donovan

"Gently Tender" - The Incredible String Band

"My Stair Cupboard At 3 a.m." - Bread, Love & Dreams

Sunday 1 July 2018

High In The Andes

A couple of things happened today that made me feel compelled to produce this post. We had our first visitor from Peru since I start tracking such things six months ago, and then our Portuguese desk alerted to me to an excellent post on Bandcamp that leads off with a couple of the big names of Peruvian psychedelia, Laghonia and Traffic Sound (the latter having also been featured here a few times over the years).

So, inspired by these two events, here is some more Peruvian psych and pop from the same sort of era, starting with one of the most endearingly bonkers things I have ever heard.

"Betty Boom-Little Monster-Doggie And Peggie At The Witches Castle" - The (St. Thomas) Pepper Smelter

"Tomalo O Dejalo" - Los Pakines

"I Lost A Game" - Cerro Verde

"Estoy Brillando" - Fe 69

"Ozzy" - We All Together

Friday 29 June 2018

Massive in Milan

I was in Milan earlier this week and took the opportunity to pop into the Massive Music Store. Size-wise it doesn't really live up to its name, but they make the most of the space they have. There are piles of CDs in there that start on the floor and end up somewhere north of my navel.

Unfortunately I'm no longer dexterous enough to get down and inspect the bottom half of the piles, and was nervous about trying to extract anything that was more than a foot or so down from the top in case I brought the whole edifice crashing down. So in practice I was limited to only 10% or so of the stock.

Despite that, I managed to gather up some goodies. One such was "Pazza Idea", the 1973 album by the ever lovely Patty Pravo. Here are a couple of tracks. The first one may sound vaguely familiar.

"I Giardini Di Kensington" - Patty Pravo

"Limpidi Pensieri" - Patty Pravo

 And now, a rather different Patti.

Sunday 24 June 2018

Agadezert Blues

I'm back from Mumbai just long enough to change my socks before setting off on my travels again, so here is a very quick one to keep things ticking over until normal service can be resumed. Here is some desert blues from Agadez in Niger. I know this sort of thing always goes down well with at least one regular.

"Kamu Talyat" - Group Inerane

"Kuni Majagani" - Group Inerane

I thought about an "Agadez/Agadoo" thing for the video clip, but you deserve better than that. So here is a weak "Inerane/ In The Rain" pun instead.

Sunday 17 June 2018

Waiting For A Miracle

There's great excitement in the Goggins household at the moment. On Tuesday morning I head off to Mumbai for a few days - a bit of work with a bit of sightseeing tagged on. I've never been before and am looking forward to it very much.

Our musical journey tonight starts in Mumbai and ends in "India", one of the highlights of the Psychedelic Furs's show at the Festival Hall that I was lucky enough to be at last Friday. In between we visit Turkey, Congo, Italy and Brazil, in a more or less random order.

"Mumbai, Waiting For A Miracle" - Raghu Dixit

"Utan Utan" - Selda Bagcan

"Musonsu" - Jupiter & Okwess

"Berta Filava" - Rino Gaetano

"Adelita" - Trio Mocoto

"India" - The Psychedelic Furs

One of the many reasons I'm looking forward to visiting Mumbai is because it is where my grandparents got married back in the 1930s. They originally met and got engaged in Swindon. He got a job as an engineer on the Nizam of Hyderabad's State Railway, and she joined him a year or so later. Today's clip comes from Swindon's other great export, and is dedicated to the late Grandpa and Grandma Goggins.

Friday 15 June 2018

A Study In Scarlet

I am sure you will be able to detect the connection between today's songs and video. It is pretty elementary.

"I've Been To The Well Before" - The Holmes Brothers

"Motor Head Baby" - Johnny "Guitar" Watson

Tuesday 12 June 2018

Formerly Contemporary

A couple of months ago I spent 24 hours in Addis Ababa - it is a long story for a short visit - and did not have time to go scouring the markets for music. I thought I was going to leave empty-handed, but while I was at the airport on the way out I spotted a small, dusty selection of CDs on one of the sales counters. So I snapped one up.

I opted for a compilation called "The Sounds of Contemporary Ethiopian Music", mainly because it had some reasonably well-known artists on there - the likes of Alemayehu Eshete and Martha Ashagari. When I got it home it turned out not to be all that contemporary, having been released in 1999. I'm not sure whether it had been sitting there all that time, although that might explain the dust.

Anyway, it is a pretty good compilation and definitely worth buying in the perhaps unlikely event that you come across a copy. Until you do, here's a couple of tracks to keep you going.

"Yamral Tiletish" - Neway Debebe

"Be-Gudde Ewotana" - Theodros Tedesse

Meanwhile, in the UK in 1999, this was the second biggest selling single of the year. I think we have to give 1999 to Ethiopia.

Sunday 10 June 2018

Run From A Past Into The Past

It's a bit of a trip down memory lane to my youth and the 1980s this week. On Friday, all being well, I'll be off to see the Psychedelic Furs, whose self-titled first album remains a particular favourite of mine. And last night it was the mighty Microdisney, one of my favourite bands of all time.

Until last week in Dublin, Microdisney hadn't played together since they split up thirty years ago. The London show was the second and last of the brief comeback, and the first time I've seen them since they played the long-gone Astoria in the Charing Cross Road in 1986 or 1987. Very good they were too. Cathal Coughlan can still belt it out like he used to.

Here are two songs Microdisney played last night, followed by one I strongly suspect the Furs won't play on Friday (though I would love it if they did).

"Past" - Microdisney

"464" - Microdisney

"Flowers" - The Psychedelic Furs

Monday 4 June 2018

Slavic Soul

I was packing my bag in anticipation of another trip to Zagreb this week, when it occurred to me I hadn't got round to sharing with you the last of the CDs I picked up when I was there a couple of months ago.

So today it is the turn of Grupa Mi, who the man at Free Bird Records described as "the Croatian Blood, Sweat and Tears". Despite that, I still bought the CD. It is called "15 Zivih Komada" and, I would guess from the Croatian language sleeve notes, it is an expanded version of their 1971 album, "12 Zivih Komada".

There are, indeed, a couple of Blood Sweat and Tears cover versions on there, and the lads also have a go at Chicago, James Brown, Sam & Dave and Otis Redding. I imagine they sounded great played live in a sweaty Zagreb club but they don't really match up to the originals on record. So instead here are a couple of their own songs. It is possible the lyrics are more meaningful than they appear to be judging by the titles, but I wouldn't bet on it.

"La La La" - Grupa Mi

"Bam Bam Baba Lu Bam" - Grupa Mi

Friday 1 June 2018

Thrice Welcome All

You're an intelligent bunch, I think you'll work out today's theme without me having to spell it out for you.

"Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" - The Vibrators

"Love, Love, Love" - Donny Hathaway

"Hey, Hey, Hey" - June & The Exit Wounds

"Please, Please, Please" - Christofolly & The Afro Beat Cookers

"Buzz, Buzz, Buzz" - Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers

"Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" - Larry Williams & Johnny "Guitar" Watson

"Cry, Cry, Cry" - Johnny Cash

"Gone, Gone, Gone" - Piccadilly Line

Sunday 27 May 2018

Citizen Of The World

We start tonight with a public service announcement. I logged on to Blogger just now to prepare this post, and found this message waiting for me:

"European Union laws require you to give European Union visitors information about cookies used and data collected on your blog. In many cases, these laws also require you to obtain consent. Out of courtesy, we have added a notice on your blog to explain Google's use of certain Blogger and Google cookies, and other data collected by Google".

So to all our readers in the EU, consider yourself warned, and if you can see the "courtesy notice" - I can't - please read it carefully. The rest of you can do as you please.

One person not caught by the exacting new requirement is Kiran Ahluwalia, born in India, raised in Canada, and the maker of a series of interesting albums mixing Indian music with desert blues and other influences. The pick of the bunch is probably 2011's "Aam Zameen", which featured Tinariwen as her backing band on some tracks. But the two albums since then - "Sanata" and "7 Billion" - are pretty good too. Here's one from each.

"Hayat" - Kiran Ahluwalia

"Khafa (Up In Arms)" - Kiran Ahluwalia