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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

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Good Night, Bad Night

Tonight we bring you Michael Shelley, a man I know next to nothing about but somehow ended up with two of his albums - 1997's "Half Empty" and 1998's "Too Many Movies". Both feature some great pop songs for grown-ups.

He's backed on these and later albums by Laura Cantrell and assorted members of Teenage Fanclub, Belle & Sebastian and They Might Be Giants, and when you know that you can hear them all in there.

If you go to Michael's Bandcamp page you can download all his albums for less than $25, which sounds like a bargain to me.

"Tonight Could Be The Night" - Michael Shelley

"Baby's In A Bad Mood" - Michael Shelley

He's no relation to this fellow, as far as I know.

Sunday 20 May 2018

Irie Stew

At a loose end last night following the cancellation of The Last Poets' album launch - see the previous post - Mr F and I wandered off in search of an evening's entertainment.

We eventually ended up in the Misty Moon in Bethnal Green Road, which used to be a Wetherspoons until they offloaded it as it was damaging the brand. There we were treated to an enjoyable set by Irie White, who had a No. 16 hit in Germany back in the mid 1990s and is still going strong.

Mr White isn't a direct substitute for The Last Poets. Those people who admire them for their savage attacks on political and social injustice may perhaps not feel the same about someone whose repertoire includes such tunes as "Rumpy Pumpy", "Double D" and "Bum Like A Plum" (I didn't make that one up). But he went down a storm in the Misty Moon.

Here is Irie with one of the undoubted highlights of his set, and I've bunged a few more Iries in for ballast.

"Rumpy Pumpy" - Irie White

"General A General" - Tonto Irie

"It's Good To Have The Feeling You're The Best" - Tippa Irie

"Obeah Man" - Welton Irie

"Hot Bubblers" - Sweetie Irie

Friday 18 May 2018

Last And Lost

Great disappointment in the Goggins household at the moment. I was meant to be going to some hipster hangout tomorrow night to see the legendary Last Poets launch their excellent new album, "Understand What Black Is" (which regular readers may remember me raving about recently).

Then yesterday we heard that the gig was cancelled. We haven't been told why, and it seems their show tonight at the British Library is still on, so hopefully it is nothing serious. And while it is no substitute for the real thing, I'll try to console myself with the records. Here is one from the new album and a couple of old favourites.

"Mean Machine" - The Last Poets

"Tough Enough" - The Last Poets

"How Many Bullets" - The Last Poets

Monday 14 May 2018

The Thin Man

Apparently there were at least four different musicians who called themselves Guitar Slim at various points, roughly one for every touring version of The Drifters. But this is the "real" one.

Born Eddie Jones in Greenwood, Mississippi in 1926, he was noted for his wild performances - according to Wikipedia, "he had an assistant who followed him around the audience with up to 350 feet of cord between his guitar and amplifier, and occasionally took his guitar outside the club, bringing traffic to a stop". He was also one of the pioneers of what would become the rock 'n roll guitar style.

Sadly the demon drink got to him and he died aged only 32, but not before he made some cracking records.

"Guitar Slim" - Guitar Slim

"It Hurts To Love Someone" - Guitar Slim

Also hailing from Greenwood, Mississippi - Ms. Betty Everett.

Friday 11 May 2018

Every Night's A Friday Night

It's that time again. Tomorrow night, live from Lisbon - Eurovision!!! I imagine George will be making his way up there as we speak to join in the fun.

Our old pal Mister F has been warming us up with a fine selection of vintage Eurovision highlights (and a few lowlights too). This is my own humble contribution.

We start with what is probably my favourite Eurovision performance of all time, and one that was directly responsible for one of the best holidays I have ever had. Having been blown away by Zdob Si Zdub in 2005, I went to Moldova the next year and got blown away over and over again.

I made it home in time for the 2007 Eurovision, which featured this unjustly forgotten piece of glam stomp from Sweden. We then fast forward to 2011 to join Anastasiya Vinnikova. I can't unfortunately remember where she is from, but you can probably Google it.

"Boonika Bate Doba" - Zdob Si Zdub

"The Worrying Kind" - The Ark

"I Love Belarus" - Anastasiya Vinnikova

Come on, everybody, and sing along. Feel the power of a song.

Wednesday 9 May 2018


A special treat for you today - Donald Duck. No, not that one, but Eugene 'Donald Duck' Mthethwa (unless he was the one you were thinking of in which case yes, that one).

Eugene is a member of the pioneering kwaito group Trompies, occasional solo artist and - slightly awkwardly in the circumstances - Anti-Piracy Chairman of the Association of Independent Record Companies of South Africa. Both tracks come from his 2006 album, "The 4th Man: Who's Wrong? Who's Right?".

"Ibambe Ekasi (Feat. Ihashi Elimhlophe & Makhosonke Zuma)" - Donald Duck

"Isencane Lengane" - Donald Duck

So we come to the YouTube clip. Dance music? Comedy duck? He can't, can he? I'm afraid he can.

Sunday 6 May 2018

The Time Has Come

Some soulful seventies Croatian prog rock for you today. Look out for the powerful vocals of Dado Topic and - on the second track - some cracking prog flute worthy of Ian Anderson himself.

"Da Li Znas Da Te Volim" - Time

"Za Koji Zivot Treba Da Se Rodim" - Time

And the time has indeed come for me to head off to north London to say goodbye to someone who has been a big part of my life for over 20 years now and has brought me a huge amount of pleasure in that time. Thanks for everything, Mr Wenger, and all the best.

Thursday 3 May 2018

Fancy Footwear

I'm back from my wayward wanderings. I didn't get much time for shopping over the last couple of weeks but managed to pick up a few promising looking items, including an Ethiopian compilation, the complete works of South Africa's first punk band, and an album from an outfit that for some reason thought it would be a good idea to call themselves Donald Duck.

More of them anon, but first a couple of CDs I acquired in a local charity shop earlier this afternoon. They were nestling next to each other in the bargain bin and, by bizarre coincidence, both were sponsored by footwear manufacturers - well, it is either a bizarre coincidence or one of the world's most niche record collections is in the process of being broken up.

The first is "Shoe Pie", a compilation of acts on the 4AD label that was sponsored by Dr Martens and came out in 1996. The second is "Pravda Naujokai 2008", a Lithuanian compilation sponsored by Puma. One can only speculate why the marketing teams at Dr Martens and Puma thought these were worthwhile ventures.

I have not listened to either CD yet and have just selected a track from each at random. I will rely on you to tell me whether they are any good or not. In case they aren't I have added some quality footwear themed sounds to make up for it.

"Demon" - Scheer

 "Aerocide 2009" - Nauji Lėktuvai

"The Shoe Won't Fit" - Betty Everett

"Michael And His Slipper Tree" - The Equals

"Gideon Boot" - Richie Spice