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Friday 31 December 2021

Bright New Tomorrows

What with one thing and another the last couple of years have been a bit shit for many of us. But rather than dwell on that let's try to inject a booster dose of positivity. Let us all join with The Rescues and proclaim - perhaps more in hope than expectation - that everything is going to be better next year.

Enjoy your New Year's Eve. See you on the other side.  

"Everything's Gonna Be Better Next Year" - The Rescues

"Happy New Year" - Huey 'Piano' Smith & The Clowns

Wednesday 29 December 2021

Today's Sounds Today (2)

Part 2 of our ten tunes from 2021 plus groovy modern videos. No particular order, they are all top notch and you should spend your Christmas vouchers on them now.

"Red Temple Prayer (Two-Headed Dog)" - Margo Price (from "May the Circle Remain Unbroken: a Tribute to Roky Erickson")

"Riddim Rek Sa Niouy Mom" - Wau Wau Collectif (from "Yaral Sa Doom")

"You Don't Know" - Lizzie Loveless (from "You Don't Know")

"Haydar Haydar" - Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek (from "DOST 1")

"Moving & Shaking" - Reigning Sound (from "A Little More Time with Reigning Sound")

Tuesday 28 December 2021

Today's Sounds Today (1)

Let's cut to the chase. We've got ten of my favourite tunes of 2021 for you - five today, five tomorrow - plus five videos each day from other folks I've enjoyed this year. Simple as that.

We'll kick things off with a track that was only officially released on Christmas Eve, although we surfers of the zeitgeist have been grooving to it for a while now. Take it away, Mr Oho.

"Doose Mam" - Alogte Oho & His Sounds of Joy (single)

"Yale St & 45" - Beth Lee (from "Waiting On You Tonight")

"Kalikandjari" Monsieur Doumani (from "Pissourin")

"Hardlytown" - Hiss Golden Messenger (from "Quietly Blowing It")

"Tihoussay Tenere" - Dag Tenere (from "Iswat")

Friday 24 December 2021

Bah Humbug

I suppose we have to acknowledge that it is that time of year again, so here are a couple of tracks from my favourite Christmas album, Swamp Dogg's "An Awful Christmas And A Lousy New Year".

"Santa Claus Has Fallen In Love" - Swamp Dogg

"A Little Black Child At Christmas" - Swamp Dogg

If it is the true meaning of Christmas you are after, here are Diffie and Declan. Season's greetings to all our readers.

Wednesday 22 December 2021

Heavyweight Stuff

A couple of top tines from the great I Roy for you today. Both come from an excellent compilation of his early 1970s material called "Don't Check Me With No Lightweight Stuff". The compilation originally came out in 1997 and is on Blood & Fire and is out of print, but you can download it from eMusic, TaxDodge,com and presumably other sites as well.   

Here are the first and last tracks on the album. Everything in between is well worth a listen as well. "Straight To The Heathen Head" may be my new favourite record in all the world.

"Sidewalk Killer" - I Roy

"Straight To The Heathen Head" - I Roy

I've only been able to find one clip of the great man in action and that is of terrible quality, so in the absence of I Roy here is Roy O instead. 

Sunday 19 December 2021

Sunday Service

It's Sunday, and in the absence of any upcoming religious festivals I thought we should set aside some time to listen to a few men of the cloth. I'm not convinced they are all real priests - I think it is unlikely that an actual vicar would end his performance by saying "Sh*t, I think we've got a record" as Rev. Sekou does. Be that as it may, please show reverence to our Reverends. 

"Death Don't Have No Mercy" - Rev. Gary Davis

"The Revelation of the New Rainbow" - Rev. Douglas Bell & The Stage Cruisers

"I've Been Changed" - Rev Matthew Mickens & The New Highway Travelers

Friday 17 December 2021

Welcome To Kev

I've been catching up on whose been popping in while I was away, and see we have had a couple of comments from one Kevie Kev. I don't know whether or not this is the Kevie Kev (aka Waterbed Kev) from the old school rap ensemble The Fantastic Five, but he is welcome either way.

Mr Kev belatedly asked me to select a tune for him as part of the "5000 Up" request slot we did back in October. His number of choice was 1962 and his reward is some top pop from Mozambique. Thanks Mr Kev, I hope you like it. And I hope you don't mind that I'm sharing your greatest hit with the rest of the gang.

"Alfandega" - Zaida Chongo

"All Night Long (Waterbed)" - Waterbed Kev

Thursday 16 December 2021

The Locksmith Always Rings Twice

So our esteemed government decided to let those of us in quarantine hotels out early, on the grounds that as most of the country now has the omicron variant it no longer makes sense to lock up the few people who don't. This meant I was able to get home a bit earlier than expected.

There was a final twist though, and perhaps it was a fitting end to the whole saga. When I got back to my flat last night I discovered that the lady I asked to pop in and clean the place while I was away had locked me out. A visit from the emergency locksmith got me in but left me without a lock, so I'm now stuck here until they come back with a new one. 

Here is a musical before and after of last night's events.

"Behind That Locked Door" - George Harrison

"There's No Lock Upon My Door" - David McWilliams

Sunday 12 December 2021

Luton Lockdown

I'm back, but not completely.

As some of you worked out from the carefully hidden clues in my last post, I have just been to Cape Town to see some of my family. When my flight took off from London a couple of weeks ago everything was hunky dory, but by the time it landed at the other end South Africa was an international pariah.

Which is why I'm now interned in a Holiday Inn on the outskirts of Luton, with a lovely view of a brick wall and the soothing sounds of the airport flight path overhead. I am due to be released back into society a couple of days before Xmas, and normal service will resume then.

In the meantime, here is a tribute to my temporary home.

Thursday 25 November 2021

A Brief Respite

I'm heading off in a few hours to see some branches of the Goggins clan that I have not been able to see since before all the silliness started. I'll be back here in mid-December.

Where am I off to, you ask? Well, it's none of the places mentioned in these songs, but if you look closely at the running order there's a not very subtle clue.

"Central Milton Keynes - You've Never Seen Anything Like It" -           Ronnie Bond

"Addis Ababa" - Culture

"Paramaribo" - Mighty Sparrow

"En Lima" - Los Shain's

"Taj Mahal" - Jorge Ben

"Oxford Town" - Abstract Truth

"Williamson County" - Gary Stewart

"New Orleans" - Gary U.S. Bonds

See you in a few weeks. Stay groovy in the meantime.

Wednesday 24 November 2021

Woodwork Lessons

I recently picked up a copy of "If I Were A Carpenter" as part of a 'three CDs for £1' offer in a local charity shop. Its a Carpenters tribute album released in 1994 by their record label A&M in order to milk the cash cow as much as they could celebrate the artistry of Richard and Karen. 

There is a strange selection of artists on there - from Sheryl Crow to Sonic Youth to Shonen Knife (see below) - and inevitably it is a bit of a mixed bag. It does have its moments, while at the same time feeling a bit pointless without Karen's wonderful voice.

"Top Of The World" - Shonen Knife

"Rainy Days And Mondays" - Cracker

Here's a bit of the real thing. Watch out for the tambourine player who dances as if he were St. Vitus himself.

Monday 22 November 2021

Turkish Time

On Saturday night me and Mr F tootled off to see Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek play live. Very good they were too, you should check them out if they are round your way. Derya and the gang are touring at the moment to promote their new album "DOST 1", available at an absolute bargain price of only €7 at Bandcamp

We've got a track from their previous album "Kar Yağar" (2019) for you, together with tunes from a couple of other Turkish acts who I have been lucky enough to see live over the years. We round things off with videos from some of the giants of Anatolian rock, some of whom featured in an excellent set by the support DJ om Saturday night.

"Gurbet" - Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek

"Yaz Gazeteci Yaz" - Selda Bagcan

"Özgür Ruh" - Baba Zula

Derya has had her hair cut since this video was taken but appears to be wearing the same shirt. Maybe its her lucky gigging shirt.

Friday 19 November 2021

Tip Top Tapper

We round out the week with the help of David Sinclair, better known to his friends and fans as Tapper Zukie. Here are a couple of tip top tracks from his 1978 album "Peace In The Ghetto".

"The City Of Mount Zion" - Tapper Zukie

"Tribute to Steve Biko" - Tapper Zukie

Somewhat unexpectedly it turns out that Belle & Sebastian are major Tapper Zukie fans, hence this tribute they wrote for him. Apologies for the typoin the title of the video. 

In the unlikely event that you don't share Belle & Sebastian's enthusiasm for Mr Zukie, perhaps you would prefer something featuring a different David Sinclair, the keyboard player in Caravan.

Wednesday 17 November 2021

Go Jackie Go

On Monday we featured a modern artist partly inspired by the French yé-yé pop of the 1960s. Today we have one of the original performers, albeit one who had a bit more oomph to her sound that most of her contemporaries. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Ms Jacqueline Taieb... 

"Le Coeur Au Bout Des Doigts" - Jacqueline Taieb

"Bienvenue Au Pays" - Jacqueline Taieb

Here is Jacqueline with her super cool debut single (and biggest hit).

Monday 15 November 2021

Yé-Yésterday's Sounds Today

I am not sure the world is necessarily waiting for a yé-yé revival, but if there is going to be one it will be led by Lia Pamina. 

Lia is a Spanish singer who has been releasing records on the Elefant label for about five years now. That is the home of the likes of Camera Obscura, and you will be able to spot some stylistic similarities. Here are some representative examples from her charming oeuvre.

"Record Collection" - Lia Pamina

"Love Is Enough" - Lia Pamina

And here are some of the original yé-yé girls to brighten up your Monday morning even further.

Friday 12 November 2021

Pour Me Another

We haven't heard any hardcore honky-tonk on here for ages. Let's put that right with a couple of the all-time greats and a young pretender, one J.P. Harris. J.P. is perhaps a bit too chirpy to stand comparison with George and Gary, but if he is blessed with a few more years and a truly wretched life he may get there.

J.P's 2018 album "Sometimes Dogs Bark At Nothing" - from which today's track comes - is available on Bandcamp and well worth a listen.

"If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me" - George Jones

"Half Alive And Still Drinking" - Gary Stewart 

"I Only Drink Alone" - J.P. Harris

Wednesday 10 November 2021

Bilko, Pepper And Rock

A marvellous musical mélange for you today, courtesy of Sergent Garcia and his/ their 2011 album "Una y Otra Vez". 

I am not completely convinced that the Sergent is an authentic military man - I don't imagine you would find many salsamuffins at Sandhurst, for example. But maybe the world would be a better place if there was.

"Brujeria" - Sergent Garcia

"Yo Soy Salsamuffin" - Sergent Garcia

Now here's a proper Seargent for you. 

Monday 8 November 2021

Mildly Wicked

After yesterday's "In The Midnight Hour" extravaganza I thought that we would stick with Wilson Pickett a while longer. But I haven't got enough energy left for another one of his rambunctious numbers, so here are a couple of slower songs. "What Good Is A Lie" is one of the saddest things I know.

"What Good Is A Lie" - Wilson Pickett

"Help The Needy" - Wilson Pickett

Now here is a thing of wonder for you - 15 minutes of Wilson live at Montreux in 1973.Its a toss up between his suit and the bongo player's hair for the most outrageous contribution. Look out also for a guest appearance by Edwin Starr and a guest non-appearance by the Rolling Stones.

Sunday 7 November 2021

Single Song Sunday

In our previous post we featured a couple of tracks from "Super Eight" by George Faith. One of the other tracks on the album is George's take on "In The Midnight Hour", a song that has been covered approximately 3.4 million times. Its induction into the Single Song Sunday Hall of Fame is long overdue.

We start, of course, with the original and really the only one of those 3.4 million versions that you need. Being such an iconic record I had always assumed it was a massive hit when it came out in 1965, but in fact it only made it to No. 21 in the Billboard charts.

That is followed by two other charting versions, Cross Country (No. 30 in 1973) and Roxy Music (No. 105 in 1980 - if  No.105 counts as "charting"), and we then rattle through some blue-eyed soul, mod revival, Latin and French takes on the tune.   

We round things off as always with the Mandatory Reggae Version, or Versions in this case. We'll skip the George Faith cover, as good as it is, to bring you two other versions both of which can be found on a very good compilation called "Duke Reid's Treasure Chest" - a straight cover from the Silvertones and then the late great U-Roy doing his thing over the top of the track.

"In The Midnight Hour" - Wilson Pickett

"In The Midnight Hour" - Cross Country

"In The Midnight Hour" - Roxy Music

"In The Midnight Hour" - Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels

"In The Midnight Hour" - The Jam

"In The Midnight Hour" - Machito & His Orchestra

"Jusqu'à minuit" - Johnny Hallyday

"Midnight Hour" - The Silvertones

"Words Of Wisdom" - U Roy

Friday 5 November 2021

Acts Of Faith

A classic Lee 'Scratch' Perry production for you today. It is one of his less bonkers ones, but none the worse for a bit of restraint.

The album is question is 1977's "Super Eight" and the singer is Mr George Faith. Here are a couple of the many highlights, in which George asserts that he has not only love but the groove as well. 

"All The Love I've Got" - George Faith

"I've Got The Groove" - George Faith

Other Faiths are available.

Wednesday 3 November 2021

Down The Lazy River

The Nile Project is an initiative that aims to bring together people from the countries that the river flows through to collaborate and to help keep the river sustainable. I say is, it may be was - the website has not been updated since 2017 and their social media accounts seem to have stopped as well.

The most visible of its activities is a loose collective of musicians from the region, also known as The Nile Project. They have produced three albums to date. Today's selections come from "Jinja" (2016). The first features Selamnesh Zemene from Ethiopia, the second Michael Bazibu, Sophie Nzayisenga and Steven Sogo from Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi respectively.

"Ya Abai Wuha" - The Nile Project

"Mulungi Munange" - The Nile Project

Other Niles are available. 

Monday 1 November 2021

Tees Made

Some typically mellow early 1970s singer-songwriter stuff today to help you ease your way gently into the working week. The sort of thing you associate more with Laurel Canyon than the Tees Valley. In this case you would be wrong though.

Lesley Duncan was born in Stockton-on-Tees in 1943 and sadly left us in 2010. In between times she made a string of pop singles in the 1960s, some grown-up albums in the 1970s, sang backing vocals for everyone from Dusty Springfield to Pink Floyd, and wrote a little song that was covered by the likes of David Bowie, Barry White and Dionne Warwick among others. Then at the end of the 1970s she packed it all in and moved to Mull.

Her debut album "Sing Children Sing" hit the shops in 1971 and in my view is a particularly fine example of the sound of the times. Take it away, Lesley.

"Sunshine (Send Them Away)" - Lesley Duncan

"Lullaby" - Lesley Duncan

Lesley's little song was "Love Song", and this is probably the best known version. I prefer hers.

Friday 29 October 2021

Saucer Surfing The Zeitgeist

We interrupt our normal programming to respond to an appalling piece of provocation by Mr Charity So-Called Chic. 

Earlier in the week I politely asked that he feature some Steve Hillage on his admittedly excellent - although now tarnished - blog. I then said that if he was unwilling or unable to oblige I might do so myself. All very civil you might think. But not as far as CSCC was concerned. 

His immediate response was to invite me to "knock yourself out". Over the next couple of days this was followed by a long series of messages including taunts such as "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough" and "You and whose army?" which culminated in an instruction to "boil yer heid".  

I can't just let that sort of thing go, so here is Steve Hillage with some music to boil heids by.

"Saucer Surfing" - Steve Hillage

"It's All Too Much" - Steve Hillage

P.S. Some parts of this post may have been exaggerated for dramatic effect. 

Wednesday 27 October 2021

Häme Sweet Häme

We are sticking with the European folk scene, folks, After Monday's trip to Cyprus we are heading north to the Häme region of Finland where we find Anne-Mari Kivimäki & Palomylly. Both today's tracks are from their 2019 album "Hämeen Lauluja".

"Killiainen Lemmenlintu" - Anne-Mari Kivimäki & Palomylly

"Iso Juhla" - Anne-Mari Kivimäki & Palomylly

Other musicians from Häme include some bloke called Jean Sibelius who languished in obscurity for many years until he got his lucky break when Strawberry Switchblade sampled his Fifth Symphony.   

Monday 25 October 2021

Digging Mr D

Some of you may recall that last year we went on a musical tour of the EU to mark the UK's departure - which is really going very well, thanks for asking.

One of the bands that we featured during our stop over in Cyprus was Monsieur Doumani. Last week they played a free gig down the end of my road to promote their excellent new album "Pissourin". Very good they were too.

The lads describe their style as 'avant-folk' and there was a lot more of the avant live than there is on the record. Armed with just tzouras (a type of bouzouki), guitar, flute, trombone and a load of effects pedals they made a right groovy racket.

"Pissourin" and Monsieur Doumani's three earlier albums can all be found on their Bandcamp page, with the back catalogue priced at a bargain €5 per album. Head over there now, but before you go here is a track each from "Angathin" (2018) and "Sikoses" (2015).

"Mishmash" - Monsieur Doumani

"The Pert Breast" - Monsieur Doumani

Friday 22 October 2021

The Mighty Randomiser (Part 2)

Here are four more songs from our extensive back catalogue that have been hand-picked for your delectation and delight by our celebrity DJs Charity Chic, George, Mister F and Spence. I used the same numbers as before but this time selected by date order. 

I reckon CC's going to be pretty happy with his selection, I hope that the others are too.

"Frida Kahlo's Visit To The Tay Bridge Bar" - Michael Marra (CC)

"She Don't Have To See You" - Tommie Young (George)

"Black Sheep R.I.P." - The Playboys (Mr F)

"Ready When You Ready" - Bunny Wailer (Spence)

We have some more Michael Marra and Bunny Wailer for you below. I couldn't find any clips of The Playboys or Tommie Young, but I managed to unearth a rather splendid rendition of "She Don't Have To See You" by the man who wrote the song, Mr Bobby Patterson.

Wednesday 20 October 2021

The Mighty Randomiser (Part 1)

Last week we notched up 5000 different songs on the blog. To mark the occasion I invited you to pick a number between 1 and 5000, stick it in the comments and I would give your selection a spin. 

Four viewers took advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity, and they more than make up in quality what they may lack in quantity. Many thanks to these stalwart individuals - Charity Chic, George, Mister F and Spence, Surfers of the Zeitgeist all.    

In order to pad things out a bit I have picked out two songs for each of them. In the next post we'll have their selections based on their date of appearance, but for this one they have been selected using my normal sophisticated cataloguing system (alphabetically by name of artist, since you ask). 

A pretty wild, wacky and worldwide bunch they are too, with hits from Spain, Turkey, Niger and.. Bristol. Many thanks to our guest pop-pickers, They've done a great job between them.

"Lluna Estimada" - Pau Riba (CC)

"Dilo Dilo Yaylalar" -  Kamuran Akkor (George)

"The Bongo That Ate Pik Botha" - The Ivory Coasters (Mr F)

"Liedernan" - Etran Finatawa (Spence)

I've managed to track down some footage of three of the four of them (the artists not the stalwart individuals). Pau is in particularly fine form - and watch out for the guest appearance by Rob Davis from Mud about four minutes in.

Monday 18 October 2021

Tons of Fun

Ton Steine Scherben were a German rock band who were big cheeses on the West Berlin squatting and anarchist scenes in the early 1970s - the limburgers of the radical left if you like. Probably more significantly in terms of their cultural impact, they were pretty much the first German language rock band with any sort of public profile at all. 

"Keine Macht für Niemand" ("No Power For Nobody") came out in 1972 and was their second album. Obviously those of us who don't speak the German don't get the full impact, but it is still a decent listen even so. Here are a couple of tracks.

"Wir Müssen Hier Raus!" - Ton Steine Scherben

"Schritt für Schritt ins Paradies" - Ton Steine Scherben

Friday 15 October 2021

Get Wells, Soon

We have have treated you to some Zamrock - the Zambian rock scene of the 1970s - a few times over the years. It has always gone down well, so I thought you might also enjoy some similar sounds from their southern neighbour.

The inexplicably named Wells Fargo were leading lights in the Zimrock movement (strictly speaking it was called Rhodesia then, but Rhodrock sounds faintly unsavoury). A few years ago the excellent Now Again label put out a compilation of their singles from 1976-77. It is called "Watch Out!" after their most popular song and it is available on Bandcamp. It's a cracker.  

"Coming Home" - Wells Fargo

"Bump Bump Babe" - Wells Fargo 

There are no videos of Wells Fargo in their pomp, but a couple of them feature in this mini-documentary about the scene that the label made to coincide with the reissue. And then, in an abrupt change of tone, a song that mentions the band. At least I think it is the band.

Wednesday 13 October 2021

5000 Up

If you read Monday's post you would have seen that we were two short of featuring 5000 different tracks on here (we are a fair way over the 5000 total tracks if you count repeats). It is taken the best part of 13 years to reach that milestone, and to mark the occasion I want to enlist your help. 

Stick a number between 1 and 5000 in the comments and when there are enough of them I'll dig out the tracks that match the numbers on my spreadsheet and include them in a sort of 'Best of the first 5000' post.  

In the meantime, to see us over the line we have enlisted the help of Ry Cooder and Panadda Chayapark (or Ry 'n Thai as they were billed back when they used to tour together). 

And to kick off the next 5000 in fine style we have our old friends The Incredible String Band with what is probably my favourite track from what is definitely one of my all time favourite albums, "5000 Spirits Or The Layers Of An Onion". 

"5000 Country Music Songs" - Ry Cooder

"5000 Nut" - Panadda Chayapark

"First Girl I Loved" - The Incredible String Band

Monday 11 October 2021

It Was The Worst Of Times...

It's Monday morning. The coffee hasn't kicked in yet and I'm not feeling in the least bit creative, so I am interpreting the brief for today's post very literally indeed.

"If It's Monday Morning" - Lee Hazlewood

"On A Monday Morning" - Rachel Unthank & The Winterset

Incidentally, according to the records that I rather sadly keep, today's selections mean that we have now featured 4998 different tracks since we started off way back when. I may have to do something to mark our impending millstone milestone. Until then though...

Friday 8 October 2021

Sounds of Senegal

Today is the last post in our mini 'New Round Here' series. Presenting Senegal's own Touré Kunda with two tracks from their fine 1983 album "Amadou Tilo". Apparently the two brothers who form the core of the band were born 22 days apart. Poor Mrs Touré.

"Courrier" - Touré Kunda

"Salya" - Touré Kunda

Wednesday 6 October 2021

Sunny Bill

Next in our brief series, in every sense, of old faces who are new to here we present Maryland's own - and also Knaresborough's own - Bill Callahan. Take it away, Bill!

"Too Many Birds" - Bill Callahan

"Bowery" - Bill Callahan

The list of other famous sons of Knaresborough consists only of Rene from 'Allo 'Allo and a bloke who briefly played keyboards for Simply Red. Neither of those could be considered conducive to a good moaning so let's stick with Bill.

Monday 4 October 2021

Rod Of Correction

I'm a bit snowed under with work in what passes for real life, so this week's posts will be brisk and business-like with much less of the usual inconsequential burbling. 

The other thing they will have in common is they will feature acts who have never been seen here before even though we are nearly 13 years and 5000 different tracks in. First up, reggae's own Rod Taylor.

"Mr Money Man" - Rod Taylor

"Night In September" - Rod Taylor

Other Rods are also available.

Friday 1 October 2021

Fancy A Fiesta?

We head towards the weekend with some sweet soul from The Fiestas. They formed in the late 1950s and had a big hit in 1959 with "So Fine". Today's selection come from the tail end of their recording career nearly twenty years later.

By this time the lads were eking out a living on subsidiaries of bigger labels. "I Can't Shake Your Love" was issued in 1975 on Respect, part of the Stax stable, while the magnificent "I'm Gonna Hate Myself" from 1977 was tucked away on Chimneyville, a Malaco subsidiary. In a just world it would have been a massive hit, but we all know that it isn't a just world.

 "I Can't Shake Your Love" - The Fiestas

"I'm Gonna Hate Myself" - The Fiestas

Wednesday 29 September 2021

They Always Spoke Spanish To Me

I recently acquired a double CD compilation of Spanish language rock and pop called "Llena Tu Cabeza De Rock... En Español" ("Fill Your Head With Rock... In Spanish"). While I would not call it a must have by any means, there is enough good stuff on there to justify the 50p I paid for it.

The compilation came out in 2001 but most of the tracks are from the 1980s and early 1990s. There is one tune from 1972 that rather sticks out, and that is the one we start with - so say hello to Sui Generis from Argentina. That is followed by some groovy sounds from 1980s Spain and Chile respectively. 

We round things off in the video with the mighty Los Fabulosos Cadillacs and one of their four hits that feature on the album. I hope you enjoy it more than the stuffed shirts in the audience did. 

"Cancion Para Mi Muerte" - Sui Generis

"Ni Tu Ni Nadie" - Alaska y Dinarama

"Sexo" - Los Prisioneros

Monday 27 September 2021

Messrs Blue

Since yesterday I have had Bobby Vee's "Mr Blue" stuck in my head and it shows no sign of making any plans to leave. So I thought I should provide it with an outlet. This is it.

Joining The Bobster are Tom Paxton and Laura Nyro and their songs of the same name. They are both pretty good, but Bobby's is best.

All together now: "I'm Mister Blue, when you say you love me..."

"Mr Blue" - Bobby Vee

"Mr Blue" - Tom Paxton

"Mr Blue" - Laura Nyro

What's bluer than Mr Blue? I think you have already guessed the answer to that.

Friday 24 September 2021

Poetry Corner

A bit of culture for you today folks, courtesy of South African poet and performer Mzwakhe Mbuli.

Mr Mbuli is definitely a member of the firebrand wing of the poetry party. Under the apartheid regime his records were often banned and he himself frequently detained. He also spent three years in prison at the turn of the century for armed robbery, although he and his supporters claim this was a trumped up charge and that he was being punished for speaking up against corruption. 

How unlike the home life of our own Pam Ayres.

"Triple B" - Mzwakhe Mbuli

"Kwazulu Natal" - Mzwakhe Mbuli

Wednesday 22 September 2021

All Summer Gone

Today is officially the last day of Summer here in the UK. Let's say goodbye with a wistful sigh, and maybe even a plaintive cry.

"Summer Wages" - Bobby Bare

"Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer" - Stevie Wonder

"Summer Wind" - Frank Sinatra

Sunday 19 September 2021

Music By The Mugful

Ladies and Gentlemen - especially the ladies if Mr Tea is to be believed - please give a warm welcome to Cocoa Tea (the great reggae singer not some ghastly hot drink hybrid).

"Israel's King" - Cocoa Tea

"Ladies Ball" - Cocoa Tea

Thursday 16 September 2021

Seaside Shuffle

I'm off for a long weekend later this morning. Most of it will be spent visiting pals in Southport but I'm making a little detour to take in the delights of Blackpool.

I originally set out to feature musicians from Southport in this post but with one exception, which we'll come to, it was slim pickings. You can't really lead off a post with 4/5ths of Gomez, can you? So I decided to make it about Blackpool instead, where there is no shortage of local talent.

We have a couple of bands that kicked off their careers there, Jethro Tull and The Nolans - inexplicably the two have never teamed up. There are a bunch of performers who were all born there but moved away at a young age - Graham Nash, Maddy Prior and Robert Smith. 

And then there is Dave Ball, who went off to Leeds Poly where he met a lad from - you guessed it - Southport and formed a band that did quite well. One day I'll tell you the story of how a near encounter with that son of Southport led to me appearing on Russian television. But for now you will have to make do with a video.

"Military Madness" - Graham Nash

"Lovely On The Water" - Steeleye Span

"Up The 'Pool" - Jethro Tull

Monday 13 September 2021


I've recently acquired assorted Hong Kong pop tunes from the 1970s and 1980s - its a long, uninteresting story. Here is but a small selection from the mid 1970s.

Paula Tsui took the understandable commercial decision to capitalise on the popularity of kung fu at the time. You could not really call it gritty and earthy but it makes poor Ervinna sound very dated by comparison, even for 1974. Cheng Kam Cheong, meanwhile, was very much creating a scene of his own.

"Gong Fu Wu" - Paula Tsui

"Huan Le Ge Xing Chu Chu Wen" - Ervinna

"Sheng Huo De Xuan Luu" -  Cheng Kam Cheong

Ervinna is an Indonesian singer who was a big star across Asia in the 1970s, mainly through performing covers of Western pop hits of the time. And non hits too. "Huan Le Ge Xing Chu Chu Wen" is a Cantonese version of "Shiddle De Dee", which Clint Holmes took all the way to No. 106 in the Billboard charts in 1973. 

Clint is best known for "Playground In My Mind". I couldn't find a clip of that so I looked for Roberto Blanco's German version instead. I couldn't find that either but there were plenty of other clips of Roberto, who may perhaps be considered the German Ervinna. Here's one of them.

Saturday 11 September 2021

The Sounds of South Sudan

A couple of weeks ago we had our first ever visitor from South Sudan, so as is now traditional we welcome them by playing music they probably know already.

My collection of South Sudanese music could be described as small but perfectly formed. Apart from Emmanuel Jal's "Ceasefire" album, which we featured here a few years ago, this is pretty much it. Enjoy.

"Election Jai" - Mary Boyoi

"Nyaljj" - Emmanuel Kembe

Thursday 9 September 2021

King George

I was looking through my records, as you do, and discovered that, to my great shame, we have never featured the great George Jackson on here. We're putting that right today.

George, who sadly left us in 2013, had great success as a songwriter but was also a fantastic singer in his own right. He released more than 20 singles between the mid 1960s and the early 1980s on labels including Fame, Hi and Chess, with an inexplicable lack of success.

I would heartily recommend the Kent compilation "George Jackson in Memphis 1972-77" - 21 tracks and not a duffer among them  The first two tracks come from that compilation, the third was a 1969 single on Fame.

"How Can I Get Next To You? " - George Jackson

"Things Are Getting Better" - George Jackson

"My Desires Are Getting The Better Of Me" - George Jackson

And now, three of George's hits as a writer, the first of which goes out especially from one George to another.   

I know the Osmonds video starts late and finishes early but the only full length videos I found were set up so to only play on YouTube. Here's one of them:  

Tuesday 7 September 2021

Diamond Geezer

Most of you will know Kimberley Rew as the guitarist and songwriter with Katrina & The Waves and the man responsible for "Walking On Sunshine", "Going Down To Liverpool" and other top tunes. Being a hip crowd, many of you will also know that before that he was the guitarist in The Soft Boys. 

You may well also know about his 1982 solo album "The Bible Of Bop", on which he is backed by various members of The Soft Boys and The dB's. I wasn't aware of it until earlier this year, but then I'm not as cool as you lot. Here's a couple of tracks.

I'm reasonably sure that most of you won't know that way back in 1973 Mr Rew was in a Cambridge band called Puzzle which featured on a local compilation LP called "The First Lame Bunny Album". I suspect that this fact may be known only to the members of the band and those of us who were subsequently taught French by the drummer, who mentioned it at every possible opportunity.

We round things off with a tribute from his fan club.

"Hey, War Pig!" - Kimberley Rew

"Walking In The Dew" - Kimberley Rew

"Consuelo" - Puzzle

"Kimberley Rew" - Karate Bikini

Sunday 5 September 2021

Single Song Sunday

Having received some slightly tart remarks about the five month gap between the two previous posts in the series, I am trying to do a bit better. This one arrives a mere six weeks after the last one.

I have always thought of today's song as a Motown standard, but it turns out that it was surprisingly unsuccessful when first released. The Four Top's version of "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever" only reached No. 45 in the US and No. 21 in the UK when it came out in 1966, thus making Nick Kamen's 1987 effort - No. 16 in the UK - technically the most successful version.

Any song has an immediate advantage when its sung by Levi Stubbs, and the original is still my favourite. But you can say the same for any song sung by Frankie Miller so I have put his 1976 single next. He runs them a pretty close second.

After that we have smorgasbord of sounds from 1968/69: some soul from Chuck Jackson, something a bit folkier from Dion, and then South African pop sensations The Square Set who had a local No. 1 with a cover of "Silence Is Golden" so are probably covering The Tremeloes' cover which came out in 1967.

Moving forward to the early 1970s we have some supper club soul from Leslie Uggams before handing over to The Band and Bryan Ferry to give the song a bit of welly. 

We finish off with a surprisingly good French version from 1967 from the man who co-wrote "My Way" and sang "Tears On The Telephone" and, of course, with the MRV. For the first time in this series we welcome the great Mr Delroy Wilson.

"Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever" -  The Four Tops 

"Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever" -  Frankie Miller 

"Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever" - Chuck Jackson  

"Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever" -  Dion 

"Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever" -  The Square Set 

"Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever" -  Leslie Uggams 

"Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever (live)" - The Band   

"Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever" -  Bryan Ferry

 "N'est-ce Pas Etrange?"  - Claude François

"Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever" -  Delroy Wilson   

Thursday 2 September 2021

The Pride Of Port Louis

We had our first ever visitor from Mauritius last week, so to mark the occasion here are a couple of tracks from "Soul Sok Séga", a compilation of 1970s Mauritian music that came out on Strut Records a few years ago. It is still available on Bandcamp in various formats, and no doubt elsewhere too.

To quote from the marketing blurb: "Séga is the traditional music of Mauritius and is known as the blues of the Indian Ocean. Though initially marginalised, by the mid-1960s séga music had become a symbol of national pride and identity for Mauritius. With the advent of electric instruments, the influx of funk, soul and jazz from the West and the growth of LPs, séga went commercial. Dancefloors started grooving to a more soulful, funky séga beat".

"Soul Sok Séga" - Ti L'Afrique

"Z'Enfant Misère" - John Kenneth Nelson


Of course, the trend of once scorned music becoming both popular and progressively more funky during the 1970s was not limited to Mauritius. 

PS In other exciting news, since preparing this post we've had our first ever visitor from South Sudan. I'm on the case. 

Tuesday 31 August 2021

Emergency Appeal

We interrupt our regular programming to launch an urgent appeal for your help. Over the weekend the world learnt that the much revered polymath Charity Chic has never heard anything by Robert Earl Keen. Your donations are desperately needed are rectify this truly appalling situation.

FurryBootsCityBoy has already got the ball rolling, and here is my small contribution to the cause. The first two tracks are from my favourite of Robert's albums, 1994's "Gringo Honeymoon", and the third from 2005's "What I Really Mean". 

The first video featuring Joe Ely's excellent take on what may be The Bobster's best known song, then there's a couple from the man himself a handful of years apart.

"Gringo Honeymoon" - Robert Earl Keen

"Dreadful Selfish Crime" - Robert Earl Keen

"Broken End Of Love" - Robert Earl Keen

Sunday 29 August 2021

Lee "Scratch" Perry RIP

OK God, you've made your point. Any chance you could give it a break for a bit now? 

RIP Mr Perry.

"I Am The Upsetter" - Lee "Scratch" Perry

"Dreadlocks In Moonlight" - Lee "Scratch" Perry

"City Too Hot" - Lee "Scratch" Perry

Friday 27 August 2021

More New Music/ New Moor Music

A couple of excellent new albums to tip you off to today. Neither album is actually out yet, but the first singles from each are, and we have the videos for them below.

First up is Natalie Jane Hill's "Solely" which comes out in late October. Natalie is from Austin by way of the Blue Ridge Mountains and she has made a gorgeous little record, with a sound that sets off her voice and songs perfectly. 

The nice man who sent the album to me compares her to early The Weather Station, but when I listen I hear something more like Jessica Pratt's first couple of records.

While you are waiting for "Solely" to become available, you can pick up "Azalea" - Natalie's first album - for a mere $7 on Bandcamp.

The second album to plug is called "Voices From The Empty Moor" which reworks songs performed by the great English folk singer Anne Briggs. The project is masterminded by bassist and arranger Devin Hoff and features a number of guests including Julia Holter and Sharon Van Etten. There is a ghostly, atmospheric feel that suits the songs very well. 

The Julia Holter track is featured in the video below, the Sharon Van Etten track is on the free CD given away with the latest Uncut. Pick of the bunch for me is Shannon Lay's version of "Living By the Water", but you'll have to wait until the album comes out on 21 September to hear that. You can preorder it on Bandcamp now though.

In the meantime here is Anne Briggs' original version and a track from Shannon's excellent 2017 album called - no coincidence surely? - "Living Water". You can get that on Bandcamp too. 

"Living By The Water" - Anne Briggs

"Caterpillar" - Shannon Lay

Wednesday 25 August 2021

Here's Joni!

As promised on Monday, we have some more Joni Haastrup magic for you. Today we are featuring his 1978 solo album "Wake Up Your Mind", available for the knockdown price of $5 on Bandcamp

In keeping with the times, it has much more of a funk and disco feel than his earlier work with MonoMono (including some excellent Silver Convention style backing vocals on "Do The Funkro"). 

"Do The Funkro" - Joni Haastrup

"Greetings" - Joni Haastrup

Of course, Joni was by no means the only artist jumping on the disco bandwagon in those days.  

In what can only be described in an abrupt change of tone, let's take this opportunity to pay tribute to a member of another famous singing siblings act who sadly left us a few days ago. RIP Don Everly.

Monday 23 August 2021

MonoMono Monday

Today's post is the first of two featuring the work of Joni Haastrup, one of the unsung heroes of the Nigerian afro-rock and funk scene of the 1970s and a man who in his time has played with the likes of Fela Kuti and Ginger Baker. 

On Wednesday we'll feature his 1978 solo album "Wake Up Your Mind", but first we have "Give The Beggar A Chance", the album he made in 1971 as the lead singer and keyboard player with MonoMono - not just because it came first chronologically but because "MonoMono Monday" works better as a title than "MonoMono Wednesday".

As well as being a fine piece of music, the title track of the album poses one of the great philosophical questions of our time: "What do you want from a leper who ain't got no hands to scratch his butt?".

"Give The Beggar A Chance" - MonoMono

"Kenimania" - MonoMono

Interesting fact: A few years after it was released, Mickie Most tried to buy the rights to "Kenimania" so he could rework it as the first single for a new band he was trying to promote as rivals to the Bay City Rollers. Joni wouldn't play ball, so Mickie had to use this instead:

Saturday 21 August 2021

Fusion At Its Finest

Take some reggae. Take some yodeling. Put them together and what do you get? Why, reggae yodeling of course!

"Yodel Reggae" - Leroy Gibbs

"Duddle Oley" - Dillinger

Here's more Dillinger, doing what he does better.

Thursday 19 August 2021

Anatolian Tales

I recently acquired "Remains of Anatolia", a sampler album released in 2000 by Kalan, a Turkish record label. The label is still going strong, but the same may not be true for all of the 16 artists that are featured on the album.

As with most samplers it is a bit of a mixed bag, but here are a couple of personal favourites. The Ulaş Özdemir track has a distinct Incredible String Band feel to it (well it does to me anyway).

"Rapatma II" - Fuat Saka

"Yine Seyyah Oldum" - Ulaş Özdemir

Sticking with Turkish tunes here's Derya Yildirim & Grup Simşek, whose excellent new album "DOST 1" came out in June. You can snap it up for just €7 on Bandcamp. I have. I've also booked my tickets to go and see them live later in the year. 

Tuesday 17 August 2021

The Comeback Kids

I recently noticed that I have three albums called "Resurrection" and I thought to myself "That'll do". So here they are, two from soul legends and personal favourites and one from a 1960s garage band that got back together in 2017 after nearly 50 years to make a blues record.

Also in the collection is "Resurrect" by Eric Taylor. Many years ago Eric was married to Nanci Griffith and he wrote "Deadwood South Dakota", Nanci's version of which I featured in my previous post.

"No Deposit No Return" - Swamp Dogg

"Cousin Henry" - Bobby Womack

"Superstitious Blues" - The Druids of Stonehenge

"Louis Armstrong's Broken Heart" - Eric Taylor

Now feast your eyes and ears on these.

Sunday 15 August 2021

Nanci Griffith RIP

I was very saddened to hear that we lost the great Nanci Griffith on Friday. She has been one of my favourite singers for well over 30 years, and "Last of the True Believers" is one of my all time favourite albums. RIP Ms Griffith.

"Workin' In Corners" - Nanci Griffith

"The Wing & The Wheel" - Nanci Griffith

"Deadwood, South Dakota (live)" - Nanci Griffith

Monday 9 August 2021

A-Rutling We Will Go

Tomorrow morning I'm off to Stamford in Lincolnshire for a short break. While I'm there I plan to travel one stop down the train line to Oakham, the main town in the tiny county of Rutland. 

Rutland actually stopped being a county in 1974 - blame the conniving bastards at the Local Government Commission for England - but after 20 years of civil disobedience was subsequently reinstated in 1997.  

To show my solidarity with the plucky Rutlanders, here is a selection of music from 1974 to tide you over until I return. I thought about adding some songs from 1997, but why dilute the quality with all that modern rubbish?

And what of Stamford itself? Well, according to Wikipedia its famous citizens include Nicola Roberts of Girls Aloud and David Jackson, the saxophonist in the 'classic' line-up of Van Der Graaf Generator. So that's the videos taken care of. 

"Enario" - Ofo The Black Company

"Shoo-B-Doop And Cop Him" - Betty Davis

"The Drum" - Slapp Happy

"Sen Varsin" - Bülent Ortacgil 

"Blackbelt Jones" - B. Ragga

"Drinkin' Thing" - Gary Stewart

"Down Where The Drunkards Roll" - Richard & Linda Thompson

"Saturday Gigs" - Mott The Hoople

From something for everyone to some things that may be for nobody at all.  Even George might struggle to finish all 24 minutes of "A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers" (let alone all 3 minutes of "Beat Of My Drum").


If you need cheering up after that, here's a positive message for you all. Take care, see you next week.

Friday 6 August 2021

World Wide Webb

This Sunday marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Webb Pierce. Webb was the original King of Bling, famed for his Nudie suits, his guitar-shaped swimming pool and his Pontiac with steer horns on the front and guns for door handles.

He was also one of the best honky-tonk singers in the business, as we will demonstrate now. Happy birthday, Mr Pierce, wherever you are.

"There Stands The Glass" - Webb Pierce

"I Ain't Never" - Webb Pierce

"That's Me Without You" - Webb Pierce

Wednesday 4 August 2021

Hurry Up Harriott

I recently acquired an excellent Derrick Harriott reissue on Doctor Bird (Cherry Red's reggae reissues brand). It comprises two albums from 1975 - "Greatest Reggae Hits" and "Reggae Disco Rockers" - and lots of versions and other bonus tracks. 

Here are a couple of tracks from "Greatest Reggae Hits". The first is an original and the second a Billy Paul cover. The album, and a compilation as a whole, is an entertaining mix of originals, versions, cover versions and versions of cover versions. 

On "Reggae Disco Rockers" Derrick gives us his take on the two songs in the videos, proving yet again that there isn't any song from the 1970s that doesn't have a Mandatory Reggae Version.

"Face Dog" - Derrick Harriott

"Brown Baby" - Derrick Harriott

Monday 2 August 2021

Newness Abounds

One of the perks of doing this blog is that many nice people send me free music in the misguided belief that I have some influence with the music-buying public. I won't tell them if you don't. 

Over the last couple of months I have received a particularly good crop of new albums. We are going to feature six of them today - four audio, two video - and hope you will check them all out and maybe buy a few. 

I have neither the time nor the words to write an adequate review of each of them so, without further ado, let's get cracking. That zeitgeist isn't going to surf itself is it?

"Area 52 Truck Stop" - Sylvia Bullett (from "Area 52 Truck Stop")

"My Love Never Sleeps" - Ric Robertson (from "Carolina Child") 

"Boozing And Losing" - Turner Cody (from "Friends In High Places")

"Cue The Tears" - Dot Allison (from "Heart Shaped Scar")

The videos are "Maré" by Rodrigo Amarante (from "Drama") and "Hurt A Fly" by Squirrel Flower (from "Planets (i)". Enjoy.

Friday 30 July 2021

The Malaysian Mermaid

What could be more suitable to round off the week, and the month, than some vintage Malaysian pop. Step forward please, Ms Uji Rashid.

Born in Brunei but moving to KL when still a child, Uji was a major pop and film star in Malaysia in the 1970s and 1980s. Or as the very wonky translation of her Malay Wikipedia entry puts it, "this fierce -eyed art man is endowed with a natural spoiled voice as well as synonymous with the title of 'spoiled voiced singer' by homeland art fans; especially the 70s and 80s generations".

As if being a star of stage and screen wasn't enough, she apparently has both a batik fabric pattern and a type of fish named after her. I could not find a photo of the batik pattern but this is the fish. I am not totally convinced that it is a compliment.

The real Uji is still with us and here she is doing what she does best. Both tracks come from a compilation album called "Kenangan Manis", which I am reasonably confident means "Sweet Memories" and which I probably picked up on a work trip to KL a few years back. 

"Kemesraan" - Uji Rashid

"Berilah Kasih Sayang" - Uji Rashid

From a fish named after a singer to a singer named Fish. We don't just fling this together you know.

Wednesday 28 July 2021

Mel & Him

Some super soul sounds from '72 for you today, courtesy of Mel & Tim. "Starting All Over Again" made the US Top 20 that year. Both tracks can be found on the album of the same name.

Before any of you ask, they are not a misspelt Mel & Kim, as I think their respective videos will prove.

"Starting All Over Again" - Mel & Tim

"Too Much Wheelin' And Dealin'" - Mel & Tim

Monday 26 July 2021

Hiss Hitss

Over the weekend I was listening to "Quietly Blowing It", the new album by Hiss Golden Messenger. It's excellent. If you haven't bought it already you should go and do so now.

Hiss Messengerness is possibly my favourite artist to emerge over the last ten years or so - he's certainly up there. I first became aware of him through 2011's "Poor Moon" and first got to see him the following year in a pub basement supporting Michael Chapman. Since then I've been lucky enough to see him a few more times both solo and with a band, and I've picked up every album as well.

Here are a few golden oldies for you, in chronological order. The first is from "Country Hai East Cotton" (2009), the others from "Poor Moon" and "Haw" (2013).

"O Nathaniel" - Hiss Golden Messenger

"Blue Country Mystic" - Hiss Golden Messenger

"The Serpent Is Kind (Compared To Man)" - Hiss Golden Messenger

The second time I saw Hiss Golden Messenger it was just M.C. Taylor again, this time on a double bill with William Tyler. When he announced that for an encore he would be doing a song by Gary Stewart (one of my all-time heroes as long-serving readers might recall) and that Mr Tyler would be helping out I felt I had a take a sneaky video. With apologies for the quality, here it is. 

And here he is the first time I saw him. I had forgotten that I had taken this video until I went to find the other one. The picture quality is a bit better is this one but the sound quality is worse, so apologies again.