When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)

Anyone remember my wee son, TheBoyWonder? Well, he went camping with some kids from school a couple of weeks ago, to make a video to one of his songs as part of a friend’s uni application. And this is it…
I’m not too sure what I make of it, having only just seen it for the first time myself – basically I am speechless at how grown-up he is. Hope at least a couple of you enjoy the song!

Who knows where the time goes?



With apologies for anyone hoping for Sandy Denny, this is debbym smuggling a post in amongst the end-of-the-year outpourings to join RTJ’amy in wishing Shoey a Happy Birthday and to wish all of us a Happy New Year 2013 – may it prove even better than/be a 100% improvement on [delete as necessary] the past twelve months…

I would also like to say thank you to Shoey and Herr Hachi for organising the Festive Extravaganzas, to SR for being an excellent Lady of the Worms and to all RR’ers who’ve made welcoming noises in my direction – all very much appreciated!

A couple of weeks ago TheBoyWonder’s band was allotted a slot in a charity event in a little Hamburg club. The song that’s been posted on youtube is called Time, so I thought it might be appropriate to share it with you here. 


Happy New Year!

Rule Britannia…?…

A rare visit from me, with apologies to anyone planning on posting A Challenge this evening. Little’Un’s class at school is doing a project on all their different nationalities, and GHE and SV80 were a great help to me in getting a mix of Balkan/Afghan/ex Soviet pop together. Now Teacher has told me they’re going to be doing a whole week on each country. Obviously I could fill hours and hours with nursery rhyme mixes, lo-o-ong trad folk songs with 56 choruses,and most of the pop music you’ve ever heard – if it didn’t originate in Swinging England, there’s a good chance English be the language used. But it got me to wondering – what music makes you think of England? Answers on a postcard, please…. (or if you’ve no stamps to hand, feel free to use the comments below).

The Sound of the Charts in… Russia





Anyone wanting to know what yer av’rage Russian’s been listening to since this



should pop over to SV80‘s latest feature in the Guardian!


(I’m posting here at his request – Blimpy, if you’re about maybe you could send a reminder of how to log in?)


Cheers! (Or should that be бу́дем здоро́вы! )

Teen Totty

This is a throwback to a thread by Amylee several months ago – I promised you teen totty, and here you have it! This is TheBoyWonder with his band The Box, playing at an open-air festival in Hamburg last August when they were all still 15. No-one has ever found time to edit this video, which is why the boys didn’t want it posted – they’re really not too happy with the quality – but they’ve now put it up on their facebook page after all, so I reckon it’s OK to post it here. Many thanks to Bish and Shoey, who were awarded a preview and commented favourably on this in advance (albeit with the advice to get it edited).

As Proud Mother I feel duty-bound to say that the lads come over much better live than in this clip!

Gig alert!

I spent ages writing a post yesterday, only to have it disappear when I went to publish it. I have, however, just heard from Anthony the WordPress Elf that everything is back in working order, so I’ll try for a précis…

Festive ‘Spill favourites the Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band are in England NEXT WEEK (!), playing Sheffield on Monday, Bristol on Tuesday and London (Shoreditch) on Thursday. Then they’re off to Ireland for a bit before returning to Wolverhampton, Newcastle, Worthingbury and Newbury in early November – I’ll supply venues and dates in the comments if anyone’s interested.

Also at the beginning of November Pearl and the Beard, earwormed with Reverend back in July, are playing Manchester (Nov 5th) and London on Nov 3rd, 4th and 7th.  Again, I can tell you venues in the comments if you’re interested.

None of these gigs cost much more than a tenner, some even leave you change for a pint. I am Too Far Away to just pop over for a gig and they’re not playing anywhere near me, so I need ‘Spill volunteers to go along and vicariously enjoy the music for me, possibly downing an ale or two while they’re at it. Any takers?

The All-New ‘Spill Weekly Song Challenge – Week 5

Or, in case ToffeeBoy‘s around, Challenge 31 b…

Anyone really still need a recap of the rules?

A new challenge appears of a Tuesday evening [next week's amylee's turn, any takers for June 14th or beyond, please make yourself known in the comments below. Ta!]… No song may be chosen twice in the same week (at least, not by the same artist) – well, that’s how I’m interpreting it anyway – and TFD & Chris get first dibs at the Tom Petty & the Grateful Dead catalogues unless anyone else really really really really really needs one of their songs for that week’s challenge and is quicker to the draw…Dr*pb*x folder can be made available should anyone feel the need… Did I forget any vital information?

This week’s challenge is to choose a song in a language you don’t understand. Have fun!

Challenge 31 b – not for the faint of heart!

I was thinking of setting this as a bonafide challenge when my turn came around, but three things made me change my mind:

Number One Thing – some of you are going to hate this and not want to take part…

Number Two Thing – some of you are at a distinct geographical disadvantage and may have no idea what this is about…

Number Three Thing – it needs to be done this week due to its topicality (but Herr Hachi has bagsied his turn to set the challenge) …

… which is why I have decided to post here & now – and maybe offer a distraction from divorce – because, ladies & gentlemen, next Saturday sees the 56th annual EUROVISION SONG CONTEST, coming at you live from Germany (home to debby & the m’s).

I would hazard a guess that the Eurovision Song Contest sets most ‘Spillers teeth on edge, but Eurovision is HUGE in Continental Europe, with none of the ‘Auntie Gladys-ness’ it’s tainted with for many Brits. And Hamburg, in particular, is a Hochburg of ESC fever, with public viewing on the Reeperbahn and a huge free concert before and after – all shown live on TV, too.

For those not in the know, it’s an annual competition open to all member countries of the European Broadcasting Union. One song per country is submitted (most countries run their own internal competition first, where television viewers get to choose the national entry), then there is a HUGE show involving much cheesiness [think: fake tan, sequins, pyrotechnics], hosted by the previous year’s winner, followed by a seemingly never-ending voting process involving each and every participating country awarding a maximum of 12 points per song – they’re not allowed to vote for their own country’s entry, so often end up awarding most points to their direct neighbours.

The best thing about this competition by far is the live blog on the Guardian, highly recommended last year by one Catcher of this parish. It’s also a good idea to have plenty of alcohol within easy reach to help you through any live television coverage you may dare to chance.

There are many clips available on youtube (try either ‘Eurovision Song Contest’ or ‘ESC’), or if you click here you can go through the entries year by year to find a song. Your challenge is to choose any one song ever entered the Eurovision Song Contest (the most famous winner, Waterloo by Abba, pictured above is also up for grabs). If you’re lucky, you might find a song you actually like – but it’s also fine to choose a song for its comic qualities and/or potential [non-intentional wins extra 'Spill pints] or general naffness.

Have fun!

Tipsy? Nous?!


This is photographic proof of the micro Social (in case anyone woke up this morning with a bad case of the Leffes and thought they’d just been dreaming)…

Thank you all so very, very much for coming into town, you made us feel really welcome! Hope you all made it home OK.

Proof that theBoyWonder came too (and his camera is to blame for all this):


Mini/micro/minute Social

OK, so I’m coming to London and I can’t get to see Jonathan Richman – but I can partake in the traditional ICA send-off for airport-bound ‘Spillers and their offspring (aka copying the tincanman). Takers so far include Mnemonic and Ejaydee. TheBoyWonder will also be on display.

Thursday (Oct 7) 10.30 p.m. at the ICA café on the Mall – see you there!

Two pints of Adnams & a packet of crisps please

At the risk of offending any RRegulars not based in London – would anyone be up for a micro-Social next Thursday (October 8th)? It’s theBoyWonder’s birthday on Sunday and as there’s nothing material he wants (!), I’ve taken sourpus‘ advice and booked a Flight For 50p. We’ll be staying somewhere in central London Wednesday night – and meeting my sister that afternoon for the first time in over 10 years, hence the song – and Thursday night we have to get back out to Stansted. So, if anyone’s got time for a pint, please let me know!

We’re going to be on an extremely tight budget, so I’d be glad of any suggestions for cheap entertainment, especially if there’s music on anywhere for under a tenner (and they’d let a 15 year-old in). I’m planning on doing a lot of walking, maybe dropping by the South Bank to see if there’s anything on around lunchtime, and I’d like to take the boy out to Greenwich (is it true the pie shop’s gone?!). Apart from that we’re open to offers!

I’m off to do Motherly things until bedtime, but I would be ecstatic to find replies to this thread when I check back in tonight or tomorrow…



EOTWQ (or should I be waiting for Blimpy to start a new month?)

This week’s theme: Home Economics (in the broadest sense of the term)

1) My back yard – can’t really call it a garden – currently looks very much like the above photo. [OK, our bench might not be in such good nick]. Is it really worth destroying the weeds (I’m thinking in particular of a particularly aggressive non-flowering bindweed-type plant smothering everything it can reach) and planting up dinky pots of herbs and  flowers for the 20-odd days in a year you actually get to sit outside and enjoy them?

2) Anyone know a cure GUARANTEED to get my voice  back and my head clear within the next 36 hours?

3) We’ve done ‘food’ any number of times, but I need your Number One emergency recipe involving no more than five (storecupboard staple) ingredients. Spill pints awarded for comfort factor…

4) Having been stupid enough a couple of months ago NOT to take the money and run (aka ‘voluntary’ redundancy) I would be very surprised to find myself still ‘gainfully’ employed come Christmas. As we are several ‘Spillers whose ‘home economics’ have been threatened of late (Shoey & Ali spring to mind) – what great money-making joint venture would you recommend?

5) Ending on a lighter note – our resident Canadian tincancomic is taking a break, so let’s grasp this golden opportunity to roll out all those Canadian gags we’ve been holding back for so long. My favourite Canadian joke?

Bryan Adams!

Over to you…

(P.S. If anyone was waiting with a real EOTWQ, feel free to ignore this)

RR 5 year social

Woke up this morning to a cluster of emails concerning a Social to celebrate 5 years of RR this September. The first one went out from DsD, who wrote:  “As I type, I’m realising I should have done this as a Spill post, but I’m going to be late for work already, so …” – so I hope you don’t mind my butting in here, Rich…

[Aside: My Little Darlin' sneaked out from her summer holiday club yesterday and it took nearly 2 hours and state police intervention to find her again. I really don't know what to do with my anger - now the panic's passed! - because doing the sit-down-and-discuss-what-you-did-wrong-and-why-Mummy's-so-upset thing  just isn't possible with her, she literally doesn't understand. So I'm allowing myself an extra 'Spill visit as an excuse to take my mind elsewhere for 10 minutes.]

Suggestions so far include hiring the Albert Hall (assuming Dorian’s paying!) where both RockingMitch and magicman will perform with their respective bands. For my tuppence, I’d like to bring the boys from the Box over with me (@ gareth – I’d really like to know whether you enjoy anything on that CD or not, and I’d love a post on here including pictures of the winners with their winnings), I’d like treefrogdemon to sing for us all, some flamenco from Senora Maki and I’d like a guest appearance by the Actionettes  (Guru Maddy’s front left on the following clip)

Shoey, I believe you started this over on the Mothership, so I’m nominating you as head of logistics (organising transatlantic flights/live web coverage for those who can’t make it etc).

Over to you!


I’ve got so much catching up to do on here, I don’t know that I should be allowed to post – but…

This is just a quick reminder for the ‘Spill community that Abahachi is doing a sponsored cycle ride for the British Heart Foundation on June 20th (that’s Sunday). Last year saw several sponsors from the RR community, this year there’s still room for a couple more (hint, hint). Neville, I hope you don’t mind my posting this.

Here’s the link you need (I’m sorry, I can’t get it to post ‘live’, so please cut & paste – and please make a donation, even if it’s only the price of a pint. Thank you)


Indulge me (yet again)

Sorry folks, I’m wearing that Proud Mum cap again. A couple of you know that Sam (a.k.a. The Boy Wonder) played a gig at his school last week. It wasn’t much of a gig, 3 bands playing to an audience of  maybe 60 people, but I was impressed at how much Sam’s singing and playing has improved over the past year. He obviously enjoys playing his music on stage!

Somebody recorded their set and I’ve just been given a copy of the CD, so I thought I’d share one of their new songs with you (and see if Maki’s instructions work for me!) – I sense an Arctic Monkeys-meet-the-Raconteurs influence…

(For anyone who’s managed to avoid my posts so far – Sam, Robin, Nick & Lennie are THE BOX, four 14 year-olds writing their own songs, guitar, keyboard, bass, drums)

The picture shows Sam’s biggest fan, Miss Ellie, showing off her disco leggings!

Did Anybody Mention Boy Bands?

I often have great difficulty knowing what to post on here. I don’t seem to own a single piece of music that isn’t already known to everybody else, whilst the majority of music I listen to comes from local bands playing live – not exactly conducive to posting on t’Spill. But when it comes to boy bands…
Boys2Rock play very loud guitar, are friends of friends, thoroughly nice guys and – after all those shredding chicks – welcome eye candy for the ‘Spill-ettes (sorry the pic is so very small, ladies). Their entire repertoire consists of motherfuckin’ boyband songs!
There are a couple of videos on youtube, but the quality is appalling, so I’ll just link you over to their myspace presence http://www.myspace.com/boys2rock where you can listen to a medley; obviously it’s not comparable to seeing them live (especially when there’s good beer on tap).


OTSWYL stands for On The Street Where You Live, which I hope could be taken on as the new EOTW series (seeing as no-one’s come up with a Q this week). When the ‘Spill was quite young we had a ‘Where I listen to my music’ spot, but I would like to know about where you live in more general terms. I’m not expecting anyone to renounce their anonymity or reveal their postcode, but I’d be interested to know how we all live – whether in a chocolate box village, in a trendy part of town, as part of a nuclear family, in a commune, whatever…

As many of you know, I live with my 2 kids in a city in northern Germany. The place we live – see the piccy above – was originally a charitable foundation for widows of good standing who had fallen on hard times – this was back in the 1850s. It’s also been used as an old people’s home, it housed reconstruction workers after the war (the right wing was hit quite badly) and at some point in the 70s it was used for student flats, the university being just round the corner. A squat was organised when it was announced the buildings were to be torn down (so the university could get another car park!), and with the encouragement of local politicians the Mieterselbstverwaltung was born. That’s a very long word which basically means we’re an autonomous community: we decide who moves in here, we determine our own rent (has to cover costs, obviously, but no-one is allowed to make a commercial profit from it), we see to any building work that needs doing (restoring the roof on the right wing, for example) and are responsible for the upkeep of the buildings and grounds.

‘We’ are 70 people, plus partners and children (currently 12 children and 6 visiting grandchildren), a dozen different nationalities, jobs ranging from storyteller to senior doctor, from electrician to scrounger. We are home to a tango dancer, an accordeon player, a guy in a band whose entire repertoire consists of howling at the full moon. Our chapel is used by the Ethiopian and the Egyptian Copt communities – although it was until recently Greek Orthodox. We host the Glockenschlag Festival every May, and organise another, smaller festival in summer with emphasis on entertainment for the whole family (I’m in charge of the children’s programme, which always involves a lot of noise, a lot of running about on our wilden Wiese or overgrown wilderness and a campfire toasting bread on sticks). We’re a green oasis slap bang in the middle of town (there’s a university high-rise right behind us), and you can walk through the park to the city centre shops in about 20 minutes (15 if your legs are long!) or meander the whole way down to St Pauli and the waterfront.

Sometimes I hate living here. The buildings are badly insulated, so we’re currently freezing cold, and you hear a lot of noise from your neighbours – coughing, laughter, domestic disputes, the band Eisenvater working out their new songs in the flat next-door to mine (unless it’s drowned out by the four lanes of traffic surrounding us, of course); also, everyone knows everyone else’s business. Sometimes I long for a flat where the windows and doors shut properly, where there’s a caretaker to call on if anything needs fixing, where I need do no more than casually nod to the people I pass on the stairs. But in summer it’s great – the kids can play outside, and you can move from garden to garden, from coffee to beer and always have someone new to chat to. I am sure I would miss the sense of community if we ever had to leave here…
…Which, incidentally, is on the cards. I was hoping we could stay here until my kids finish school, but the university needs room to expand and would like to turn this complex into an IT centre by 2016. There’s no official decision as yet, and we’re fighting to be able to stay. I’ll keep you posted!

All This Remains

I didn’t vote on the CWS – the flu has left me feeling fragile and in dire need of acoustic, soothing melodies – and I’ve got loads of your posts from Christmas to catch up on still (Thank you Shoey for the Festive ‘Spill, I hope I can still catch that!)

So here is a song that offers ME one of my favourite musicians ever on guitar, while YOU all get another helping of Indie Tottie

Bert Jansch and Hope Sandoval from the 2002 album Edge Of A Dream


Strange goings -on down t’Spill

I’ve just posted something I started writing over the weekend (don’t let that put you off, it’s really not that long) and was irritated not to find it on t’Spill when I checked. I didn’t realize that posts appear according to the date you started on them rather than the date you finished them (live & learn) – PLEASE scroll down, it’s the 8th post beneath this one.
Thanks! Merci! Danke! Kiitos! Ta very much!

Mother’s Pride

I realize I can bore for England on the topic of my kids, but this time it’s something special (honest, guv). I’ve mentioned before over on the Mothership that mrdebbyjr writes his own songs, and I may well have regaled you all with tales of his fearless performance in a packed pub at a party a couple of weeks ago.
Last weekend was the little summer festival we run in the Schroederstift (that’s the place we live) and Sam and his band played their first ever gig, Saturday afternoon up on the main stage. For 13 year-olds on their first outing it wasn’t half bad! They sold every single copy of their recently recorded CD, and that at EUR 5 a pop – there’s hope he’ll earn his own college fees yet…
The sound man was great with the lads (they’d never even done a soundcheck before) and made them a little recording of their set. Unfortunately it seems to have gone on holiday with the Young Master, so I’m going to try and upload one of his solo songs (they’re all I can find on this computer). So, this is Sam & his magic pedal (many thanks to tincanman for patience & technical information)

My Dear Cousin

And this is the band with a track off their CD (but I’m not sure if this is the final mix!) available to anyone interested in about a month’s time, courtesy of Proud Mum
Shark in the Jungle

P.S. Just in case anyone starting up a RRecord lable is interested in this (hint, hint) – surprisingly enough they’re not signed yet!


As I’m stuck at home with msdebbyjr and a ton of paper tissues, waiting for my lost voice to return (sorry, tin, I’m going all medical on you again), I thought I’d grab the chance to actually participate on this blog and post this week’s instalment of five non-musical questions for you all.

1) Details of the first car you ever owned, please – colour, pet name, number of scratches on the driver’s door…

2) Apologies to anyone forced to suffer an adolescence without a dress code imposed by their local education authority: what colour was your school uniform and do you EVER wear it now? (the colour, not the uniform – that’s probably wishful thinking for most of us these days)

3) What would be your absolute culinary luxury? (see above for msdebbyjr’s ketchup delight)

4) Your favourite beach, wherever in the world and for whatever reason (doesn’t have to have anything to do with a holiday)

5) Do you prefer your socks plain or with a pattern?

It’s not easy to think of questions that have nothing to do with music!