Gig Review – Midlake at Halifax Minster

Midlake 3 v3

Sorry. I’m a bit late with this. The gig was last Friday evening, and I was supposed to write it up and post within 24hrs. But first of all I had a bit of a cider hangover (thanks Bruv, Gordon & Ali), which took out Saturday. Then I ended up working all the way up on the Cumbrian coast on Sunday (took me so long to get back I missed the World Cup Final). And finally I got an email from Michael Hann on Monday morning saying that The Graun wouldn’t be using the review even if I sent it! So that kinda took away any sense of urgency I might have had.

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Village People

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Some of you may know that I help put on gigs in our village’s community centre, so I thought I would share some of the homegrown talents of Newport-on-Tay. 

First of all is Sonny Carntyne who are an echo-rock 4/5 piece who make great songs in the vein of The National or Interpol with a deep musical intensity & evocative lyrics.

Their “Retreat” EP is up on band camp for a pay-what-you-like arrangement here

Then there is St Kilda Mailboat, who have been wowing crowds with post apocalyptic skiffle songs about David Niven, Heebie-geebies, cats called Michael Stipe, and a tune called Mini Wham Bar Rampage where they pelt the unsuspecting audience with mini Wham Bars.

And thirdly we have Seven Sons who play americana tinged folk with lovely harmonies & are very engaging live to boot!

So, open up your village hall, be merry & please share in the comments what’s going on in your neck o’ the woods!

Buried Christmas treasure

christmas small
I recently received an early Christmas present in the shape of a pen drive loaded with the entire Buried Treasure back catalogue, and as Tom Petty’s radio programme is currently in its eighth season and there are 24-5 programmes per season with 20 or so tracks per programme you better believe that’s a fair old amount of music. I’m currently listening my way through Season Two and I came across this Christmas show which I thought you people might like. He does play two of his own recordings, which isn’t usual, but those of you who don’t like TP&TH can always skip those.

Happy Christmas!

1 Theme Song
2 I Feel OK – Detroit Junior
3 Merry Christmas, Baby – Otis Redding
4 Christmas All Over Again – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
5 Who Took The Merry Out Of Christmas – Staples Singers
6 Silver Bells – Booker T and the MGs
7 White Christmas – Otis Redding
8 Tom’s Mailbag
9 Christmas Comes But Once A Year – Albert King
10 Santa Claus Is Back In Town – Elvis Presley
11 Merry Christmas – Lightnin’ Hopkins
12 Santa Claus Baby – The Voices
13 Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’ – Sir Mack Rice
14 The Christmas Song – King Curtis
15 Run, Run Rudolph – Chuck Berry
16 Red Rooster – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
17 Back Door Santa – Clarence Carter
18 Happy New Year – Lightnin’ Hopkins
19 Christmas Song – The Chipmunks
20 Feels Like Christmas – Al Greene
21 Little Drummer Boy/Silent Night/
Auld Lang Syne – Jimi Hendrix
22 Jingle Bells – Booker T and the MGs

He’s got all the best tunes, you know.

It has often been said that the Devil has all the best tunes. There is also supposed to be something diabolic about certain types of music and there is the interval known as diabolus in musica (the Devil in Music) a.k.a the tritone, an interval known for dissonance.

Diabolic and Satanic imagery has long been associated with heavy metal and Goth has always been as much about decaying ruins, vampires and death as it has about music.

Jimmy Page was, at one time, deeply interested in Aleister Crowley, the so-called Wickedest Man Alive and founder of the occult religion of Thelema (motto – Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law) and the late Graham Bond was so obsesed with Crowley that he formed a band called Holy Magick and believed himself to be Crowley’s son.

Earlier still, it was said that Robert Johnson bacame a blues guitar phenomenon because of a pact with the Devil, signed at midnight, down at the crossroads. This idea later spawned a film about the same subject, culminating in a guitar battle between the Devil’s guitar hero, played by Steve Vai and the hero of the film, Eugene (guitar work by Ry Cooder).

So, music has a long tradition of dealing in the Black Arts and this playlist covers all the bases from posession and exorcism, through witchcraft, occult ceremonies and the Undead athrough to Hell and Damnation.

As you can see, we have 11 tracks. The task here is to decide which one will be saved from the Pit and which one will be cast into the Outer Dark forever.

The track listing is:

Charlie Daniels Band – The Devil Went Down To Georgia
Siousxie and the Banshees – Spellbound
David Byrne and Brian Eno – The Jezebel Spirit
Dr John – Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya
Black Widow – Come To The Sabbat
Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead
Cassandra Wilson – Hellhound On My Trail
John Martyn – I’d Rather Be The Devil
King Crimson – The Devil’s Triangle
The Clash – Straight To Hell
AC/DC – Highway To Hell

Best Cover Artist Ever? Rod vs Stevie

(Groovyshark links – alas no youtube)

13) Humble Pie – 99 Pounds

14) Humble Pie – I Walk on Guilded Splinters

I seem to be in a classic rock kinda mood today, so i figured it was as good a time as any to have a look at these 2 guys as cover artists. Lotta similarities here – both have (arguably i suppose) some of the finest pipes ever bestowed upon mortals and their voices often (inexplicablty to me) get confused. They shared a band – Stevie Marriott was with the Small Faces until he quit to form the Pie, and Rod Stewart took his place on pipes and Ronnie Wood took over his axework and they morphed into the Faces. They both wrote songs, and some damn good ones too, but covered more than their share. Many of the same artists. Small Faces was one of the most original and inventive bands going, and yet Stevie left to do a few great original tunes (30 Days in the Hole, Thunderbox, Hot and Nasty) and a slew of covers with the Pie. Rod went solo and did a few great original songs (Every Picture Tells a Story, Maggie May, You Wear It Well, Mandolin Wind), some ok ones, some shit ones, and a buttload of covers of varying quality.

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Happy birthday, TP!

American Gothic

It’s Tom Petty’s birthday today – he’s 63 – and I thought you’d like to see this painting of him and Dylan in American Gothic mode. I don’t know who it’s by; it just popped up on the Facebook Tom Petty Friends page the other day. Here’s a clip of Tom’n’Bob in 1987.

And talking of the Tom Petty Friends, I’m pleased to say that the birthday video they’ve made this year includes me! So once TP wakes up and looks at Twitter he’ll be able to see me, his devoted fan, wishing him a happy birthday. (Well, perhaps.)

Also, this Lego version of the band appeared on blockaholic.com the other day…

Lego TP&TH

Where do you get Lego guitars, I’d like to know? Anyway – have a happy TP birthday, everybody!

P.S. They’ll Rock Your World. Eels @ Glasgow ABC

Knuckles, The Chet & E giving it large.

Knuckles, The Chet & E giving it large.

 

It doesn’t seem that long since Mark Everett last toured here, but hell, I wasn’t going to turn down the opportunity to see this band play again. They are here for the No Mean City Festival, but reading between the lines, these guys just love playing together and have a short UK tour to tie in with their festival commitments.

The evening’s entertainment gets off to a predictably unexpected start: bouncers insist that we retreat from the stage to make room for what appears to be a bunch of Virgin cabin crew complete with wheelie cases, but turns out to be a burlesque troupe. I must confess that this didn’t entirely throw me as I had seen them a few years back in Lisbon where the first support act was a ventriloquist. The whole thing passes off in entertaining enough fashion, with the su[pport baton passed to Misty Miller, fully clothed and sporting a Telecaster. Her main inspirations would appear to be PJ Harvey and her former drummer who provides ample subject material for her love songs. I liked her guitar playing which was a mixture of delicacy and dirty open chord distortion.

E

E

 

Eels take the stage in regulation Adidas track suits, beards and sunglasses, with E sporting a somewhat ill-advised headband. Regular followers will be aware of Mark Everett’s whimsical attitude to pleasing audiences. Who can forget the post Blinking Lights tour, a noise-fest that would try the patience of the most ardent fan (and happened to be the ladyllama’s introduction to the band, which had her questioning my sanity). Tonight however we are in safe hands, with a set largely hewn for Wonderful Glorious with a smattering of oldies from Hombre Lobo (Fresh Blood & Tremendous Dynamite), Shootenanny! (Saturday Morning & Dirty Girl) and Electro-Shock Blues ( Climbing Up To The Moon), interspersed with good humoured joshing and band hugs for all concerned. It is rare to see a band enjoy themselves as thoroughly as these guys and the playing is bone-crunchingly tight; a total of three guitarists including The Chet ably driven along by Big Al (the lady llama prefers Kool G Murder, who she claims was “looking at” her in Lisbon!) and the excellent Knuckles. They would certainly be my nomination for best covers act and tonight they excel with a blistering take on Fleetwood Mac’s Oh Well and a fabulous and faithful take on the Stones’ Beast of Burden – Amy would surely approve,

 

E in the zone and impervious to distraction.

E in the zone and impervious to distraction.

 

After the usual encores the band return after lights up with a kick ass Dog Faced Boy, accompanied by the burlesque troupe, this time fully clothed. A good time was had by all.

Another Tuesday, Another Challenge.

Aha, another ‘Spill Challenge. No real theme here this time and Frippiness has been kept to an absolute minimum. I expect that many of these songs won’t be unfamiliar to most people and I hope that there is something here for everyone. Listening back, though, if there is a theme, it is that I think these tracks all seem to work well in our Summer heat.

So, same as always, What rocks your world and what rains on your parade?

01 – Intro/Sweet Jane – Lou Reed From Lou’s 1974 Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal album, featuring the twin guitar talents of
Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner, who also played in Alice Cooper’s band.
02 – Black Water – The Doobie Brothers
The hot weather seems to suit the early Doobie Brother’s sound. This one has a languid, zoned-out feel.
03 – Baby’s On Fire – Brian Eno
The Bard of Braininess from his first album, Here Come The Warm Jets. with a suitably incandescent guitar solo by Robert Fripp (his only appearance on the list).
04 – He’ll Have To Go – Ry Cooder
A hit for Jim Reeves, Ry Cooder’s take is a laid-back affair with a Tex-Mex swing, courtesy of the accordion of Flaco Jimenez.
05 – Jacket Hangs – The Blue Aeroplanes
One of the best-known songs from Bristol’s Blue Aeroplanes. This is a band that needs to be seen live because Gerard Langley is a fantastic frontman. They had a non-singing dancer long before Bez came along, fact fans.
06 – Spencer The Rover – John Martyn
A traditional folk ballad given the inimitable Martyn treatment. One of my favourite songs on the album Sunday’s Child.
07 – There’s No Way Out Of Here – David Gilmour
From his first, 1977 solo album, originally recorded by a band called Unicorn (no, me neither) and released as a single, which flopped, probably because of the year. David gives his guitar a typical workout. This album is interesting, because it shows how Floyd would sound once Roger Waters left leaving David in charge.
08 – When Poets Dreamed Of Angels – David Sylvian
A typically atmospheric song from David Sylvian’s Secrets of the Beehive album. I am a huge fan of his solo work and I really think he deserves more airplay.
09 – Song With No Words – David Crosby
A dreamy drifting workout, basically a jam, from his 1971 solo album, If I Could Only Remember My Name, this features Jerry Garcia, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, Mike Shrieve and Graham Nash. Hippy Royalty, really. Substances may have been involved in the recording of this track.
10 – Dolphins – Tim Buckley
Fred Neil’s song given the Buckley treatment at the Albert Hall in 1968. Danny Thompson on bass, natch plus guitarist Lee Underwood and David Friedman on vibes. His voice was never better, I think.
11 – Naked Eye – The Who
A regular feature of The Who’s live act but not ever an album track until a version appeared on the Odds ‘n’ Sods compilation. This is classic ‘Ooo.

Shoot One Up, Smack One Down

I’m still sort of bitter that i got to RR many years too late for the (Cocaine and) Heroin topic, and as for one who never touched the stuff and never will, i seem to have an inordinate stock of tunes about shooting up. So here i get to make up for it a bit, a snapshot playlist of what’s caught my fancy lately, and some old faves. (I did leave off any duplicates from the RR list.) (We’re also back to business as usual on the rock front there.)

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Love is a long road

The Beacon Theatre, New York City

The Beacon Theatre, New York City, photo by Andy Tennille


When I heard that the tickets for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 5-night run at the 2,800-seater Beacon Theatre in Manhattan were to be allocated by lottery, I thought I might as well have a go. It proved to be an expensive decision. To win didn’t mean you got a free ticket – what you won was an opportunity to buy a ticket. Well, I won twice and I’m not going to tell you how much the whole thing cost – because, to be honest, I don’t know and I don’t want to know.

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He Said – She Said Special Cross Cultural Edition – Typically English – Typically Japanese ! ! !

 If he chooses a track about octopus's . .  I will kill him ! ! !

If he chooses a track about octopuses . . I will kill him ! ! !

sakura 1Welcome to the special Cross Cultural Edition of He Said – She Said ! ! !  This time we decided to show what we think is typical of the music from each other’s counties ! ! !  So I will be picking typically English tracks and Mr P will be picking typically Japanese tracks ! ! !

We think it will be fun and hope you like the post ! ! !

Mr P-1This time we have chosen to visit each other’s musical heritage in a fantastic cross cultural exchange type of a thing. I think it’s interesting to see how others see us, through the medium of music. We have chosen one contemporary  track, one oldie and one traditional.  We hope you enjoy the tracks.

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Groovy Garage

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Grab bag of groovy garage / punk / psych / indie / powerpop / whatever tunes that caught my ear, now that i seem to be able to listen to music again.

New Black Angels – “Don’t Play With Guns”

The Black Angels: I dig their droney psyche doom pop the most, ya know?

This song is the first inkling of their fourth album, “Indigo Meadow”, which is agonisingly not out ’til April.

The Black Angels’ first album was also my 3rd favourite of the noughties, list fans.

Unrelated, but we are now only 9 posts off the 2,000 mark, so if anyone has any ideas about how to mark this, um, landmark – please say so in the comments. Cheers. 

Axe One

Yeah, so this is a lazy playlist (click the playlist button bottom left for full set) or some of my favorite acts of axe heroism. Haven’t been in the mood to listen to much lately, stuff on my mind to sort. But Shane’s list last week (sorry love, i will get there, just haven’t had the brain space to give it the attention it deserves) reminded me that it’s probably time to get this series up and going again.

So free dates – claim as you wish. Repeat offenders welcome if you have new stuff to share.

Jan 15
Jan 22
Jan 29
Feb 5
Feb 12
Feb 19

That ought to get us started. Tech help available for any who need it.

Feel free to treat this as a challenge and post your own favorite selfless acts of axe heroism.

♫ “OK you lot, take it …” ♫

Ah, it’s great to see a band put some effort in. After years of trying, I finally got to a Thunder Christmas Party gig. After this evening, and with pretty much all of my customers having finished work for the holidays at Friday lunchtime, I think I can safely say the holiday season has started.

2012 has been a strange old year, and in some respects I won’t be sad to see the back of it, but on the other hand, there was the Olympics, LFC collecting silverware again, DsSis at the Royal Albert Hall, the West Country RR Social, the truth about Hillsborough, etc., etc.

But as we get to the end of another year (or even a 5,125 year cycle, if you’re Mayan), let’s start the “out with the old, and in with the new” chit-chat, shall we? I wish you all a Merry Christmas, and a better 2013 than you had a 2012.

Stones O2 29/11/2012

Ok, so i fully realize that i’m the only one who cares about this sort of thing. But it’s been a very good week for Stones fans. They did two 50-year anniversary concerts at O2 this week, one show earlier, and another on the 29th. Tickets cost way too much, as they do for the shows in Brooklyn and Newark upcoming next month, i won’t be there and won’t be sorry not to be either. Youtube is good enough for me.

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He Said – She Said . . . It’s The J-Factor ! ! ! 

What do we do with the winners Mr P?
Exploit them ruthlessly like everyone else Ms S ! ! !

She Says:

Welcome to the J- factor ! ! !  This post is based on a popular TV series which maybe some of you have seen.  Basically we have three categories.  Solo, Group and Oldie. I will nominate one track for each category and Mr P will nominate one for each category and then you will have the chance to vote for your favourite.  We hope you have fun listening to the tracks and voting for your favourites ! ! !

He Says:

Call me S*mon C**ell and pass me a pair of high waisted trousers. It’s time for a head to head J-Factor contsest. The rules are clear ( vote for me) and the gloves are off !

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Best Cover Artists Ever? Black Crowes

Haven’t done one of these posts in a long time, but really feeling like it’s time to give these guys the shout that they deserve. (And maybe you need a little something to listen to before the list goes up.) For starters, because not just anyone can take on the Midnight Rambler and do it justice.

What makes these guys such great cover artists? Well, you start with a southern boy with pipes to die for, (and Chris Robinson certainly has them) a definite requirement if you want to take on the likes of Mick, Joe Cocker, Stevie, Plant, etc. But you don’t do great Stones covers with pipes alone, and the band is more than up for the job. Brother Richie on guitar, and Chris on harp, do the Stones proud on this and many, many other Stones covers. (If i’m missing Mick and Co. at all here, it’s only because i’ve become addicted to the coke fueled live bootleg versions.)

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Why Are You Being So Toquiwa Now?


Tokyo all female three-piece TOQUIWA release their hi-energy J-punk in the UK on October the 22nd, 2012. Scopitones announced TOQUIWA’s self-titled debut on digital release and limited edition tour CD.
They begin touring the UK on 26/10 in Bournemouth – I’m going to be there (in a home made bright orange TOQUIWA T-shirt) – I also made a T-shirt using the ticket from a live Wedding Presents Ukrainian Sessions gig. But I can’t wear both.

This is the track listing and below the review are Smash Hits style questions sportingly answered by the band.

(I want to post this today – so I will have to ask Sakura to advise if I’ve got anything in the wrong places)

Photograph of the band used with permission – all designs created by arTEEsane are not for profit – please don’t use.


illustrative track from Music Ripple recorded as Pinky Piglets

The self titled album by Toquiwa on the Wedding Presents Scopitones label, should almost be called go out and get ‘em girl – such is the frantic pace that they erupt with perfect pop rock. The first 13 seconds set up the album (you heard right – 13 seconds sets out their manifesto) – Fantasticly playing the many influences and condensing them into a tight Toquiwa package.
Strangely managing to be extremely talented musicians yet still exuding that punk ethic of innocence and naivety.
The tracks have so many astonishingly catchy segments and hooks, you wonder how the pace can be kept up, but keep up they do, building and building, twisting styles and era’s together as if timelines were squeezed, squashed and smashed into their musical brains. Until in comes out sounding as though these things should always have sat together (superbly) in each 3 minute track.
Not only that, they know how to sequence an album – just as your head might explode keeping up – (ten second bar room blues, into superfly 70’s style, into a quiet millisecond break – roaring back into .. you get the drift – I’m loath to compare because it all sounds so Toquiwa – but as reference you could detect The Animals merging with a Curtis Mayfield track with hints of Kirsty MacColl’s weariness and wonder, while a Status Quo repetitive rock riff underpins a track – and quite loud quiet indie rock aesthetics jostle in) they take a breather with a ballad – and then we are invited to party hard once again, ending with an enthusiastic Wedding Present adaption to thrill and inspire while closing the album out.
It’s fantastic fun – superbly performed and feverishly played. Total enjoyment.

Would they be happy to answer my frivolous questions linking to each song on the album?:

各曲に関連した私のくだらない質問に答えていただけたら幸いです。

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Toquiwa – The Spill Interview part 1

It was a chance meeting out side Shibuya station in Tokyo that resulted in Japanese girl punk-pop band Toquiwa’s signing to a UK record lable and collaborating with The Wedding Present.

Toquiwa (as Pinky Piglets) were playing a street live out side the famous Shibuya station in the heart of one of Tokyo’s most popular entertainment districts when the promoter who was booking the Wedding Present Japanese tour walked past and stopped to listen and had one of those wonderful “A ha ! ! !” moments.   He booked Pinky Piglets as they were called at the time to support Wedding Present and the start of a common journey with the two bands began.

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The older you get, the quicker they come

It’s Tom Petty’s 62nd birthday – and this time the Guardian gets it right (thanks to me)


For TP’s birthday this year I thought I’d do one of amylee’s lists of 11, and these are eleven of his lesser-known songs, some from his solo albums and some with the Heartbreakers. And guess what, I love all of them – they’re all in my top 50. And I don’t think I’ve posted any of them before. But if you want to play the dump-one-keep-one game, feel free – I won’t be cross.

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