It’s magic, man!

BEATLES ALERT: This post was prepared in a factory that handles Beatles music. If you suffer from Beatles allergy, look away now.

Many of you will remember the contributions of magicman, and he is missed on RR by many of us. Some of you will be aware that he is a renowned film and TV actor, based in Brighton, and that he is also a leading light and prime mover in the Brighton Beach Boys, a tribute band. They have been going for ten years, and for the last five of them, have staged an annual award winning Brighton Festival event, Pet Sounds versus Sgt. Pepper. This involves them playing both albums in their entirety, to a packed church in Kemptown.

Given the studio-complexity of both albums, they enlist the help of the Psychedelic Love Orchestra, to provide string and wind back up.

I love Brighton Festival, and took the opportunity to see magicman in action, and enjoy a brief chat with him about RR/spill, Dorian, African and black American music, and the pleasure he gets from being in the Brighton Beach Boys. In an ensemble 15 strong, he is the only one who is not a professional musician, but you wouldn’t know it from his dexterity on sax, keyboards and vocals. I enjoyed meeting and chatting to him,

I have to admit that this is not normally the sort of thing I go to – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tribute band before, and I’m not into nostalgia, with so much great music in the here and now. I felt a bit like my gran going to see Vera Lynn do wartime songs when the war was a distant memory. But having said that, I enjoyed the evening immensely in a guilty pleasures sort of way, and the band do a great job. And the audience was drawn from all age groups, not just wrinklies like me!

Here’s a few clips I took at the gig for your delectation (magicman is the one in the hat, and then hatless for ‘Within you, without you’). Given that the venue was a church, we start fittingly with ‘God only knows’. The second youtube is a short vid from LatestTV, with magicman talking about the band.

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!

EOTWQ. ‘SPILL! the musical

After the roaring success of The ‘Spill, the movie, they’ve decided to take things to Broadway, as they do. We’ll need a lot of reworking though… to return to life as ‘SPILL! the musical.

1) The plot… what’s the story? Remember that we need to shoehorn some songs in. (But we’re all fairly good at that at this point!)

2) The libretto. Give us an example of the lyrics. Could be a couplet, a verse, a rousing chorus or a whole damn song. Whatever your time and creative energy permits.

3) The composer. Who will we trust to write our music? What will it sound like?

4) The cast. Who will play whom?

5) The sets & costumes. Give us a brief description of the set design, and tell us what everybody will be wearing.


***** JAZZ HANDS ******

Guitar Solo Battle! Round Three!!

In the opening round of the battleBoris were seen off by Williamsbach’s deployment of the vicious Roy Buchanan – Roy’s Blues (live ’76) solo into the open battlefield. Roy’s protection of Williamsbach as King Of The Castle Of The Axe was brief and bloody – a sophisticated attack from Mnemosene caused a mortal wound via the use of a non-battle tested Ry Cooder “At the Dark End of the Street” (1977 Live). The solo begins in the video above at 2″56′ and is the one to beat in round three.

Mnemosene is now Queen Of The Castle Of The Axe – and the challenge is to dislodge the reigning champion by inventive and awesome guitar skills!

Even war has rules:

1. One entry each

2. Please note when the solo you want to highlight kicks in (minutes and seconds, plz)

3. Each of you has one vote each, for either your favourite challenger posted or for the reigning champion, so wait til there’s a good lot of contenders and then cast your vote. You can’t vote for your own submission.

4. A submission cannot have been used in previous rounds


Wondering which way to go

Well, it’s a funny old life. You bumble along for a while, and then just when you think you’ve got it sussed, everything changes. Not that I’m complaining, I’ve had a very fortunate life so far.

Thing is, as of Wednesday I will be unemployed for the first time since I left school, nearly 34 years ago. I have been applying for jobs, and will continue to do so, but competition is fierce and the incentive, I must admit, is not great. Of course, I will need to eat, etc., but I can probably survive for a few months at least before panic sets in (or the snow starts to fall). I am being politely encouraged to take myself off for a week or two by myself and not to come back until I have had a good time, but I have absolutely no idea where to go or what to do when I get there.  Friends and relatives are scattered to the four winds and I would be hard-pressed to visit all of them without getting travel-sick, or without offending anyone along the way. So what I’m looking for are some helpful ideas – bearing in mind that I am of a certain age and not likely to enjoy (say) living it up in Ibiza or even wallowing in a field at Glastonbury. And that my passport has expired. And that if I was a bloke I would already have my walking boots on, my beard at the ready and a pint of real ale to hand.

What would Spillers do? Answers on a postcard, please … and here is some music to get you thinking:

Earworms – May 30

“To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable.”
Aaron Copland

Jo Stafford – You Belong To Me
This was Stafford’s greatest hit, topping the charts in both the United States and the United Kingdom (the first song by a female singer to top the UK chart). It was an amazingly popular hit; it was on the radio constantly for weeks.

Charlie Barnet & His Orchestra – Pompton Turnpike
Time for an old, oldie earworm. I’ve always loved this since I saw my Uncle (great dancer) doing the most remarkable slow motion jitter bug to it when I was a kid. The signature phrase just won’t leave your ear either. This one is from 1940.

Ronnie Hawkins & The Hawks – Who Do You Love?
1964 remake of Bo’s track. The line-up of Hawks were the ones who became The Band. Robbie Robertson playing lead was about 16 when they cut this. (Doncha hate precociously talented kids???)

Niña Pastori – Cartita De Amor
A song that always reminds me of holidays in Andalusia. The singer asks for help to choose something to wear for a night out with her lover. Memories of sitting on a sunny balcony of an evening waiting for wife and daughter to get ready to go out. Smiley, sunny music.

Lykke Li – I Follow Rivers
The latest Lykke Li album is another treat from her. None more earwormy than “I Follow Rivers”.

Catatonia – Strange Glue
I suspect Cerys Matthews’ voice may be a Marmite issue for many of you but I love her pissed-little-girl-who-smokes-50-a-day tone, especially when singing lines like ‘When faced with my demons/I clothe them and feed them’. The almost oompah-pah-pah music makes this one of the most stirring paeans to self-loathing I know.

Please send submissions to And remember: please try and keep your blurb succint. Apologies to those whose text I’ve cut. No offence intended of course – just trying to keep things snappy! Enjoy the choons… (I know I did.)

it’s MY party

Please indulge me – I’ve found this great fun.
But then my Birthday is on the First (didn’t realise Jon liked me so much he’d do a RR for me)
I usually spend the week before a birthday calming the black dog but this has cheered me up.
Mostly because it gives me the ideal opportunity to post a playlist for my own birthday – I do mixes for all my friends normally, so I don’t get a chance to be totally selfish – this is completely for me it’s 1.6 hours long – skip through freely.

I’m off in the morning, going to see the original 2tone graphic designers exhibition on Bank holiday Monday.. and see DJ’s playing Ska tracks on Margate beach (I think it’s still on) as long as the Mods and Rockers don’t revive their friendly meetings.

1 Birthday Boy John Otway, Wild Willy Barrett
2 The Birthday Song Candy Bars
3 Happy Birthday To Me (Feb. 15) Bright Eyes
4 Birthday The Accidental
5 Birthday Boy The Residents
6 Happy Birthday! Modeselektor
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