It's my forty-third birthday today - I haven't got much to say about that really, its just forty three- but I'm celebrating it here with a recent Weatherall mix, done for the Selector programme for The British Council, who promote British arts abroad. Sounds like a good job to have. This mix is what the word eclectic was invented for, opening with the old musical theme for Thames TV and then taking in some low key sounds, some folky tunes and some stuff from over there and yonder. Very lovely too.
1. Johnny Hawksworth – Salute To Thames
2. A Foggy Day (In London Town) – Dirk Bogarde
3. Mount Vernon Arts Lab – The Mandrake Club
4. Anthroprophh – Ende
5. The Unthanks – The Romantic Trees
6. The Durutti Column – A Room In Southport
7. Jah Wobble – Highgate
8. Belbury Poly – A Pilgrim’s Way
9. Phil Manzanera – Islands (Secret Fingers Remix)
10. The Deadstock 33s – Impatient For Your Love
11. Pye Corner Audio – November Sequence
12. Woodcraft Folk – Blok Flute
13. Sir John Betjeman – The Licorice Fields of Pontefract
14. Temples – Shelter Song
Weatherall contributes 'five songs you should hear this week' to Erol Alkans website here, taking in Charles Mingus, The Monks, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Mad Man Jones and The Mighty Wah! Again, eclectic- we got it.
Saturday, 18 May 2013
Today, from 11 til 2, I shall be manning the book stall at Park Road Nursery's summer fair. Not exactly breaking rocks I know. And the weather forecast for M33 is for heavy rain and not hot sun. Last year the big sellers on the stall were various celebrity autobiographies in hardback (prices ranged from 30p to 50p depending on my judgement), a book on pond care and a dvd boxed set of five Steven Seagal films. But that was very much just the tip of the iceberg. The Quakers, Park Road, Sale- pop in if you're free, say hello and leave with some quality literature.
I Fought The Law is one of the great rock 'n' roll songs, written by Sonny Curtis and The Crickets. I'm not sure The Bobby Fuller Four's version has been bettered- as Paul Simonon pointed out, it's the way those guitar chords are so 'light and feathery'. I played this at a mate's wedding and it went down a storm. Bobby Fuller met a very sticky end, found dead in his car with foul play suspected though the verdict was suicide.
I Fought The Law
The Clash's version is superb- from Topper's opening salvo through to Joe's impassioned delivery. The breakdown on the line 'robbing people with a -dum, dum, blum, blum, blum, blum- six gun' is especially thrilling. This live version is The Clash at their most black-clad glorious. Best bit- when the three man front line step up to the mics in sync to bawl out the opening line.
It's been covered endlessly, the 60s girl group version by The She Trinity being one of my favourites ('He fought the law and the law won'). Most recently Johnny Marr has been encoring with it and doing it very well too. As evidenced here in San Francisco, along with fellow former Wythenshawe resident Billy Duffy.
Friday, 17 May 2013
I said to Drew in the pub on Tuesday night (during our top level blog summit) that I didn't know how much longer I can keep this Friday night series going. I think I'm close to exhausting my rockabilly goldmine. This song featured here before, three years ago, in the original Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night series (number 3 fact fans). It is the greatest rockabilly song in the world. It is just over two minutes of 1950s perfection. It is about leaving a girl in Kansas City and not being able to eat or sleep. It has a stupendously great riff. It is Wayne Walker and frankly, when it is playing, it is all you need.
All I Can Do Is Cry
Tom Courtenay has just said to Pattie Boyd, while walking Thameside in the rain in 1966, 'Yeah, so actually my favourite way of getting kicks is to go down town and hustle chicks', and Pattie has replied 'You what pal?' Leaving Tom to dig his way out of the whole Beaver Patrol problem.
The original of yesterday's Poppies cover.
Thursday, 16 May 2013
There's a grebo reunion package tour about to do the rounds- Jesus Jones, The Wonderstuff and Pop Will Eat Itself. Steady, don't rush off to Ticketmaster all at once. If Jesus Jones were playing in our back garden I'd pull the blinds down and turn up the TV, and The Wonderstuff would probably turn the bar into a giant magnet but I'd quite enjoy PWEI. I saw them in my first term as a student at Liverpool University and they were dead good fun. I'm sure I'm not the only one who didn't know Beaver Patrol was a cover until much later as well (Shadows Of Knight, 60s nugget band). Beaver Patrol is of course infantile, purile and sexist. At the gig, autumn '88, I was talking to a grebo girl I quite fancied. I was wearing a bandanna (around my head) and a white shirt with a waistcoat. Thought I was cutting quite a dash. I only realised later that several times I'd referred to PWEI's Clint as Clive. Although maybe it was the bandanna that damaged my chances more.
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Sir Joe of Strummerville is a regular visitor to these pages. This song shuffled up on the journey home the other day. Sleepwalk is almost the epitome of Joe's post-Clash, late 80s, pre-Mescaleros, wilderness years- off the flawed Earthquake Weather album; no frantic Strummered electric guitars, no rama-lama, just Joe, some acoustic guitars, some Latin percussion and a beaten down, rueful vocal. It is easily the best thing off the album and shows Joe could do low-key and reflective as well as anyone else.
Tuesday, 14 May 2013
Monday, 13 May 2013
I was in Beatnik Shop in Altrincham on Saturday afternoon chatting with one of the men who run it (who it turns out was on the same PGCE course as me, twenty years ago), and a Serge Gainsbourg album was playing (Histoire De Melody Nelson which I haven't heard before, shocking admission I know) and as the final song played out over its seven and a bit minutes I was struck by how much of it David Holmes pilfered for Don't Die Just Yet. I mean, I like David Holmes, a lot of his stuff is great, but there's sampling and there's sampling.