Thursday, 30 January 2014

DXA - 'All The MC's' / 'Rise Up'


...Yes yes y'all, In my Vauxhall Zafira with the DXA crew, on the way to B&Q! Word..

We ain't going no B&Q!

DXA - 'All The MC's' feat Too Deep (2012)

I've got to thank fellow blogger London Scouser, for introducing me to DXA, an altogether irregular source for all things Hip Hop but I'm now forever in his musical debt. All via a recommendation from London Scouser favourite, Scroobius Pip, who recently championed them on his XFM Beatdown show saying they're 'Fresh Old School'.

Unashamedly old school indeed, the New York four piece take us back to the Golden Age of Hip Hop, trademark 'boom bap' beats, Jazz samples and clever lyrical interplay, so synonymous with vintage crews. Some critics may say that it's not innovative or that it's not contributing anything new to Hip Hop but for me it reflects a simpler time in the genre, it's purest form, capturing the real essence of Hip Hop which is often lost these days. A reason why many MC's replicate the style being so disollusioned with it's current state.

I probably repeat myself each time I talk about the Old School crews or the Golden Age old fart reminiscing about the good old days? Perhaps ....but I grew up with this shit and therefore I'm ever so slightly emotionally attached to it, DXA making an ageing B-Boy very happy this week.

DXA - 'Rise Up' (2013)

'All The MC's' is taken from the EP, DXA which was out November 2012 (listen to it here on Spotify). While new release, 'Rise Up', was released last December 2013 (above).

DXA Records

DXA on Blunted Astronaut records. (UK based)

DXA on Facebook

For more of our fresh cuts, click here.....word!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

DYLAN COVERS # 135 R.I.P. Pete Seeger - Farewell/It's a Hard Rains a Gonna Fall/Paths of Victory/Who Killed Davey Moore/Forever Young...

R.I.P. Pete Seeger 1919-2014

Where have all the Flowers Gone?

It was with great sadness I heard of the death of Pete Seeger at the great old age of 94. I first heard PS as a very young chap listening to Children's favourites on a Saturday morning in the early sixties. His Little Boxes cover was always one to sing along to.

PS was a champion of Tradition Folk songs and kept true to his deep roots until the end. It is amazing to know that he was a contemporary of the great Woody Guthrie and sang with him.

His group the Weavers were blacklisted during the McCarthy era and he later became  a champion of the protest movement of the sixties.

PS was also a writer of songs and is probably most famous for his Where have all the flowers Gone, If I had a Hammer and Turn, Turn, Turn.

It was PS who first invited Dylan to sing at the Newport Folk Festival where Dylan later first turned electric.

To celebrate the great Pete Seegar here are five tracks of Pete covering Dylan. There are several different takes available of PS covering  A Hard Rain.

PETE SEEGER - Farewell 
PETE SEEGER - A Hard Rain's a Gonna Fall
PETE SEEGER - Paths of Victory
PETE SEEGER - Who Killed Davey Moore
PETE SEEGER - Forever Young

Sixto Rodriguez - Sugar Man/I Wonder


The Reel Sugar Man

SIXTO RODRIGUEZ - Sugar Man (1970)

Every now and then you get little musical surprises. Well I got one last week. Flycasual text me and asked if I had seen the movie Searching for Sugar Man. He was sure I would have seen it or was aware of the story. I am sad to say it had passed me by, I was not aware of it at all.

I did search on the movie and found out it was the story of a guy who recorded two albums in the early seventies and his name was Sixto Rodriquez. Now the name rung a bell, you all know I am a big fan of Dylan covers so I checked my files and there he was with a couple of covers of  Like a Rolling Stone.

I was intrigued now and got hold of the movie. It was just such an amazing story, almost hard to believe. If you are not aware of it, well I will not spoil it and let you search it out if you are interested.

What makes it even more worth the effort is that the music is pretty dam good too.

Here are a couple of tasters for you from his first album Cold Fact (1970). There is a soundtrack album too.

Go on check it out, it is a great story. Sixto rules!

SIXTO RODRIQUEZ - I Wonder (1970)

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Matt Corby - Big Eyes


Do you like Singer/Songwriters, or do you have a unhealthy affection to the sadness, if so you may have a case of the Tuesday Blues!

Matt Corby - Big Eyes (2011)

OFS Presents Matt Corby: Big Eyes from OFS on Vimeo.
It is finally time to let this cat of the bag. Sydney's Matt Corby is a former runner up of the Australian Idol (when he was 16), but before you let that tarnish your opinion (music snobbery is a terrible thing!), you really need to listen to this guy.  To pigeonhole him as just another singer-songwriter would be a huge disservice.  "Buckley-meets-wild beasts-meets-gospel-meets-soul" - the list goes on-and-on. He has released a number of E.P.s (through the excellent Communion Records) and back in Australia he's won 'Song of the Year' for the song 'Brother'. Surprisingly, he still hasn't released a debut album, but then again all the best things are worth waiting for.... 

If you are a fan of Men with Beards, like the gentle stroking of a six-string, or just a miserable bugger, Subscribe to our Spotify playlist and read more Tuesday Blues here!

Monday, 27 January 2014

The Offspring - 'Self Esteem'

Give Me A Guitar!!

Songs that'll make you want to throw a TV out of the hotel window, but only if you've finished watching  the Corrie omnibus !!

The Offspring - 'Self Esteem' (1994)

I was so happy when I came home from work one day in the early 90's cos my Mum had made one of her better decisions. I'd been pestering her for ages to get Sky installed but she wasn't having any of it. "The dish is unsightly, I don't want that monstrosity on my house" bear in mind we lived in Feltham on a council estate... I don't think the dish would have done much damage. But she wouldn't budge, she did however compromise and we got cable TV... Looking back now from my Sky+ HD with the On Demand feature it was primitive, but at the time it was the dog's doodahs.
My quaint former residence...

Almost immediately my favourite channel was 'The Box' it was music video after music video but without the annoying presenter you would find on MTV. I used to tape it on longplay onto a 4 hour VHS tape. I would then have 8 hours of songs to listen to, a lot of which I'd fast forward through, but every now and then I'd discover a gem... This song was one such gem.

I had never heard of The Offspring, but as soon as I heard the 'lah-lah-lah' opening to Self Esteem I was a soon to be fan. I rushed to Our Price on my lunch break the next day and was pleased to see the album 'Smash' on sale. I really liked Dexter Holland's vocals, although I think the dreads were a mistake !!! I bought their previous two albums soon after and they had some good moments but weren't on a par with Smash. They became a bit too popular after the release of 'Pretty Fly For A White Guy' and were no longer a band that I was the only one who had heard of them but they still have a place in my musical heart.

If you would like to read our other Give me a Guitar Posts? (click here)

Or check out the Give Me A Guitar Spotify playlist 

Sunday, 26 January 2014

TRACKS OF THE WEEK - 26/01/14 - Damon Albarn, Beck, Silversun Pickups, Linkin Park and Steve Aoki, Future Islands

Five tracks to enjoy in the pub garden...just bring your wellies!


Shell Hunter:-
Future Islands - 'Seasons (Waiting On You)' (2014)

My favourite synth-pop group finally have a new single out, followed by a new ablum entitled 'Singles' in March! Future Islands fast became my most listened to group of 2011 (see more here) and are also due to do a couple of gigs here in London in the next few months. This video is a cocked Stetson to cowboys and fits perfectly with their signature 80s dreamy sound. I'm definitely feeling a grower in this one, it gives me goose bumps! Why, it's purtier than a new calf in springtime!

London Scouser:-
Linkin Park & Steve Aoki - 'A Light That Never Comes' (2013)

I find it hard to believe that this is Linkin Park's 25th single release. I was a huge fan when they came onto the scene in 2000 but I felt that after a while their tracks sounded a bit samey. And this track has elements of the samey-ness that drove me away a little, but maybe the electro addition that Steve Aoki brought to the party has helped (is it me or does the intro sound like 'Kickstarts by Example ??). This was released in October last year and has only just hit my musical radar. Its from their second remix album 'Recharged' and on the strength of this I'll certainly give it a listen.

Old Pa's Corner:-
Beck - Blue Moon (2014)


Mr Hansen has been very frugal with tasters from his long awaited new album Morning Phase (2014) I heard bits of this track a few weeks ago and was pretty impressed. Now that I have heard the full track it was worth the wait. If the rest of the album is on a par then we have a real classic on our hands. But I have always thought that Beck albums are pretty inconsistent, there's usually some inspirational brilliance mixed in with a lot of mediocrity. I am sure this will not impress all you Beck die hards, saying that I recognise the brilliance and am thirsty for some more.

Damon Albarn - 'Everyday Robots' (2014)

I promised myself that if I ever got a smartphone I wouldn't be like one of the countless people, aimlessly walking around with their heads buried in their device, always connected, always aloof. Unfortunately I have become an everyday robot, like the opening line of this song, as I find myself doing just that, a scourge on modern society, I suppose. Despite the sobering tone, the first single taken from Damon Albarn's solo album of the same name, is a fabulously bleak track with the strings particularity haunting, a sign of things to come. I'm a big fan of Damon in all his forms and will be looking forward to it's release sometime in April.....oooh a text, somebody sent me a pic of a cat in a suit..ahh!!!

Damon Albarn's website here....

Silversun Pickups - 'Cannibal' (2014)

The Los Angeles foursome are a band that I'll occasionally listen to when I need a fix of some fuzz-pop. It's scary to think that they've been around for nearly 10 years and in Feb, they will be releasing The Singles Collection. It features tracks from the band's debut EP, 2005's Pikul, and three full-length albums: 2006's Carnavas, 2009's Swoon, and 2012's Neck of the Woods. "Cannibal" is the one new track on the release. Smashing Pumpkins-meets-NIN.

Listen or even better, subscribe to our tracks of the week playlist here...

Friday, 24 January 2014

DYLAN COVERS #133 Eric Bibb - The Times they are a Changin'/Just Like a Woman/Buckets of Rain

ERIC BIBB - The Times They are a Changin' (2012)

I had never heard of Eric Bibb when a great friend of mine who is no longer with us said he had a spare ticket for an concert in Reading at a very small venue. I was knocked out by Eric and immediately bought several of his albums after the concert. He was there selling them as you left the venue. Well a guys got to make a living.

I have followed him ever since and I am still amazed that he has not gained the recognition that he richly deserves.

Here is Eric doing three great covers of Bob in his relaxed laid back style. Great stuff.

Just Like a Woman is taken from the album Blues on Blonde on Blonde (2003) and the take of The Times They are a Changin' is from his album Deeper in the Well (2012). Finally we have Buckets of Rain which is just about perfect for Mr Bibb and this is taken from his Diamomd Days album 2006.
Check Eric out if you are not familiar. You will spend your time well.

ERIC BIBB - Just Like a Woman (2003)

 ERIC BIBB - Buckets of Rain (2006)

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Laid Back - 'Baker Man' / Claptone - 'No Eyes'

Musical Medicine...sausage roll(s) for the soul...

we're laid back!

Laid Back - Bakerman (1989)

Classic nonsensical soother from Denmark's Laid Back, a song I love and one which I haven't heard in a very long time. I remember being glued to MTV for hours when it first came out, just to try and catch it's just what you did before YouTube and ting.

But I got reunited with this lost gem by another corker I heard recently. I was trawling through some best of 2013 lists and came across a track called 'No Eyes' by German DJ, Claptone. I got drawn to it as I knew Jaw, who provides vocals on the track, from a French group I like called dOP and the synths instantly reminded me of the Laid Back song, very similar in nature and equally brilliant.

Two songs for the price of one then, a bit like finding a pound coin while also finding that crucial piece of Lego you've been looking for from behind the sofa.

Claptone - 'No Eyes' feat Jaw (2013)

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The Pentangle - Pentangling


Dr Robert
Hughie and Me!

THE PENTANGLE - Pentangling (1968)

When I first heard this, it totally freaked me out...I was already a fan of Bert Jansch and John Renbourn and this was a marriage of the best to me.

This is a bit of a strange story really, but part of me growing up and is absolutely true.

My friend Hughie was invited round to the brother of a next door neighbour whom he knew and asked me to come along. It was a great night, Robert lived in a bedsit and it was perfect. It was littered with books and LP's, there were interesting pictures and paintings on the walls. We had plenty interesting concoctions to drink and as we were, I would say around 16 or 17, we felt grown up and alive.

Robert had always the latest music and when I told him I was a Dylan fan, he said he had a friend who was also a fan and would get some albums for me. True to his word he popped into the chemist shop I worked in after school (great for my supply of johnnies, shame I did not know what to do with them apart from pinning them to the back of unsuspecting guys in school) and gave me the missing albums, at that time I had only 2 Dylan albums, The Freewheeling and Blonde on Blonde. Robert completed my set.

I was in Zimmer heaven.

The people in the chemist shop gave him and me some strange looks and it did not register, until I found out a few days later that Robert was 'Queen of the Queens' in Inverness. I was told that I should not be seen with him because I would get a 'Reputation'. It did not bother me and I still visited Robert occasionally, he never did try anything as I made it perfectly clear I was straight, well sort of straight. He did make hints of course.

One day Robert gave me an album to hear as he knew I liked Bert Jansch. It was the first album by the new 'Super Folk Group', the Pentangle. I loved it, especially Pentangling, a complete showcase for the great talents that made up the Group. I later found out not too much later that Robert had passed away. I liked Robert, I found him interesting and great company and even at that young age, his sexual orientation did not bother me.

He poured a mean Martini.

Watch out for another Old Pa special about the Pentangle reunion Concert.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Isbells - Elation


Do you like Singer/Songwriters, or do you have a unhealthy affection to the sadness, if so you may have a case of the Tuesday Blues!

Isbells - 'Elation' (2012)
Isbells are a Belgian band that revolve around singer-songwriter GaĆ«tan Vandewoude.  I discovered their 2012 album "Stoalin" last year and it became one of my most played (and loved) albums.  With their beautifully crafted songs it will only be a matter of time before they become better known outside their home country and put everyone else under their spell.  I cannot recommend 'Stoalin' enough!  

If you are a fan of Men with Beards, like the gentle stroking of a six-string, or just a miserable bugger, Subscribe to our Spotify playlist and read more Tuesday Blues here!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 19/01/2014 - James Vincent McMorrow, Say Yes Dog, Elbow, Wild Beasts, Breton

Five tracks that were as warming as a coronal mass ejection..

London Scouser:-
Elbow - 'Fly Boy Blue / Lunette' (2014)

This week I was umming and ahhing over what would be my track when I received a message on my phone via spotify. It told me that a new track by Elbow was available so I clicked on the link and was pleased to hear that they are still capable of knocking out a great song. Guy Garvey's breathy vocals are back with aplomb and I can't wait til March 10th when their new album ' The Take Off And Landing Of Everything' touches down.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Bury's finest are back...

NERD ALERT - Guy Garvey shares his birthday (March 6th) with many well known people, including David Gilmour, Kiri Te Kanawa, Shaquille O'Neal & Michaelangelo as well as myself and Shellhunter !!

Old Pa's Corner:- 
Wild Beasts - Wanderlust (2013)


It was nice to hear this taster from the Wild Beast's new album Present Tense (2014). I expected great things from them after hearing their album  Two Dancers (2009) the track  All the King's Men (2009) was in my tracks of the year for 2009. I cannot believe that was 5 years ago and that would make me 5 years retired. Now that is what I call scary.

In between. they have had another album out. Smother (2011) which i seemed to have missed. Looks like 2 for the price of one for me. Catch up here we come.

Say Yes Dog - 'A Friend' (2013)

I'm very impressed by the debut four track EP, A Friend, by the Dutch based Electro-Pop trio Say Yes Dog (one member is a Luxembourger the other two are German), which was out Dec 9th last year. Every one's a winner, with elements of Hot Chip and The Whitest Boy Alive, what's not to like, take the infectious, 'A Friend' for evidence. I'm pretty certain we'll be hearing more from these guys. Walkies!?

Listen to the EP on Spotify here..
Go for a walk to Say Yes Dog's website here....

James Vincent McMorrow - 'Cavalier' (2013)

James Vincent McMorrow wandered into the Singer/Songwriter scene in 2011 with his fantastic debut album "Early In The Morning" and completely blew me away. He released the "We Don't Eat" E.P. in 2012 but since then he's been a bit quiet. He has just released Post Tropical which features the stunning 'Cavalier'.  For those expecting another singer/songwriter, guitar based album will be a little disappointed as he's gone all James Blake.  Heavy on the Electronica and with a bucket full of Soul.  This track is worth buying the album for alone! It's a Heartbreaker!

Shell Hunter:-
Breton - 'Envy' (2013)

The mad scientists are back with this single released at the back end of last year and was following on from 'Got Well Soon' which I also featured on TOTW. It's got a completely different feel to the electronica for zombies I described there. Positively bouncey and hooray, steel drums! I'm really looking forward to their new album War Room Stories from Cut Tooth/Believe Recordings out on 3rd February. I read that the guys even employed the services of the 44 piece Macedonian Radio Symphonic Orchestra who appear on 5 tracks throughout the album, including this one. Time for another listen, its like having a good mood on tap!

Listen or even better, subscribe to our tracks of the week playlist here...

Saturday, 18 January 2014


Have the urge to squeeze a kitten? Save yourself the aggro and listen to System Of A Down!

Opa!! I can do this on a picnic table too, you know!

System Of A Down - 'B.Y.O.B' (2005)

I'm all for trying out the local traditional tipple from the countries I visit but I now draw the line at ouzo. It all comes from a BBQ London Scouser and I had when we lived in a maisonette in slough. We had a shared garden and we lived on the upper floor so if we wanted to use it, the windows of our downstairs neighbours would back onto it. We got on with the two Greek brothers Yani and Jorge that lived there and they were always out so it was fine. We were enjoying a pleasant summers evening, grilling our sausages listening to our latest playlist when one of the brothers came home. We said he should join us for a bevvie and he happily obliged. The night rolled on and our civilised BBQ was forgotten, the meat covered with foil and the plates unused, it was all about the booze! Yani disappeared into the house and came back with a clear bottle with a cork in and said 'try some of this, it's the ouzo my grandmother makes'. Now I never do shots but I didn't want to offend so bottoms up as they say! It was like nectar! We finished it in minutes between us and beaming with pride he went to fetch another bottle......and then it all goes a bit blurry.

 All I have left are these flash backs but they can be in any order, please feel free to put them in an order you see fit!
  • LS calling up a work colleague to pop by which he did with a friend, but I don't recall speaking to them! 
  • Yani doing traditional Greek dancing on our picnic table and falling off hitting his eye on our rotation washing line giving himself a black eye! 
  • Myself waking up in the early hours freezing, almost face down in the dewy grass, my glasses missing, getting up and stumbling to our front door where I came across LS asleep hunched on the front door step. Not waking him, I climbed over him into the house, I walked upstairs and was drying for the loo. This is where LS found me asleep later when he eventually woke! 

When I eventually surfaced later, with a dead arm I might add, I remembered LS and I were both on late shifts that day, oh my god I felt rotten. I tried to sort myself out by having a shower and getting ready but LS, the wimp called in sick! Never will I have ouzo again, even the smell makes me heave now!

I like Ouzo, it's nice...

This track, as does most System Of A Down songs, always has me laughing and featured on that very evening's playlist.This Armenian metal group have an almost rock opera style with some serious riffage. B.Y.O.B normally stands for bring your own booze for party situations but the title here 'Bring Your Own Bombs' was referring to the Iraq war and it being a party for the USA. The title was far more apt for what actually took place at my BBQ! The fall out was not pretty.....

Check out our other Give me a Guitar Posts? (click here)

Thursday, 16 January 2014

DYLAN COVERS # 132 John Martyn - Don't Think Twice/Tight Connection to My Heart

In Solid Air

JOHN MARTYN - Don't Think Twice it's Alright (1967)

Here are two covers by the late John Martyn,  probably most famously know for his brilliant 'Solid Air' album.  The first one is a take of Don't Think Twice, it's Alright and is taken from his first studio album 'London Conversation (1967)'.

The second cover is from the album 'Piece By Piece (1986). Tight Connection to My Heart' was included in early versions of the album as part of 4 extra tracks. It was also released as a 12 inch single.  Boy it sounds; so eighties'.
JOHN MARTYN - Tight Connection to My Heart (1986)



Africa Express: Songhoy Blues - 'Soubour' / Ghostpoet - 'Season Change'


Ah Damon Albarn, a musical superhero! When he's not rescuing pop music, he's out in Africa discovering fresh musical talent with his Africa Express projectMaison Des Jeunes is the latest compilation and also the name of the youth centre in Bamako, Mali where Damon Albarn set his 'pop up' studio to recorded it in only a week. There he held an open invitation for new Malian musicians to perform with the likes of Brian Eno, Dave Maclean from Django Django, guitarist Nick Zinner from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and London emcee, Ghostpoet amongst others (click here for a full list of collaborators). Mali is an unbelievably diverse and musically rich country which the album reflects, showcasing a new generation of stars recorded during that 7 day period and deservedly exposing them to Western ears. It's a musical delight and on heavy rotation with me at the moment, Ghostpoet and Songhoy Blues are among the many highlights.

There will be an exclusive featurette on BBC6 music of the story behind Maison Des Jeunes on Sunday 19th Jan at 1pm, all part of the radio station's African Music weekend (17-19 January 2013) . If you missed it and are reading this in retrospect in the year 2032, then click on the BBC6 Music website here to catch a podcast or something.

Songhoy Blues - 'Soubour'

This band hailing out of Timbuktu, formed in direct response to the Islamists who banned music whilst occupying their city only last year. It's an incredibly ferocius retort, loud,with an incendary riff and some amazing guitar work, a real powerful statement in protest. Ban This!

Ghostpoet - 'Season Change'

Here we have my favourite cup of tea toting rapper with the 'I can't be bothered' delivery, Ghostpoet teaming up with Bamako drum band, Doucoura, London bassman, Two Inch Punch and Damon Albarn for a low-key and atmospheric number with some immaculate percussion.

Stream Maison Des Jeunes here from Spotify....

Africa Express website...

Want to listen to something different? Then try out TuneDr's World Music Corner playlist...

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Nina Simone - Sinnerman/I Ain't got no, I Got Life


Run Brucie Run

NINA SIMONE - Sinnerman (1965)

Did you watch the 2 part series over the festivities about the Great Train Robbery. I recorded it and watched it a couple of days ago. It was rather good. The first part was in the perspective of the Gang and part two was about the lead detective and how he eventually managed to arrest all the participants. Not a paticulary nice guy and it had me rooting for the Robbers.

Bruce Reynolds was the main man and the brains behind the operation. Ronnie Biggs was incredibly, just a small part player and was lucky (or unlucky) to be apart of it at all.  The gang were really quite amateurish and succeeded with a lot of luck. There were too many people in the gang and it was really doomed as soon as they did the job. If you get the chance it is certainly worth a watch.

The sound track was exceptional and the highlight was Nina Simone's version of Sinnerman which runs throughout both episodes.

What a track, but you have got to listen to the whole version. I believe it was also used in the film The Thomas Crown Affair.

For good measure take a look at this fabulous video below I found of Nina in London 1968 with her classic from Hair. 

If you like that, check out this Dylan Cover of Nina's chilling, intense, claustraphobic take on  Ballad of Hollis BrownIt will leave you shell shocked and breathless.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Blue Rose Code - Acquainted With The Night


Do you like Singer/Songwriters, or do you have a unhealthy affection to the sadness, if so you may have a case of the Tuesday Blues!

Blue Rose Code - 'Acquainted With The Night'
Have you been watching Stargazing live? Me to. Watching Professor Brian Cox and Dara O'Briain, use their 'cheeky science' has been enthralling and mesmerizing. I'd just wish I'd paid more attention in school as  I am somewhat of a 'closet astronomer'.  However, how come every year that Stargazing is on the telly it always seems to rain? Why, oh why!

London-based / Edinburgh-born Blue Rose Code is singer/songwriter Ross Wilson. Described as 'Caledonian Soul', I'd just call them damn good.  Elements of John Martyn and a plethora of others, Wilson's songwriting certainly hits the spot.  'Acquainted With The Night' features on his 2013 EP, "Julie".  His debut is was called "North Ten" and he's just released The Whitechapel EP on Reveal Records.

If you are a fan of Men with Beards, like the gentle stroking of a six-string, or just a miserable bugger, Subscribe to our Spotify playlist and read more Tuesday Blues here!

Monday, 13 January 2014

The Selecter - 'On My Radio'

Musical Medicine...a track that's like a double whopper with cheese for the soul! 

The Selecter - 'On My Radio' (1979)

In 1980, my Dad who was in the army got posted to Holland. I was 8 and my brother was 11, even then music was a big thing for both of us. One of the last things we did before leaving the UK was to go to our favourite record store, Memory Disc (maybe I bumped into Phil Collins there ??) which was in Hounslow where we lived at the time. My memories of the store are pretty vague, but I recall it was quite large inside with the usual record store runs of album upon album and I vaguely remember that it also had listening booths. Sadly it closed sometime in the late 80's I think and became a carpet shop.

At the time, 2 Tone Records were the label that we listened to the most, with bands like Madness, The Specials  & The Beat amongst the many. My brother bought 'Tears Of A Clown' by The Beat and I bought this song, my first ever single which even to this day I still enjoy, even though I can't figure out half of what is being sung !!! The Selecter like The Specials, hailed from Coventry and are both are still together today in some form albeit with different lineups. Later that year my dad came back to England for training armed with a list of records to buy. 2 Tone of course...

Sunday, 12 January 2014

TRACKS OF THE WEEK - 12/01/14 - Jungle, U2, Echoman, Talisman, Ed Sheeran,

Five tracks that thawed the Arctic Vortex this week...

Old Pa's Corner:-
Talisman - Greetings and Salutations (2013)

Talisman are a Roots Reggae band from the Reggae Haven that is Bristol. They reformed in 2011and have just released their third album and it is their first new material since 1990 would you believe.

This is great stuff and the band are as water tight as a beavers scrotem with a great prominent bass shinning through. Greetings and Salutations is the lead track from their album  I-Surrection (2013) and for good measure I have thrown in the Dub version too.

Utterley delicious! Utterley scrumsios!.  Go on treat yourselves.

Is it me or is that great bass riff a little bit too close to Seven Nation is still bloody brilliant!  Never mind the White Stripes....would anybody like to join me in a case of Red Stripe,  chilled to perfection !! my treat!.

Jungle - 'Drops' (2013)

I could have picked any of the four tracks on Jungle's debut release, The Heat EP (buy it on Bandcamp here), it's saucy interstellar Electro Soul at it's very finest. So I went for the eerie groove of 'Drops', as it was the first song I heard from the West London duo and has, hands down, the best use of a creaking door in music, ever. I haven't felt this excited about an artist (apart from Young Fathers who are a bit similar) for awhile and I'm so looking forward to hearing more. Jungle were also nominated for the BBC sound of 2014, big ting awaits!

Chess club records

Ed Sheeran - I See Fire (2013)

I do not know where I was in December, but the fact I missed this was a complete school boy error. It features in 'The Hobbit - The Desolation of Smaug' and has got me wanting to watch the film (again). It's strange how much Ed divides opinion. Whether it is all the success he's obtained, the fact he written songs for One Direction or just pure ginger jealously. The guy has a talent that cannot be ignored...and my wife thinks he's brilliant, so I have no choice.

Shell Hunter:-
Just when you think U2 have had their day, they come back with this absolute treasure. It was written to honour Nelson Mandela for the recent biopic Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom and it was seeing early cuts of this film that inspired them to write it. It could be rightfully set to win a Golden Globe for Best Original Song this year and shows that these guys have still got what it takes to create a classic, with the production help of good old Danger Mouse. That'll teach me to write a band off!

You can purchase U2 tickets from

London Scouser:-
Echoman - 'Zero Gravity' (2013)
3 guys get together with the aim of making some music to feature in an ad campaign for Skoda. The resulting song inspired them to form a band, and that's 'Echoman'. I was at the cinema this week when I heard this song, I immediately liked it and scrambled to get my phone out so I could Shazam it. I wonder if they will be able to follow this up with more great tunes....

Listen or even better, subscribe to our tracks of the week playlist here...

Saturday, 11 January 2014

The Bravery - 'An Honest Mistake'

Saturday Night Jukebox.....
Everyone has a guilty pleasure

step on my blue silk pjs


You know how it is on your first night on holiday, its customary to have a few 'welcome' drinks in your resort. The was the case when London Scouser and I went to Dominican Republic with Old Pa and Old Ma. After the long flight with many drinks LS retired early to our room whilst we continued to sample the cocktails in the lobby.

After the bar was closing and we were all the worse for wear, we walked back to our apartment block. All the resort's blocks looked identical and I was adamant I knew which one was ours. The three of us walked up the stairs and I put my key card in and tried the handle. Nothing. I tried again and still nothing. Old pa had a go too and still no light came on. Old ma pushed us aside and said 'Right, let me try' probably thinking that we were too drunk and useless to manage the simple task of opening the door. In the meantime, Old Pa and I started to knock on the door shouting for LS to wake up, thinking he was comatose in a drunken stupor. At that point, the door opened and a visibly shaken man in blue silk pyjamas stood there. Needless to say we were horrified and extremely apologetic! Old Pa also promised to 'buy' him a drink obviously not remembering it was an all inclusive resort! The room we had been attempting to enter was the exactly the same position but one block before ours. The poor man and his wife were probably huddled in bed in fear that someone was trying to enter their room in the middle of the night! It must have taken real courage to open that door and I don't know who was more shocked, us or him! We couldn't stop laughing about it for the whole holiday and joked that the guy must have dressed especially in his silk PJs to confront us!

Yes, can I help you?
This debut track by The Bravery was in my Top 3 of 2005 and their self titled first album was full of great singles. Sadly I think the band have split up as they no longer have an official website as of 2012. Here's a fun fact: The lead singer Sam Endicott Co-wrote 3 songs for Shakira including 'She Wolf'. Awoooooooooo!

Have a listen to my guilty pleasures playlist or catch up on more SATURDAY NIGHT JUKEBOX posts!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

DYLAN COVERS # 131 Rosanne Cash - You Aint' Going Nowhere x 2

Daddy you been on my mind!

ROSANNE CASH  - You Aint' Goin' Nowhere (2012)

There is a bit of a buzz going around about the new Rosanne Cash album about to be released. I have heard a few tracks and in fact featured a track last year on 'Our Tracks of the Week' .  I am definitely hooked and will be getting the album for sure.

So in celebration of her new album, here are a couple of  covers featuring Rosanne with the Bob classic You Ain't goin' Nowhere.  It is quite amazing to note that the versions are twenty years apart.

The first take is from a 2012 concert in 'Bonnie Scotland'. The second is a bit more familiar and taken from the 1992, 30th Anniversary Celebration Concert for Mr Dylan and also features Shawn Colvin and Mary Chapin Carpenter. Now thats a bevvy of beauties if ever I saw.   

The Goats - 'Typical American'/'RU Down Wit Da Goats?'

Hip Hop Classics
.....Straight outta Surrey Heath y'all!

Not a fan of Bush...

The Goats - 'Typical American' (1992)

It's 1992, in between cramming hard for my A-levels and taking numerous breaks playing rummy with my sister and girlfriend, I was listening to the underrated debut album from The Goats, Tricks of the Shade. It was a real favourite of mine at the time, reminiscent of the fun of De La Soul's debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, with it's witty rhymes interspersed with skits but with a ruthless political sentiment.

'Typical American' was a particular highlight and apart from Old Pa saying that the bassline reminded him of the Eagles ('One of these Nights', I'm not sure if it's an actual sample) it used to amuse me as it really riled one of my American friends. He used to snap at me, "yeah, well at least I'm not a typical Brit!", which never made any sense, as it wasn't me highlighting stereotypes in the US but his fellow Americans. Anyway it's a very endearing quality to be able to poke fun at yourself.

The Goats were a trio hailing from Philadelphia and were perhaps the first 'live' Hip Hop band, they unfortunately only graced us with two albums, Tricks of the Shade and No Goats, No Glory in 1994. Various members of the group are still active with different musical projects, founding member Oatie heads a Swing Hop outfit with 3 albums under their belts called Jimmy Luxury (see website here). Lyricist, Madd is part of a band called Black Landlord which won Philly's band of the year in 2009 (listen to a track here on Spotify). And MC, Swayzak also fronted a band called Incognegro.

Both albums have since been out of print but you can download them from The Goats official site here.

You'll be pleased to know that I got a B in Geography and a C in French, scaling the dizzy heights of academic stardom.

The Goats - 'RU Down Wit Da Goats? (1992)

"Hoooh yeah we're the Goats"

Great 'lost' footage of a drunken performance, which looks like it was taken in a middle of a heatwave, of another classic from the debut album.

Ah to da beat ch'all...more TuneDr Hip Hop Classic posts or listen/subscribe to our playlist below...

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The Byrds - Chestnut Mare


A Birdie Song

Who's a pretty Boy then?

 THE BYRD'S - Chestnut Mare (1970)

There I was watching the crappy Corrie Omnibus with Old Ma and we heard this strange whistling out side.  We went out to search what on earth it was. Eventually we saw a Cockateil in one of our trees, Our two Yorkies, Dixie and Rafa were barking in panic and excitement, Old Pa was in a panic which just made things worse. Old Ma was screaming at Old Pa to get the dogs away and inside. Laika (our Husky cross) was in full kill mode.

I eventually got the dogs inside. Old Ma called to the bird, offering her hand, it flew on to the gate and she managed to grab it by the tail. The bird squawked in fright and bit her hand ferociously. She had deep bites but did not let go and managed to hold on to it, what a trouper!

The was obviously very tame, it is now in one of Old Ma's spare cages and settling in quite nicely. His provisional name is Nole (Novak Djokovic).

All we need now is a little abandoned Joey to be left on our doorstep, well it is the Australian open next week!! (tennis of course)

The Byrd's Chestnut Mare showcases the great Roger McGuinn at his very best.

Glen Hansard (Feat. Eddie Vedder) - Drive All Night


Do you like Singer/Songwriters, or do you have a unhealthy affection to the sadness, if so you may have a case of the Tuesday Blues!

Glen Hansard (feat. Eddie Vedder) - "Drive All Night" (2013)
Christmas was a time of over indulgence and it was in between scoffing mince pies and drinking mulled wine that I discovered this gem.  It is a cover of Bruce Springsteen's, "Drive All Night", from his masterpiece The River.  Hansard recruited Eddie Vedder on background vocals, Joe Henry and the late Clarence Clemons nephew, Jake, to play Saxophone.  Hansard & Vedder are no strangers to working together as the close friends played together on an acoustic tour last year and Hansard dueted with Vedder on "Sleepless Nights" from his 2011 album, Ukulele Songs.    Give it a few turns and it will get you listening all night.

The title reminds me of when I first met my wife.  She lived a few hours away and under the influence (of love), I would drive after to work to see her then early in the morning I'd head back to work.  The things you do....

If you are a fan of Men with Beards, like the gentle stroking of a six-string, or just a miserable bugger, Subscribe to our Spotify playlist and read more Tuesday Blues here!

Monday, 6 January 2014

Coldplay - 'The Scientist'

Musical Medicine...a track that's like a doner kebab for the soul! 

(but without the next day regret)

OMG this mattress is filthy

Coldplay - 'The Scientist' (2002)

One song that is a guarantee to get the hairs on the back of my neck standing to attention is this 5 minute masterpiece which I can't believe was released as far back as 2002. It will probably always be my favourite Coldplay track.
Whenever I hear the song and start singing along I always change one word in the lyrics as an homage to my favourite board game ever, Trivial Pursuit (a game that I have still never lost, although once did find myself in a losing position against Mrs Flycasual, but the game was never finished)

The line I change is :-
'I was just guessing at numbers and figures
Pulling your puzzles apart
Questions of science, science and progress nature
Do not speak as loud as my heart'

If anybody fancies challenging me to a TP duel, feel free to contact us !!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

TRACKS OF THE WEEK - 05/01/14 - Pional, Wake Owl, Bruce Springsteen, Temples, Knifight

Get back on those treadmills, you maggots! 5 tracks that got us pumped for the New Year!

Pional - 'Invisible / Amenaza (2013)

I heard this at the tail end of last year, during simpler times before the excess of Christmas and the musical carnage of Slade. It's a great piece of dark disco and sounds like it's taken from a 'so bad it's good' 80's action flick of bad suits, Uzis and pony tails. Pional is a Spanish singer/producer with a glowing musical CV and invisible/Amenaza is taken from the EP of the same name, out last Oct 13.

Pional on Young Turks Records

Wake Owl - "Candy" (2013)

I first heard of Wake Owl this time last year with their excellent gold and they are here a year later under the guide of 'super producer' Richard Swift.  It features on their debut LP, The Private World of Paradise, which is due out March 4th, by the way of Vagrant Records. Like it's namesake, Candy is just so good, so do yourself a favour, listen and have a treat!

Shell Hunter:-
Temples - Mesmerise (2013)

You may remember I featured Temples a year ago with their debut single Shelter Song (see the post here). This is their 4th single released in November last year and has just as juicy a 60's feel to it. You can't deny it is very Beatles and is obviously in keeping with their signature psychadelic rock sound. The riff also sounds like The Vaselines song 'Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam'. Perfect listening for shooing away those January blues and this miserable weather we are having.  Thankfully their debut album Sun Structures is out in February so that should nicely pacify me until I get some actual sun at the end of March! If I close my eyes tight enough, I can just picture myself on the beach right now!

London Scouser:-
Knifight - Black Daggers (2013)

For my first TOTW of 2014 I head back to Austin, Texas where Black Books (probably my favourite new band of 2013) also hail from. I came across Knifight after seeing they performed on the same bill as Black Books and decided to give them a try. Musically I would compare to Depeche Mode in their darker times and White Lies. They have a synth backing with a vocal that Ian Curtis would have been proud of. They released their debut album in 2013, 'Dark Voices' and on first listen it's not too shabby. I look forward to more from them.

Old Pa's Corner:-
Bruce Springsteen - The Ghost of Tom Joad (2014)

Well only a week to go before thes Boss' new album is released. I have heard a few tracks and I have been very impressed with this track. The Ghost of Tom Joad has always been one of my favourite Brucie tracks. His ode to the depression era in the late twenties. This is the second track fromk the album we have featured.

The album has a talisman in Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine.  The Rage did a cover of the song (see a post of that here) which I thought was 'just ok' but this new version has both the hallmarks of the slow sparse original and the loud brash Rage version. You might say it is a cross between both and I think it works.

So I am saying this is my track of the year for far anyway!. But a great start to the year.

Listen or even better, subscribe to our tracks of the week playlist here...