Sunday, 29 May 2016

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 29-05-2016 - Afro Celt Sound System, DJ Ali B x Jungle Brothers, Radiohead


Old Pa :-
Afro Celt Sound System - The Soul of a Sister

Here is a great track from Afro Celt Sound System. I was quite into them when they first came out in the mid nineties. For some reason I just forgot about them until I heard this track. In have skipped through the album and it sounds a big return to form. It is number one priority on my playlist, on my new system, on my new car. I did tell you I got a new car?. Oh! I didn't....well...

DJ Ali B x Jungle Brothers - Gimme That (Edit) -  (2016)

This is hands down, the best Hip Hop track I've heard in years. Effortlessly capturing that old school vibe with that stripped down funky drum and bass and of course The Jungle Brother's very own Baby Bam providing the flawless rhyme. UK producer/DJ Ali B is responsible for putting this absolute gem together but it has been so hard trying to get hold of it. I've been meaning to post this since I first heard it about 6 weeks ago but I couldn't find it anywhere, scouring through the obvious and not so obvious channels, in the hope that I may catch it somewhere. I even contacted DJ Ali B and he assured me it will be released soon. Was it clever Marketing? It was strange, as it felt like it did when I was growing up, where you'd hear a song on the radio and you'd make it your life's work to try and track it down. Waiting by the radio in the hope that it gets played again, snatching a copy of it on tape, only for it to be ruined by a talking DJ. A bit like that, yes, then doubting whether the track is actually worth the fuss when you hear it again. Well it is....pure dopness! 

Radiohead - Daydreaming (2016)

I have been listening to A Moon Shaped Pool constantly since it "dropped" (I am SO street) three weeks ago.  The album is like a magnificent dream.  It is eerie, choral, melodic and "the guitars sound like pianos, the pianos sound like guitars, and the mixes breathe with pastoral calm."

The last Radiohead album that got me this excited was 2007's In Rainbows,  although after listening to Spectre I just knew that it would be worth buying the album. 10/10

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Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Bob Dylan - Stirling Castle, 23 July 2001



13th July 2001


I was living down in London at the time. My sister Carole who lived in Inverness told me that Moray Firth Radio had tickets for Dylan playing in view of Stirling Castle. They had hired a bus and there was a ticket with my name on it. It was 2001.

Well you did not have to ask me twice, and that's all right, if you know what I mean.

She asked me if I would provide entertainment for the trip down and back. I thought I would make up a little quiz of 20 questions relating to Dylan. I would do this with 5 questions at a time then have a break and play some Dylan music. I had an extensive number of bootlegs as well as Dylan's released catalogue to draw upon. The winner of the quiz would get the CDs which I had prepared. 

I had for the way back two videos,  Don't Look Back,  Dylan's 1965 tour of the U.K and the Boot version of Eat the Document which was never officially released. This was a video about the fabled 1966 tour when Dylan turned electric. I was looking after all the Dylan fans who would be travelling South to Stirling to see our hero.

The questions I kept pretty simple for example :
1. What was Dylan's 10th officially released album
2. What is the 5th Track on the first side of the Freewheelin
3. What is the name of Dylan's first wife
4.What was the first song Dylan played when he went electric
5. What was the name of Dylan's backing band on his 1966 World tour 
It went down pretty well but I was quite surprised when I found that the questions were a bit too difficult. I just automatically thought everyone was as much a Dylan fanatic as me.   

We had plenty supplies for the trip down and soon everyone was having a ball, there was even an impromptu singing session of Dylan classics. Just like these old Sunday School picnics when everyone sung 'she'll be coming round the mountains' on the way home. 

Help! get me outta here.  

Dylan was in great form and I managed to get right down the front until I just had to go to the loo. Too much beer I am afraid.

The setting was brilliant and I have to say, taking everything in to consideration it was one of the most memorable Dylan concerts I have seen.

I saw Dylan with my sister one other time and that was in 2000 in Aberdeen. I got to within a few metres of Dylan at that concert. I feel a bit responsible that she got hooked on Dylan as I played him constantly in the 60's and I suppose brain washed the lucky girl.

Her favourite was Positevely 4th Street and I one made her a compilation CD of Dylan doing about 20 versions of the song. Sad you might say, but if you are a Dylan fan, then you would of course understand.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Jonas Alaska - My Heart Was Leaving Me


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

Jonas Alaska - My Heart Was Leaving Me (2016)

I love it when you (or should that be 'I') get bowled over by a simple song. My Heart was Leaving Me is by Norwegian singer/songwriter Jonas Alaska.  It is a gorgeous track that has managed to lodge itself into my random listening playlist over the last few weeks.  Reading the lyrics has given me a few nervous laughs and I wish I could give my younger self a little bit of advice about heartbreak. I would have said, "It will give you the best playlists ever! Pull yourself together and get out there!!"

Taken from the Album Younger

I had a friend so sweet to me 
everything she did was fun 
And in her eyes it was clear to see 
she’s more true than anyone 

I broke her down 
thought I had my reasons 
I left her in a hole 
I made her say please when 

She never meant to hurt me 
didn’t take long to see 
that when I was busy leaving 
my heart was leaving me 

I’d never felt a thing before 
I was worn out the whole way through 
I saw her standing on the kitchen floor 
right then and there I knew 

That I was going down going under 
Inside my head was lightning and thunder 

She never meant to hurt me 
didn’t take long to see 
that when I was busy leaving 
my heart was leaving me 

Almost funny to me now 
I had so much to do 
All the words and lines I was writing 
Never meant a thing without you 

What’s done is done, it’s over now 
I’m shaken up and all alone 
I wish I knew but I don’t know how 
To turn my heart into a stone 

With a dull nail clipper I’m cutting the grass 
just trying to kill time but the hours won’t pass ‘cus 

She never meant to hurt me 
didn’t take long to see 
that when I was busy leaving 
my heart was leaving me 
my heart was leaving me

Sunday, 22 May 2016

TRACKS OF THE WEEK - 22/08/2015 - Ben Watt, Bob Dylan, James Blake


Ben Watt - Gradually (2016)

Ben Watt is better known for being "the bloke out of Everything but the Girl" and this is the standout track on his third solo album, Fever Dream. Watt says that the song "looks at misunderstandings in a long-term relationship." My own "misunderstandings" are not wiping down the kitchen worktop, leaving out the kitchen pans but hey, who wants perfect?

Old Pa :-
Bob Dylan - All The Way (2016)


Here is a track from Dylan's new album Fallen Angels (2016). Once again it is a covers album of songs covered by Frank Sinatra. This brilliant song is done in a Country waltz style and Bob's voice is almost reminiscent of his days when his voice changed for a couple of albums in the late sixties. Giving up the tabs has certainly not done him any harm. Best version of the song, to open up the debate?

James Blake - 'Radio Silence' (2016)

Although not a massive fan of James Blake (I just find he is an acquired taste), there's no denying his talent, particularly his knack of composing songs of the heart bruising variety. 'Radio Silence', taken from James Blake's third studio album The Colour in Anything, is of that ilk, it's just sounds claustrophobic and oppressive with some memorable lines which reek of desperation....great stuff. However, after a bit of research, I found that the main line used in 'Radio Silence' was lifted from Bill Wither's gut-wrenching, 'Hope She'll Be Happier'. If it's pain you want, have a listen to it below, it's as honest, from the soul, song of sorrow I have perhaps ever heard. Thank you James Blake for pointing me in this direction. 

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Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Chris Rea - Wired to the Moon


Seen and not heard...

Lord of the Manor

CHRIS REA - Wired to the Moon

WARNING - It must be known that in the making of this post, it was not the intention to upset or injure any party. No dogs, horses or any living creature was hurt in any way.

When I was growing up the great saying was you should be 'seen and not heard'. That was the way it was. Kids did not have any rights in these days. A smack if you were naughty was normal and expected.  Saying that, my father took his belt of to me once when I was about seven, he did not use it I may add, but it was a severe warning.

The only other time he tried to hit me was when I was a teen. I can't remember the reason but I managed to get my foot behind him and down he went. I did a runner and did not come home until late that night. I was expecting the worst but nothing happened and nothing was ever said about the incident.

I don't remember ever my parents playing with me. You were expected to just get on with it and you did. My parents never ever came to watch me playing sport, even although I was successful. For some reason I did not even expect it and was not upset or anything.

My father was old school, he worked and my mother stayed at home. He went out a lot but never with my mother. I was never in a restaurant until my late teens and when I did it was a nerve racking experience. I did not know how to conduct myself.

All these things did not affect me too much when I look back. It was just the way it was in these days..

One thing I wanted to do if I had kids was to be transparent. I would not hide anything from them. I would involve them in all things relating to my life. Warts and all.

I stuck to this whether it was a good policy or not. My kids became more a friend than me their dad. In fact I would much prefer to have an evening out with them than people of my own age.

I remember once I took my parents to Nice and my son was only in his first year.  It was quite something seeing how my mother, Old Ma's mother and Old Ma had all different ideas of what should be done when a situation occurred. I had to step in and say that this is our way, this is our chance.  We appreciate your help, but we will do it our way.

Both Old Ma and me agreed we would let our kids do it their way and only try and offer advice if asked.

I am not saying our way was the correct way, but we got there. I am proud of both of my kids, they have never let me or themselves down in anything they have done.

I made an observation to a friend that things have change dramatically. Nowadays, it is the parents who are  'seen and not heard'.  Everything revolves around the kids. Parents do not seem to have any time for themselves, because the kid are making demands on their time, all the time.

There has to be outings, clubs, sport,  every available second has to used up to entertain the kid.
I am not saying that this is wrong and I am sure this will all be to the benefit of the kid in their future. But maybe kids should get used to entertaining themselves and give these tired exhausted parents, who nowadays both have to work. Give them more time for their own needs and each other.

Things have got out of hand. I remember recently going to watch my grandson go swimming. I was about to take some pictures when in a panic I was told not to. Bloody hell what is going on?.

Parents can't even go into play areas to watch their kids. I suppose sitting on Santa's lap will be a defo no go.

They make you feel guilty, it is not right.

I personally hit my son and daughter both only once. Not too hard. It served as a deterrent and a loud menacing voice was all that was required in the futre.

You only get one chance and you can only do your best. Above is only an observation but others of my age agree.

by Old Pa

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Elvis Costello - Oliver's Army/Pearl Jam - Masters of War


The British Legion
Join the army if you fail...


ELVIS COSTELLO - Oliver's Army 

I was eighteen years of age, I was into Badminton, I was the number one junior in the north and one of the best for my age in Scotland. I did not drink alcohol.

My father got me a job in Inverness British Legion Club as a bar waiter on Wednesday evenings, when there was bingo. I also worked Sundays, when women were allowed and there was also a bingo session followed by a variety show.

The guys I worked with were all very hard core drinkers and would always have a pint on the counter while they did the waiting job. I was always teased that I should have at least a shandy.

One day I said what are you having and ordered the drinks and one for me. That was the start of the long slippery road of my affair with alcohol. Before long I was round for round with these guys. After work I would join then for card sessions, a bottle of scotch was always on the table. It is where I learned to play poker and brag.

It was there, that one day I was telling a guy that I was about to go to sea on a merchant ship as a navigator. I just had to go to Aberdeen for an eye test and I would be on-board a ship to Australia within the next couple of months. He told me not to go to sea because, if I do, the sea will take a hold of you and you will never ever be happy away from the sea again. I decided not to go, but there was also a girl involved, which helped the decision as well.

I wonder what would happen if did go?. I wonder where I would be now and with whom?.

I could go into the club any time, even although I was never in the Forces. The drinks were cheap. I remember getting drunk on £1. A pint of Pale Ale was 1 and 10,  about 10 pence of current money.

This was 1967 of course and before the UK went decimal. The Beatles were at the peak of their powers. Sargeant Pepper had just been released.  Dylan was holed up  in Woodstock, in the Basement. From July 1967 it became OK to be gay in the UK.

The guys I worked with were great characters and I remember one of them called Walter would always go up and sing at the Sunday concerts. He was good too. Another, Andrew held the Inter School High Jump record. Until a certain Old Pa created a new record by half an inch.

I was fit, a sports champion in athletics. I was Football Captain in the first two years of junior School. I was a Badminton Champion. All this changed that first day I had a drink.

Do I have any regrets about the life of boozing I have led since that day?.
There is no point in regretting anything.

Mines a Pint and whiskey to chase.   


PEARL JAM - Masters of War

by Old Pa

Monday, 9 May 2016

TRACKS OF THE WEEK - 08/05/2016 - Michael Kiwanuka, Paul Simon, Pumarosa, Mark Pritchard, Thom Yorke


Michael Kiwanuka - Love and Hate (2016)

This is awesome. You NEED to listen to this future soul classic from London's Michael Kiwanuka. The 28 year old Kiwanuka has matured with his newest release which will feature on his new album, Love & Hate that is out on 27th May. Produced by Dangermouse, I love the sound of the drums, its grand, sweeping strings, and vocals that are comparable to Bill Withers / Otis Redding.  Yes I just wrote that, Bill Withers and Otis Redding!

London Scouser:
Pumarosa - 'Priestess' (2015)

I've been meaning to put this track out for ages, for everyone to hear (if you haven't already). It was released last September but I only came across it this year and for me it's my new 'Hinterland' it's so catchy and anthemic that I can't stop humming it. They've been described as 'industrial spiritual' which I get... They're definitely one to watch and I can't wait for their album to be released cos this will deffo be in my #tracksoftheyear

Old Pa :-
Paul Simon - Cool Papa Bell

A new album by the fabulous Paul Simon is always a wonder and something to look forward too. It has been a long wait and if this taster is anything to go by then hurry up June I can hardly wait until Stranger to Stranger is released. I have been a fan since the mid sixties when he was with his mate Art. Great memories.This sort of sounds like a greatest hits all rolled into one song, if you get it. Brilliant!

Mark Pritchard - Beautiful People feat Thom Yorke (2016)

Just a gorgeous collaboration from British DJ Mark Pritchard and Thom Yorke, a track which has managed to set up camp in my brain for the last couple of weeks. With the trademark sparse vocals from the Radiohead frontman and that little hook, the song manages to sound bleak yet hopeful at the same time. Taken from Mark Pritchards forthcoming album, Under the Sun, out May 13th. Radiohead however, have also released a new album entitled, A Moon Shaped Pool.

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Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Van Morison - Purple Heather/Los Lobos - Matter of Time




VAN MORRISON - Purple Heather 

(Van's voice at it's very best)

Dedicated to Shellhunter and her new life in foreign lands.


I had to take the chance
go and search myself
leave behind all that cushy life
say goodbye to all my friends
and all my family
there always comes a time
you have to prove yourself
or I will never be fulfilled
with never a regret
it's easier to stay at home
in the comfort of the ones I love

and I've never felt so all  alone
I want to hold my baby
I  turn around
and in the distance
I can see the Tower

They work you hard
I'm not shy of work
I will show them what I can do
when the work is all done
I will hit the Bar
search deep into my wine
stop my mind playing tricks
stop these thoughts of home
soon get their visa
and husband and my baby
again be in these arms of mine

and I've never felt so all  alone
I want to hold my baby
I  turn around
and in the distance
I always see the Tower

Then into Purple Heather :

I will build, my love a tower
By the cool crests of waters
And I'll cling to her forever
Like the ivy to the heather
Will you go, lassie, go
And we'll all go together
To pick, wild mountain thyme
All along the purple heather
Will you go, lassie go
Lassie, go
Will you go, lassie, go'


The best news it came
is it just a dream
can I start to live again
be with the ones I love
hold my baby close
the time it has come
I have passed the test
the greatest test of all
with never a regret
I look to the future
in the comfort of the ones I love

and I've never felt so good before
soon to hold my baby
I  turn around
and in the distance
I see the Tower smile

LOS LOBOS - A Matter of Time 

(My favourite LL song)