Wednesday, 29 June 2016

The Animals - Its My Life/The Byrds - A Whole lot Better



NOW A RARE ANIMAL - The Great Crested Newt
THE ANIMALS - It's My Life

I think it was seeing white mice a  Christmas party when I was probably about 7 years old in 1956. I was fascinated and had to be dragged away from watching them. I pleaded to have some and eventually my Mother relented and I got two white mice complete with pink tails and pink eyes.

What I really wanted was a dog but my father always refused. I was heart broken especially when my friend's dog had some puppies. I even tried taking my favorite home for my father to see. He was steadfast in his refusal.

I kept lizards, snakes, slow worms, hamsters, rabbits, toads, newts everything I could which replaced the dog I never had.

There was a small pond not too far from were I lived and it was a great source of toads and newts. There are three types of newt in the UK and all three were in abundace in that little pool.  It is very sad to report that they filled it in because of a golf course.  One of the newts the Great Crested is now very rare and on the endanger species list.

There was another pond close by that I remember oh so well. One day my sister and I were watching toads. It was mating time and some bigger boys came along and started firing slugs into the back of the male toad mating with the much larger female. I was outraged, I screamed and ran for these older boys, I did not fear for my safety or anything, I just was filled with anger. How could they? They obviously could see the blind anger and ran away.  

I got myself a bit of a reputation and people close by always brought round any injured bird or animal which they found or was injured. I would refuse nothing and always did my best to help them. The strangest thing I was given was a fully grown Heron which had a broken wing.  I eventually took it to a local vet after borrowing a tin of sardines in tomato sauce from my Mother's pantry. 

It was not until I got married at the age of 25 did I have my first dog. It was really my wife's. But I loved the experience. Now I have three dogs and it is me who takes them walks and it is me who feeds them. When we leave the dogs at home for any reason and when we return the dogs just run past me to get to my wife and demand her greeting. I just don't exist.

I accept my place in the pack and have accepted that even although I am an animal lover, my wife is even more of one and the dogs recognise this. She cannot watch a western where a horse falls or watch an animal programme where a lion goes in for the kill just to survive.  I am an animal lover but I am afraid not to that extent. I also eat meat and enjoy it too. But that is another argument altogether.

The second song I choose here is a bit strange. It is not what I would call one of the best by The Byrds but I had a strange experience in the sixties when I was listening to the best of The Byrds. I was by myself in my living room, I was completely sober. My eyes were closed and when this song played, I suddenly found myself on the ceiling and looking down at myself. It was amazing. When I opened my eyes I was back to reality. This has never happen since. It was both thrilling and frighting at the time. The power of music eh!.
THE BYRDS - I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Adam Torres - High Lonesome


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!

Adam Torres - High Lonesome (2016)
Adam Torres self-released his debut Nostra Nova, back in 2006. In the meantime he has spent the last 10 years volunteering in rural Ecuador and completing a graduate degree.  He is about to release his follow up LP via Fat Possum (A.A. Bondy, Band of Horses, The Black Keys) entitled Pearls To Swine.  High Lonesome is the first single, and should be listened to when strolling through a field, whilst trying to recreate the scene in Gladiator where Maximus strokes the long grass or am I the only person who does that?  Check it out. 

Sunday, 26 June 2016

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 26-06-2016 - Holy Fuck, Cass McCombs, Portishead, Two Door Cinema Club


Old Pa :-
Holy Fuck - TomTom (2016)


Holy monstrosities, I just had to listen to this with a name like Holy Fuck and I am delighted to say that the Toronto rockers delivered my track of the week. A real pleasant surprise. There is a lot of Ciccone Youth in there somewhere and that to me is a bonus. Great driving base and great video. Get up and dance folks on the grave of the U.K. The grave that Cameron pulled the plug on and Corbyn stood by and saluted at the sinking ship.

Portishead - 'S.O.S.' (2016)

Like a musical superhero, Portishead are back after 7 years and just in time, with an aural rescue. The ABBA cover, was released in tribute to MP, Jo Cox, who was brutally slain in her constituency recently. It's a brilliant contrast to the original with all the somber minimalism we've come to expect from the Bristol legends. With all that's going on in Britain subsequently, I believe this captures the mood perfectly. "We have far more in common than that which divides us" has never rung truer. 

Cass McCombs - Opposite House (2016)

I've been reading the news too much since the UK pressed the self-destruct button, and I must admit it is pretty depressing reading. Thankfully this stunning track has been able to pick me up in a bit.  It features on Cass McCombs latest album, Mangy Love, which is released 26th August. Will everything be OK by then? I'm not too sure, but this has given me at least one thing to look forward to.

London Scouser:-
Two Door Cinema Club - 'Are We Ready? (Wreck)' (2016)

Where does the bloody time go?? I can believe it's been 4 years since TDCC released their last album. I was gutted when they pulled out of Latitude in 2014 as they were one of the band's I wanted to see. This is the first release from their 3rd album 'Gateway' and is a great return... I'm ready...

Subscribe/listen to our Tracks of the Week. Click here.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Jackson Browne - The Pretender



JACKSON BROWNE - The Pretender
Well I am Scottish and it is only right I give my take on the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie, I hope you like it. Och Aye! 


The Clans gathered round
travelled many a mile
there to meet a Bonnie Prince
home from foreign exile
back to  lead his cheering  men
return to us our  Scottish pride
will never again relinquish
win back his rightful crown
stolen by the English

We will follow blind
this merry band
follow our Bonnie Charlie
into the heart of England

The battle at Prestonpans
victory for us to start
the glorious march down south
thru middle England's heart
we were a riotous merry band
all in sight of London's reach
the height of all our powers
one great final push for us
and the prize is ours

We will follow blind
this merry band
follow our Bonnie Charlie
into the heart of England

We waited far too long
for our friend ally France
no help from them ever came
had we lost our chance
many men they just got bored
and we were forced to retreat
it was soon very clear to see
that great Jacobite dream
was never meant to be

A last desperate  stand
desolate  Culloden Moor
all the men were tired and beat
finished that's for sure
our Prince's dreams in tatters
we are left for cannon fodder
one final brave last stand
not one prisoner was taken
by butcher Cumberland

Oh! where are you now
Young Pretender
back safe in exile's haven
leaving us here to suffer

Soon the soldiers came
all these bloody English
in their uniforms of scarlet red
they had a job to finish
why did they steal all our food
and burn down our little crofts
leaving us with all this pain
families turned out to face
a howling winter's rain

Oh! where are you now
Young Pretender
back safe in exile's haven
leaving us here to suffer

Monday, 20 June 2016

TRACKS OF THE WEEK - 20/06/16 - Exmagician, Summer Flake, Case Lang Veirs,


exmagician - 'Place Your Bets' (2015)

Despite forgetting their capital letters (I am constantly reminding my son, that's why), exmagician are my band of the moment.'Place Your Bets' is the first track that got me under their spell and is taken from the Belfast duo's excellent debut album Scan the Blue. The life long friends have collaborated before on the David Holmes produced, Cashier No9 album, To the Death of Fun (Oh Pity being a TOTW back in 2011). Similar in style but with perhaps a bit more psychedelica thrown in, siting Captain Beefheart as a major influence (yes Old Pa, that got your attention) the album is definitely worth your aural time!  

Summer Flake - Shoot and Score (2016)

It's very apt that Wales will be playing 'ball-foot' against the mighty Russians on Monday night. Hopefully, it will be the boyo's in red who will shoot and score more than putin's bruisers.  We dare to dream. 

Old Pa :-
Case Lang Veirs - Atomic Numbers (2016)

Wow! a girl Super Group and these girls don't come bigger (in a nice way) Neko Case, K.D. Lang and Laura Veirs. This is a gret track with great production. I have listened tothe album once and will definately be going back. It is interesting and filled with superb harmonies. Each artist shines through. I don't normally like the Super Group thing but this works.

Subscribe/listen to our Tracks of the Week. Click here.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Jimi Hendrix - Voodoo Chile


Duncan was a Biker

JIMI HENDRIX - Voodoo Chile

For the last six years I was in Jeddah I lived in a very large what I suppose you would call a Maisonette. I lived on the upstairs and had the pleasure of always having interesting neighbors who lived downstairs.

Take Duncan for instance. He worked as an Aircraft engineer. Duncan was a biker and a biker in every sense of the work. He had a large Harley Davidson had his hair in a pony tail and had some great tattoos. Duncan loved his metal music with a leaning towards hard driving metal music. As I also loved music we came to an agreement that we would not complain if we ever played loud music.  I was very happy with this arrangement.

It was a must have in where we lived to build a Bar and that was the pride of place in any worthwhile home. Both Duncan and I loved our beer and often when a new brew was ready we would invite each other to a sampling party. Which really was just an excuse to get a good fill of beer and listen at the same time to some music.

I had a few beers with Duncan one evening before he went out to meet some friends. He told me that he was feeling pretty pissed off and had enough of Saudi Arabia and all the restrictions. Anyway I went to bed about 10 as I was up at six the next morning when very loud music started downstairs it was Duncan playing the Jimi Hendrix song Voodoo Chile. It stopped after about 1 minute and then started again. This went on and on for a couple of hours. It was really loud and I mean really loud.

There was just no way anybody could get to sleep. After about three hours I decided to go down and have a word with Duncan. I knock at the door, I knocked on the windows and although the lights were on Duncan was nowhere to be seen.

It finally hit me, Duncan had topped himself and I was very impressed. What a way to go listening to your favorite record on repeat. I decided to leave a note for Duncan just in case he still remained in this world. I said that maybe we will have to review out musical arrangement.

Suddenly just as it had started the music suddenly stopped about 0200 in the morning.

The next evening I went down to see Duncan when he returned from work and I asked what on earth was going on last night.

Duncan looked surprised and said he had come home pissed and woke up at 0200 in the morning with Voodoo Chile playing and was abit shocked to hear it as he could not remember turning it on. He switched it off and went back to sleep. He did tell me that once he falls asleep after a session nothing and I mean nothing on this planet earth would wake him up.

Not even Jimi Hendrix turned up to 11.

By Old Pa

Monday, 13 June 2016

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 12-06-2016 - The Viceroys, Ryley Walker, Fujiya & Miyagi

Tracks of the Week

Ryley Walker - The Halfwit In Me (2016)

Chicago Singer-Songwriter, Ryley Walker has just released the glorious The Halfwit in Me. It reminds me of Nick Drake-meets-Tim Buckley a kind of Singer Songwriter/Jazz/Prog in one song? It shouldn't work but it does. It appears on his third LP, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung - out August 19th via the Dead Oceans label. He first came to my attention with last years excellent Primrose Green. 

Old Pa's Corner:-
The Viceroys - Why (2016)

The Viceroys have been going since the Seventies and have been quiet for a very long time. They are back with a bang with their first new music for about 16 years or so. But this is excellent and is a reminder how good the old roots music was. The dub version on the album is brilliant as well. 

Fujiya & Miyagi - Serotonin Rushes (2016)
Serotonin Rushes - Fujiya & Miyagi (2016) You can't beat a rush of euphoria, like the feeling when you finish a McDonald's, you find extra chips in the bottom of the bag. I doubt this track refers to anything like that though but the groove will definitely keep you wanting more. Serotonin Rushes is taken from Brighton based, Fujiya and Miyagi's upcoming EP, 1. Guaranteed to keep that Serotonin level topped up.

Subscribe/listen to our Tracks of the Week. Click here.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Bruce Springsteen - The Price you Pay


A Healthy 9%


I was sent to Brussels to assist in a cut over to a Cargo Automated System. As usual in these situations, I asked the local guys to find me a cheap hotel.  Well who wants comfort when you need all the extra money to fund your culture experience in Belgium. Did you know that they have hundreds and hundreds of all different types of beer?. I felt it was my duty to sample as many as I could in the two weeks I would be there.

The Hotel was being polite a dump. It was owned by a real character called Draco who originally came from what was the old Yugoslavia. He was what you would call a tight arse. The heating was never turned on until the temperature  went below zero. Even then it was only turned on for a couple of hours at a time. It was freezing all the time. It was the coldest winter in Belgium for over 50 years.

'I didn't feel so called then' 

I remember seeing a thermometer reading and the temperature was -14 below.  Breakfast at Draco's was white bread and jam and lukewarm disgusting coffee. But at the price I was paying I did not complain. There was always the staff canteen to fill me up before the sampling began.

Across the road was a large bar restaurant and it boasted that they had 245 different type of beers. I was in my element and was determined to sample as many as I could.

There were Trappist bears that tended to be very strong. They were originally produced in Monastery. All in the name of Religion of course. Stouts, Pale Ales, Table Beers, Wheat Beers, Christmas Beers, Sour Beers, Fruit Beers and You name it Beers. My particular favorite became Quack, I think that was probably due to the glass and holder it was served in. It was also a healthy 9 percent strength. Enough to fell a dray horse. But not a full blooded healthy Scotsman on a cultural mission.

One night after a long nights session I became very hungry and sampled the guaranteed mega hot chilli. It went down a treat. In fact it was so good I ordered another steaming bowl. During the night I had to get up to the loo down the corridor.  I was sitting there cursing everything I could think of when the lights went out. Bloody Draco had the lights on a timer. I had extreme difficulty finding my way back to my freezing polar room.

That next day and most of the next, I farted every 30 seconds without fail. It was worse than a bad case of hiccups. Maybe next time it would be advisable not to have a second bowl of chilli. I should have checked TripAdvisor.

One of my favourite Boss tracks somehow seems appropriate not only because of the chilli but because of his recent UK concerts.

By Old Pa

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Conor Oberst - Artifact #1


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!

Conor Oberst - Artifact #1

This came up on the random-ator (Is that such a thing?) a few weeks back and I had to finally share it.  Its in my top 5 Conor Oberst tracks.  Whether it is the latin feel of the percussion/guitar, the delay pedal or just the lyrics.  It's one of his best tracks - believe! I read this bloody great quote in Q Magazine about this song:-

"It is a love song. Plain and simple. Some people leave their fingerprints all over the scene of the crime. Some just disappear to where even the six o’clock news can’t find them. But real love trumps all. Paper, rock or scissors don’t stand a chance. Crushes. Wins every time. Even through a gnarly delay pedal."

Real Love Trumps all? We all hope.

What would it take to gain acceptance
To the grounds behind your eyes
You know I'm open to suggestion
The one you made we never tried

Let it slip right out from under
Your breath and it rolled around my head
It was nothing I'd consider
I knew it had to happen then

Stood on the banks of the Potomac
We watched the water rushing by
You said we should live in the moment
Then I'd miss you all the time

And I know no one will believe me
But I don't want a second chance
To be an object of desire
If that means slipping through your hands
If I had tried to make you mine
You would have walked away
Life can't compete with memories
They never have to change

This world is full of missing persons
All of these unsolved mysteries
If someone says they know for certain
They're selling something certainly

So when I set myself to wonder
All the questions that remain
The only one that even matters
Is when I'll see you're face again

I keep looking back for artifacts
To prove that you were here
The sound that's been keeps echoing
It never disappears

Monday, 6 June 2016

Pearl Jam - 'Just Breathe'

Musical Medicine..... tracks that give you the right dose that you need

Pearl Jam - 'Just Breathe' (2009)

I haven't had much chance to listen to music this last month... Since I followed Shellhunter to Dubai, I've spent most days looking after our daughter and the evenings when Shellhunter is at work I'm watching TV shows that I've downloaded...
My preference is for American crime shows and a lot of them end with a random song most of which I've never heard of. A couple of weeks back I was watching an episode of 'The Blacklist' and a song came on with a very recognisable voice so I shazammed it. Then this evening I was watching 'Castle' and the same song came on at the end...
Eddie Vedder's voice just gives me goosebumps when he sings the slower numbers that Pearl Jam excel at... 'Sirens' is probably my favourite slow 'un but there are countless others...


Willie Nelson covered the song on his 2012 album 'Heroes' so I've included it for no reason other than I like covers. Oh and it's pretty good too.

By London Scouser

Sunday, 5 June 2016

TRACKS OF THE WEEKS - 05/06/16 - De La Soul, Snoop Dogg, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Tony Joe White, Bee Caves,

Tracks of the Week

De La Soul - 'Pain' feat Snoop Dogg (2016)

I have always loved De La Soul but as always, some 25 years down the line, I tend to approach a new release with caution, 'Pain' exceeds all expectations however. Capturing a real soulful, laid back vibe with the trademark De La delivery and helped along with a Snoop Dogg drawl for good measure, it's perfect for the summer, whenever it decides to turn up. Audio 'Ambre Solaire'

De La Soul and the Anonymous Nobody is released on August 26.

Go to the their website, and play an arcade game while you listen to the single. No really!

London Scouser:-
Red Hot Chili Peppers - 'Dark Necessities' (2016)

I've been meaning to add this as my #trackoftheweek but just haven't found the time, which I have to apologise for... It's so good I should have championed it weeks ago when I first heard it. It has one of the best building intros I've heard in ages before going into their trademark funky sound. Their album 'The Getaway' is out later this month and I for one can't wait on the strength of this. I've been a fan since the early 90's and although I think they became a bit too 'stadium rock' in the last 10 years, I've stuck with them. And this is a good return to form.

Bee Caves - Running Home To You (2014)
I'm a little embarrassed.  A track from 2014?  Well wait a minute.  This appeared on my Spotify Discover Weekly playlists (A clever algorithm that suggests tracks that 'match' your plays) around a fortnight ago and has become one of my 'go-to' tracks. Bee Caves are from Austin, Texas and appears on their self-released debut EP Animals with Religion. I cannot find anything else from them but it looks as though they are up to something via their facebook page.  Definitely worth checking them out!

Old Pa's Corner:-
Tony Joe White - Hoochie Woman

What a great track from a new album by Tony Joe White called Rain Crow (2016). My goodness it is a surprise, I thought he has left us. You probably know him for Pork Salad Annie but he wrote lots of other classics for others and was covered by none other than Elvis himself.  This is yer real swamp rock and as they say this just grooves along and his rough vocals compliment the whole experience. Just love this. I want more.

Subscribe/listen to our Tracks of the Week. Click here.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

WEDNESDAY CLUB - Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali/Old Pa and John lennon -Stand by Me

WEDNESDAY CLUB meets the great men,  Muhammad Ali V Old Pa and John lennon
My mate Ali


CASSIUS CLAY - Stand By Me (1964)

Living in Jeddah in the eighties, many interesting things happened that would not normally be available to me if I lived in the U.K.

Probably one of the greatest things was one day Shellhunter came home from School and said that Muhammad Ali was coming to her School that night to give a talk and we can all go.

Muhammad Ali, he was my hero, or one of them.  I saw every fight (see previous post) from the very beginning, I had posters on my wall. It was an opportunity not to be missed.

With excitement I turned up with all the other fight fans. Ali was introduced to us and we were asked to give him some questions. It was all routine stuff ie what was your hardest fight etc.

It was so tragic hearing Ali try and give answers. He was slurring and had difficulty giving any coherent reply. However there was an unmistakeably twinkle in his eye. It was still the Ali we all new and loved.
After, he signed autographs for the kids. I managed to get close for a picture with my arm round him. He did not look too pleased about being touched. I mumbled how great he was and that I have always been a fan. In the photo I actually look taller than Ali.  He was there for the taking.

I would have danced like a donkey and stung like a hen, Muhammad Ali would have fallen in ten. I found this track apparently sung by a then Cassius Clay of the great Ben E King classic, it is actually not that bad.

If you don't like the Cassius version here is a little treat to make up for it, the intro by Bob Harris is just fabulous.

Imagine if Old Pa was here?


JOHN LENNON - Stand By Me (1975)

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Richard Harris - My Boy




It was an historic time. I remember the date well for two reasons. The first was the BBC were going to have its first ever stereo broadcast of a rock Concerts and would feature none other than Van Morrison and his Caledonian Soul Orchestra. I was working a night shift in Heathrow London but I had arranged to go home and watch the concert.  Unfortunately in these days we did not have recorders.

The other event was Old Ma was in Nice and was expecting our first child which was due at any time. Just before I went home to see the concert I received a call that Old Ma had gone into labor and was heading for the clinic. 

I went home and was knocked out by the brilliance of Van. Luckily a double album of some of the music was released on what some say is the best live album ever. Too Late to stop Now.  .An expanded version of the album is being released shortly.  It is Van at his very live best. 
When I got back to work I received a call, I had a son, Flycasual had arrived from outer space.

I have a son, I am a father.

I had a standby ticket in case of the event and caught the first plane to Nice that morning. I immediately headed for the Clinic situated in the Place Mozart.  I saw my son for the first time. A joyous moment in anybody's life.

It was great, I stayed there all day. The food was superb for a clinic. Below was a bar and I could adjourn there for a refreshment or two when the nurses were attending to Old Ma or she needed a rest.

 Une autre Formidable, s'il vous Plait.

When I went back to Old Granma's Flat I rang the intercom and in my best French said :
C'est Old Pa. C'est Old Pa.  I got a reply saying,  Old Pa est a l'Hopital (She was more than a bit deaf). I tried shouting and this went on for a good few minutes. She kept saying that I was at the Hospital before she just hung up.

What was I supposed to do? I went round the corner to the Jockey Club, our local Bar and had Un autre Formidable,s'il vous Plait.

I tried again later and did not mention my name, I just said as clearly and loudly as I could C'est Moi. She opened the door.

Flycasual just celebrated his 42nd Birthday last week.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

10CC - I'm Mandy Fly me



10CC - I'm Mandy Fly Me

It was my Nieces' 21st birthday.  I was coming over from Jeddah, catch a flight from London's Heathrow to Inverness and enjoy the celebration with the rest of my family.

The flight was early and as I arrived in London an hour or so before departure, as was the custom, I headed straight for the British Midlands Bar for an early refreshment. Get in the mood, you know yourself.

I headed for the British Airways Lounge in plenty time and heard the news that there would be a delay due to a technical fault and they were awaiting a new part. Could we ensure that we were back here in one hours time.

I went back to the Bar and settled down with the daily newspaper. After about 50 minutes I headed back. I saw from the information board that my flight had departed. It appeared they managed to correct the fault quickly and boarded the flight and departed. I was called but was not in that area so I did not hear the call and had missed the flight.

Luckily there was another flight about 6 hours later. Oh! well back to the British Midlands Bar.
I later went in to Hounslow for a look around and to kill time. The Bell was open in a few hours too.

When I got back in plenty of time I found to my horror that the afternoon flight was cancelled and no reason given.  There was another flight at 19.30 in the evening and all the passengers were re-booked on that flight. Except me that is as I had a staff standby ticket.

I had a meal and read a book, had a few drinks and before long it was time to go for the evening flight.  I was told the flight was full and that it would be touch and go to get on. Could it get much worse I thought.

At the gate I was hovering around, the flight was about to be closed. I was told you are on. A party of 3 had not turned up. The relief just poured out of me as I settled into my seat. Walkman at the ready.

Could a Mr. Mackenzie make himself  know to the Cabin Staff  please 
The three had turned up and I was being off loaded. That was it,  I had to find a Hotel and I booked a full fare ticket for the first flight out to Inverness the next morning.

To rub salt in the wound that flight was not even half full.

By Old Pa