Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Weekend Listening: “Nightingale Sanctuary”

October 6, 2018

I’m obsessed with “Bitches Brew” (what is “Bitches Brew”? It’s not “jazz”. It’s not “rock”. It’s certainly not “jazz rock”. It doesn’t sound like anything Miles Davis recorded before it, or anything he recorded after it. I’ve still never heard anything quite like it) by Miles Davis.

At the start of “Sanctuary” the “ballad” (it doesn’t sound like a ballad. It sound like a army waiting for the start of a battle) that occupies side 4, Davis improvises some phrases and and at the end is a short phrase that sounds to me like a quote from “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square“. He then pauses. It’s like you can hear him thinking “I’ve played that before. I don’t want to play that again”.

Later I discovered that what he is playing at this point is a completely different standard, “I Fall In Love Too Easily” which I’ve never heard.

But I’ve never let getting something completely wrong stop me lurching ahead with an idea.

So what would “A Nightingale Sang” sound like if it was played in the style of “Sanctuary”? Or what would a montage of “A Nightingale Sang” and “Sanctuary” sound like? Simon Hopkins (thanks to him as always) suggested we play them simultaneously but that was well beyond my competence.

You can now find out…



Death Valley Girls: “Darkness Rains” ( @DeathValleyGrls )

September 30, 2018

A few years ago I said to myself “I’m old. I probably won’t listen to rock anymore. I expect it’ll just be jazz and classical from now on”.

Then I was messing about on Twitter searching for Iggy Pop. And I discovered Death Valley Girls.

I thought “These people are fun. They sound like The Stooges fronted by Kristen Hersh“.

They I discovered Death Valley Girls second album “Glow in the Dark”. I thought “This is REALLY REALLY good”.

“Glow in the Dark” is as good a rock n roll record as I’ve listened to in all my years on the planet.

Since then I’ve seen Death Valley Girls live twice. The first time, in London, was enormous fun. The second in Brighton was like no other gig I’ve ever been to, a wild, wild night where all the walls came down… How far can too far go? That night things went WAY too far… in a good way…

Now it’s time for Death Valley Girls third album “Darkness Rains”. It’s a more sombre record than it’s predecessor, but we live in sombre times. And alongside plangent metal ballads like “Born Again and Again” where Bonnie sounds like she’s bound to an eternal wheel of fire, is more than enough blood pulsing rock n roll: “Disaster is what we’re after”, “Street Justice” and best of all “(One Less Thing) Before I Die”, one minute and thirty seconds of pure head-shaking fury.

Through Death Valley Girls I’ve discovered other great bands: The Darts, Peach Club and Witch Fever.

So I’d like to thank Death Valley Girls for bringing me so much pleasure and joy, at a time when I really need some.

“Darkness Rains” can be purchased here. Death Valley Girls are on tour through the autumn in the States. If you happen to read this, go and see them! I’m hoping, really hoping that they will play the UK again soon…

How the Internet works now…

September 26, 2018

I’m in Berlin… I saw this… I pressed the button… nothing happened…

Weekend listening: “Brexit Blues”

September 22, 2018

Do you have the Brexit blues?

This may help… or it may not…

Thanks as always to Simon Hopkins.

Full “Odes to Brexit” playlist here:

In the cave…

September 17, 2018

Monday Night Listening: “Hendrexit Persued By Beat” @grooveyardmusic

September 10, 2018

So Lee Sparey took some of my horrible guitar and transformed it into a thing of brutal beauty… God speed to him!

Pride Flag

September 8, 2018

Saturday night listening: Jimi Hendrexit live at the All Weather Backstop Festival

September 1, 2018

Horrible… muddy…

A “Wail of Sound” production.

More “Odes to Brexit” here and here.

Witch Fever – The Lock Tavern – Camden 28th August 2018 – setting fire to the patriarchy ( @WITCHFEVER )

August 1, 2018

witch fever

Photo of Witch Fever by Wild Blanket

Witch Fever: the room is too small for them.

When you go and see a lot of bands, you are able to tell how good they are just by how they soundcheck. By the way they prep, how they react to each other.

Witch Fever are stars.

Their guitarist is really, really cool. Just tuning up, she’s cool, let alone when she starts playing.

Their sound is metal, but hyped up, incendiary, fuelled by a righteous fury.

Three songs in and the singer is standing on a table on the other side of the room, screaming.

The room gets more and more crowded, people are coming in, drawn in by the sound, eyes bright with excitement. You can tell they are thinking: “What the hell is this?! This is good!”

Witch Fever’s last song sounds like a cross between the Stooges and Black Sabbath. It’s over far too quickly and makes you determined to see them again as soon as possible.

There are a lot of good bands around. The great ones tell you what’s happening, grab your attention, and fire you up.

Like Peach Club, Witch Fever’s time is now.

(Witch Fever on Spotify, Twitter and Facebook. List of gigs on their Facebook page, go and see them!)

(Thanks to We Can Do It Records for a brilliant evening!)

(Thanks to Wild Blanket for permission to use his photo – more from the same night here)

Weekend listening: “Free Nightingale”

July 28, 2018

“Easier to hear than see, usually most vocal at dusk… includes fluty whistles and clicking sounds”

Thanks as always to Simon Hopkins.