Archive for Music

O Children

OK I know I’m late to this but Nick Cave really is something special.  Can’t get this one out of my head.


Wales songs

As per most trips away we had recurring music choices: there were 2 notable ones this time, both from off of from Now 95.



Something something…wow!

I was watching BBC4 the other day.  They had a show about UK pop acts that went big in America.  It was quite fun listening to people like Marty Wilde recalling seeing pizza for the first time etc.  Anyways I watched a while and then went to bed.  The show after this was a compilation of performances from acts that had done well in the US.  I recorded it to see a bit of cheesy music (it started with “Bits and Pieces” by The Dave Clark 5).  The last song on it was “Someone Like You” by Adele.  Linky here.

Well bloody hell! I know I’m 5 years late to the party but blimey that’s a good song.  The performance they chose for this show was the song’s debut on Later Live with Jools Holland – and what a performance.  I’ve seen a couple of others and they don’t quite match up to this one.  Does make you think that most music is just filling time waiting for something startling to come along.

Incidentally there is a recording of her doing the thing at the VMA awards in the US where people keep whooping.  Just SHUT UP! It’s not a song for whooping to.  Just bloody listen to it.

Anyways I’m sure I’ll be over it in a day or so but for now I’m blown away by that video.  Haven’t been so moved by a song since I saw “White Wine in the Sun” for the first time when I was a very new dad (and my hormones were probably all over the place).


Old media

I recently discovered that Desert Island Discs have put online a huge archive of old shows.  I’ve been dipping in and having a listen.  It’s quite interesting.

Most of them are hosted by Roy Plumley who’s a proper BBC man with RP speech and condescending school master attitude.  He was a very brusque interviewer in the early episodes; he seems to lighten up a bit as the years go by.

Once memorable early guest was Cliff Richard – who, not surprisingly chose some “rock and roll” records.

RP – “And what is your next record?”

CR -“I’d like Rock around the Clock please”.

RP – “Why?”

Very disapproving.

Well worth a look though.  I’ve heard some good ones with Robert Powell, Ray Reardon, Les Dawson and more.  I don’t think Louis Armstrong quite got the idea though as he seemed to choose only his records.

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Young N had her first proper go at performing in an orchestra yesterday.  We all trooped to the local “Performing Arts Academy” (read – school) to hear the Saturday morning club play some stuff.

There are 4 groups, from oldest first – Senior strings, Intermediate strings, Junior strings, and String Club.  N’s in String Club (the first of rule of String Club is…).

When we arrived we were given a running order which, bizarrely, had String club in the middle of the second half.  These are the youngest kids and it’s a school night!  Someone complained and they were brought forward to first on in the second half.

The show started with a bunch of young Gamelan players with their own composition.  Was pretty good to be honest.  Then we started on the strings groups.  And they were all pretty good too.  You could see which players were better and more into it than others.  You could see parents in the crowd silently urging on their offspring.

N’s group did the backing noise for one combined number (the name of which escapes me) but all they had to do was a recurring “d” so it would have been hard to mess up.  And then in the second half came “String club”‘s turn.

1st piece went well.  After the applause settled we could see N looking concerned and conflabbing with her neighbour.  Then she stood up and went to the conductor with her violin.  She only needed it bleedin tuning didn’t she!  Lordy.

Once seated again they aced their remaining 2 numbers and that was them done.  Jolly good show.

The last bit was the Intermediates and seniors playing Night on Bare Mountain by Mussorgsky followed by the Pirates of the Caribbean theme.  They drafted in some horns and woodwind as well as a harpist and they were excellent.  Could maybe have done with more viola players (only 1 there).

Very good indeed.



Yesterday was a big day for little N.  We took her to her first gig.  She’s seen bands at other events but this was the first one where the sole reason to go was to see a specific band.

The band is a 2/3 Scottish one called Lau.  We’d had their first CD on in the car quite a bit when travelling so N was well used to hearing them and keen to see them live.

Anyway, it was great.  Here’s a little number of their’s:

N seemed to love the show.  We expected her to be the youngest there but she wasn’t.  There was a little lad there who looked about 5 years old.  Both kids behaved impeccably.  Until this lad needed to go and get ready for bed.  He zoomed off with his mum and came back a little later.

“It’s a bit dark mummy” he said very loudly on his return.

Then, not 1 minute later, he announced that he needed the loo.  And stomped off down the stairs with mum again.

And all of this in a room with an average age of about 70.  So I expect there was harumphing and gnashing of teeth.  Folk concerts really aren’t best served by younger people.

Once the show was over we headed out into the foyer to hear a rousing song ongoing.  I’ve no idea what song it was but there were plenty of folk joining in (more at the chorus) – was a lovely thing to see and hear.  Not the sort of thing you’d ordinarily see at a show.

Anyway, if they’re coming anywhere near you then they’d be worth a see.


Music mash

I’ve recently been listening to a large backlog of a podcast from the Beeb called “Tom Robinson Introducing” or “Fresh on the Net” depending on what they feel like.  Highly recommended as every week you get an hour or so of tunes from generally unsigned artists.  It can be a little 2 guitars and an indie sensibility sometimes but there’s an occasional gem.

The last couple I’ve listened to had a pair of gems though.

First is Lail Arad with Winter.

(MySpace (remember that?) has the recorded version as well as a couple of other tracks.)

Next is Gypsy Hill with Balaka.

Just for extra fun the band wot supported the Fall at the gig we saw in Manchester also have a couple of live vids on Youtube.  This one’s title gets mentioned quite a lot in conversation, usually with the same intonation as the singer.

Have fun.


Songs and that – day 30

Song 30 – your favourite song at this time last year

I’ve already picked 2 of this band’s songs on this song thingy but this was indeed my fave song at roughly this time last year.

And that’s it for this “Songs and that” series.
Have fun.


Songs and that – day 29

Nearly done!

Song 29 – A song from your childhood

Hmm. Lots of possibilities here. How young? When I was very small apparently I was very happy to keep repeating “Nice One Cyril” over and over again (although I have no memory of this). But frankly putting that on here would make me very sad.

How about the first 7″ single I ever bought with my own money? Here you go then:

Oh and this is from the first grown-up album I ever had, mum and dad bought it for me on a trip to London:


Songs and that – Day 28

OK So I missed song 27. It is apparently:
Song 27 – a song that you wish you could play

Well that will be “any of them”, since I can’t play any instruments, although I have to say it doesn’t bother me in any way.

So you can have this one. Aim high I suppose:

And on to Song 28

Song 28 – a song that makes you feel guilty

Eh? No idea what this means. Can’t honestly say a song has ever made me feel guilty.


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