Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Most Important Meal of the Day.......

....though someone should point out that, round these parts, it's considered rude to chew with your mouth open.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Version City #31 - Half Man Half Biscuit sing Tim Buckley

A Peel session favourite from 2002. An inspired cover, segueing into the unmitigated genius that is 'Vatican Broadside'. You won't spend a more enjoyable three minutes this week.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Aswad at the Notting Hill Carnival

It's a warm, sunny day for those who are out and about in West London, enjoying the Notting Hill Carnival. I've been to a few Carnivals over the years, most memorably in 1983 when Aswad played a storming set, later released on LP as 'Live and Direct'. The band may now be best remembered by a wider audience for their 'pop' hits, commencing with 'Don't Turn Around' in 1984, but in the previous eight years Aswad released a series of consistently strong roots reggae albums and were an exceptional live outfit to boot. Here's a shot I took from the crowd that day in 1983 and 'African Children' from the gig, featuring a wicked 'live' dub section.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Joe Strummer

The bathroom is still a work in progress, it's amazing how much disruption can be caused by the redecoration of one small room. As a layer of ever-deepening dust settles on every surface in the house, my thoughts turn to Joe Strummer, who would've been 62 today. Here he is in full flow at The Cambridge Folk Festival in August 2002, 4½ months before his death, the last time I saw him in concert.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Saturday Scratch #39

If the family bathroom was ever out of action when I was a wee nipper, I would have to endure what Mum would call 'a wash down'. This involved standing in a washing-up bowl on the kitchen floor, while she poured lukewarm water over my head and scrubbed me with a rough flannel. We're experiencing an uncannily similar, if slightly more grown-up, version of the same thing at the moment. The bathroom is currently a building site as walls are insulated, windows replaced, tiles laid and, hopefully sometime late next week, a new suite is installed. To be honest, I'm a a bit long in the tooth for all this wash down malarkey (dousing oneself in water at the kitchen sink ain't what it's cracked up to be), but I know it'll all be worth it in the end.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Robin Williams

"We never expect to hear about death. We never wake up knowing someone will have died today. As we busy ourselves with all of the lovely distractions that life offers us... we push death away... like some unwanted vegetable on the dinner plate. But every once in a while, death enters our periphery and reminds us that it's still there. Not to scare us... not to terrorize us... only to remind us to cherish each bite of the meal put before us. Like it or not we will be made to eat our vegetables. My deepest gratitude for the man who reminded us to play with our food. Au revoir, Robin Williams." - Shane Koyczan, 12/8/14.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

The Soundcarriers

I'm a past master at finding any excuse to avoid buckling down to something I know I really should be doing, but this week, in a refreshing break from the norm, I've been hard at it, non-stop. The soundtrack to my endeavours has been provided by The Soundcarriers - I've been particularly hammering 2010's 'Celeste' and the brand new 'Entropicalia'. If you're partial to a little bit of psych, a dash of motorik and maybe a soup├žon of folky jazziness, you should make it your business to check 'em out asap. I'll leave you with a sample from each of those cracking albums - I must get back to work.