Friday, 29 July 2016

Red Gold & Green #5 - Sugar Minott

You might remember a few months back (here), I mentioned that I had some serious dental work looming on the horizon. I also expressed my abject terror of said oral surgery. Well folks, today's the day. So if you find yourself with a spare moment between 12 and 1pm, spare a thought for your old pal The Swede.

Here's the late Sugar Minott to try and calm my jangling nerves.

Sugar Minott - Have No Fear

Monday, 25 July 2016

Red Gold & Green #4 - The Aggrovators

Last week was a hot one. Throughout most of Wednesday, as temperatures soared through the 30° mark, I hunkered down indoors with the curtains closed - it was just too much for me. In the evening though, all hell broke loose in the form of a brief, but very violent thunderstorm, which left the air blissfully cool when it had passed. As the storm raged (and did it ever rage) I stood at the window firing off ten shots at a time, trying to capture a photograph of a lightning bolt. It's a tricky business with a little point and press camera, but my patience was rewarded with these two consecutive shots (click on them to enlarge).

The Aggrovators were one of the great session bands of reggae's golden age, working extensively with producer Bunny Lee throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The band practised something of a revolving door policy, with legends such as Robbie Shakespeare, Sly Dunbar, Jackie Mittoo and Tommy McCook all passing through the ranks at one time or another. 44 of The Aggrovators' dubs, mixed by the late King Tubby, have recently been compiled by VP Records as 'Dubbing at King Tubby's'. Here, from that collection, is the appropriately titled 'Thunder Rock', which was originally released in 1976 on the flipside of Cornell Campbell's 'Have Mercy Oh Jah'.

The Aggrovators - 'Thunder Rock'

Friday, 22 July 2016

Red Gold & Green #3 - The Wailing Souls

It was my own stupid fault. I walked into a door frame yesterday, while wearing nothing on my feet. First the air turned blue, closely followed by my little toe. Ouch. Here are The Wailing Souls with 'Walk, Walk, Walk', a Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd produced single from 1971. Walk, walk, walk? More like hobble, hobble, hobble at the moment.

Wailing Souls - Walk, Walk, Walk.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Too Hot To Move, Too Hot To Think

Scattered, in various stages of completion, around the many nooks and crannies of my laptop, are tracklistings for half-a-dozen different Imaginary Compilation Albums that I one day hope JC will consider for inclusion in his excellent ongoing series over at The New Vinyl Villain. One of the said compilations (and, coincidentally, the nearest to completion) features Australia's mighty Triffids. Such is the strength in depth of the band's catalogue, 'Too Hot to Move, Too Hot to Think', from 1989's 'Black Swan', isn't currently a contender for the final running order, though all that could change of course. The song lurches gradually into being, as if emerging from a dense, stifling swamp. It's been the soundtrack to my life this week.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Rozi Plain / Milly Hirst - Live at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre, Cley Marshes

Rachel Horwood and Rozi Plain at Cley

Before we went inside, Mrs S & I watched skylarks performing vertical pirouettes in the far distance, spoonbills and little egrets poking around in the shallows, oyster-catchers piping frantically overhead and terns plummeting from the skies into the deeper waters beyond. A little later, as Milly Hirst began her set, a heron flew low from left to right across the sight-line directly behind the performance area. A majestic marsh harrier passed by in the opposite direction soon after. It was a busy evening on Cley Marshes.

In these idyllic surroundings, Milly impressed the hell out of me once again (I wrote about her previously here), playing a couple of songs with which I wasn't familiar and teasing us with a progress report on how the recording of her debut LP is coming along. Then it was time for Rozi Plain, who played a wonderful stripped down set with only Rachel Horwood for company. By now I'm sure that everyone is aware of just how highly I rate Rozi's music (look here if you need reminding) and to see her play in such an intimate setting (the audience numbered a mere 50) was truly a privilege.

At the conclusion of Rozi's set, we wandered back outside to watch the last rays of the sun disappear from the huge North Norfolk sky. The silhouette of a barn owl fluttered silently above the marsh. What a glorious evening.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Version City #53 - Children of Leir sing Lee Hazlewood

Lee Hazlewood wrote and produced 'Shades' for Nancy Sinatra's 1966 LP, 'Nancy in London', before issuing his own performance of the song on 'Something Special' in 1968. 48 years later, Leicester's Children of Leir have shaken down Lee's gentle country-pop original, to create something that is sonically altogether different. Over at Children of Leir's Bandcamp page, just one British pound gets you their interpretation of 'Shades' plus an extended mix of 'Carcass' from 2015's 'Horse Cover', a fine album that ended up finishing just outside my Top 10 of the year.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Astronaut Meets Appleman

Time is a bit short for chatter at the moment, so enjoy 'You Just Want', the first taster from King Creosote's forthcoming LP, ‘Astronaut Meets Appleman’, due on September 2nd. This'll do for me.

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