Sunday, 27 July 2014

Coincidentally ....Two Johns

Am I Going To Hell?
Today has been a day of coincidences. I always have a chuckle when people say "things happen for a reason" yet can't give an actual reason for what happened. That's just coincidence, and often you can use it to link together totally disparate places people and events, so I'll tell you about today, although part of these linked coincidences started nearly forty years ago in 1977. But there's a lot of disparate threads that really have no connection but just happened to coincide.

Punk 45
Anyway yesterday I bought an excellent book of punk single covers called Punk 45. It's enlightening to see how many of the artists looked on the sleeve of the early singles, Sting, Iggy Pop and Gary Numan look recognisable but young. It's also a fairly hefty tome but great to browse through and big enough to read without the aid of a magnifying glass.Today I needed to go into town to pick up some train tickets and some bits to update my sound system.

When I got to the bus stop it was sunny and there was a young lady there sort of singing , I assume to what was on her phone. She turned round and said what a nice day it was and then saw the caption on my T-Shirt and seemed to take it quite seriously, telling me that god had a place for me in heaven and hell was for the evil angels. We chatted on and she was happy and pleasant but a bit forceful, and then the bus didn't turn up, so I spent nearly thirty minutes in some verbal jousting. I didn't want to upset as she was going to a christening, but just said everyone should live morally and look out for others and stay happy, so we left on good terms. The christening was in Byker, home of part of the next thread of coincidence.

Suspended Sentence - Check The Line Up - John Scott!

A couple of years ago I went to see John Cooper Clarke at the O2 Academy in Newcastle and was very impressed by the MC on the night , Mr John Scott. I was so impresses with Mr Scott that he was the second best thing I saw that night,  but then sought out further gigs, and am really pleased he's on regularly at venues such as The Stand.

John is from Byker, so that's the thread I mentioned before, but was looking at the line up for John Cooper Clarke's first single.....

......and the guitaris is John Scott. Now the John Scott I know would have been about 10 at the time so was either a child prodigy on the Manc scene or it's a different guy.

Now certainly people could tie all these facts together to mean something , but I know it's all coincidence.

So basically I've had a great weekend and I hope you have too. If you can get a copy of the book do so. I've included so youtube footage of the two Johns for you to enjoy.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

The Heat Is On

Well it's Saturday Night and still very warm, hot even. Hope I haven't got sunburned today , though I bet a lot of people have. Just been having a relaxing day , though dewired some clutter in the front room and had a wander round town and bough a book and some fruit.

This post is totally random, because as is quite often the case, I don't really have anything to write about, but it is nice to just let the words flow and and fill the page, although I don't think there will be much page filling tonight. I just keep trying to thing of ways to cool down, after today clothes need to go in the wash. Luckily have cool drinks and will be sleeping on top of the bed with maybe a light sheet , just need some sort of cover on, for obvious reasons.

The days are getting shorter, the nights drawing in , although it is most definitely summertime.

Just as I was writing this my computer desktop disappeared, very weird, so had to restart. Given it's so hot have gone for The Who's take on Martha Reeve's Heatwave.

Anyway I hope everyone is having a great weekend, enjoy the sun , and keep positive, there is lots to be positive about.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Hot Cross and Bare on Byker Hill

Well you know I don't do cross or anger , and thought it's time for another post. At the moment it's still very hot and stuffy so really you don't want to see me at the moment as I'm taking the practical way out to keep cool. I know 26 degrees Centigrade is cold for some folk but it isn't for me. I don't think I'd do too well in equatorial conditions.

Martin Carthy
Anyway I do appreciate the good weather, but think a cold bath may be in order to keep cool, but maybe that's just going a bit over the top. Today I got ticket's for Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick, absolute folk legends who are playing the Tyneside Irish Centre. I know Midge Ure played there once, but I've played there several times. Then again the last time I saw Martin Carthy was at The Sage, and I've been on the same stage as part of the choir backing the late great Solomon Burke , so we have some experiences in common.

The cover of the album to the right is just one of those images that always suck with me. It made me notice him before I'd ever heard of him> If you haven't heard him then rectify that immediately.

The album contains his arrangement of Scarborough Fair that Paul Simon acknowledgingly lifted for Simon and Garfunkel's version which is more widely played.

I hope they play Byker Hill when they're on Tyneside, I'm sure they will.

So really , it's end of the week, the weather is great, and I have another great night to look forward to , so all in all things are very good. I really hope they are for you and you have an absolutely fabulous weekend.

This is them from a few years back

Monday, 21 July 2014

A Post About Time (with a tenuous nod to Bowie)

Recently I've had an abundance orf music and great weather, found a watch I've been looking for for more than ten years and been enjoying some great weather. My temperature reading alarm clock says it's 25 degrees in the house and it feels very humid.

i-tol left - Beuchat right
The watch is a Beuchat and using a clever analog design of two gradiated (is that a word?) discs to tell the time. I got it from this lot off Ebay. I loved the i-toc which is a clever analog design but always thought the Beuchat was way cooler and cleverer, but both are very cool as you can see.

Though I can't find my watch on their site, I sourced mine from Italy via Ebay.

I suppose it's appropriate I use David Bowie's "Time" (a live version to soundtrack this.

So basically all is good, though I really need some sleep and this heat is not really conducive to sleeping well, but I will see how I go.

I hope you are all having the greatest of times so I will leave you now and let you get back to enjoying yourself.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Rip It Up And Start Again

This post is almost a throwaway , as I need to do a post about the festivals that I've attended this weekend , but they will appear on Spoongig sometime this week.

The title of the post is taken from the Orange Juice song of the same name, which is a fine song but doesn't really live up to the violence and clean slate manifesto of the title. The song should be load , fast and take no prisoners, instead it goes along at it's own laid back pace , conveying a great sentiment very gently.

I got to thinking about this because my power monitor had sort of stopped working. I wasn't sure what was wrong , but knew I recently replaced the batteries in the transmitter. Like a typical man I thought I was going to have to reset everything , replace the batteries and reprogram the device, which I wasn't looking forward to, Then unlike a man I quickly scanned the manual and noticed it wasn't receiving a signal (a little indicator wasn't showing as was illustrated in the manual). I then checked the transmitter and saw that it was transmitting (it has a red signal light). Then I thought I'll switch it off and switch it on. And that did the trick.

So often you don't have to start again , with a litlle thought you can find a simple solution to your problem.

This isn't always true, but I do love simple solutions.

And then a little icing on the cake...

It's always nice to be pointed in the directions of good things and this folk blog was a particular gem. Well worth a visit , though I think I will add to my blog lists. Mojowire is here . Some great stuff about English Folk Music

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

What Should I Say? - The Red Book!

There weather's nice and there is nothing much happening , so whatever occurs in thi spost is just going to be a stream of consciousness outpouring inspired by "The Red Book" by The Penguin Cafe now being steered by Arthur Jeffes son of the sadly missed Simon Jeffes. The music is unmistakably Penguin Cafe and is absolutely joyful and awesome at the same time.

Always loved this music somewhere is an alternate universe between instrumental folk , classical and somewhere else , recalling Terry Riley and Michael Nyman in it's use of simple repeated motifs to build a complex and beautiful tune. How pretentious does that sound , but it is very good and would an enhancement to anybody's music collection.

So I did't know what i was going to write about and end up writing about the CD that I'm listening to to give me some inspiration so that I can actually write a blog post. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing but I've done it now and I am thoroughly enjoying the album.

Here's a description of the album from Amazon:

Product Description:

The Red Book
The catalyst for the new recording came about when Arthur Jeffes worked on a project with the International Space Orchestra and NASA Ames in 2012, out of which came the pieces Aurora and 1420, which have since been beamed into space as part of NASA's Kepler project. These touchstones marked a 'satellitic' beginning for a new album, a collection of songs that would then return to earth to undertake a rich, cross-continental, musical journey.

Arthur Jeffes explains:

 "The intention was really to create musical pictures and colourful soundscapes, channelling music and traditions from around the globe, but then possibly set through a more English filter. The first album, I think, was about establishing our own sound and identity, dusting out and re-opening the Cafe so to speak, but with The Red Book I think this is a grand new departure and ambition to sonically chart an imagined journey through the world and across the globe. I guess this would be the map of that idea."

Do you know why albums are called albums, it's because when sheet music was sold , collections of tune were sold collectively in physical albums and the name stuck.

Anyway hope you are loving the brilliant weather and enjoying the opportunity to relax, we are half way through the working week now, unless you are a teacher and we know for them the work never stops, you should a

Sunday, 6 July 2014


This is my 777th post. I'm not sure where I expected to get to when I started, but obviously 1000 is in my sights. I actually started seven years ago, in 2007 and I did six posts i that year so the seventh actually occurred in 2008. The first post is here and the second was a piece I wrote on Krautrock which I pillaged so to blog would look a little more substantial.

777 7 7
Anyway the number seven seems to be cropping up quite a lot in this post , but Im not going to count words or letters.It's probably a number that some ancient Chinese Astrological Horoscopic Wisdom will tell me will define my life , or something. Oh and tomorrow is the 7th Day of the seventh month and if you ad the digits up that make up this year 2 + 0 + 1 + 4 , guess what ..... they make SEVEN.

It's quite fun the connections and coincidences you can find with relatively little effort.

Well no doubt some people will be in seventh heaven.

So there are lots of songs that have Seven in the titles and I was going to go for  "Seven By Seven" by Hawkwind , but then thought I'd plump for "Seven Stars" by Uriah Heep , the first band I ever saw live. Sleep well my friends and have a brilliant week.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Saturday Morning - Tour De France - Yello Jersey Time

TDF Helmsley
It's raining, but the sun is now out. Didn't get to see the Deputies last because I was too  shattered and it was pouring down, so being a bit soft I decided to stay in. I slept ok but had a dream with included aggressive carnivorous zombies , story telling sessions , people outside the window in ambiguous black uniforms and Robert Redford being very ill in bed, analyze that ! I've forgotten most of it but some interesting images in there.

Anyway, again I feel good although the wound site is looking very bruised, but I've taken the plaster off. I could post a picture but I doubt anyone want's to see my exposed flesh.

TDF Wass
There seems to be a lot about the Tour De France starting in Yorkshire, which is great for the area but it does make the Tour of Yorkshire and France and they have the English Channel in between. The benefits are that people can see how lovely Yorkshire is, I'll be holidaying there again in October in Ampleforth, and noticed a few Tour De France displays while I was there a month or so back.

So I hope you all have good things happening this weekend , I hope the weathers good, and lots of fun and good stuff comes your way.

I had to include Kraftwerk's "Tour De France" , but always thought Yello's "The Race" was better and this is a brilliant video.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Today IS Independence Day (In The USA)

The alarm went off, I'm showered , the sun is shining , it's my friend Alison's birthday (on of the birthdays I can remember even though it's over 40 years since I first met her!), and tonight I hope I feel as good as I do now so I can go and see my mate Jim's band The Deputies, which I keep meaning to go and see and then act like an auld git and don't get down there. Live music is brilliant and every band who plays a live set should be congratulated.

Found some footage of them playing the Queen Day last year so you know who I am going to see.  Jim by the way is a huge Queen fan , so much so  he got a credit on the first Queen Video compilation DVD.

Independence Day USA
So I've written nothing about Independence Day, and used Bruce Springsteen's song in my last post, but I supposed that just shows how easily I get distracted, although I though the film of the same name was rubbish.

Hope everyone has a great time , all over the world,  it's a great day , and fantastic precursor to the weekend, and I am looking forward to it.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Still Tired

Well the biopsy has really taken it out of me, along with a lot of blood. I'm still feeling run down, want to just get into bed and sleep for about sixteen hours. Unfortunately there's work needs doing and the next two weekends are going to be rammed as well so it's unlikely I'll get any respite.

I feel I am improving , but not as fast as I would like.

The staff at the Freeman have been brilliant, and I know I can drop by any time I want. Work have been extremely supportive, so I'm not under any unnecessary pressure.

Anyway that's the boring stuff out the way. The weather is still excellent although it's been a bit gray today. I do have a lot of great stuff coming up , just need to rest when I can so I can be 100% when I need to be. I have recieved encouragement from around the world , and that's one of the great things about the internet, a few words from someone can really lift your spirits, and ever you can say and share something nice you should do, because it lifts both of you.

I do like positive stuff, and positive attitudes, that show that people care for each other , and sometimes that can be as little as saying hello.

The River
Anyway tomorrow is the 4th of July, American Independence Day , and that means I have a song for this post from one the many Bruce Springsteen albums I love , The River.

I really didn't know what I was going to put in this post, and thought I might get ten words out, but was also thinking that I hadn't done a post this month. Well now I have, and I'm feeling good , but I will be in bed soon. Hope you have all had a great day and are looking forward to an even better weekend.