Thursday 30 November 2017

When You Have No Plan

After Bowie released "Blackstar" and shortly after left us, we realised that was his parting gift or parting shot depending on your viewpoint. Either way it was, and still is a stunning album. After his death rumours have surfaced about a series of albums to be released in the future but this may just be hope or rumour, lots of Jimi Hendrix material appeared after his death but nothing that could be deemed essential.

Then an EP appeared called "No Plan" consisting of three songs led by "Lazarus" a stand out from "Blackstar" and an amazing song , he knew where he was bound. I made the assumptions these were songs that failed the cut for "Blackstar" and so have put off buying it .... until last week.

Over the last few days I have had it on repeats and , in my opinion the three "new" songs are stunners, not quite up to "Lazarus", but brilliant nonetheless , featuring awesome bass and guitar arrangement with top notch vocals and lyrics from Bowie himself. This is a man and band at the top of their game.

The tracklist is:
  • Lazarus
  • No Plan
  • Killing A Little Time
  • When I Met You

You can pick up "No Plan" for a few pounds, do it and you will be in possession of a masterpiece.


Winter starts tomorrow (see here), I have a cold , it's dark and wet and cold outside and snow is forecast. As I've said this is the weather that actually stops me walking. Because of the rain , you need an umbrella , but the wind sometimes makes that difficult, but I know that walking is good for me because it's exercise and helps me control my diabetes, and has significantly caused a huge reduction in my need for insulin , so I have to keep doing it.

I am considering do a #SuddenlyItsChristmas sequence of posts for December but did a similar one in 2013 here , but maybe it's a time for revisiting and it gives me something to aim for , or maybe I will just be lazy and not bother. That sequence was seasonal non standard songs to celebrate Winter and Christmas, so my mind is considering how to theme this and weave it into my daily routine.

Yesterday I was listening to XTC's "The Big Express" , XTC giving us their own unique take on the world , this is a particular muscular take and sondgs like "I Bought Myself A Liarbird" and "Train Running Low On Soul Coal" sounding a fresh as when I first heard them. The opening two songs "Wake Up" and "All You Pretty Girls" announce the album in emphatic form and it keeps up the quality to the end.

So as I brave this last day of Autumn I'll leave you with "All You Pretty Girls" , but check out the whole album , it is excellent.

Tuesday 28 November 2017


Today is the sort of day that will stop me hitting my walking target, biting cold , rain and wind that is just enough to make an umbrella almost unuseable. It's still raining outside, and today we even had some snow. Luckily for me I am 100 steps short of my monthly target so for November I will hit it, but December, January and February may be a little more difficult, although I knew that was a distinct possibility.

It's still raining outside, and it's still cold, getting into bed is definitely inviting as the heating shuts off for the night.

We even had a short snow flurry today, so we have had a lot of inclement weather.

Today I decided to check if my Office 2010 was 64 bit to go with my PC, it isn't and the official download image is only 32 bit , no option for a 64 bit switch. So that will have to wait.

There are cold drafts in the house, which are caused by the wather outside but feel like ghostly presences.

Anyway the latest album on the player has been Blue Oyster Cult's "Agents of Fortune", titled from a quote that stated that playing cards were fifty two agents of fortune. This was the band's third studio album although they had broken through with the excellent live double set "On Your Feet, Or On Your Knees", and the production on this was far superior to what had gone before.

The was polished heavy metal with a pop sensibility that took no prisoners. Opening with "THis Ain't The Summer of Love" , lulling us into a slight respite with "True Confessions" before hitting us with the tour-de-force of "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" not letting up with "ETI" before bringing in Patti Smith on "The Revenge of Vera Gemini". By this time you know you have been hit.

Side two doesn't keep up the attack apart from "Tattoo Vampire" but it's still all high quality music.

So there is only one choice of song from this album (but you can easily check out the rest) , but it  really is time for bed now, see you tomorrow.

Monday 27 November 2017

.... And The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

My old Bluetooth headphones went the distance and I bought these Emopeak foldable headphones . I am pleasantly surprised at the quality improvement from my previous phones and have been listening to quite a lot of good music. They are a lot bigger than my previous set so don't easily drop into a pocket, but the benefits are worth the inconvenience.

I must say also I am a little annoyed that the blog software no longer does auto highlighting of potentially mis spelled words , so I apologies for spelling and grammar mistakes that appear to be slipping through more frequently these days. The is a spell check button, but that doesn't give the option to add words to the dictionary. I would have though a blog linked dictionary would have been a simple obvious addition.

On Saturday for the first time in ages we went round to Nicolle and Ian's and had a wonderful time (time just flew) and Ian has a small portable Bose Bluetooth speaker which delivers astonishing sound for it's sise and we were treated to an evening of Neil Young songs , familiar and new to me as well as a live version of Nick Cave's "The Mercy Seat" which had featured in the last episode of "Peaky Blinders".

One of the albums I revisited was "The Lamb Lies Down Down On Broadway" by Genesis. It was a double album and very often that is just a sign of self indulgence, but at the the time it was the peak of teh Genesis / Peter Gabriel years. The outside of the cover consisted of half a dozen images related to the libretto , on a white background. Insode was the story (you can find a detaled annotation here) which even on a 12" vinyl album consisted of a lot of small print , based on a dream sequence from Peter Grabriel starting on Broadway and about two brother Rael and John, Rael trying to continually save John and losing himself in the process.

Listening to the ninety minues of music I was surprised how coherent it actually is with lots of stand out songs and instrumental sequences and the lyrics standing up remarkably well for a concept album. I was lucky enough to see it live on stage performed by Canadian band The Musical Box at Newcastle City Hall using the original stage set. I found a live performance of "Back In New York City" by an Italian tribute band called Garden Wall that is definitely worth a watch.

The album is definitely worth going back to, and has lost not of it's wonder for me.

With that it's Monday morning, and time for work. Have a great day everybody.

Friday 24 November 2017

Trains and Peel

Yesterday was spent on Trans Pennine trains to an from Leeds and while they look nice, the seats are not the most comfortable, and though they run from Liverpool to Newcastle there are only three carraiges so they do get fairly packed , though I managed to get a seat there and back so that was a plus. Coming back from Leeds, which is an awful design of a station there was meant to be an Aberdeen train on platform 9D which never appeared, must have been a ghost train.

yesterday I didn't hit my rough daily walking target but I'm still on target to hit 340K for November, though looking out of the window cars are frozen up, so although it's not raining or snowing (yet) it may be a very cold walk in to work, though I may end up taking the bus, we shall see.

Peel It
The other morning I was listing to the first Velvet Undergound album (well actually the first disc of the "Peel Slowly And See" box set , named after the peelable banana skin cover designed by Andy Warhol) . The album didn't sell that well but reputedly caused more bands to be formed than any other album. Of course now it sells by the barrowload and in varies from the siophisticated influence and drone of John Cale "Venus In Furs" , to the garage band / drug mentality of Lou Reed "Run Run Run"/ "Heroin" with the Germanic influence of Nico "Chelsea Girls" / "All Tomorrows Parties"with descents into pure noise "European Son" / "Black Angel's Death Song".

One thing really hit me is the monster drum sound on "All Tomorrows Parties" which combined with Nico's vocals and the manic piano is an awesome sounding song today. So to kick of Friday, that's the song I will leave to enjoy.

Have a good one.

Thursday 23 November 2017

Vandalising Album Covers

Was just reading about the design of the cover for David Bowie's "The Next Day" and how a lot of people said it was just vandalising a Bowie cover, and anyone can do that. Well yest anyone can do that, but very few think of doing that. Bowie thought the reactions were hilarious but it has been done before, and Bowie is a great one for lifting ideas.

I'm sure there are many examples of this but one of my favourites is "Another Monty Python Record" featuring a vandalised sleeve of Beethoven's 2nd Symphony , very simple but very effective.

I couldn't find a copy of the original album , so they may have created that themselves so as not to offent the original artist.

Anyway while I have all of David Bowie's albums I realised I had never listened to "Heathen", so put that on the player to check it out. One of the problems with Bowie is that I know all the songs on the albums I grew up with but that stopped when "Let's Dance" came out and I though that's enough for me.

The thing is I  stilled enjoyed the singles and "Everyone Says Hi" is a class song. From the opener "Sunday" through "Cactus" the album is excellent , maybe possibly dipping on "I Took A Trip On A Gemini Spaceship" but it will be getting repeated plays in future.

Wednesday 22 November 2017

The War Room

Yesterday I was thinking that this might be a day when my walking targets go out of the window, it  was cold and raining slightly, but it turned out the rain was light and I could use an umbrella so the target was met and surpassed, which was good.

Had a visit to doctors and blood pressure was slightly high, which may be due to drugs trial that I am on, but will nip over and get blood pressure checked again next week. Everything else was fine though there was an issue with white blood cells but a second sample was fine.

The latest album I listened to was the excellent "War Room" by Public Service Broadcasting . There songs are soundtracks to soundbites from films and recording archives and are usually educational.

This is what they say about themselves:

J. Willgoose, Esq. and Wrigglesworth sample old public information films and archive material and set them to new music. Live, the films are screened simultaneously as laptops are fiddled with, drums are pounded, theremins are wafted at, guitars are bashed and banjos furiously plucked. Teaching the lessons of the past through the music of the future.

The central piece to the five song album is "Spitfire" based on the film "The First of The Few", based ironically on a driving motorik beat (motorik being a German musical style which I first became aware of listening to Neu!)

The album opens with "If War Should Come" atmospheric and scary government announcements which leads us into "London Can Take It" which feature an American style commentary likening the bombing of London to a boxind match , before we are hit by "Spitfire".

The album quitens down with "Dig For Victory" and "Waltz for George" (about Dunkirk) anlthough I do thing "Lit Up" sort of belongs on "War Room" as it is a wonderful description of a fleet, but you can find that on "Inform Educate Entertain" their full length debut album.

Last night I put "The War Room" on three times to get to sleep to, and never got past "If Watr Should Come" so it certainly helps me get to sleep quickly (because it's relaxing not boring).

Anyway it's time to go and we shall see how today's weather is.

Tuesday 21 November 2017

You Don't Have To Save Up For Music Any More

This is is quote from David Bowie about the way music has become ubiquitous, easily available, effectively free if you want to steal it and even if you buy it you can buy a brand new CD or download for the price of a pint of beer or glass of wine.

I think part of this is that if you got into music as a ten year old, you didn't have an income except maybe a paper round. I remember working for a week for my dad and getting a "Best of T Rex" as a reward from my dad.

While music was available on the radio and when cassettes became available you could tape stuff that you heard, but there was no digital catch up, and if you missed stuff it was missed. Given that I was a fan of a lot of European music often the only way to get an album was to send off a postal order to an import company such as Virgin when it was good and richard Branson actually did some good work. Then you would wait a week or two and eventually the postman would drop it off at your house.

When you get older you get an income and that makes things more affordable, but the digital revolution means we don't have to wait, it's on Vevo or Youtube and you can often download it for maybe a pound , or free if you have certain software.

When Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were here" was released I was claing the eqivalent of Job Seekers Allowance and that was £3.25 a week. "Wish You Were Here" cost me £3.25. If albums had kept pace with JSA we's be paying £80 for an album and I'd still have to save up for it.

These days the combination of cheapness and ubiquity means that music is freely and easily available to everybody in mainstream society, and maybe that sort of taks away the preciousness of it for most of the population.

I  was never a big fan of the Gallaghers but "Holy Mountain" by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds is really good and just to illustrate how easy it is to share I've included in this post but if you do want to buy it, it's here.

Have a great Tuesday everybody.

Saturday 18 November 2017

Worn Out, Loud and Heavy

On Your Knees
I just got a new Google Pixel phone , but my Bluetooth headphones were having problems connecting. I read there were issues with the Pixel and Bluetooth but it just seemed to get worse. Yesterday the connection packerd up totally so I thought I would try a cheap pair of Bluetooth headphones from HMV, and the connection was perfect, so basically my old headphones had just died on me, nothing more, and the phone is absolutely fine.

I had visions of going back to a wired connection but I'm glad that I don'tt have to.

The album I was listening to was Blue Oyster Cult's "On Your Feet Or On Your Knees" , I loved the original cover with the limousine outside the church and the vaguely Ku Klux Klan hooded
audience (meant as a sinister / threat image rather than a right wing Christian statement),  and remember getting this as a teenager and being disappointed as it was meant to be HEAVY. It wasn't. Then I thought heavy metal is meant to be LOUD and turned the player up to full volume. This was what it was meant to be like!

My parents were not too enamoured and I then had to resort to headphones to fully appreciate the album, and listening to the album via Bluetooth walking across Leazes the volue was turned up to FULL again. As yet I've not got any noise limiters like on the Sony, but the album does sound good.

It opens with "Subhuman" which sets the mood before the lyrically ridiculous but musically brilliant "Harvester of Eyes"before finishing off with the freight train rush of "Hot Rails To Hell", and that is just side one.

The album continues in the same culminating in two excellent covers "Maserati GT" (Yardbirds I think) and "Born To Be Wild" which has some great dynamics and love the separation of vocals and instrumentation.

Anyway it's almost Sunday so I will hit my pit and see you tomorrow.

Friday 17 November 2017


Ravensword is a fantasy RPG , and I thought of the word after I thought of Ravesward in a kind of word meddling that the english language allows you do to do. Due to my English laziness I only have smatterings of French, Italian , German, Spanish and Dutch and am not sure if it's as easy in other language. Ravesward could be Raven Sward or Raven's Ward, while Ravensword could be Raven Sword or Raven's Word, and I blame the likes of William Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde for the fact that I think like that. Will the overall story is good I find "Romeo and Juliet" tremendously tedious with it's continual word play. I do love the Monty Python sketch where Wilde, Whistler and Shaw trade insults and witticisms in this genre.

Today I woke up and couldn't get to sleep because of a problem at work. It's not a bad thing, but there is a situation with I think I may have a solution to. I don't know if it's age, but when we had mainframe systems, things were so nailed down that you never had to bother about things failing. If it did, systems were designed to catch failares and then easily be rectified.

These days we have distributed processing which is full of so many points of failure because no one seems to bother testing any more, UAT seems to be just assuming what you are given by your outsourced resource will be correct, which is totally wrong.

Anyway I have been listening to Genesis' second album "Trespass" (their first was the awful Jonathan King produced eponymous offering with the odd glimpse of what was to come on Decca), and this connects with Monty Python as both Genesis and Monty Python were on the Charisma label.

"Trespass" has a pastoral feel and lyrically does not fail from being too clever or confident. It is full of memorable melodies that stay with you long after you have listened to them and culminate in the keyboard riff driven assault of "The Knife" which incidentally closes "Genesis Live" which was a budget release with a typical Peter Gabriel surreal piece of grotesquerie and the rear of the sleeve, which I found here:

4:30 p.m. The tube train draws to a halt. There is no station in sight. Anxious glances dart around amongst the passengers as they acknowledge each other’s presence for the first time.

At the end of the train, a young lady in a green trouser suit stands up in the centre of the carriage and proceeds to unbutton her jacket, which she removes and drops to the dirty wooden floor. She also takes off her shoes, her trousers, her blouse, her brassiere, her tights and her floral panties, dropping them all in a neat pile. This leaves her totally naked.

She then moves her hands across her thighs and begins to fiddle around in between her legs. Eventually, she catches hold of something cold and metallic and very slowly, she starts to unzip her body; working in a straight line up the stomach, between the breasts, up the neck, taking it right on through the centre of her face to her forehead. Her fingers probe up and down the resulting slit finally coming to rest on either side of her navel. She pauses for a moment, before meticulously working her flesh apart. Slipping her right hand into the open gash, she pushes up through her throat, latching on to some buried solid at the top of her spine. With tremendous effort, she loosens and pulls out a thin, shimmering, golden rod. Her fingers release their grip and her crumbled body, neatly sliced, slithers down the liquid surface of the rod to the floor.


The rod remains hovering just off the ground, a flagpole without flag.
The other passengers have been totally silent, but at the sound of the body dropping on the floor a large middle-aged lady wearing a pink dress and matching poodle stands up and shouts, “STOP THIS, ITS DISGUSTING!”

The golden rod disappeared; the green trouser-suit was left on a hanger with a dry-cleaning ticket pinned to the left arm.  On the ticket was written-


So I'll leaveyou with the "The Knife" , the story and the poets, it's Friday, it's the weekend, have a good one.

Wednesday 15 November 2017


I haven't a clue what that word means or is. It sounds like a house or place is a gothic or fantasy novel, so given my general musical and reading propensity maybe it's not surprising if I have heard it and it has stuck. This is the result of a Google search and it is a place and a charater in Final Fantasy. So I must of heard of it before, or heard it mentioned.

I'm still getting over Shiva's death rescuing Ezekiel in The Walking Dead, it's funny I dealt with Negan's vicious evil but this really made me hurt and sad. I was thinking it had finally run it's course but the is, ironically, life in The Walking Dead yet. I know it's only a story, but it still has power, so it is still on record, along with so many other programs.

So in memory of Shiva I'm including Jah Wobble's take on the William Blake poem "Tyger,Tyger", which I have always loved. William Blake's poetry is amazing, and I've included it for you to read:

Tiger! Tiger! burning bright 
In the forest of the night 
What immortal hand or eye 
Could frame thy fearful symmetry? 

In what distant deeps or skies 
Burnt the fire of thine eyes? 
On what wings dare he aspire? 
What the hand dare seize the fire? 

And What shoulder, and what art, 
Could twist the sinews of thy heart? 
And when thy heart began to beat, 
What dread hand? and what dread feet? 

What the hammer? what the chain? 
In what furnace was thy brain? 
What the anvil? what dread grasp 
Dare its deadly terrors clasp? 

When the stars threw down their spears, 
And watered heaven with their tears, 
Did he smile his work to see? 
Did he who made the lamb make thee? 

Tiger! Tiger! burning bright 
In the forests of the night, 
What immortal hand or eye 
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry? 

Wonderful , read , listen , enjoy

Tuesday 14 November 2017

Thirteen Ways To Kill A Poet

This is not about "Thirteen Ways To Kill A Poet" but it's another thing that leapt out at me while ready "David Bowie: A Life" by Dylan Jones. It was an idea for a film that Martin Scorses had, to get thirteen directors to direct sections of a film with that title. He had in mind Terry Gilliam (my favourite director), Wim Wenders and David Bowie (due to stuff like "Ashes To Ashes" and other Bowie videos) but Scorsese due to timings and availability was unable to make it happen, so it remained a dream project.

I also discovered that Duncan Jones (aka Zowie Bowie and director responsible for two of my favourite science fiction films of the last ten years "Moon" and "Source Code") worked on building the puppets for Labyrinth. David had tried to get him to learn a musical instrument saxophone or guitar, but Duncan was always more interested in film.

One of the reasons to read, you can always discover fascinating facts about people who interest you.

Yesterday on my walk to work I put on Genesis' "Selling England By The Pound". I suppose that has been the Tory policy for the UK since I've been aware of politics. Genesis at the time were the acceptable face of progressive rock, but parts of this have not dated that well although overall it is still at excellent album. "The Battle of Epping Forest" was the epic centrepiece to the album but suffers from some sub "Carry On" character humour. Peter Gabriel using the song for several characters , some right down embarrassing now, though OK at the time.

The album is bookended between the gentle but strangely eerie "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" and the list of supermarket names for "Aisle of Plenty" a beautiful coda but the lyrics while sort of clever do grate a bit.

It feature's Phil Collins debut Genesis vocal on "More Fool Me" which closes side one, and his similarity to Peter Gabriel is similar to the Roger Daltrey / Pete Townshend situation in the Who, the vocalists start to sound like each other.

"The Battle of Epping Forest" is followed by what I originally regarted as a throwawy instrumental "After The Ordeal" but that turns out to be an impressive pice, next up is "The Cinema Show" eleven minutes which doesn't start well with some very twee lyrical play but it builds into another brilliant instrumental tour de force.

After the quiet intro "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" it develops with a particularly vicious riff before drifting into the single "I Know What I Like" in which Gabriel hit's us with a West Country accent, but this is controlled and results in an excellent song. "Firth of Fifth" is essentially a nine minute piano driven piece which is one of the high points of the album.

So I'll leave you with a live take of the opening song, enjoy your Tuesday.

Sunday 12 November 2017

Because I Have A Pixel....

.. that's a Google Pixel phone, I have now got to rationalise what I download and put on the phone. No 50Gb of music like I could have on my Sony or Samsung because they have an SD card, no lot's of photos and videos, I need to utilise the space mor judiciously. I could pug a stick in but that would be sooo asking for trouble.

Every app uses up space, every picture , every instagram video, and all the music.

But say I limit the music to 10Gb, that's like fifteen to twenty albums, so isn't that enough, really?

I can only listen to one album at a time and twenty albums should see me through a week. I remember a friend telling how they had looked after a vicars house for four days , there was him , two girls, one record player and four albums including the first Velvet Underground album. If four albums was enough for three people for four days, then fifteen albums should be ok for me for five days.

So today's album was not the Velevt Underground , but David Bowie's "Low" , the first of the Berlin trilogy. When it came out I remember thinking that the melody of the opening song "Speed of Life" was very similar to Deep Purple's "Woman From Tokyo" and I still think that today. For some reason I thought that side one only had five tracks ( along with side two's four , the psychedelic Krautrock influence coming to the fore there), and tehre actually five songs bookended by two instrumentals. Whether it's me or my age , Bowie's music is timeless and sounds as fresh now as when it first came out.

Some of side two was appropriated for Philip Glass for his "Low Symphony", very atmospheric feating vocals in a non existent languaguage though "Weeping Wall" borrows the melody from "Scarborough Fair". Incidentally Philip Glass scored the film "Candyman" based on a Clive Barker short story and the music enhances an excellent nighties horror film.

I'll leave you with a live take on the opener from "Low" in 1978 , enjoy your Sunday night.

Saturday 11 November 2017


Was just wondering if my purchasing of vinyl was a sort of childhood regression. While I have never actually grown up, I do like to have actual things. Digital recordings are convenient to listen to music and watch video on the move, but it' gives a wonderful pleasure to have a wonderfull packaged item.

Albums like Hawkwind's "XIn Seach of Space" (See video here on my Instagram Channel where there are more examples. These include picture discs and I am still stunned by the holograms on the Star Wars - The Force Awakens soundtrack album (see here) which I now have on order.

Public Image Ltd's "Metal Box" shows that you can do similar things with CDs but often the size of things are scaled down, but that is still a beautifully packaged CD.

So basically I am still 15 at heart and I like a lot of the things I liked when I was 15. While a lot of music is coming out on vinyl I seldom see inventive and impressive packaging like the stuff that Barney Bubbles would come up with for Hawkwind or Hypgnosis' packaging for Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of The Moon" and "Wish You Were Here"

So what should I leave you with? I think Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" on vinyl featuring the Vertigo Swirl , still my favourite label , and you can see that on a CD, and at 500 rpm even if you could you would miss the hypnotic effect.

Have a great Saturday night everybody.

Thursday 9 November 2017


Yesterday while I was out and about I noticed how many places you can charge your device now, although I wouldn't be too happy about leaving an iPhone X at a charging station in Eldon Square, although they probably don't have Apple's latest non standard connector so that situation is probably a non starter. The iPhone X is probably the first extreme on this post costing above a thousand pounds. Most buses and trains also have a pluf for charging as well, although I find amausing how many places still have Wifi without internet access or demand you agree to terms and conditions every time you sign in . They already know who you are so whay do you have to keep agreeing? It's like Apple's Terms and Conditioons.

Today I  connected up my OVO Smart Meter to mi Wifi so I can now see how much I'm using at any time. It does save me submitting readings but I am a bit wary of how the data will be used by them, also it's a daily remeinder of how much things are costing.

Anyway yesterday I was listening to "Enjoy The Melodic Sunshine" by the Cosmic Rough Riders which is still a brilliant listen which opens with four absolute standout songs. One of them however is a pure evil control scenario which has an awesome tune but worrying lyrics about control, which follows on from The Police's "Every Breath You Take" and Peter Hammil's "I Will Find You" and you may be able to surmise the scenario from the title "The Gun Isn't Loaded". The protagonist controls the victim because they do not have the full picture, and how many times to we see that in everyday life. The  lyrics make feel uncorfortable but I have to listen because the music is so wonderful.

It's not a bad lyrics scenario like Rush or Abba sometimes hit , Abba having the excuse of being Swedish , and Rush are Canadian , but bothe produce some amazing music sometimes let down by lyrical ineptitude but that's something for another post.

One of the other standouts on "Enjoy The Melodic Sunshine" is "Glastonbury Revisited" probably my favourite song about Glastonbury, and it is lyrically to polar opposite of "The Gun Isn't Loaded", full of hope , love and inclusivity. I've had the CD for close on twenty years and still still sounds as good today as when I first heard it.

I'll include the two songs from the album which are extremes in the lyrical sense, and I will soon be taking myself off to see Jerry Sadowitz for the first time ever, which I suppose is another extreme.

Enjoy your Thursday night.

Tuesday 7 November 2017

Lyrical Logic

Yesterday I really didn't want to get up. I feel the same today, I would love to lie in but at 6:30 AM I am showered, dressed, taken drugs and writing this, so normality is resumed, sort of. Last week I didn't do much listening to music but on my walk to work yesterday I was listening to Pink Floyd's "Meddle" and was struck by how sometimes the sound of lyrics is more important than logical analysis of them.

A prime example of this is Thin Lizzy's "Jailbreak". The opening couplet is:

"Tonight there's going a jailbreak
Somewhere in this town"

Well the clue is right in front of your eyes, it's highly likely to be at the prison / jail. Still a brilliant song though.

One track on "Meddle" , "Fearless" has a similar construct:

"You say the hill's to steep to climb
 Try Me .......
You choose the place and I'll choose the time"

But again a wonderful song managing to incorporate the Liverpool Kop singing "You'll Never Walk Alone" so I am fine with the odd bit of lyrical non logic.

"Meddle" is probably the album that made Pink Floyd my favourite band as a teenager, and contans my favourite Pink Floyd song "Echoes" which took up the whole of ide two and is twenty two minutes long and was used for an amazing surfing sequence in the film "Crystal Voyager", a perfect combination of music and visuals and when the coda comes you really just want it to start again, for me it's that addictive still.

The album opens with "One of Thes Days (I'm Going To Cut You Into Little Pieces)", which comes in quietly on a breeze before going into a five minute two chord instrumental assault. "A Pillow of Winds" gives respite before the gorgeous "Fearless" described above.

"San Tropez" and "Seamus" wind the side down before the wonderful "Echoes on side two. You can tell I still love this album.

Anyway it's time for another walk into work. Have a brilliant Tuesday everybody and I will leave you with the "Crystal Voyager" "Echoes" seqience and "Fearless". If you have time watch both.

Sunday 5 November 2017


It's 30 minutes past midnight and I'm sort of wide awake, Part of me wants to sleep and part of me wants to do things. It's not really practical leaving the house or getting the guitar set up, and I don't really want to watch TV (having caught up a bit on American Horror Story and The Walking Dead) so I thought well maybe I will just put something don in the blog.

The wek in Orton I had plans to record stuff and possibly write stuff but ended up doing what I was supposed to do , relax, rest , see my dad, catch up on some TV (the excellent "Deadwood" , well series one) and do a bit of walking and enjoy the countryside around Orton. The cottage is quiet and relaxing and still doesn't habe Wifi although most local pub such as The George , The King's Head and The Black Swan do , but I still managed to trash my data, but that's part of what you do when you are away.

Anyway I am back now and have written a few words, and hopefully it will have moved my mind a bit closer to being able to sleep. I hope to be going to the Tyneside Cinema later today to see  "The Death of Stalin" which should be great fun.

I leave you with a cracking version of "In The Midnight Hour" by Wilson Pickett with Bruce Springsteen, but I'm not sure you can buy this version, but thanks to Youtube you can listen to it.

Sleep well my friends , and I hope my my mind will rest for a few hours now.

Wednesday 1 November 2017

Sixteen Miles an Hour

Yesterday we took a trip to Ambleside from Orton. Checking on Google Maps the distance is sixteen miles, but the actual distance is further but due to hills and lakes in between the route is a little more circuitous than the direct sixteen miles and takes closer to an hour to navigate.

It’s not a difficult journey but the sixteen miles does stick in your mind as you drive down the M6 waiting for the turn off to hit the south end of Lake Windermere. While in Ambleside we tried the vegetarian Italian Restaurant, Zeffirelli’s and Fellini’s also home to a cinema.

We spoke with a couple and the man said he’d been eating there for twenty years and it had taken him five years to realise that the restaurant was vegetarian.

Today is the first of November and another start for my step challenge. Quite surprisingly I’ve managed to hit 11K today so that’s a good start although I should have hit 11.5K but a 500 step deficit is hardly insurmountable.

Anyway the data on my Google Pixel seems to me draining and a rapid rate. I’m not too sure why although the tethering has used 2 Gb so it’s probably Windows that decided to do an update, so I may have to buy a data add on, but at least EE have created a few more sensible add ons so it won’t cost a huge amount if I need to buy some extra.

Anyway it’s time for bed, so I will leave you with “Let’s Eat” by Nick Lowe. Sleep well.