Thursday, 30 December 2010

In Appreciation Of .... Lewis Taylor

The wonderful Mr Taylor came into my life in 1996 following some great reviews of his debut solo album citing Marvin Gaye, Neo soul, layered harmonies, etc etc.  How would I resist such praise.  The debut self titled album is a set to be worked at but once you hook into the sounds and the feel that this guy produces (much of it with him playing everything) it is sublime. "Lucky" the lead track and released as a single is a good intro but by the time you get to "Bittersweet" with it's slow build and then the breakout Marvin vocal change it's bloody marvellous. 

I love albums that grow from interesting to irresistable and this one is in that catagory. He received a lot of high profile praise from Jools Holland, Elton, Paul Weller and the like together with the music press but I think a white north London guy (and not another pretty teen type but a seasoned musican) singing his own take on harmonies that have a strong nod to black America as much as the Beach Boys and Flying Burritto's - with some added amazing guitar - Island were confused and didn't know how to promote him.  He lost ground and by the time his second "Lewis II" arrived, again different - more introspective, more song based and easing up on the production pedal - they gave up, dropping him later that year.

He resurfaced with his own label, Slow Reality, and released "Stoned" ironically a step forward artistically and commercially, more accessible and potentially what Island would have wanted. Again back to acclaim and a following both via the web and through a few live performances. I saw him at a packed Jazz Cafe in London and was blown away.

"Stoned Part 2" followed with new songs and some reworkings from it's counterpart suggesting the guy is a perfectionist. Later a "Lost Album" appeared with yet more versions of those songs with a more rock bias than soul. All the above are recommended. He gave up his career in 2006 and is still considered by many to be a great loss to the music scene.
He had a song covered by Robbie Williams from which I hope he gets a decent royalty cheque every now and then. I play his albums a lot and often think he would be great in the production seat for various artists.

I recommend you seek out his albums.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

You Been Playing My Records? (Diner - 1982)

I know how he feels - not about the filing but about knowing what was playing at certain points in your life.

Chuck Jackson - I Only Get This Feeling/Slowly But Surely (1973)

A great soul track from the veteran soul singer Chuck Jackson whose career still runs today and has travelled through Wand Records; duets with Maxine Brown; a stint at Motown.  I had this on a single and loved it together with the B side - unavailable on CD to my knowledge.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

That Was My 2010

As we head into 2011 I thought I would share a few of my own music related highlights of 2010.

Firstly Surprise Of The Year goes to the John Legend And The Roots Album for reasons I have stated already on these pages; Dissappointment? - the Rumer Album - I thought "Slow" was a real head turner of a record but all the hype led to yet another drab dinner party album with little to celebrate other than it is quality but not very interesting - having seen a couple of TV performances and had reports from friends of gigs - Rumer needs some personality added to that glorious voice.

I don't get Arcade Fire - despite them being flavour of the year in most polls - it just doesn't move me (although "Rebellion" is one of my favourite tracks from recent years).  I love the "Strickland Banks" album from Plan B - I hope to go to the gigs in March 2011. "The Element of Freedom" from Alicia Keys. Not so mad on the latest Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings - again it has nothing new to offer - yes it's good and authentic soul but I can go back to the originals of the genre in preference.  I love "The Lady Killer" by Cee- Lo Green but was let down by the second Cherry Ghost album.  Diane Birch is one to watch as "Bible Belt" works for me; I've followed Eli Paperboy Reed with interest as he writes and performs new soul pop songs with his own swagger attached;  Amazed at Mavis Staples, at 70, turning out "You Are Not Alone". I got the two Open Souls albums from New Zealand which are mixed but the high points outweigh the less so and are well worth seeking out.  I have ended the year with a mixed bunch of presents of music in the shape of Kanye's latest, Roy Ayers (1979); Springsteen's "The Promise"; Basie/Sinatra "At The Sands"; a return to UB40's roots with a new copy of "Signing Off" and,of course "Soul Alive!" from Solomon Burke.

Gigs this year have been few on the ground with a Union Chapel Peter Green gig which displayed him as part brilliant part "not quite his former self" mode (think Brian Wilson on the first solo tour a few years ago); Supertarmp at the O2 - my comments werte not well received by the Hodgson faithful but I thought it was a great show - pity everyone wants to take sides; Again the Legend/Roots gig is top of my list but probably shared with the final Simply Red gig in December. Alicia Keys in February - high on a list of wonderful performances.  I hope to get out a bit more in 2011.

Lost But Not Forgotten
The sad passing of Solomon Burke - he of great soul legend. I was introduced properly to him via Peter Garulnick's invaluable southern soul history "Sweet Soul Music"; saw him live at the Barbican in 2008 and have slowly collected much of his catalogue and newer albums as a result. Marvel at the Later version of "Don't Give Up On Me" on YouTube - there was more to come and he will be missed. Also lost is Harvey Fuqua - someone who has contributed so much but not been centre stage.

Guilty Pleasure - the X-Factor 2010

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Simply Red Are No More

Back around 1986 a new band started a career with "Money's Too Tight To Mention" - the band were credible, lauded by the then (as now) cynical music press, the songwriter had been in a punk band having attended an early Pistols gig in Manchester.  He was red haired, claimed to have been an outcast but was determined to make it in music as this was his passion.  Isn't that how our musical heroes should be.  Further evidence of this solid foundation (in an artistic sense) was that his next single was self written in his early teens, related to his lack of a mother who deserted him when he was very young. "Holding Back The Years" was a song to be admired and the world acknowledged that here was a songwriter to be watched.

The album "Picture Book" brought a lot more with nods to jazz, soul and pop. What a future.  On "Men and Women" the "difficult" second album he delivered again but upped the ante, acknowledging the past (Cole Porter's "Evr'y Time We Say Goodbye")  political comment - on Thatcher in particular; worked with Lamont Dozier; even covered Sly Stone's "Let Me Have It All" making it his own. 

I don't need to run through his career but I feel that it is easy to forget that Mick Hucknall is one of the British Greats with a pedigree to be reckoned with - not just measured in sales figues or bums on seats at vast halls around the world.  We should acknowledge that this guy has delivered a body of work second to none over the past 25 years.  Great influences, a foundation of musical knowledge, always with great musicians.  He does have the record sales and not just at home.  He is mocked due to the excesses of the eighties but that will pass - just as we now acknowledge the 70's as a watershed decade for music where we once rubbished it for glitter, flares, afros and disco.

We love to pull our successes apart in this country - 'we build em up only to pull em down' as they say.

In the eighties during the rise of SR I missed out on some tickets for the first large (Wembley Arena) London gigs.  I am a fan of the band and whilst that interest has palled of late due to my (and probably Mick Hucknall's) musical tastes developing to other things, I regularly play those first 5 albums (important: not just the odd track- but whole sets as they were intended).  With all of this in mind I have attended two gigs on the farewell tour (although 11 months apart) including last week's Final Show at the O2.

There are many reviews posted which reflect the quality of that gig by far better reviewers than I.  All I can say is I thought it was amazing with no low points for me.  A great gig - yes to the faithful but what a way to go.  Apt that a solo start to "Holding..." was the last song of the night/tour/band but it was delivered with that wonderful voice sounding as good as it did 25 years ago

a great song, a great voice and a great band - I'm fortunate to have been there.

Friday, 3 December 2010

John Legend & The Roots - London

A number of reviews of last Saturday's John Legend & the Roots gig at Hammersmith have asked what motivated the audience to attend;  To see John Legend singing his soulful love songs; to have a rare sight of the Roots excellent full on rap meets rock meets ......whatever? or as in my case to hear those songs, the ones that i grew up with, that despite the fact that i had no way of identifying with the struggle they represented became very prescient to me - even part of my education. 

The gig was the only way of seeing this combination in London playing their excellent covers album of civil rights songs from the 60's and 70's.  We've all heard some of these or at least some others with the same sentiments played by other artists not quite so up to the task.  Both acts here are known for music with much integrity.  Both took to the road in 2008 to support Obama's run for the White House.  The resulting album recorded from that collaboration and since called "Wake Up" includes both well known songs from the era from artists like Donny Hathaway, Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye and; some lesser known and rearranged titles like James Kirkland's "Hang On In There" and "Hard Times" - a track originally by Curtis Mayfield (but in a very different form here). 

So what did we get?  Firstly a stage set developed from their cartoon street corner as a backdrop complete with street light and doors from which the guys emerged both at the start and as they rotated through their set.  They arrived without announcement and launched into "Hard Times" then "Compared To What" and "Our Generation" at this point my son who I had co opted to be my gig buddy for the night turned and told me how fantastic this was,  Pause here.  Here I am 50 something and been through years of playing him this sort of stuff - my heroes, the soundtrack to my life almost - you'd expect "Dad Tunes!" but he's inherited some great taste obviously.

John Legend then took over for a couple of his big numbers including "Save Room" and Used to Love You" which were really well received (the guy next to me came to hear these and was bewildered by the "new songs").  The Roots went into "The Seed" to rapturous applause then onto a version of "Move On Up" which let's face it must have been on the original list of songs for the album.  A track from the new album followed (yet to be bought so not sure of title).

Back together on stage (for me) the momentum was lost slightly by the appearance of Estelle - great in her own right but not her pop with this high calibre soul.

Back to the album and "Wake Up Everybody" a blistering guitar driven "I Can't Write Left Handed" (which I see as a track from the Bill Withers Carnegie set but my son knows from containing the sample for "Demons" a collaboration between Fat Boy Slim and Macy Gray ( much better than it sounds).  This short song in it's original form is a full 12 or so minute epic with Hendrix or in this case should I say Isleys style guitar.

Throughout the Roots and added sidemen and girl singers were superb.  The rapping of Black Thought was clear, intelligent and rhythmic.  The drumming from ?uestlove solid and the foundation of the whole performance, the guitar (sorry don't know the name) outstanding but basically the whole bunch could do and did no wrong.

I have wished for a resurgence of these songs or at least the sentiments that drive them for a long time.  I believed that music would never be up to the challenge in the same form or to the same high standard.  The album and this spectacular performance proved me wrong and has leapt into my top 5 all time best gigs.  I fully expect this to be listed next month as one of the gigs of the year and deservedly so.  For so many reasons and all the right ones.  There is hope. Musically for Soul Dads like me and Politically no matter where you're from.  I normally always say leave it alone once you've made an album like this but the subject matter, the songbook of black America begs for a second volume and these guys have it in them to deliver again at this level.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

In Appreciation Of.... The Duke And The King

Just caught up with this band following the release of the new album "Long Live the Duke And The King" - so many good things were being said about them I wanted to do it properly and follow their story - so I bought the first album "Nothing Gold Can Stay"

"Nothing Gold..." is a quiet contemplative album with songs about leaving the real life behind when fame comes "If I Ever Get Famous"; teenage, formative years and home places "Union Street" and the current war years experience of those that fight and of those who stay behind in "One More American Song".  Simone Felice's plaintive sweet voice serves these songs well with harmonies and accompaniment balanced just right for the delivery of such rich lyrics.  You can hear many influences - vocal harmonies/hippy feel CSNand Y, gospel - Sam Cooke; soul - Marvin. Reminiscent recently of Ray Lamontagne.

"Long Live..." is a bit more uptown (but not much) with stronger vocal trade offs between the three voices of Felice, Bobbie Bird and Simi Stone.  There is a move to progress and build on the first and it really works. "Gloria"  and "Right Now" are the early stand-outs for me but it's early days - I know I'm going to love this album growing on me and delivering it's secrets and beauty (love it when that happens).

I recommend both but would do it in the right order as you can see a bunch of talent growing and delivering so well with no fancy tricks just solid songs and perfectly suited performances.

Monday, 25 October 2010

I Love Fopp!

Here's a great idea.  Let's keep record shops.  Have them stocked with good cross section of catalogues.  Include the obscure at appropriate higher prices but overall be cheap.  Plenty of bargain basement stuff.  Offers for £3, £5, £8.  New (but not mainstream) releases for £10.  Special offers for local events - London Jazz Week - sell some old but classic Columbia jazz sets for £3 in cool vinyl cover copies.  Include books about music, film and anything ... well anything really.  Most of all have staff who want to help, know their stuff and like customers.  Fopp went bust a couple of years ago and was bought out (they say saved) by HMV.  Interesting as Fopp is what i'd like to have seen HMV become.  Ask most HMV staff a not too difficult music question and not only will they not know but will show you they don't really care (my experience granted but there you go).  Compare it to my Covent Garden Favourite and there is no contest.  I will support this store for as long as they support my record buying habit in this way.  Power to the Fopp!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Supertramp at the O2 - 6th October 2010

I went to this expecting to be disappointed. How would they deliver in such a cavern in the O2? The hits were all sung by Roger Hodgson who is no longer with them.  They haven't toured for some time and the original membership is reduced to Rick Davies (grant you the main songwriter besides Hodgson) and John Halliwell.

I saw Hodgson a couple of years ago at the Royal Albert Hall and whilst he was excellent, playing only with one sideman, I did come out and say to my friend "those songs need a band!".  And so they did.  And boy what a difference.  Call me old school but I like a band who can come out and deliver the songs without the need of tricks, video and hullabaloo.  Supertramp did this, letting the music and songs speak for themselves.  They were excellent. I found myself hoping they could stun me as they did with the first time I saw then in 1974.  I attended the Crime tour London gig at Hammersmith of the back of hearing one single "Dreamer".  What a great night that was.

And here we were again.  Rick Davies' voice had few frailties and delivered faithful versions of "Crime", Bloody Well Right" "Rudy" (the highlight for me), "If Everyone Was Listening", "Downstream" and many other album tracks that I thought I would never hear live again.  The unique sound of Hodgson was replaced by drummer Bob Seidenberg's son, Jesse and Gabe Dixon - not so much impersonations but close enough to deliver suitably true versions.  Do they need RH? - No, Would it be good to see a reunion? undoubtedly yes.  I have heard that since Rodger Hodgson announced his own dates just before this show he sent them a list of songs that they shouldn't sing.  They ignored him and a fantastic show was had by all. Shame on you Rodger - they gave you something too and it's the S'tramp brand on those songs just as much.

For the Hits brigade there was "Breakfast", "The Logical Song", "Give A Little Bit" and "Take the Long Way Home" - all received gratefully by an enthusiastic crowd.  I noted a very mixed bunch with the twenty something in front of me knowing every word and note - great to see.

So pleasantly surprised? YES.  Go and see Hodgson solo again? Maybe not but would recommend it to my friends to do once - closely followed to the (as close as you can get) 1974 experience of last Wednesday.

Highly recommended.  David Sinclair's 3 stars in the Times should be 4.5 in my book.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

A Motown Story

In March 1983 I joined the newly formed european office at RCA Records based in London. It was my job to coordinate the production of CDs for the label and convert the existing catalogue to issue CD equivalents.

At that time Motown was being distributed in the US by MCA and licensed to EMI everywhere else in the world. The EMI licences were about to on  -  The First Motown on CD

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Harvey Fuqua (1929 - 2010)

Harvey Fuqua died on 6th July 2010 (born 1929).  Fuqua was a leading light in the three decades of music as a performer, writer, producer and arranger for many well known artists.  In the 1950's he was a member of the Moonglows which later included Marvin Gaye(from 1959).  With the group he hit with "Sincerely" in 1954 and "Ten Commandments of Love" in '58.  He married Berry Gordy's sister Gwen and together they owned and ran the Tri-Phi Label which first contracted with Junior Walker and the Allstars.  In '63 the label was acquired by Motown and Fuqua turned his talents to a raft of stars including Walker, Gladys Knight and Marvin Gaye (who he brought to the label).  He wrote and produced a number of hits for the label including "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and many of Walkers hits including "What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)".  Post Motown his biggest success was as a producer of disco, most notably "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" for Sylvester and also worked with another ex-staffer at Motown, Johnny Bristol.  He reunited with Marvin Gaye for the "Midnight Love" album in 1982.

Pick up any Motown compilation and it's likely he's featured there somewhere.  One of the unsung heroes.

see also: More on Junior Walker

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Not Lost But Found - Bon Iver

I'd seen the name Bon Iver around but never taken much notice not knowing the music or the act (I now know it's a band and not an individual). Last year I watched the BBC coverage of Glastonbury and flicking around saw their set.  Knocked out.  They were excellent.  I then captured the mp3 of this which is below.  After buying the albums and Blood Bank EP I am a firm fan.  Nothing better than finding something new out of the blue, totally unexpected and wondering why you have missed it in the first place.  I really thought this was an old hand singing english folk songs who someone had wheeled out for a last gasp on the festival circuit.  Nothing to a name obviously (I was told it's derivative of the french "good winter" "Bon H'iver" as they are canadian)  If that's not true well.... Bon Iver Glastonbury 09

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Walk and Talk - PLEASE!

Another day another commuting moan. I understand that when you get off the tube you want to check your phone for that urgent message.  Why do it at the top of the escalator, in the middle (i.e. not to the side of )the platform, in the queue for the gates.  Either that or learn to walk and talk at the same time.

I'm getting concerned about this I usually think of myself as a pretty cool commuter - working on the basis that  I get there when I get there - I can't drive the bus, train, tube so I should leave it to the professionals.  Old moaner really isn't me - I hope.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Missed Gigs

Rumer at the Bloomsbury Theatre SOLD OUT.  Rumer supporting Joshua Radin at the Roundhouse SOLD OUT. Crowded House at Hammersmith earlier this Summer SOLD OUT.  I really need to pay more attention.

Rumer single is out today

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

BA Story - The Result

Finally I have heard back from BA customer services regarding my claim.  They are willing to reimburse £845 of a £1067 claim.  Given that the tickets cost me some £4000 and I will be travelling again AND my long explanation about how much hassle I had in getting myself kitted out for my trip whilst trying to do what I was in the US for, you would think that they may have made a goodwill gestrue and paid it out in full.  Instead I get an email from a machine that denies the balance of the claim on the basis that they won't pay for laundry (funny I thought I was being prudent in getting my clothes pressed rather than simply buying more)  They won't pay for phone calls from the hotel - despite my explanation that my blackberry charger was in my lost bag and I arrved at 9pm at night and had to sort stuff out for the morning (as I was bagless!).  All this was due to their error so (me being simple) I beleive this is all down to them. I've written and told them i'll except it as I have no way of going back to them - but expressed my concern, shall we say of their lack of understanding, and ineptitude in the art of customer relations (surely the email informing me of all this could have had someone's name on it?).  Oh well i'll try another airline (BA please note all for £222).

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Cover Me

I have a second Blog called "The Lost Record Covers Club"  The idea behind it is that I was becoming frustrated by 3 things - not being able to find all the music that I want on CD (see Lost and Found).  The incorrect album art that i-tunes and Gracenote put on your library when you do have the CD or the download (not that i have any downloads) and just album art that should be appreciated for itself or for the music contained in it.  Some of the art is available elsewhere on the web but most posted are scans of vinyl that I own.  I worked in the record business in the late 70's and early 80's so have some older and more obscure releases - whilst these are not necessarily collectable, they are rare (i.e. They didn't sell!). As I convert some of the music to digital I will post links to the tracks in addition release details.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Today's Must Have - Rumer - "Slow"

Heard this first on Radio 2/Chris Evans earlier this week and then found it on YouTube.  Bloody marvelous.  It seems I'm not alone in hearing Karen Carpenter in the singer's voice (is Rumer her or them?).  She has a gift of a voice coupled with an effortless style plus a hint of jazz feel to it.  YouTube also has a Paul Simon cover which stands the test as well so this is no one-off. Give it a play and enjoy.  I for one will be looking for the album. see the video on Rumer "Slow" on YouTube

BA Story (continued)

No news.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Soul Messages

Posted my first mix on soundcloud,  This is so easy to do and i'd recommend the site to anyone.

(Sound)cloud 9

Just subscribed to soundcloud. Brill site featuring mixes,orginal tracks and mashups. Will start to put some of my amateurish mixes up to share. This is a track I found whilst browsing - mashups rarely work well in my estimation but this seems to for no obvious reason other than it's well put together and they just match. Let me know what you think.

If You're Not Human (The Killers vs. Daniel Bedingfield) by D.J. Glen

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Jill Scott - Jill Excites Us (remix)

White Label (possibly from 2003) track from her first album mixed as a house track. I heard this via the wonderful but now gone Giant45 radio show of the Norman Jay (obe). Now I have an mp3 somewhere of that show....

ps. Stoopid here has just found Giant45 is online (although gone from 94.9fm) at the site above - follow the link and enjoy.
pps. Just found out this is a remix by Tod Gardner (who he?)

Still M.I.A

Friday, 23 July 2010

Lost & Found Department

I Need These
No I really mean it. I do. I'm no different from any other record collector I know. We've all been collecting records for years but at some point in the period we have given them up for some other desirable item (in my case at just turned 16 a Mark 3 Ford Escort which had the looks but not enough working parts to fulfil it's initial promise). Anyway you guessed it things had to go and the one thing I had plenty of was vinyl. I had a cassette recorder and (guessed again) mr not-so-bright-as-it-turns-out-now went all modern and converted all his music to tapes that then slowly disintergated over the years. I got probably 50p per album (rrp was about £2.50 at the time and about 20p a single (rrp 79p). Bugger. There are some stories and pleas about my quest to regain collection here in the pick 'n' mix. remember it's sometimes cruel to laugh at others misfortune or even their poor judgement - really you had to be there.

See The Lost and Found (which hopefully will include tracks when they are reunited with me)

The Original Mirrors - "Dancing With The Rebel" 12" Promo (1979)

This was a Mercury single back in '79. To promote it Phonogram pressed 500 white label 12" copies which then had the artist and title rubber ink stamped on them. I know as I worked in the factory and was responsible for getting them made. After they were pressed I stood with a lady in the finishing shop whilst she stamped away, boxed them up and passed them to me for dispatch to the label's west end offices. They were then destined for radio stations and for promotions all over the country. I'd had a sneak listen in a quality control booth as I was being told this was the next big thing. Great track. So on returning to my desk I asked my label contact if he would send me one for all my good work that morning. He agreed then promptly forgot. So 25 years later i'm on a quest to buy a number of almost long forgotten tunes. I'm at fairs and on ebay. Blimey i managed to find a copy. In Wisconsin! I pay £25 for it and it now sits on my shelf with a few others, has been played a few times and makes a short appearance here. This band were a forerunner of the Lightning Seeds as it featured Ian Broudie.  Hear it here

The B side of the 12" included a cover of the Brill building standard "On Broadway" 

p.s. (18th August) I have now found that there is a compilation album available which includes this track on one of those CD-R from the copyright owner (around $60) via Amazon

The Persuasions - "Gonna Keep On Tryin 'til I Win Your Love"

No idea what album this is from. It's 70's was on A&M records. Was released as single in the UK on the brown and silver label. The Persuasions are an accapella group. This is a live version of an old motown favourite previously recorded by Marvin Gaye, Jimmy Ruffin and the other class version by the Temptations (whilst they still had Eddie Kendricks). The writer, Norman Whitfield - i'll get to him in a post at some point i'm sure - used to repeat songs on all his allocated artists at Motown looking for the right combination. I had this as part of my original collection ( see "The Lost and Found") and have been looking ever since - if anyone needs other Persuasions albums bought on spec by me looking for this tracks' equal - i'm your man.

Missing In Action.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

BA Story

Having arrived in Washington DC for a trip last month I found that my bag, clothes etc had decided not to go with me. at 9pm at night (+5 hours obviously) I was without the basics. Big problem as I was due to meet with our directors the next morning and planning to do so in my polo shirt and jeans wasn't going to work. Thank god for the internet. I was able to file my claim; search for a store local to the hotel; check opening times; sizes, prices and styles. I arrived at Brookes Bros virtually pushed the guy over who was still unbolting the door and found an ex-pat from Reading who on hearing my story set to work on getting me togged up.

I made the meeting ten minutes late after having bought a phone charger and other bits I needed and arrived looking dapper but unfazed. The panic was well hidden.

The claim is still outstanding and we'll see how BA do with it.

In Appreciation of ....Bobby Womack

I am a fan. Have been since 1972. Used to cut short my cross country running training with my mates to detour to Alan F's gran's house - she'd have his records and the toast on. We'd sit their for a few appreciative minutes listening to "That's the Way I feel about'cha" and "Woman's gotta have it" and then return to the race as it passed the house (back in the pecking order obviously - we didn't want to end up being picked for the school team). " I can understand it" was the subject of an early conversation with Bris - Music was always a safe subject to talk about with girls. BW at the Hammersmith Odeon c1976 was a gig/date burned in my memory and returning there some years later with Bris "large" with child was an appropriate intro for any son into the world of dad music. This clip is from Later with Jools Holland May 2010 - he was on as part of Gorillaz and JH got him to do this - it's short but he's still got it. Please Please Tour Soon.
all you others not so familiar with the Bobby - please don't confuse him with Womack & Womack - there's a connection but the music differentiates him as The Man!

Tube Etiquette

There we all are - trying to get to work - hating the tube - the heat, the overcrowding the repetitive messages from the driver, the guard (platform operative) and the various automated services telling you which station you are at/going to/which side the doors are/which line you can change to etc etc. Yep - we all face the same thing. So and But WILL YOU PLEASE MOVE DOWN. what are you afraid of? are you just selfish? think that you are the only one? need your own space? anyway - get the picture - you get on move down, we will get on, we move down the line and yippee - same time tomorrow!

The Answer is.....

I don't really know. The question? Why am I writing a blog? I am beyond the age of thinking I have to to be cool, don't have a great deal of time, but do think i'm falling behind with all this social networking stuff and whilst that's not an issue now - it will be when I am the complete dinosaur and unable to catch up - I was the same at nuclear physics. I have interests, stories and opinions and dare I say it perhaps I have an ego.

So what is this going to feature then. Well, basically a lot of me and mine - what i'm doing and my observations - see i'm a bighead already.

A bit about me. I am married to Bris and have a son, J, and two small dogs. That's us. A very happy family - not without it's issues - that would be a very ODD family - but we talk to each other and share good and bad - it works and it makes us happy.

I have a good job in the West End of London supporting creative people in one of the media industries. I'm an administrator. Sounds boring but my job is different everyday, covers lots of areas, contributes to the business in general - it keeps all those clever bastards doing what they do best whilst I sought out their legal, property, IT, equipment and people problems. I don't do it all of course - as i have a brilliant team of people who work with me that do all the work and I simply put my feet up and take the credit (well I picked the team didn't I?).

The things you will find will repeat again and again in this i'm sure will be (in no particular order) London; Music (very much Soul Music of the early 70's); Family; Idiots; Heroes; the usual books, films etc; Ireland; the Good & Bad Old USA; Mad Britain and even madder Europe; Dogs; Style for a man of a certain age (all help gratefully received); Gadgets.

if bored, move on can only get worse.