Beady Eye have split up? Thank fuck for that!
Beady Eye have split up? Thank fuck for that!
I just heard the sad news that reggae legend John Holt has died. His manager confirmed that he passed away in a London hospital on Sunday night. He was just 67. He started out as the lead singer of the Paragons and wrote many of their songs; including “Wear You To The Ball” and “The Tide Is High“. The latter went on to become an international hit for Blondie in the 80s and later for Atomic Kitten. I always preferred the Paragons original version. He also recorded as a solo artist while he was with the Paragons cutting tracks like the original of “OK Fred” in 1979. This was later a UK hit for Errol Dunkley in 1979. He recorded tracks with legendary reggae figures such as Duke Reid, Leslie Kong, Bunny Lee, Prince Buster and Alton Ellis.
He recorded and released many albums and singles and was a superstar in Jamaica. Sadly in the UK he was never as popular. His 1974 cover of Kris Kristofferson‘s “Help Me Make It Through The Night” reached number 6 in the UK chart. He released his last solo album, ‘Peacemaker’ in 1993. I still have a copy of the fabulous ‘1,000 Volts Of Holt’ album from 1973, only the CD version though. My vinyl copy wore out years ago.
My thoughts go to his family, friends and fans. John Holt RIP.
Sinead O’Connor as well as being a very talented singer and songwriter is also a qualified medium. She also believes that she is a better Medium than she is a singer-songwriter. If that is true then she must be a truly amazing Medium!
Five years ago in 2009 Procol Harum‘s “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” was still the most played song on UK radio. Queen‘s “Bohemian Rhapsody” was at number two in that listing. In a strange coincidence both songs use the word ‘fandango’ in their lyrics. Are their any other songs that use ‘fandango’ in their lyrics?
I missed this sad news last month. Either because it was not reported widely enough or because I was on holiday. So thanks to Record Collector magazine for bringing it to my attention. Joe Sample off of the Crusaders died of cancer aged 75 on 12th September. Whilst I am not a jazz aficionado I was a big jazz funk fan in my days as a soul boy in the late 70s. Soul Boy? You remember right? Peg trousers, billowy shirts or jumpers and on some occasions plastic sandals!
As far as jazz funk goes in my own musical history Joe Sample was a giant and as keyboard and piano player with the Crusaders he was a big hero. Many of you remember the Crusaders big 1979 UK hit “Street Life” with vocals from Randy Crawford. But my liking for the band goes back a little further than that to tunes like “Keep That Same Old Feeling” and “Stomp And Buck Dance” from 1976 and 1974 respectively. ‘Free As The Wind‘ and ‘Chain Reaction’ were also really great albums. I also used to won a couple of Joe’s solo albums too; ‘The Three’ and ‘Rainbow Seeker‘
My thoughts go out to Joe’s family, friends and fans. Joseph Leslie ‘Joe’ Sample RIP.
I had heard of the Amazing Snakeheads before this gig and indeed I had listened to some of their stuff on-line. However what brought me to this gig was actually one of the support bands who added me to their cheap list. Honestly I feel more honoured to be on a cheap list than I would to be on a guest list! Anyway the band who invited me were the magnificent Avalanche Party. I saw them at the Woolpack in York a couple of months back and stayed loosely in touch via Facebook following my review of the Woolpack show. Avalanche Party were the first band of the evening to take to the stage and once again it was a bloody good performance. They have some excellent material; “Mountains” is a great song and their cover of Nancy Sinatra‘s “These Boots Are Made For Walking” is a truly inspired choice of cover that really suits the harder, punkier feel that the band give the song. They are a very tight band of very accomplished and talented musicians. They seem well-drilled and rehearsed but also have the right amount of star presence and swagger on stage. Their free 2 track CD has been on loop in my car on the journey to work for the past few days too. If you get the chances you really need to go and see Avalanche Party. If I find out that you did have the chance and didn’t take it I will have to send the boys round!
Second to grace the stage on Sunday were the Valmores. For me the jury is still out on that name. They were pretty good, certainly their playing was strong and it felt well rehearsed. Their songs are mostly strong although the lyrics I could decipher suggested that they might be trying too hard to be controversial. Songs about heroin and the rubbish state that England is in. The lead singer has a good voice although he seemed to want to be Jim Morrison off of the Doors but in a much cleaner 21st century kind of way. The Valmores do have potential to achieve more and I hope that they do.
The Amazing Snakeheads were the headliners and I think that it would be fair to say that I saw no snakeheads they were bloody amazing. They were also one of the loudest bands that I have seen for some time, but that might have been heightened by the fact that I was standing next to the speaker stack! Glasgow’s Amazing Snakeheads are probably the best perpetrators of loud, angry, scuzzy blues rock that I have ever seen. The band set up is drums, bass and guitar with the guitarist also providing the at times tonsil shredding vocal. We even had a crowd invasion from frontman Dale Barclay. I really enjoyed them, but I can imagine that they may be a bit of a Marmite band in that you’ll either love them or hate them. “I’m A Vampire” is my favourite Snakeheads song; what’s yours?
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