One of our ace writers Tom also has his own blog, Scruffy Theory, and recently he has posted some great investigative stuff about a gig that Pink Floyd allegedly played at the Folk Hall in New Earswick in York back in 1967. It has been difficult to find much evidence about the gig online, but Tom has found his inner bloodhound and donned his deerstalker hat to discover more. Is it true or not? Read Tom’s rather interesting posts (in sequence) to find out! If you know anything about this gig feel free to get in touch.
I first heard Kevin Ayers back in the early 70s and ‘Joy Of A Toy’ remains a favourite album of mine. So it is with sadness that I am posting about his demise. He passed away in his sleep aged 68 on February 18th at his home in France. Ayers was a pioneer of the British psychedelic scene and first found fame with Soft Machine. John Peel once said this of him; “Kevin Ayers’ talent is so acute you could perform major eye surgery with it”. Click here to read the BBC report of Kevin’s death.
Kevin has worked with many people, including Syd Barrett, Brian Eno, Mike Oldfield and John Cale. He was there for the formation of Soft Machine in the mid 60s. The band was named after the William S Burroughs novel ‘The Soft Machine’. Kevin once sold his Fender jazz bass to Noel Redding from Jimi Hendrix’ band. This was after an extensive US tour. He grew up in Canterbury and lived for some time in Ibiza and France.
Interestingly he wasn’t the only one in the family with such a pioneering spirit. His father Rowan Ayers was a BBC Producer and was responsible for kicking off the classic BBC music show ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test‘. If you have never listened to Kevin Ayers then I suggest you rectify that right now! I have included a few of my favourite Ayers songs at the end of this post. My thoughts go to Kevin’s family, friends and fans. RIP Kevin Ayers – a true British Rock legend!
Big congratulations to Bradley Wiggins who yesterday became the first Brit to win the Tour de France in the whole of its 108 year history. I hope this is an excellent spur for the Olympics too. For most of the Tour Bradley was unassailable, particularly the time trials. But there was also some brilliant team work and support from Team Sky. Even the French seem to have taken to Bradley with some pundits referring to him as Le Wiggo.
Bradley is a big Paul Weller fan apparently and this is a music blog not a cycling blog so here is a Paul Weller song for the talented Mr Wiggins, followed by a few cycling related songs. Enjoy them and feel free to suggest your own bike related music.
“Sunflower” – Paul Weller. I chose this for two reasons; first it’s one of my favourite Weller songs and secondly the sunflower is yellow just like the leader’s jersey in the Tour de France.
“Tour De France” – Kraftwerk. The German auto-bots are big cycling fans and keen cyclists too.
“Bike” – Pink Floyd. A great track, quaintly English and very Syd Barrett
“Bicycle Race” – Queen. This one was probably the obvious choice and who can forget all those naked women on bicycles? I was a teenager at the time, so I couldn’t!
A random selection of news for you in this post dear readers. In a follow-up to one of my earlier posts about a number of music stars playing some very rich gigs at private parties for the Gaddafi family it has been reported that Nelly Furtado will be given the money she by playing for the Gaddafi’s in 2007 to charity. Top marks to Nelly in my opinion. Click here to read the story.
It was announced recently that the 100 Club has a saviour so it won’t have to close. That saviour, who is now the venues sponsor is Converse. Personally I think that is a great move, I have possessed a pair of Converse All Stars for most of the last thirty or so years. As a teenager I went through a white pair, a blue pair and a red pair. I have now settled on a very safe black pair, which I replace annually. I feel I’m in good company as the All Star was worn by such luminaries as Kurt Cobain and the Ramones.
Lady Gaga meets and eats Baby Gaga
I recently discovered a great clip collection of 101 bad covers of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance“. Click here to see it. In other Gaga news a London company has started to produce ice cream made from human breast milk. Click here to read the story. It has been named Baby Gaga. How many of you Little Britain fans just said or thought ‘bitty’?
Syd's psychedelic Baby Gaga 99 with flake caused his feet to grow incredibly large
Just how big a fan of Syd Barrett are you? Big enough to own the Syd Barrett Colouring Book perhaps? Well they are already extremely rare along with the first in the series which was the Joy Division Colouring Book. Click here to see the Syd book.
First a haunting, now levitation. What next? Exorcist style head spinning and green vomit?
Apparently Pete Townshend off of the Who has had a ghostly visit comparable with Dickens ghosts in ‘A Christmas Carol’. He claims that Les Paul appeared to him in a hotel recently telling him to rethink his guitar smashing which showed he had no respect for the instrument. The ghost of Les told him that if he didn’t do this he would suffer for the remainder of his life. Click here to read the story.
Purely another opportunity for me to show this picture, nothing else!
December 14th. Are you getting excited yet? Maybe you will when you help me open todays little cardboard door on my UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar. It’s a real doozie. It was number one at Christmas 1979 and stayed at the top for 5 weeks. It was the bands only official post Syd Barrett UK single as well. It was the mighty Pink Floyd with “Another Brick In the Wall – part 2” taken from the album ‘The Wall’ which was pretty close to a Roger Waters solo album, allegedly. In my opinion it is truly a brilliant album and to give the Floyd their only UK singles number one, well that is amazing!
This is certainly how I felt at school, how about you?
The song is a protest song against the rigid education system, mostly from a private schools perspective. But when I was was at school in the 70s I must admit it was a very rigid system, certainly in the sense that no one really explained what my purpose was. Why did I have to sit these exams, why did I have to go to 6th form and why was I supposed to go to University? At the time I never really understood and actually left school aged 16. I was however a little lucky as I went to Grammar School, this meant that I took (and passed) my ‘O’ Levels in Maths and English a year early! But after that I dropped out and bunked off most days. I managed to fail 7 ‘O’ Levels in the 5th Form, largely because I didn’t try and didn’t attend. However I was gutted that I failed Art as I really did turn up and put a lot of work into it! Anyway it’s all done now and luckily it did me no harm.
In the end I felt I was able to walk away from the mincer by leaving school at 16
In 1980 the apartheid regime banned the song in South Africa as it was used by people protesting against the racist education system. the Islington Green School Choir appeared on the song at the behest of producer Bob Ezrin. The school was not far from Britannia Studios where ‘The Wall’ was recorded. The song also hit the top of the US charts and was number one in many European countries as well.
As a footnote I just had to mention this. Many of you will be aware of the recent student riots in the UK in protest against University fees. Well it seems that Dave Gilmour’s son Charlie was a naughty boy during the protests. Well more of a total twat really, he swung off the flag on the Cenotaph thus denigrating the memories of millions of war dead. Charlie you twat! Anyway there was a letter to the Guardian today from a Mr Alan Cripps of London and it goes like this ‘ David Gilmour‘s son In University fees protest? Surely he don’t need no education? Top man Mr Cripps, I loved that letter. Read the Charlie Gilmour story in the Guardian by clicking here.
I'm not sure if that sign is a statement or an instruction
Today I had the iPod on shuffle and up popped the wonderfully talented Scroobius Pip aided and abetted by Dan Le Sac. I am a big fan of Messrs Pip and Sac. The song in question was “Thou Shalt Always Kill” It got me thinking that a post addressing all the Pip commandments might be quite fun. So firstly apologies to Dave Gorman who once did a live show which analysed all the parts of Ian Dury’s “Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 3”, indeed Catwoman actually saw it (and to be fair he probably did it far, far better than I am about to with Pip and Sac). So on with the song!
Thou Shalt Always Kill – Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip
(Feat. Pos Plug Won)
Thou shalt not steal if there is a direct victim; I totally agree with this one, so I guess this makes it ok to steal from banks right? Maybe some office stationery too
Thou shalt not worship pop idols or follow lost prophets; Who the hell would want to worship bloody pop idols anyway, that’d be like ‘All Hail Gareth Gates’ or more fitting with his current life maybe ‘Our Server who art in McDonalds’. As for the Lost Prophets they weren’t a bad band, ok they are Welsh, but that’s not their fault is it?
Thou shalt not take the names of Johnny Cash, Joe Strummer, Johnny Hartman, Desmond Dekker, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix or Syd Barret in vain; I totally agree, but who the hell is Johnny Hartman?
Thou shalt not think that any male over 30 that plays with a child that is not their own is a paedophile, some people are just nice; I am way over 30, I love kids and I’m not a paedo, so I guess that makes me nice, doesn’t it? Incidentally isn’t it strange that those awful swimming trunks are called Speedos? Phonetically just one letter away from Peedo.
Thou shalt not read NME; Nope, can’t agree with this one at all, I’ve been reading NME since I was a young lad, from 1971 to be precise
Thou shalt not stop liking a band just because they have become popular; How very true, people they are not YOUR band just because you liked them before 99% of the population. Tom, it is ok for you to continue to like the Kings Of Leon!
Thou shalt not question Stephen Fry; Yes, because Mr Fry has a brain the size of a planet and has more intellect in his belly button fluff than the collective intelligence of the England Football team
Thou shalt not judge a book by its cover; True, well unless it’s the Playboy Annual or something similar, equally any book with Robbie Williams on the front must, by definition, be rubbish!
Thou shalt not judge Lethal Weapon by Danny Glover; So that must mean you judge it by Mel Gibson, but I’m confused, does that make it better or worse?
Thou shalt not buy Coca Cola products; Absolutely, all that sugar has to be bad for you. Mind you I do like the odd Coca Cola Christmas bauble, so that would be another Pip commandment I have broken
Thou shalt not buy nestle products; Well I can live with this, apart from the fact that my good friend Karen McP works there, but personally I prefer Cadburys anyway
Thou shalt not go into the woods with your boyfriend best friend, take drugs and cheat on him; Well I am completely exempt from this as I don’t take drugs, oh and I don’t have a boyfriend either!
Thou shalt not fall in love so easily; That is easy to say but bloody difficult to do
Thou shalt not use poetry, art or music to get into girls pants……use it to get into their heads; ok, just as long as I can be forgiven for my teenage years, where I confess I did use music in the former regard quite a lot and the latter regard quite a little. Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” always worked for me
Thou shalt not watch Hollyoaks; Nor any Aussie soaps either in my opinion
Thou shalt not attend an open mic and then leave as soon as you have done your shitty little poem or song you self-righteous prick; Well I think that one speaks for itself really!
Thou shalt not return to the same club or bar week in & week out just because you once saw a girl there that you fancied that you’re never going to talk to anyway; Guilty as charged, but only in my teenage years and only a couple of times and on the second occasion I did get to speak to her, but she did make it very clear she wasn’t interested. Just rearrange these letters to understand what two-word phrase she used. kfcfuof, did you work it out?
Thou shalt not put musicians and recording artists on ridiculous pedestals no matter how great they are or were; I did this with David Bowie back in the 70s, but then he recorded in the 80s and that made me see the error of my ways
Were just a band.
Just a band.
The Beach Boys.
Just a band
Just a band.
Just a band.
Just a band
Just a band.
Just a band.
Just a band.
Just a band.
Just a band
Just a band
Just a band.
Just a band.
Just a band.
The next big thing
Just a band.I can agree with almost all of the above, except for the Clash, these guys were way more than just a band to me
Thou shalt give equal worth to tragedies that occur in non-english speaking countries as to those that occur in english speaking countries; Too true, how many times has the news reported an earthquake somewhere like Mexico and had it low down the running order because no British people were hurt?
Thou shalt remember that guns, bitches and bling where never part of the four elements and never will be; I love rap, but this is sadly so very true
Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music;
Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music;
Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music;
Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music; I suspect that this relates to dance music and the Government’s attack on the rave generation, but it could equally apply to the bland crap produced by almost anyone of Simon Cowell’s identikit pop muppets
Thou shalt not pimp my ride; But I assume that it is ok for me to pimp my man-bag though, right?
Thou shalt not scream if you wanna go faster; nor indeed listen to Geri Halliwell whilst in a sober state
Thou shalt not move to the sound of the wickedness; well ok, but sometimes that is a really good feeling!
Thou shalt not make some noise for Detroit; or any other city or town, but then again I am sure that later this year at Reading my good friend Nick H and me will make some noise for Reading
When I say “hey” thou shalt not say “ho”; Say Gabba Gabba instead, in honour of the Ramones
When I say “hip” thou shalt not say “hop”; Say replacement instead
When I say, he say, she say, we say “make some noise”…..kill me; ok then, seeing as you asked nicely
Thou shalt not quote me happy; or like the Go Compare advert
Thou shalt not shake it like a Polaroid picture; Well that’s how I dance bro’ – live with it!
Thou shalt not wish your girlfriend was a freak like me; my girlfriend is all the freak I need thank you very much
Thou shalt spell the word phoenix : P-H-E-O-N-I-X not P-H-O-E-N-I-X regardless of what the Oxford English dictionary tells you; Now as far as this one goes I really don’t care
Thou shalt not express your shock at the fact that Sharon got off with Brad at the club last night by saying “is it?”; very true, the correct statement is ‘innit’ innit?
Thou shalt think for yourselves; I hope everyone does this already
And thou shalt ALWAYS kill. I certainly can’t agree with this, although Catwoman and I do tend to regularly kill all the plants in the back yard, usually by neglect
OK I’m a little later than planned with this review, but here it comes anyway. Many of you regular readers of this blog will know that I have shamelessly promoted this rather excellent band called Steal The Smile. I finally got to see them live last week. So have I given them a good review? well for that you’ll have to read on. Let me begin with the support bands;
First up were InColour. Sadly I only caught their last one and a half numbers but they sounded like a pretty good band, check them out on MySpace by clicking here. Sorry I missed the first part of your set guys.
Second were MotionInColour and as far as I know nothing to do with the first band apart from the similarity of names, boy this is confusing for an old bloke believe me! Anyway MotionInColour were pretty good, a really tight band with an excellent drummer. Shades of Counting Crows and perhaps Hootie and the Blowfish, although to be fair they are probably too young to remember either of those bands! They do have a great sound though soft acoustic building to pounding drums and great vocals. The singer also gave perhaps the best heckler put down of the night. One member of the audience showed the height of his intellectual abilities when he shouted “You suck” during a break between songs, without losing a breath the singer responded with “So did your mum last night” bloody sharp and bloody hilarious also a bloody good band. Click here to check out their MySpace page.
The penultimate band of the night were Francesqa, personally I’m not sure about the name, but hey, to each their own. Let’s face it both Radiohead with ‘On A Friday’ and Blur with ‘Seymour’ had far worse names before they changed. Francesqa are a pretty strong rock band, certainly their vocalist has a great voice and excellent audience interaction. The rhythm section work well together and provide an excellent engine for the band’s overall sound. I really like this band I’m just not keen on the name, check out their MySpace page here
OK so here we go with the main men of the night, the mighty Steal The Smile. Well let me start by using an American phrase that I really don’t use that often, these boys rock! I’ve said in previous posts about them (and there have been quite a few!) that they sound a little like Blink 182 although with a much more English identity, which is something I love. Far too many bands adopt fake American accents to sing, these guys are part of a great English rock tradition that stretches back to Syd Barrett and runs through the Clash, the Pistols and Paul Weller amongst others. They rock out in the way only English guys can!
Henry jumps to avoid some Ghostbusters style green ectoplasm!
It is clear that Steal The Smile have now been playing together for quite a while, their musicianship gets straight ‘A’s from me and they are developing a superb repertoire of their own songs. Their new single is fantastic, it’s called “Rome Was Built To Burn” and if you hurry to their MySpace page their may still be just a few copies left, otherwise you’ll just have to wait for their forthcoming EP. They played a few new songs including the excellent “What Would Elvis Do?” which you can currently hear on their MySpace page
Luke introduced a great cover version by telling the audience that if they didn’t recognise it they were ‘complete homos’ or that the band were perhaps playing it pretty crappily. Well even I recognised it so I guess I’m not a complete homo then! They also played it damned well, the song was Blink 182’s “All The Small Things”
Luke also has green ectoplasm problems at the FaceBar
So Steal The Smile are indeed a bloody good band, they can clearly cut it live as well as recording. Unlike some more successful bands who seem to have no sense of humour, these boys seem to have great fun on stage together too. Check them out on MySpace here, you WILL NOT be disappointed!
If you hurry you may still be able to purchase Steal The Smile's excellent new single "Rome Was Built To Burn"
Another week gone already here we are at Friday again, I hope that you liked the Free Banking Bonus Post yesterday. If you haven’t read it you’ll find it just below this one.
A big thank you too for all the views and comments (Mickelodeon, Marcy and Catwoman) on my “Bank Robber” post yesterday. I’ve followed up with a further “Bank Robber….too” post which you will find below this one and a poll to choose the banking anthem. Get voting people
So without further fuss and stuff it’s on with the motley, not crue just the motley ok!
Let’s start with a couple of birthdays. Firstly Paul Humphreys from Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (OMD) is 49 today (27th February 2009). I liked OMD a lot when they first came on the scene, so did the NME, they had a weekly anagram of the bands full name running for quite a few weeks which was often good for a chuckle. Does anyone else remember that or are they the only sad anorak? My favourite song by the band is “Enola Gay” and yes it is one of the 50 songs in my top ten! But did you know what the song is about? Well Enola Gay was the name of the plane that dropped the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima in August 1945. The bomb itself was nicknamed ‘Little Boy’ hence the lyric ‘ is mother proud of little boy today’. But for me the scariest lyric in the song is ‘this kiss you give, is never ever gonna fade away’ So here is OMD’s “Enola Gay” Is that anyone else’s favourite?
The OMD boys in their audition for the 'Men In Black' movie
The second and final of our birthdays today is that of Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas one of the singers with all girl R & B combo TLC. she is 38 today. Along with “Chilli” the group also included Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez. Sadly “Left Eye” was killed in a car accident in Honduras just before the release of their third album in 2002. You clearly had to have a nickname to join the group and let’s face it they are way better than Scary, Sporty, Baby, Posh and Ginger aren’t they? Talking of nicknames, there was unusually for me a point to it, do you know where the TLC name came from? Tender Loving Care? Nope. Totally Lousy Crap? Definitely not. T-Boz Left-Eye Chilli. yep that’s the one, the name comes from the first initial of each of the girls nicknames. All the girls sang within the group and “Chilli” also did their choreography too. Here are the girls withe rather jolly tuneage entitled “No Scrubs”
After another early start the girls had once again had to get dressed in the dark
On this day today in 1964 a 21 year old former hairdresser and cloakroom attendant at Liverpool’s famous Cavern Club was number one in the UK charts. Her name was (and indeed still is) Cilla Black and the song was her version of Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “Anyone Who Had A Heart” which had previously been recorded by Dionne Warwicke (who for those fact fans out there is Whitney Houston’s Aunt). The week that Cilla was number one was also the first time in UK chart history that the top ten had featured exclusively UK acts
Cilla was a little worried that her red flower was too discreet to enable her 'Blind date' to identify her
On this day in 1967 Pink Floyd recorded their classic single “Arnold Layne” This was back in the days when they released the odd single and also when the late great (those l’s and g’s are still hanging in there) and supremely talented Syd Barret was still a part of the Floyd. When EMI signed the group it is alleged that one of the record companies executives asked of the band “Which one of you is Pink?” I would have loved to have been there to hear the answer! Interestingly “Arnold Layne” covered the topic of transvestites and was banned by pirate station Radio London although, here’s the surprise, the BBC continued to play it. The song reached number 20 in the UK and it’s follow up, “See Emily Play” hit number 6. That song was to be their last single for 12 years in the UK. Come on who remembers what that 1979 song was? Answers in the comment box or a postcard if you prefer. I just have to add of course that David Bowie (yep another Bowie reference) did an brilliant cover of “See Emily Play” on his Pin Ups album of covers from 1973. He also recorded a great live version of “Arnold Layne” with David Gilmour a year or so ago. Click on the titale and tell me which version you prefer
no one knew that Pink Floyd had secretly been recording a psychadelic version of 'The Hokey Cokey' with Chas and Dave in an East End pub
And finally today there have been a couple of redheads mentioned; Ginger Spice, Cilla Black (not sure she’s a natural redhead though) and yesterdays banking bonus post included Mick Hucknall and Simply Red. So I thought it was about time I gave a plug to another (soon to be) famous red head, my son Luke. Yes this is another blatant plug for his band ‘Steal The Smile‘ check them out and tell me what you think of them, add them as a friend on MySpace too if you haven’t done so already, click their name for the link. here is their band logo 🙂