Friday, 21 January 2022

All I ever wanted...

I was in town a couple of Saturdays ago taking some photographs when out of nowhere the heavens opened. I quickly took refuge in the nearest shop - H&M (other shelters are available) - while it blew over. Fifteen minutes later I walked out of the store with a brand new winter coat under my arm. How did that happen? I suddenly felt like a proper grown up.

On the bus home I was trying desperately to place the song that had been playing while I was at the till paying for my swanky new garment; I knew it, but I didn't know it. You know the feeling don't you? That's what a brilliant cover does to you.

On the way home, just I was about to get off the bus, I said "DEPECHE MODE!" (rather too loudly) to the driver. I am that nutter on the bus.

Carla Bruni - Enjoy the Silence (2017)

Monday, 17 January 2022

Renouncing strength...

I've noticed that one or two of my fellow bloggers are still posting their Monday Long Songs; I can't remember the last time I chipped in, so will make amends today. I recently discovered some tasty outtakes from the Stones' Some Girls album and was immediately taken with an 11+ minute version of Miss You. So, it being Monday...

Rolling Stones - Miss You (1978)

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

We're Not Over Yet

I think I may have flagged it up on Twitter, but my last birthday - which I spent in Manchester, thanks for asking - went unmentioned on my blog; but then, looking back on previous years, it would appear I've never really recorded the event round these parts.

No matter. I'm old enough to know better; another candle on the cake = nothing to shout about these days. We're all circling the drain, right? (You can tell I was born on a Wednesday can't you?) 

For what it's worth, I share my birthday with one of the greatest female vocalists of all time: Christine Collister was born exactly a year after me. Next time I see her I must ask her if she used to get her birthday presents wrapped in Christmas paper too.

Gregson & Collister - We're Not Over Yet (1998)

Christine Collister (b. 28 December 1961)

Sunday, 9 January 2022


Monday I'll have Thursday on My Mind

I've talked about our Vinyl Sessions a few times around here so shan't bore you any further regarding its inner machinations; save to tell you that on Thursday 27 January we're playing an album that, for many, defined 1977. Despite being catapulted into a world of punk My Aim is True made perfect sense. It had just the right amount of new wave credentials whilst at the same time proudly wearing its pop sensibility on its sleeve; Buddy Holly meets the Damned.  Costello really did have a foot in both camps. And of course both sides of this Stiff classic were chockablock full of raw and aggressive Elvis anthems with guitar riffs even snarling punks would have died for.  

But it was when the pace relented slightly and the band dropped down a gear  you could  hear how good these songs were. And none better than Alison. I've talked about this song before and, yes, the jury is still out regarding the storyline's alleged murderous intentions. Talk of putting out the big light and 'my aim is true' would, some say, lead you to think that Alison's days on this planet are numbered. The guitar solo is played by John McFee who at the time was in Clover, an American country outfit who in 1977 found themselves adrift in the UK in a down at heel London recording studio. Combined with Nick Lowe's production, McFee's deft solo is, like the song itself, a thing of rare beauty...

Elvis Costello - Alison (1977)

Wednesday, 5 January 2022


On slow news days, not least slow news days* in January, I have been known to drop pictures of English starlets in their prime for no reason, and with precious little subtext, whatsoever. Today is one of those days: there was a time when Elizabeth Taylor was the most famous face in the world. Pictured above and below are eight stunning examples.

*The day I start writing blogs abut Royal paedophiles is the day I stop writing. Period.