Thursday 27 February 2014

Here Comes the Sun Ra

BBC 6 Music is hosting its very own Festival this coming weekend at Manchester's Victoria Warehouse.

Damon Albarn may be grabbing all the headlines, but there's some real nuggets to be found further down the bill and on the Fringe.

Not least The Part Time Heliocentric Cosmo Drama After School Club: a Sun Ra tribute getting maximum mileage from one of space jazz's finest exponents. Fronted by Paddy Steer and Graham Massey they're playing two sets on Saturday. I spoke to their keyboard player on the phone yesterday: 'Should be good Dad' he said. I'm sure it will be.

Further details here.

Sunday 23 February 2014

Ballad of the A40

Four weeks ago, when I started my latest freelancing stint in Abingdon, if you'd have told me that the A40 between Junction 8 of the M40 and Oxford was in any way romantic, I would have scoffed. But that all changed last week. Heading west on Friday with the sun rising in my rear view mirror, this came on the radio:

Cowley and the Oxford ring road will never be the same again. Well, not 'til tomorrow anyway.

Saturday 22 February 2014

Crystal clear

I've been on secondment in the deep south; where they drink a rather fine vodka bottled in a human skull. Some wag, with far too much time on his hands, has forensically recreated how it would have looked in real life.
Way before

Thursday 13 February 2014


Most of my friends are familiar with the acronyms and personalised shorthand that litter my texts. It's not that I'm lazy, and I'm certainly not a lover of txtspk, but there are times when there just isn't time to punch the whole thing out in longhand.

So when a friend texted me yesterday that The Wave Pictures are playing their local venue next month and would we like to come over and stop the night and that they've bought a new house I just replied with my usual EMBV.

EMBV, 'Excellent' in a Mr. Burns voice, is the perfect response to so many of the text messages I receive. 

But I obviously hadn't used this on Suzie and Liam before.

'I'm sorry, I don't understand' came the reply. 'We've even looked up EMBV and it said estimated mucosal blood volume, and I don't think you meant that.'

Sunday 9 February 2014

When Harry met Aimee

Harry Nilsson begat Aimee Mann. And Badfinger begat Harry Nilsson and Aimee Mann.

Aimee Mann's clutch of songs on the Magnolia soundtrack, including her rendition of Nilsson's One, elevated it from being a good picture to being a very good picture. And when she covered Baby Blue it all but overshadowed all other offerings on 1996's Come and Get It - A Tribute to Badfinger. Who knew that, 20 years later, thanks to Breaking Bad, the song would become inextricably linked with the production of methamphetamine.

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Catherine Wheel Alley

If Bob Crow hadn't taken his subterranean lads out on strike this week, I wouldn't have found myself on the top deck of the 205 going from Marylebone to Aldgate this morning. And I wouldn't have spotted Catherine Wheel Alley in EC2. So that's the title for my next EP sorted.

Cheers Bob.