Sunday 27 February 2022

Love Comes in Waves

I've mentioned my dad once or twice around here; although I love him dearly, he has the ability to infuriate the hell out of me. But then again, whose dad doesn't? I've also mentioned his nom de plume: my father, Gordon Medd, is Jigsaw Man; as Superheroes go his ability to do a thousand piece jigsaw may be a pretty rubbish super power, but, hey, he's my dad and I won't hear a word said against him (after all, that's my job).

In the past he's done circular jigsaws, double-sided jigsaws, single colour jigsaws; you name it, he's done 'em. Many of them have come by way of Christmas and birthday presents from me; yes, I've long since stopped fretting over what to get dad as December 25th approaches.

But his latest project has turned out to be his toughest assignment yet: Hokusai's The Wave had my dad teetering on the verge of madness. I was getting progress reports, photos, even selfies, of just how tricky this latest puzzle really was. It would appear that every piece, excluding the border, was exactly the same shape.

Each and every piece had to be painstakingly offered into position tens of times, scores often, before finding its rightful place. Dad's texts to me made for harrowing reading.

He told me that he would wake up in the middle of the night troubled by the most recent tricky section; dad would come downstairs in the wee small hours and to try and find a home for a few more pieces. It was only when the final piece was slotted into position that he could could finally breathe a sigh of relief and get his life back. 

That's when that I realised I couldn't just let him dismantle it and put it back in the box. I had to preserve it. The Jigsaw Man had invested so much time - so much of himself - on this amazing picture, I couldn't bear the thought of it being turned back into a thousand tiny pieces. So I rang my friend Ed at Paramount Pictures in Nottingham and brought him in as chief framer. 

Tasked with carefully transferring this labour of love  from dad's beloved 'jig-roll' into a beautiful dry mount and frame, the finished artwork - which looks amazing - is now on display at Medd Towers (with all the above photos on its flip side). As Rod said, every picture tells a story. 

Andy Bell - Love Comes in Waves (2020)

Monday 21 February 2022


Today's Monday Long Song is pretty self explanatory: it has a wonky bassline and is a disco banger. It's also something of a kitchen staple here at Medd Towers.

The head honcho behind Red Rack'em, Danny Berman, is a musical geek. If loops, drum patterns and samples are your bag then you need look no further to see how the whole 8 minutes and 10 seconds was painstakingly pieced together.

However, I only speed read it as, a bit like magic tricks, I'd rather not know how they work (it quite literally ruins the magic); which reminds me - I must tell you all about Mike, the landlord in my new favourite bar, who specialises in close-up magic - maybe next time... 

Red Rack'em - Wonky Bassline Disco Banger - 2016

Tuesday 15 February 2022

At Sixes and Sevens

On Sunday evenings in 1972 any self respecting teenager with access to a radio and a rudimentary tape recorder could be found in their bedroom with their fingers poised over the play and record buttons as they constructed their very own playlists. Between 4pm and 6pm the weekly chart rundown was presided over by Radio 1 jock Tom Browne. All the platters that mattered got an airing; well, nearly all. For some reason the Beeb had a problem with Judge Dread. Tom would skim over the fact that Big Six (and later Big Seven) was sitting at #8 in the charts - but steadfastly refused to play it. What was going on? What could it be that prevented it from being played on the airwaves? And who was buying it if nobody could hear it? It would be a number of years later till I got to hear it in full. And what great tunes they were (Six and Seven). My 11 year old self would have loved 'em, nothing's so sure.

I don't know if Dread, real name Alexander Minto Hughes (1945-1998), lost too much slip over his blanket ban by the corporation - probably not (it didn't seem to hinder sales). Everyone loves an anti-hero and in 1972 Judge Dread certainly fitted the bill.

Judge Dread - Big Six (1972)

Sunday 13 February 2022


It probably says a lot about me when I tell people that our fourth upcoming Vinyl Session features a new album. Ha! New! It came out over 25 years ago, yet, in my head, I think of it as a recent release. Ian Broudie reached peak Lightning Seeds when he unveiled Jollification to a public already balls deep in the Spice Girls, TFI Friday and all things Britpop. 

But Broudie's masterpiece from 1994 is so much more than cool Britannia. Yes, it's a quintessential English pop record packed to the rafters with catchy singles, but dig a little deeper and it's tender and reflective too. And with standout vocal cameos from Terry Hall and Alison Moyet I can honestly say this is one Thursday night I'm really looking forward to. Come and join us for some great music and lively chat. I'll keep a seat by the door for you...   

Lightning Seeds - Perfect (1994)

Sunday 6 February 2022

Put Your Life on It

When I was growing up in the 70s my life was soundtracked from the moment I switched on Radio 1 in the morning till my regular nighttime obsession with Radio Luxembourg - playing FAB 208 under my pillow till I couldn't stay awake any longer. And if you've dipped in and out of my blog over the last ten years or so you'll probably have a feel for the kind of music I consumed (glam, essentially) and the tunes I took onboard (a bit like osmosis, I guess) - tunes that are still lodged firmly in my brain. And if I said my palate mainly comprised Sweet, Slade, T. Rex, David Bowie and Alice Cooper et al you'd probably be able to piece together yourself what a typical day would sound like in my head.

But glam had a younger brother. Bubblegum. Not as brash, not as lairy; but fun nonetheless. For every Slade there was a Rubettes and for every Sweet there was a Racey. Great pop bands both, but no grit; no substance. Which was fine - it was all grist to Radio 1's mill: Tony Blackburn and Diddy David Hamilton lapped it up; well they would, wouldn't they? What's not to like?

And that's kinda how I feel about Kasabian: I have no strong feelings about them one way or the other. But it seems to me that, recently anyway, when they've been trying to write glam anthems (Bless This Acid House anyone?) they come across sounding more like Hello than Mottt the Hoople, more Alvin Stardust than David Bowie. Which, as I've just said, is no bad thing.

Here they are sounding like a cross between Lieutenant Pigeon and the Glitter Band.

Kasabian - Put Your Life on It (2017)

Tuesday 1 February 2022

I'm Losing You...

That feeling you get when you think you know everything about a song and then suddenly you hear how it was really meant to sound; i.e. the person writing and recording it in real time as he's vamping the chords on his old Joanna. Turns out James first heard this when he went to Uni in 2008 but failed to share this discovery with his old man. Fourteen years later and I get a casual text from him: "Dad, did I ever play you this?" I've known family rifts that have lasted for many years erupt over less (and I should know). If there's someone in your life who you think should hear this, and hasn't, please send it to them. Now. They will appreciate it...    

John Lennon - I'm Losing You (Demo) - 1979