Sunday 26 November 2023

Cast away our fears

Our good friend Alyson loves American West Coast grooves - Yacht Rock, if you will. She's put me on to so many great sounds from that (often overlooked) genre over the last few years that had hitherto passed me by; not least Seals & Crofts' We May Never Pass This Way Again. A song, I'm sure Alyson won't mind me telling you, she finds extremely moving (as do I). Alyson's not doing so great at the moment; but it will pass. She'll come back all fired up, stronger than ever. I know she will. Her mojo will rise again. This is for you, Alyson. 

Young Gun Silver Fox - Mojo Rising (from 2018's Record Store Day) 

Sunday 19 November 2023

Fucking Noddy (Revisited)

Whenever James sends me a tune I know I'll have to lean in that little bit closer; I always know it'll either have bangeresque status or somesuch superhero qualities. And 'Broke' certainly straddles both of the above attributes. Yes, it may be downbeat - think Baxter Dury chained to the same radiator as Mike Skinner - but as James wrote in his accompanying text - ''It's got
Fucking Noddy vibes running all the way thru it." He's not wrong. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Scott Lavene - Broke (2019)

Tuesday 14 November 2023

"Sheffield 61977"

Tom Wrigglesworth is one of the most gifted comedians I've seen. You'll probably know him from Radio 4's Tom Wrigglesworth's Hang-Ups which documents his weekly telephone calls to his elderly parents. Basically, Tom's moved down to London and every Sunday calls his mum & dad back home in Sheffield and, as they say, hilarity ensues. Skilfully written, the gags, the delivery, the timing is perfect. Seeing him on stage last week night and I don't think I've ever seen a comic so at ease in their own skin. His story telling is so relaxed you don't see the funny line that's about to blindside you until it's too late. Hang on to your sides, literally: the current. Mrs. Medd is nursing a bruised rib and I could hear her next to me really struggling.

Tom never said where in Sheffield his fictional parents live. I'd like to think they reside on Constable Road S14, overlooking the Herdings tower blocks. I've been made aware, sadly, that there are only two left standing; one of the towers was demolished in 1996. (I'm going up in a couple of weeks to see how it looks now and take a few photographs.) Sheffield brutalism at its finest.

Constable Road, Sheffield (1961)

Tuesday 7 November 2023

Medd Day Out

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last week or so you can't fail to have heard the hullabaloo surrounding what some (OK, everyone) are calling the new (and, at the same time, last) Beatles record. And, as you' d expect, this four minute ditty has made some people deliriously happy whilst at the same time making others reach for their quills to pen strongly worded letters to, I don't know, Paul and Ringo, probably. Or Yoko. Yep, it was she,
again, who'd found a 'discarded' C60 cassette in the attic with John's scratchy vocals and vamped piano chords all over it and decided it would make a great little trust fund; to go with all the other little trust funds she's acquired since that fateful December night in 1980 outside The Dakota building.

The thing is, it's not as if we haven't already heard the song before; the bootleg has been doing the round since forever (Lennon wrote Now & Then in 1978) and it was even given a 'McCartney Makeover' by one of my favourite John and Paul mimics, Claus Nielsen: his excellent 2017 versh of Now & Then was surely Macca's template for the song everyone's comparing to Imagine (imagine that) but which IMHO is a far superior composition; it really is.

In other Beatles related news, I was down in our nation's capital this weekend getting up to all sorts of high jinks. Not least when I stumbled upon St. Pancras Gardens where the Fabs posed for one of their most iconic photoshoots from their now legendary Mad Day Out in July 1968. The inscription on the bench (which I'm amazed is still there) is priceless.  

Medd Day Out

Wednesday 1 November 2023


What started out as a very low key feature back in January with just one or two (literally) loosely themed snaps has now grown arms and legs and turned into something of a monster. In a good way, I hasten to add. Not all monsters were capes, or something like that; you know what I mean. Just one more instalment until our end of year finale. But before we get ahead of ourselves - and in true Vision On style - let's take a look this month's gallery. The brief this month was 'A splash of colour'. 

In time honoured tradition Rol is up first - "Hi John, I used to love photographing sunsets for my old blog, Sunset Over Slawit. Here are some of my favourites. Hope they fit this month's criteria. All the best, Rol." Thank you, Rol. Why did you call time on your old blog?

Another newbie, Jo-Shreeve from Redruth. Much of her photography is based around the amazing beaches in the south west. But this week she's on her travels: "Swapped a cold & wet Cornwall for a little bit of heat! Sunshine, sangria and the beach!" A great shot, Jo. Enjoy Spain!

My friend David seemingly divides his time these days between Nottingham and London. His photos this month come with two/three word descriptors:
Queens Drive, Nottingham NG2

Clerkenwell EC1

Bridlesmith Gate NG1

"Nottingham Light Night 2023." Now an annual artistic fixture all over the city. Cheers, David. Yes, I took a few at Light Night; always something there that catches my eye.

Another newbie - Rob As his Twitter/'X' bio says - he came for the poliics and stayed for the photos. "It was a really cold March day at Saunton Sands in North Devon a few years back and I'd gone to the beach to help supervise a group of kids including my son. I was trying to get a few surfer photos and the camera was on maximum zoom when these three came out the sea with a bright red surfboard. I was just waiting and hoping for them to turn to their left so I could get a proper shot of the board and then there it was, right over the wet sand getting a lovely reflection too." I must admit to messaging Rob and almost pleading with him to let me use this image. I absolutely love it. Thank you, Rob. Come back next month, won't you?

James next. "Hi Dad, a couple for you this month: The Sultan Abdul Majid Mosque in Byblos, whose blue dome stands out against the sand and terracotta structures that surround it."

"The Beit Toureef Guesthouse in Gemayze, Beirut. Not that far from the 2020 port explosion, it sits amongst buildings that show signs of that devastating blast."

"As a bonus, the blue water of the Barnafoss waterfalls in Iceland - vivid against a backdrop of earth and volcanic rock." Stunning, James. Thank you x.

The lovely C over at Sun Dried Sparrows: "Hi John Years ago I painted this stone cat in bright swirling blues and greens, as you do. She's all faded and chipped now but on a drab day like today I thought she could fulfil this month's photo challenge. Just as I took the pic, something darted into the shot (top left) and provided an unexpected extra splash of colour. A photo-bombing robin! C x."  

"Oh, and sending this one too - these Japanese Maple leaves are such a vivid pinky red right now and seeing the colour and shapes contrasted with the turquoise-green of my shed put me in mind of an exotic fabric design." Fantastic, C! The cat is, quite literally, a work of art.

Paul Sutton King a purveyor of picture postcards. He posted this on a gloomy Weneday morning - "So it’s back to Burano." Unsure exactly where that was, Paul, I hurredly checked my Atlas: Venice! Could quite easily be a picture postcard. If it's not already, that is.

Khayem next from one of the best music blogs Dubhed: "Someone has taken on the job of painting bollards, BT boxes and the like in central Gloucester. A splash of colour indeed! This one particularly cheered me on an otherwise grey and grotty morning." Quite a few flowers this month, K. I love yours!

The ever dependent Stevie next from Charity Chic Music who says: "Who needs green on red when you can have red on green!" Not me, Stevie!

Ben said he was struggling to shoehorn a phonebook in this month but kindly supplied these two contrasting images. Thanks, Ben. (It's a brave man who gets his camera out in a locker room!)

Old friend of the blog, Adam, next from Bagging Area: "This electricity substation, one of those modern green fibreglass boxes not a lovely 1930s brick, or even a 60s concrete one, has had its drab appearance and surroundings enlivened, unofficially, by a local graffiti artist. On the Bridgewater Canal in Broadheath near Altrincham, it makes me smile every time I walk past."
I know what you mean - cheers, Adam.

The Swede (TS to his friends) at Unthought of, Though, Somehow. "The artist Vinnie Nylon has exhibited his work all over the world and currently he has a fabulous show, Future Primitive, running in the little Suffolk market town I call home. In the weeks leading up to its opening, Vinnie rocked up in person to create a handful of site specific pieces around the town. This one is my favourite." Thanks, TS. Would love to se the rest of 'em sometime.


I wouldn't want to play poker against Riggsby. He texted me a couple of days ago and said he was finding this month's challenge, ahem, "challenging" and that he didn't have any photos for me. "Not hitting the expected splash" he opined; fast forward 48 hours and I was deluged! Here's six of the best:

"A splash of colour? This is a nearby neighbourhood where we often go for walks."

"This is going back over a decade, taken on a Guinness ruled night in Dublin."

"Say hello to Zigguy Fawkes! A 'flash' of unexpected colour." This is surely an album cover in the making, Richard!

"A building, likely a bank, in the British Concession in Shanghai displaying the Chinese flags.'' (pic c/o Jingyi - Richard's wife).

"Room for a typewriter with a splash of colour?" Always!

Lastly, with but a three word strap line: "Shanghai, pre-pandemic." Thank you Richard (and Jingyi), I really do look forward to your transatlantic contributions each month.

And so, once again, a couple of mine to bring proceedings to a clattering halt.
This is a pub in Worthing, East Sussex. I forget its name(!) 

Regulars will probably recognise this very famous building in Dingle, Liverpool - the former 'hood of Richard Starkey. 

When did you last see a postman wearing long trousers? I'd say you've got more chance of finding the Ark of the Covenant.

I'll leave you with this rather lovely autumnal wreath I saw on my travels this afternoon. Set against a heavily glossed black door I thought it could sneak its way into this month's collection.

And what a collection it is. Once again, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, you've really come up trumps...again! Thank you, all. I'll post December's challenge in the comments section below in the next few days.