Wednesday, 28 September 2016

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 26-09-2016 - Leonard Cohen, Adam Torres, Formation

Tracks of the Week

Old Pa :-
Leonard Cohen - You want it Darker (2016)


Well if you want it darker then here goes. This is from Len's new album......and was first featured this year in the seriies Peaky Blinders. Can't say I have watched it but if there has to be an excuse then this must be it.

Formation - 'Drugs' (2016)

Just say no! Right? Unless it's this Escobar standard, bass and percussive heavy electronic number from South London duo, Formation, serendipitously found on a random playlist 'curated' just for me. I'll take a whole shipment of it thank you very much! Aside from my crap drug references, the song is very much about club culture and what people have to do to fit it in to the drugged up 'London Lifestyle'. Drug is taken from their forthcoming album out later this year.

Check their interactive video for 'Drugs', here....

Adam Torres - Morning Rain (2016)

Adam Torres has been one of my favourite listening companions of 2016. The combination of the falsetto vocals, guitar and violin is all very evocative.  It features on his breathtaking second album, Pearls to Swine, which contains some gorgeous songwriting.

It is surprising that following from his debut, 'Nostra Nova', he took time out to work on a water project in the Rio Grande. However once you listen to Pearls to Swine, you can easily visual the vistas and open country of the american southwest. Without me sounding completely ridiculous, I can almost touch the cactus. Ouch.

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Bedouin Soundclash - Money worries





We eventually found that there were quite a few restaurants quite near to the hotel and if you gave them a call they would come and pick you up and drop you off.

Bali is a beautiful Island and the people are very friendly and always smiling. I love the chiming sound of their music and their dance culture. Their local paintings done in great detail were a joy to behold.

We were there for three weeks and it was the first time in my life I did not read a newspaper or watch television. There could have been a nuclear war happing and we would not have known about it.
Today you are stressed about not having wi-fi in your room and go nowhere without your smart phone. All rather sad really.

The pool was big and surrounded by exotic plants and flowers and had one of the best pool bars it has been my pleasure to get pissed in. One day about mid-day we got involved with an ex Met Detective Sargent who had just left and was going to open a Pub in the Countryside. I had a great argument with him telling him he would make no money. At lunch time you might get a few punters come in and have a half of lager and a ploughman's if he is lucky. The real money is next to a factory. Pie, chips and Beans. They come in after work 6 pints each. That is where the money is. I was only winding him up.

It eventually became late afternoon and we were still at the bar and had decided to meet that evening at our favorite restaurant. Suddenly the Detective Sergeant just fell off his seat backwards into the pool. I thought he was just larking about until he did not rise to the surface. We got him out of the pool and he was out cold. They had to get a Doctor. He was OK and we had a drink at the pool Bar the next day.

That will teach him to drink with big boys.

One night at a local restauant we watched the moon rise and I don't think I have seen such an amazing sight in my life. The moon was red and rose slowly on the horizon it almost filled the view it was hugh. I could not believe what I was seeing.

Bali beautiful Island.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Fenne Lily - Top To Toe


Do you like Singer/Songwriters/Alt-Country/Americana or Indie-Folk, or do you have a unhealthy affection to the sadness, if so you may have a case of the Tuesday Blues!

Fenne Lily - 'Top to Toe' (2016)

This is just beautiful!

'Top to Toe' recently gave me one of those 'Who is this?' moments. The Bristol based singer/songwriter's powerful, yet fragile voice, cuts me open like a hot knife through butter.  The song captures the heartbreak of someone leaving.  "..Please don't go, I need you. "Take control", you tell me. Please don't go, I need you..."


Fenne will be playing at the Swn festival and some shows in November

By Sfw

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Kyu Sakamoto - Sukiyaki/The Vapours - Turning Japanese



lips a heart of ruby red


I have been watching Johana Lumely's prgramme about Japan and really enjoyed it. She's good!.

It got me thinking about Japan and I came up with three verses and here they are :


A warrior Nation
bound by the traditions
of Samurai cult
never to surrender
they'd rather fall on the soul
of their sacred swords
it took the horrors of Nagasaki
the rage of a  'divine wind'
4,000 dead brave young pilots
honoured to release a Nation
from the shackles
of its glorious past

an illusion never meant to be

Born of traditions
of many centuries gone
in western worlds
there's nothing to compare
she's no hooker or courtesan
bows with subtle grace
perfect face of alabaster white
lips a heart of ruby red
kimono dress of the purist silks
you she's bound to serve
our beautiful Geisha
never there to marry

an illusion never meant to be

Can this be sport
or is it a martial art
two giant gods
of hulking sex appeal
stamp feet like water buffalos
raging in their heat
all that modesty is covered.
by diphers coloured black
they will offer salt to the wind
for to cleanse the past
the art of the Sumo
Olympics never be

an illusion never meant to be

You could have landed
on a another planet
landed on the moon
things are done a little different
in the land of the rising sun
THE VAPORS - Turning Japanese

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Thousands - Big Black Road


Do you like Singer/Songwriters/Alt-Country/Americana or Indie-Folk, or do you have a unhealthy affection to the sadness, if so you may have a case of the Tuesday Blues!

Thousands - 'Big Black Road' (2010)

I was recently speaking with a musician friend who said how difficult for bands "these days". Since the age of the internet, artists may only have one release with a label before getting dropped.  Whether that is a good or bad thing it does make you think if some bands have the chance to develop.  An example of this are Thousands, who are a Seattle based four-piece who used to be on the  (excellent) Bella Union label.  I first thought that it was The Villagers but was nicely surprised.  I have done a little delving and can see that they have released a few albums via bandcamp.

Maybe it is time to setup a record label? Make no money, and do something I love.  Although I'd probably need a reasonable lottery win to make it happen!

There latest release, Knew You In Your Youth was self-released January.

By Sfw

Sunday, 18 September 2016

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 18-09-2016, Nick Cave, DJ Shadow, Stephen Steinbrink, Howe Gelb

Tracks of the Week

Old Pa :-
Nick Cave - Skeleton Tree (2016)

Here is the title track from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds new album of the same name. It is right up there with the best of Nick's repertoire. Going to listen to the whole album right now.  Is there a better way to spend a Sunday? 

DJ Shadow - 'Nobody Speak' feat Run The Jewels (2016)

'Nobody Speak', probably my most played track from DJ Shadow's 5th studio album, The Mountain Will Fall. Not only do we have Shadow's trademark crate digger base track but it features the cut throat delivery of two of my favourite MC's, EL-P and Killer Mike, known as Run The Jewels. Excellent video too as a UN meeting falls apart over whose turn it is to make the tea. Better call former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghaly to fix up da place!

Stephen Steinbrink - 'Building Machines' (2016)

During my overseas jaunt - it sounds more interesting than "holiday - I was able to work through my musical backlog.  This track by Stephen Steinbrink really stood out.  The Phoenix songwriter has released over 7 albums, with his latest Anagrams, released back in July (2016).  It reminds me of War on Drugs, Kurt Vile and Steve Gunn however I'd understand if you say "no it doesn't". Give it a few goes!

London Scouser:-
Howe Gelb - 'Terribly So' (2016)

I heard this the other day and immediately went a little weak at the knees. I can only describe it as dreamy and classy.
I'll let Mr. Gelb himself describe his thoughts on his soon to be released solo album 'Future Standards' of which is the first taster.
“This is my attempt at writing a batch of tunes that could last through the ages with the relative structure of what has become known as ‘standards’,” Gelb says. “The likes of Cole Porter and Hoagy Carmichael done up by Frank Sinatra or Billie Holiday.”

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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

The Valentine Brothers - Money's too Tight to Mention


The entrance to Nusa Dua Hotel

THE VALENTINE BROTHERS - Money's Too Tight To Mention 

One good thing about working for an airline is Staff Travel. When I was with Saudia based in Jeddah I got one free confirmed flight a year and as many free standby tickets as I wanted. I also got discount tickets with other Airlines too.

We had quite a lot of vacation to take in a year so we decided to go to the beautiful Island of Bali. We would fly to the Indonesia Capital Jakarta for free and then catch a flight with Garuda to the Island of Bali. Another perk was we qualified for discount at many top Hotels. We managed to get a good rate at a 5 star Hotel in the resort of Nusa Dua. It was idyllic, we had two rooms looking over the large pool. There was a beautiful sandy beach looking over to an Island which had a Volcano. The rooms were in the Presidential wing and President Carter had stayed there recently.

The day we arrived it was Poon Day which happens once a month. Everything closes early and they do not sell booze and I was gasping.

If the truth be known in these days it was just a little bit quiet for me. I wanted a bit more action and night life. We decided to go to the nearest town of Kuta and this was more like it. Plenty bars and Hotels and many restaurants and cassette tape shops. This was more like it. After a few beers we went to a Hotel not far from the beach called Malisty Bungalows and made a booking for the next day. The vacation was for 3 weeks and we still had another two weeks to go.

We packed up ordered a Taxi and headed for Malisty Bungalows. We got to our Bungalow and it was a bit more run down than I remembered. I must have seen it thought the eyes of my Bintang (local Beer) session.  The Facilities were not so great either, the pool was a disaster and it was actually quite far from the sea. What had we done? The games room was full of locals and they just kind of stared at us. It was all very disconcerting.

That was it I got on the phone at reception and asked or should I say pleaded for our 5 star Hotel to take us back. They did and I can tell you this when we got to our rooms, we changed, dived into the pool and headed for the pool bar right in the middle. Two Bloody Mary's Please.
I have never been so relieved .

When we returned to Jeddah we were playing Tennis with a Captain and his wife. After we thrashed them they asked us to come back to their flat. They had just returned from Holiday and  wanted us to share their photos.  They told us about this fantastic Hotel they stayed at in Kuta in Bali.
When we looked at the photos we could not control out laughter. There was a picture of them both at the reception. The sign above them read Malisty Bungalows.

By Old Pa

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Kathleen Edwards - Away


Do you like Singer/Songwriters/Alt-Country/Americana or Indie-Folk, or do you have a unhealthy affection to the sadness, if so you may have a case of the Tuesday Blues!

Kathleen Edwards - Away (2005)

This nice little ditty is the perfect starter now that the school holidays are over.  No more Disney Juniors, CBeebies and swing and slides in the week days.  It is by Canadian singer/songwriter Kathleen Edwards, who in 2012 released her fourth album 'Voyageur'.  The Juno Award nominated album was produced by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and featured the SOCAN Songwriting Prize Winner (2012) 'A Soft Place To Land'.

Interestingly in 2014 she opened a coffee shop in Ottawa called 'Quitters Coffee'. Which I think was meant to be tongue-in-cheek because she's touring again!

By Sfw

Sunday, 11 September 2016

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 11-09-2016 Bon Iver, Handsome Family,

Tracks of the Week

Handsome Family - 'Far From Any Road' (2014)

Late to the party as always, I'm the one that turns up when there are only cans of warm John Smiths and Twiglets to tempt the taste buds. So I eventually watch the first season of the excellent True Detective, with Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey providing outstanding performances throughout. But it is of course the music which always pricks my ears and this time it's the title track, 'Far From Every Road', from long time family favourites, The Handsome Family. A beautifully haunting track which sets the scene for the show perfectly. However the Handsome Family have recently released their new single, Tiny Tina, which is taken from their forthcoming album Unseen. See it here

Bon Iver - 22 (Over soon)

Justin Vernon (a.k.a. Bon Iver) is an artist/musician that comes around every once in a while.  His debut For Emma, forever ago, insprired bands to "lock themselves in cabins over winter" to write and record songs.  The follow up, Bon Iver, triggered a plethora of synth based artists (James Blake, James Vincent McMorrow). He has worked with Kanye (hmm?) and set up the Eaux Claires festival in his hometown of Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

His third album already sounds like a sample heavy combination of the both, based on his heavy use of a OP-1 sampler.  On first listen I was a little apprehensive, (I was the same for Bon Iver), but now I love it.  Will it become a favourite album, I don't know? However if it can affect me like the first two, I'll be a happy man. Give it a go!

Old Pa :-
Handsome Family - Gold (2016)

It is always a joy to hear something new by the Handsome Family. If you have not seen them live they are a must see. It is like being in someones front room while the they bicker and talk and of course sing. This is from their new album out soon. Can't wait. 

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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Van Morrison - Send in the Clowns



 'a kaleidoscope of skipping colors'

VAN MORRISON - Send in the Clowns

Here is an OK version of one of my favorite 'break up songs' done by an 'under rehearsed'  Van Morrison.

And a wee one for all you broken hearted lovers. Never take love for granted or even your wife. Or you might just get your senses ripped.


She came

It was a kaleidoscope of skipping colors
a joyous symphony of  melodic sound
the smell of freshly brewed coffee
frangipani and jasmine
smell of the garden after rain

The future bright so full of hope
life a gift to live and  cherish
smiles and laughter
love and closeness
you were everything to me

She left

Colors changed to black white and grey
the mournful sound of a funeral march
or the scream of dying flowers
I can taste all my tears
running through the sewers

I lost my will and my purpose
see no point in carrying on
she took my breath
my heart my soul
I have nothing left to give

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Anais Mitchell - Shepherd


Do you like Singer/Songwriters/Alt-Country/Americana or Indie-Folk, or do you have a unhealthy affection to the sadness, if so you may have a case of the Tuesday Blues!

Anais Mitchell - 'Shepherd' (2012)

This has "americana" written all over it. It is by Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell and features on her 2012 album, Young Man in America.  Her sweet voice may not be to everyone's taste but I think it is great, and that is what counts? right?

One interesting fact (although she probably has a lot more), is that her 2010 album, Hadestown, was a folk opera based on the Greek Orpheus myth based in the Great Depression. It featured Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and Ani DiFranco. Hmm.

She will be playing some gigs in the UK, to check them out via her Facebook page.

Monday, 5 September 2016

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 14/08/2016 - Rachel Sermanni, D A R K, Justice

Tracks of the Week

Justice - 'Safe and Sound' (2016)

Passport? Check. Speedos? Check. French themed holiday playlist? Check. Kids? Check. It feels an age since I was on holiday. You're wound up tight as a coil (even tighter if you're travelling with kids, 30 mins into the journey to the airport and the youngest pukes everywhere), after a couple of days you start to relax and by the time you've completely unwound, it's time to go home. French Disco rocker's new single, Safe and Sound was a firm favourite with the kids whilst away and even after playing it for the umpteenth time, still provides us with happy memories, puke and all. If the kids are happy then the parents are happy, right?

London Scouser:-
D.A.R.K.- 'Loosen The Noose' (2016)

I found this track in my Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify, and loved the haunting start. When the vocals started I thought, I know that voice... A google later and I found out it was Delores O'Riordan formerly of The Cranberries. The other vocalist is OlĂ© Koretsky and the third member of the band is Andy Rourke who was in The Smiths. So a pretty good line up. This is a pleasant song without absolutely blowing me away. But as I don't get to listen to much music nowadays, I'll take pleasant. They were formed back in 2009 but Delores joined in 2014. This is from their album 'Science Agrees' which is out early September. I'll definitely give it a listen or two.

Rachel Sermanni - 'Run' (2016)

Here is the latest video/single from Scottish songwriter Rachel Sermanni. I find it all a bit spellbinding - moody melody and a nice bit of distortion pedal for the chorus. It is also time to lose some weight and go for a jog.

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Tuesday, 30 August 2016

King Creosote - You Just Want


Do you like Singer/Songwriters/Alt-Country/Americana or Indie-Folk, or do you have a unhealthy affection to the sadness, if so you may have a case of the Tuesday Blues!

King Creosote - You Just Want (2016)

Fife born songwriter Kenny Anderson has released around 40 albums, but he can probably walk up and down any high street without being pestered. This might change with his latest release, Astronaut meets Appleman. It's meant to be about the 'space between technology and tradition', rather than Tim Peake buying an iPhone and subtly blends folk instruments with tech. The subject matter is very apt as I type this on my iPhone, whilst overlooking a beautiful beach....

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

T-Rex - Mambo Sun



T REX - Mambo Sun


You knew you had arrived. you knew you had reached the pinnacle of Jeddah Ex Pat society if you were invited to the British Embassy on a Monday night. It was invitation only and you really needed to know someone who worked there or was a friend of someone who was a friend of someone.

One day Old Ma was playing in a tennis tournament with her partner Marie. Marie was a French girl like Old Ma and to be polite, Marie 'put it about' it was well know she had loads of lovers when her husband was away. He was a pilot and was often away.

There was rumor going around that some young boys were babysitting for her and they found a home movie of Marie 'doing things' that would excite both young and old boys. Rumor has it that this was immediately copied and sold in the school black market.

In between games this young lad from the Embassy  who was there for the summer season got talking to us. It was obvious that Marie had the hots for this guy and he was very quick to respond to this. He invited Marie along with me and Old Ma to the Embassy bar on the very next Monday.

The Embassy bar was great, it was just like a bar at home in the U.K. we could get proper beer and proper wine and spirits not like the homemade stuff we were used to. Everybody was getting stuck in  at cheap prices too. They had a seventies mix tape on a loop which was heavily loaded with T-Rex.  That was no bad thing as I was a fan ever since the Tyrannosaurus Rex days. The girl I was talking too said it was her tape and she was a big fan. I told her I was  'Doctor Strange' and  'she could be the one'.  She nodded approvingly.

When things were nearing the end Marie's new Bo invited us back to his flat for more drinks. He had everything there and I ended up with a large glass of pure malt which he kept topping up. Marie and her Bo were in the kitchen when Old Ma said Marie is asking if I would mind if she stayed over. Mind, I fully expected it.

Anyway we left not long after and it was a good 10 minute drive home. I was driving along a duel carriage way when I started to feel ill. I opened the window and was vomitting while I was driving.
I still shiver when I think about it to this day. If was caught they would have taken me to the cleaners. I would have lost everything, put in prison and probably flogged.

I have a similar and even worse story to tel

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Barry Mcguire - Eve of Destruction



a mum can't be replaced
BARRY MCGUIRE - Eve of Destruction

It seems that every time you turn on the TV there is another terrorist atrocity. When they say how many poor souls have been killed you have to think how each death has an impact on so many other people. For each death there is always a fallout.


Wrong place the wrong time
caught a bullet meant for you
they don't care who you are
black white turban or veil
all the same for their hate
the more dead the more pain
gets the message on TV

they don't care who you were
they don't care about what you do
they don't care  who' s waiting  there for you

He's waiting there at home
you're late that's not like you
more terror on the news
more deaths more blood
oh! no they took your life
oh! God they killed my wife
no mum to give her love

they don't care who you were
they don't care about what you do
they don't care  who' s waiting there for you

Three kids without a mum
dad tries but it's not the same
they'll never get over this
a mum can't be replaced
one death then the fallout
all brothers, sisters, lovers
everyone  who you touched

they don't care who you were
they don't care about what you do
they don't care  who's waiting  there for you

didn't know what you did
you helped immigrant kids
you're heart big as a star
your shared all your love
you had the deepest faith
you're  prayers to the east
they have killed one of us