Friday, November 27, 2009

Funky Friday - The Damned United and Tamla Motöwn

I don't know how I ended up deleting this post for an entire afternoon but I did. Anyway -back now

I won't get on my when-will-The-Damned-get-the-respect-they're-due soapbox yet (although I've been meaning to since I started this blog). But instead, would ask that you put any prejudice, previous dislikes or received wisdom along the lines of 'Class Clowns of Punk' to one side and lend an impartial ear to a few tunes.

If you've only time for one track today, make it Stranger On The Town, a song I literally obsessed over after moving from my childhood town to somewhere I knew nobody. It's simpatico but celebratory tone hit the target at the time, and had me manhandling who-knows-how-many college mates into the nearest record shop to buy the accompanying album Strawberries (a work of depth, genius and yours for a fiver). So, then...

Stranger On The Town - which, sees The Damned going The Doors meet Motown backed by Stax style horns (and you must check out the hammond freakout at starting at 4:50).

Nobody But Me - The Damned in disguise as Naz Nomad and the Nightmares (there's a thread waiting to happen: Secret Bands) as part of the eighties psych-revival.

And Finally a 1966 appearance from Lemmy (on guitar not bass) with his first band The Rocking Vicars and a Shel Tamy produced B-side

The Damned - Stranger On The Town

Naz Nomad and the Nightmares - Nobody But Me

The Rocking Vicars - I Don't Need Your Kind

Motör town - the classic 'head line up covering Holland-Dozier-Holland

PS - in case you're wondering what all the hi-deaf and decibels are about on a Friday! - It's inspired by seeing Motorhead, The Damned and Girlschool live in Southend on Tuesday..

Monday, November 23, 2009

Podrophenia 6 ~ Try This For Size

Who is she and what is her connection to My Life Story? Find out in Podrophenia...

The latest podcast from Piley and I comes fitted around the theme of sizes and sees us squeeze in ten tunes tailored for all types: Fatboy Slim, Little Barrie, One Inch Rock and Big Ten Inch.

There's all the usual natterings and banter touching on ~ celebs spotted in unlikely locations, a Wood Watch update, Cynthia Plaster Caster novelty merchandise, Little Big Man and Piley's parallel world of light entertainers..

And We've got our first competition! Two copies of Big Boss Man's Full English Beat Breakfast to be won..

Podrophenia 6 Sizes

The audio embed has gone pop - but why not download via iTunes above

Or via iTunes if you prefer..

Friday, November 20, 2009

Funky Friday - Cocktails With the Jet Set

We've got a guest blog-spot today! So grab your boarding passes, pack your dancing trousers and prepare to be both shaken and stirred as Cocktails from Cocktails and Records takes us on a world tour of pan-continental funk and groovy global warmers….

Hello folks and thanks to Mr Mondo for letting me take over his fabulously Funky Friday! spot this week.

Winter may be seeping through the doors and windows, and summer holidays a distant memory, but not this Funky Friday!. For today, I'm taking you on a trip around the dance floors of some of the worlds sunnier climes. And as an added twist, we've got a time machine and we’re going back to the 70s. So come on, climb aboard - lets go!

First up we're in India. It's 1971 and Bollywood's favourite playback singer, Asha Bhosle, is belting out 'Dum Maro Dum', a classic track about er... pot-smoking (and if you don’t believe me check out this link..

'Dum Maro Dum' - Asha Bhosle (from the movie Hare Rama Hare Krishna)

Next we're off over to Thailand for some groovy and distinctly Thai flavoured dance floor funk by Bualuang OST.

'Singto' (Thai for 'Lion') - Bualuang OST]

And finally, after a trip across the Indian Ocean, we're in Nigeria in 1978 where William Onyeabor is putting the worlds to rights in this 8-minute long Afro-funk wig-out.

'Better Change Your Mind' - William Onyeabor

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tronik Tagging and Blog Meetings

Had a hook-up with Miss Ally and the boy Tronik last week for the Carnaby Street Christmas switcheroo - which, unfortunately, was all a bit Austin Powers in places and had poor ol' Eddie Pillar press-ganged into playlisting sixties hits instead of his usual purist tunes - meaning more time was spent in the pub than at the parade "What a shame" they chorused.

Banter about a possible blog-meet has been buzzing around the blogs since, with the idea of a pre-Christmas/post-new year snifter. So if you're based in London/South East/prepared-to-travel-further and fancy a Bloggers of the World Unite scoop or two, drop me a line at

Oh, and I've been tagged by Chocolate Girl, with the rules that...

1. You have to post a song that makes you happy.
2. You can tag as many people as you want, there is no limit.
3. Say at least one thing about each blog you tag, that will make them smile, something nice about their blog that makes you smile when you read it!

1 - I'm posting my brother's latest single (and vid' which he produced too) - available here, .

Tronik Youth - Disko Suks On Beatport

and wouldn't this Tronik tee make a perfect Christmas stocking-filler.

2/3 - I'm tagging Piley, as we haven't had one of his peachy pop treats for a while, and I'm keen to see what randomness (or Podrophenia outtakes) lurk in the crates.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Funky Friday the 13th - In Case of Emergency...

Like park keepers, comb-overs, weigh-your-own-cereal shops and Sunday morning car mechanics Public information films seem to have been left in the Land That Time Forgot. Perhaps I'm just not there when they air, as PIFs were the last piece of the programming puzzle, scrunched into some scheduling oddspot. Typically lunchtime and closedown, or used to glue up gaps in the listings.

Classic PIFs are pin-sharp snapshots of their time reflecting fashions, fads, interior/graphic design and date-stamped health and safety concerns: Polystyrene ceiling tiles, seat belts, Rabies

So whatever you're up to this Friday the thirteenth - get in the swim, look left and right before crossing the road, and follow the country code or it could go...

The Creation - Biff Bang Pow

The Alan Bown Set - Emergency 999

G. Davis & R. Tyler - Hold On Help Is On The Way

Billy Blunders - son of Mr and Mrs Blunders, possibly the neighbours from hell. Watch the ol' charmer in action at 00:26

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy

So what's new on the Big Boss Menu? Full English Beat Breakfast, that's what. An all you can eat buffet of gut-busting beats, full fat fruggery, hot footed floor-fillers and continental flavours from the Latin vibes of Full Brazilian to the Riveria cool of Black Eye and C'est Moi's . FEBB is an urelenting rush of concorde riffing, jazz percussion and neatly-trousered, swish-hipped shakedowns, served spry, crisp 'n dry from the deep funk fryer.

But, more than this, it's almost a soundtrack for tomorrow's world where sci-fi goes spy-fi and the Men from U.N.C.L.E boogie down with Booker T on Beat Breakfast, while Clown Face comes across like George Clinton jamming with George Jetson.

If retro-futurist flavours and finery tickle your taste buds you really must have a munch on Big Boss Man's Full English Beat Breakfast. It's an album that's been sizzling away on my stereo since being released, and, being the cheeky blogger I am, thought I'd fire a few questions BBM's way.

How would you describe Full English Beat Breakfast and the Big Boss Man sound to anyone who hasn't heard the band.
The Big Boss Man’s sound is a cauldron mix of a Bongo-Hammond-Fuzz-Boogaloo Party in Timothy Leary’s head.

The new album has an inter-continental flavour and a menu of Latino tempos, Euro-vintage synth shufflers and sci-fi meets spy-fi. Was there a masterplan of varying the vibes - and how do you write, as a band or does someone bring in a riff or fully formed track.
No master plan, but we do have many influences the world over; 60’s Funk, ye-ye, Psyche, cool movies, anything groovy! Some of the tracks on 'Full English Beat Breakfast' are written by Nass on his own, some with Trev, and some with Trev and the Hawk. For a few tracks we had a band party – filled the place with grog and set up the 8-track recorder.

I read there were scenes of Big Bossmania in Russia - what's the story
The first time we went to Russia, to Moscow, we were invited by Art Troitsky – the Russian John Peel. Then more recently we did a mini-tour of Tinkoff Brewery/music venues which was mental, the kids had never heard our sort of Hammond-groovyness so it freaked them out. We had to take quite a few internal flights on very historic aeroplanes – which was not for the faint hearted!

Fantasy jam band. If you could jam with anyone (dead or alive), who would you choose and why.
Here’s who we want in our fantasy jam band and crew:
Jimmy McGriff & James Brown (playing avant-garde)at the Hammond Organ,
Ray Barreto : Congas
Buddy Miles: Drums, Bernard Purdey: Drums
Tito Puente: Timbales
James Jameson: Bass
Jimmy Smith: Vocals
Cissy Houston and The Sweet Inspirations: Backing Vocals
Lee Perry: Sound
G Fawkes: Lighting
Billy Idol: Tour Bus Driver
Bob Marley: Catering
Pussy-Cat Dolls: Roadies
Bez: Runner
G Haystacks + B Daddy : Security
Peter Grant : Management
Shakira: General Assistance

Any favourite fry-up cafes, and are you a brown or red sauce person
Sauce: both+ English mustard
Cafes: Tasty Shop – Bristol, Tasty Plate-Newbury, Tasties – St. Paul’s,

Vampyros Twist is a cracker - have BBM ever considered covering an entire soundtrack and which would you choose : The Italian Job, Vampyros Lesbos, Get Carter or something else of your choice..
Vampiros Lesbos would be good, but we have been working on our own film 'Get the Vampiros Italian Lesbos Job'

Have you ever DJ'd and what are your banker tracks
We all DJ a bit (except Des)
Hawk: Tainted Love – Gloria Jones
Nass: Any Meatloaf or All About my Girl – Jimmy McGriff
Trev: Charge! –Dreams Band

Are you purist about equipment - is vintage best, and have you bagged any ebay bargains, or own a cherished or collectable piece of gear.
Hawk – I just cover everything in Leopard skin to hide any disgrace.
Nass: Hammond D100, Yamaha L45, Farfisa Compact Duo, Wurlitzer EP200
(electric piano) Hofner Clavinet, Korg Mono-polly, Yamaha CS15, Leslie 122, Roland 101,
Rhodes 73, Elka Rotary cabinet X 2, Leslie 147, + 825, I could go on!

The band have played at Blow Up's new location 4 Denmark St - where you aware of the venues Rock pedigree - (formerly Regent Sound Studios where the Stones, Hendrix, and Stevie Wonder recorded)
We rocked out the last time we played there, maybe it was the spirit of Hendrix jamming with Lil’ Stevie and the Stones that took us over

Where and when can we expect to see BBM on tour and any plans for Southend dates...
We play Camden Zoo on 13th Nov, Mr Wolf’s in Bristol on 21st Nov, Maybe New Years eve in Moscow (to be confirmed) then in February we tour France and March 1 to 14th we tour Spain. Paul from Blow Up was thinking about having a new Club night in Southend, so hopefully we’ll make it there next year if not before.

And how about a taste test of Full English Beat Breakfast?

Big Boss Man - Clown Face

Full English Beat Breakfast is available from Blow Up Records or for download via Amazon or iTunes

Big Boss Man Official Website

Big Boss Man on Myspace

Friday, November 6, 2009

Come On Baby, Light My Bonfire

Did you have a favourite firework? I'm wobbling between the Roman Candle and Traffic Light. Not the Catherine Wheel though, which for all it's hi-propulsion promise, typically stopped-started, spluttered about-a-bit at random angles, eventually fizzling out for a flat tyre finale.

And What's your preference for bonfire fun?

The organised outdoor event, with it's inevitable delays (concerned silhouettes with tabards and torches, a'pointing and a'poking), that oohing-aahing collective of cold feet, dayglo do-dahs, and mob-scale shuffling and shivering. Soundtracked, God forbid, by the local radio OB unit counting down to blast off.

Or, an ad hoc back garden affair? Although home based high jinks with high explosives has the potential to end in a blackened bugle or fingers flying freestyle over the fence with match still clenched between thumb and forefinger.

Whatever you're doing, wrap up warm and why not try these three regroovings of a popular classic.

Erma Franklin - Light My Fire

Mae West - Light My Fire

Spanky Wilson - Light My Fire

The Shirley Bassey version can be grabbed over at Ally's place.

And you must, must, must have a peep at the UK Firework Museum site..with it's virtual box of seventies explosives here

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Here's One I Made Earlier

I don't usually post home made tunes, in fact I've only tried it once before. But, given last minute glimmers of gold and green leaves can still be glimpsed before all fades to grey, and this autumn inspired acoustic tune popped into play on my Creative Zen last week, it seems appropriate to give it an airing.

Should you choose to lend an ear, a couple of things to point out on the playing: It's a very rough sketch of an idea, recorded about four years ago using one guitar.

The guitar is tuned to DADGAD. A tuning popularised by Davey Graham

It's a first or second take recording, so prepare for clunkiness in places

Typically I tend to play too fast, so it's a shade speedier than it needs to be

For a full bodied recording, the following would need to be added
Second guitar (12 string see above), acoustic bass, some sort of soft shuffle rhythm and a lead acoustic for the skippity riff.

Country Acoustic