Friday, November 30, 2012

Takeover TV

Photo by Lynne Blackburn

Phew - we've had some properly rocking nights at Southend's Railway Hotel - but last Friday's three rounds rapid raised the roof to an all new altitude.

Photo by Graham Burnett

Round 1: The Tuppenny Bunters - swapping instruments, but sharing the same hairdo (and continuing the Brian/Anita, Mick/Bianca, David/Angie matched pair tradition) - ram-raided through covers: Wuthering Heights, Pop Goes the Weasel -  and originals, with crashing drums and gnarly  growling keys, at a pace not unlike a 33 played at 45 (or 78 for some gallops).

Photo by Paul Hughes

Round 2: Dick York and his infectious, ear-worming, catchy originals - Could it Be has been rocking my noggin all week long - and what's this! Behold: an improv appearance from Mrs Dick for some punk poetry,

Photo by Paul Hughes

Round 3: TV Smith took to the stage just nudging near midnight - to a heightened, heated, gathering - powering through a sweaty, solo set of self-penned material.

Watching him working his guitar as weapon of trash destruction is almost Woody Guthrie-ish with the unrelenting acoustic attack and clench-fisted strumming. So wired, fired and inspired were the gathered masses - we even managed a stage a invasion of Southenders United for TV's final song... The Good Times Are Back.

This was our third Retro-Podro team up (and second with the Southend Southend Punk). And a  huge salute is due to TV Smith, Dick York, Fi and Dave Dulake, Steve Worral, Steve Pegrum, Piley, Hannah at the Evening Echo and all our Southend and out-of-towner pals who made the evening such a runaway rumpus

Friday, November 23, 2012

Tonight: TV Smith Live at Southend's Railway Hotel - and It's all free..

*Fires up Podrophenia tannoy*

Last call, last call - for TV Smith at Southend's Railway Hotel tonight.

The evening's programme of events will open with a solo spot from Mr Dick York (of Crysiss)


Followed by Southend's own Tuppenny Bunters, a drums and keys two piece, consisting of Fi and Dave Dulake - managers of The Railway (so no excuse for late arrival there)

And finally Mr TV of Smith rabble-rowsing the crowd with his mix raw-rooted acoustic punk and protest folk.

But behold: there'll also be merchandise stalls: CDs, Sophie Lo posters and handmade Gaye Advert jewellery for sale.

In and around the bands Piley and I will being slinging in some Podrophonic stompers 'n' stampers throughout the aftershow in the main bar until 1am. It's free and starts at 8:30.

So don't just sit there pal, hoof yourself Southendwards from 8

*Feedback. Clicks tannoy off*

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Steve West Weston: The hootingest-tootingest harp player you'll see - on Jools Holland tonight. And he's Southender too

If you're a regular reader of the PM blog - you might have spotted the name Steve West Weston populating the Sunday Sessions posts.. (he hand-picked a couple of cherished Hammond heavyweights hereabouts). Or, possibly,  you may have an lent an ear to Podrophenia the letter H for (for harmonica) where we cued in a West track..

Steve was onboard for last Sunday's set as component player in Martin McNeill's lineup. And aside from the high-flying, jumping and jiving. The pub was a'buzz with chat, natter and news about the hot rocking harpist. The news being, that Steve would be appearing on this week's Later Live...

Tonight you can catch West Weston in action and in full flight honk - on Jools Holland's Later Live - where, he'll be the harp player of choice accompanying Mud Morganfield (Muddy Waters son currently on touring with Steve).

So hurrah, hats in the air - and from ten pm, retune your TV's to BBC2 and behold the blues-soaked screaming genius of Steve West Weston...

Here at the Planet Mondo HQ we'll be raising a glass to celebrate the spectacular occasion along with most of The Railway regulars I'd imagine

Friday, November 16, 2012

Funk Friday: Old Favourites - New Versions

It's been  a couple of Sundays since, the boy Marmite and myself were last parked up at Southend's Railway Hotel, winging in tunes and tracks to fill the gaps between the bands. During the downtime,  I've bagged, bought and bookmarked (for future use) several cracking comps that include: Willie Mitchell, Roaring Blue, a Stax/Volt selection hand-picked by Jukebox Jimmy from his own vinyl vaults - a rediscovery of Motown Connoisseurs and Return of the Instro-Hipsters Vol.2.

Pulling a handful of songs from the newbie music selection will get you......

'Classics Recovered'

Willie Mitchell - Wade In The Water

Marvin Gaye - Sunny

And 'Roaring Instrumentals'

Marmite and I are back next week (25th) for our regular Sunday Sessions

But who's a hootin' and a tootin' of a Sunday in the downstairs bar this weekend? Back for his every-third-week residency - it's Martin McNeill and the revolving line up of the Bottletop Blues Band. The last set JJ Zarbo (bass), Tim Huskisson (keys) Ben (drums) - Martin (guitar) was an absolute roof raiser, with a swell of jiving types swirling and swishing around and about The Railway at the last session

Friday, November 9, 2012

TV 23

Two weeks. A fortnight. Fourteen days - until TV Smith of The Adverts returns to The Railway for his second Southend run of the year, and our fourth Podrophenia Roadshow.. Which,  sees Piley and I teaming-up with Retroman Promotions and Southend Punk to bolt together a night of acoustic and stripped down punk and funky tracks between the bands.

Our June do was an absolute ram-out. The September charabanc with Thee Faction and Eight Rounds Rapid was described by Thee Faction as 'the best night out in Britain'

So book the babysitters, ready your pogo-ing legs and lend us your attendance here
for Friday the 23rd of November

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

60 Minute Man: Jukebox Jimmy's Guide to Music

Picture courtesy of Spitalfields Life

A couple of weeks back I made one of my regular runs to London's most classic cafe, for a hook up with my Pellicci pal - the legend that is Jukebox Jimmy.

Jim is a genuine Jockney, moving from Glasgow to London in 1959. During the sixties, and through the seventies he buzzed about the pubs and clubs of the East End DJing at notoriously moody boozers such as The Blind beggar, The Hospital Tavern, Kate Odders and The Green Gate. Jim's also something of a musical purist, and an avid record collector (hard copies only - CD or vinyl, no digital editions here) still scouring around the capital, sourcing and storing away singles and albums from his favoured genres.

On this particular visit, I was joined by Blow Up pal - Paul Tunkin for a lunchtime chat with Jim and a roaring three-way rattle about on all shades of musical doings As a follow up JBJ. very kindly compiled and narrated a sixty minute CD of some cherished tunes for Paul and myself - with Jim splaining the background to the tracks, how he came to hear a tune, or what to look for in the song writing, vocals or arrangement.

So can I present to you the most personal of podcasts you're likely to hear - Mr Jimmy and 60 Minute Man

60 Minute Man: Jukebox Jimmy's Guide to Music - Side 1

60 Minute Man: Jukebox Jimmy's Guide to Music - Side 2

I'm hoping Jim may be able to theme any possible future specials around some his favourite styles: Soul, Motown, R 'n' B, Bluebeat.

To get the full JBJ story (and where the name comes from) take a trip across the tracks to the always excellent Spitalfield's Life.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hugh Cornwell in conversation - TV Smith in concert.

What a gent, what a legend - what an articulate and intelligent chap. Who? Hugh Cornwell - as interviewed (by me) - for the latest issue of Vive Le Rock.

Fourty minutes seems to be the going rate for a natter-about with yer Elders of Rock - not so Sir Hugh of Cornwell. Two hours of dinner, drinks and chattery, parked up in a polite gastro-pub Ladbroke Grove way. Where, we discussed the new album Totem and Taboo, the new tour, and his recent reworking of Golden Brown in a Marachi style - a cover that's caused crackles in the hackles of some Stranglers avids...

It's all available to view in the latest Vive Le Rock


As a Men in Black bonus, Barry Cain pitches in with an exclusive two-fisted tale of accompanying The Stranglers while they fire up a full-flight riot in Rome.

Barry and the Boys in Black, in Rome

So where in the name of Gary Gilmore does TV Smith come into all of this? Well, Mr Tim returns for his second visit to Southend's Railway Hotel on November 23rd. In fact TV was so buzzed after his last gig he booked this one the very next day! With a note that read

"I'm definitely putting the Railway on my list of "regulars!" Venues run by music lovers for music lovers are something I'm used to in the rest of Europe, but they're a rare thing in the UK..!"

We're running it as three way whammy of : Retroman Promotions, Southend Punk  and Radio Podrophenia (we're DJing on the night). The Facebook page is here if you need all the dates and details

We'd love to see you on the night, whether you're a local or a grockel....