Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Record of the Week!

Adventures in a Yorkshire Landscape
Bill Nelson & the Gentlemen Rocketeers

All I really need to do is let you play this video and let the music do all the talking...
...will just add this song first appeared in 1974 on the debut Be Bop Deluxe album 'Axe Victim'. There are various other versions out there on 'Live! in the Air Age' and those BBC sessions albums, however this version is one of the best, if not the THE best, I have heard.

Having said that there is nothing like seeing the man play that solo live... but this is prety close. A truly lovely, lovely rendition and a wonderful performance from all involved.

You can buy this on CD/DVD at amazon...
Its also available on iTunes...

Monday, 19 November 2012

Record of the Week

Brian Protheroe

Now, I warned you it might be an oldie so don't go all sulky on me.

We've been watching, and enjoying, the BBC tv 'thriller' Hunted on Thursday evenings and last week, who should pop up as an under minister at the Ministry if Defence? None other than Brian Protheroe. Most readers will know him as an actor... Gentlemen and Players, To Have & To Hold in the 80s through to last weeks appearance in 'Hunted'.

But my first meeting with this fellah was when I heard his 1974 Chrysalis Records single 'Pinball'. I went out and bought it pretty quickly and it remains, to this day, on of my all-time favourite songs. May not get into my Desert Island discs eight but its up there. Always sounds as fresh and original as it ever did. As a new acoustic guitarists with songwriting ambitions this was showing me the way: Simple arrangement musically starting with that acoustic guitar playing what would be known as the 'hook' if it were a heavy metal track. This hook is present throughout the whole song... as the arrangement builds with a layer of percussion, then bass then more percussion to drive it along, finally taking a back seat to a sax solo. The lyrics suit the music and its mood perfectly and have that Play for Today black humour quality of garnering a smile amongst quite sorrowful dialogue and story-line. They also paint a perfect picture for me of that waiting for pay-day, single, bed-sit room looking out of the window onto a dark, half-deserted, rain dampened street and every-time I hear the song it's conjured up again. Quite wonderful.

Wonder if it was ever Record of the Week back in the day?

Friday, 16 November 2012

Evenin' all.

There is talk in a BBC report of '…I think apathy rules when it comes to Politics…' and '…the lack of trust in politics and lack of confidence in politicians generally…' cited as reasons for poor turn-out in todays Police and Crime Commissioners Election.

This election shouldn't be about politics in the generally accepted party politics sense of the word. It should be independents. You can already hear the parties using this to show that voters endorse their stance on law and order, can't you?

Anyway, why the hell are we having this election at all? Creating yet another strata of government and bureaucracy. Oh, it won't be just the commissioner.., there's his secretary, PA, IT consultant, PR adviser, logistics adviser and communications officer. He'll become he communications manager in 6 months time, with an officer, an operator and an assistant under him. You can see the savings to the public purse mounting up already can't you?

Another gravy train departs the platform of ever tightening budgets. And meanwhile, policemen and women 'on the beat' get fewer and farther between.

And why do we need all this? So the Police are more accountable? What was wrong with the previous Police authorities? What on earth do we elect a government for? Can't they do this job? Because, looking at the candidates it looks pretty much like a party political exercise to me. So, what's the difference and where's the independence?

Its not apathy from the voter... don't be so dismissive of us all. We are cross and we are angry but we are also tired and jaded by yet more of our hard-earned taxes lining more pockets with nothing to show for it.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Record of the Week

Faking Jazz Together
Connan Mockasin

Tony Blackburn used to do it... as did DLT and, in fact, all the DJs on wonderful Radio 1! Yes, that's right... they (had) to choose a record of the week. I often wondered how sincere the choice was but, hey, the chosen discs were always grateful for the airplay.

Anyway, I'm going to have a go and join in all the fun by picking a track each week to highlight and feature. Might be something new, might be something old I've never heard before but might just be an old, but firm, favourite. Anyway, enough waffle.

The first recipient of the much coveted Rock N Rail Record of the Week goes to 'Faking Jazz Together' by Connan Mockasin. I was introduced to this sound by Marc Riley last week while listening to his, as always, fine BBC 6 Music radio programme. It has a lazy, downtempo feel with a slightly distorted guitar providing the main 'hook' over jazzy bass and slowed-down latin percussion. The overall feel is just enchanting and very pleasing on the ear. Listening to it now, the proceedings break and fall away only to be kick-started again by that guitar, under-neath which is a dirty rhythym guitar driving things a long nicely. It all has that unmistakable indie-feel beloved of John Peel and is now firmly on my 'Top Rated' playlist.