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Dexys Midnight Runners - Birmingham 2012

I doubt anyone my age will forget the way Dexys arrived in 1980 with the single ‘Geno’

They looked different to anything else and the single sounded different too. I wasn’t quite sure what they were but I liked them and they had something about them which made them hard to ignore. And what was in their black leather duffle bags? Had they been out robbing? Were they coming back from boxing gym? Did they have old soul and RnB records in them? It intrigued me.

I bought the first album “Searching for the Young Soul Rebels” and in particular loved the single ‘There, There My Dear” I think is in my top 15 singles of all time.I loved the way he repeated ‘seacrhing for the young soul rebels, searching for the young soul rebels’ in that song. That, and the horns obviously.

He sounded pissed off at something but I wasn’t sure what (even though the first album had the words on the back of the cover- as with the others, still up in the loft.) They, and Kevin Rowland in particular, seemed very punk to me, but more organised and with a bit more style.

I also heard they were from Birmingham , so it seemed even better somehow.

A couple of years later when I left school with very few qualifications and even less prospect of a job, I bought the album Too-Rye-Ay. It wasn’t like the first album so much and I wasn’t won over until a good dozen or more plays of it. It was produced by Winstanly and Langer who produced Costello’s Punch The Clock album with horns on, and Shipbuilding!
Anyway, after a year or so of various YOP and YTS schemes , then a job or two - ironically one of them working in a factory that made equipment for mines just as the mining industry was being closed down.

To cut a long story short, I got the sack while working at a plumbers merchants. I wouldn’t drive a van with no brakes, how inconsiderate could I be? I thought it would just look better when I went for interviews if I said I was doing something like college.

So, I enrolled at college and did the hard work I perhaps could have done at school but wasn’t ready for, as I was too busy skiving and going to gigs etc.
I did English with a guy called Mark who lived not too far away but hadn’t been to my secondary school. He showed me his English essay one morning and was particularly pleased with one line that contained a nice evocative metaphor. 
“these people round here,wear beaten down eyes,in smoked dried faces, so resigned to what their fate is”
I thought it was a great line and pointed out that the fact that although he’d stolen it from ‘Come on Eileen’  that shouldn’t dampen his pride in it.

I don’t think it slipped passed the teacher unknown, as the rest of his writing was a pile of horse shit. She didn’t know where it was from but it certainly wasn’t from his brain. But full marks from  me for ingenuity and good stealing.

Anyway, the year came and went and I passed the exams but no jobs were on the horizon for an under-qualified youth with a hairstyle such as mine.

So, I stayed around at the college and took some A levels that sounded fun but in thruth I had no idea what they were. I just guessed I wouldnt need to get to the end of the 1 year course as I would have found a job in the mean time.

I didn’t find a job but I did find I was a natural for A level study. It surprised most people but most of all me.

A few years later still, I was again without work - even after getting a degree. I could contemplate my unemployed situation from all manner of philosophical standpoints and theories though. If anything it made it worse, being able to deeply analyse the crap you were in.

So, my cousin asked me if I wanted to go and help him work on RAF and Army bases in Germany and Holland. I wasn’t that much of a help but it got me out of the house and I recall the food in those bases was amazing!

These were the bases that were going to be busy when the Russians launched an inevitable ground war against the NATO  forces (by ‘busy’ I mean obliterated and doing obliteration). But it started to look less likely as the years went on and by the time I was there the Cold War was so luke warm it had been  largely forgotten.
Although it appeared that they were not totally relaxed as there were many posters and signs asking us to look out for certain cars like Trabants and report them asap. They was pesky Russian spies etc. (not KGB but something else with initials that I forget…maybe they hypnotised me?)
I also recall that some people said that when you left the base in a vehicle then you should check under it on your return. The IRA had blown a few folk up in the area.

One or two of these bases were built in areas that would be considered to be swamps or low land cess pits. I was there in the winter and it was freezing. I had a pair of thin trainers with a hole in one of them and it was bitter cold and miserable. They told me it was better than the summer when the mosquitos would eat you alive. That was consolation to me and kept me warm at night.

These places were generally away from anything interesting and pleasant. I am not sure if everyone moved away from them when the squaddies arrived, or if there was nothing there to begin with…?

One cold night, I was sitting in a Naafi mess hut drinking a cocoa at about 11 at night - I must mention that I bought a West German made sledge from this Naafi before I left for home. Typical German quality- the Audi/VW of the sledge world. I had to buy it as Gouldie had broke my other one, along with a bike.He turned up with it at the door and gave it to my uncle, it was in two parts. He did the same with the bike. My uncle was very patient but I think he was seeing a pattern emerge with Gouldie at the centre) Despite having been on this sledge he’s not broken it…yet. 

As I sat there various duty guards in camo make up, and huge bloody automatic rifles, wandered in and out.
Bizarely, one of them seemed familiar to me and even seemed to be looking in my direction longer than I was comfortable with… he came toward me and I was getting slightly anxious, as anyone with excessive face paint makes me queezy.
There were a few of them all in the gear and I knew there was no point in any kind of fighting or even running

He was holding his hand out to me…then he spoke.
When I heard the voice, I realised it was Mark from college , the guy who stole Kevin Rowlands lyrics for his English essay.
Hey Mark, how are you ? What you doing here? Those type of questions mainly followed. He had more trouble working out why and how I was here in this god forsaken RAF base at 11 at night , when last he’d heard of me I’d been in Hull studying Philosophy.

He was on a break from his perimeter fence patrol and told me he would take me for a run around in the jeep. 

He took me down the end of the run way as a Tornado jet took off in the pitch black dark and said that if we got in the way of it’s trail it would fry us alive….I believed him. This all seemed rather eerie because it was exactly midnight by now.
Then he seemed to be driving with some goal or purpose in mind. He took me down near to a big aerodrome type building that was darker and blacker than the rest of the night put together, with the darkest, blackest forest I ever saw encircling it from behind- and he sort of went quiet and did the nudge nudge thing, and said he couldn’t say what was in there but ‘you know, it’s the big fella’ , ‘the what?’ , “you know, the Big Ones, if the Russians launched theirs?”

Mh, I did indeed ‘get it’ and was at once overawed and felt rather creeped out at being so close.
He spoke of it like a sacred religious icon kept behind a curtain that only the high priests get to see. He said he couldn’t take me in there. I think he even used the line ‘I could show you but then I’d have to kill you; official secrets act and all that’. It has been the only time in my life someone has said that and actually meant it and it was because of the official secrets act. Normally people ( IT geeks mainly )say that in the office if they give you the colour photocopier code. I give a grim smile and try not to say ‘don’t be a dick, just give me the code’.

Seeing this glorified shed was a moment frozen in time and I wish I could say it was accompanied by his red demonic eyes glinting in the moonlight and evil violin music playing, but instead was just completely silent, banal and spooky in the true sense of the word. 

It stuck in my mind and has returned to my thoughts occasionally. I imagine earths ultimate destruction and armageddon coming from just such shitty, average, boring silos/fancy sheds all over the world, carried out by lads with a few GCSE’s, passed with stolen lyrics, on the orders of a small number of people who never have to leave their underground bunkers ever again.

Back to the music- I never saw Dexys the first time around but absolutely loved their album from 2012. It is the best album in the last 4 years at least. Some great, classic Dexys tunes and it really is what you wanted to hear.

They were superb on stage and it came across as intelligent, thoughtful and full of heart and soul.
I would see them again in  a heartbeat and hope they continue with their output- the world is a better place for them being in it. Kevin Rowland, national treasure!

Long live Dexys!

10 out of 10

EDIT- Just came in to my head that it was the East German secret police called the Stasi we had to be vigilant for. They could be hiding almost anywhere spying on us. Not that clever though, as they all drove a Trabant, so easily spottable

Dexys Midnight Runners - Birmingham 2012

I doubt anyone my age will forget the way Dexys arrived in 1980 with the single ‘Geno’

They looked different to anything else and the single sounded different too. I wasn’t quite sure what they were but I liked them and they had something about them which made them hard to ignore. And what was in their black leather duffle bags? Had they been out robbing? Were they coming back from boxing gym? Did they have old soul and RnB records in them? It intrigued me.

I bought the first album “Searching for the Young Soul Rebels” and in particular loved the single ‘There, There My Dear” I think is in my top 15 singles of all time.I loved the way he repeated ‘seacrhing for the young soul rebels, searching for the young soul rebels’ in that song. That, and the horns obviously.

He sounded pissed off at something but I wasn’t sure what (even though the first album had the words on the back of the cover- as with the others, still up in the loft.) They, and Kevin Rowland in particular, seemed very punk to me, but more organised and with a bit more style.

I also heard they were from Birmingham , so it seemed even better somehow.

A couple of years later when I left school with very few qualifications and even less prospect of a job, I bought the album Too-Rye-Ay. It wasn’t like the first album so much and I wasn’t won over until a good dozen or more plays of it. It was produced by Winstanly and Langer who produced Costello’s Punch The Clock album with horns on, and Shipbuilding!
Anyway, after a year or so of various YOP and YTS schemes , then a job or two - ironically one of them working in a factory that made equipment for mines just as the mining industry was being closed down.

To cut a long story short, I got the sack while working at a plumbers merchants. I wouldn’t drive a van with no brakes, how inconsiderate could I be? I thought it would just look better when I went for interviews if I said I was doing something like college.

So, I enrolled at college and did the hard work I perhaps could have done at school but wasn’t ready for, as I was too busy skiving and going to gigs etc.
I did English with a guy called Mark who lived not too far away but hadn’t been to my secondary school. He showed me his English essay one morning and was particularly pleased with one line that contained a nice evocative metaphor.
“these people round here,wear beaten down eyes,in smoked dried faces, so resigned to what their fate is”
I thought it was a great line and pointed out that the fact that although he’d stolen it from ‘Come on Eileen’ that shouldn’t dampen his pride in it.

I don’t think it slipped passed the teacher unknown, as the rest of his writing was a pile of horse shit. She didn’t know where it was from but it certainly wasn’t from his brain. But full marks from me for ingenuity and good stealing.

Anyway, the year came and went and I passed the exams but no jobs were on the horizon for an under-qualified youth with a hairstyle such as mine.

So, I stayed around at the college and took some A levels that sounded fun but in thruth I had no idea what they were. I just guessed I wouldnt need to get to the end of the 1 year course as I would have found a job in the mean time.

I didn’t find a job but I did find I was a natural for A level study. It surprised most people but most of all me.

A few years later still, I was again without work - even after getting a degree. I could contemplate my unemployed situation from all manner of philosophical standpoints and theories though. If anything it made it worse, being able to deeply analyse the crap you were in.

So, my cousin asked me if I wanted to go and help him work on RAF and Army bases in Germany and Holland. I wasn’t that much of a help but it got me out of the house and I recall the food in those bases was amazing!

These were the bases that were going to be busy when the Russians launched an inevitable ground war against the NATO forces (by ‘busy’ I mean obliterated and doing obliteration). But it started to look less likely as the years went on and by the time I was there the Cold War was so luke warm it had been largely forgotten.
Although it appeared that they were not totally relaxed as there were many posters and signs asking us to look out for certain cars like Trabants and report them asap. They was pesky Russian spies etc. (not KGB but something else with initials that I forget…maybe they hypnotised me?)
I also recall that some people said that when you left the base in a vehicle then you should check under it on your return. The IRA had blown a few folk up in the area.

One or two of these bases were built in areas that would be considered to be swamps or low land cess pits. I was there in the winter and it was freezing. I had a pair of thin trainers with a hole in one of them and it was bitter cold and miserable. They told me it was better than the summer when the mosquitos would eat you alive. That was consolation to me and kept me warm at night.

These places were generally away from anything interesting and pleasant. I am not sure if everyone moved away from them when the squaddies arrived, or if there was nothing there to begin with…?

One cold night, I was sitting in a Naafi mess hut drinking a cocoa at about 11 at night - I must mention that I bought a West German made sledge from this Naafi before I left for home. Typical German quality- the Audi/VW of the sledge world. I had to buy it as Gouldie had broke my other one, along with a bike.He turned up with it at the door and gave it to my uncle, it was in two parts. He did the same with the bike. My uncle was very patient but I think he was seeing a pattern emerge with Gouldie at the centre) Despite having been on this sledge he’s not broken it…yet.

As I sat there various duty guards in camo make up, and huge bloody automatic rifles, wandered in and out.
Bizarely, one of them seemed familiar to me and even seemed to be looking in my direction longer than I was comfortable with… he came toward me and I was getting slightly anxious, as anyone with excessive face paint makes me queezy.
There were a few of them all in the gear and I knew there was no point in any kind of fighting or even running

He was holding his hand out to me…then he spoke.
When I heard the voice, I realised it was Mark from college , the guy who stole Kevin Rowlands lyrics for his English essay.
Hey Mark, how are you ? What you doing here? Those type of questions mainly followed. He had more trouble working out why and how I was here in this god forsaken RAF base at 11 at night , when last he’d heard of me I’d been in Hull studying Philosophy.

He was on a break from his perimeter fence patrol and told me he would take me for a run around in the jeep.

He took me down the end of the run way as a Tornado jet took off in the pitch black dark and said that if we got in the way of it’s trail it would fry us alive….I believed him. This all seemed rather eerie because it was exactly midnight by now.
Then he seemed to be driving with some goal or purpose in mind. He took me down near to a big aerodrome type building that was darker and blacker than the rest of the night put together, with the darkest, blackest forest I ever saw encircling it from behind- and he sort of went quiet and did the nudge nudge thing, and said he couldn’t say what was in there but ‘you know, it’s the big fella’ , ‘the what?’ , “you know, the Big Ones, if the Russians launched theirs?”

Mh, I did indeed ‘get it’ and was at once overawed and felt rather creeped out at being so close.
He spoke of it like a sacred religious icon kept behind a curtain that only the high priests get to see. He said he couldn’t take me in there. I think he even used the line ‘I could show you but then I’d have to kill you; official secrets act and all that’. It has been the only time in my life someone has said that and actually meant it and it was because of the official secrets act. Normally people ( IT geeks mainly )say that in the office if they give you the colour photocopier code. I give a grim smile and try not to say ‘don’t be a dick, just give me the code’.

Seeing this glorified shed was a moment frozen in time and I wish I could say it was accompanied by his red demonic eyes glinting in the moonlight and evil violin music playing, but instead was just completely silent, banal and spooky in the true sense of the word.

It stuck in my mind and has returned to my thoughts occasionally. I imagine earths ultimate destruction and armageddon coming from just such shitty, average, boring silos/fancy sheds all over the world, carried out by lads with a few GCSE’s, passed with stolen lyrics, on the orders of a small number of people who never have to leave their underground bunkers ever again.

Back to the music- I never saw Dexys the first time around but absolutely loved their album from 2012. It is the best album in the last 4 years at least. Some great, classic Dexys tunes and it really is what you wanted to hear.

They were superb on stage and it came across as intelligent, thoughtful and full of heart and soul.
I would see them again in a heartbeat and hope they continue with their output- the world is a better place for them being in it. Kevin Rowland, national treasure!

Long live Dexys!

10 out of 10

EDIT- Just came in to my head that it was the East German secret police called the Stasi we had to be vigilant for. They could be hiding almost anywhere spying on us. Not that clever though, as they all drove a Trabant, so easily spottable

Filed under dexys dexys midnight runners birmingham kevin rowland geno

1 note

Beautiful South - A few times since 1990

When I got to University in Hull in 1987 I think The Housemartins were still going.. They were releasing things but had maybe unofficially kind of finished.

I used to live in a really grotty shared house that cost £7 a week. No real bathroom to speak of and the door in the kitchean to the back yard was like a shed door with a big hole at the bottom. It also had no heating except a gas fire in the living room and a 2 bar electric heater in my bedroom.

I discovered my bedroom overlooked a small old fashioned playground that was partially dug up and under construction for flats, and further on to the back had a view of the houses in Grafton Street.

A short time after I started I realised that Paul Heaton lived in the house I could see from my bedroom and the song ‘Build’ by The Housemartins was about this building work at the back of us. I was on Churchill Grove off Alexandra Rd.

A friend of mine that I did A level politics with lived almost next to Paul Heaton.

Everyday my walk took me past the offices of the management for the Housemartins. I used to see a big guy with short hair and Fred Perry T-shirts at the desk (this was an upstairs room).
I later found out that this was Porky the Poet aka Phil Jupitus.

Fast forward 2 years and I remember hearing on the grapevine that Paul Heaton was getting a new group together and he planned to call them The Beautiful South. He had the name way before all the band was together.

When the Housemartins used to say on posters and badges that they were the 4th best band in Hull in was in part a joke but not wholly untrue.

I think the band that they acknowledged as the best band in Hull were called The Gargoyles maybe? 

He got a few from that band to join his band.

Anyway, one of the girls that lived in my last house which was much better than the first one, and about £20 a week (the house not the girl) , she played piano and was going out with a guy who used to be in the Gargoyles or he was a mate of a Gargoyle who was joining The Beautiful South.

It came about that Paul Heaton wanted a keyboard player and was asking around his group of friends looking for one. The guitarist from Beautiful South used to come round with demos and ask her to play the piano to them etc. He used to use my acoustic guitar to show her the tunes and play along etc.

She didn’t make the cut and wasn’t in the band. I think they started just as I left Hull. I saw them at small places and really liked them. Started to see them at larger places and was never impressed. They were more of a small venue band to me. Paul Heaton has a great voice and I heard them do a session for John Peel in the Housemartins early days calling themselves The Fish City Five (I think?). They did a Stevie Wonder gospel song (name escapes me)
I also recall the winter when Caravan of Love got to Number one and we were driving through Stoke to see a band or go out for the night with Gouldie and we were singing this song to the taxi driver and told him we were the Housemartins band, and had he heard of us?

Anyway, Hull is highly recommended for most things and I could tell a thousand stories about my time at University (maybe some day…?)

I’d like to see Paul Heaton live. He played Sheffield or somewhere last year but the tickets sold like hot balm cakes on Newland Avenue.
I love his soulful voice. One of the best in the last 25 years or so.

Lots of great things about Hull. I’ll post about that later.


EDIT- Just came back to me with the help of Google and YouTube! Heaven Help us All was the Stevie Wonder song. They also did He Ain’t Heavy he’s My Brother and Caravan of Love

Beautiful South - A few times since 1990

When I got to University in Hull in 1987 I think The Housemartins were still going.. They were releasing things but had maybe unofficially kind of finished.

I used to live in a really grotty shared house that cost £7 a week. No real bathroom to speak of and the door in the kitchean to the back yard was like a shed door with a big hole at the bottom. It also had no heating except a gas fire in the living room and a 2 bar electric heater in my bedroom.

I discovered my bedroom overlooked a small old fashioned playground that was partially dug up and under construction for flats, and further on to the back had a view of the houses in Grafton Street.

A short time after I started I realised that Paul Heaton lived in the house I could see from my bedroom and the song ‘Build’ by The Housemartins was about this building work at the back of us. I was on Churchill Grove off Alexandra Rd.

A friend of mine that I did A level politics with lived almost next to Paul Heaton.

Everyday my walk took me past the offices of the management for the Housemartins. I used to see a big guy with short hair and Fred Perry T-shirts at the desk (this was an upstairs room).
I later found out that this was Porky the Poet aka Phil Jupitus.

Fast forward 2 years and I remember hearing on the grapevine that Paul Heaton was getting a new group together and he planned to call them The Beautiful South. He had the name way before all the band was together.

When the Housemartins used to say on posters and badges that they were the 4th best band in Hull in was in part a joke but not wholly untrue.

I think the band that they acknowledged as the best band in Hull were called The Gargoyles maybe?

He got a few from that band to join his band.

Anyway, one of the girls that lived in my last house which was much better than the first one, and about £20 a week (the house not the girl) , she played piano and was going out with a guy who used to be in the Gargoyles or he was a mate of a Gargoyle who was joining The Beautiful South.

It came about that Paul Heaton wanted a keyboard player and was asking around his group of friends looking for one. The guitarist from Beautiful South used to come round with demos and ask her to play the piano to them etc. He used to use my acoustic guitar to show her the tunes and play along etc.

She didn’t make the cut and wasn’t in the band. I think they started just as I left Hull. I saw them at small places and really liked them. Started to see them at larger places and was never impressed. They were more of a small venue band to me. Paul Heaton has a great voice and I heard them do a session for John Peel in the Housemartins early days calling themselves The Fish City Five (I think?). They did a Stevie Wonder gospel song (name escapes me)
I also recall the winter when Caravan of Love got to Number one and we were driving through Stoke to see a band or go out for the night with Gouldie and we were singing this song to the taxi driver and told him we were the Housemartins band, and had he heard of us?

Anyway, Hull is highly recommended for most things and I could tell a thousand stories about my time at University (maybe some day…?)

I’d like to see Paul Heaton live. He played Sheffield or somewhere last year but the tickets sold like hot balm cakes on Newland Avenue.
I love his soulful voice. One of the best in the last 25 years or so.

Lots of great things about Hull. I’ll post about that later.


EDIT- Just came back to me with the help of Google and YouTube! Heaven Help us All was the Stevie Wonder song. They also did He Ain’t Heavy he’s My Brother and Caravan of Love

Filed under beautiful south paul heaton hull humberside phil jupitus

2 notes

Bob Dylan - Various dates

Bob Dylan…well well well. What can you say about Bob Dylan?

A great songwriter and poet. I love him.

I got tickets to see him and told the guy who I was going with (Martin, who I sort of played in a band with at the time), that I would pick him up. 

I had to read my son a bed time story first and get him to sleep before I went and I think that over-ran a bit.
Then I got Martin and set off for Birmingham NEC. When we got there, there wasn’t much traffic but you have to park about a mile from the doors- we might might have walked to the wrong door first?

We ran in and we could hear that he had started. We rushed all the way around that cavenous, soul-less excuse of a venue, to find the correct stairway for our ticket number.

Sat down half way through a song, we applauded then and he walked off…we looked around wide eyed and it was obvious that he was done.
He came on for an encore or two but we’d all but missed it.

I went to see him again a couple of times over the next year or two. He was excellent on one or the other and the next one wasn’t so good. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if he’s having a laugh or being serious.

Yes, his voice is akin to a bullfrog but it’s still recognisable as Bob Dylan. Be fair to the guy he’s been touring for about 50 years none stop. He played at the civil rights march, MLK’s I Have A Dream Rally/march - he hasn’t been home since (a bit like Speedy in the van but longer!)
He also reinterprets his songs so that they are different on every tour or sometimes every night.(or even during a song!)
I like that about him. I don’t want to go and hear the CD instead of a concert. He’s punk in spirit.

I was very tempted to buy one of his print art works once. They gain in value and I think they are pretty good. I bought the book instead, much cheaper.

I had read up on the way he created them, when and where they were made etc. I knew quite a bit from the book I owned; that and reading the internet.

Anyway, last year I was over in Nottingham for a day out. My wife had gone for a haircut, so I had an hour to wander about.
I found a nice art gallery shop in the old indoor posh precinct near the Town Hall.

I was killing time looking about and saw a Dylan print that I knew from the book and I’d seen before in a gallery in Birmingham.

I stood in front of it and the woman came over and said ‘nice work eh?’ I said I preferred the one where the woman wore the red dress and almost bought it once. She drew the conclusion that I was a pretty big Dylan expert. I didn’t disavow her of this flattering conclusion. And my attire that day was quite upmarket scuff/art buyer-esque. Click!

The less I showed an interest to talk any further about the ‘Drawn Blank Series’ or the Brazilian series -and in particular the Train Tracks print that I knew was most sought after of the series as the central theme of the picture chimed so well with Mr Dylans lyrical work and early allusions to his hobo origins (as I put it) This intrigued her even more and she became animated.

She then glanced around and said, “do you have a moment or two?” I said “why yes, of course” just like that in those  exact words…

She uncoupled a thick red rope with a brass hook attached and led me down a spiral staircase to the ‘off limits’ staff only area. It had black leather sofas, a coffee machine and frames leant against the wall with paintings hanging etc.

She looked over the top of her thick brimmed very expensive looking (NHS style) glasses and then sort of bowed/waved her hand in the direction of the 3 walls and said “you may also like these?” with a tiny contained grin rippling on her ruby red lips.
It was all of the Ron Wood paintings they were about to put on display. It also had some pencil sketches that weren’t for sale - one in particular caught my eye was of a board meeting with Jagger talking to the management suits. I’d also seen these before so again sounded like a right rock-toff collector.

They also had a load of the other Dylan pics leaning against the wall , unsold.

She waffled a bit, I listened a bit. I nodded very wisely occasionally. This was a right weeze!

In the end I wasn’t sure who was bullshitting who the most, and I realised it was a right old fun game this art collecting thing. 

9 out of 10

EDIT-Top Tip, I hear that Bob likes to get to bed good and early, so if you go and see him, be sure to be in your seat by 7.30. I wish I’d been given this tip before that show I missed most of.

Bob Dylan - Various dates

Bob Dylan…well well well. What can you say about Bob Dylan?

A great songwriter and poet. I love him.

I got tickets to see him and told the guy who I was going with (Martin, who I sort of played in a band with at the time), that I would pick him up.

I had to read my son a bed time story first and get him to sleep before I went and I think that over-ran a bit.
Then I got Martin and set off for Birmingham NEC. When we got there, there wasn’t much traffic but you have to park about a mile from the doors- we might might have walked to the wrong door first?

We ran in and we could hear that he had started. We rushed all the way around that cavenous, soul-less excuse of a venue, to find the correct stairway for our ticket number.

Sat down half way through a song, we applauded then and he walked off…we looked around wide eyed and it was obvious that he was done.
He came on for an encore or two but we’d all but missed it.

I went to see him again a couple of times over the next year or two. He was excellent on one or the other and the next one wasn’t so good. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if he’s having a laugh or being serious.

Yes, his voice is akin to a bullfrog but it’s still recognisable as Bob Dylan. Be fair to the guy he’s been touring for about 50 years none stop. He played at the civil rights march, MLK’s I Have A Dream Rally/march - he hasn’t been home since (a bit like Speedy in the van but longer!)
He also reinterprets his songs so that they are different on every tour or sometimes every night.(or even during a song!)
I like that about him. I don’t want to go and hear the CD instead of a concert. He’s punk in spirit.

I was very tempted to buy one of his print art works once. They gain in value and I think they are pretty good. I bought the book instead, much cheaper.

I had read up on the way he created them, when and where they were made etc. I knew quite a bit from the book I owned; that and reading the internet.

Anyway, last year I was over in Nottingham for a day out. My wife had gone for a haircut, so I had an hour to wander about.
I found a nice art gallery shop in the old indoor posh precinct near the Town Hall.

I was killing time looking about and saw a Dylan print that I knew from the book and I’d seen before in a gallery in Birmingham.

I stood in front of it and the woman came over and said ‘nice work eh?’ I said I preferred the one where the woman wore the red dress and almost bought it once. She drew the conclusion that I was a pretty big Dylan expert. I didn’t disavow her of this flattering conclusion. And my attire that day was quite upmarket scuff/art buyer-esque. Click!

The less I showed an interest to talk any further about the ‘Drawn Blank Series’ or the Brazilian series -and in particular the Train Tracks print that I knew was most sought after of the series as the central theme of the picture chimed so well with Mr Dylans lyrical work and early allusions to his hobo origins (as I put it) This intrigued her even more and she became animated.

She then glanced around and said, “do you have a moment or two?” I said “why yes, of course” just like that in those exact words…

She uncoupled a thick red rope with a brass hook attached and led me down a spiral staircase to the ‘off limits’ staff only area. It had black leather sofas, a coffee machine and frames leant against the wall with paintings hanging etc.

She looked over the top of her thick brimmed very expensive looking (NHS style) glasses and then sort of bowed/waved her hand in the direction of the 3 walls and said “you may also like these?” with a tiny contained grin rippling on her ruby red lips.
It was all of the Ron Wood paintings they were about to put on display. It also had some pencil sketches that weren’t for sale - one in particular caught my eye was of a board meeting with Jagger talking to the management suits. I’d also seen these before so again sounded like a right rock-toff collector.

They also had a load of the other Dylan pics leaning against the wall , unsold.

She waffled a bit, I listened a bit. I nodded very wisely occasionally. This was a right weeze!

In the end I wasn’t sure who was bullshitting who the most, and I realised it was a right old fun game this art collecting thing.

9 out of 10

EDIT-Top Tip, I hear that Bob likes to get to bed good and early, so if you go and see him, be sure to be in your seat by 7.30. I wish I’d been given this tip before that show I missed most of.

Filed under bob dylan drawn blank series bullshit art

3 notes

A few football tickets coming up

I think this was my last time to watch a match at The Baseball Ground. A great place and full of character, tucked away in the back streets of Derby.

This also marks my loss of interest in football for a while. I stood here in the Ossie End with Derby fans. So, I couldn’t really shout or cheer for Chelsea. It kind of killed it for me for some reason.

I had gone to various Derby games (and the Chelsea ones) every season but I wasn’t a fan.
My uncle used to drive the lorry for Bass and I used to go with him on the rounds. The Baseball Ground was on his route and we used to go in there when I was about 7,8, 9. I vividly recall going under the stand and past the managers office to have a look in the treatment room - the first thing that hit me was the smell of ‘Deep Heat’ rub then I saw Charlie George on the treatment table getting his legs rubbed. I was in my Chelsea top, lord alone knows what he must have thought. I think I still have my autograph book of that period somewhere…must dig it out.

Ironically 30 years later I got a job there and when I walked under the stand ( they get it almost right in the Cloughie film with Micheal Sheen, The Damned United by the way- which they filmed at Chesterfield’s ground, one of the last remaining wooden stands), then went to the treatment room, it looked and smelled exactly the same as 1975 minus Champagne Charlie .Amazing. My brain did a funny loop the loop and I was 8 again.

I enjoyed walking around that place when I worked there and went in the board room many times imagining the Clough and Taylor dealings and arguments and triumphs. They knocked it down to build some cheap flats. Daft twats.

I have some pics which I’ll post up when I get time.

A few football tickets coming up

I think this was my last time to watch a match at The Baseball Ground. A great place and full of character, tucked away in the back streets of Derby.

This also marks my loss of interest in football for a while. I stood here in the Ossie End with Derby fans. So, I couldn’t really shout or cheer for Chelsea. It kind of killed it for me for some reason.

I had gone to various Derby games (and the Chelsea ones) every season but I wasn’t a fan.
My uncle used to drive the lorry for Bass and I used to go with him on the rounds. The Baseball Ground was on his route and we used to go in there when I was about 7,8, 9. I vividly recall going under the stand and past the managers office to have a look in the treatment room - the first thing that hit me was the smell of ‘Deep Heat’ rub then I saw Charlie George on the treatment table getting his legs rubbed. I was in my Chelsea top, lord alone knows what he must have thought. I think I still have my autograph book of that period somewhere…must dig it out.

Ironically 30 years later I got a job there and when I walked under the stand ( they get it almost right in the Cloughie film with Micheal Sheen, The Damned United by the way- which they filmed at Chesterfield’s ground, one of the last remaining wooden stands), then went to the treatment room, it looked and smelled exactly the same as 1975 minus Champagne Charlie .Amazing. My brain did a funny loop the loop and I was 8 again.

I enjoyed walking around that place when I worked there and went in the board room many times imagining the Clough and Taylor dealings and arguments and triumphs. They knocked it down to build some cheap flats. Daft twats.

I have some pics which I’ll post up when I get time.

Filed under derby county baseball ground rams derby charlie george the damned utd

1 note

Echo and The Bunnymen - 1981 and various times after

I loved Echo and The Bunnymen. I think my cousin played the first album and I heard them on John Peel. I went to stay with my other cousin in London right about the time Heaven up Here LP was released in ‘81. I bought it from the Rough Trade store which I really wanted to go to. It was just like any other record shop really;a bit disappointed.

Anyway, I still have the album and played it to death. They were post punk, and cool and I then went and bought a long old mans trench coat. I let me hair get really long on top but had it cut short at the sides, a women in John Menzies record store thought I was Terry Hall once due to my big mushroom hair.

I used to go to the football dressed like this when others were in Fila and Tachinni, but I think it earned me some slight respect because I was never a classic football hooligan and to dress in the Casual style would have been like some weekend fad that some semi-professional types were doing and then wearing their suits in the week. Although I was a fair few times caught up in brawls, street fights and general gang mayhem just by going along with that crew. 

I am not sure weather I felt safer or worse when I saw that most of them had Stanley knives taped to their calves. I might be safe, but wouldn’t it mean that their fans would have the same…?
In my favour I was a very fast runner, could punch a bit if needed, never fell over and was also a cross country runner and could go for many miles without a stop.

In fact, I was wearing the trench coat etc when me and Northy came back from a very hairy days football in London. Chelsea had played Derby the week or so previous (it was either a league game or a cup game?), and Chelsea were on the top deck of the Main stand- they threw all the seats down on Derby fans and probably pissed on them and threw coins too. 
Chelsea then issued a statement to tell Derby fans, and Derby all issued a statement to tell their own fans, not to travel the following week to the (league or cup) game at Chelsea.
Anyway, Northy took it as a challenge and said we would go down, but undercover and sit in the new stand at Chelsea.

We sat a bit nervously through the match and didn’t speak all the way back on the underground to Euston for fear of someone hearing our accents and generally kicking our heads in.
Northy had a second sense about these things and I think we might even have been pegged all the way from the ground. 
Either way, when we got on the Brum train, some chelsea fans going to the Midlands got interested in Northy. He took a direct approach and went to the buffet right through their carriage, as the best form of defence is attack.

I recall seeing Northy in the bit between two carriages having a nice conversation with this nasty looking little shit who I was pretty sure wouldn’t be fighting fair and to the rules.
He wanted Northy’s Derby pin badge as a trophy and said he was going to throw him out the door (back when trains doors opened whenever you wanted)

Northy nodded toward me and said ‘he’s Chelsea’ , which I was, but I didn’t really look like any kind of football fan in my Echo and The Bunnymen stuff. Good effort from Northy.

Got back to Burton and walked in nearest pub and Northy and myself were hailed as heroes for braving Stamford Bridge when official figures said only 30 Derby fans went. They bought us beers and slapped us on the back. I got some points for that and was generally ok with that particular crowd after that. They called me Tex due to the unusual gear and love of country music.

Anyway, The Bunnymen.
I went to see them many times and was always trying to get to the front. I sang every word as loud as I could hoping that McCulloch would hear me and ask me to be in the band. Didn’t happen.

The ticket here is from a much later date when they reformed. It was a sad sight seeing them still doing the same thing yet feeling like I’d moved on. They were ok but it felt wrong somehow.

In their hayday they were exciting and essential listening.

Their drummer Pete de Freitas died in a motorbike accident not far from here in Rugely, Staffs.



EDIT- just done a Google on Derby Vs Chelsea and found the first game was 29th Jan 1983 and was FA cup match which Derby won 2-1. Then 5th Feb ‘83 at Stamford Bridge which we went to was League game Derby also won 3-1.

EDIT 2- I also had a flashback about the first match and recall being in a street brawl when the chelsea fans came round to the Derby side and we chased them and splattered a few noses and kicked a few of them right back to their side of the ground.

Echo and The Bunnymen - 1981 and various times after

I loved Echo and The Bunnymen. I think my cousin played the first album and I heard them on John Peel. I went to stay with my other cousin in London right about the time Heaven up Here LP was released in ‘81. I bought it from the Rough Trade store which I really wanted to go to. It was just like any other record shop really;a bit disappointed.

Anyway, I still have the album and played it to death. They were post punk, and cool and I then went and bought a long old mans trench coat. I let me hair get really long on top but had it cut short at the sides, a women in John Menzies record store thought I was Terry Hall once due to my big mushroom hair.

I used to go to the football dressed like this when others were in Fila and Tachinni, but I think it earned me some slight respect because I was never a classic football hooligan and to dress in the Casual style would have been like some weekend fad that some semi-professional types were doing and then wearing their suits in the week. Although I was a fair few times caught up in brawls, street fights and general gang mayhem just by going along with that crew.

I am not sure weather I felt safer or worse when I saw that most of them had Stanley knives taped to their calves. I might be safe, but wouldn’t it mean that their fans would have the same…?
In my favour I was a very fast runner, could punch a bit if needed, never fell over and was also a cross country runner and could go for many miles without a stop.

In fact, I was wearing the trench coat etc when me and Northy came back from a very hairy days football in London. Chelsea had played Derby the week or so previous (it was either a league game or a cup game?), and Chelsea were on the top deck of the Main stand- they threw all the seats down on Derby fans and probably pissed on them and threw coins too.
Chelsea then issued a statement to tell Derby fans, and Derby all issued a statement to tell their own fans, not to travel the following week to the (league or cup) game at Chelsea.
Anyway, Northy took it as a challenge and said we would go down, but undercover and sit in the new stand at Chelsea.

We sat a bit nervously through the match and didn’t speak all the way back on the underground to Euston for fear of someone hearing our accents and generally kicking our heads in.
Northy had a second sense about these things and I think we might even have been pegged all the way from the ground.
Either way, when we got on the Brum train, some chelsea fans going to the Midlands got interested in Northy. He took a direct approach and went to the buffet right through their carriage, as the best form of defence is attack.

I recall seeing Northy in the bit between two carriages having a nice conversation with this nasty looking little shit who I was pretty sure wouldn’t be fighting fair and to the rules.
He wanted Northy’s Derby pin badge as a trophy and said he was going to throw him out the door (back when trains doors opened whenever you wanted)

Northy nodded toward me and said ‘he’s Chelsea’ , which I was, but I didn’t really look like any kind of football fan in my Echo and The Bunnymen stuff. Good effort from Northy.

Got back to Burton and walked in nearest pub and Northy and myself were hailed as heroes for braving Stamford Bridge when official figures said only 30 Derby fans went. They bought us beers and slapped us on the back. I got some points for that and was generally ok with that particular crowd after that. They called me Tex due to the unusual gear and love of country music.

Anyway, The Bunnymen.
I went to see them many times and was always trying to get to the front. I sang every word as loud as I could hoping that McCulloch would hear me and ask me to be in the band. Didn’t happen.

The ticket here is from a much later date when they reformed. It was a sad sight seeing them still doing the same thing yet feeling like I’d moved on. They were ok but it felt wrong somehow.

In their hayday they were exciting and essential listening.

Their drummer Pete de Freitas died in a motorbike accident not far from here in Rugely, Staffs.

EDIT- just done a Google on Derby Vs Chelsea and found the first game was 29th Jan 1983 and was FA cup match which Derby won 2-1. Then 5th Feb ‘83 at Stamford Bridge which we went to was League game Derby also won 3-1.

EDIT 2- I also had a flashback about the first match and recall being in a street brawl when the chelsea fans came round to the Derby side and we chased them and splattered a few noses and kicked a few of them right back to their side of the ground.

Filed under ian mcculloch echo and the bunnymen bunnymen heaven up here crocodiles

1 note

Christmas on Earth - 1981, Leeds (some huge water logged warehouse) actually Kings Hall

Now here’s a strange one if ever you heard it.

This was a punk ‘festival’ in the loose sense of the word.

I only went because The Damned were headlining it.
Other bands were UK Subs, GBH, Chron Gen, Anti Pasti, The Exploited and Black Flag.

Dolly’s brother who used to drive us to gigs in his plastic pig 3 wheeler realised he could make some money by hiring a van to take us all to this.

He still had one spare place and as we were going down Shobnall St near Casey Lane we saw Speedy doing his paper round mid afternoon. We stopped and told him to come with us, he said he couldn’t , so we pulled him in the back of the van and told him he was coming. He fought a bit but had always wanted to be in our gang but we’d never let him. I’d never seen him smile so much after we got to the M1, he settled down a bit and seemed to love being on the adventure. (technically kidnap in law but we were kids too, so not sure what actual sentence we would have received for child kidnap ) Although to be honest it was a bit like Patty Hearst ;Kidnapped but then went over to the side of the kidnappers, Speedy was like that…

It was December and it had been snowing up there. Kings Hall was flooded at the back, and it was freezing. I wore a donkey jacket during this time, jeans a jumper and I think a pair of steel toe cap boots.

It was a shit miserable day and punk was pretty much dead as a musical avenue of expression by then.


On the way back the snow was so bad on the M1 lorries were sliding all over the place. Then the van packed up and we had to sleep in the van on the hard shoulder. Not much fun as it was freezing, we were still soaking from the water logged gig and it was just wasn’t fun any more.
Someone got out of van and hitched a lift with a passing Bass lorry, which predictably went straight home a few feet from his house.Bastard! (maybe Peggy?)

We got home half way through next afternoon. Lord knows what Speedys family thought…he’d gone out to do his papers the previous afternoon and disappeared. That was punk for you.



EDIT- The Patty Hearst thing that I mention is called the Stockholm Syndrome

Christmas on Earth - 1981, Leeds (some huge water logged warehouse) actually Kings Hall

Now here’s a strange one if ever you heard it.

This was a punk ‘festival’ in the loose sense of the word.

I only went because The Damned were headlining it.
Other bands were UK Subs, GBH, Chron Gen, Anti Pasti, The Exploited and Black Flag.

Dolly’s brother who used to drive us to gigs in his plastic pig 3 wheeler realised he could make some money by hiring a van to take us all to this.

He still had one spare place and as we were going down Shobnall St near Casey Lane we saw Speedy doing his paper round mid afternoon. We stopped and told him to come with us, he said he couldn’t , so we pulled him in the back of the van and told him he was coming. He fought a bit but had always wanted to be in our gang but we’d never let him. I’d never seen him smile so much after we got to the M1, he settled down a bit and seemed to love being on the adventure. (technically kidnap in law but we were kids too, so not sure what actual sentence we would have received for child kidnap ) Although to be honest it was a bit like Patty Hearst ;Kidnapped but then went over to the side of the kidnappers, Speedy was like that…

It was December and it had been snowing up there. Kings Hall was flooded at the back, and it was freezing. I wore a donkey jacket during this time, jeans a jumper and I think a pair of steel toe cap boots.

It was a shit miserable day and punk was pretty much dead as a musical avenue of expression by then.


On the way back the snow was so bad on the M1 lorries were sliding all over the place. Then the van packed up and we had to sleep in the van on the hard shoulder. Not much fun as it was freezing, we were still soaking from the water logged gig and it was just wasn’t fun any more.
Someone got out of van and hitched a lift with a passing Bass lorry, which predictably went straight home a few feet from his house.Bastard! (maybe Peggy?)

We got home half way through next afternoon. Lord knows what Speedys family thought…he’d gone out to do his papers the previous afternoon and disappeared. That was punk for you.

EDIT- The Patty Hearst thing that I mention is called the Stockholm Syndrome

Filed under christmas on earth punk the damned uksubs shit snow m1

7 notes

Lost and Sold 3

Both The Jam and myself were in our final year ; them as a band, and me as a school kid. I had tickets to see them at Stafford. But I wasn’t that bothered and wasn’t that sure how I’d get there either, it was an odd venue but quite a lot of bands played Bingly Hall in the late ’70s early ‘80’s. I sold the tickets to a lad who lived literally up the road from me, he loved The Jam.

I don’t really regret not going, but would like to know if they were any good live. 

Another gig I had tickets for was Paul McCartney when he came back to touring in the late 80’s. I was going to go with a mate (I bought the tickets), he was all sad because he’d split with his mrs. 
Then they got back together (this lad and his mrs, not The Beatles) and he kept going on about how much he wanted her to go but there were no tickets left and all that kind of belly aching shit. In the end I just gave him the ticket and said take yer mrs then. I’m kind like that.

But, probably should have seen Macca as he was a Beatle and do I need say more? The bloody Beatles!!!

Lost and Sold 3

Both The Jam and myself were in our final year ; them as a band, and me as a school kid. I had tickets to see them at Stafford. But I wasn’t that bothered and wasn’t that sure how I’d get there either, it was an odd venue but quite a lot of bands played Bingly Hall in the late ’70s early ‘80’s. I sold the tickets to a lad who lived literally up the road from me, he loved The Jam.

I don’t really regret not going, but would like to know if they were any good live.

Another gig I had tickets for was Paul McCartney when he came back to touring in the late 80’s. I was going to go with a mate (I bought the tickets), he was all sad because he’d split with his mrs.
Then they got back together (this lad and his mrs, not The Beatles) and he kept going on about how much he wanted her to go but there were no tickets left and all that kind of belly aching shit. In the end I just gave him the ticket and said take yer mrs then. I’m kind like that.

But, probably should have seen Macca as he was a Beatle and do I need say more? The bloody Beatles!!!

Filed under macca mccartney beatles the jam stafford

2 notes

Lost and Sold 2

Me and my son hid inside the venue all day for this Red Hot Chilli Peppers gig, just to avoid paying £70 per ticket or some such stupid price.

We were ok as I had a classroom in the venue, but the air was hot , we couldn’t leave to go toilet or get food and the 1000’s outside were crushing all around our only door and it was a bit like a scene from a Zombie film.

The skill here was in the timing. If we left our room too early, we risked being the only ones in the venue and being chucked out. But if we went too late we would be spotted as not coming through the turnstiles with paying punters.

Anyway, we timed it to perfection and just mingled in. Got a decent seat but we went down the front for last third of concert and he got on my shoulders.

Highlight was John Frusciante’s guitar playing and him doing ‘how deep is your love’ solo as the others looked on bored.

Good gig but not worth £70.

Goldfrapp were support but pulled out due to illness. I finally rearranged a time to go see Goldfrapp at Birmingham Symphony Hall after I secured free tickets (I moaned to management so much about a restricted view I had had when we went to see Brian Wilson there) they gave in and offered any tickets to any gig.

I picked Goldfrapp. We went in a Chinese before hand and had a hot pot. One was beef stock the other fish. It might have been my birthday…?

It was tasty and fine, but I started to have a weird sweat on as we sat waiting with 10 mins to go before Goldfrapp came on. I started to feel queezy and went to toilet.
To cut a long story short, I was ill.

We had to leave immediately and I had to be almost carried to hotel room like you see in films when people put their arms under your arms and walk you. My poor wife and son were very good about it to be fair to them.

It was a nasty reaction to muscles which I am sometimes allergic to. I fell on bed and slept till morning, then I was right as rain.

Lost and Sold 2

Me and my son hid inside the venue all day for this Red Hot Chilli Peppers gig, just to avoid paying £70 per ticket or some such stupid price.

We were ok as I had a classroom in the venue, but the air was hot , we couldn’t leave to go toilet or get food and the 1000’s outside were crushing all around our only door and it was a bit like a scene from a Zombie film.

The skill here was in the timing. If we left our room too early, we risked being the only ones in the venue and being chucked out. But if we went too late we would be spotted as not coming through the turnstiles with paying punters.

Anyway, we timed it to perfection and just mingled in. Got a decent seat but we went down the front for last third of concert and he got on my shoulders.

Highlight was John Frusciante’s guitar playing and him doing ‘how deep is your love’ solo as the others looked on bored.

Good gig but not worth £70.

Goldfrapp were support but pulled out due to illness. I finally rearranged a time to go see Goldfrapp at Birmingham Symphony Hall after I secured free tickets (I moaned to management so much about a restricted view I had had when we went to see Brian Wilson there) they gave in and offered any tickets to any gig.

I picked Goldfrapp. We went in a Chinese before hand and had a hot pot. One was beef stock the other fish. It might have been my birthday…?

It was tasty and fine, but I started to have a weird sweat on as we sat waiting with 10 mins to go before Goldfrapp came on. I started to feel queezy and went to toilet.
To cut a long story short, I was ill.

We had to leave immediately and I had to be almost carried to hotel room like you see in films when people put their arms under your arms and walk you. My poor wife and son were very good about it to be fair to them.

It was a nasty reaction to muscles which I am sometimes allergic to. I fell on bed and slept till morning, then I was right as rain.

Filed under rhcp red hot chilli peppers goldfrapp allergy puking sick free gig

2 notes

Lost and Sold 1

Here’s a few gigs that I haven’t forgotten. But I must have lost the tickets, so will just write about them.

The first proper band I went to se was Devo in about 1978. I was 11 or 12 and my cousin took me,it was at Birmingham Odeon.

I’d heard a couple of singles and liked their odd-ness and slightly punky, spikey thing.

We had pretty good seats middle front and I was blown away by how loud it was - I suppose my little baby ear drums where still very fresh and tender?
They also had huge massive lights behind them which they blasted on the audience from time to time. I remember vividly that the lights were burning through my eyes into my brain - again my sweet tiny fresh eyes were so young and had seen no such horror or such bright lights ever!

I think that was coupled with the place being so dark, then going bright light and my pupil muscles were in optimum condition for speed changing the aperture hole in my lens. It sort of physically tickled/slightly hurt my eyes. I didn’t want to look away but slightly angled my head down (while still looking, possibly like a young Lady Diana?)

Devo also looked futuristic in a 1950’s way. It was FUN. This was the best thing I’d ever seen !

I went to school next day and sat next to regular little 11 year olds and thought to myself ‘I’m not like you at all, I saw something incredible and wondrous last night that I can’t explain” From that moment on school was just boring. I wanted awe and wonder and magic.

Lost and Sold 1

Here’s a few gigs that I haven’t forgotten. But I must have lost the tickets, so will just write about them.

The first proper band I went to se was Devo in about 1978. I was 11 or 12 and my cousin took me,it was at Birmingham Odeon.

I’d heard a couple of singles and liked their odd-ness and slightly punky, spikey thing.

We had pretty good seats middle front and I was blown away by how loud it was - I suppose my little baby ear drums where still very fresh and tender?
They also had huge massive lights behind them which they blasted on the audience from time to time. I remember vividly that the lights were burning through my eyes into my brain - again my sweet tiny fresh eyes were so young and had seen no such horror or such bright lights ever!

I think that was coupled with the place being so dark, then going bright light and my pupil muscles were in optimum condition for speed changing the aperture hole in my lens. It sort of physically tickled/slightly hurt my eyes. I didn’t want to look away but slightly angled my head down (while still looking, possibly like a young Lady Diana?)

Devo also looked futuristic in a 1950’s way. It was FUN. This was the best thing I’d ever seen !

I went to school next day and sat next to regular little 11 year olds and thought to myself ‘I’m not like you at all, I saw something incredible and wondrous last night that I can’t explain” From that moment on school was just boring. I wanted awe and wonder and magic.

1 note

Elton John - Birmingham NEC 1985

You might be wondering what a life long punk would be doing at an Elton John gig…?

I don’t really know. All I can say was this was obviously pre-Candle in the Wind (Diana Queen of Hearts version). I admired some of his 70’s songs like Tiny Dancer and Your Song.

I wasn’t into his I’m Still Standing shite either.

Anyway, I can tell you now, Elton John is a bloody grumpy shit bag who didn’t wan’t to be playing for us that evening and I think he even said at one point he’d was missing Match of the Day and was going to rush through an encore. Perhaps Watford had lost that day?

He did enough to please most folks but I know it wasn’t his best.

Went to this gig on a coach from Burton (you bought tickets and coach ticket as a deal) and there was something I liked about that. 

I saw him on TV not long back, he seems to shout rather than sing now.

EDIT- I just remembered that I was big into pianos at this time and wanted to buy one and learn to play

Elton John - Birmingham NEC 1985

You might be wondering what a life long punk would be doing at an Elton John gig…?

I don’t really know. All I can say was this was obviously pre-Candle in the Wind (Diana Queen of Hearts version). I admired some of his 70’s songs like Tiny Dancer and Your Song.

I wasn’t into his I’m Still Standing shite either.

Anyway, I can tell you now, Elton John is a bloody grumpy shit bag who didn’t wan’t to be playing for us that evening and I think he even said at one point he’d was missing Match of the Day and was going to rush through an encore. Perhaps Watford had lost that day?

He did enough to please most folks but I know it wasn’t his best.

Went to this gig on a coach from Burton (you bought tickets and coach ticket as a deal) and there was something I liked about that.

I saw him on TV not long back, he seems to shout rather than sing now.

EDIT- I just remembered that I was big into pianos at this time and wanted to buy one and learn to play

Filed under elton john

1 note

Roddy Frame

Great guitarist and can hold an audience all night on his own.

Bit of a shame he hasn’t had as much success with recent stuff as he is still great. He looks the same as he always did.

I look back on the time he and the band wore green Adidas track suits on Top of the Pops. They were interesting times for music and fashion.

The working class set the agenda and led things in certain cultural styles and fashions.

Roddy Frame

Great guitarist and can hold an audience all night on his own.

Bit of a shame he hasn’t had as much success with recent stuff as he is still great. He looks the same as he always did.

I look back on the time he and the band wore green Adidas track suits on Top of the Pops. They were interesting times for music and fashion.

The working class set the agenda and led things in certain cultural styles and fashions.

Filed under aztec camera roddy frame

4 notes

Mike Scott, Waterboys -Various dates

I liked The Waterboys a lot and really liked the Fishermans Blues album.

I have seen Mike Scott and The Waterboys a few times. Interestingly, most other people just want him to do the Fishermans Blues stuff too. Last time I saw him (2013) he has the fiddle player and maybe keyboard player from that album, they were good.

On his own , he’s very good also. He tweets strange things.

Mike Scott, Waterboys -Various dates

I liked The Waterboys a lot and really liked the Fishermans Blues album.

I have seen Mike Scott and The Waterboys a few times. Interestingly, most other people just want him to do the Fishermans Blues stuff too. Last time I saw him (2013) he has the fiddle player and maybe keyboard player from that album, they were good.

On his own , he’s very good also. He tweets strange things.

Filed under mike scott waterboys fishermans blues

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Silk Cut Country Music Festival - Wembley Indoor Arena 1987

Only went to this to see Emmylou Harris. 

She was perfect and has the best female voice in country or even in the circle bigger than country and into regular music. She sings from the heart. Sweet sweet Emmy. Her link with Gram Parsons was a big deal to me, but her stuff alone was enough to draw me there.

Townes Van Zandt had played this festival the year before (or 1985) before he died. Sorry I missed that.

Sponsored by Silk Cut it had a free pack of 20 fags on your seat when you arrived. I smoked them all one after another. Country was another kind of punk for me.

No, only joking, no fags…

Silk Cut Country Music Festival - Wembley Indoor Arena 1987

Only went to this to see Emmylou Harris.

She was perfect and has the best female voice in country or even in the circle bigger than country and into regular music. She sings from the heart. Sweet sweet Emmy. Her link with Gram Parsons was a big deal to me, but her stuff alone was enough to draw me there.

Townes Van Zandt had played this festival the year before (or 1985) before he died. Sorry I missed that.

Sponsored by Silk Cut it had a free pack of 20 fags on your seat when you arrived. I smoked them all one after another. Country was another kind of punk for me.

No, only joking, no fags…

Filed under emmylou harris country music silk cut

1 note

The Cure - March 1980 Derby Assembly Rooms

My mate Keab had bought a single of their’s called Boy’s Don’t Cry, and we liked it. It was a good pop song and nice chord progression you hear in a few songs and importantly we could play the bass line and one string guitar lead riff.

They had gone a bit doomy and released 17 Seconds about this time and wanted get away from Boy’s Don’t cry stuff.

They didn’t really build into their plans that me and Keab were on the front row and the rest of the  crowd were pretty quiet and reserved. So we shouted for Boy’s Don’t Cry (mainly Keab who I think viewed it as his mission to make them play it and would be unsatisfied if they didn’t ) He looked pretty punk at this point with a skinhead cut.

They didn’t say anything to begin with but then said ‘we don’t play that’. They looked unhappy that we dare shout out. He seemed to want some kind of reverence like a church service where we only joined in when the high priest Bob Smith said so. He occasionally spoke to the drummer to say things like Lawrence, don’t play that” Lawrence , what song next?”

We were punks, we wanted to join in and be entertained. We didn’t want this kind of stuffy doomy grammer school shit.

People behind us were asking very politely for newer songs- I thought as it was quiet between songs I would ask politely in a posh voice “Lawrence can I have a drum stick?’ ‘Per-lease”, it came out very loud and everyone went quiet. I think I got a stick, I can’t rightly recall.

Robert Smith wasn’t used to such up close heckling and he got a bit sweaty. Then Keab shouted dead loud ‘play Boys Don’t Cry!”

They caved in and played it to a huge roar.

They might even have played it twice if I remember correctly, once as an encore…(as bands did in those days)

EDIT- Just heard from Keab..he said this is all true.
He also added that they did  give us a drum stick and then I asked if we could have a guitar too , he said ‘no’

The Cure - March 1980 Derby Assembly Rooms

My mate Keab had bought a single of their’s called Boy’s Don’t Cry, and we liked it. It was a good pop song and nice chord progression you hear in a few songs and importantly we could play the bass line and one string guitar lead riff.

They had gone a bit doomy and released 17 Seconds about this time and wanted get away from Boy’s Don’t cry stuff.

They didn’t really build into their plans that me and Keab were on the front row and the rest of the crowd were pretty quiet and reserved. So we shouted for Boy’s Don’t Cry (mainly Keab who I think viewed it as his mission to make them play it and would be unsatisfied if they didn’t ) He looked pretty punk at this point with a skinhead cut.

They didn’t say anything to begin with but then said ‘we don’t play that’. They looked unhappy that we dare shout out. He seemed to want some kind of reverence like a church service where we only joined in when the high priest Bob Smith said so. He occasionally spoke to the drummer to say things like Lawrence, don’t play that” Lawrence , what song next?”

We were punks, we wanted to join in and be entertained. We didn’t want this kind of stuffy doomy grammer school shit.

People behind us were asking very politely for newer songs- I thought as it was quiet between songs I would ask politely in a posh voice “Lawrence can I have a drum stick?’ ‘Per-lease”, it came out very loud and everyone went quiet. I think I got a stick, I can’t rightly recall.

Robert Smith wasn’t used to such up close heckling and he got a bit sweaty. Then Keab shouted dead loud ‘play Boys Don’t Cry!”

They caved in and played it to a huge roar.

They might even have played it twice if I remember correctly, once as an encore…(as bands did in those days)

EDIT- Just heard from Keab..he said this is all true.
He also added that they did give us a drum stick and then I asked if we could have a guitar too , he said ‘no’

Filed under the cure robert smith 17 seconds boys dont cry