Monday, 19 December 2011

My Favourite Xmas Album



My favourite xmas album isn’t a xmas album, but it has bells in it (both tubular and cow), and because I was listening to it most intently up to and around a long ago xmas I cannot untangle it from that time of year.

Although it was released in the summer of 1968, it was probably 1971 before a fifteen year old me had my own copy. By then I knew it included some top class writing and play
ing, but I didn’t realise it had reached no. 3 in the UK’s charts, no. 1 in the US’s and become the world's first platinum-selling double album. I played my copy on what was nominally the family’s Bush record player which, without consultation I had moved from the sitting room to the top of my bedroom wardrobe. With a cunning born of desperation I’d connected two skinny wires to the back of the stylus arm and run them into a recently acquired bass guitar amp and a big fat speaker. This double album was Cream’s “Wheels of Fire” and on the slow and darkening run up to xmas it still seems to me appropriate that the first song was tied to a night when “Silver horses ran down moonbeams in your dark eyes” and “Dawn light smiles on you leaving my contentment.”

Hungry for information I read and re-read the sleeve notes and label. Back then I didn’t know that C. Burnett was Howlin’ Wolf, but I was impressed that he’d “Had to take Christmas in [his] overalls.” Passing the Time is entirely a wintertime song; in As You Said “the sun is out of reach” and in Deserted Cities of the Heart “… the sun is black, The winter life is coming back.” Nothing in the other tracks lessens the feeling I had, and still have, that this is an album centred on winter.

Rumour had it that Ginger Baker was the greatest drummer, that Eric Clapton was still “God” and, even at that age, I could tell that Jack Bruce was a real musician whose singing, song writing and playing were intelligent, powerful and enormously varied. What I didn’t realise then was that no other musicians would ever again compel Clapton to perform beyond what seemingly he considered to be the limits of his ability. For that reason this third album by a successful and confident trio stretching out and better matched in musicianship than even Jimi Hendrix’ Experience, is going to be memorable for at least as long as I am able to remember anything.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

This Land Is Not Your Land

Based on the song by Woody Guthrie, this is a song for People.

This Land Is Not Your Land

As I was walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway,
I saw below me that golden valley,
This land was made for nobody.

This land’s not your land, this land’s not my land
From California to the New York Island,
From the redwood forest to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for nobody.

I've roamed and rambled and I've followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for nobody.

This land’s not your land, this land’s not my land
From California to the New York Island,
From the redwood forest to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for nobody.

The sun comes shining as I was strolling,
The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling,
The fog was lifting, a voice come chanting,
This land was made for nobody.

This land’s not your land, this land’s not my land
From California to the New York Island,
From the redwood forest to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for nobody.

As I was walkin' I saw a sign there
And that sign said, "No Tresspassin'"
But on the other side it didn't say nothin'
Now that side was made for you and me!

This land’s not your land, this land’s not my land
From California to the New York Island,
From the redwood forest to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for nobody.

In the squares of the city, in the shadow of the steeple,
Near the relief office I see my people
And some are grumblin' and some are wonderin'
If this land was made for nobody.

This land’s not your land, this land’s not my land
From California to the New York Island,
From the redwood forest to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for nobody.

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking that freedom highway,
Nobody living can make me turn back,
This land was made for nobody.

This land’s not your land, this land’s not my land
From California to the New York Island,
From the redwood forest to the gulf stream waters
No land was made for anybody.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

For No Reason



Heifer whines could be human cries
Closer comes the screaming knife
This beautiful creature must die
This beautiful creature must die
A death for no reason
And death for no reason is MURDER
And the flesh you so fancifully fry
Is not succulent, tasty or kind
It's death for no reason
And death for no reason is MURDER
And the calf that you carve with a smile
Is MURDER
And the turkey you festively slice
Is MURDER
Do you know how animals die ?
Kitchen aromas aren't very homely
It's not "comforting", cheery or kind
It's sizzling blood and the unholy stench
Of MURDER
It's not "natural", "normal" or kind
The flesh you so fancifully fry
The meat in your mouth
As you savour the flavour
Of MURDER
NO, NO, NO, IT'S MURDER
NO, NO, NO, IT'S MURDER
Oh ... and who hears when animals cry?


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Sunday, 23 October 2011

FREE - The Hoax Live in Germany c. 1998

Monday, 5 September 2011

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Norway: Forde > Geiranger > Molde




Part of our thirty three days travel to and in Scandinavia in summer 2011:

http://bit.ly/pi5YuS

If you select the Slideshow option,

Key “F11” (for a full screen view), then quickly

Click the Pause symbol (bottom left), then

Click “Show info” (top right) then

Move forward using the “Next” button (top centre).


I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Oslo - Røldal – Bergen in July 2011


Key “F11” (for a full screen view), then click this:

http://bit.ly/q7x0Qy and quickly

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Alternatively take this route and look at the images however you wish:
http://bit.ly/ojmKo7



Saturday, 13 August 2011

Ystad & Tanum (Sweden).







http://bit.ly/qZYmeK but first.........


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Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Svendborg & Copenhagen



Here's the Slideshow: http://bit.ly/pe55Ot but when you get there


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Calais - Münster - Hedeby - Faaborg



Here's the Slideshow: http://bit.ly/oVgtvK but when you get there

 Key “F11” (for a full screen view), then
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 Or take this route and look at the images however you wish: http://bit.ly/oEefPr

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Around the West side of England



Here's a recent trip including Shropshire, Herefordshire, Somerset and Devon:
http://bit.ly/ldg8L4

Friday, 27 May 2011

The Spin Doctors - live recording.



On 14 May 2011 I saw The Spin Doctors at The Brewery, Kendal, (Cumbria, UK). It was a wonderful gig and sounded very, very much like this one recorded four nights later in Leamington Spa:

  1. Jimmy Olsen's Blues
  2. What Time Is It?
  3. Little Miss Can't Be Wrong
  4. Forty Or Fifty
  5. Refrigerator Car
  6. More Than She Knows
  7. Two Princes
  8. Off My Line
  9. How Could You Want Him (When You Know You Could Have Me)?
  10. Shinbone Alley >
  11. Hard To Exist

Encore

  1. Yo Mama's A Pajama
  2. Sweet Widow
  3. Stepped On A Crack
  4. So Bad
  5. Happy Birthday Cheryl
  6. Scotch and Water Blues




You can stream the recording here too at the Archive. And even download it! It's legit.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Saturday, 9 April 2011

The Vendée Pool



Two long days of driving | Ten long days of labouring on a swimming pool construction | Two long days of driving. 

This was definitely the daftest campervan trip I've ever done. I'd imagined that after 2-3 days work I would clear off and visit friends at http://www.lapointesuperbecamping.com, take a look at prehistoric sites in Britanny and spend some time parked up near lonely Atlantic beaches (with one of the many good books in our "wardrobe"), BUT I soon realised that if any of us worker bees went absent from the pool site for more than half a day, the job couldn't possibly be completed in the very short amount of time available.

Here's the trip: http://bit.ly/hdCARG

Saturday, 5 March 2011

A Short While in Argyll





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Sometimes the captions get sleepy and don't bother to appear. A wiggle of the cursor will bring them back (but not all images have captions!)

I'll still be editing and adding, so if I've missed something, do let me know.

I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Marrakesh & Essaouira



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Monday, 14 February 2011

Morocco: More Dunes and the Atlas


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Sometimes the captions get sleepy and don't bother to appear. A wiggle of the cursor will bring them back (but not all images have captions!)

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Thursday, 10 February 2011

Halfway around Morocco




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Pause then

Click forward on the arrows.

Sometimes the captions get sleepy and don't bother to appear. A wiggle of the cursor will bring them back (but not all images have captions!)

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