Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Fenne Lily - Top To Toe


Do you like Singer/Songwriters/Alt-Country/Americana or Indie-Folk, or do you have a unhealthy affection to the sadness, if so you may have a case of the Tuesday Blues!

Fenne Lily - 'Top to Toe' (2016)

This is just beautiful!

'Top to Toe' recently gave me one of those 'Who is this?' moments. The Bristol based singer/songwriter's powerful, yet fragile voice, cuts me open like a hot knife through butter.  The song captures the heartbreak of someone leaving.  "..Please don't go, I need you. "Take control", you tell me. Please don't go, I need you..."


Fenne will be playing at the Swn festival and some shows in November

By Sfw

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Kyu Sakamoto - Sukiyaki/The Vapours - Turning Japanese



lips a heart of ruby red


I have been watching Johana Lumely's prgramme about Japan and really enjoyed it. She's good!.

It got me thinking about Japan and I came up with three verses and here they are :


A warrior Nation
bound by the traditions
of Samurai cult
never to surrender
they'd rather fall on the soul
of their sacred swords
it took the horrors of Nagasaki
the rage of a  'divine wind'
4,000 dead brave young pilots
honoured to release a Nation
from the shackles
of its glorious past

an illusion never meant to be

Born of traditions
of many centuries gone
in western worlds
there's nothing to compare
she's no hooker or courtesan
bows with subtle grace
perfect face of alabaster white
lips a heart of ruby red
kimono dress of the purist silks
you she's bound to serve
our beautiful Geisha
never there to marry

an illusion never meant to be

Can this be sport
or is it a martial art
two giant gods
of hulking sex appeal
stamp feet like water buffalos
raging in their heat
all that modesty is covered.
by diphers coloured black
they will offer salt to the wind
for to cleanse the past
the art of the Sumo
Olympics never be

an illusion never meant to be

You could have landed
on a another planet
landed on the moon
things are done a little different
in the land of the rising sun
THE VAPORS - Turning Japanese

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Thousands - Big Black Road


Do you like Singer/Songwriters/Alt-Country/Americana or Indie-Folk, or do you have a unhealthy affection to the sadness, if so you may have a case of the Tuesday Blues!

Thousands - 'Big Black Road' (2010)

I was recently speaking with a musician friend who said how difficult for bands "these days". Since the age of the internet, artists may only have one release with a label before getting dropped.  Whether that is a good or bad thing it does make you think if some bands have the chance to develop.  An example of this are Thousands, who are a Seattle based four-piece who used to be on the  (excellent) Bella Union label.  I first thought that it was The Villagers but was nicely surprised.  I have done a little delving and can see that they have released a few albums via bandcamp.

Maybe it is time to setup a record label? Make no money, and do something I love.  Although I'd probably need a reasonable lottery win to make it happen!

There latest release, Knew You In Your Youth was self-released January.

By Sfw

Sunday, 18 September 2016

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 18-09-2016, Nick Cave, DJ Shadow, Stephen Steinbrink, Howe Gelb

Tracks of the Week

Old Pa :-
Nick Cave - Skeleton Tree (2016)

Here is the title track from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds new album of the same name. It is right up there with the best of Nick's repertoire. Going to listen to the whole album right now.  Is there a better way to spend a Sunday? 

DJ Shadow - 'Nobody Speak' feat Run The Jewels (2016)

'Nobody Speak', probably my most played track from DJ Shadow's 5th studio album, The Mountain Will Fall. Not only do we have Shadow's trademark crate digger base track but it features the cut throat delivery of two of my favourite MC's, EL-P and Killer Mike, known as Run The Jewels. Excellent video too as a UN meeting falls apart over whose turn it is to make the tea. Better call former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghaly to fix up da place!

Stephen Steinbrink - 'Building Machines' (2016)

During my overseas jaunt - it sounds more interesting than "holiday - I was able to work through my musical backlog.  This track by Stephen Steinbrink really stood out.  The Phoenix songwriter has released over 7 albums, with his latest Anagrams, released back in July (2016).  It reminds me of War on Drugs, Kurt Vile and Steve Gunn however I'd understand if you say "no it doesn't". Give it a few goes!

London Scouser:-
Howe Gelb - 'Terribly So' (2016)

I heard this the other day and immediately went a little weak at the knees. I can only describe it as dreamy and classy.
I'll let Mr. Gelb himself describe his thoughts on his soon to be released solo album 'Future Standards' of which is the first taster.
“This is my attempt at writing a batch of tunes that could last through the ages with the relative structure of what has become known as ‘standards’,” Gelb says. “The likes of Cole Porter and Hoagy Carmichael done up by Frank Sinatra or Billie Holiday.”

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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

The Valentine Brothers - Money's too Tight to Mention


The entrance to Nusa Dua Hotel

THE VALENTINE BROTHERS - Money's Too Tight To Mention 

One good thing about working for an airline is Staff Travel. When I was with Saudia based in Jeddah I got one free confirmed flight a year and as many free standby tickets as I wanted. I also got discount tickets with other Airlines too.

We had quite a lot of vacation to take in a year so we decided to go to the beautiful Island of Bali. We would fly to the Indonesia Capital Jakarta for free and then catch a flight with Garuda to the Island of Bali. Another perk was we qualified for discount at many top Hotels. We managed to get a good rate at a 5 star Hotel in the resort of Nusa Dua. It was idyllic, we had two rooms looking over the large pool. There was a beautiful sandy beach looking over to an Island which had a Volcano. The rooms were in the Presidential wing and President Carter had stayed there recently.

The day we arrived it was Poon Day which happens once a month. Everything closes early and they do not sell booze and I was gasping.

If the truth be known in these days it was just a little bit quiet for me. I wanted a bit more action and night life. We decided to go to the nearest town of Kuta and this was more like it. Plenty bars and Hotels and many restaurants and cassette tape shops. This was more like it. After a few beers we went to a Hotel not far from the beach called Malisty Bungalows and made a booking for the next day. The vacation was for 3 weeks and we still had another two weeks to go.

We packed up ordered a Taxi and headed for Malisty Bungalows. We got to our Bungalow and it was a bit more run down than I remembered. I must have seen it thought the eyes of my Bintang (local Beer) session.  The Facilities were not so great either, the pool was a disaster and it was actually quite far from the sea. What had we done? The games room was full of locals and they just kind of stared at us. It was all very disconcerting.

That was it I got on the phone at reception and asked or should I say pleaded for our 5 star Hotel to take us back. They did and I can tell you this when we got to our rooms, we changed, dived into the pool and headed for the pool bar right in the middle. Two Bloody Mary's Please.
I have never been so relieved .

When we returned to Jeddah we were playing Tennis with a Captain and his wife. After we thrashed them they asked us to come back to their flat. They had just returned from Holiday and  wanted us to share their photos.  They told us about this fantastic Hotel they stayed at in Kuta in Bali.
When we looked at the photos we could not control out laughter. There was a picture of them both at the reception. The sign above them read Malisty Bungalows.

By Old Pa

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Kathleen Edwards - Away


Do you like Singer/Songwriters/Alt-Country/Americana or Indie-Folk, or do you have a unhealthy affection to the sadness, if so you may have a case of the Tuesday Blues!

Kathleen Edwards - Away (2005)

This nice little ditty is the perfect starter now that the school holidays are over.  No more Disney Juniors, CBeebies and swing and slides in the week days.  It is by Canadian singer/songwriter Kathleen Edwards, who in 2012 released her fourth album 'Voyageur'.  The Juno Award nominated album was produced by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and featured the SOCAN Songwriting Prize Winner (2012) 'A Soft Place To Land'.

Interestingly in 2014 she opened a coffee shop in Ottawa called 'Quitters Coffee'. Which I think was meant to be tongue-in-cheek because she's touring again!

By Sfw

Sunday, 11 September 2016

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 11-09-2016 Bon Iver, Handsome Family,

Tracks of the Week

Handsome Family - 'Far From Any Road' (2014)

Late to the party as always, I'm the one that turns up when there are only cans of warm John Smiths and Twiglets to tempt the taste buds. So I eventually watch the first season of the excellent True Detective, with Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey providing outstanding performances throughout. But it is of course the music which always pricks my ears and this time it's the title track, 'Far From Every Road', from long time family favourites, The Handsome Family. A beautifully haunting track which sets the scene for the show perfectly. However the Handsome Family have recently released their new single, Tiny Tina, which is taken from their forthcoming album Unseen. See it here https://youtu.be/1fjBg5XblY4

Bon Iver - 22 (Over soon)

Justin Vernon (a.k.a. Bon Iver) is an artist/musician that comes around every once in a while.  His debut For Emma, forever ago, insprired bands to "lock themselves in cabins over winter" to write and record songs.  The follow up, Bon Iver, triggered a plethora of synth based artists (James Blake, James Vincent McMorrow). He has worked with Kanye (hmm?) and set up the Eaux Claires festival in his hometown of Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

His third album already sounds like a sample heavy combination of the both, based on his heavy use of a OP-1 sampler.  On first listen I was a little apprehensive, (I was the same for Bon Iver), but now I love it.  Will it become a favourite album, I don't know? However if it can affect me like the first two, I'll be a happy man. Give it a go!

Old Pa :-
Handsome Family - Gold (2016)

It is always a joy to hear something new by the Handsome Family. If you have not seen them live they are a must see. It is like being in someones front room while the they bicker and talk and of course sing. This is from their new album out soon. Can't wait. 

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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Van Morrison - Send in the Clowns



 'a kaleidoscope of skipping colors'

VAN MORRISON - Send in the Clowns

Here is an OK version of one of my favorite 'break up songs' done by an 'under rehearsed'  Van Morrison.

And a wee one for all you broken hearted lovers. Never take love for granted or even your wife. Or you might just get your senses ripped.


She came

It was a kaleidoscope of skipping colors
a joyous symphony of  melodic sound
the smell of freshly brewed coffee
frangipani and jasmine
smell of the garden after rain

The future bright so full of hope
life a gift to live and  cherish
smiles and laughter
love and closeness
you were everything to me

She left

Colors changed to black white and grey
the mournful sound of a funeral march
or the scream of dying flowers
I can taste all my tears
running through the sewers

I lost my will and my purpose
see no point in carrying on
she took my breath
my heart my soul
I have nothing left to give

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Anais Mitchell - Shepherd


Do you like Singer/Songwriters/Alt-Country/Americana or Indie-Folk, or do you have a unhealthy affection to the sadness, if so you may have a case of the Tuesday Blues!

Anais Mitchell - 'Shepherd' (2012)

This has "americana" written all over it. It is by Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell and features on her 2012 album, Young Man in America.  Her sweet voice may not be to everyone's taste but I think it is great, and that is what counts? right?

One interesting fact (although she probably has a lot more), is that her 2010 album, Hadestown, was a folk opera based on the Greek Orpheus myth based in the Great Depression. It featured Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and Ani DiFranco. Hmm.

She will be playing some gigs in the UK, to check them out via her Facebook page.

Monday, 5 September 2016

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 14/08/2016 - Rachel Sermanni, D A R K, Justice

Tracks of the Week

Justice - 'Safe and Sound' (2016)

Passport? Check. Speedos? Check. French themed holiday playlist? Check. Kids? Check. It feels an age since I was on holiday. You're wound up tight as a coil (even tighter if you're travelling with kids, 30 mins into the journey to the airport and the youngest pukes everywhere), after a couple of days you start to relax and by the time you've completely unwound, it's time to go home. French Disco rocker's new single, Safe and Sound was a firm favourite with the kids whilst away and even after playing it for the umpteenth time, still provides us with happy memories, puke and all. If the kids are happy then the parents are happy, right?

London Scouser:-
D.A.R.K.- 'Loosen The Noose' (2016)

I found this track in my Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify, and loved the haunting start. When the vocals started I thought, I know that voice... A google later and I found out it was Delores O'Riordan formerly of The Cranberries. The other vocalist is Olé Koretsky and the third member of the band is Andy Rourke who was in The Smiths. So a pretty good line up. This is a pleasant song without absolutely blowing me away. But as I don't get to listen to much music nowadays, I'll take pleasant. They were formed back in 2009 but Delores joined in 2014. This is from their album 'Science Agrees' which is out early September. I'll definitely give it a listen or two.

Rachel Sermanni - 'Run' (2016)

Here is the latest video/single from Scottish songwriter Rachel Sermanni. I find it all a bit spellbinding - moody melody and a nice bit of distortion pedal for the chorus. It is also time to lose some weight and go for a jog.

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Tuesday, 30 August 2016

King Creosote - You Just Want


Do you like Singer/Songwriters/Alt-Country/Americana or Indie-Folk, or do you have a unhealthy affection to the sadness, if so you may have a case of the Tuesday Blues!

King Creosote - You Just Want (2016)

Fife born songwriter Kenny Anderson has released around 40 albums, but he can probably walk up and down any high street without being pestered. This might change with his latest release, Astronaut meets Appleman. It's meant to be about the 'space between technology and tradition', rather than Tim Peake buying an iPhone and subtly blends folk instruments with tech. The subject matter is very apt as I type this on my iPhone, whilst overlooking a beautiful beach....

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

T-Rex - Mambo Sun



T REX - Mambo Sun


You knew you had arrived. you knew you had reached the pinnacle of Jeddah Ex Pat society if you were invited to the British Embassy on a Monday night. It was invitation only and you really needed to know someone who worked there or was a friend of someone who was a friend of someone.

One day Old Ma was playing in a tennis tournament with her partner Marie. Marie was a French girl like Old Ma and to be polite, Marie 'put it about' it was well know she had loads of lovers when her husband was away. He was a pilot and was often away.

There was rumor going around that some young boys were babysitting for her and they found a home movie of Marie 'doing things' that would excite both young and old boys. Rumor has it that this was immediately copied and sold in the school black market.

In between games this young lad from the Embassy  who was there for the summer season got talking to us. It was obvious that Marie had the hots for this guy and he was very quick to respond to this. He invited Marie along with me and Old Ma to the Embassy bar on the very next Monday.

The Embassy bar was great, it was just like a bar at home in the U.K. we could get proper beer and proper wine and spirits not like the homemade stuff we were used to. Everybody was getting stuck in  at cheap prices too. They had a seventies mix tape on a loop which was heavily loaded with T-Rex.  That was no bad thing as I was a fan ever since the Tyrannosaurus Rex days. The girl I was talking too said it was her tape and she was a big fan. I told her I was  'Doctor Strange' and  'she could be the one'.  She nodded approvingly.

When things were nearing the end Marie's new Bo invited us back to his flat for more drinks. He had everything there and I ended up with a large glass of pure malt which he kept topping up. Marie and her Bo were in the kitchen when Old Ma said Marie is asking if I would mind if she stayed over. Mind, I fully expected it.

Anyway we left not long after and it was a good 10 minute drive home. I was driving along a duel carriage way when I started to feel ill. I opened the window and was vomitting while I was driving.
I still shiver when I think about it to this day. If was caught they would have taken me to the cleaners. I would have lost everything, put in prison and probably flogged.

I have a similar and even worse story to tel

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Barry Mcguire - Eve of Destruction



a mum can't be replaced
BARRY MCGUIRE - Eve of Destruction

It seems that every time you turn on the TV there is another terrorist atrocity. When they say how many poor souls have been killed you have to think how each death has an impact on so many other people. For each death there is always a fallout.


Wrong place the wrong time
caught a bullet meant for you
they don't care who you are
black white turban or veil
all the same for their hate
the more dead the more pain
gets the message on TV

they don't care who you were
they don't care about what you do
they don't care  who' s waiting  there for you

He's waiting there at home
you're late that's not like you
more terror on the news
more deaths more blood
oh! no they took your life
oh! God they killed my wife
no mum to give her love

they don't care who you were
they don't care about what you do
they don't care  who' s waiting there for you

Three kids without a mum
dad tries but it's not the same
they'll never get over this
a mum can't be replaced
one death then the fallout
all brothers, sisters, lovers
everyone  who you touched

they don't care who you were
they don't care about what you do
they don't care  who's waiting  there for you

didn't know what you did
you helped immigrant kids
you're heart big as a star
your shared all your love
you had the deepest faith
you're  prayers to the east
they have killed one of us

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Bruce Springsteen - Youngstown, Bob Dylan - North Country Blues (live Newport 63)



'so I watch the Talbot Steelers'


I was thinking about the mines and steel mills closing down. I thought how it affected whole areas and towns. I thought about two of the great mining songs by the the Masters. I did a little effort which really should not be so close to such inspired songs but here it is.


We used to be the pride of Wales
the biggest works in Europe
a harbor fit for the greatest ships
to bring us coal and iron ore
now there closing down the mills
there will be no steel no more

4000 men will lose their jobs
wives and kids
will feel your trouble
join the queue on the dole
they never learned from days gone by
when they shut down our coal

I worked for the mills all my live
as did my father before me
happy to work drink and play
watch our beloved Wanderers
can't afford to drink or go there
so I watch the Talbot Steelers

Now I'm stuck at home every day
we argue at the least thing
its' these poor  kids that suffer
no treats which they deserve
I've lost all my hope and dignity
and I'm  living on my nerves

Sitting alone there on these docks
starring out to Swansea Bay
thinking of my times at the mill
all my mates and camaraderie
never take your life for granted
it turns like the wind and sea  

4000 men will lose their jobs
wives and kids
will feel your trouble
join the queue on the dole
they never learned from days gone by
when they shut down our coal

BOB DYLAN - North Country Blues (Live Newport 1963)

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 7/8/2016 - Willie J Healey, Palace, Ryley Walker,Baba Naga,

Tracks of the Week

Willie J Healey - Pipedreams (2016)
Loving this at the moment by Oxfords Willie J Healey. Ever since I heard "Saturday Night Feeling" I'd put a small wager on him being The Next Big Thing. Comparisons to 'slacker rockers' Mac DeMarco and Kurt Vile are probably fair but I reckon that he's got more mainstream appeal like Weezer. Do yourself a favour and check him out.

Old Pa's Corner:-
Ryley Walker - The Roundabout (2016)

Ryley Walker raised a lot of eyebrows with his first album. It was widely acclaimed. This guitar virtuoso has hit the right spot with this track from his new album. I'm off to Neal's roundabout right now.

Baba Naga - 'Odmieńce' (2016)

If psychedelic pagan gloom metal is your thing, then look no further than Sheffield's Baba Naga. I just can't get enough of these guys at the moment ever since I heard a track whilst sojourning at Sfw's a couple of weeks back. Odemieńce is taken from a double A side featuring the 'just as brain melting', Somos Lobos released in February this year. Shaman muthaf@£*er....ehm sorry. 

Baba Naga official Facebook.....

London Scouser:-
Palace - 'Have Faith' (2016)

The football season is back so I decided to watch some Soccer AM (like Viz, it's not as good as it used to be). On one of their goal highlight compilations I heard this track and liked it immediately. I heard another track, Kiloran by the band earlier this year and liked that but forgot to share it with you. Sorry people. I won't make that mistake with this one though. They have been compared to The Maccabees and Foals, which is pretty good in my book. Their debut album 'So Long Forever' is out later this year, a band to watch for sure.

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