Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

It's a cold one this year! This photo was taken by Sue's Great Grandfather who was a photographer in Scotland and it is the first ascent of Ben Nevis by car - it's a Model T-Ford.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Jerry Lee Lewis 'Meatman'

A carnivorous anthem for us meat-lovers.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Cherokees - Minnie the Moocher

Australian beat group playing Cab Calloway song. Good on them.

Ballad of Two Brothers

Heard this slice of cheese on the WFMU Ichiban rock and soul stream - it's great - hope you all enjoy it. One of the best Vietnam records I have heard in a long time.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Mick Mercer reviews A & M Lyon recordings

Read it here also further down the page is his review of the reissue from Trowbridge's Moskow in the form of their recent 'Crescent Studio Demos' release.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

'Step Inside Love'

I was singing a medley of Cilla Black songs on the way back from a cider run and I didn't realise then until I hit the 'net that this was originally a Beatles tune. Not bad at that.

'Rain' the Beatles

Today in 1980 Lennon was shot so that's one excuse to post this and the other is the fact that we have had something like 51 days of the stuff without letup. I think someone ought to write some more rain songs as it's more a part of our winter than all these 'Marshmallow world' or 'Frosty the Snowman' types of thing you get at the moment.

Cramps Green Fuzz (1981)

Shot at the Mudd Club NYC. What a great band they were...

Link Wray Rumble (1978)

This is a great clip of the master at work looking every inch the punk rocker. We saw him around the early 80s and Sue got to shake his hand.

Pickled Onions

Just finished peeling a huge batch of pickling onions ready for Christmas. If you want to do some yourself now is about the right time to get them in. Of course your eyes and nose stream...but I found that if you do it outside it's better, but well ventilating the work area is also helpful. We bought some pickling spice to beef them up a little - this will probably result in a few difficult moments for those not initiated into the world of eating strong pickled onions. Try to avoid this non-brew condiment as a vinegar substitute - it's the stuff they use in chip shops and its not really vinegar.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Animals & Men live March 6th The OCCII Amsterdam

We are very excited to be playing in 2010 at this famous venue on March 6th for a special show. Article on the venue's history here

The OCCII is a music venue that specialises in alternative and underground music, from hardcore punk through to trance. The majority of the OCCII crew are volunteers, keeping in line with the venue's squatting history and culture. Squatters moved into the building in 1984 and were granted ownership in 1989. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the venue is also home to less alternative activities, including children's theatre, arts & crafts and noise sampling workshops. Venue website here

Friday, December 04, 2009

'Girl on Death Row' Duane Eddy/Lee Hazlewood

Ichiban just introduced me to this little beauty... hope you like it.

'Apple cider' Doc Starkes & his Night RIders

The other day we were talking about songs about cider and this little beauty has popped up on Ichiban...what d'you think?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Dr Ross

Blowing some great harp in 1993 a few months before he died.

I'm Coming Home Harmonica style

This version of the song below was up on Youtube and I thought you might like it - nice blowing man.

Mel Torme 'Coming Home'

This was on Ichiban's rock and soul stream last night - it must be 40 years since I remember hearing it before - there's a nice live version of it on youtube but it lacks the essential backing vocals so we'll go with this one. It's the sort of thing that used to get played on the radio when I was a little one.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dee Dee Sharp 'Mashed Potato Time'

It's about time someone set up the Internet dance craze database or something where we can research the various moves. I suppose I ought to list a few off the top of my head - the Watusi, the Hully Gully, the Shimmy, the boogaloo, the Pony, my mind is gone blank now - I do know loads of them...honestly.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Don and Dewey 'Farmer John'

What a song? I havent heard this - the original version - before and it's great. Where did I hear it? WFMU of course. Don and Dewey wiki

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sunday, November 08, 2009

'Girl You Captivate Me' by ? and the Mysterians

We popped in to the Handsome Llama leaving party - yes folks it's closing... so that's sad as it was a great place to rehearse and record...but Will's got new plans and I'm sure he'll do well - anyway he mentioned this band and funnily enough Susan had this song in her head earlier on. It's brilliant.

Friday, November 06, 2009

'Going to Germany' Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers

I love this lament - partly for the ace harp by the legendary Noah Lewis and partly just for its mood, its brilliance its get the idea.'Oh play it Mr it for me now'.

Houston Stackhouse 'Canned Heat Blues'

Stackhouse, one of the King Biscuit Boys, talks about canned heat and then plays his hero Tommy Johnson's song that gave its name to a band.

There was a Fungus Among us

I guess this is the original version. I post this as it's a very mushrooomy autumn over here - warm and wet, everywhere is mushrooms. There's a game that you could play, which I invented though I have yet to play it, with this song as its theme - kind of based on Murder in the person at a party is given psylocibin mushrooms in their tea and all the rest of the party guests have to try and ascertain who is 'the fungus among us'.

Animals and Men at the Free Music Archive

Here are the tracks that are on our 12 inch ep on Convulsive recorded at the Handsome Llama. Sad to hear the Llama is closing.
If you are wondering what the Free Music Archive is about this explains it I think
The Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads. The Free Music Archive is directed by WFMU, the most renowned freeform radio station in America. Radio has always offered the public free access to new music. The Free Music Archive is a continuation of that purpose, designed for the age of the internet.
Every mp3 you discover on The Free Music Archive is pre-cleared for certain types of uses that would otherwise be prohibited by copyright laws that were not designed for the digital era. Are you a podcaster looking for pod-safe audio? A radio or video producer searching for instrumental bed music that won't put your audience to sleep? A remix artist looking for pre-cleared samples? Or are you simply looking for some new sounds to add to your next playlist? The Free Music Archive is a resource for all that and more, and unlike other websites, all of the audio has been hand-picked by established audio curators.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Bea just carved a Watchmen pumpkin which put me in mind of this song...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Bill Murray and the Little Theatre

This image was shown to me by Bea who is a big Little Theatre (Bath) fan - she was saying to me - 'it's a picture of Bill Murray asleep by the Little Theatre' and I thought she meant Bill Murray asleep by A little theatre and I was thinking 'so what' but it actually is a model of Bath's own indie cinema The Little Theatre! WTF! Apparently some of the sets in Fantastic Mr Fox are based on sites around Bath...anyway now you know what a cool little cinema the Little Theatre is!

Bright Star

Susan and I are going to see this at a preview screening at the Little Theatre Bath. It's the new film by Jane Campion and is based on Keats the poet and his relationship...well watch the trailer - it looks really worth seeing. And no cannons in it!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lee Dorsey 'Working in a Coal Mine'

A contender for the greatest record ever made by anybody. I always associate it with Radstock as when I was a kid and we'd come here visiting relatives back in the 60s the song was about the only frame of reference I had for the industry so it always popped into my head as we drove past the pits and stuff. I'd like to cover it but it's been done by Devo - not as good as this version of course - but its been done. I keep waiting for someone to upload the clip of Lee Dorsey miming and mining to it on a programme with Jools Holland on about New Orleans. Anyone out there got it?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chi-Lites 'Are you my woman'

I am getting a bit of an education on songs I don't know too - listen to this and see what big hit of recent years took elements from it. I'm shocked!

Johnny Littlejohn 'Bloody Tears'

WFMU played this last night on their rock and soul stream - I was moved - I love this song and it's great to know you're not alone in appreciating this great 1968 song - muscular blood stained and a piece to prove that some 1960s blues was up there with the best.

Taking Woodstock trailer

The new movie by Ang Lee looks fun. 'A man working at his parents' motel in the Catskills inadvertently sets in motion the generation-defining concert in the summer of 1969'.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Shirelles 'Will You Love Me Tomorrow'

A live version from 1964 complete with raunchy guitar in place of the strings, perfectly demonstrating the point that the Beatles owed a great deal from their early pop sound, that propelled them to fame to the Shirelles.

Dionne Bromfield 'Mama Said'

It's been a while since I had a current pop video on this blog but this goes on for it being a great rendition of the Shirelles' hit - it's always been the case that the Shirelles haven't really had the recognition in recent years as they should have (considering the beloved Fab Four took a lot from them) and this proves that their sound is still enjoyable. This is a spirited version and I am sure it's going to charm its way to the top.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

James Brown on Soul Train in 1973

This is for my son who I know will appreciate this - THE Man in his prime..the hardest working man in showbusiness...I used to always play James Brown on my birthday as a kind of tradition as it always put me in the right mood.

Otha Turner & The Rising Star Fife & Drum Band - Bouncin' Ball

Crank this bad boy up - love this stuff - wish I could play the fife like that - I've been trying... drumming-wise I could probably manage it but that's the easy bit.

Morrisey in 'stable condition'

Maybe he's a little hoarse.

I'm too heavy for the light brigade (1964)

'Can I be excused from the gallant 600?' As it's the 25th of October, the date of the battle of Balaclava how about listening to this old comedy song from Charlie Drake - listen here.
'I'm too heavy for the Light Brigade, had to have another pair of trousers made.' Very funny. To me.

700 little records - all rockin' rhythm and jazz

I know we keep raving about WFMU's Rock and Soul stream (scroll down the page and it's on the bottom left - day or night) but it is brilliant and has become a constant source of enjoyment and wonder as we quaff the juice of the bruised apple. If you haven't tried it what you get is classic oldies - rockabilly, instrumentals, garage, hillbilly, swamp blues, novelty records - not the obvious ones but like a compilation made by someone who's got good taste. Interspersing the songs there are crazy vintage ads for exploitation movies, public service announcements (like Johnny Cash talking about nuclear survival or James Brown advising kids on how to get a summer job) - they just played this one which will make you laugh, I'm sure. Anyway - please try it - you'll love it - you can get involved and upload your own rarities and gems on the blog apparently.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Jiants 'Tornado'

Heard this for the first time on WFMU just now and fell in love with its wobbly Diddleyesque guitar - see if you don't immediately start a rocking...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Animals 'We gotta get out of this place'

I love this song. Ichiban just played a version by Les Monsruos and it got me wanting to hear the original - this must be the Animals crowning song... forget 'Rising Sun' - this one is full of attitude. Of course the attitude it embodies is an attitude that I don't really subscribe to - it seems more in tune with my parent's or the 60s generation's view on life. My feelings on leaving places is that people should not try and run away from their poverty stricken backgrounds but try and improve their own place where their friends and relatives are living...not escape to reinvent yourself as some sort of reborn person. Maybe I can't identify with the slaving their lives away bit - anyone who worked with me and my father wouldn't say we slaved our lives away - I seem to remember us spending a lot of time going round chatting to people, killing time. But then I don't suppose Eric Burdon was talking about proof reading. Maybe I should try and find an answer song - something like 'We've gotta not despise our roots'.

Pinball Millionaire

Since we discovered the WFMU Ichiban stream our house has been jumpin' with the sound of great oldies. They played the original of this - by Gene O'Quinn - this is a version pretty faithful to the original by the Western Aces - it's very good. Can't find the lyrics on the web but I think you should be able to enjoy this version anyway.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Strange sort of day today - about lunchtime a robin flew in our kitchen - we took photos which I'll put up and then a squirrel came and knocked on our front room window. What's going on?

Friday, October 09, 2009

Gene Vincent 'Rip it Up' 1958

You can't have Eddie Cochran without a little Gene Vincent can you?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Woody Guthrie 'The Live Wire'

Red was enthusing about these recently released live recordings of Woody Guthrie . The first ever example of such a thing - details here. Apparently recorded by a fan it's an interesting document of a show in Newark New Jersey in 1949 complete with on-stage banter and so on. If you don't know Guthrie's work than watch this little film. I haven't heard these recordings yet but I imagine it might be a good place to start an appreciation.

Bo Diddley 'Bo Diddley'

I'm pretty sure we have had this clip from 1955 on this blog before but you can never have too much Bo. This is one of the best clips I've seen of vintage Diddley with the band really in a tight groove and the guitar hypnotically throbbing. Magic.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Monks 'Oh How to do Now'

Hope this clip doesn't make Red feel homesick down in Exeter...been a while since we visited the Monks for our does of enlightenment. I'd like to say the Monks were an influence on Animals and Men but we'd never heard of them at the time in the 70s and 80s - we only discovered them about 6 years ago - which is funny as one of our songs 'No Faces' is very similar to 'Higgledy-Piggeldy' but of course just a coincidence - we were probably both trying to rip off 'Night Time' by the Strangeloves!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Warfare in the Age of Steam

OK - I've started a new blog. It's - nothing much up there yet and mostly it will be simply moving posts on that subject from this blog to be among other posts of a similar subject, but eventually it will have some more original material.

Far From the Madding Crowd

Another 60s film (67) that deals Victorian England (the other is the 68 film Charge of the Light Brigade) that was influential to me was this one set in rural Dorset. You could happily watch the two movies as a double-bill that goes to explain the 1960s obsession with all things Victorian a little. This was the subject that intrigued me when I first started this blog - why were the artists in the 1960s so interested in Victorian England? Anyway this clip is filmed at Maiden Castle, an Iron Age Hill Fort.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Russian Crimean War Reenactors

(Note - Inspired by these photos I started a new blog - Warfare in the Age of Steam where there's lots of mid 19thc stuff)
When I started this blog about 5 years ago one of my ideas was to promote the Crimean war as a period - well the 1968 film 'Charge of the Light Brigade' is one of my favourite movies and I really like the period. Well we didn't get very far with it - got a few responses but that was it.

Now I have just seen these pictures of a recent reenactment in the Crimea of the battle of the Alma with mostly Russian reenactors and I am completely impressed and need to let you all in internetland know about it. The group featured is the 33rd Borodinsky Jager regt, 1854-1855 (see pic left). Now I am calling all ACW reenactors, redcoats, Zouaves, Light Dragoons and so on to get together with the aim of making this an epic period.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Black leather jacket

Have you ever wondered about this item and how it became popular? (Don't say US despatch riders and bomber jackets as they were brown). I know a lot of people make the mistake in thinking it was something to do with the SS but it's likely that it goes back to the anarchists in the Spanish Civil War. This page on sourcing a correct style of coat by UK SCW reenactment group La Columna has some interesting notes and photos. They quote Carl Marzini, an American volunteer in the Anarchist Durruti column in late 1936, who states in his memoir, " Of course you could tell an anarchist anywhere, because all anarchists dressed the same way. They all had leather jackets, or at least if they could get them, that's what they would wear 3"
Of course before that the Cheka - Bolshevik police - wore black leather - possibly as leather coats were then a status symbol in Russia or because they could easily be wiped clean. These people fought Anarchists in the Russian Civil War who were at the time notable because of their long hair but maybe they took the idea of black leather from the Cheka and this went then onto the Spanish Civil War. Any ideas out there costume researchers?

Silas Hogan 'I'm gonna quit you pretty baby'

We've been enjoying listening to WFMU a lot - well you get sick of the same old records from your own collection - and they have this great new streaming show ICHIBAN - obscure oldies of rock and roll, soul and so on interspersed with crazy old adverts - you will LOVE it - anytime of the day. They just played this one - and if you don't enjoy Swamp Blues - WTF!!???

Monday, September 28, 2009

J B Hutto 'Hip Shakin''

With a rough tough bar room sound they don't come any better than J B Hutto - this clip is from 1981 - that was probably around the time I was discovering his music backed by the Hawks, on various Chicago blues compilations. Infectious aint the word for it. Watch another cracking boogie here,
Below is a clip from 1970 'Thank you for your kindness' which shows his roaring vocal style off to perfection. If you wanna hear some vintage J B Hutto then his record 'Lovin' You' is also up.

Anarchists in the Spanish Civil War

Interesting little film about the anarchist movement in Catalonia and elsewhere and how they managed their war effort in the fight against fascism.

Ebro 1938

While on the subject of unusual reenactments this link will take you to a film of a reenactment of this battle in the Spanish Civil War. See if you can spot the digital effects. This slideshow of still images is pretty atmospheric - boats, horses, biplanes, spectacular scenery - more here - what more do you want?

Reenactment in China

This link takes you to an interesting feature by the Guardian on Red Tourism - daily battle reenactments for foreigners of China's struggle now in its 60th anniversary year.

Jimmy Rogers 'Walking by Myself'

This jaunty poppy blues was one of Rogers' hits when Chess were experimenting with a more poppier rocking sound...Jimmy had a pretty good career as a a soloist though he'll probably be most remembered as a member of Muddy Water's band line-up.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

j B Lenoir and Freddy Below

Clip from 65. Below plays on most of the great Chess and Checker recordings - he is credited with inventing a beat that sounds slightly delayed. JB was an innovative avant-garde bluesman who sang offbeat songs that occasionally strayed into politics.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fenton Robinson 'You Don't Know What Love Is'

I'm going to do a series of blues players that you might not have heard of. This clip is from the brilliant BBC series The Devils Music which was shown in 1976 or thereabouts - I know as I had a school prize of the accompanying book for an essay I wrote. Anyway I taped the series (on audio of course as video was not widely available at the time) but it had some great performances among the documentary footage including this one of this excellent Chicago blues player doing one of his signature pieces. Watch him do 'Somebody Loan Me a Dime' from the same session.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Joe Hill Louis 'Boogie in the Park'

For a man who could arguably be one of the inventors of rock and roll, Memphis musicians Louis is not well known. This is one of the many great tunes he recorded.

Howlin' Wolf 'Evil (Is Going On)'

Of course someone who learnt a lot from Charlie Patton was the Wolf - there's a certain carrying on a theme too as several of Wolf's tunes echo Patton's persona. Captain Beefheart did a perfect Wolf impersonation - the other day a Beefheart cover was on and it was spot on - I was almost taken in I suppose you could follow a line from Patton to Beefheart but then as Patton practically invented blues as we know it he's probably in every damn guitar picker/singer of the 20th century.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Oh Death! Charlie Patton and Bertha Lee

We (Animals and Men) recorded a version of this while at Grrrnd Zero in Lyon. We also played it that night on stage too. Now you can hear the original - although it's actually a cover of a spiritual from the Delta Big Four. Recorded in 1934 this one. Bertha Lee Pate (1902-1975) wikipedia entry

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I Never Worry Animals and Men Grrrnd Zero Lyon

Here's a clip from saturday's great bill. See below for a band that we fell in love with. Thanks to whoever took it - now we know it all wasn't a dream.

Passion Armee

We were blown away by this band who played on the same bill as us at Ground Zero, Lyons - they need to be more widely heard - they are excellent. I won't try and categorise them as I am not a journalist but watch this clip from Saturday and see what I mean. Download songs here

Blues and fife

I was babbling enthusiastically about this genre of music at the weekend

Bob Blackman 'Mule Train'

As a kid I probably never laughed so hard as I did at this when it was on tv in the old days. We showed this clip to our French host at the weekend. I think you'd agree it is one of the high points of British music. Another colour sequence with intro by Tommy Cooper is here

Monday, September 21, 2009

Souvenirs of Lyon

Thought you might like a look at a couple of images by Caryne Pearce of the highlights of Animals and Men's trip to play a gig in France. What a city? What a brilliant time.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Never seen this clip before. I love Snatch - Patti Palladin and Judy Nylon's punk minimalist duo - they just are sooo underrated - this clip is from 1979 - it's worth checking out the rest of their stuff but it's a really difficult name to search on the internet - Snatch - but they weren't to know. Watch Eno in 1974 backed by Judy Nylon on guitar. (Geoff might like this)

Richard Hell and the Voidoids 'Don't Die' (1979)

This is a really good clip of a song I like a lot. Nice to see. It seems as though Hell has a new book out that was originally written in 1973 - the Voidoid - more here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ink Spot Java Jive

My Dad gave me a pretty good musical education from the old days. This is one I have fond memories of him playing me on 78. It's great and I can't understand why some ad campaign hasn't gotten hold of it.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Man or Astroman?

I have declared today 'Man or Astroman? day' and all through the next few hours we have to just watch some of the great videos up. Why aren't there any bands this good nowadays?

Man or Astroman

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Beatles 'September in the Rain'

I've been doing this blog for years and I think this is a first - a Beatles track - a Decca demo. This cover is for anyone who got wet in the days rainstorm.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Pandoras 'You Don't Satisfy Me'

I don't know nothing about this band - just ran into the clip on Youtube but its good - it's very good...see what you think? It is kind of like the real life version of the Hollywood craziness of the clip below but that's purely coincidental - they weren't linked videos or anything like that...I was actually watching Count V clips.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Carrie Nations 'Find it'

All pop music should be mimed by people who don't actually play on the recordings - that way you get the best of both worlds. Maybe it's like that already? Who knows? Anyway this is a great clip from the Russ Meyer classic.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Animals and Men - gig en France

Here's the poster for our show in Lyons on the 19th September. See ya there?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Venue reviews Animals and Men gig

"Not often you see a guitarist who's a ringer for Mark Lawson. If you do, it's most certainly not in anything as thrillingly vital as this. To gauge an idea of the Animals and Men purity level, check out the drums, a full kit save for cymbals, those peskily autonomous creations wont to generate unsupervised sound for a good millisecond or two. This is all about economy, each track two minutes and out, everything absolutely bone lean, from bubbling bass to chopped guitar to utterly unfussy deadpan vocals, together concocting a post-punk brew that makes its key benefactor - the Bo Diddley beat - sound frivolous by comparison. That the band are relatively newly reformed, gigging Bristol for the first time in 18 years (More like 29 or something around that - Ralph), seems barely conceivable, with every track a prospective national anthem for the utopian nation of Utilitarianism. Venue leaves silently uttering a single mantra: bring back discipline. (Julian Owen)."


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Davie Allan & The Arrows - The Six Best Songs from the DEVIL'S ANGELS Soundtrack

Cleverly carrying on the biker theme and being bang up to date too I am as track 2 'Devils Rumble' is on the new Tarantino 'Inglorious Basterds' soundtrack. What a blogger hey?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Animals and Men at the Fleece

Photo by Caryne Pearce - more on the Myspace page. Thanks to all who came along - hope it was good for you.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Gig in Bristol -

See ya there music lovers! Also there's a great review of our new ep on Rate Your Music... it starts off
It makes no sense, but after about twenty-five years apart, Britpunk also-rans Animals & Men reassemble and make an EP that may be even better than their old stuff. This thing rocks.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Another Animals and Men review

Great review for our ep in the Fader.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Pocilga DeLuxe

Browsing the Serge Gainsbourg videos (like you do) I came across this really top notch cover of his 69 Annee Erotique by a Brazilian band, Pocilga DeLuxe - thought I'd share it with you as they do the bass riff justice playing just how you wanna hear it - I'd love to see them do it live. Great film too

The Leather Boy 'On the Go'

So you're making a motorcycle compilation cassette - what do you start with? This'll do for a kick-off. Read about Milan aka The Leather Boy here. After that you could have Davie Allan and the Arrows 'Blues theme' - add a dash of a few trailers from the Wild World of Mondo Movies and a Gene Vincent track - dunno - got any other ideas? Don't say Leader of the Pack it'll kill the mood... I am thinking 'On the Road Again' Canned Heat - they were very popular among Hell's Angels and I can imagine that would be the one to choose.

Girl on a Motorcycle trailer (1968)

Bit of European motorcycle exploitation featuring Marianne Faithful - this makes a great 'sound down' movie if you have a suitable soundtrack to go with it.

Gene Vincent 'Rocky Road Blues'

Clip from 1963 in Brussels. Capturing that phase when GV was big in Europe - this is a truly great clip and is kind of following a general theme of motorcycles and the link with rock and roll.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Animals and Men in Venue

Hey! Our gig on the 13th August at the Fleece got a half page write-up in Venue Magazine.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Chantays 'Pipeline'

Have you heard the current pop single 'Diamond Ring' by Chipmunk? It's got the same tune as this surf you think they're coughing up for nicking it? Anyway I hope we can bust some moves like this when we play the Fleece on 13th August.

Wild Angels (1966) opening scene

I've put this one up for my son who likes his biker movies...this one I suppose is the daddy of them all. Watch this clip at least until the music rocks in ... Davie Allen and the Arrows 'Blues theme' ... you'll recognise it I expect. The credit list is pretty much a list to end all lists - I wonder why it's not more famous? Maybe the logo? Watch another clip here that shows the sequence that was heavily sampled for the song 'Loaded'. Another clip is here which shows a groovy biker party. Peter Fonda has been over in the UK recently reprising his 'Captain America' character for the Goodwood Festival of Speed and celebrating the anniversary of Easy Rider.
Wiki entry

Ralphus' History Blogs

I have a new blog - Flintlock and Tomahawk which is gradually filling up - it's a kind of a look at the art and impressions of American frontier warfare. I'm still doing my Wars of Louis XIV blog too which is about a year old now and is going great guns. Check them out if you like old wars and stuff.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Donovan 'Hey Gyp (dig the slowness)'

This is another song we tried to cover recently - think it might be something we can record as it isn't going to be possible to play harp and guitar at the same time. It's a great great song though - if you haven't heard it - give it a spin - as I like to say.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Everly Brothers 'Temptation'

When we were the Terraplanes we used to cover this song. About 1983 it was, which was when this was shot, but the version we knew was from the 60s (though they've done a good rendition of it here). The actual song is much older originally by Bing Crosby in 1933. I don't know why we did it - the 'yey yey yey yah' bit with the pounding drums I think was the attraction and at the time we had two drummers. Screaming Jay Hawkins also covered it. Unfortunately we never recorded it so you'll just have to imagine it.

Harry Patch

Sad to see Wells Somerset's most famous resident has died. He was 111 and a Great War veteran and from what we saw of him in the media a top bloke. Originally from Combe Down Bath he had a lovely accent. News article here

Another favourable review

Great to see a good review for our Animals and Men ep on Bristol Rocks - hopefully when we play the Fleece on the 13th August with Rita Lynch and Bimbo Spam we will impress people by our live set.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Weekend - Summerdays/Drumbeat for Baby

Wiki here. Who remembers this - from about 1982? Maybe you haven't heard this jazz-tinged bit of post punk loveliness before. An offshoot of Young Marble Giants this band did well but maybe not as well as it should have done. Funny now hearing it it conjures up images and feelings from around the time - the nostalgia of young and carefree times. I think at the time I used to play the lp when I was in a bright and breezy frame of mind...which was more frequent than now when I am mostly in curmudgeon mode.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

'Easy Riding' Animals and Men

Here's us rehearsing for our gigs in Bristol (13th August the Fleece) and Lyons France (19th Septembre) - also check out our new ep on Convulsive records.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bad Detectives on the radio

If you missed the BDs on the radio when they were on a week or so ago you can still listen to them online and you can catch up with all the music and gossip from Frome's hit factory.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bo Diddley 'You can't judge a book'

What more than this do you need? I'd like to think the future of music would be made of things like this but it's not gonna happen is it?

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Calling all Frome music fans

I wanted to draw your attention to this important petition that I recently signed:
"Save Live Music at The Griffin, Frome"
I really think this is an important cause, and I'd like to encourage you to add your signature, too. It's free and takes less than a minute of your time.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

70 Gwen Party 'Power Elite'

Susan and I are big 70 Gwen Party fans. We used to love them when Peely used to play them on his show in the 90s and have always tried to get our hands on any vinyl that comes up on ebay etc. Love to see them reform one day. Until that day you'l have to be content with clips like this one. If you have never heard them give them a try - they are the greatest band of the 90s I reckon.

Another great Animals and Men review

Excellent review for our new ep - when's the backlash gonna start?
' .... “John Of The Sword” has all of the catchiness of an Arctic Monkey’s single, only it’s not tragically gay....'

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Kleenex 'Nice'

Despite being old and snaggle toothed this is the first time I have ever clapped eyes on Kleenex, the Swiss band from the 77 era, who were quite an inspiration to a lot of bands - Animals and Men being one of them.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Comic shop for Frome

Good news indeed for locals interested in comics, graphic novels and so on. Heroes Assemble is the online shop and it's apparently going to be in Palmer Street.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Leadbelly 'Take this Hammer'

Having a bit of a Leadbelly phase at the moment - this one always reminds me of schooldays when we used to spend the bus money and walk home instead (about 8 miles) singing this song to pass the time...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Yeah Yeah Yeahs 'Heads will Roll'

How did they know? Excellent video this - won't tell you about it as it'll spoil it but have a watch - alright?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Seeds 'Mr Farmer'

A great performance from one of the true greats, Sky Saxon.

The Seeds 'The Wind Blows Your Hair'

We're up the sidewalk runnin down the street

Showin our love to the world we meet

Your days comin sunshine’s begun

Big machines are starting to hum

And the wind blows your hair

Two little children come walking by

looking just like you and I

Colored by some beautiful people

Flowers growin round the church house steeple

And the wind blows your hair

I've a feelin we've been here before

Angels singing as we pass through the door

Hand in hand we walk down the aisle

See their faces their starting to smile

their starting to smile

in my eyes I’m starting to cry

this is not a dream of you and I

I’ve never been this happy before

Hand in hand we walk out the door

And the wind blows your hair

Rice is falling on us everywhere

The scent of flowers uh fill the air

Children laughing out in the street

Everyone’s happy that we meet

And the wind blows your hair

And the wind blows your hair

And the wind blows your hair… hair …hair ….hair… hair.

Sky Saxon passes on

THE SEEDS' SKY SUNLIGHT SAXON DIED TODAY IN AUSTIN, TEXAS 06/25/09 OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE-- --- Austin, Texas -SKY SUNLIGHT SAXON of the psychedelic garage rock legends THE SEEDS passed away this morning at 9:10am, June 25th, 2009 at St. David's South Austin Hospital in Austin, Texas. Sky died of heart & kidney failure, due to an undiagnosed infection of his internal organs. He passed peacefully with his wife Sabrina Smith Saxon & spiritual brother in YaHoWha Joshua Aquarian by his side. He died, in Sky's words, at the age of "eternal".SKY SUNLIGHT SAXON fell ill as early as last Thursday in his new home of Austin, Texas. Despite feeling under the weather Saturday, he performed a short set of SEEDS classics at the local legendary night club Antone's with his local collective WORLD SPIRITS, his favorite Austin band SHAPES HAVE FANGS. Sky & his wife Sabrina recently moved to Austin, following his exciting headlining performance at the Austin Psych Fest #2 in March. Several tours were scheduled, including the East Coast/Mid-West tour in August with the California '66 Revue, with members of LOVE & THE ELECTRIC PRUNES. The tour will still continue despite his absence.Arrangements are being made for a local tribute & a memorial gathering. Sabrina Saxon will be making a pilgrimage to the Hawaiian Islands in the coming months to spread her husband's ashes. Please look for further announcements on how fans worldwide may honor Sky's memory in lieu of flowers. Fans & friends are encouraged to leave memories & visual tokens of love & memoriam at these following websites:
Sky had many projects in the works that will undoubtedly still be completed & released in the coming months. One of which is a documentary about his legendary band THE SEEDS to be released next year in 2010. The documentary chronicles the band's activities with exclusive interviews with all original members, & rare never-before-seen footage of the band live & in session.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Susan is a big fan of the Heinz single 'Just Like Eddie' so I imagine she would enjoy this biopic (and we all love/hate biopics don't we?) of British record producer Joe Meek...I can also imagine the Bad Detectives will go en masse to see this as they were on a Meek tribute album a couple of years ago and are fans. Official site

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Napoleon Strickland

This is brilliant of course. And not just cos he's called Napoleon either. This guy can make better music with a piece of wire and a glass than most people could make with a whole band. Strickland wiki

Animals and Men summer gigs

To celebrate the release of our new 12 inch ep we are doing a few special shows. First up on the 13th August we are playing the Fleece and Firkin, Bristol, (tickets from here) followed by a special French show at Grrrnd Zero, Lyon on the 19th September. Hope to see you all there. More details - supports and so forth to come.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Gossip 'Heavy Cross'

Been enjoying the new Gossip album over the weekend - this is the single off it - I'm sure you've heard it by now.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Bossa Nova Baby

So how do we feel after reading Mick Mercer's review of our ep? Maybe this clip of Elvis playing Lieber and Stoller's tune captures the feeling.

Animals and Men ep reviewed!

First review for our new vinyl 12 inch by Mick Mercer. Read it here.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Animals and Men ep out Friday

We're pretty excited. Our 12 inch ep is available for sale this Friday. Get it from Academy (Annex)Records Brooklyn or order it from
Tracks are:
John of the Sword
Dreaming of Babylon
It's Hip
Driving Stupid
Hope you all rush out and buy it!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Charley Patton

What will you be playing on the 21st December 2012? Time to make up your end of the world playlist. Got to have some Charley Patton in there.

2012 - bring it on...

Are you ready for the end of the world? Pretty heavy tag-line for a movie but I believe it - but then we are gloomy people. When have the Mayans been wrong? We already wrote a song with 21st December 2012 as its chorus for Mike Ology and the Funguys. This movie by the Emmerich's - out in November will make people aware of this date - maybe we should enjoy what little time we have left. 2012 in fiction
More here at

Woolly Bully 'Sam the Sham'

Friday, June 05, 2009

dragonfly crop circle

This amazing image has appeared in Wiltshire over the last couple of days. Also a Jellyfish in Oxford. What's next? More here
The bizarre revival of crop circles

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

New look Animals and Men

No not us - the band - the magazine - journal of the Centre for Cryptozoology has a new look and new format. Worth subscribing to if you like strange animals.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Fanny 'Charity Ball'

Another thing I saw on tv last night was an old OGWT episode that featured all girl rock band Fanny. I must admit I wasn't aware of their work but I did enjoy it a lot - they seem like they were the inspiration behind Meyer's Carrie Nations but who knows?

The Truth 'Hey Gyp'

A song to celebrate the collapse of General Motors to. Actually I only heard this song for the first time yesterday - it is on the John Lennon Jukebox collection and Susan and I had one of those 'where have you been all my life' moments. Track down the Donovan version if you like funky harmonica.

Mamas and the Papas 'Monday Monday'

Having nothing better to do I watched a documentary on this band last night on the tragic lantern. It's hard to know how I feel about this folkrock entity that sits somewhere between Sonny and Cher and the Beach Boys - I kind of like them but also kind of don't. They sort of bring back memories of seaside holidays as a child - holidays I generally hated - listening to the car radio was one of the pleasures. For some reason nowadays they remind me of Yo La Tengo.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Città di Ferrara

I haven't posted anything about the Great War for a while but this is an interesting picture. It's an Italian dirigible - the only country other than Germany to use them for bombing purposes. Shot down by an Austrian Seaplane. Like something out of Porco Rosso.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pierrot le Fou (1965)

OK I'm going to do a short season of movies you should have seen by now if we lived in a perfect world. I used to really like Godard and this is one of his sunny best and was pretty influential on films that came after it.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I am Frank The Fall

We've been trying to learn the fife - here's a flute that sounds like its in the wrong key - great song though.

The Fall 'Squid Lord' Peel Session

Cracking version of this song.

Beefheart Band 'Electricity', 'Sho Nuff and Yes I do'

Great clip from 68 on French tv. I'm not a huge Beefheart fan but this is top notch.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

More blues fife and drum

I must admit I am getting a little obsessed with this genre of music. This is another great piece - this time from the Newport Folk Festival in the mid 60s.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More Othar Turner

I really fancy having my own fife and drum band - could it be as good as this though? Probably not. Archival fife and drum music here
Blues fife and drum wiki

Monday, May 18, 2009

Othar Turner

We all know Othar Turner from the Gangs of New York soundtrack - the fife and drum track Shimmy She Wobble accompanies one of the scenes at the beginning of the movie - but this film will tell you a little more about the man who produced one of the best album titles ever 'Everybody Hollerin' Goat' - wiki entry.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick 'Byker Hill'

Most folk music I do not like apart from some exceptions and these are two musicians who my brother Neil turned me onto back in the good old days and I can't help but love this stuff. Lyrics here. A traditional north-east song of Colliers played with amazing sympathy and dexterity - give it a go and see if you like it. I find myself getting all misty eyed as I do about anything to do with mining but that's my problem OK? Carthy is probably the most important figure in British folk music. Martin Carthy wiki
Watch them play the classic 'Begging Song'

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Chuck Berry 'Go Johnny Go'

We're having a bit of a revival of Chuck Berry in our house - not sure why I haven't played any for years but now I am kind of enjoying them again. I thought this credit sequence interesting. Why did they chop his head off on the opening shot? Maybe they didn't want a black face to scare the squares, I don't know, but it is a credit sequence worth watching and playing spot the stars who will utimately have tragic ends and who won't.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Old picture of Whitelands

Interesting old postcard view of chez nous. Sad to see that there was once a very large and developed wood (on the right of the picture) that's no longer there. Just a field.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Charge of the Light Brigade 1968 trailer

Lovely trailer for a brilliant film. Probably the best British historical epic ever this classic from Tony Richardson manages to capture the period and also make a great 60s film too. Everything is right about this film. I saw it at the pictures when I was about 9 and I remember falling in love with Vanessa Redgrave. When I was a teenager I was in the youth section of the WRP and my folks used to say it was because I wanted to meet her. Not true of course but funny nonetheless. For some reason I don't own a copy of this movie yet...maybe it's time to invest.

Doo Rag

Clip from 96 by the great blues and noise duo. Susan's getting her drum kit back from loan to a neighbour today so if you can imagine us in the kitchen trying in our own small way to try and 'do a doo rag' you won't be far wrong.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

'Forever Young' Bob Dylan 1976

Followed by a spirited rendition of 'Baby Let Me Follow You Down'. It's Red's birthday today so I thought I'd post something he might like - this clip from the Last Waltz seems a good choice. They had a great time at Devo by the way...I think the band were on great form but I will find out more when they get back.