Thursday, December 23, 2010

18 degrees below

Below are some links sent to me by a friend who attended to a recent Russian Napoleonic event - (a not for public battle) that took place in 18 degrees below with knee high snow. Lots of frostbitten reenactors enjoying themselves in sub zero temperatures...hope that is festive enough for you..

Monday, December 13, 2010

R L Burnside 'Shake 'em on down'

We haven't had any blues recently on this blog so let's take care of that oversight right now with this enjoyable groove from the great R L himself. 'Shake 'em on down' - who did the original? I'm guessing (and I'm guessing mind) it might be Tommy McClennan. It has been around the block a few times in different hands - Bukka White, Doctor Ross...the list is long. This version seems inspired by the Fred McDowell version.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

What's New Pussycat?

A film with Peter Sellers and Woody Allen? Has to be good right? isn't that good but like a lot of 60s movies it's a must-see.

'The Knack - and how to get it' trailer

I am going to do a short season of 60s films - this is a must see from Richard Lester. Of course pretty dated nowadays but then that's the point.

Yardbirds in Antonioni's Blow Up

This was the first film I had on VHS - taped off the telly and watched rather a lot. Originally this scene was to have the Who hence the guitar smashing - the club is a carefully reconstruction of the Ricky Tic Club. One of the great 60s movies I guess - up there with the best of the Swinging London films. I think this film influenced me into buying some white trousers...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Un homme et une femme (1966) trailer

Back in the old days we used to do a cover of this song - the movie and the soundtrack are excellent but our version was a little ropey.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What's the Point?

Went to the Railway in Radstock to see this punk band (What's the Point) - they were great - lots of uptempo singalong compositions that went down very well with all present. Pub was friendly too so all in all a good evening.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Russian Civil war battle Tachanka vs White Cossacks

Haven't had much from the Russian Civil War recently on this blog - hopefully this Tachanka action will make up for it. The blurb says
'A scene from Soviet-Yugoslav 1958 movie "Aleksa Dundić" which shows a battle between Red Cavalry Tachankas and White Cossacks.'

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920)

It's relatively easy to be a film buff these days. You have the IMDB and accessible greats like this one online for your perusal. In the old days before videos it wasn't so easy. You'd have to go to late night screenings to watch unusual films abd if you wanted information you had to buy film books - my shelves are full of them - I don't consult them anymore as there is no need but they're there as a reminder of the days when information wasn't so easily come by. Anyway here's an early expressionist classic - I expect you have seen it but Conrad Veidt is one of my favourite actors (he plays the sleepwalker Cesar).

Saturday, November 06, 2010

M.I.A 'Born Free'

It's very rare for me to see anything I like on Later with Jools Holland but I saw this last night and was much impressed. Of course it samples one of music's best riffs (I won't tell you - you can listen)and there is a nice feel to it.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Animals and Men on Facebook

We've started a Facebook page - hopefully we'll get some visitors. See ya there?

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Gene Vincent 'Bluejean Bop'

Interesting early clip with the man wearing an all leather ensemble - maybe the first time a rocker graced the stage in leather strides if I am not mistaken.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ari Up of the Slits has passed on

Sad news indeed. The 48 year old had a long and serious illness apparently. Rest in Peace.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

'Working in a coal mine' Lee Dorsey

I love this clip. This is for the Chilean miners...

Postcard from Radstock 1914

Guss and Crook

Picture is of Foxcote Carting Boys in 1904 - I wonder if my Grandfather Jack Mitchard is one of them? He was a carting boy at Foxcote at that time. Started aged 12. Got taken to the Co-op to join the society and buy his pit boots after his first day. The lads in the photo (from 'History of the Somerset Coalfield' by Down and Warrington) are protesting about the Guss and Crook - a horrible device that went around the waist and below the groin that turned boys into beasts of burden and always resulted in blue scarring around the mid region. Only Somerset miners used this device because of the narrow seams.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Shannon 'Abergavenny' (1969)

It's funny isn't it when you hear a song that you haven't heard for some 40 years and it acts as a strange time capsule - this one did that - I heard it on WFMU of all places Irwin's show - the same show played one of our records and we get a kick out of hearing the whole show and whoomph this one took me right back to rainy holidays in Wales, feeling carsick driving through bleak mining villages and just trying to pass the time and singing this song when the town's name appeared on a signpost. It's easy to feel nostalgic for the easy listening songs of the 1960s isn't it? Do you know the way to San Jose?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Red Krayola 'Hurricane Fighter Plane'

As everyone is going on about the Battle of Britain then I might as well post this classic psyche record all about the 'not-so glamorous as the Spitfire' Hurricane. This is a superior version to the more usually heard one off the album.

'Trouble of the World' Mahalia Jackson

Scene from Douglas Sirk's 'Imitation of Life'.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

bitwa warszawska 1920 film

So Polish filmmaker Jerzy Hoffman - known for his 'Fire and Sword' epic is about to release a film about the battle of Warsaw - when the Red army was defeated by the Poles - known as the miracle on the Vistula. Not much on this film yet as it's not released til 2011 but if you are interested search 'bitwa warszawska 1920 film' and you'll find some production stills like this one of Red soldiers.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Javan Rhinoceros

Possibly the rarest large animal on earth with only a small population of less than 50 left. Wiki here. Join the Facebook group save the Javan Rhino here

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Battle reenactment satire from Armstrong and Miller

Faithful re-enactment of the famous Civil War battle between the armies of Elvis Presley and Gordon Jackson.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Gene Vincent 'Baby Blue'

I hope you like this - I do anyhoo

Dersu Uzala / Дерсу Узала (1975)- 1/15

I am a bit adrift as to what to put on this blog - so I will put up some part 1s of great movies. This is indeed one of the great movies - enjoy

Dersu Uzala (Russian: Дерсу Узала, Japanese: デルス·ウザーラ; alternate U.S. title: Dersu Uzala: The Hunter) is a 1975 joint Soviet-Japanese film production directed by Akira Kurosawa. The film won the Grand Prix at the Moscow Film Festival and the 1975 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. The film is based on the 1923 memoir Dersu Uzala by Russian explorer Vladimir Arsenyev, about his exploration of the Sikhote-Alin region of Siberia over the course of multiple expeditions in the early 20th century.

The film is almost entirely shot outdoors in the ruggedly beautiful Siberian wilderness. As with most of Kurosawa's work, each frame is carefully composed to form a dramatic picture. The film explores the theme of a native of the forests who is fully integrated into his environment, leading a style of life that will inevitably be destroyed by the advance of civilization. It is also about the growth of respect and deep friendship between two men of profoundly different backgrounds, and about the difficulty of coping with the loss of strength and ability that comes with old age.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Dave Clark Five Everybody Knows

Vintage footage of Bath and Salisbury Plain are in this clip from 'Catch us if you can'

Dave Clark Five Because

Another clip from the below-mentioned film.

Dave Clark Five 'When'

From the movie 'Catch us If you can' which is one of the best pop vehicles ever being directed by John Boorman. Some of this movie is shot in Bath - must get hold of a copy and watch it again.

Dave Clark Five 'Bits and Pieces'

One of my earliest musical memories is sitting in the back of my parent's car and beating this out on the upholstery while I sang along.

Peekskill Riots

This event happened today in 1949. It would make a great film. Paul Robeson organises a benefit concert that results in mob action against the organisers and concert goers. First World War airman Eugene Bullard - the only black pilot in the Great War was attacked by a State Trooper - Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger's car gets rocks thrown at it. Dark days.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Storming of the Bastille

This is interesting - looks like a French miniseries telling the story of the French Revolution. Quite convincing this clip.

Shangri-Las 'I'll Never Learn'

Nobody can do sad like the Shangri-Las. They seem to be able to be dramatic without making it corny. This is a brilliant song - I can't understand why it wasn't a hit - maybe it's just too darned sad.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Red Balloon clip

Reissued in HD. Did you know the film's director invented the board game 'Risk'? Well it's true.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

CPS Myspace

Bristol singer-songwriter CPS has a new-look myspace with some videos and songs for you to enjoy.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Demain dès l'aube (2009)

Thanks to a French speaking friend for letting me know about this French film which explores the world of reenacting in a darker way than say 'Faintheart'

Imdb says
Just saw this one at the Göteborg International Filmfestival. It was my opening film, and considering the talent, I expected something quality, and I got it. Vincent Perez plays a concert pianist, Mathieu, who takes a break from his good, but perhaps complicated life, to offer support to his brother Paul (Jeremie Renier), who lives with their very sick mother. Paul is into reenacting historical battles from the Napoleonic era, and Mathieu is sucked into this fantasy world, to stand by his brother. It turns out that the fantasy is more real than he had bargained for, and things get serious when people are easily offended, while playing the game. I'm not about to give the whole story away, but besides the interesting plot and excellent acting, there is also beautiful piano music and fantastic dueling scenes at dawn with great light. So go see, I'm glad I did!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hot Dang Paydirt!

My son and I started a discussion with our selves about what the phrase was in this Dowliners Sect black horror comic offering 'I want my baby back' and so we decided to ask the man himself, and emailed the Sect and got a reply from Legendary vocalist Don Craine and he says it is 'Hot Dang Paydirt' - there - now you know.

Joe 90 theme

I was bout 9 when this came out and I got presribed some corrective glasses and I chose some to look like Joe 90. The only trouble was I got called 'Joe 90' which I didn't foresee or like. I stopped wearing them. Then later I had to wear specs - and when I went onstage at Bath Pavilion with Animals & men I heard someone shout 'Joe 90' at me from the crowd. Wow that was a bummer. Good theme though.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Papo Prestige 1er Empire

Sometimes it works out rather well having a daughter working for a toy shop. She snapped up these discounted French Napoleonic cavalry with her staff discount at 4 quid each! I feel like a kid again. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

1792 Aux Armes Citoyens

More French Revolutionary fun for you.

Chouans! (1988) (trailer)

Movie set in the Vendee during the French Revolution.Imdb

Valmy 1792-2012

This pivotal battle of the French Revolution is being recreated in 2012 which is great as I love the period. It has a Facebook page so check it out.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Brian Jones and Jimi Hendrix 'My Little One'

So Brian Jones will always have a 'what if' hanging over him. He was apparently going to do a group 'Balls' with Lennon and Hendrix - but who knows? Read about his legacy here.

Salamanda Palaganda

Picked up a copy of Prophets Seers and Sages by Tyrannosaurus Rex today for 45p. That's a bargain in anyone's world. I do like the Steve Peregrine Took era much more than the later Mickey Finn years. Seems more underground and more sincere. We used to be in the Tyrannosaurus Rex appreciation society - they used to publish old programmes and the odd vinyl release - it was good. Read Steve Took's reply to Marc Bolan's answer 'In the Gutter Somewhere' to the question where's Steve Peregrine Took these days? here

Invicta dinosaurs

We have a pretty good collection of these plastic dinosaurs that were sold at the Natural History Museum - and we still add to them when we find them. It has become unpopular to make large hard plastic dinosaurs these days after kids used them as clubs to batter siblings so they are a bit of a relic of the past. Kids loved to chew these so finding ones that haven't been munched is also a challenge.

New Beyonce single

The good thing about nobody reading this blog much means I can post what I like and I do like this video for the single 'Why don't you love me?' by Ms Knowles. Sort of influenced by Betty Page and done in a home movie style there is plenty of humour and some gratuitous smoking in here. Well done.

Monday, August 02, 2010

'The Twelves (Dirty Dozens)' KOKOMO ARNOLD (1935)

John Peel used to play this fast paced suggestive blues a lot. I can see why - it's almost punk rock - an attacking riff, irreverant lyrics and a louche persona - what else do you need? Wiki on the man.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

New York Dolls 'Chatterbox'

A trilogy of clips from the mid 70s. It's interesting to watch this spotlight on Thunders doing 'Chatterbox' - it's easy to see how much he was influenced by Marc Bolan with his onstage antics - this is almost like watching 'Born to Boogie'. This is a strange song - more of a showcase for Thunder's guitar but somehow it don't care about the mundane lyrics and its pace and so forth you just get caught up in the dynamics.

Heartbreakers live in 75

After the Dolls broke up Thunders of course formed the Heartbreakers with Television's Richard Hell. Here they are playing 'Going Steady''Chinese Rocks' and 'Pirate Love'. Low quailty but we are watching a key moment in musical history here so we can excuse the greyness.

New York Dolls - live in 75

Songs are 'Red Patent Leather' 'On Fire' and 'Something Else'. I've been listening to the Dolls on vinyl recently - its great to hear them after a lay off and I also have been playing the Red Patent Leather live album and there's some great songs on there - a lot of them forming the basis of solo sets for the individual band members, although 'On Fire' which is a great song I don't think appeared anywhere else. Maybe it was a co-composition. This clip captures them quite nicely - shame its not in colour but you can't have it all can you?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Johnny Cash 'Committed to Parkview'

This is a dark take on the music business but nevertheless a true one I feel obliged to say. Heard on the Wfmu Ichiban stream.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Serge Gainsbourg & Anna Karina - Ne dis rien

Anna Karina - Sous Le Soleil Exactement

More Serge Gainsbourg this time with the wonderful Anna Karina.We might have a little Anna Karina film season if you behave yourself.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Animals & Men 'Driving Stupid'

From the recent Convulsive 12 inch this uses visuals from Jacques Tati's comedy 'Traffic'(1970)
'Is this the way the world ends? Not with a bang but with the driving stupid'

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Saw this image on the Ichiban blog and thought I'd have to share it with you.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Metal Urbain - Lady Coca Cola/Paris Maquis

Following a French theme here's their most famous punk band and someone who we really liked at the time and still play. Not so keen on the recent stuff they put out but then I am probably getting old. Probably?

Passion Armee get reviewed in MRR

Our favourite French band (sadly now split) have got a rave review at Maximum Rock and Roll.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Nico 'Striptease'

I suppose I ought to choose a few Serge Gainsbourg songs - this is a match made in heaven - early Nico singing a song from the film 'Striptease' - well I am not sure it actually appears in the film but it's from around that time and is connected to the film of 1963.

Serge Gainsbourg biopic

Bea got us free tickets to see the new Serge Gainsbourg film at the Little Theatre. We enjoyed it but then we like Serge Gainsbourg so why wouldn't we like it? Well biopics are usually rubbish and tend to take a person's life and make it ridiculous but not this wasn't a straight forward film as it had fantastic elements and this gave it some originality. The songs are well done. I'd recommend it and that's not cause we had free tickets.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Visit to Stony Littleton Long Barrow

Went to check out the crop circle - see below - and was pleasantly surprised that you can now go in - it being gated for the last few visits. There was a bunch of people photographing the CC.
Red hang out in the depths and got some good photos.

Stoney Littleton Crop Circle

Photo here, Sue's been wondering about this years CC activity and then Fortean Times plops on the mat and there's been one about 4 miles from our house near a Long Barrow. Must pop along and see if it's still visible.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Son House 'Death Letter'

Watched the film 'Black Snake Moan' yesterday with Samuel L Jackson playing a farmer slash bluesman - god that film was crap! There was a bit of Eddie Son House at the beginning and end which kind of lifted it but otherwise it was a thoroughly stupid and insulting movie - what were they thinking? How many cliches can we get into one film?

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Dancing Ferrets 'All Over Mendip Tonight'

I suppose this is the sort of thing marketing men trying to sell cider want to avoid but I actually like this - it's a particularly faithful and authentic sounding tribute to Adge Cutler and the Wurzels with bango and tuba and all - and Frome is mentioned in the chorus! You know I am gonna like a bit of scrumpy and western if it mentions Frome or Radstock. And the name 'Dancing Ferrets'...well spot on! (Mustelids do dance you know - whether it's to confuse their prey or its just playfulness I don't think anyone knows...)

Thatcher's Cider Ad

This is I think this Somerset company's first tv ad and very attractive it is too - showing the work of bees gets a thumbs up here and whilst Thatcher's Gold isn't my favourite of their ciders I think it is a fine advert and a counter to the heavily marketed Irish cider of a few years ago. Why no regional accent on the voiceover? Somerset accents are used on other adverts at the moment why would they avoid this and go for a sort of middle England idiot?

Susan at Hemington Village Day

Here's an image of Sue holding a hybrid falcon called Ruby at Hemington Village Day. It was a good afternoon out - I picked up a great book 'Family cars of the 50s' for 20p and we had tea and strawberries. Course the highlight for Susan was this bit...

Models 'Man of the Year'

Who remembers this punk oldie? Featuring a young Marco Pirroni on guitar this Step Forward single was I think their only release. Supported the Heartbreakers on their UK tour along with the Killjoys.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

John Mitchard's obituary

Is here. Funeral yesterday was moving and appropriate. Lovely to see so many friends and relatives. Anne found some great images in an old suitcase which has photos of him on the front page of the Sun and the Times ejecting Colin Jordan from a Labour Party conference. You KNOW I am going to post these pictures soon!

L'Illusionniste (2010)

New British-French animated movie by Sylvain Chomet from a script by Jacques Tati and set in 50s Edinburgh - we're there dude.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Munsters Koach v Drag-u-la

Bea mentioned the Drag-u-la so I thought I'd post this clip. Music Rob Zombie.

'You don't care' Junior Wells

Junior Wells recorded some amazing sides through his career. This is a good 'un with a double tracked vocal with fun lyrics like 'I asked you for a cigarette, you bought a pack today, and you gave me a butt from the old ashtray'.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ray Harryhausen 90th

Thanks for Bea for telling me it's genius Ray Harryhausen's 90th birthday today.

Munsters Koach

One of the great tv vehicles of the 60s - alongside the Monkeemobile, the Banana Splits buggies and so on...I am sure you can think of a few. This looks like it was the inspiration behind the Gruseome Twosome car in Hanna Barbera's 'Wacky Races' (which incidentally I thought was inspired by 'Death Race 2000' but apparently not - it was something else - possibly The Great Race movie.

Monday, June 28, 2010

John Mitchard 1930-2010

Renegades 'Geronimo'

Just heard on Ichiban - this song is from the movie "The Ghost Of Dragstrip Hollow" 1959 - I think more instumentals should have gunfire in them - maybe I should write a song 'Tachanka' with the sound of a machine gun punctuating it.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Radstock Museum Football Exhibition

Definitely worth a visit if you have an interest in the local teams from the age before tvs when local footballers could be huge stars in their home town. Fascinating insight into the teams and some of the managers. The area produced quite a few famous players and coaches - one Midsomer Norton born man Bert Head had his own stars which he brought on to play for Swindon Town. We took our Dad and he enjoyed it immensely chatting to the volunteers about some of the local legends and some of the local players. Definitely worth a trip if you think museums are stuffy places full of irrelevant things - this is the story of a community at play - and play they did!

Bad Detectives pilgrimage to Canvey Island

Frome rock and roll and r'n'b band the Bad Detectives are playing Canvey Island - home of their heroes Dr Feelgood on the 4th July. Should be great in a 'coals to Newcastle' sort of way. Good luck boys!
Image from this Feelgood site
The Bad Detectives
04 July 2010 20:00 - 22:00 BST (End Time Estimated)
Where: The Lobster Smack

Canvey Island

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Howlin' Wolf - Sitting on Top of the World

Lovely colour film of the man towards the end of his life - note the bandage from kidney dialysis - but still performing at his best.

Michael Eavis - Somerset coal miner

It's not a well-known fact but everbody's favourite festival organiser was working in the Somerset coalfields and it saved Worthy Farm from being sold. Michael Eavis turned up at the Radstock Museum recently for a miner's reunion and tells the tale here. He worked at New Rock Pit Stratton-on-the-Fosse. Respect.

Howlin' Wolf - Back Door Man

Been reading the biography of Wolf 'Moaning at Midnight' which my brother bought me for my birthday and so I am having a real Wolf revival with me digging out old records and finding new clips. This is one I hadn't seen before. Hope you like it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Savages - The World Ain't Round It's Square

Just heard this on Ichiban - haven't heard it before - it's a great garage anthem. And so true...

Rufus Thomas 'Jump Back'

From 1965 on Ready Steady Go. Sax player with a shaved head looks like a time traveller from the future.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Elvis 'Tiger Man'

Joe Hill Louis (below) co-wrote this - good performance Elvis - almost as good as the original.

Joe Hill Louis 'Boogie in the Park'

Really like this man's music. You know its gonna rock if its got him playing on it. His voice is deadpan and kindof agreeably flat. He might have invented rock and roll. Here's a myspace - remember Myspace?
Innovative and rocking.Wiki

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Nancy and Lee 'Arkansas Coal'

I have to thank Red for introducing this to me. I love it - it's like a rock opera about coal mining - I'd love to do a cover - call it 'Radstock coal' though. Here's the lyrics and chords. 'This is how it feels to be dead'. Studio version here

Friday, June 11, 2010

Apple Tree Inn at Shoscombe

It is Sue's birthday today so we went for a pub lunch with her folks to the Apple Tree at Shoscombe which is about a mile walk along the Collier's Way cycle route. It's the building with the brown roof on the photo. It's off the beaten track but that only adds to the old world charm and tranquility of the place. The food and choice of ciders is excellent and the bar prices are very reasonable. Definitely worth a visit if you're in the Bath area.

Howlin' Wolf 'Poor Boy'

If you think I wouldn't want to hear any more Wolf after gorging on his classic tracks yesterday you'd be wrong. This is a great song composed by Wolf but based on a traditional blues. 'And the world can't do me no harm'.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Celebrating 100 years of the Wolf

Me and Big Rich playing earlier today.

The Fall '50 Year Old Man'

Howlin' Wolf centenary

100 years ago this man was born - someone destined to light many musical fires and inspire countless generations of record buyers, singers and songwriters. May his legend live on and continue to give pleasure to the world.

Monday, June 07, 2010

WFMU - where records go to live

Film about our favourite radio station.

When Foxes attack

News story here

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Cardigans 'I need some fine wine'

I still like this song. I posted about it when I first started blogging and I still admire the skill in writing this song.

Bo Diddley tells the story of Bo Diddley


One of the greatest French period films based on the novel by Emile Zola. I drop into mining movie themes at the drop of a hat as you know and this ranks as perhaps the best. One day someone like Ken Loach will make a movie about the strikes in and around Radstock - in the meantime this will have to do. Talking of owing your soul to the company store in 16 tons made me think of this film - the shopkeeper allows the women to have 'tick' in return for sex - you'll be glad to hear he gets castrated by an angry mob if my memory serves me well. During strikes Radstock Co-op set the price of items like bread and kept the prices the same throughout the strikes.

Bo Diddley '16 tons'

A great version of a classic song about mining. Of course in Radstock our miners didn't owe their soul to the company store as we had the Co-op where you could have a divvy card and a share in the profits. On his first day at work at the age of 12 my Grandfather was taken to the co-op and made a member and bought his pit boots. I was reading in the Five Arches magazine that miners all had unique nicknames - they were all Jacks and Freds so it was important to be able to have a unique moniker and your son would aslo be in time given the same name but known as 'young whatever'.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Coy "Hot Shot" Love - Wolf Call Boogie

Some Memphis harp blowing continuing the theme of the Wolf Call.

Elvis 'Wolf Call'

No howlin' on this song from the Girl Happy soundtrack.

Lord Dent and his Invaders 'Wolf Call'

Heard this on Wfmu's Rock and Soul stream- It's great the howls remind Susan of Scooby Doo for some reason.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Sonny Boy 'Eyesight to the Blind'

This is one of the all time great blues songs. Recorded for the Trumpet (pre Chess) label this is an immense lustful appreciative blues that you must listen to. When he sings 'her daddy must have been a millionaire' you know you're in the presence of one of the great American poets. There is a racial subtext to this song but I'll let you figure that out.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pinball fever

Prof Green

I really like this. Something about this record makes me want to say = 'have you heard this?' - it's rare that I like a British pop record but there you go.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Is this the greatest psychedelic rock song ever?

This song by the 13th Floor Elevators has slowly grown on me over the years - I have printed the lyrics as they are kind of mumbled and they are spectacular.

Well some they pledge allegiance while others treasure seek
And soul wisdom spoken back, each life will be unique
Some want only pleasure, you only want to please
Or bring as the highest life that prayer ever sees.

I don’t ever want to come down from your village and your big town

I won’t tell foreigners earth’s their home
Well armed by the life you’ve been making
And not crush powers not your own
Just stick to your own overtaking

I don’t ever want to come down from your village and your big town

Encouraging all men, I wish you would
To live in a fable, I wish you would
I can’t do no other with you and David’s Saint fable
I’m not even trying to or curious fair
Each unicorn makes it completely prepared

I don’t ever want to come down from your village and your big town

Billy Graves 'The Shag'

1959 song about someone taken aside and taught how to shag by the Queen of the Hop. Maybe after playing this you'll be shagging too.

Harold Burrage 'She knocks me out'

A Chicago soul and r and b legend, Harold Burrage should be more famous. This was on the ill-fated Cobra label. Love the middle 8 when he goes all Jackie Wilson on us.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Maximum Rock and Roll video of the week

This is a nice surprise - a review too for Animals & men.

Hubert Sumlin teaches you to play 'Smokestack Lightnin''

Joined on vocals and harp by David Johansen. Join my Facebook group dedicated to giving the Wolf the 100th birthday party he deserves here

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Wolf live in Britain

Cool clip of the Wolf playing to an audience of nerdy white people - how I wish I was one of them. Brilliant clip. Please watch it to the end - track 2 where Hubert Sumlin does some wizard solos - that sort of stuff he does that has the power to heal the sick and stop wars - it's that good I tell you. It captures the 60s band sound on film in all its glory -

60s Howlin' Wolf

Colur footage from the 60s of Wolf and friends goofing around at a night club. Little Walter's present and many more. From the Howlin' Wolf Story DVD.

Howlin' Wolf Centenary

Here's Facebook group I started - Make 10 June International Howlin'Wolf Day

June 10 this year is the 100 years anniversary of Howlin' Wolf's birthday. How are we gonna celebrate it? I know this fact as its my birthday, the same day 50 years later...maybe I'll just have a Wolfing session. Seriously I usually play a bit of Chester Burnett on my birthday anyway - I'll have to think how I can do something a bit more - something special for the 100th anniversary.

Otis Rush 'My Love Will Never Die'

If you ever need proof as to how unjust this world is then take the case of Otis Rush - how is it that Eric Clapton is so rich and hardly anyone knows Otis Rush? Go figure. This song - sentimental, dramatic, tragic and not everyone's cup of tea - is one of my favourite Cobra recordings.

Adam Ant 'Beat My Guest'

Clip from a fairly recent gig in London. Sounds allright. I'd go see him.

Adam Ant sectioned

Sad to see the singer sectioned - news article here. Let's hope he has a speedy recovery. A lot is being made of his recent charity gig - clip here - I don't think it's that bad - what is swearing illegal now? He is supposed to be a punk rock singer...

Animals & Men 'Nag Nag Nag'

Song we recorded in 2004 in Bristol with a 6 piece line up - 2 drummers - Geoff and Andy - 2 guitars - me and Phil Cass - a powerful noise but too big for any of the stages we'd be likely to play so we didnt ever play live with this set-up.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

'Du Pain ou du sang'

I recently had the honour of having a piece I wrote translated into French in Heartbeat fanzine - it was interesting seeing your words in another tongue - one phrase that sounds most melodic in French is the phrase 'bread or blood' which was the slogan of the revolting Radstock colliers in 1817 - sounds better in French.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

30 years ago today

Ian Curtis died. I think Animals & Men must have been the first ever band to be influenced by Joy Division. We saw their first ever gig in London at the Hope and Anchor and were right on them from the earliest releases. They were an influence right away. Below is a band that I think have been influenced by them in a good way - see what you think.


So this fantastic band have split up. I can't believe it - they are so good - but I think they have left a new lp and cd as their legacy. This French band supported us and blew us away - we for the first time were seriously worried we were gonna be able to follow the support band. Come back boys!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Fall 'Bury' live at Frome Cheese and Grain

Yes it happened - it wasn't a joke - the Fall played in Frome. FIrst gig I have ever been to at this venue which tells you something about their choice of bands and pricing policy. It's only been open about 10 years and is only a few miles down the road.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Fall's new video 'I'm not from Bury'

Well last night's gig in Frome was stupendous. A perfect vantage point - a great set from the new lp - everything was good. Thanks to Geoff for organising and Andy for the after gig hospitality.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Piney Brown 'You Bring Out the Wolf In Me'

Is this the best song ever? (Heard on WFMU's Ichiban of course). I did one of those Facebook tests 'what is your spirit animal' with the result being the Wolf, so this resonates with me. But I have to say - give this a listen good people - if this don't make you grin and tap your toes get down the doctors quick - you might be dead!

American Folk Blues Festival 1983 feat. Louisiana Red

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Cortinas 'Defiant Pose'

I am pretty excited by the forthcoming vinyl compilation that Bristol Archive Records are bringing out soon by this long lost punk band. I used to really like them and with them being local it made it all seem like not just something that was just about London. I well remember seeing them as a 17 year old on local telly performing one of their songs - I really want to see that clip again sometime somebody - but listen to this and see if it's your bag. I think they sort of carried on an RnB groove that was placed after say Eddie and the Hot Rods but in a line so we, in Frome, kind of resonated with their sound. Maybe they should reform for a few gigs?

John and Doreen

My sister has been going through the Mitchard family photo archive and has been scanning them - some of the pics I have never seen - obviously I ain't gonna bore you with many but this is one I particularly liked as it was unknown to me and captures my parents in their 'courting' phase. (No... apparently it's their honeymoon) I love the background too.

The Fall 'Bill is Dead'

Clip from Snub TV many moons ago. In an alternate world - one that isn't ruled on the basis of injustice the Fall should have had the acclaim that Oasis got - that may seem odd but they were spot on in this era and Oasis were just fakes...but that's the trouble with this world - it's a crap version of how things should be.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Us and Dragonflies

Have you ever had a dragonfly larva? When I say 'had' I mean kept one as a pet - I had one as a kid and it ate all my tadpoles - it frightened me to death - it was like the alien in Alien - grossing me out until one morning I came down and found it sat on the side of the washing up bowl I was keeping it in as a beautiful Dragonfly. I almost forgave it.
Anyhow back in the early years of the 20th century they dug up a Dragonfly fossil in Radstock in one of the pits - it was the largest fossilised bug ever found at the time though I now think it has been surpassed. Boltonites radstockensis. Hence the choice of song for the below film.

Yellow Coat - Screamin' Jay Hawkins

This is really the final word on Yellow Coats - hope you have the yen to hear it as it might make you think twice about laughing at the man in the banana yellow overcoat. Did I tell you about the time I met Screamin' Jay? Oh I did...sorry.

Radstock in the snow

Are you ready for snow nostalgia? This is from earlier this year in our 'hood. Sue filmed it and I am the toothless idiot in the yellow coat. My Dad gave it to me so don't laugh. Very much a d-i-y project with our band Animals and Men song 'Dragonfly' as the soundtrack. Not that you see Dragonflies at that time of year.

Louisiana Red at the Thunderbolt Bristol

Thursday 13 May
Blues Legend LOUISIANA RED & Michael Messer
One of the last great surviving bluesmen, Louisiana Red was born in Alabama in 1932. His mother died a week after his birth and his father was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan. Louisiana Red not only plays the Blues, he lives it through his guitar and his singing. Strongly influenced by Muddy Waters, Lightnin‘ Hopkins and Arthur Crudup, he has long ago found his own voice, his own style, his own form of expression. In a career spanning over half a century, Louisiana Red has played with just about every major bluesman you can name. In 1983 he won the W.C. Handy Award for ’Best Traditional Blues Artist’. Michael Messer is recognised as one of the world’s leading slide guitarists and blues innovators. One prominent critic described him as `an unavoidable force in modern blues` £10Adv from Bristol Ticket Shop Tel 0117 9299008 £12 on the door

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Women of the Red Army tribute

Great montage of images of women soldiers of the Red Army in WW2 made as part of the Victory Day celebrations. Interesting that the Soviets were the only nation in WW2 that used women warriors in all combat roles, from pilots to tank crews - you name it - and they were the ones that won! (Space here left for a patronising comment by us men)

The Escape 'Murder' 1982

This is a blast from the past - from Bristol Archive Records - we (the Terraplanes when we had 2 drummers and singers) actually supported this band once - at the Bridgwater Arts Centre - around this time. Dave Massey reviewed it.

Interview with Cavan (Kev) Saunders

Here at Bristol Archive Records. CPS is playing the Piano Bar Frome on July 29th. Should be good.
If you are wondering what the set will be about here's what he says

My vocal style has been compared with Lou Reed , Jim Morrison and Johnny Cash.
Musically the song styles take in Folk, Alt Country,and Rhythm and Blues.
Some have likened what I do to Blue eyed soul/New wave artists such as Elvis Costello and Graham Parker. I play a set that mixes mostly original compositions with,cover versions of songs by people such
as Fred Neil, and Jerry Jeff Walker.

I am looking forward to it already

Monday, May 10, 2010

Your Future Our Clutter - The Fall

I don't get excited much these days (it's my age) but I am really looking forward to seeing the best rock and roll band in Britain in Frome on Saturday. It seems really weird the Fall playing Frome - it's like some alternate world where good bands play locally. It's not right. This looks like the set opener - see ya there?

Paul Robeson 'Anthem of the Soviet Union'

I love it when a couple of threads on this blog come together - and this is an example. My Dad is a big Paul Robeson fan and his political activism only made him even more of a hero to my old man. Robeson even made a film about the South Wales mining community The Proud Valley (no clips on Youtube sadly). I think his courage and intelligence deserves more respect - check this from his wiki

Paul LeRoy Bustill Robeson (April 9, 1898 – January 23, 1976) was an internationally renowned American bass-baritone concert singer, actor of film and stage, All-American and professional athlete, writer, multi-lingual orator, scholar and lawyer who was also noted for his wide-ranging social justice activism. A forerunner of the civil rights movement, Robeson was a trade unionist, peace activist, Phi Beta Kappa Society laureate, and a recipient of the Spingarn Medal and Stalin Peace Prize. Robeson achieved worldwide fame during his life for his artistic accomplishments, and his outspoken, radical beliefs which largely clashed with the Jim Crow climate of the pre-civil rights United States. He became a prime target of the right during the McCarthyist era.[1][2][3][4] Despite his being one of the most internationally famous cultural figures of the 20th century, persecution by the US government and media virtually erased Robeson from mainstream US culture and subsequent interpretations of US history, including civil rights and black history.[3]