Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Friday, December 20, 2019


Who remembers this venue? There was a time when there was a chain of them in places like Bristol, Hull Sheffield and the main one in Camden London. Saw some great artists there in Bristol including Bo Diddley and Screaming Jay Hawkins. No Diddley was my brother's first ever gig (March 1983) and he was 17! Saw Link Wray at Camden Dingwalls about then too.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Visiting a British pub

Both Frome and Midsomer Norton had a large contingent of GIs. This film shows them how to behave. In 1943, the American OWI helped create a film that they showed to all those who were to be stationed in Great Britain. This is an excerpt from the US Military Training film "How to Behave in Britain." Burgess Meredith, of later fame as the Penguin in the Batman series (he did a great deal of other stuff as well and much of it quite good), takes the American GI through the ins and outs of the British pub as it existed in wartime Britain. Perhaps Donald Trump should have been shown this film before his first trip abroad as President of the US. Since this film was produced by the US government during the Second World War it is considered to be in the public domain.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

New Bad Detectives cd

Up on Spotify if you want to hear it before buying.

RIP Anna Karina

News here

Friday, December 06, 2019

Christmas in Wellington's Peninsular Army

Jacques Tati - Trafic (1971)

Some great visual comedy. Not his best film but it's still funny. Wiki


Jacob Rees-Mogg yesterday in Midsomer Norton. There was a live debate last night on Somer Valley FM in the town hall and Mogg turned up with a tv crew in tow. They weren't allowed in.

Rolling Stones - Sympathy For The Devil (Live Altamont, 1969)

50 years ago today was this famous free festival that symbolically ended the 60s. Wiki
"rock and roll's all-time worst day, December 6th, a day when everything went perfectly wrong."[10]

Monday, December 02, 2019

Quick Joey Small The Mud dogs (2006)

In our old garden 13 years ago. Totally unpremeditated - Sue had a new camera and then bosh.  Over 5k hits. It was so long ago that when I uploaded it it was the only version of this song on YouTube. Of course the original is by the Kasenetz Kats orchestral circus if you didn't know.

New Bad Detectives cd

Their 6th album. Fourteen tracks. Available now!  The expanded CD version of the  '..are in Mild Peril' mini album.

14 songs - 5 brand new, 8 from the original, and a re-worked version of Strangest Dream.

1. I Saw A Dilton Martian
2. What Happened To Buster Crabb
3. Vambo Man
4. Pepper Put The Cuffs On Me
5. Drinking In The Whammy Bar
6. The Hypnotist Twist
7. There's A Love Guru In The Village Barn
8. (I Had The) Strangest Dream
9. Orson's Comet
19. Junkshop Guitar
11. Petrol & Beer
12. Straitjacket Stroll
13. Looks Like I Gotta Split Town
14. Shepton Prison Blues

Just in time for Christmas
 Get it here

The Undertones are coming to Frome!

5th June. Cheese and Grain. Support Hugh Cornwell.

Friday, November 29, 2019

My German exchange

This is me (on the right) with my German exchange 'friend' from Hannover. We spent a month in each other's country and I got to really dislike him. It all came to a head at Hanover zoo in the trampolines - we had a fight and I finished up breaking my wrist pummeling him in the head. It was a big deal. I was going to be sent back home - had to have a cast on my arm. Happy Days. Dierck his name was. His parents were very nice. His Dad had been a P.O.W. in the the UK. I managed to pick up this record at Hanover fleamarket. I also got mugged by some blokes on bikes while I was out wandering around.

Stones poster sells for £15,000

This poster was in the news when it fetched 15,000 at auction. First Stones tour. Quite a package. Keith Richards wrote in his autobiography about this tour and the romance he had with Ronnie to be Spector.
A rare poster promoting one of the Rolling Stones' earliest concerts that was found in a loft has sold for £15,000.
The original poster advertised a show at Bristol's Colston Hall in 1964 during the group's first UK tour.
It was found when the sellers of the poster moved into a house in the Knowle area of the city in the 1980s.

Maxwell street Chicago 1964

'And This Is Free' is the fascinating personal vision of life around Chicago's Maxwell Street open air market shot by award winning photographer Mike Shea [capturing] the gritty urban landscape that nurtured Chicago blues...Shot with a handheld camera in the cinema verite style... the film crew spent every weekend on Maxwell Street over a six month period... The flow of everyday details - overheard conversation, faces in the crowd, items strewn in a vendor's stall - captivates the viewer with the power of authenticity." The film uses the footage to illustrate a Sunday afternoon on Maxwell Street in 1964.

Cliff Richard & The Shadows - On The Beach (Sing A Long Version)

Watched this movie Wonderful Life (1964) the other day. It's as you know part of a trilogy of colourful youthful movies that represented an attempt to create a commercial British musical. Other films include the Young Ones(1961) and Summer Holiday (1963). 

Elvis Presley Beach Shack

From the movie Spinout 1966. I woke up this morning with this song in my head. 

Thursday, November 28, 2019

The Who May 31 1976

 Another early on gig I went to was the Who at Charlton athletic ground in 1976. Travelled by car with schoolfriends. It rained and my burgundy waistcoat ran all over my Grandad shirt. Support was the Sensational Alex Harvey band as well as others. Who setlist


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

When Dave Clark Five 1965

Did you watch this the other day? (Catch us if you can 1965) I loved it. Hadn't seen it for about 30 years and it didn't disappoint. This scene is on the Mendips apparently - near Charterhouse on the Mendips. This song is great. John Boorman directs. 

Gary Rhodes RIP

My kids were big fans. Here they are plus one at Waterstones Bath for a signing. BBC obituary 

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Howlin' Wolf 'Don't Laugh at me'

Captures the intertwining of the Wolf and Hubert Sumlin, playing his Bartolini guitar. Looks like this model. Don't know much about them I used to think it was Japanese.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

My first real gig - Wings Bristol Hippodrome May 11 1973

Setlist here
James Paul McCartney a TV special from 1973.
I wish I could remember more about this but I was only 12. Support was Brinsley Schwartz but I can't say I particularly dug them. I was wearing a purple corduroy trouser suit with home made Wings badge made by my sister. I went with my big sister and her friend who was known as Splosh. Her mum drove us there in a Morris minor. They debuted the song 'Live and Let Die' with strobe lighting. Highlight for me was the encore Long Tall Sally. It was a big deal as it was the first gig in McCartney 's first real tour and it was all new. We waited after the gig with some die hard fans and got a glimpse of Paul and Linda peeking out at us peeking in at them. 1973 tour wiki
The below clip is from 74 but they started with this one. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Somer Valley Rockin'

Hi everyone,

After a small break we are back and raring to go with some great gigs coming up in the next year.

You will see that we have revamped ourselves, starting with a new name, logo, and committee of like minded friends.

Our next gig is The Crawlin' Kingsnakes on Saturday 08/02/2020, with the brilliant Trevor Rock Ape Stewart spinning the tunes. This will be at our usual venue of Radstock Working Men's Club in the centre of Radstock (BA3 3PR). It's a great hall with a large dance floor.

Tickets will shortly be available through PayPal via our newly created website, priced at £6.50 online/in advance or £8.00 on the door.

Many thanks to you for your continuing support,

Marc, Elaine, Meg, Paul and Keith

Monday, November 18, 2019

Norman Cornish centenary (with thanks to the Durham miners gala)

 Norman Cornish - internationally acclaimed artist and Durham miner - was born 100 years ago today.

Born in Spennymoor on 18 November 1919, he worked at Dean & Chapter Colliery for 33 years from the age of 14.

Famous around the world for his depictions of work and life on the Durham coalfield, he was the last surviving artist of the Pitman's Academy at The Spennymoor Settlement, established to give mining communities access to the arts.

He continued to paint until his death at the age of 94 in August 2014.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

50th anniversary of Sesame Street

From 1969, "Jazzy Spies #3", written by Denny Zeitlin, vocals by Grace Slick (yes, that one, of Jefferson Airplane).

Monday, November 11, 2019


Picked this up from a charity shop. It's the story of the Printing firm for around here. My mother and father were working there when they met whilst cycling home. 

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Somer valley rocknroll club nights for 2020

These are the rocknroll gigs at the working men's club Radstock for 2020 - see the webpage where you can buy tickets

Please note the following dates in your diary:

Sat 08/02/2020 The Crawlin’ Kingsnakes with DJ Rock Ape

Sat 04/04/2020 The Authentics with DJ Tony Toye

Sat 13/06/2020 The Rhythm Slicks with DJ Tony Toye

Sat 08/08/2020 The Sonny Richards Trio with DJ Tony Toye

Grand March in honor of the 78th anniversary of the military parade November 7, 1941

Van Morrison - Wavelength - 2/1/1979 - Belfast (OFFICIAL)

40 years ago. I wasn't a Van fan 40 years ago. I had some Them records but my younger brother got me into Van's solo stuff initially with the l.p. he made with the Chieftains 'Irish heartbeat' and then this which is from the Van Morrison in Ireland VHS. This version rocks better than the lp version give it a spin. By the way we have a new bass player and he has Van Morrison's old BMW. 

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

A real life Midsomer murder?

Except it was in Radstock. BBC sounds programme of the Wellsway pit disaster.

Monday, November 04, 2019

Hamburg62 at Tucker's Grave 26 September 26 2020

This 4 piece band recreating the apprenticeship years of the Beatles and others from 1962 are playing at the lovely cider house in Faulkland near Radstock. You can camp there if you wish for about a fiver. I am going.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Britains zoo animals

I think I had all of these

Friday, October 18, 2019

Magpie vintage

New shop for Midsomer Norton High street.

Friday, October 04, 2019

Get Out of Denver - Eddie and the Hot Rods

Sorry to see Barrie Masters has died.  Here's one of his earliest moments on French tv I believe.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

These Are the Damned 1963

I watched and enjoyed this film last night so I thought I would share it. It starts off in Weymouth and has Shirley Anne Field and Oliver Reed. Directed by the great Joseph Losey. wiki

Monday, September 16, 2019

French in camp Ralph Mitchard

Napoleon's Line infantry and artillery

Bought this book the other day. It's from 1996 so it's after my time but it still is an enjoyable read. 

Friday, September 13, 2019

260th of 1759

1999 photo by John Norris for Skirmish magazine
Today is the 260th of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759. So to commemorate it why not check out the pages of photos of my French and Indian war reenactment years. All in subjects. 

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Buddy Holly in-car entertainment.

 I was introduced to Buddy Holly by my Uncle Graham. He lived in Cornwall and had a greatest hits on 8 track which he played in his car and it was great experiencing loud music as we sped around the villages. Good times. 

Sunday, August 18, 2019

100 years war in France

South Petherton rocknroll fans ahoy!

This gig was mentioned on Geoff Barker. I like the idea of a band doing rocknroll period Beatles. If you want to see Beatles from this era check.our my Pinterest page https://pin.it/bnfh4ze2woqb5t

Friday, August 16, 2019

Peterloo Massacre 1819

Today is the 200th anniversary of this event.
Trailer for the 2018 movie here

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Mitchards in Radstock

My Dad as a baby and his brothers and sisters in the 1930s. Eventually there was 10 children
There's this great website Somerset coalfield connections which details all the people from the coalfield. Goes back quite a way. There are 146 Mitchards listed see here

Napoleon's 250th birthday

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Former Selwood Printing Works Frome by David Ward

This building was once the home of Butler & Tanner - printers who I did my apprenticeship with but they weren't in these premises by that time but I heard stories from people who did work there.  All flats now.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Animals & Men by Peter Lowery 1979

About 40 years ago we got professional photos done by Peter Lowery who used to have his studio on Church steps Frome. He got me and Susan to hold hands which we found strange and we weren't keen on but he said they would be cropped off. You can see his lines in the contact sheet.

Friday, August 09, 2019

Ralph in Frome as a punk

Here's me from about 78/9. The jacket was Sue's from BOY. This is a Polaroid from our flat in Frome at the time which was spacious. We had one room set up just for war games we used to do 1940 battle of France. I was the British and Nigel was the Germans i think I lost every battle. We used these rules and the British tanks were crap.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Buddy Holly in Bristol

The legendary Buddy Holly only managed one UK tour in his short career as a Rock and Roll pioneer, and we were lucky enough to receive him in Bristol. This performance also included his band The Crickets, Garry Miller and Des O’Conner.

40 years ago this came out

Rock 'n' Roll High School is a 1979 American musical comedy film directed by Allan Arkush, produced by Michael Finnell, and starring P. J. Soles, Vince Van Patten, Clint Howard, and Dey Young.[3] The film featured the punk rock group The Ramones.

Psychedelic timeline

This list is pretty interesting - it charts the progress of Psychedelia musically from the first gasps.
This one by the Yardbirds was quite an early one in 1965. 

Monday, August 05, 2019

Saturday, August 03, 2019

P.J. Harvey - 1993 MTV Studios

-Highway 61 revisited

PJ is from Bridport Dorset where there was a skirmish in the Monmouth Rebellion of 1685. Went to college in Yeovil. If you are wondering what a Sheela Na Gig is you can find out here

Friday, August 02, 2019

Howlin' Wolf with Hubert Sumlin playlist

This is still a work in progress but it's coming along it might not be totally correct. Helped by the fact that I own a copy of this book. Worth getting if you love the blues.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Wacky Races Board Game

When I first saw about this I had to tell my brother. He is a big Wacky Races fan from the old days so I think he's going to buy it. Board game geek for review and where I found this image. I think there is a painted set and a non painted set but the cars look good. Get it on Amazon or ebay.