Live Review: The Wedding Present @The Lowry, Salford, 11 September 2016

Two wizards were in Salford to witness a stellar live performance from The Wedding Present of their new album Going Going…

An unusually an all-seated audience thrilled to the new sounds of the concept(?) album and accompanying visuals (no capes) and our intrepid reporters tell you all about it on the links here and there…

Some, frankly, pitiful attempts at photography from Row B:

and a couple more…

Podcast number 64

Creative differences are again to the fore, as the wizards announce their ideas for new musical ventures.

PEANUTS-BAND

Fortunately, sense and taste take hold and we get a suitably sweary show that sees the long awaited return of both Rebel Rikkit’s World of Ska and Chorizo Garbanzo’s Kevin Rowland impression  Kicker’s now celebrity endorsed Question Time.

We’ve also got another album review, a celebration of Lancaster, a cheese conspiracy,”the sound of self-promotion reminiscent of wind chimes in a hurricane” and a heated debate about spelling.

Check it all out right here at the right click of a mouse and on that there picture below.

Some of the physicality we played on the show:

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Podcast number 63

Did you think we’d forgotten you? Yes, after a lengthy summer hiatus, the wizards are back with fuck all to report.

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the current view from wizard towers

Luckily, in the world of music, there’s plenty for them to get stuck into and in this show there are songs from as far afield as Argentina and Wales, not one, but two album reviews, and a state of the nation address from Chorizo Garbanzo (with soul).

Kicker is also delighted to relate his recent correspondence with not one, but two former members of Guided By Voices and as a result we get to hear an exclusive track from Mitch Mitchell’s Terrifying Experience. And shit, yeah, it’s cool.

Hear all that right here and stream away below

Some of the physicality played on the show:

and that picture of the remarkable Adrian Street:

Adrain-Street-2

Also, Kicker was right about the DTCV gig in Liverpool being on 29 October – here’s a link for more detail.

Kicker’s Quarterly – July 2016

So, three quarters of the way through the year that is calling itself 2016 and nothing of note has happened, eh? Oh. Ah.

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THE big news in Kicker Towers

This quarterly mix kicks off in fine instrumental style with the undoubted king of the melodica, Augustus Pablo, and a track from the self-explanatory Dub, Reggae and Roots from the Melodica King collection. This is followed by another oldie, and definitely a goodie, some proper blues from another self-titled king – he of the slide guitar – Elmore James and my favourite of his that tells a tale of sneaking out the window rather than facing the music, which seems apt. This is the title track from another compilation, One Way Out, that I would recommend everyone own even if it is their only blues album. Taking us up the M1, ahem, we next have San Fran punks J Church with one of many great tunes on the singles collection Nostalgic For Nothing. Then rounding up our compilation heavy start, we have a top track taken from the Sensible Record Labels RSD15 release curated by our pals at Alcopop and here featuring Best Friends from the label Art Is Hard, which you can buy here and hear there:

A band that certainly unites all of us wizards is The Wave Pictures and I am currently really keen on their album If You Leave It Alone and in particular the title track, so here it is. After that it’s Andrew Howie, who I was introduced to via the Grand Gestures collective first couple of albums, and whose own album The Great Divide I would heartily recommend. I would also suggest you go back and check out Andrew’s first band Calamateur too. A bit of European solidarity next with the inclusion of Berlin-based multilingual, French-German duo Stereo Total and a track from their second album Monokini, which as well as sporting a remarkable cover, also contains a load of great music including this track, which my CSE (ask yer parents, kids) German tells me means ‘nice behind’. Yeah. After that, we have more European culture from the very difficult to google Collection with a track taken from AB Records (out of Lyon, France) Go Goal 1 round up of their own artists that came out in January and which you can hear in full on this link and enjoy on the player below.

Here’s another free compilation that you should get hold of immediately – the Bloodshot Records Sampler 15 – which brings you a pleasing mix of genres, usually within the one song. It’s all good, but I’ve gone for the rip-roaring Banditos, who kick this set off in fine style. They’re followed by this year’s new sensation, at least according to the fine people on the Not For The Masses forum, and who am I to disagree, it’s London’s own Yak. Their debut LP Alas Salvation is going to be right up there in my best of the year list, no doubt, so now’s as good a time as any to catch up. Our GBV related track this time comes not from Robert Pollard, but from the equally gifted, if rather less prolific, Tobin Sprout, who has so far given us one fantastic single and here a taster track from a new album due later in the year. Maintaining the lo-fi aesthetic we then have a track from the magnificently monikered Dolby Fuckers’ album of Groovy Tunes that again you can get hold of fer nowt. This one is my favourite:

More from San Fran next in the form of new-wavers Tuxedomoon and the title-track from their debut EP No Tears from, bloody hell, 1978 – still sounds pretty contemporary to me. Another old favourite, although not from so far back, is the opener to the Peter Bjorn & John album Falling Out. I always thought there should be a comma after Peter, but perhaps the band’s name refers to two individuals not three. There’s definitely a bloke called Bjorn in the band, I know that.There’s only one Rowland S Howard though, and he’s up next with a killer track from his wonderful Pop Crimes album. Probably my second favourite ex-Birthday Party bloke if push came to shove, but it’s a close call. The S is for Stuart, you’ll be pleased to know. Our pals at Active Listener released a tremendous collection of psychedelic tunes on The Great British Psychedelic Trip Revisited back in March that features wizard favourites like Adam Leonard and The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies, but how could I resist a song about a vacuum cleaner. It’s not Mission Of Burma, it’s Murmurs Of Irma…

The last 4 tracks of the mix start with a fab song off of the debut album from Number One Cup Possom Trot Plan. Unfortunately, you won’t get to hear it on Spotify, but as luck would have it Dundee’s finest, Spare Snare, do a rip roaring cover that you will. Well, you will if you get onto the playlist below. If you want to hear the original, there’s a video of a man having a shave at the foot of the page that you should check out. After that particular song, we have a bit of ‘reggae’s sweetest voice’ with Bim Sherman aka Jarrett Vincent aka Lloyd Tomlinson. The song here is taken from the Pay It All Back Vol. 3 compilation on On-U-Sound and I can confirm that Vols. 1 & 2 are equally ace. I am a recent convert to the lo-fi sounds of Tim Chaplin, but am increasingly building up a bit of a collection of the great man’s work. As good a starting point as any is the Boy To Make Me Worry double album that appeared on Bleeding Gold Records at the turn of the year with a whole bunch of home recordings with hatfulls (hatsfull?) of distortion. It really is excellent stuff. The final song to get you through the next 3 months is from Canada, a single entitled Triple Water from Les Chaussettes (which sounds much better than The Socks, right?). Anyway, this is the second 7″ I have got from them (both on Punk Fox) and both are fantastique. A bientot.

Those all important tracks in full

So Many Things To Explain

  1.  Augustus Pablo – Up Warricka Hill
  2.  Elmore James – One Way Out
  3. J Church – At The End Of The M1
  4. Best Friends – Wash Me Out
  5. The Wave Pictures – If You Leave It Alone
  6. Andrew Howie – Dead Ringer
  7. Stereo Total – Schoen Von Hinten
  8. Collection – Ghosts
  9. Banditos – The Breeze
  10. Yak – Plastic People
  11. Tobin Sprout – Future Boy Today / Man Of Tomorrow
  12. Dolby Fuckers – Liam Leads
  13. Tuxedomoon – No Tears
  14. Peter, Bjorn & John – Far Away, By My Side
  15. Rowland S Howard – The Golden Age Of Bloodshed
  16. Murmurs Of Irma – Vacuum Cleaner
  17. Number One Cup – Strange & Silent Staircase (covered by Spare Snare on the playlist)
  18. Bim Sherman – Nightmare
  19. Tim Chaplin – Stratospheric
  20. Les Chaussettes – Triple Water

The Playlist

The original Number One Cup version of Strange & Silent Staircase:

Q & A with M.J. Hibbett

Still Valid

There’s a new album out next week from M.J. Hibbett and The Validators. It’s called “Still Valid” and they definitely are. Lyrically it covers a lot of ground as it mentions Geoffrey Chaucer, X-Men, Indian food, masturbation, One Direction, middle-aged men with pony tails, a mythical Norse sea monster and Top Gear.  And that’s just in one song!

You can buy the album from the band’s website here and we highly recommend you do so.

You can hear a few of the songs from the album as well as some older favourites in our interview with main man Mark Hibbett right here.

 

 

Related posts (all including M.J. Hibbett):

The Musical European Championships 2016 – Part Deux

UPDATE: And we have a winner! It really came down to a battle between Hungary’s Poster Boy and Turkey’s Reptilians From Andromeda, but in the end the song with an elephant trumpeting on it outdid the subtle ukelele backed song of heartbreak. As it should.

Thanks to everyone who voted and to all the bands for taking part.

 

As the football version of this musical extravaganza grinds its way to the knockout stages, so too do we take you skipping and jumping into the final round to discover the musical Euro 2016 champion.

oh, roy

oh, roy

The results from the group stages are in and there are no third place qualifiers here. The winners of each group can be found on the links below (correct as of 22 June) and they now go up against each other in what some are calling the greatest musical Euro 2016 play-off podcast ever.

Group A

http://www.strawpoll.me/10404583/r

Group B

http://www.strawpoll.me/10404607/r

Group C

http://www.strawpoll.me/10404629/r

Group D

http://www.strawpoll.me/10404660/r

Group E

http://www.strawpoll.me/10404683/r

Group F

http://www.strawpoll.me/10404705/r

Now, it is up to you, dear listener, to take the hand of destiny and thrust it deep in the pocket of hope, to emerge with the fluffy cough sweet of success. In other words, listen to the final six songs here and vote for your favourite on the link underneath.

 

VOTE HEREhttp://www.strawpoll.me/10552130

We will announce the winner on 9 July to give football’s lesser version a final poke in the eye.

If you haven’t already enjoyed the smorgasbord of Euromusic from the group stages, please take time to check it out here:

The Musical European Championships 2016 (Group Stages)

Q&A with Peter Momtchiloff

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As guitarist with Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Scarlet’s Well, Les Clochards, Razorcuts, The Would-Be-Goods and more, Peter Momtchiloff is indisputably indiepop royalty. Last year’s Tufthunter LP saw him collaborating with a whole host of other luminaries and the album was included in our Best of 2015 selections. We’d like to thank Peter for taking the time to be lightly grilled by us about that album, his career and of course his breakfast preferences.

tufthunter album cover

The Tufthunter album is a very strong collection of songs, is this a bank of songs that you’ve been building up for years?

Thanks, I’m glad you like the record. The songs span a very long period, though most of them were written in the last five years. You’ll have to believe me that I had no idea of making a record of my songs till about three years ago when the concept clicked: a different singer for each song. And the singers, like the songs, are from various different times of my life.  The earliest song, ‘Pirbright’, is from the 1980s (though subsequently revised), and is sung by my old friend Richard Ramage, with whom I was in a band (Here Comes Everybody) in the mid-80s. ‘My Future Band’ I wrote in the 1990s while I was in Heavenly, and it is co-sung by Amelia from Heavenly. ‘Low Life’ is a rewritten version of an unrecorded song I wrote for the Speed of Sound, who I played with from the late 1990s to the mid 2000s, and it’s sung by Kevin from that band. (I say something about each of the songs on the Tufthunter Facebook page.). Four of my colleagues from The Would-be-Goods appear on the record, three of my former colleagues from Scarlet’s Well, and three from my Oxford band Les Clochards.

Les Clochards, with Peter on the right.

Les Clochards, with Peter on the right.

 

With all the guest singers, did it take a long time to record? Did everyone come to you to record their parts?

It took about a year to record, with lots of gaps waiting for someone to be available. I did ropey demos ‘singing’ all the songs myself in a variety of keys, till all the songs were assigned to singers and we’d worked out the right keys for them. I rehearsed and recorded most of the basic tracks in Oxford with Ian Nixon (bass) and Gary Neville (drums) from Les Clochards. A few I did in London with my pal Jon Clayton. Over six months or so I got the singers to come into the studio in London or Oxford to do their thing, along with a few other guest players like Bid and Andy from the Monochrome Set.  Jessica Griffin did a lot of backing vocals.  The three US-based singers (Lois, Claudia, and Jeffrey) couldn’t make it in person, so we sent the backing tracks to them and they sent them back with vocals added.

Bid from The Monochrome Set

Bid from The Monochrome Set

How did you get all these people to agree to be on the album? I know that many of them are current or ex bandmates so is Tufthunter basically your mates?

They are all old friends of mine so I was pretty sure they’d say yes, and they all did.

 

For the song Pirbright, did you choose the place because you liked the sound of the placename or is there some other significance?

Pirbright is the next village to where I grew up in Surrey, and Richard who sings it also grew up in Surrey. I thought Surrey was the most boring place imaginable when I was young. I can appreciate its charm a little now that I have lived well away from it for all my adult life. The song imagines a disgraced local celebrity coming back to drink himself to oblivion there, because he’s got nowhere else to go.

 

Any singers you wanted but didn’t manage to get for the album or anyone you’d particularly like to work with in the future?

I had two songs which I didn’t get around to recording, one for Calvin Johnson of K Records and one for Delia and Dave from the Family Way, who I played with in the late 90s. I was thinking of doing them as a single; perhaps I will get around to that. Calvin sang his song on his UK tour last year. I would have liked to ask Debsey from Dolly Mixture to sing a song, but I didn’t manage to come up with a good one for her.  I would have liked to feature my old pal Greg from the Razorcuts, but he’s retired.

razorcuts

 

Why did you decide to give the album away for free?

I wanted to make sure that everyone I wanted to have the album would have it, and I thought going through a sales process would just be an obstacle to that. As for people I don’t know, I’m perfectly happy for them to download it for free from tufthunter.co.uk. I had some money saved up to pay for the recording, mastering, and manufacture. And I’ve given out more than 400 copies without any difficulty, which is probably far more than I would have sold.

 

Amelia Fletcher is an economics professor with an OBE, you work in Philosophy for Oxford University, Elizabeth has won a Turner Prize. Surely that makes Talulah Gosh comfortably the cleverest band in the world!! I like to imagine you having extremely intellectual conversations in the back of the transit van back then, how accurate is that?

Talulah Gosh’s van talk, like most bands’, tended to be very infantile. In Heavenly one game we played was bad anagrams of bands’ names, like Nasty Soul Fonies for Nation of Ulysses. We didn’t care whether they were proper anagrams or not, so long as they had the ring of poetic truth. (I should say that we liked and admired Nation of Ulysses very much, it was just fun to be rude about them.) {TTW adds: We’ve tried to come up with an anagram for Talulah Gosh, the best we’ve got is all hush goat} 

Talulah Gosh, the cleverest band in the world!

Talulah Gosh, the cleverest band in the world!

 

You’ve had a long career making music, have you got to meet some of your heroes? 

My favourite band when I was young was The Monochrome Set, and I’ve been in the bands with Bid and Andy. My favourite album was Mondo by The Would-be-goods, and I’ve been in the Would-be-goods for fifteen years. So that would be a yes! In the 80s and 90s, when I was in Talulah Gosh and Heavenly, I met a lot of people in fairly well-known indie bands and I can honestly say that almost all of them were really friendly and encouraging. I think in particular of The Pastels, The TV Personalities, The Go-Betweens, Beat Happening, The Headcoat(ee)s, Fugazi, Bratmobile and the Magnetic Fields.

 

What’s coming up? (gigs / releases etc)

I haven’t got any releases coming up, but am playing early 60s r’n’b with the Count of Three in Oxford, and hope to have some Would-be-goods action before long.

 

What song would you choose to soundtrack your life aged 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50.

10: Rod Stewart, Maggie May (not that I was in a relationship with an older woman)

20: The Monochrome Set, I’ll Scry Instead

30: Heavenly, Cool Guitar Boy

40: Would-be-goods, Mystery Jones

50: Hot Hooves, Midlife

 

What bands/artists should’ve been massive but weren’t?

If quality of songs was enough, I’d say the Would-be-goods. But of course it isn’t. Very few people in my part of the music world have the drive needed to become massive, and it wouldn’t suit them if they were. OK, let me try harder. Joan as Police Woman, Cats on Fire, Club 8, the Research. Further back‎: Laura NyroJudee Sill.

 

What is your favourite song with a question in the title?

‘Are you with me now?’ by Cate Le Bon.

If you could magic yourself into any band, past or present, which would you choose and why?

I did manage to insinuate myself into several bands that I liked (the Family Way, the Would-be-goods, Les Clochards).  If I could be allowed sufficient instrumental prowess as part of the deal, I would have liked a spell deputizing in Booker T and the MGs or The Meters.

 

You’re in a caff ordering breakfast. You are given toast and your choice of tea or coffee. You are then allowed 4 more items, what do you choose?

Smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, capers, bircher muesli.  I’m willing to go to continental Europe for my breakfast if that would help.

salmon-with-capers

Cricket, is it any good or is it a load of old bollocks?

I played cricket until I was about 30, when I came to dislike too strongly the good-bloke macho banter culture which appeared to come in from Australia and South Africa in the 1990s.  I prefer Oxford City FC.

oxford city fc

 

Related links:

Podcast number 62

Despite the wizards raising serious doubt as to whether an amusing musical podcast [Amusing? – TTW Ed.] is the way forward, and amidst threats of solo podcasting careers, the ever professional threesome [!! – TTW Ed.] soldier on to bring you the best off-beat music the EU (and beyond) has to offer.

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In this show Rebel gives us a worrying insight into his youthful self, Chorizo turns to an old favourite, and there is a long overdue appreciation of Bristol.

All that, and three Replacements linked songs can be heard right here. Or down there.

Some of the physicality we played on the show: 

 

And as promised, check out the Ichi Maru Mini-Documentary:

Oh, and if you enjoyed any or all of that, you’ll definitely need to check out this:

Q&A with Peter Momtchiloff

Live Review Ben Folds 15th June 2016 Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

Put quite simply Ben Folds has made at least 10 of the best songs of all time, songs that everyone on the planet should, no darn it! must be made to listen to at least once. From Angry Dwarfs through Bricks into deep Philosophy and even going Underground the rapid fire piano playing, the quirky wit of the lyrics, the liberal smattering of profanity is surely a must for all music enthusiasts.  If Elvis Costello was the “Avenging Geek”, Ben Folds is the Avenging Geeks son who oozes musicality and sticks to his creative muse so rigidly that even with his genius he has managed to evade mainstream success for a quarter of a century.  But hold on. What Ben are we seeing tonight? A lot of those 10 must listen to’s are many years ago what about the marauding solo career that while interesting has not managed to excite me in the same way as the first 2 Ben Folds 5 Albums.

This was a while back

This was a while back

Now he arrives in Liverpool replete with classic musicians and an album with long orchestral pieces that I have not been able to listen to all the way through yet.  Will our hero deliver? Will he fall on his arse (that will then get kissed)? We have to wait and see as first there was the not so small matter of :

Lera Lynn

Let’s be honest all I knew of the support act prior to the gig was that her name sounded a bit like Vera Lynne (pointed out by a friend who works at HMV. The big kid!). Lera took the stage with Josh the guitarist and proceeded to play slow, spacious, breathy songs full of the ghost of Duane Eddy playing a twanging guitar from the grave. Lera has an amazing voice that whispered at times and then filled the room with a swirling intensity at peaks in the songs.  The half hour set allowed for 6 or so songs the highlight being My Least Favourite Life which gives a hint of the off kilter and strange nature of the lyrics and let’s be honest the whole performance.

 

Obligatory Terrible Picture

Obligatory Terrible Picture

I mean where does Lera play to get started? Does haunted chamber pop go down at the youth club (do such things still exist).  Well here at the Liverpool Philharmonic she went down just fine with reaction growing after each song and the on stage banter getting more relaxed and funny there was much to enjoy.  The climax was a cover of Johnny Cash’s Ring Of Fire which I doubt has ever sounded quite like this. She slowly eviscerated the song and ground it into the desert dirt until it cried Mercy. All in all a decent start!

So onto Ben Folds or more accurately yMusic the 6 classical Musicians who were to accompany him who took the stage first without the great man. Whilst respecting Ben and the need to follow his muse and push his creative envelope I did wonder how long they would go on for. They were however pleasant enough and it was not long before the man himself appeared. It would be great to describe the wit of Ben Folds and tonight we got plenty of rambling streams of consciousness and at one point a complete halt to proceeding until Ben said “How awkward can I make this”. He is the Stewart Lee of pop! However the introduction to the first song set the surreal comic tone for me “Thanks for coming. Heres a song”.

Nervously awaiting the master

Nervously awaiting the master

The first hour was basically the new album and while this can be a slow death for many an audience I think there are plenty of good songs on the album and particularly Capable of Anything and Not a Fan were excellent. Also this was setting the tone for the night that might be described as an evening of beautiful, emotional, contemplative chamber pop. Of course on the sly we all love classical music played live its something to do with wind and string and worked for me. When Ben left the stage again my inner Angry Dwarf was getting anxious that none of my top 10 must hears would be played. Fortunately that was another brief interlude and Ben started mixing it up with older songs and some strange but effective choices like Jesusland which I had not heard for ages. Also Boxings Been Good To Me that he explained was inspired by Mohamed Ali. Then some classics that drew in the yMusic people for some extended and impressive arrangements like Stevens Last Night in Town and Erase Me.. However it was not until late in the show till he pulled out the big guns The Song For The Dumped (Top 10 Alert) was played with an outrageous arrangement and dovetailed into…I kid you not..Hava Nagila done in a very authentic Jewish wedding way. The clarinet came into its own on the Jewish Folk song section and then from 9.43 pm to 9.48 we witnessed what can only be described as Clarinet led, free Jazz. The sheer audaciousness of the performance won me over!

IMG_0778

Of course Ben was never going to let us one dimensional fans down and returned solo and asked for requests playing Kate (nearly top 10), Landed (top 10) and Army (top 10).

Did the risks work? Well there is nothing more awkward than your favourite artist telling you to like and buy albums by their friends and telling you to listen to classical music but its so great to hear him ramble on you kind of went with it and I will probably look their stuff up.

Mixing the new and old? I thought the pace of the evening struggled to deliver on the Foldian rituals for the encore like the crowd horn sections on Army and the sing alongs in Kate I was just too relaxed by the first hour and a half to get off my seat. But hey these are minor points in truth Johnny Cash was mentioned more than once from the stage tonight and made me reflect, did he “Walk The Line”? I think he did!

Tale a Bow Ben Folds and yMusic

Take a Bow Ben Folds and yMusic

oh oh oh oh Pun-der Road……

Having opted to attend the Manchester gig rather than Coventry on the recent Springsteen tour, that meant I didn’t get to take part in the 48 hour marathon queueing session to get a good spot at the front that the other 2 wizards enjoyed/endured.

The night before the gig my fellow wizards informed me they were out in Coventry having a curry and that was all the encouragement I needed to text them a load of Bruce Springsteen-related curry house puns.

bruce_springsteen_vindaloo

A couple of days later when I heard about their adventure on their excellent podcast from the pit, I felt there was something missing. Namely all these wonderful puns……

  • Dhansak in the Dark
  • Wrecking Balti
  • If I Should Phall Behind
  • 4th July Asbury Park (Passanda)
  • 57 Chanas And Nothing Naan
  • It’s Hard To Be A Saag in the City
  • Souls of the Dupiaza
  • 10th Avenue Jalfrezi
  • The Ties That Bhindi
  • Bhuna To Run
  • Vinda(loo) Let Me Be The One
  • We Tikka Care Of Our Own
  • Tarka-ness On The Edge of Town
  • Rosalita (Korma Out Tonight)
  • The Rice You Pay

 

And of course, you know who’s he married to, don’t you?

ChaPatti Scialfa!

 

"and I want to Drive all Night, just to buy you some shoes and to taste your Tandoor charms again"

“and I want to Drive all Night, just to buy you some shoes and to taste your Tandoor charms again”

 

Related articles:

 

The Musical European Championships 2016

It’s all about football! The European Championships! All About Football.  Nonsense! While the sweaty young men chase a ball around a field somewhere in France a more important competition is going on.  Yes, The Musical EUROs.  Just like the inferior Football counterpart 4 nations have got through to 6 group stages but this time with songs to represent their country.  So with 24 nations’ musical talisman in place, let battle commence.

So like, how’s that going to work? I hear you mumble!

2 Podcasts 6 polls and YOU! That’s all we need to decide what nation is the Champions of European music once and for all, or at least for the next 4 years.  Still confused? OK. Here are the instructions.

  1. Listen to the relevant podcast (Podcast 1 for groups A-C and Podcast 2 for groups D-F)
  2. Consider your musical preference for each group using whatever judging scheme you fancy and vote in the polls that are listed below

The Podcasts

The Polls

The Poll For Group A

The Poll For Group B

The Poll For Group C

The Poll For Group D

The Poll For Group E

The Poll For Group F

The winners of the group stages which, as we all know, conclude on 22nd June 2016 (UEFA Approved Deadline (at midnight for you late voters)) will go through to a knock out phase to pick the winner where I am confident the excitement will be palpable!!

Live review: Adam Ant @ Liverpool Philharmonic, 4th June 2016

Back in the very early 80s, the 10 year old me owned 4 proper albums.* One each by The Police, Madness and Shakin’ Stevens and “Kings of the Wild Frontier” by Adam and the Ants. My mate Fingers only had 1 album, the Adam and the Ants one and we will both go to our graves convinced that it is one of the greatest albums ever made.

It is a truly unique album that combines African chanting and drumming, Duane Eddy / Dick Dale twanging surf guitars, sea shanties, Native American vocalisations, Gary Glitter glam rock, funk basslines and spaghetti western tunes. Nothing before or since sounds quite like it. All of it sung by a man with film star looks dressed like some sort of pirate Native American brigadeer. This became the top selling album of 1981. Is there any other massively commercially successful LP which is as hugely experimental and such a one-off? More about this in John Robb’s brilliant essay.

So when we heard that Adam was touring again and playing the whole album in order then Fingers and me were adamant(!) that we had to go. Never mind that we live nearly 200 miles apart these days. Never mind that both of us already had a commitment to take part in a fell race to win a trout on the same day as the gig. It was a case of “don’t be square, be there!”

Adam 4

We had to rush there from the fell race so we didn’t have time to get facepainted up. It was great to see so many other people in the crowd who had made an effort though. Tricorn hats off to Adam’s fans. There are not that many bands who inspire such devotion that people want to dress up like them. I remember seeing a lot of Prince clones at Wembley Arena years back and you see saddoes with polo shirts and expensive-looking but still naff haircuts at Weller gigs. Here there were a range of fashions from different periods in Ant-hropological history. We spotted bondage trousers, lots of braided hair, quite a few dandy highwaymen and some fantastic Regency style dresses. Fingers and me agreed that his teenage daughters would definitely take the piss out of these outfits, but we thought everyone looked fucking brilliant. Ridicule is nothing to be scared of, my friends.

Adam 5 v2

As the first notes of album opener “Dog Eat Dog” sounded, a huge curtain fell to the floor revealing Adam and his 5 piece band with YES! two drummers and the response from the sell-out crowd was wild. You could tell straight away that there was a special atmosphere and this was going to be a great gig.
Adam 2

From our seats up on the top balcony, we couldn’t really hear Adam’s voice very well on that opening song but that technical hitch had sorted itself out for the next song, the anthemic call to arms “Antmusic” And wow, what amazing condition Adam’s voice is in.  If you know the album then you’ll be aware of all the Native American style yelping and yodelling as well as some very high notes. As they say on shit talent shows, he nailed it.

Adam 3

I used to have a VHS tape of the live “Prince Charming Revue” and watching him tonight reminded me of all Adam’s idiosyncratic dance moves. I’ve just discovered that it’s on Youtube so click to see the bending down one, the pantomime slap-of-my-thigh, the using the mike as a table tennis bat one and the spinning round one. It’s fair to say that he hasn’t really learnt any new moves over the last 35 years but who cares when the few moves you have got are as cool as Adam’s.

Adam 8

Every track from the album was just amazing. If I had to pick one song it would be the title track but really the whole thing was just brilliantly done.

 

Adam 9

After that, the rest of the evening was a bit of a mixed bag. I’m not as familiar with all the solo stuff as many of the crowd were and some of the solo singles that I really adore weren’t played (Apollo 9, Puss in Boots, Friend or Foe).

But we did get rousing versions of the hit singles “Goody Two Shoes” and “Stand and Deliver” (and its brilliant b-side “Beat My Guest”)

“Goody Two Shoes” was partly inspired by Kevin Rowland and having just received the new Dexys CD in the post that same day, it occurred to me how lucky we are to have Adam and Kevin, both of whom have had a lot of ups and downs over the years, still out there performing today. Long may they both run.

Adam 7

He also played some of the best Ants songs from the first album, particular highlights being “Zerox” “Cartrouble” and the amazing “Never Trust a Man with Egg on His Face”

The main set closed with an emotional “Prince Charming” much of which was played by Adam on guitar without the band as he led the crowd in a mass singalong.

Adam 1

The mantra of “ridicule is nothing to be scared of” is something I really took to heart as a 10 year old schoolboy and easy target and is a valuable creed to live by now as it was then. You can hear why he attracts such devoted tribal fans because Adam’s lyrics are full of exhortations to individuality, calls to ignore the superego, to accept the inevitable and let your more rebellious non-conformist character take over.

“You may not like the things we do, only idiots ignore the truth”

“Now’s the time I must digress from going through the motions, take my head out of its sling, free the warrior” 

“I feel beneath the white there is a red skin suffering from centuries of taming” 

“Get off your knees and hear the insect prayer”

“A new Royal family, a wild nobility, we are the family”

“So which side of the fence are you on?” 

Adam 6

After “Prince Charming” the band were called back for the encore which included a great cover of Marc Bolan’s “Get It On.”

So now I can add “Kings of the Wild Frontier” to my list of…….

…albums I love that I have seen performed in full:

  • Adam and the Ants “Kings of the Wild Frontier” (Liverpool 2016)
  • Manic Street Preachers “The Holy Bible” (Manchester 2014)
  • Bruce Springsteen “Born to Run” (Coventry 2013)
  • Dexys “One Day I’m Going To Soar” (Liverpool 2013)
  • The Wedding Present “Bizarro” (Holmfirth 2010) “Seamonsters” (Manchester, 2011) and “The Hit Parade” (Liverpool 2013)
  • David Bowie “The Man Who Sold The World” (Liverpool 2015)
  • The Clash “London Calling” performed by Chuck Prophet and The Spanish Bombs (Nottingham 2011)
  • Bob Dylan “Live 1966” (Manchester 2016)

 

Thank you very much to Andrew Winder for the photos. (Follow him on The Twitter @mrrayswigworld)

* If you want the whole truth, I also had a Mr Men album, a couple by the Wombles and a Smurfs one but they don’t really count (even though “Smurfing Beer” is a stone cold classic!)

 

Live review: Bob Dylan: Electric 50 @ Manchester Academy 3

Fifty years ago today, Bob Dylan played at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester. A recording of that gig, erroneously labelled as being recorded at London’s Royal Albert Hall, became probably the most famous bootleg recording of all time and included rock’n’roll’s most notorious heckle.

If you’re not familiar with the events surrounding Dylan’s 1966 tour and the Manchester gig in particular, then stop reading this and listen to Andy Kershaw‘s outstanding documentary about it.

 

Andy himself was co-hosting tonight with ex-Alberto Y Los Trios Paranoias and veteran of the 1966 gig, C.P. Lee who also wrote the definitive book on that tour. You could not wish for 2 greater experts or better hosts for this event.

Photo by Aidan O'Rourke www.aidan.co.uk

 

The evening was promoted as being a re-creation of the original gig with Dylan’s setlist being played in the same order with a different act performing each song. That’s exactly what we got but along the way there were a few unexpected twists and turns.

Photo by Aidan O'Rourke www.aidan.co.uk

Here’s my track-by-track review accompanied by some excellent photos courtesy of Aidan O’Rourke.

Photo by Aidan O'Rourke www.aidan.co.uk

The evening kicked off with an amazing poem called “And the Dreamers” (as in Freddie Garrity) from Tony “Longfella” Walsh. The poem told the story of Manchester’s rich musical heritage and it was quite literally breathtaking.

Photo by Aidan O'Rourke www.aidan.co.uk

“She Belongs To Me” performed by Andrew “Blind Boy” Butler

Striding onstage looking like the “walking antique” of the lyric, Butler’s attire suggests that tonight we’re going to party like it’s 1929. He played a great version of the song on the banjo with a completely different melody to Dylan’s version, the first clue we had that tonight was not going to just be a straightforward run-through of the 1966 set.

Photo by Aidan O'Rourke www.aidan.co.uk

“Fourth Time Around” performed by Kevin Hewick

Excellent version, sung very well by the first of this evening’s Factory Records alumni (FAC 48 in case any wannabe completists were wondering). Dylan has openly acknowledged that this song was written in response to “Norwegian Wood” so it was appropriate that a little snippet of the Beatles song was slipped in at the end.

Photo by Aidan O'Rourke www.aidan.co.uk

“Visions of Johanna” performed by The Speed of Sound

One of my favourite ever Dylan songs but not a highlight this evening. It was a bit of a ramshackle performance with a messy guitar solo and a bass guitar that needed tuning. A shame because I really like the latest single on their Bandcamp page.

My photos are nowhere near as good as Aidan's!

My photos are nowhere near as good as Aidan’s!

“It’s All Over Now Baby Blue” performed by The Freshies

This was more like it. Great to see the band formerly led by Chris Sievey a.k.a. Frank Sidebottom (more on Frank & me here) who had reformed for just one night and just one song. They were clearly having a good time with this uptempo power-pop version which reminded me of this Dylan cover by ex-Strangler Hugh Cornwell. The organist’s repeated 3 note riff was particularly joyful.

“Desolation Row” performed by John O’Connell

Probably the most challenging song on the setlist tonight was given to John O’Connell a.k.a. Simply Dylan. They bill themselves as “a tribute to Bob Dylan, not a Bob Dylan tribute” and that’s spot on.  There’s no attempt to look or dress like Dylan or imitate his voice. Why would anyone do that when even Dylan hasn’t sounded like Dylan for decades? Instead you get John’s excellent and powerful voice, enunciating the words clearly backed up by a brilliant bassist and violinist. Having seen a mixed bag of gigs from the man himself ranging from inspired to forgettable, you could quite easily make the case that John and his band do a far better job of honouring the richest back catalogue in popular music history. Definitely going to try and catch a full show.

“Just Like A Woman” performed by Poppycock

Whenever this song comes on at home, Mrs Garbanzo always takes the piss out of it for being patronising and sexist. She would’ve loved Poppycock’s lyrical amendments which gave the song’s subject a right to reply. One of the singers was making a second appearance of the night having already played guitar with The Speed of Sound. Great looking stylishly-dressed all-female-except-for-the-drummer band featuring Una Baines who I think was the first ever ex-member of The Fall.

“Mr Tambourine Man” performed by Edwina Hayes

The final song of the first half was played solo accompanied by just an acoustic guitar just as it was 50 years ago. The singer was Edwina Hayes and Andy Kershaw mentioned in his introduction that the great Nanci Griffith was a big fan. Hayes definitely shares some vocal qualities with Lubbock’s second most famous export. There’s a similar sweetness and sincerity in those vocal chords for sure. In Andy Kershaw’s documentary, you can hear descriptions of how you could hear a pin drop during the first half in 1966 and the same thing happened here as the room fell silent to enjoy this song being so beautifully sung.

Photo by Aidan O'Rourke www.aidan.co.uk

During the interval, there was a raffle with the prizes being 6 signed photos taken by Mark Makin who is, as far as anyone know, the only person who took any photos of the 1966 gig. Kershaw got him up onstage for a short interview and asked why it was that people were so surprised that Dylan was playing with a band when he’d had quite a few electric records out by then. But it wasn’t just that he was playing with a band that people found shocking. It was the sheer volume of it. At that time, bands just miked up the stage amps and balanced the vocals to match the backline. Nobody in the UK had ever been subjected to a P.A. system as powerful as the one that Dylan had flown over for this tour.

Anyway, I’m very pleased to say that I won one of the photos in the raffle. Here it is, this will soon be framed and on the dining room wall next to the Clash poster.

2016-05-28 15.35.08

“Tell Me Momma” performed by Dub Vampire

The fastest song from the 1966 gig was slowed-down and given a more soulful feel tonight.

Following that Andy Kershaw revealed why he had always suspected that the original recording was not taken from London’s Albert Hall as he had noticed that lots of the crowd had broad Mancunian accents. The clincher here is the person who can just about be heard straight after the infamous “Judas” shout. Andy played us that extract and we all clearly heard a northern voice shouting “yer great pillock” at poor old Bob.

Photo by Aidan O'Rourke www.aidan.co.uk

“I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)” performed by Thick Richard 

Like some of my other favourite Dylan songs (e.g. “Positively 4th Street” “Idiot Wind”) the lyrics here are full of anger, bitterness and twisted humour. Musically the song was given a right kick up the arse by Thick Richard & friends, namely serial C.P. Lee collaborator John Scott on guitar and Ste Spandex on synth. These 2 combined to make a right old racket. At times it was hard to tell if the synth was actually supposed to sound that way or be that loud or if it was actually malfunctioning in some way. This shouldn’t have worked but in fact it was a truly extraordinary performance of a great song and one of the night’s highlights.

It felt like some of the audience were taken aback, even a bit annoyed, by this radically different and challenging version of the song. But I thought that made it even better, even more in the spirit of the original concert. “It used to be like that, now it goes like this.” Don’t follow leaders.

“Baby Let Me Follow You Down” performed by George Borowski & E.P.I.

A packed stage with nine bandmembers onstage. But wait, who’s this centre stage? The thin wiry frame, the unruly hair, the polka dot shirt, the harmonica holder round his neck. People around me were shouting out “it’s Bob” but then the man concerned announced that he’d dressed up specially for the night and he’d come as John Cooper Clarke. Surprisingly this was the first time we’d heard a harmonica all night but they made up for it by having 2 of them on this rollicking party version of “Baby Let Me Follow You Down” similar to the version in “The Last Waltz”.

“Just Like Tom Thumbs Blues” performed by Jez Kerr

Former leader of the much-missed A Certain Ratio who were prolific Factory recording artists of course, see FAC 5 16 22 35 38 42 52 55 62 65 72 112 128 135 166 (my personal favourite) and 168. That band were “all about the bass” if you ask me and it was great to hear Jez’s signature sound again. Loved the wah wah pedal as well on this fast punky/psychedelic version.

“Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat” performed by The Creature Comfort

I reviewed The Creature Comfort last year when they supported Evil Blizzard and I was excited about seeing them and particularly their dynamic singer Ben again. They certainly didn’t disappoint. They transformed this song, reviled as a stupid joke song by many fans in ’66, into a stomping Stooges-style rock’n’roller. You can’t take your eyes off Ben as he jumps around and gets in the faces of the veterans of 1966, sat at the front. They look a bit suspicious him, fair enough really because you’re never quite sure what he’s going to do next. All of which adds up to a great frontman really.

Nice tip of the chapeau to the recently departed Prince too, with a mention of his millinery-themed songtitle.

“One Too Many Mornings” performed by Vocal Harum 

As you may guess from the name, Vocal Harum are a vocal harmony group featuring 5 singers, including C.P. Lee himself on bass vocals, and 1 acoustic guitar. Their version of this song, the oldest Dylan composition played tonight, was wonderful especially on the final verse where the acoustic guitar dropped out to leave just the singers.

After that Andy Kershaw was back to tell us about how he made it his mission to find the person responsible for the “Judas” shout, resulting in him initially finding Keith Butler and then later John Cordwell. Both claimed to be the “Judas” shouter but Kershaw leans towards Cordwell being the true culprit. Both men are sadly no longer with us but Kershaw played an extract from the documentary above where he conducted a scientific test of sorts. He made Cordwell go to the other end of a room and shout “Judas” to compare it with the version on the live album. Hear all that in the documentary above and read Andy’s account here.

“Ballad of a Thin Man” performed by Gerry and The Holograms

Two men are onstage wearing white boiler suits and weird creepy face masks. The man on the left is playing one finger basslines on a vintage synth whilst his accomplice intones the surreal lyrics in a robotic monotone.

Something is happening but you don’t know what it is.

This is Gerry and The Holograms. In 1980 Frank Zappa described them as “the hottest thing to come out of Manchester in at least 15 minutes.” They put out some records in the early 80s parodying the emerging synthpop sound and one of their songs was allegedly ripped off to become the biggest selling 12” single of all time (FAC 73). Nearly 40 years later, this is their first ever gig which makes Kate Bush look like a relentlessly prolific live performer.

I bet your favourite verse in this song is the same one as mine. It’s this one, right?

You see this one-eyed midget shouting the word “NOW”
And you say, “For what reason?” and he says, “How?”
And you say, “What does this mean?”
And he screams back, “You’re a cow, give me some milk or else go home”

Exactly.

“Like a Rolling Stone” performed by everyone

Our 2 fine hosts had warned us at the start of the evening that nobody was to shout it until the right time came, reminiscent of John Cleese at the stoning in Life of Brian.  Nobody is to shout “Judas” until I blow this whistle.

Are they any women here?

Are they any women here?

This directive hadn’t been complied with by everyone so there had been many premature ejaculations of “Judas” and even a few shouts of “yer great pillock”

But now the time had come so the whole crowd was encouraged to participate in a mass “Judas” shout. This was so much fun that we ended up doing it twice.

Once again, Andy Kershaw’s obsessive knowledge of the original recording provided more fascinating insight and he went into full-on mythbusting mode about Dylan’s angry response to John Cordwell’s accusation. He can clearly be heard saying “I don’t believe you….. you’re a liar!” But then there’s a further comment that can be heard off-mike. Like many other people, until tonight I was under the impression that a furious Dylan turns to The Hawks and says “play fucking loud!”

But as Andy Kershaw points out, this instruction to the band would make no sense at all. They were using amplification exponentially more powerful than any that had ever used on these shores in 1966. They already were playing fucking loud! Kershaw told us that what he actually said was “you fucking liar” and said that once you know this, you will never hear it any other way. He then played the extract in question and there it was. Have a listen yourself and see what you think.

The show finished with the whole ensemble onstage (along with a cardboard cutout of Bob) taking turns to sing a couple of lines each.

A great end to a great night. The event was organised to raise funds for MDMA (Manchester District Music Archive) which is an online repository of the city’s musical history. Music fans have contributed thousands of photos, tickets, flyers and memories going back decades. But be warned, you could easily lose a few hours browsing around this amazing resource.

Leopard-skin pill box hats off to all the musicians, technicians and staff that gave their time for free to make this event happen.

Photo by Aidan O'Rourke www.aidan.co.uk

But special thanks must go to the 2 hosts. As well as his authoritative voice on the 1966 gig and daft jokes onstage, C.P. Lee was responsible for putting this bill together. It would’ve been very easy for him to book a load of acts who would just play fairly faithful solo or band versions of these songs and to be honest that’s what I was expecting when I arrived. But instead he provided a great mixture of artists who interpreted Dylan’s songs in wildly different and sometimes avant-garde styles that challenged the audience’s artistic prejudices and pre-conceptions just as Dylan himself did 50 years ago. Then there’s Andy Kershaw whose music programmes were a huge inspiration behind us wizards starting our own podcast (as evidenced by our homage to him at the start of our very first full length podcast).

But as a journalist he excels in filling in the human details and whether he’s reporting on a faraway earthquake or forensically dissecting a Bob Dylan bootleg album he’s always passionate, knowledgeable, captivating and bloody good company.

See you in 9 years for the Rolling Thunder Revue 50th anniversary then.

Goodbye is too good a word babe, so I'll just say fare thee well. 

Goodbye is too good a word babe, so I’ll just say fare thee well.

 

“I Wanna Hold His Hand”, The Phenomena of Mass Bruce Springsteen Tactile Worship

The Wizards have been busy tracking The Boss (aka Bruce Springsteen) and the E-Street Band around the country recently and you can hear about their adventures. However, one issue that was raised was the desire from us to touch The Boss. With Bruce marauding the stage, fans, as a man, woman and child, dived forward to touch the hem of their hero.

Tactile Bruce Obsession In Action

Tactile Bruce Obsession In Action

This really begs the question: what am I? A 15 year old at a 1D concert? For the love of god, I have seen many stars of rock and pop live and never felt such and all embracing urge to embrace. Even in the first flushes of musical obsession, which for me was perhaps seeing The Clash live in 1981, I didn’t try to touch Joe Strummer. I did try to spit on Joe Strummer, but couldn’t because my mouth was so dry from all the exertion (and I was probably a bit shy (well I was 16)).

What can I say they were intimidating

What can I say they were intimidating

Its not just me either. The other Wizards felt the same as did the thousands of people in the ground. To give you an idea, I was in competition with a woman I am sure was over 65, a small boy who was 10, and 2 girls next to me who I estimated to be around 13.

Out of the way kid he's mine!

Out of the way kid, he’s mine!

So what is going on? Well, let’s explore various theories to attempt to explain this phenomena:


  • Hopes and Dream Emerge In A Human Form

All Bruce’s music is full of meaning and depth and repeated listening can embed a set of values and ways of thinking and being that transcend you as a human being. After 30 years of absorbing this potent mix of justice, energy, principles, hopes and dreams all tied up in some of the best sounds and tunes known to mankind, when this emerges in a Human Form  we enter a shaman like state and are drawn to want to make contact in a way that no rational analysis could explain.

  • Bromance

It’s not a sexual thing, but a deep affection that one feels towards someone who has become like a member of the family. What is a common way of greeting and recognising a member of the family? Shake their hand put your arm around them and give them a big cuddle.  Bruce fans may have listened and paid more attention to him more than many members of their family, so it’s only natural they would treat him like a family member without the snide remarks about the crappy Christmas presents (“Oh yea Norma a silver corkscrew I get the deeper meaning. Bitch”).

  • Peer Pressure

Let’s face it, you’re there in the middle of 2000 people and they are all doing it, what are you going to do? The Poznan?

Well this would be different

Well, this would be different

  • To Touch The Magic Dust

Bruce’s talent is not natural and most of us could practise and work from now until the next Bruce tour (if there is one (what do you mean of course there will be one (well I am just saying (Screw you)))) and we would still not have registered a single song that might appear on a outtake album two decades later. But if we touch the leg of Bruce, we might wake up tomorrow and have magic in our fingers and throats and be able to rock and roll with guts and soul (you never know its worth a punt).

  • I Am Gay

I say so often that there is nothing sexual about it, I am beginning to think I protesteth too much. After all Bruce has kept himself in good shape and is charismatic, handsome and has a few bob. If I was to be attracted to a member of the same sex, why not him? In addition, we are all on a spectrum and maybe this is a safe outlet for latent homosexual tendencies, maybe the first toe in the water or something.


Did I touch Bruce

Ok now we have the posturing explanations out of the way let’s look at the evidence. At Coventry there were limited Bruce touching opportunities at our podium. He did grace our section on quite a few occasions, but being at the side he tended to give more attention to the front section something to do with those 30,000 paying punters also wanting a good front-on view of proceedings no doubt.

There was a decent chance here

There was a decent chance here

Nevertheless, I contend that we got 2 high fives each and whilst I can’t speak for the other 2 wizards present, who are still too emotional to discuss the matter, I contend that I held hands with the great man. Let me explain. During his performance Bruce comes onto the walk ways and sometimes reaches out into the audience and at other times sings and allows his hand to drop to one side with a slight uplift on the finger. That was where I was able to put my palm firmly into his palm and there we were properly holding hands. I know it’s too fantastic to believe. OK,  well here is the proof…

Look closely there we are

Look closely there we are

Ok you cynics here it is in close up

Ok you cynics here it is in close up

 

As if that was not enough, here is Jake high-fiving the other 2 Wizards in attendance.

Jump Back Jacket after a clean contact

Jump Back Jacket after a clean contact

And Kicker of Elves not necessarily letting go

Kicker breaks a finger

Kicker breaks a finger

All further evidence can be examined here from 2 minutes 50 seconds to 4 minutes 24 seconds (not that we bothered to count)

Check out more Bruce related Wizard exploits here:

Live Review: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band @Ricoh Arena, Coventry, 3 June 2016

Podcast 10: Bruce Springsteen Special

Podcast 10a: Bruce Springsteen Album by Album Roulette

Podcast from the Pit: Bruce Springsteen Ricoh Arena, Coventry, 20th June 2013

Review of Bruce Springsteen at Ricoh Arena, Coventry, 20th June 2013

Podcast number 61

After a dusty opening catching up with a young Woody Guthrie at home with his mum, the Wizards settle into an evening of some of the finest and most eclectic music imaginable.

r8PQ7eh

a wizard earlier

In this show, we also review the new album from Fog, play tracks from the wonderful new tribute album to Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, and take Rebel Rikkit’s World of Ska to Bristol.

To make sense of any of this listen to the whole turkey shoot right here!

Some of the physicality played on the show:

 

 

Live Review: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band @Ricoh Arena, Coventry, 3 June 2016

Kicker and Rebel head off at stupid o’clock to meet up with an old friend of the pod, Jump Back Jacket, to make sure they get a front row position in the pit to see the phenomenon that is Bruce Springsteen live.

IMG_1815

just the 36 hours to go…

Have a listen to the trio’s hopes for the gig and what it is that makes otherwise reasonable people spend nearly two days in a queue, an interview with the brains behind the E Street Fans ‘Tougher Than The Rest’ charitable organisation (see below), and, of course, the tired and emotional reflections on a very special concert.

You can download here and stream just there:

We took loads of wobbly pictures, and here are a selection:

IMG_1826

a solo bruce opens with ‘for you’

IMG_1833

jump back jacket recognises someone

IMG_1851

the sniffles couldn’t stop the boss – sniff

IMG_1882

an acoustic thunder road closes the show

The setlist:

  1. For You (solo piano)
  2. Something In The Night
  3. Prove It All Night
  4. My Love Will Not Let You Down
  5. The Ties That Bind
  6. Sherry Darling
  7. No Surrender
  8. Two Hearts
  9. Save My Love
  10. Hungry Heart
  11. Out In The Street
  12. Crush On You
  13. You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
  14. Death To My Hometown
  15. Youngstown
  16. Murder Incorporated
  17. The River
  18. Drive All Night
  19. The Promised Land
  20. Working On The Highway
  21. Darlington County
  22. Waitin’ On A Sunny Day
  23. Because The Night
  24. The Rising
  25. Badlands
  26. Travelin’ Band (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover)
  27. Born In The USA
  28. Born To Run
  29. Seven Nights To Rock (Moon Mullican cover)
  30. Dancing In The Dark
  31. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
  32. Shout (Isley Brothers cover)
  33. Thunder Road (solo acoustic)

For more information about the E Street Fans and their projects, click on the following links:

Light of Day

Backstreet Merch – for E Street Fans LOD T-shirts

E Street Fans Facebook Group

 

Live review: The Thyme Machine / David Leach @ Liverpool, May 2016

So last night I met up with my fellow wizard Kicker of Elves & his son Kicker Junior in Liverpool to see one of our favourite bands The Thyme Machine.

Support came from David Leach, a singer who was new to us but one who made an immediate impression with his intelligent witty songs sang unamplified with uke accompaniment. He sang songs about Bullseye, crap office dinners at Wagamamas, sneery snide Megadrive-owning teenage girls who turn into sneery snide adult women and Accrington Stanley. (“Who are they?” “Exackkkkkkkkkkkkly”)

All of these can be enjoyed on his new CD “Nothing Concrete” which both of us bought copies of, each in a unique handmade knitted CD cover.
Get your copy here:


After that, the evening went rapidly downhill because just minutes before the headline act came on, the venue staff asked Kicker Junior for I.D. to prove he was 18 which he didn’t have because he isn’t. Whilst we understand the reasons for this and we appreciate that dealing with city centre licensing laws is difficult for small independent venues,  the likelihood of this being enforced at this particular time was pretty slim. I think even Liverpool City Council licensing inspectors have got better things to do at 10pm on a Bank Holiday Monday!

So Kicker and Kicker Junior went home without seeing the band they’d come to see. I could’ve left too but being the selfish git that I am, I stayed and watched Kriss Foster and the band turn in another brilliant set. He really is a lyrical legend and the band are fantastic. Great to see his Freddie Mercury style shortened mike stand made from a table football table again. They played quite a few from the last album, “Going Steady with The Thyme Machine” starting with the song that sets out the band’s manifesto called, appropriately enough, “Manifesto” and ending with my favourite song from the album “I’m in Love with the Girl from the Argos Catalogue”

2016-05-30 22.34.51

They also played plently of older tunes, particular highlights being the library jigsaw misadventure “998 Pieces”, the homage to favourite seabird “Kittiwake Kittiwake” and the scratty gannet’s lament “The Amateur Taxidermist’s Bird.” Masterpieces every bloody one. They even got us to hold hands and form a circle for an impromptu hokey-cokey during “The Only Statue Cleaner In This Town”

2016-05-30 22.58.29

I was reminded me of a lyric from “Let the Weird Band Win” by MJ Hibbett.

“The songs that they sing
Are about all sorts of things
That no one else has sung about
Or thought about before”

 

But really that’s just the beginning of the story.

Kriss was aware of Kicker Junior’s troubles last night and even though it wasn’t his fault at all, he was very apologetic and said he’d do something to make it right. But we had no idea the lengths he was prepared to go to in order to do just that.

At lunchtime today, The Thyme Machine and support act David Leach turned up at Kicker’s house with a full P.A. to re-play last night’s gig. They set themselves up in the garden and made Kicker Junior’s day / month / year.

Here are some photos from an extraordinary day.

They even did the forming a circle thing and that’s not easy when there’s just Kicker, Mrs Kicker and their teenage son who’s not been awake long and is still in shock from it all!

 

Last summer at Indietracks festival, Kicker and I got chatting to a bloke who was wearing a Thyme Machine t-shirt. It turned out that his name was Benni from a band called Ice Pops for Breakfast and he was a neighbour of Kriss’s. I remember him telling us that Kriss was the kindest and most generous person he knew. He was right, wasn’t he.

Thanks a million to David Leach and The Thyme Machine for an unforgettable day

More videos here:

 

 

Podcast number 60

The wizards learn all about bathroom etiquette from the get-go on this globally-reaching show.

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note lack of queue

And despite struggling with not one, but two foreign tongues, they still find time to play a whole bunch of cracking new music including an exclusive new track, all the way from Chattanooga, from Mythical Motors. Oh, yes.

Check out all the usual nonsense right here and there:

Some of the physicality from the show:

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Live Review Podcast: Shonen Knife / Leggy / Good Grief @ Arts Club, Liverpool, 4 May 2016

So, two wizards meet up with both our listeners at the Arts Club in Liverpool to catch a trio of trios and three turns out to be very much the magic number.

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We get to see Osaka’s Shonen Knife, Cincinnati’s Leggy and Liverpool’s own Good Grief on a night where we firmly believe music might just save your life.

Have a listen to our predictions and reflections and the musings of a real musician in the form of Will out of off of Good Grief, who very politely bats away our ridiculous questions about half way through.

[Unfortunately we had some technical issues with sound towards the end of this recording, but soldier through to make sure you don’t miss out on Chorizo’s never-less-than-mildly-entertaining anecdote and a mention of David Seaman.]

You can download here or just listen down there.

Some more dodgy pictures taken while bouncing up and down and smiling more than we ever knew was possible:

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good grief

good grief

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leggy

leggy

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shonen knife

shonen knife

Live review podcast: Tindersticks @ Liverpool Philharmonic, 1st May 2016

Tindersticks @ Liverpool Philharmonic, 1st May 2016

Tindersticks @ Liverpool Philharmonic, 1st May 2016

 

Two Wizards and 2 Mrs Wizards went to see Tindersticks play a “cine concert” in Liverpool on Sunday night.

Have a listen to what they thought of it right here.

We forgot to mention in the podcast that some of the songs we played are not the regular album versions. We played “A Night So Still” from Tindersticks’ most recent live album “Philharmonie de Paris.” The version of “She’s Gone” we played is from “Live at Bloomsbury Theatre” which Chorizo was at and he reckons it’s one of the best live albums ever! Neither of those are easily available unless you want to pay quite a bit but we heartily recommend the “Live at San Sebastian” album which you can buy here from the band’s online shop.

Tindersticks @ Liverpool Philharmonic, 1st May 2016

Tindersticks @ Liverpool Philharmonic, 1st May 2016

 

Listen to / buy the new album:

 

Related posts:

 

Spotify playlist of Tindersticks duet songs:

 

Youtube links for duets unavailable on Spotify:

Live review: Meilyr Jones / Gulf @ Parr Street Studio 2, Liverpool 29th April 2016

I must’ve been keen for this one because I was standing outside before they even opened the doors. Listening to the conversations of those around me, it was clear that, like me, most of them don’t live in Liverpool but had travelled into the city especially for this gig. Quite a few of them were seeing the headliner for the second time, having been so impressed by his appearance supporting Richard Hawley at Liverpool Music Week last October.

Meilyr Jones Studio 2 Parr Street Liverpool

 

It was my first gig at this venue and what a fine place it is. It looks like what it is, a recording studio replete with soft furnishings. There’s parquet flooring, a low stage covered in retro carpet, portraits of jazz greats on the wood panelled walls and a huge red LED sign saying “ON AIR”  It’s a small venue that’s pretty rammed by the time the gig starts. The sumptuous bar area is decorated with covers of some big-selling but dull albums that were recorded here (Coldplay, Elbow) as well as at Bjork’s magnificent “Homogenic” album that surely can’t have been, can it?

 

Support tonight came from local band Gulf. There’s a free track to download on their website but it doesn’t really do justice to how good their material is. They combine retro drum machine sounds with funky Nile Rodgers style guitar and (apologies if I’m about to get too technical…) lots of wibbly wobbly noises from the keyboard. Throw some heavily FX-laden guitars into the mix and you’ve got a band who would fit well onto the more accessible end of the roster of labels like 4AD / Bella Union / One Little Indian.  Best of all was the vocals, lots of cool harmonies and the lead singer’s voice was fantastic; pure Scritti Politti pop-soul, smooth, sweet and totally without histrionics.

Check out this stripped down version of “Emitter” to hear what I mean.

So on to main act then and this is someone I was very excited about. You may remember a band called Race Horses whose song “Cake” we played on podcast number 49. That song is from their 2010 album “Goodbye Falkenburg” which is a decent album but the thing that really makes it stand out from other slightly psychedelic slightly Pulp-y indie rock is the vocals. Race Horses split up in 2013 and their singer Meilyr Jones went off to Rome to recuperate. There he spent time reading great Romantic literature, visiting art galleries, listening to Berlioz and all the other stuff that being in such a monumentally culturally and historically significant city inspires you to do.

The resulting album opens with a track called “How To Recognise a Work of Art.” Well, I don’t know much about art but I know what I like. It’s clearly an album that’s been put together with great care and no doubt at great expense, for a relatively small label like Moshi Moshi. But I believe that they’re right to put their money and their faith into an album like this because I’ve only been listening to it for about a month and I’m already convinced that this album is a classic.  Lyrically it seems to tell the story of a journey through heartbreak, loss and coming out the other side of that (“Return to Life”) into some kind of resolution on the stunning final track “Be Soft.” The musical arrangements are astounding. The album sounds very grand, very baroque, very “Forever Changes” with a dash of “Bryter Later.”  Check out this photo of the CD inlay card. The left hand side credits 46 orchestral musicians, including 2 (TWO!) harpists and 17 people that comprise the Glad Cafe Choir. Some bloke by the name of Wezi Elliott plays something called a theorbo. To use the parlance of our times:  “WTF?!!?”

inlay card

Being the helpfully informative wizard I am, I have Googled it so that you don’t have to. A theorbo is a large 20-stringed instrument that you strum like a guitar. It’s basically a fucking big lute and surely the forefather of the dreaded twin-necked guitar.

In addition, on the right hand side of the inlay card you’ve got all the people playing the more traditional indie-rock instruments (bass, guitar, drums etc)

So I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the gig because obviously not all these musicians are going to fit on that stage. Even if they did, I am no economist but at 7 quid a ticket you’re going to have to sell a lot of merch just to cover the petrol money spent on getting everyone there!

2013

It turned out that the band were just 5 people including Meilyr but there was so much instrument swapping, mike stand and personnel movement that it seemed like there were more! Drummer Gwyn Llewellyn also sang and played trumpet. Emma Smith started on the Hohner violin bass, so iconic round here, but at various stages of the evening was seen brandishing violins, clarinets and saxophones. Euan Hinshelwood and Richard Jones moved around so much I lost track of which one was which but between them they played guitar, bass, keyboard, bongos, another sax, another violin and on the very last song some kind of bass synth thing. Meilyr himself is the former bassist with 2 acts who are very much favourites with us wizards, Super Furry Gruff’s band Neon Neon and the glorious genius Euros Childs, and tonight he popped up on bass guitar on the positively groovy b-side “All is Equal in Love.” These 5 people are the 1970s Holland team, everyone popping up in every position and excelling in whatever role they were given. Total football! The only thing I can be sure of is that at no point did anybody play the theorbo.

 

As expected, the setlist was pretty much a run-through of the album and I wouldn’t want it any other way. After kicking off with a raucous rollicking Rocks-Offing “How to Recognise a Work of Art“, Meilyr changed the mood in an instant starting “Passionate Friend” (not the Teardrop Explodes song) stood on the lip of the stage and singing off-mike. Previously I’ve seen Tony Bennett and Elvis Costello do this live and just as it was then, tonight it’s a hair-standing-up-on-arms moment.

Another of those comes soon after when the rest of the band leave the stage for Meilyr to perform “Refugees” on solo piano, a mighty tour de force of a song which was one of my selections for our Best of 2015 podcast. The live version was amazing and as I looked across the stage, I could see the audience on the other side just staring open-mouthed in wonder having been taken completely away from their lives and becoming wrapped up in this song. That’s why we leave our comfy sofas to go and see live music, for moments like that.

 

The band got a bit early 70s Bowie / Roxy on “Strange Emotional” and as well as some more fantastic singing, Meilyr moved off the stage to show off some pretty weird and wonderful dance moves right up close to the front row. He’s got this interesting contrast going on where during the song’s performance he’s incredibly intense, pumped-up, a little aloof, mysterious, unpredictable, glamorous and everything a proper pop star should be. But then as soon as the last chord fades, he transforms, softening all the rough edges and reverting into an affable modest softly spoken Welsh lad.

When they announce that they will play 2 more songs, I think “oh bugger” as I mentally count off 4 favourite songs from the album they haven’t played yet. The songs “Rome” and “Be Soft” were not played tonight but it seems nit-picky of me to complain about that after such a great gig. The first of the 2 songs that were played was “Return to Life” and here was another highlight of the night.

A few words about gig etiquette. Whilst the huge majority of this audience were as entranced as I was, there were half a dozen people near the back who had come out for a drink and a catch-up. Fair enough, it’s Friday night and I like drinking and nattering as much as the next wizard but if that’s what you want to do, then go and do it in one of 100s of other bars that Liverpool has to offer. If you don’t want to go far, you could just walk 15 meters to the separate bar area in this very venue that was empty during the gig and would’ve been ideal for such a purpose.  Talking to your mates throughout a gig is, at best, inconsiderate and disrespectful and as you can probably tell from this paragraph, something that really pisses me off.

One thing I don’t think I’ve ever seen done before in 30 years of gig-going is for the singer to force them into silence. “Return to Life” has a couple of sections where most of the band drop out and when he realised that the people chatting weren’t going to stop in those bits, then Meilyr just stopped singing. Not for long but just long enough to shame the people at the back into shutting the fuck up. That takes balls and best of all it worked! *

Shut the fuck up

 

*for a bit

Following that was “Featured Artist” possibly the catchiest song on the album with a dynamite self-analytical lyric and a chorus of “I will never rehearse.” Here again it hits you what an amazingly good singer Meilyr is, calling to mind under-rated singers such as Billy Mackenzie, Paul Heaton, Kevin Rowland and highlighting just how much I need to update my reference points.

I didn’t know the last song of the gig but bandmember Euan told me afterwards that it’s called “Watchers” and it was recorded for the album but didn’t make the final cut. Apparently it’s about a man who looks at the sea for a long time and then goes blind. It was a very gentle song with beautiful backing vocals and great way to end a great gig.

Meilyr Jones is on tour a lot over the next few months and he’s busy in festival season. Looks like there are more dates being announced for the Autumn too.  Check his website for dates and get yourself along to see a really special show.

In the meantime, buy the album and don’t shuffle mode it. Listen to it in full and in the right order and you will fall in love with it like I have.

 

Thanks very much to Robin Linton for the great photos above. As you can see they are far better than the rubbish ones I took. 

 

Related links:

 

Bonus web link:

 

New Album Review: Papernut Cambridge – Love The Things Your Lover Loves

So, there I was, having a barely-earned cup of tea in my favourite mug…

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here’s one I made earlier

.. when who should pop into my Inbox – only that Ian Button out of off of the band Papernut Cambridge. Fate, huh? Or possibly just coincidence. Anyway, Ian was getting in touch to highlight me to the fact that the follow up to last year’s cracking covers collection, Nutlets, is out next month.

Presented in the form of 2 x 10″ white vinyl records and a CD (with an alternative mix) in a natty plastic bag, the new album, Love The Things Your Lover Loves, looks fantastic and is a must for the Glasgow Celtic or Hibernian fan in your life. (There’s also a tape version full of instrumentals for all you completists.)

 

Moreover, this record confirms, if confirmation were indeed needed, that Papernut Cambridge are undoubtedly a supergroup – led by Ian Button, the band also features indie glitterati in the form of Darren Hayman, Robert Halcrow, Robert Rotifer, Hélène Bradley, Emma Winston, Jack Hayter and Ralegh Long – because, as everyone knows, the defining feature of a supergroup is their having a suitably self-referential band anthem. Well, this lot are, as the glorious final track (We Are The Nut) puts it, “the nut, the nut, the paper nut.”

On this, the band’s fourth album, they sound pretty much what you’d expect a group who have recently released a series of cult covers circa 1967-1980 to sound like. However, although there are definite nods to the psychedelic 60s, it’s more a 70s glam feel that dominates proceedings and at times you might just be listening to a Mott The Hoople, or Be Bop Deluxe, for the 21st Century.

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The songs offer up a combination of sagacious relationship advice (Love The Things Your Lover Loves), celebrations of new experiences (Chantreuse) and strange ghost stories (Them), but if there is an all pervading theme, it would be that of communication. One of the stand out tracks, the previously released Mirology, here in pared down form, presents a new form of philosophy, where “all mirologists say / step into tomorrow today” and concludes “the better used communication is mirology”, which, whilst not a little confusing, fits perfectly on a track that manages to conjure up a tremendous Eastern (Asian not Anglian) tinged mystical dreamscape. There won’t be many records released this year that reference the scale used in measuring a civilization’s level of technological advancement, but Karadshev Fail is certainly one. This track has a lovely jazzy opening twinned with some superb drumming from Darren Hayman (a very underrated percussionist) and leads to a song that explores the desire to communicate with the future (at the expense of the present) –  “they think somebody’s out there trying to get in touch” – the title kind of gives the end of the tale away. There are more terrific and peculiar rhythms underpinning the track Spell It Out, which confirms that Papernut Cambridge are more than likely a single entendre type of band, where what you see is what you get and they “don’t always get innuendo” – Ian Button’s lonely harmonica intro is a particular delight here. And of course, what better way to communicate than get your songs on the radio. The song Radio, with its jaunty fuzz guitar and plant pot percussion deserves to do just that.

 

Possibly the centrepiece of the album is the track I’m Stranded with its country feel (according to the final track, that’ll be Jack Hayter on steel guitar) building a sense of melancholy that, funnily enough, put me in mind of The Replacements Sadly Beautiful. Here there is an admission that they are “closer to the past than to today”, which might just be a justification for the band’s sound perhaps. St Nicholas Vicarage gives us “tea on a Davenport… cakes with the edges caught, Gas Mark 5” and lyrics that flow like nursery rhymes, especially the section “what can the matter be… I wanted to call you but had no battery”, where, for once, the present is brought into stark focus. The line “I don’t want to go back not there ever” must surely relate to a place rather than a time, and so leaves you wondering what might have happened. There’s more mysterious storytelling on Them – a strange tale of outsiders who may or may not be imaginary – “they weren’t doing anything wrong” – and gives us a big twangy guitar solo to boot. There’s definitely a more 60s feel to the track Chartreuse – a Kinksian ode to the best green drink ever (excluding St Patrick’s Day Guinness, obviously), a true story of where “I lived all my days and never thought I’d taste anything like it”. Look out for a joyful monastically/fantastically rhyme too.

Perhaps my two favourite songs bookend the album. The opener Love The Things Your Lover Loves gives us relationship advice Papernut style, where “it’s not an obligation”, but research of potential partners is heartily recommended, and features high quality handclaps throughout. The song also suggests that “keeping things exclusive isn’t good for you”, which made me think of the band as a politically correct Slade. The closing We Are The Nut is a singalong delight and one of those  songs that name checks the players. This is now “a band with a song about itself”, but in typical self-effacing style, they admit “there are quite a few things we’re not interested in”. Nevertheless,  “everybody better look out, cos we’re gonna put another record out” and no doubt it’s going to be a regular play on the jukebox in the Nutflake Social, just as it will be on the turntable in Wizard Towers. Originally named after a band that appeared in a dream, Papernut Cambridge are the real deal, more than simply the sum of their parts, they are a super group and this is a super record.

Kicker’s Key Tracks: Mirology, We Are The Nut, Love The Things Your Lover Loves

You can get your copy of the record from the Papernut Cambridge bandcamp page where it has a release date of 13 May on Gare du Nord Records

Podcast number 59

With new tracks galore from Chuck Prophet, Pulco and Picturebox and an exclusive from Martin Newell to share, the wizards are back and flouting all media restrictions.

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There are also tense reviews of both the new albums from Violent Femmes and Future Of The Left, and the thrilling tale of Rebel Rikkit nearly buying two records to enjoy.

To listen, download and love either click here or follow the soundcloud thing below.

Some of the physicality from the show:

You can read more about Alex Nieto and ‘Death by Gentrification’ by clicking on the link.

It would also be great of you could help support independent music by getting the Pulco EP here and the Picturebox album here.

ATP 2.0 Curated By Stewart Lee @ Pontins, Prestatyn, 15-17 April 2016

Kicker and Rebel are sent on a fact finding mission to North Wales to see what this All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival is all about.

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sun, sea and sleaford mods (none of which were sampled)

Listen to their increasingly tired and emotional reflections on three days of top-notch music and comedy right here.

See the Bellrays performance here

Then thrill to some poor quality visual records of each day below.

FRIDAY

Trash Kit, The Nightingales, Richard Dawson, Roky Erickson

SATURDAY

The Raincoats, The Bevis Frond, Datblygu, The Blue Aeroplanes, The Ex, Giant Sand, The Fall, The Bellrays

SUNDAY

Stewart Lee, Alasdair Roberts, Dave Graney & The Mistly, Flamin Groovies, Mission Of Burma

And the setlist from the find of the weekend, Dave Grainey…

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Should I Boycott the Bruce Springsteen Concert

Anyone with a working knowledge of this site will be aware that all the Wizards are massive fans of Bruce Springsteen and are incredibly excited at the prospect of seeing him on his latest visit to these shores in Coventry and Manchester this year and bought tickets on the day they were released. However on 9th April 2016 Bruce Springsteen announced that he is cancelling his concert in Greensboro North Carolina in protest over the ‘Bathroom Law”. Bruce has stated that this is “an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognising the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress”.Screenshot 2016-04-15 10.29.13

Well whats that all about? After some research I find that the “Bathroom Law” is a law that prevents people from using toilets of the gender that they were not at their birth. The background to the Law is complex, many, including it seems Bruce, feel that this is part of a climate of bullying against LGBT people and a way of making their lives more difficult as it would force someone who has has a complete sex change to use the mens lavatories. Not that I have ever really thought about it but, on balance I am probably against that.

However reading further on in 2014, the Office for Civil Rights within the U.S. Department of Education said federal student non-discrimination law covered sexual identity, and federal officials have said school districts that do not allow transgender students to use bathrooms assigned to the gender with which they identify are violating those students’ civil rights. So at a national level the government have made all schools make provision for transitioning students to use the bathroom (and of course changing room) they identify with, so to speak. This has problems for states who worry about an increase in claims from transgender people for not providing gender neutral bathrooms.

So you can see this as, A) a clash of ideologies between enlightened free thinkers who want to express their sexual individualism against the forces of religious conservatism that fundamentally disapprove of those lifestyles or B) an attempt by state bureaucrats to stave off legal claims from disgruntled transgender or transitioning people.

Screenshot 2016-04-15 10.42.11

On a practical level while I would not want a person who has had a sex change to be forced to use the bathroom designated to the biological sex however, neither am I that enthusiastic on allowing people to choose which bathroom they use based on the gender they identify with at the time. After all what is the qualifying criteria for this and how committed do you have to be to the new gender identity and for how long? In addition what seems to be missed here is the position of women in all this? are they happy for men to have the right to have access to their bathrooms when they choose to identify as a female? I don’t know why, but I am not that keen on Women having the right of getting into my bathroom when they are transitioning into their new male sexuality, after all why can’t she continue in the other bathroom so as not to interrupt the flow so to speak.

The Debate in Cartoon Form

The Debate in Cartoon Form

The more I look into the bill its seems to be riddled with confusion and complications and I think its an area that all involved could probably negotiate perfectly well without legislation, if only life was that simple. However where does this leave me and Bruce as politically I can’t think of a time when I have not been inspired by his political involvement, thinking about his response to 9/11, calling Woody Gutheries “This Land is Our Land” the American national Anthem, his opposition to the Iraq war to name a few. In short Bruce consistently gave a voice to political concerns I absolutely shared you could say that “we walked together side by side” and it felt good.

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Sticking to the Wizards toilets

But on this one I am less than enthusiastic to the point where I think I disagree with Bruce.

In addition what is Bruce hoping to achieve? He punished his fans in North Carolina by not allowing them to see him play? or as he puts is on his web site “I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters”. I do not mean to trivialise the plight of transgender people but I am not sure that those people who have laid their lives on the line fighting violent and oppressive regimes would feel that their Freedom Fighting activity was comparable with someone wanting to use the alternative bathroom, Its hardly The Sandinistas is it! Would Bruce not be better served to hold back his most dramatic gesture for bigger causes after all he never cancelled a concert when America invaded Iraq or any other time as far as I am aware.

Anyway even East Street has two ways, between audience and artist, they can boycott us but we can also boycott them! I have enjoyed the warm glow of Springsteen Concerts sharing communal celebration with like minded souls for 3 decades. Well now of course that might not be the case, i have taken for granted that we have shared the same dreams and visions and were driven by the same passion and desire musically and more importantly philosopically. Lets be honest when you believe in something, heart and soul, you cannot caveat sections out, be 75% in love, life does not work like that. So the concert experience will not be the same and I have to face the fact that maybe these ties no longer bind.

There will be much soul searching in the next few week before I make my decision to boycott the Coventry concert and if Bruce wants to put some flesh on the bones of his very brief statement to help me understand then that would help, he knows where I am or maybe i should say “and if he wants to see me you can tell him that I easy to find….There is truly a darkness at the edge of town!!!

Screenshot 2016-04-15 10.28.59

Just put the puppy down Bruce

Bruce I have loved all the time we have spent together but it maybe time for us to take a break (which is really annoying because The River is my favourite Album).

This is how obsessed with Bruce the Wizards are!

https://trustthewizards.com/2013/06/21/podcast-from-the-pit-bruce-springsteen-ricoh-arena-coventry-20th-june-2013/

https://trustthewizards.com/2013/06/21/review-of-bruce-springsteen-at-ricoh-arena-coventry-20th-june-2013/

https://trustthewizards.com/2013/06/12/podcast-10-bruce-springsteen-special/

https://trustthewizards.com/2013/06/14/podcast-10a-bruce-springsteen-album-by-album-roulette/