Saturday, 25 April 2015

Saturday Scratch #45 - Winston Heywood

I can tell you very little about Winston Heywood, other than the fact that he was accompanied on his slim catalogue of 1970's singles by, at various times, The Hombres, The Soul Hombres and The Shoemakers. Two of Heywood's singles were recorded at the Black Ark in 1976 under the supervision of Lee Scratch Perry and, as it's been a fair while since the last Saturday Scratch, this one is the appropriately titled 'Long Long Time'.

Previously on Saturday Scratch.

Friday, 24 April 2015

You Can't Get the Staff

By the time I became a Manager in 2002, the Coffee company for whom I worked had established a very strict recruitment procedure from which we were instructed not to deviate, comprising of an extensive, structured interview and the diligent completion of a hefty written assessment of each and every applicant. I would always sneak a question or two about musical tastes into every interview though - it had to be done. If I had my way, I would never have employed anyone who didn't at least like The Buzzcocks and The Ramones, though on reflection, the implementation of this policy would probably have left our stores extremely short-handed for most of the time.

Here's a less frequently aired favourite from each of those great bands.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Creeping Danger

Snug as a bug in a rug, this collared dove has built a nest in a temporarily comfy, though ultimately unwise location - a neighbour's gutter. With heavy rain forecast in the second half of the week, we fear the worst for her eggs.

French musician Nino Nardini enjoyed a 40 year career, predominantly composing and recording library music, which was used on radio, TV and film. His large catalogue has been much sampled by DJ's, though 1971's 'Jungle Obsession' is the only album I own. From 'Jungle Obsession', and with the fate of our friend the collared dove in mind, this is 'Creeping Danger'.

Monday, 20 April 2015

This is Radio Cash

About a month ago, Swiss Adam over at Bagging Area, pointed me in the direction of a streaming Andrew Weatherall NTS radio show (here). It proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable if expensive couple of hours. I already owned or knew of half a dozen of Mr Weatherall's selections that day, but still managed to buy two albums and a single before the show had even finished and another two albums off the back of it in subsequent weeks. On Saturday Swiss Adam let it be known that a new Weatherall NTS show was up for grabs on Mixcloud. Flexible friend at the ready, I'm going in.

This was one of my purchases from last month's programme. 'The Sacrifice' by The Pattern Forms is the b-side of a 7" single, 'Fluchtwege', which out now on Ghost Box.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Battered Cheese - What's Not To Like?

On Tuesday evening, in preparation for our trip to the coast the following day, I sat at my laptop perusing a selection of online pub-lunch menus and stumbled upon a dish that caused my eyebrow to creak upwards in the manner of Roger Moore's Spitting Image puppet. Vegetarian Fish 'n' Chips. Intrigued, I read on. The 'Fish' was actually halloumi, deep-fried in chilli, coriander and lime batter. I closed my laptop. We had a winner. There was no further research required.

Apparently, Chicago singer/songwriter Daniel Knox enjoyed a full English breakfast on every stop of his recent UK tour (the best was in Coventry, in case you're wondering). I'd be interested to hear his opinion on the merits of my veggie Fish 'n' Chips. Maybe next time. Daniel's 'Blue Car' is easily my favourite song of the year so far and to be standing immediately in front of him as he sang it, a couple of weeks ago, was one of those, never to be forgotten, concert moments. Check out more of his remarkable music here.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

55 From 55 - 2014

55 songs in 55 days - one for every year of my far. 

This whole shebang started on a whim. A few tunes, each with an attached few lines of waffle - 55 posts, bob's yer uncle. Once I got into the groove though, the thing took on a life of its own. For some of the years I struggled to come up with anything and it probably showed, while for others I had more memories, tunes or photos than you could shake a stick at. So I've got a little backlog of stuff to dip into, going forward (one for all you Buzzword Bingo fans out there).

One of the unfortunate by-products of my devoting so much spare time to 55 From 55 (as well as being laid low by an absolute stinker of a cold last week) is that I've fallen way behind with all the excellent blogs I follow myself. Normal service, on all counts, returns henceforth. Next time I post, it'll no doubt be regarding some of the newer stuff that's been tickling my fancy over the past couple of months. 

Thank you to everyone who has dropped by to support this little endeavor, it really is very much appreciated. Right, I'm off out for a spot of Birthday lunch with Mrs S. Catch you later. And remember - age is just a number.


As is the way of such things these days, many of my favourite albums of 2014 don't actually enjoy a physical presence here at Swede Towers. A case in point was, until recently, 'Unlikely Mothers' by Big Blood, where the only physical release was of the 'Limited Edition Coloured Vinyl Double LP' variety, which of course I was too slow off the mark to snap up. Fortunately for me, a second limited run of 150 appeared early in 2015. This time I was off like a shot and managed to bag a copy.

I can't recommend Big Blood highly enough and I shall return to them more fully at some point in the future. If you have any space in your head and heart for a gothic acid psych folk hybrid, then I urge you to check out 'Unlikely Mothers' here and if you like what you hear, you're in luck. The band have a wealth of music going back 10 years, all available to consume at the Free Music Archive (here).

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

55 From 55 - 2013

55 songs in 55 days - one for every year of my far. 

When he was young, fit and able, Dad loved to walk. The chronic leg problems he suffered in later life were a particularly cruel blow. By the end he was struggling to even shuffle around the house. I, on the other hand, would rarely walk if there was some form of transportation available. I was lazy and I didn't see the point. Gradually, though, during my late 30's and early 40's, I began to see the point. And now, getting out and stretching my legs is a fundamental part of my day. Even if I don't have a planned destination, I do it just to walk, something I wouldn't have dreamed of when I was younger, fitter and more able..

Over the past year, hugely inspired by similar posts from blogging chums C and Singing Bear, I've taken my camera out with me upon occasion and shared the results. Here's a walk from July 2014. The reason I mention this now, is that during the course of my research for this series I unearthed a set of photos taken on the self-same circular riverside route 16 months earlier, in January 2013, not long after a coating of snow. You might even be able to recognise a few of the locations if you flick between the two sets. Our part of the world has been almost entirely snow-free since then. Click on any of the shots to blow 'em up.


In this series I've featured Pop, Rock, Reggae,Dark Country, Minimal Techno, Motorik Madness and Jazzy Post Rock, so since we're nearing the end, how about a little 21st Century Prog? 'The Mardi Gras Turned Ugly In Seconds' is taken from Regal Worm's debut LP 'Use And Ornament'. Hear more of this band's incredible music on their Bandcamp page (here).

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