Category Archives: Music

Final programme for the Mitcheldean Folk Festival

As noted previously, I am doing both a solo set and (with my wife, son and next-door neighbour) a band set in the first ever Mitcheldean Folk Festival next Saturday. Here is the final program (click through for a PDF of all four pages):

program-inner-spread

It would be great to see any of you there who can make it.

 

Desert island albums #2: Rainbow — Rising (1976)

[This is the second in my series of Desert Island Albums -- eight albums that I would choose to take with me if I were to be stranded on a desert island.]

rainbow-rising-83825980479

Aside from experiments in individual tracks — the Beatles’ Helter Skelter, the Kinks’ You Really Got Me — The genesis of the musical genre known as heavy metal is generally agreed to rest with three British bands of the late 1960s and early 1970s: Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple.

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Also coming up (and more exciting): band set at the Mitcheldean Folk Festival

As I noted last time, the first ever Mitcheldean Folk Festival will be held on 18th-20th July this year. Not only did I get a solo slot in the evening, but — much more exciting to me — we have a band playing in the afternoon:

Mitcheldean Fete Concert Listed Flyer Afternoon Events Finalised-500px

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Coming up: solo set at the Mitcheldean Folk Festival

I’ve been going along to Mitcheldean Folk Club in the last few months. And it turns out I got involved just in time for the first ever Mitcheldean Folk Festival, which will be held on 18th-20th July 2014, but mostly on Saturday 19th.

Mitcheldean Fete Concert Listed Flyer Evening Finalised-500px

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Cinderford Music Festival fundraising gig

This afternoon, I did my first solo gig. Up till now, I’ve done a few gigs as a part of combos (including as a jazz singer, bizarrely) and plenty of short solo spots at folk clubs, but this was the first time I’d done a complete set, with just my guitar and voice.

It takes a certain amount of courage.

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Desert island albums #1: Joni Mitchell — Hejira (1976)

In BBC Radio 4′s venerable programme Desert Island Discs, a guest is invited to imagine themselves cast away on a desert island, and allowed to choose eight pieces of music to take with them. (The quaint “discs” in the title of course refers to gramophone records; I for one welcome the BBC’s refusal to retitle the programme Desert Island Digital Audio Files.)

desert_island

I think this is a fascinating exercise, and one that I’ve often toyed with doing myself. Continue reading

Jerry Springer: The Opera: the review

Because of a cancelled flight, I have a very rare evening of solitude (sitting around in an airport hotel) with no immediate demands on my time. Being an enormous fan of Stewart Lee, I took the opportunity to watch Jerry Springer: The Opera, which he co-wrote the words for (along with composer Richard Thomas).

jsto

Well, that was two hours wasted.

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Paul Simon: There Goes Rhymin’ Simon (1973)

From the very first bars of the first song on Paul Simon’s second post-Garfunkel solo album, there’s a completely different feel from the previous year’s self-titled album. If I had to pick a single word to summarise how that album feels it would be “weary”; for this album, that word would be “sunny”.  [Listen on Grooveshark.]

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Spotify’s recommendation engine could use some work

Hi Sauropoda, we've found 7 music suggestions for you on Spotify. Enjoy!  Since you follow Yes, you might like Yes. Yes - 53k followers  Since you follow Dar Williams, you might like Dar Williams. Dar Williams - 5,700 followers  Have you heard this song by One Direction? Give it a try. Little Things

Right. Because someone who likes 1970s prog rock and 1990s-to-contemporary singer-songwriter neo-folk is probably the sort of person who will also like One Direction.

Guinnevere, at Goodrich Village Hall

For anyone who retains some scepticism that I sing at folk clubs, here is a rather poor-quality video of our indifferent performance last night of the superb Crosby, Stills and Nash song Guinnevere, which you can hear on their first album. Or on YouTube. You should listen to that, not this:

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