• Greenpeace The Album

    9 okt 2007, 12:14

    As we travelled around Europe on mid-80s Summer holidays, the album was an omnipresent soundtrack. As happened too often with cassettes, the tape was last heard emitting an unpleasant screech, almost certainly not helped by being left in a searing hot car.

    It appears that the CD of this album can now be bought for €50. Fortunately, I have managed to find most of the tracks for rather less. Indeed, only the George Harrison track (which was never the highlight of the compilation, even in it's rerecorded form) remains to be found.

    1 Shock the Monkey
    2 Is This the World We Created?
    3 Turn Your Back On Me
    4 Windpower
    5 Mad World
    6 Breathing
    7 Let's All Make A Bomb
    8 Show Me (live in Detroit)
    9 Push + Shove

    10 Equality
    11 Wings of a Dove
    12 Human Racing

    13 Save the World

    14 Killing Time
    15 Blasphemous Rumours
    16 No Fear, No Hate, No Pain (No Broken Hearts)
  • Shadows? On my lungs?

    12 feb 2007, 21:54

    Shadows? On my lungs? Dear God in Heaven help me!(My Second to Last Will and Testament) Michael Caine in the film "Alfie", starring Michael Caine

    Of course, London's a big place. It's a very big place Mr. Shadrach... You could lose yourself... lose yourself... lose yourself in LondonYou're In A Bad Way Alan Bates in the film "Billy Liar"

    You asked me to make a record of my voice. Well here it is. What you want me to say is "I love you." Here's the truth. I hate you, you little slut. You make me sick! Archway People Richard Attenborough in the film "Brighton Rock"
  • A second chance

    25 jan 2007, 20:52

    In 2001, Kate and I made a big mistake: we bought tickets to see Depeche Mode at what was then the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester. It's not that we dislike them, it's just that we consequently did not have enough money to see James perform one week later at the same venue.

    Ordinarily this would not be an issue. After all, James would perform in their home town again.

    Wouldn't they?

    Watching BBC NorthWest Tonight on the evening of 7th December 2001, a week after we had seen Depeche Mode, we saw the flaw in our plan. Tim Booth was leaving the band he had fronted for eighteen years or so. Kate and I had spent years failing to see James. I had caught them on their 1992 acoustic tour, when they avoided and instead played a fine set at the Town and Country Club in Leeds. Kate had completely missed out on them live.

    We were, to say the least, annoyed. Ever since the release of Laid in 1994, James had been my favourite band-that-actually-does-any-work (Ian Brown and John Squire being rather too keen having a holiday for my other favourite band to be a realistic live proposition) and I was one of that limited number of people who genuinely had fallen in love with the group before the release of Gold Mother (only by a matter of weeks, mind).
    It was, then, without any hesitation that I bought the live DVD.

    Kate may, however, yet get to see James perform live. The band is to reform, with the Laid line-up and will be releasing a new album real soon now. Tomorrow morning, I shall be on the phone to buy our tickets for their Manchester gig in April. And no, I've no idea how much it will cost. But it will be worth it.
  • Pitsea, Thundersley, Hadleigh, Leigh-on-Sea...

    25 nov 2006, 10:40

    There's an interesting article about this road, the A13, Trunk Road To the Sea, which passes just a two or three hundred yards from the house where I grew up, on V&A website.

    (AKA A13 Trunk Road to the Sea
  • The Mossoviet

    24 okt 2006, 14:24

    Four years ago, the Teatr imeni Mossoveta in Moscow became famous for altogether terrible reasons.
    I visited that theatre about a dozen times in 1993 and 1994 to watch Иисус Христос - Суперзвезда (aka Иисус Христос Суперзвезда, aka Russkie Vokalisty). Many of my 'colleagues' in Russia saw this irregular entertainment as a means to stay sane. A constitutional crisis, which saw snipers on the rooftops and truly looked like the beginnings of civil war, had welcomed us to Russia. A curfew limited our movements at night, leading to a memorable offer by the patron of Jack's Bar at the Casino Moscow: free alcohol during curfew hours.
    It was with a little surprise that a motley assortment of Western students arrived at the bar to find it was not full of people intent on drinking the bar dry. A friend had cautioned us that it was a a ruse to bring in customers who would then have no choice but to stay in and buy drinks.
    We had to pay $4 for each of the first beers as the curfew had yet to begin. However, at the stroke of ten o'clock the staff, in typically Russian fashion, just stopped accepting money. Indeed, they just gave us blank looks when we tried to enforce our strange capitalist tradition.
  • MusicIP mixer

    26 sep 2006, 19:45

    I downloaded the MusicIP mixer last week and, now that this aged G3 iMac has analysed most of my music library, I've decided to give it a whirl..

    The idea is that I should pick one track and use that as a 'seed' for a mix. So, I have picked Belgium's 1986 Eurovision Song Contest winner J'aime la vie and told the software to create a one hour mix.

    It's interesting and... strangely effective.

    There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart)
    Ein bisschen Frieden
    If She Knew What She Wants
    Next Lover
    Motorway To Roswell
    Run for Your Life
    Brand New Cadillac
    Tears Are Not Enough
    You're My Best Friend
    With a Little Help from My Friends
    Seven (Remix)
    Ring The Bells

    The Pixies track, in particular, came as rather a surprise but it fits well.
  • Disaster

    24 sep 2006, 07:25

    Around four years ago I was given a Marantz DV4100 Original SE for my birthday. It's a DVD player which also does a fine job of playing CDs.
    Except that it does not.

    Listening yesterday to New Order's Waiting for the Sirens Call, the player gave up at track four. It had been erratic for some time, frequently having issues just as a film was about to reach its climax or as a track was about to reach its crescendo. My parents have already started asking what I should like for Christmas (this is September, isn't it?) so there was one idea.

    We currently rent a DVD-recorder so have no need of another DVD-player. The sound from the recorder is not a patch on that of the Marantz. The long and the short of it is that I decided I really could not cope with three months without a decent CD-player .

    I looked into Practical Hi-fi on Friargate and had a chat. And a listen. Granted, I was listening through floorstanding speakers and a Sugden amp (worth about £2 000) but the Marantz CD5001 was a truly enlightening experience.

    I spent almost the whole of 1989 listening to The Stone Roses first album so I know it rather well. The instruments are so much better sounding on the 5001. Upgrade to the Original SE version (as I did for an extra forty quid) and I Am the Resurrection becomes more than just a fantastic tune.

    By the time that the salesman had returned to the listening room I was grinning from ear to ear. He had not been sure that it would be worth listening to the OSE version, believing that the difference in sound was too minor. He was very wrong.

    Now that I have the CD-player plugged in at home, it still sounds fantastic. My amp is a more humble Yamaha AX-396 but the first twenty seconds of Sympathy For The Devil from Beggars Banquet sounds so different I would not have been able to recognise it.

    Kate's been having similar experiences with Baba O'Reilly and Won't Get Fooled Again from Who's Next.