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Friday, 28 December 2007

Mandi Perkins - Live

Edited 10/02/2013

The video that was here is no longer available and so I thought I'd do a quick re-edit.

Mandi Perkins is a pretty cool lady. This her doing some solo bits before she got together with Of Verona.

Every Body Knows

Who Am I

Why Pretend (Live)

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Aztec Camera - The Crying Scene

I was digging around the CD collection today and found some Aztec Camera that I hadn't heard in a while. 'Stray' is one of my favourite albums of theirs and it included a couple of great singles ('Good Morning Britian' and the excellent 'The Crying Scene')

Good Morning Britian (featuring Mick Jones)

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Andrew Peterson - Matthew's Begats

Have a great Christmas. Enjoy the music.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Saving Grace - Everlast

'Saving Grace (theme song)' by Everlast

Here's a track that I quite like at the moment. It is the theme song for 'Saving Grace', a show that just recently finished its first season on TNT in the States. Holly Hunter plays the lead role and it is a powerful drama about a cop in Oklahoma who's family live in the shadow of the terrible Oklahoma bombing and is in desperate need to be saved from her crazy life. It contains an angel called Earl who spits tobacco and eats tacos. He is Grace's 'last chance angel'.

It's gripping stuff. The only hassle with it is that Grace sleeps with almost everyone to try and find true intimacy, but with little success. As the show develops we learn that Grace had been abused by a priest when she was a child and Earl's mission is to bring her to a place of healing.

The series is very dark at times and yet humor abounds in the midst of great gruesomeness. I'd be stunned if Holly Hunter doesn't end up winning awards for this show. It has a great supporting cast.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Alison Krauss & Robert Plant

'Raising Sand' is by far one of the great releases of 2007. The single 'Gone, Gone, Gone' is not even the best track on the album. I guess it is just the most well known song as it has been a hit for The Everly Brothers. 'Please Read the Letter' is my favourite track.

Here's the video for the single

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

77 The Year of Punk & New Wave

Just finished reading Henrik Poulsen's fine book '77 The Year of Punk & New Wave. It's a pretty good book that spotlights the bands from the UK and Ireland that released singles and albums in 1977 at the height of the Punk movement. By no means are all the bands in the book considered to be punk rock bands or artists (Kursaal Flyers and Graham Parker 7the Rumour do not even fit into the mould of New Wave) and Poulsen says that repeatedly when dealing with such artists.

Many of the bands listed in the book are bands that I had the opportunity to see when I was a kid (I was 14 in 1977) and of course many of the releases mentioned I actually had. It is a great reference tool but more than that it tells a little about the bands that to this day few people have heard of. He also tells a little bit about what happenend after 1977 and it is interesting to see the bands that have survived to this day (Stiff Little Fingers, The Buzzcocks, UK Subs, The Vibrators & a host of others who got back together in time). Some of the bands fizzled out very quickly and after going their seperate ways ended up gaining huge success in other musical styles (Jim Kerr once of Johnny and the Self Abusers hit the big time with Simple Minds. Mick Hucknel was in the band the Frantic Elevators but found fame with Simply Red. Those are just two examples).

I bought the book in Fopp. They were selling it for £10 (usual price £25.00) which is a real bargin. Not sure how limited the hardback edition is but Fopp had loads of them. A great way to spend £10 if you are still thinking of what to get someone for Christmas!

Here's a little bonus. Generation X on the Marc Bolan Show (Bolan embraced a lot of the punk bands. He had the Damned support him on tour) performing their debut single 'Your Generation'.

Lynyrd Skynyrd-Free Bird

No words are needed. Just listen to the music. 1975, the Old Grey Whistle Test and the best guitar solo ever!

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Walk Forever by My Side - Mike Peters

One of my favourite Alarm songs. Here Mike Peters sings it at Mount Everest.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Hanoi Rocks - Live at the Marquee

Hanoi Rocks were another underrated bands back in the mid-80's. I guess if you grew up listening to guys like the New York Dolls then what Hanoi Rocks were doing was nothing new. I loved their sound, image and man could they put on a great live show.

Here's a few videos that were filmed at the legendary Marquee Club in Wardour Street . The show was released on CD and Video as 'All Those Wasted Years'. Man it would be cool to get that show on DVD! One of the finest shows ever.

1. Pipeline/Oriental Beat/Mystery City(part)

2. Motorvatin' (Live at the Marquee)

3. Don't Never Leave Me (Live at the Marquee)

4. Until I Get You (Live at the Marquee)

5. Blitzkrieg Bop (Live at the Marquee) - Razzle on Vocals

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Transvision Vamp

One of the bands in the 80's I liked was Transvision Vamp. They got accused of being trite pop and Wendy James was constantly reviled in the press for being a bimbo. Wendy does not like the term and I can understand that. She is actually a very thoughtful lady. I met up with her earlier this year in Dublin where she was performing with her new band Racine.

Lest you forget the many great catchy tunes that Transvision Vamp recorded I thought I'd share my favourite three.

1. Landslide of Love

2. The Only One

3.Tell That Girl To Shut Up

As a bonus here's the video for 'London's Brilliant' from her underrated solo album that was produced by Elvis Costello. Shades of 'Clash City Rockers' but a great song nonetheless.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Crystal Lewis-More

Crystal Lewis has an amazing voice. She has soul, spirituality and she can totally rock. The video is very funny with Crystal acting like a superhero. The song is pretty good also.

Mindy Smith videos

Jolene- Mindy Smith & Transatlantic Sessions (Glasgow 2005)
Nice to find this one on You Tube. Mindy Smith writes very beautiful songs. Her rendition of Dolly Parton's 'Jolene' is made all the better for the all star band backing her.

Out Loud by Mindy Smith

One Moment More by Mindy Smith

Come to Jesus by Mindy Smith

Friday, 7 December 2007

The Chords. Now It's Gone

Not really the best single from The Chords (the b-side to this was much better - 'Don't Go Back') but a nice find.
Great memories from the late 70's and early 80's.
The Chords were actually one of the better Mod bands around. Purple Hearts, The Teenbeats and Secret Affair were the others who were pretty okay at the time.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

More Darling Buds Videos

It's All Up To You

Let's Go Round There

You've Got To Choose

Please Yourself

The Darling Buds

Whilst I am in the mood for some great old music, how about The Darling Buds? 'Pop Said' was a really fine debut and whilst their follow up albums did not enjoy as much success they did have some really great songs.
'Pop Said' of course contains the important first four singles: 'Hit the Ground', 'Burst', 'Let's Go Round There' and 'You've Got to Choose'. At the time of this great release many exciting bands were breaking into the charts and Indie music was on the rise.
Here's a great little live set that's on You Tube at the moment.
Part One

Songs included are 'Valentine', 'Pretty Girl' and 'If I Said'.

Part Two

Songs included are 'Shame on You' and 'That's the Reason'

Try A Little Tenderness Live- Otis Redding

There has never been anyone who has surpassed the great Otis Redding. When I was a kid this was the kind of stuff I was listening to. Just love this track.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will play Super Bowl XLII

It's about time that there was some great music at the Super Bowl. Prince was awful at the last one. Good to see real rock an roll.

Running Down A Dream

Recently purchased the documenatry 'Running Down A Dream' that tells the story of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers as they reached their 30th anniversary. It's a really great set that includes the full 4 hour film over two discs and then the 30th anniversary concert from Florida featuring special guest and honorary Heartbreaker Stevie Nicks. A fourth disc contains a few rare tracks.
It's all exciting stuff. I can remember when I first heard 'American Girl' back in 1976 on the Nicky Horne show 'You Mother Wouldn't Like It' on Capital Radio. Next day I ran out to the record store to get it. I bought the debut album and the 12" single. Fantastic stuff.

Penetration: Life's A Gamble

One of the bands that I really liked when I was a kid at the tender age of 15 was Penetration. They were fronted by Pauline Murray and they hailed from Newcastle. This video is from the Reading Festival in 1978 and was a great single.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007


Mike Peters (The Alarm) with Billy Duffy (The Cult), Slim Jim Phantom (Stray Cats) and Dave Wakeling (General Public) performing "Strength" on the observation deck of the Empire State building. Mike is a leukemia survivor and this event kicked off his "Love, Hope, Strength" foundation which will raise money and awareness in the fight against cancer. Prior to the performance, Mike, the band and a few friends climbed the stairs of the Empire State building (86 floors). This is symbolic as Mike and company went to base camp at Mount Everest in October 2007 to raise money for his foundation - Love, Hope and Strength.

Mike Peters of The Alarm Honoured

Mike Peters was awarded the 'Outstanding Contribution to Music' accolade at The Pop Factory Music Awards on Thursday 29th November, at the Grand Hall, Cardiff.

Mike received a standing ovation as he took to the stage to receive his award from the Head of the Pop Factory, Emyr Afan.
Emyr Afan also paid tribute to Mike's wife, Jules. A 3 minute video was shown, encapsulating Mike's career from the 1970's through to 2007. Mike was in good company with both the Stereophonics and the Manic St Preachers receiving awards.

The Pop Factory awards will be broadcast on Tues 4th December, 11pm on ITV Wales.

This year's winners are . . .

Contribution to Music – Mike Peters
Xfm Artist of the Year – The Wombats
Best Live Act – Funeral for a Friend
Best New Act – Kids in Glass Houses
Rock 'n' Roll Excess – Dirty Sanchez
Best Welsh Language Act – Sibrydion
Contribution to the Music Industry – Martin Hall
Best Album – Pull The Pin by Stereophonics
Best International Artist/Export – The Automatic
Best Live Event – The Full Ponty
Best Guestlist Performance – The Enemy
Best Band – Manic Street Preachers

Voiceover to 3 minute Mike Peters' video
Mike Peters is lead singer of Welsh Rock and Roll band The Alarm. He is also a two times cancer survivor and founder member of the Love Hope Strength Foundation. He can also lay claim to holding the record for the world's highest concert when in October 2007 he lead a team of world re-knowned musicians to perform a unique concert above base camp Mount Everest at 18,500 feet.

His music roots are in the punk soundclash of the late 1970's. In 1976, he stared into the eyes of Johnny Rotten at an early Sex Pistols show in Chester and was inspired to start his first band The Toilets. Throughout 1977, the band ripped into the UK punk scene supporting both The Clash and the Buzzcocks before imploding into the Alarm in 1981. The Alarm have since scored 17 UK top 50 singles a host of successful albums and millions of record sales worldwide.

A Welsh band first and foremost, The Alarm made their name in America in early 1983 opening for Bono and U2 on their 'War Tour'. The Alarm scored their first hit overseas with 'The Stand', before similar success followed in the UK with their signature tune 'Sixty Eight Guns'.

Throughout the Eighties, The Alarm stayed at the top of their game, playing to 25,000 fans at the first ever live satellite broadcast from Los Angles in 1986, they also appeared at Wembley Stadium, London with Queen and were the first ever Welsh band to perform at Cardiff Arms Park in 1987.

The Alarm continued to gain increasing critical and artistic success in the USA touring with rock and roll beat poet Bob Dylan. Dylan (who took his surname from Welsh poet Dylan Thomas), would often invite Welshman Mike Peters on stage to sing 'Knocking On Heavens Door'.

In late 1989, another rock legend, the one and only Neil Young also joined Mike Peters and the Alarm on stage in New York to sing 'Rockin' In The Freeworld'.

The Alarm continued to create challenging and inspiring music into the new decade with the timeless 'A New South Wales', sung with the Morriston Orpheus Male Voice Choir in both English and Welsh.

Released as a double A-side, the record was also the first ever Welsh language song to make the UK Top 40.

With the release of the subsequent album 'Change' / 'Newid', the Alarm provided inspiration to a whole generation of Welsh bands to adopt a bi-lingual approach to music, opening up a way forward to the many that have since followed in The Alarm's footsteps.

1991's 'Raw', was the last record to feature the original line-up of the band who played a final show at Brixton Academy in June 1991. Since then, the band's legacy has been continued by Mike Peters whose solo' career began with the release of 'Breathe' in 1994 (which debuted at number 5 in the U.K. independent charts).

A second album, 'Feel Free' documented Mike Peters' first battle with cancer (Non Hodgkins Lymphoma). Rejecting conventional treatment, Mike Peters continued to tour and went to see a faith healer instead. Upon being told that 'green' was a powerful colour in his life, Mike Peters wore green combat fatigues every day (off stage and on), until he eventually went into spontaneous remission in 1997.

In recent times, Mike Peters has not only had to fight for his life but fight equally hard to keep his band The Alarm as current and up to date as possible. In 2000 he put a new version of The Alarm together with his current musical cohorts James Stevenson (Gen X) on guitar, bass guitarist Craig Adams (Sisters Of Mercy / The Mission) and Steve Grantley (Stiff Little Fingers) on drums.

Beginning from less than zero, this new version of The Alarm has defied the odds and gone from strength to strength building a reputation for all out shows and confounding critics with new and challenging music. The seeds for this Alarm renaissance were sown in 2004 when The Alarm released the controversial '45 R.P.M.' under the pseudonym 'The Poppy Fields' which entered the UK charts at number 27 and immediately became the subject of an international news story.

The furor centered around the fact that The Alarm's identity had been kept hidden from the media and instead a stand-in group of 18 year old musicians appeared in the video.

'45 R.P.M.' was played extensively throughout the UK and was championed by unsuspecting DJ's and critics as the first release by a brand new band. It was only after the song entered the charts that Mike Peters and The Alarm revealed the true identity of 'The Poppy Fields', thus causing a storm of worldwide media speculation. The band even featured on prime time America's CBS News with Dan Rather.

The band's most most recent chart success came from the album 'Under Attack' which opened up with the incendiary hit single 'Superchannel' which went top 30 in February 2006.

Another darker dimension was added to this already emotive Alarm record when Mike Peters was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL), just before it's official release in December 2005.

Although devastated and reeling from the fact that he would have to undertake a heavy schedule of chemotherapy, Mike Peters vowed to carry out all his duties as front man of The Alarm.
In between monthly chemo sessions he played every show booked in the UK and even managed two trips to the USA including a very emotional and uplifting performance at The Joey Ramone Lymphoma Research Benefit Concert in New York City.
Whilst in New York Mike Peters received the news his family and Alarm fans worldwide had been hoping for when he was declared to be in remission.

Since then Mike Peters has formed his own cancer charity Love Hope Strength Foundation taking the fight against cancer to new heights. Throughout 2007, He has performed concerts on top of the Empire State Building, on the summit of Snowdon and more recently Everest Rocks, raising some £40,000 for local cancer centres in North Wales and over $250,000 for the Nepal Cancer Relief Society.

In 2008, Mike Peters will continue to lead the Alarm on the 'Counter Attack' with a new album and world wide tour. Love Hope and Strength.

The Elms - Nothin' To Do With Love

The Elms are a very underrated band. This track is taken from their latest release 'The Chess Hotel'. They have had minimal success touring with the likes of the Goo Goo Dolls and Peter Frampton (He still Comes Alive!). The Elms are one of the bands that I wish had a wider audience. Their music deserves to be heard. So here is my effort to make sure they get that hearing.

After The World

Love this song. It is one of the great moments on their 'Scars Remain' CD.

Monday, 3 December 2007

10,000 Maniacs - Hey Jack Karouac / Eat for Two

Totally love the voice of Natalie Merchant. Two of my fav tunes by 10,000 Maniacs.

A Welcome is Needed (I guess!)

So I am finally here on Blogger. Most of my blogging time has been on MySpace over the past few years and whilst I will still carry on over there I thought that it would b good to try and do something a little different here.

Exactly what it will be has not really been determined but we will see as each day comes what on earth is rattling in my head and can be put into words.

Since music is one thing I like I thought I'd finish this little welcome with a tune (fear not I will not be singing!):

Okay, so I thought I was going to put a video here but You Tube is not letting me. Need to go and read how to do that!

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