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Saturday, 31 May 2014

Follow It Down - Meg'n Jez (May 2014)

On this blog I have given mention to a few youngsters who are currently putting out superb music (The 45's and The Strypes in particular) and so it a real joy to add to that list Meg'n Jez.

For a spot of background info on Meg'n Jez check out the blog I did ten days ago.

The album is released today and what a great record it is! It's loaded with brilliant songs (Originals and very wise Cover Versions) and it's hard to think that Meg is still a youngster with that great soulful voice that she has!

Let's start with the Cover Versions: Die Toten Hosen's 'Call of the Wild', from their 1999 album 'Unsterblich'. This stripped down acoustic version really brings the power of the lyric to the fore. It's almost like they are preparing themselves against those who would put them down and they want you to join them in the battle.

'Stop Crying Your Heart Out' is my favourite Oasis song and it's sung so gorgeously and to perfection (Noel Gallagher wouldn't be able to produce that emotion that this version brings!). 

'The Lion and The Lamb', not a lot of people give credit to what an amazing songwriter TV Smith is and this song is one of his finest ever. Meg'n Jez pull off a superb cover with added Strings that totally enhance the song (have to give some kudos to Producer Pete Walsh for the String arrangements throughout the album,  they add a beautiful depth not found on the original songs).

'Wish You Were Here' - Oh boy, I wasn't expecting this! I've heard a lot of versions of this classic Pink Floyd track down through the years and not many have moved me like the original, but the vocal on this one is just way too beautiful and for one so young Meg'n captures the heart and soul of the song.

Sarah McLachlan's 'Angel' has been covered by many artists since it's release (Westlife, Prince, Kelly Clarkson, and Beyonce to name but a few) and this version with Jez's tender guitar and Meg'n's passionate vocal bring it a lot closer to the original yet at the same time they manage to put their own stamp on it.

'Son of a Preacher Man' builds from the just the guitar and voice and launches into a full scale foot-stomper.

What about the rest of the songs? Well, 'By Myself', which opens the album and 'Don't Worry' were written by another youngster, Phoebe York, who is based in Norwich. Another bright light indeed (Check out her version of 'By Myself').

'Follow It Down', 'Epic Fail', 'Flashback' and album closer 'Happy End' were written by Meg'n and Jez and they show great potential. I'm hoping for good things in future days for these kids. They've already had a wild ride supporting TV Smith and having the opportunity to play on stage with Die Toten Hosen. The future looks bright.

All the video links above are for live versions of the songs and not the audio contained on the album. To get a taste of the album watch the video below. The album is available on iTunes, Amazon and also from Drumming Monkey Records.

Tidy Tune #151: p.Machinery - Propaganda

Friday, 30 May 2014

Tidy Tune #150: Tommy Gun - The Clash

 Photo credit: Jerome Weatherald

Happy Birthday Topper 
59 Today!

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Happy Birthday John Fogerty - 69 Today!

Exactly a year ago today on his 68th birthday John Fogerty stepped on stage at the El Ray Theater in Los Angeles to perform a set based around his latest album (that was released the same day) 'Wrote A Song For Everyone'.

I can't believe that I found the whole show on You Tube!

It's surely worth watching again to see a man long into his years still passionately rocking out to some of the finest tunes in the American Rock and Roll Songbook.

Happy Birthday John Fogerty.

Go Mister - James Stevenson (May 2014)

Debut Solo Video From James Stevenson

Tidy Tune #148: State of Grace - Hot Water Music

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Happy Birthday Siouxsie

Happy Birthday Siouxsie, born on this day in 1957.

It's hard to imagine that back in 1976 Siouxsie and Steven Sevrin thought after appearing at The Punk Rock Festival at the 100 Club 0n 20th September that they would split up after one gig. That "gig" featured Marco Pirroni on guitar and Sid Vicious on drums and in essence was a 20 minute improvised version of 'The Lord's Prayer'  - Part One, Part Two*, (that would end up on their second album 'Join Hands').

(*The recording is pretty rough but it's amazing that such a thing is available at all!)

Being asked to play again though meant that they need to put together a proper band and so Kenny Morris on Drums and Peter Fenton on Guitar were the first real line up (Fenton was replaced by John McKay early 1977 because he was deemed a "real rock guitarist!").

As the band continued to grow and play live, often selling out venues, their stock with regard to a record deal was at an all time low. It seemed everyone was getting signed except them, and mysteriously 'Sign the Banshees' graffiti began appearing on walls outside Record Companies in London.

I saw them a few times prior to eventual signing to Polydor Records and they were really a force to be reckoned with. An ever expanding setlist with songs like 'Love in a Void', 'Make Up To Break Up/'Metal', 'Suburban Relapse', 'Carcass', 'Nicotine', 'Captain Scarlet', 'Mirage' and a fantastic cover of 'Helter Skelter' it was most puzzling why they did not have a deal. What we didn't know was they wanted "Creative Control" and finally Polydor Records gave in to them.

Of all the records most eagerly anticipated in 1978, surely the number one single was the debut from Siouxsie and the Banshees. I can remember bunking off school on the 18th August just to be at the Record Shop for opening time to get my hands on it. The single of course would sky rocket to #7 on the charts and be the launch of a very long a pretty successful career.

The song was not unknown to fans of the band as they had recorded it for their second John Peel Session (that also included 'Overground', 'Carcass' and 'Helter Skelter') back in February 1978. They did a great peel session in in September 1977 that included 'Love in a Void', 'Mirage', 'Metal Postcard' and 'Suburban Relapse'.

I was thinking of extending this a little but I don't have time today (maybe when I get some time I can do a more indepth look at the band and their music), so it's just a short reflection on a great band from way back when.

Happy Birthday again Siouxsie.

Tidy Tune #147: And The Night Stood Still - Dion

Dedicated to the love of my life Kerstin on her birthday

Monday, 26 May 2014

Happy Birthday Stevie Nicks

Born on this day in 1948, Stevie Nicks.
 Click on the links to enjoy the music.
There's not an awful lot of recordings around of Stevie's first group Fritz which she was a part of from 1967-72.

Rare 1974 Live Audio Recording from Alabama  of 'Lola (My Love)'.

Rare 1975 Live Audio Recording from Alabama of 'Don't Let Me Down Again'.

The first live performances of 'Rhiannon' by Buckingham Nicks. The song of course would grace the 1975 'Fleetwood Mac' album that was a US #1. 'Landslide' was another song written around the same period that would eventually turn up on the 'Fleetwood Mac' album.

Rare live 1975 performance of 'Rhiannon' by Fleetwood Mac. Largo, Maryland 5th October. There is a full concert video of the Largo show here!

Mega stardom was just around the corner for Nicks and Fleetwood Mac with the 1977 release of 'Rumours'. Prior to the release of the album in February the Mac released 'Go Your Own Way' as the first single from the project.

Silver Springs - this is the longer version that Stevie Nicks wanted to be included on the 'Rumours' album but it was cut and used as a b-side in an edited form. This is the definitive version of the song in my estimation.

In the UK the single releases from 'Rumours' didn't fare too well: 'Go Your Own Way' (#38), 'Dreams' (#24), 'Don't Stop' (#32), and 'You Make Loving Fun' (#45). In the States it was a different story with all four singles reaching the Top Ten (GYOW #10, Dreams #1, Don't Stop #3, and YMLF #9). The album went to #1 all around the globe and you almost couldn't turn a radio on back then without hearing at least one track from the album!

'Tusk' followed two years later and gave them a #1 album in the UK but only hit #4 in the US.

In 1981 Stevie Nicks released her debut solo album, 'Bella Donna'. It would be a #1 album for her. She has continued to release solo albums throughout the years: 'The Wild Heart' (1983), 'Rock A Little' (1985), 'The Other Side of the Mirror' (1989), 'Street Angel' (1994), 'Trouble in Shangri-La' (2001). and 'In Your Dreams' (2011).

Live Concert Video
Stevie Nicks

Fleetwood Mac

2013 Tour Setlist
They had a fairly stagnant setlist on the tour so here it is with songs from various shows on their travels.

Encore 2

Tidy Tune #146: The Weight - The Band

 Born on this day in 1943, Levon Helm, drummer and singer with The Band. He died of throat cancer aged 71 on 19th April 2012.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Tidy Tune #145: Speak Like A Child - The Style Council

Happy Birthday Paul Weller - 56 Today

The Jam
Live At Bingley Hall 1982

Snap (Full Double Album)

The Style Council
A Solid Bond In Your Heart

Shout To The Top

Paul Weller 
Into Tomorrow Documentary

BBC4 Sessions

Stanley Road (Full Album)

Live in Hyde Park

Later Special with Jools Holland 1996

Happy 70th Birthday Charlie Harper (UK Subs)

Tomorrow's Girls/Warhead - Turku, Finland 31/01/14

Live Chelsea Music Place,Wein 13/02/14 - 69 Minute video.

Emotional Blackmail - Zagreb  14/02/14

Time and Matter/Fear of Girls - Zagreb 14/02/14

You Don't Belong/Left For Dead/Rockers - Live in Dortmund 20/02/14

C.I.D. - Southampton 11/05/14

Riot/Stranglehold - Southampton 11/05/14

18 Wheels - Manchester 17/05/14

Party in Paris - Manchester 17/05/14

Endangered Species - Milton Keynes 18/05/14

I Couldn't Be You - Milton Keynes 18/05/14

This Chaos - Stamford 22/05/14

Limo Life - 100 Club, London 24/05/14

Previous Albums: Click on the links to listen to the complete albums.


Friday, 23 May 2014

What's Playing at S4L This Weekend?

For the weekend I thought I'd share a ten tracks from Albums/EP's that that are currently getting spun at home and as usual it's a very wide mix of musical styles.
Kicking it off is a fantastic live cover performance of TV Smith's 'The Lion and The Lamb' by Meg 'n' Jez. It's on their debut album 'Follow It Down' and is well worth checking out. The album will be out at the end of the month.

Jonah 33 is next with 'Blood is Thicker' from their new 'Dead Men Walking EP'.

The Shangri-Las - 'Give Him a Great Big Kiss' is part of a collection called 'Sophisticated Boom Boom! The Shadow Morton Story' put out last year by Ace Records.

'Walk On By' - The Stranglers. From the 11CD 'Giants and Gems 40th Anniversary Collection'. Absolutely loaded with great music stretching across the decades. 'Walk On By' was first released by the band as a free single with early copies of their third album 'Black and White' in 1978.

The Mad Caddies - 'Shoot Out The Lights' from their latest album 'Dirty Rice'.

'High Hopes' by Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band. The live in New Orleans 2014 Bootleg will be getting a blast out as well this weekend.

'Radio Free Europe' - R.E.M. is part of the 50 track 'Complete Rarities: I.R.S. 1982-87' album.

R.E.M. - Pop Song 89 (Acoustic) is part of a massive 131 track collection called 'Complete Rarities: Warner Bros. 1988-2011'.

'Reckless Forgiver' - Jars of Clay. This is their latest single and is taken from their excellent 'Inland' album that was released last year. The video below is a live version film at their studio Gray Matters in Nashville.

Lastly, but by no means least, an old favourite from the vaults 'MTV Unplugged' - 10,000 Maniacs.

Bruce Springsteen and Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers - Soldiers and Sailors, Pittsburgh 22nd May 2014

Hopefully throughout the day there will be more links to add,

01. Mary Queen Of Arkansas
02. Two For The Road
03. Kingdom of Days
04. East Carson Street
05. John The Revelator
06. East Of Eden
07. Adam Raised a Cain
08. Never Be Enough Time
09. Racing In The Street
10. Pumping Iron
11. Leap of Faith
12. I Look Good At 60
13. Darkness on The Edge of Town
14. Frankie Fell In Love
15. Hearts OF Stone
16. Savin' Up
17. Talking To The King
18. Leaving Train (World Premiere)
19. The Promised Land
20. Code Of Silence
21. I Was Born To Rock
22. Light Of Day
23. The Wall
24. Incident On 57th Street

Tidy Tune #143: D.I.Y. - Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott - What Have We Become Deluxe Edition (19th May 2014)

Click on the links to enjoy the music.

The first single from the album is 'D.I.Y.

The video is directed by Johnny Vegas.

For the first time in more than a decade Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott are back singing with each other again on record. The last time was of course back in the days of The Beautiful South. Jacqui was a part of the group for four albums - 'Miaow' (1994), 'Blue is the Colour' (1996), 'Quench' (1998) and 'Painting It Red' (2000).

Jacqui is best remembered for her performances on some of the excellent singles by The Beautiful South -

BBC Breakfast Interview with Paul and Jacqui.

Ever since the band split up after 19 years of playing due to "musical similarities" Paul Heaton has been a solo artist releasing a couple of albums but whilst they were good they lacked a certain something, or someone even!

Interview and performance of 'D.I.Y.' Live on The One Show.

So it's absolutely fantastic that they are back together again making music and you'd never think they had been apart. 'What Have We Become (Deluxe Edition)' is a great collection of 16 tracks full of Heaton's great wit and blended with Abbott's beautiful tone produces one of the great pop albums of 2014. I do hope that they get some success with this. It's great to see and hear them together again.

On working with Abbott once again, Heaton said: "Working with Jacqui again was like going into your garage and discovering a beautiful, covered up Rolls Royce that hadn't been started in years. Jacqui is one of the best singers I've worked with and is also part of my past. It was only a matter of time before I asked her."

 The Plug, Sheffield 14th December 2013

There's quite a few other live performance videos on You Tube worth checking out as well.
For Tour Dates and other information check out their Official Website.

Through The Years with Paul and Jacqui

Tidy Tune #142: Rock 'n' Roll Even - Subway Sect

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Every Song Played on the High Hopes Tour 2014

 Most bands when they go out on tour usually go with a pretty stable set list of say 20-25 songs (some bands have less than that) and each Country, City and Town they play in the set list remains fairly stagnet for the whole tour. But Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are not like most bands...

Here is a record of their recent High Hopes Tour. Over 34 shows compassing South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the USA they performed 181 different songs! 181!!

Here they all are just click on the links to enjoy the music. I have tried to find versions performed on the tour, where there is no link it simply means there is not a video/audio available of it from this tour.

(Pic by A.M. Saddler - Albany 13th May 2014)

1.  4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
10. BeTrue
40. For You
41. Frankie
47. Gloria
51.  Growin'Up
68. Iceman
80. Jump
94. Lucille
97. May I
105. Night
112.  Point Blank
121. Ramrod
126. Roulette
127. Royals
133.  Seeds
139. Shout
147. Sun City
149. TalkTo Me
158. The River
160. The Wall
161. The Wish
167. Trapped
181. Youngstown

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