Five Things: Wednesday 7th August

Selfridges Shoe Department
Blue suede shoes by Jeffery West, with the deathly “Please allow me to introduce myself…” line that we can’t seem to avoid, engraved on the sole. And don’t you step on my blue leopardskin shoes, either. {fyi: Both remained unbought.}

Blue SuedeFavourite Song Of The Summer (so far)
Lana Del Rey has covered Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood’s 1967 track ‘Summer Wine’, (“Strawberries, cherries and an angel’s kiss in spring/My summer wine is really made from all these things”) with, appropriately, her boyfriend – Barrie-James O’Neill of Scottish rockers Kassidy – stepping into Lee Hazlewood’s cowboy boots. It’s bass-heavy and groovy, with gloriously woozy backing vox. It ends with a distant peal of thunder, a snatch of Billie Holiday, some chattering and some beachside noises. In a great piece of iPhone synchronicity it merges into the start of Kevin Ayers “Song From The Bottom Of A Well” with its treated guitars and booming noises (sounding exactly like the song’s title) static-ing between the speakers like some early version of Scott Walker’s Drift.

Underneath Putney Bridge, Sunday

FormbyUkelele practising/busking.
We do a quick duet on
”I’ll See You In My Dreams,”
the Isham Jones/Gus Kahn
tune from 1924 that
Joe Brown played to close
the George Harrison tribute
concert in 2002.


Missive from Tim, RE: The Alleycat
”Just to let you know the Iko’s New Orleans Music Shop at the Alleycat is fab. The excellent house band played tunes by Champion Jack Dupree, Professor Longhair,  Jelly Roll Morton, the Band (”Ophelia“) and more. The jam session that followed was of an amazingly high standard and the vibe was all-inclusive, everyone from twentysomethings to pensioners, dreads to suits. I had to drag myself away at midnight to catch the tube, though apparently they carry on to 2am…“ From the venue website: The Alleycat sits just beneath the fabled Regent Sound Studios which was set up at 4 Denmark Street in 1963. With the Rolling Stones recording their first album here, The Kinks recording ”You Really Got Me”, Black Sabbath recording “Paranoid” as well as many other seminal moments of music history, the studio took off as the place to be seen to be making music.

Late Afternoon, Tottenham Court Road
Have Mercy

Taxi advertising my friend MJ Paranzino’s choir, quite possibly a first in choral advertising, swiftly followed by a roller-derby flash mob gyrating to “Disco Inferno”, blasting from a tricycle with giant speakers. We once worked with the co-writer of DI, Ron “Have Mercy” Kersey, cutting a version of Willie Nelson’s “Crazy” in LA. Ron was fabulously louche, feet on the control board as he lazily played the bassline on a synthesiser, gassing and joking with his engineer, the wonderfully named Hill Swimmer. My memories of the session are of Mark playing the most beautiful Reggie Young-like parallel fourths to the general amazement of the studio gatherees, and Ron asking where the hell he’d learned to play like that, and if he was available for sessions. And of sitting against the wall of the recording room as Alex Brown (Ron’s partner and genius vocal arranger/songwriter for the likes of Anita Baker and Whitney) and her girls sang the backing vocals. What on the record sounds sweet and swooping was delivered to the microphones at an ear-bending volume and hair-raising power. Heather and I stepped back into the control room, emotional and speechless. Ron then had an acetate cut and took us to his local bar, where he would play stuff he was working on to the patrons, for feedback! I can see him there, sipping a gin and tonic through a thin black straw, laughing, enjoying their bemused reaction.

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