Five Things, Thursday, June 22nd

First, a few Five Things recommendations if you’re in London over the next few days, then a request for information, followed by an offer you can refuse…

ONE THE DOUGLAS BROTHERS SEE/SAW5-douglasDamon Albarn/Bryan Ferry/Abdullah Ibrahim  This brings back memories of the Copenhagen Jazz Festival in the late 70s, in a crowded club, sitting on the floor right underneath Ricky Ford’s tenor sax as Ekaya, Ibrahim’s band at that time, played some of the most beautiful music I’d ever heard… “We photographed the South African musician and composer, Abdullah Ibrahim, playing the piano at the Blue Note jazz club in Greenwich Village. Our photo session was doubling as his sound check. This shows him absolutely lost in his music, which was so absorbing that we almost forgot to shoot. We probably took half the amount of frames we normally did as we both kept stopping and listening. Properly awesome.” The Brothers quit photography after about seven years of high-profile editorial and advertising commissions, and the show is a selection of their archive which narrowly escaped being dumped in a skip a few years ago. [nb. They’re Southend boys, the younger siblings of Graeme Douglas, guitarist/songwriter with Eddie And The Hot Rods]. Until Saturday 24th, Art Project Bermondsey Space, SE1

TWO HENDRIX WALKING TOURS5-hendrixWe’ve missed the Monterey 50 talks, and the Hendrix lessons go on throughout the year, but upcoming are three Hendrix Walking tours. All start in Brook Street at the Handel & Hendrix House. Lasting 90 minutes, they cost £15 each.
1) This tour visits other places where Hendrix lived, including addresses in Montagu Square and Upper Berkeley Street. The walk will also take in venues Hendrix frequented and the location of his last official interview.
2) This tour goes to the site of the studios where Foxy Lady was recorded, the location of The Experience’s first-ever rehearsal, and the venue where the band had their debut performance.
3) Finally, this tour visits the site of a number of venues that Hendrix frequented, including The Speakeasy, Bag O’Nails and the place of his last public performance.

THREE VISIT SERGEANT PEPPER’S HOME5-abbeyroadI hear that the studio visit is excellent (it wasn’t running on the day I was passing) but the shop was a fine second prize. It usually has a small exhibit of rare photos and the actual tape boxes from Beatles sessions, alongside a wide variety of quite cute merch (“I am the Eggman” egg cups, anyone?). And it’s always fun to see the slight chaos as tourists interminably hold up the traffic recreating the Abbey Road cover. Click on the photo to enlarge.

FOUR IN THE WORDS OF SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON, “HELP ME…”5-musos“I can’t do it all by myself…” I was organising my dad’s negatives the other day and came across this fascinating picture of a caught moment, shot on Ektachrome (which has faded to these lovely matt colours). I’m assuming this is after a show, and I think they may be eating my dad’s approximation of Red Beans & Rice, but that’s as far as my knowledge/guesswork goes. So if anyone knows the subjects/situation, please let me know. [Thanks to Charlie Banks for revealing that the woman is Rosina Skudder, occasional vocalist with Ken at Studio 51].

FIVE BUY THE FIRST ALBUM RELEASED ON SOUTHWESTERN RECORDERS!dfdisplay copyHere at last… Forty-eight minutes of Mood Music for a Decaying World! Thrill to the sound of Theramins and eBows and mistreated guitars! Be amused by the attempts to build a song on the howling of coyotes! Hear the appropriation of Baby Dodds’ drumsticks! Find songs written in honour of Twin Peaks (the first time round)! Go to the music player on the right for a taste, and if tempted, go here to order your very own hand-made copy. The first ten orders (I may be getting ahead of myself here) go into a Prize Draw for the chance to win a ticket to go with me to the Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 28th June to see Old Crow Medicine Show play Blonde on Blonde in its entirety. Bon Chance!

If you’re receiving the e-mail out, please click on the Date Headline of the page for the full 5 Things experience. It will bring you to the site (which allows you to see the Music Player) and all the links will open in another tab or window in your browser.


  1. Hello Martin…I just wondered if the lady in the photo taken by your dad could be the one who sang with your uncle Ken. I can’t recall her name but I sent you a (BBC?) link about her a few weeks ago

  2. Hi again, Martin….name came to me…Rosina Skudder – Charlie

  3. Thanks, Charlie, I’d meant to follow up the Heir Hunters… will do now!
    I found this at the National Jazz Archive…
    COLYER CLUB VOCALIST ROSINA SKUDDER is singing most successfully with the Leathertown Jazzmen, a Colyer-style group, in Germany. Her concert in Fechenheim last week was filmed by cinema and TV newsreels. From December 2nd she has been touring American Service Clubs in France. She hopes to return in February bringing the Leathertown Jazzmen with her for dates.

  4. Not a problem, Charlie. I’d totally forgotten that about six months ago a BBC researcher got in touch to ask me for some photos! I then forgot to find out the tx date, and forgot to follow your link in March. But thanks, I watched the clip…

  5. Keith Pottinger says:

    Hi Martin,
    I’m a relative of Rosina Skudder (my late Ma who died late last year at 102 was one of her cousins) and I tried to help the BBC/Flame Productions with info about Rosina in 2016 for their Heir Hunters programme. They were desperate to get a picture of her and I searched the world of jazz, but not a single photo or clip of her performing seems to exist. The one you’ve uncovered is indeed an extreme rarity and a joy to find. Thank you so much. You infer the guy in the shot is Sonny Boy Williamson. Am I correct in this conclusion?

    • Hi Keith, glad I managed to turn it up! There may be more among my dad’s negatives. And, not Sonny Boy Williamson, but a travelling US Jazzman, possibly one of George Lewis’s band… again, I’ll try and find out.

      • Keith Pottinger says:

        Hi Martin,
        Earlier today I was with John Howlett, ex-Leathertown Jazzmen (etc.) trombonist who knew Rosina (aka Rosie) very well in the days she sang with them in Germany. He remembers wringing out the cardigan she’s wearing in the photo when on tour as she had particularly weak wrists. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but she was only a metre tall and life was not easy. John first met Rosie taking tickets at the door of your uncle’s club and is pretty sure (as you are) the black guy in the photo is one of the touring George Lewis Band from New Orleans. He suggested pianist Alton Purnell, but my research of old photos shows no likeness. However, I think (also comparing photos I’ve found on the web) it could be the pianist, Joe Robichaux, who definitely toured with George Lewis about the time the shot would have been taken. What do you think? John also recognizes the red beans and rice!

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