Thursday, September 27th

It’s Thursday, and Teresa May is currently redefining the word awkward. Donald Trump is on some quest to recalibrate all norms of human behaviour, and The Bodyguard has thankfully finished (hands down, the worst series that I have ever watched right to the end). However, this week’s Five Things was written in the cool Dark Mode of MacOS Mohave, while listening to a bootleg of the demos for the White Album mostly recorded at George Harrison’s house in Esher. They’re possibly on the new boxset to be released in November.

I like Paul McCartney’s take on it: “We had left Sgt. Pepper’s band to play in his sunny Elysian Fields and were now striding out in new directions without a map.” Ah, musicians in the act of creating something, before it gets nailed down, still loose enough for a certain amount of fun. In a sense, this is their Basement Tapes, and it’s interesting to hear “Back in the USSR” sounding much more Beach-Boys-y, and “Child of Nature” before its melody became re-purposed as “Jealous Guy”.

I wish I were at The Village Trip in New York this week. Congratulations are due to Liz Thompson for having the determination to pull the whole thing together. Starting with a photo exhibition featuring the work of David Gahr, it features a free concert in Washington Square Park with Susanne Vega headling and ends with a gig, Talkin’ New York Folk Revival, at The Bitter End featuring David Amram and Happy Traum. Liz hopes this will be the first year of many celebrating the importance of Greenwich Village in America’s music history.

ONE DAVID & SYD
Writing a profile of my first boss, David Driver, for Eye magazine, I ended up with much material that had to be excised. Here’s David’s recollection of Syd Barrett at the Cambridge School of Art: “Roger ‘Syd’ Barrett was also at the college. He formed Pink Floyd and played at our Christmas parties. I remember going to Syd’s home a few times, and he had a huge collection of singles. There was a mountain of them on the floor. Incredible. He was very clever. But I think he was quite limited in what he could do. He wasn’t a brilliant musician.”
But an interesting all-rounder – did you ever see him post-college?

“Yes. I did. But he was a bit strange around that time. Very sad. You wouldn’t have expected it. When he was at college Syd and Roger Waters were just so desperately keen to pick your brains, they were like magpies. They were a good two or three years below us and, they’d come and scour the place and talk to older students during lunchtime.”

TWO WHENEVER BLUE TEARDROPS ARE FALLING…
I wouldn’t really recommend pulling into Ostend on a Sunday night – there was something menacing about its silent, deserted streets, only punctuated by music belting out of overlit pizza joints that seemed to be filled with over-oiled patrons. I’m sure it looks way better midweek, or on market day. Hotel located we headed to the seafront promenade to find something to eat, passing concert halls and galleries.

There’s a lot of music going on in Ostend, and it embraces its part in the Marvin Gaye story with this: “14 February 1981. Marvin Gaye arrives by ferry in Ostend, together with his little boy, Bubby. It marks the start of a fascinating story about Ostend, Marvin Gaye and the relationship between the two. This documentary walk through the city tells you everything about his comeback and how the monster hit song “Sexual Healing” came to life.” Sadly we won’t be taking that tour, or witnessing this…

5-ostend

THREE IT MUST BE BOOTLEG WEEK…
…as bobdylan.com announces the Blood on the Tracks entry to the Bootleg Series. So we’re at Volume 14 with More Blood, More Tracks. “The 6CD full-length deluxe version includes the complete New York sessions in chronological order including outtakes, false starts and studio banter. The album’s producers have worked from the best sources available, in most cases utilising the original multi-track session tapes.” Two thoughts. How staggering is it to reach number 14 in a multi-disc series using mainly just your unreleased masters and alternate takes. And, secondly, I could fill a week just listening to the 18 CDs in The Cutting Edge box set. Trouble is, I don’t have a week to devote to it, or worse, the desire. When is too much enough?

FOUR JUNK PARTNERS…
The reason I was listening to the Beatles bootleg, above, was to find out more about the song that titles Hailey Tuck’s first album, “Junk”. I feel slightly guilty for liking the record as much as I do, but as with all of Larry Klein’s productions the musicianship is so damned musicianly and the songs so well-chosen it’s hard to resist. Dean Parks is all over it, and Jay Bellerose on drums gives his usual masterly best – check out his accented playing on “My Chemical Life”.

The song is very cute, spun off a quote by W. H. Auden. “He said that in order to wake up, he would drink coffee, down a shot of whiskey, and take whatever drugs would get him into the mood of writing and he called it his chemical life. So the song’s about a suburban wife who is addicted to drugs kind of try to escape the banality of her wifey existence.” – Hailey Tuck, talking to Charles Waring of SoulandJazzandFunk. “Speedballs and cappuccino / My mother called from San Marino / Where Lambourghinis float down soft suburban streets / And gardeners keep the rhododendrons nice and neat”.

Other songs include Pulp’s “Underwear” (“If fashion is your trade, then when you’re naked / I guess you must be unemployed…”) and The Kinks’ “Alcohol” (“Barleywine, pink gin / He’ll drink anything…”), and the rather lovely version of McCartney’s “Junk” that started this.

FIVE SEEN AT A VINTAGE FAIR AT WALTHAMSTOW ASSEMBLY HALL

5-walthamstow

EXTRA LET’S FINISH WITH THIS!
If you haven’t seen it… The Band of the Welsh Guards played Aretha Franklin’s “R.E.S.P.E.C.T” on the day of her funeral, on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. 

If you’re receiving the email out, please click on the Date Headline of the page for the full Five 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


The book of Five Things is available from Amazon here.

Front Cover

He writes with the insight of someone who has inhabited the world of the professional musician but also with the infectious enthusiasm of someone who is a fan like anyone of us. It’s entertaining and inspiring in equal measure.” – from an Amazon review by Zuma

“What a treat! And it has the years before I discovered your blog…” – Dan Franklin, Publisher

“A terrific book, stuffed to the gills with snippets of news items and observations all with a musical theme, pulled together by the watchful eye of Martin Colyer… lovingly compiled, rammed with colour photos and interesting stories. Colyer has a good ear for a tune, an eye for the out-of-ordinary and he can write a bit too.” – Steve Carr, everyrecordtellsastory.com

“I’ve been dipping with huge enjoyment since it arrived” – James Walton, writer and presenter of Radio 4’s books quiz, The Write Stuff, and the R4 pop quiz All the Way from Memphis.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. I thought the ‘David & Syd’ piece was going to be about Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets gig at The Roundhouse earlier this week. Hugely entertaining. Syd was very much there in spirit even if David (Gilmour) wasn’t.

  2. Just my little joke, Kevin…!

    • I say, you are the most frightful tease.
      The Hailey Tuck album is interesting. Can’t decide if I like it or not. I was thrown from the very start when I finally recognised the perky little number I was listening to (That Don’t Make It Junk) as being an up-tempo version of a Laughing Len number.

      • I felt like that – I have similar misgivings (although that’s too strong a word) about Madeleine Peyroux, another LK production, as it all seems too smooth and easy, but then gave in to it when driving a lot over the last two weeks and being pleased when the songs came on randomly…

  3. Yep, that’s a good comparison.

  4. The Esher demos are confirmed to be a part of the box. I just ordered it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: