Monday, December 23, 2013

King Kurt - Destination Zululand (12") - #154

King Kurt - Destination Zululand (12")

Recently picked up at a record fair in Zurich. In fact, I had a whole load of King Kurt records in my bag. But that's not the point. When I tried to play this thing (both sides), the stylus didn't move an inch towards the center of the record. Quite to the contrary, it slipped right to the outer edge. Took me a while to realise, despite the statement on the label "put stylus here to hear", that this thing is played from the inside out.

Vinyl buying counted in decades and I've never come across an item like this. Double grooves, yes! Banded tracks, yes! But a record playing the other way round? This is a unique item amongst thousands of records here. Quite amazing really, but I suppose there's some more of this gimmick vinyl out there.



Sunday, December 15, 2013

The World According To Wilko Johnson - Classic Rock, Issue 192, January 2014 - #153

The World According To Wilko Johnson - Classic Rock, Issue 192, January 2014

Normally I buy very few music magazines at the end/beginning of a year, as they all tend to go the same cheap route, reheating all the "news" that I've read already anyway during the last eleven months. There's nothing as boring as the combined music journalism at the close of a year. English as well as American and German magazines don't give themselves an inch of ground. A waste of time and money really, check your local newsstand again in February.

This is, until a six pager turns up which is entitled "The World According To Wilko Johnson" plus a few additional pictures distributed within issue #192 of Classic Rock Magazine. Then, without a doubt, even one of the retrospective journals has to be bought. I've never, in all those years, read so many articles (and substantial ones at that) about our man, than in 2013.

Which brings up another gripe I have with the magazine industry. Although Wilko is mentioned at length in about every major publication in the U.K., I've yet to see the even tiniest morcel of information in a German or French music magazine. I checked about the whole range of them, at least, the ones that are available at major local newsstands, but came out flat, zero, nada, niente. I did have an idea before that, that Mr. Johnson was not quite fashionable around here, but this is overdoing it. However, sporting the Beatles/Rolling Stones/Queen on the cover for the umpteenth rehashing of their achievements, seems to be the kind of music journalism that's en vogue in Germany and France.



Monday, December 2, 2013

Live At Rockpalast - CD/DVD Series - #152

Live At Rockpalast - CD/DVD Series

Repertoire has released a number of very interesting CD/DVD combinations in their "Live At Rockpalast" series. You can already find sets with the Blues Band, Mickey Jupp or the Climax Blues Band in the shops. Upcoming releases are for Dr. Feelgood and Rockpile.

Rockpalast being, of course, the cult TV show on German station WDR, which brought a lot of Rock and Blues bands in a live setting. Now we'll have to wait and see, wether they will release the Wilko Johnson one as well. The sets are very affordable (doesn't cost more than a single CD).



Thursday, November 28, 2013

Dr. Feelgood - All Through The City (With Wilko 1974-1977) - Part 3 - #151

Dr. Feelgood - All Through The City (With Wilko 1974-1977) - Part 3

The set has been re-released in a standard 4 disc box (not the long form). The shop I bought this from today, had it on offer for less than the equivalent of EUR 15.00 (not even USD 20.00). I guess there's not much of a booklet in there (I won't break the seal and open it just to see that this has been stripped down). In a way, it's a shame that this set has about the value of a pizza at your local Italian restaurant. But then, it's certainly affordable.



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Shamrock Rebels - Irish Rebel Songs - #150

Shamrock Rebels - Irish Rebel Songs

Sometimes you come across a record that's so bad, it's bloody excellent. I've been to Ireland a few times, read up on the Troubles in too many books to remember them all and I've seen the Wolfe Tones live in concert when they were at the very top. I've been to Belfast when it was a war zone, I've had Dart games in villages whose names I can't recall (but where they probably still speak in awe of this stranger who teamed up with a local and put the other team to shame). I've been smashing drunk in some hamlet there, heard of Elvis' death when travelling the country and been to pubs that seemed to cave in, all it needed was a little cough. And I did buy the cheesiest record available to mankind.

Now, this might be a strange record, but I do play it every now and then and frankly, it's a joy to listen to the organ grinding through two sides of this LP, the band acting like they're at a Saturday night dance and couldn't care less about the history that speaks from these songs. I have more "serious" Irish rebel songs LPs in my collection. But this is the one I listen most to, at a rate of one spin every year. And as it should rightfully be, this is accompanied by a Guinness Special Export and a dram of Jameson to toast the Shamrock Rebels who had no shame, back in the 70's to release such a killer record. Sometimes the worst are the best.



Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Gypie Mayo - July 24, 1951 - October 23, 2013 - #149

Gypie Mayo -  July 24, 1951 - October 23, 2013

RIP - Now playing "As It Happens" LP UA 1C 064-82 638 (Germany)



Monday, October 14, 2013

Strypes - Snapshot - #148

Strypes - Snapshot

I don't claim to have my fingers on the pulse of contemporary music. Sometimes I'm lucky and I find myself a band worth talking about. At other times I've to be told. Several times. And then I buy a CD by four young (not even in their twenties) lads from Ireland and ... you might think this is the next hype coming down main street ... you're completely and entirely wrong. This as much a tribute to a band we all love, as it's hats off to early Yardbirds with a dash of the Rolling Stones. In fact, this is so far retro, it's bloody avantgarde.

Forget about me going through the 12 tracks that make up this album (there's an extended version with an additional four songs available) and suffice to say, it's all killer, no filler and lightning should strike me twice if I'm lying. I buy a lot of good to fantastic music, but this one took me back to the British Blues boom of the early sixties (which I know of second hand only, courtesy of my record collection) and the hungry sound of Dr. Feelgood ca. 1975. And not to forget, also a trace of the good old Pirates. I just hate the fact that I only got the standard issue CD, as that was all that was availble at the mail order I bought this from. I believe I have to shell out my cash for the deluxe version as well, then I have to go for the LP and I must have a long hard think about getting the EPs and 7"s. Here we go.

I just read, long after the fact that this was recommended to me, that the Strypes are about the hottest item in today's Rock circus. To me, that's a resounding yes, but I don't know about the market in general. This is not the kind of music that gets the majority of the listeners to crawl out from behind the oven. A shame really. 7 of the twelve songs are originals, with the others being cover versions, of course. But even the self penned tracks sound like classic British R'n'B. Which says a lot about the ability of the band. And if you wouldn't know it, you'd never guess that the band is so young, as they play much like a decades old road tested unit. If you're going to buy only one more record this year, make sure it's "Snapshot". You'll thank me until your dying day.



Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Johnny Kidd And The Pirates - Please Don't Touch (Cover Version) - #147

Johnny Kidd And The Pirates - Please Don't Touch (Cover Version)

I really think that "Shakin' All Over" is unkaputtbar. I heard more cover versions of this song than I care to remember and somehow, they all pulled it off. None of these bands killed the song. The same goes for "Please Don't Touch". Until now, that is. I'm really into the weird side of Rock'n'Roll, but today I listened to an LP by a band from Japan, Mad 3 and their album "Teen-age Delinquent!" from 1998. And what can I say ...

... although they pull it off quite nicely, a cross between a Rock band and a Punk outfit, you can easily listen through the two sides. A bit pretentious maybe, but that's o.k., I assume they've just tried very hard to be different. If this trio would have just stuck to the likes of "Twangy Eddie", this being some kind of Rockabilly instrumental, which is quite enjoyable, the LP could have made four out of six. But, they murdered "Please Don't Touch" with a kind of arrogance, I don't mean this positively, seldom seen. To make a song your own by adding something to it makes every selfrespecting musician proud, and quite rightly so. But being just inept at your go to sound original, leaves a foul taste.

As much as I'd like to recommend this band, this one is really for the weird section, where you've hidden all your old Frank Sinatra vinyl. Thanks, but, no thanks.



Thursday, September 19, 2013

Norman Watt-Roy - Faith & Grace - #146

Norman Watt-Roy - Faith & Grace

It took a while until the CD was released here in Europe (September 13, 2013) and it occupied a slot in my letterbox yesterday. It would have been easy for Norman to go the Ian Dury/Wilko Johnson way, but he presents a very eclectic album here. I don't know wether this could have been expected, but to me this is a hell of a CD. There's a lot there that I like about music in general, the fast bits and the quiet parts. There's a certain Jazz influence, and since I have a very soft spot for this genre, Norman is preaching to the already converted. Not that I would call this a Jazz record by any stretch of the imagination.

Very interesting take on "Roxette" (with Wilko on guitar and vocals), by no means a straightforward delivery as is known to mankind. I'm not sure wether a diehard Wilko fan will appreciate this (I do!), but I think your taste of music needs to be a little bit out of the box as well. This CD is near perfect and there's no use to revert to beancounting. A real contender for album of the year.



Monday, August 26, 2013

Dave Edmunds - New Studio Album (2013) - #145

Dave Edmunds - New Studio Album (2013)

Surprise, surprise! I had thought that I had heard the last word from Dave Edmunds regarding new recordings. But in the current RC I've just read, that the man is working on a new album, to be released at the end of this summer. I had a lot on my books, but not this! And Dave Edmunds says "I reckon it's gonna be a good, consistent record that sounds like Dave Edmunds ...". This will probably released on Cherry Red.



Vinyl vs. CD - #144

Vinyl vs. CD

It's the old discussion, but I'll not take it up again ... except to say, that I was a bit irritated yesterday, when I pulled out four(!) brand new LPs from all the vinyl that's sitting here, still waiting to be heard. They were all sealed copies, and imagine my surprise (and anger) when each and every of these albums sounded like they had been played with a very well worn (if not to say completely damaged) stylus. The kind of heavy distortion you get when you played your vinyl transparent. Of course, I know, there could be a number of reasons, not the least a fault in production, like a much too short cooling off period after pressing. But four albums in a row? Give me a break! I had thought that my needle had gone across the Jordan.

Even cleaning the stylus a couple of times didn't bring any betterment to the audio quality, I really thought I had shot my stylus and damaged some records in the process. The only thing that seemed a bit strange, was, that the distortions didn't last throughout the whole running times of these LPs:

Cramps - RockinnreelinginAucklandNewZealandxxx
Monument - The First Monument
Original Film Soundtracks - The Best Of Godzilla 1954-1975
Who - Phases (the only secondhand item)

Although all look like being in pristine condition, I had to double check with some vinyl that I knew played just fine. So on went

Gash - A Young Man's Gash (a horrible album btw, but easily worth EUR 300.00 in m- condition)
McKenna Mendelson - Stink
Sound Explosions - Teen Trash
Keith Jarrett - The Köln Concert (especially to check wether the piano was affected, as it seemed)

and, no, those records played just fine, the way they're used to sound. Today I've pulled another two LPs and they are

Moses - Changes
Triode - On n'a pas fini d'avoir tout vu

Those two sound full, excellent sonic quality and not a fault to be found with them. I must confess, yesterday's four out of four sequence had me thinking how seldom a CD listener experiences this kind of problem. I've never come across such a series with regards to my digital collection, but then I haven't heard something like this from my vinyl corner either. And the icing on the cake is, I can't even remember where I bought this stuff months ago, so there's no use trying to exchange it.

Anyway, enough of this, my favourite medium will be vinyl, no question about it, but it did bring up the question why so many newly pressed LPs (and 7"s) are of such bad quality. I'm buying also quite a few punk LPs and guess what, 95 % of them are of audiophile quality pressing. No distortions in the quiet areas or elsewhere, and that's the way it should be.



Thursday, August 22, 2013

James Fearnley - Here Comes Everybody/The Story Of The Pogues - #143

James Fearnley - Here Comes Everybody/The Story Of The Pogues

James Fearnley, sometimes accordion player with the Pogues, has written an account of life in a mildly successful band up to the year 1993, when he left the Pogues. I've always held this band in high regards and, actually, I own all of their studio albums, a number of singles as well as some 12"s. I've seen them live with their original bassplayer Cait and even when Shane (the singer) had left, with Joe Strummer. The band had it's ups and downs. From a rather colourless debut album via their early masterpiece "Rum, Sodomy And The Lash" through to some lesser offerings, the band had visited all the stops on the road to fame.

Of course, their X-mas song with Kirsty MacColl will forever and a day be one of the cornerstones of popular music. Others like "A Pair Of Brown Eyes" and quite a handful of contenders are not far behind. When Shane left (or rather, after he was thrown out of the band), the band nearly self destructed musically. There was just nothing great about the band anymore (at least on record - live, with Joe Strummer was an altogether different matter). Nowadays, the Pogues are in a different incarnation on the road again, playing gigs with their erstwhile frontman. But really, I don't want to see a band that's giving it a shot on the oldie circuit. Not the Pogues anyway.

It was thus, that I recently read the aforementioned book and I came away with the distinct opinion, that one shouldn't read inside accounts of performers you hold in high esteem. First of all, the writing style of James Fearnley is not something to write home about. In fact, it's rather dull and drags itself mostly through the 400 pages. It's just bad style, there's no cliff hangers, no suspense and, at least for me, far to little on the actual music, be it recording- or gigwise. What you get instead is accounts of mashed pineapples, some tensions within the band and a lot of drab. One gets the feeling, that this really wasn't a band at all, but a bunch of drifters being thrown together by chance, trying to make a living of what was at hand.

I, for one, came away a bit disillusioned, although I didn't expect the Pogues to be the type of guys walking around with a halo, I was amazed of their childish behaviour, their immature relationships within the band and their overall problems of facing the world. Naturally, it could be James Fearnley's tinted view of matters, but I do suspect, that there's a truth buried somewhere. Although I suspect that the author had an axe to grind, even though he's obviously covering this up to some extent. Conclusion: If you're a diehard Pogues fan, spare yourself the cash to buy this book and the time to read this. This is not really a inside view of a band. Spend your money on their early records instead.



Saturday, August 10, 2013

Pop Music Team - Society Is A Shit - #142

Pop Music Team - Society Is A Shit

I'm a big fan of Rock, Beat and Blues from all strange corners of this earth. Thanks to a recent interest in even very obscure bands and countries, a lot of albums are being released of which we didn't have the faintest idea in my area. And buying the vinyl issue of a band from Mexico with the rather silly name Pop Music Team, should have rung a bell somewhere. But it's being described as killer Psych and some such drivel. I'm also kind of obsessed by so-called "weird" music.

I'm sorry to say this, but if this is Psych, all you fans of this genre out there, have been had, big time. I admit, I have zero idea what Psych really is. Better people have tried to explain this to me, but I know what it certainly isn't, this here, for one. But, and I'm not pulling your leg, this is one of the most fantastic "weird" albums to come into my collection for a very long time. I sit here, listen to the tracks and I can't help but have a grin on my face throughout both sides of the LP. This is class A stuff, a band that's a million ways away from where they want to see themselves, it's just funny. Mind you, I'm not talking about a bad record, just a very very strange one.

This make me wonder what they had been smoking, prior to  recording these songs. Must have been awfully potent stuff. Plus a few bottles of Tequila maybe? The insert is a beauty in itself, telling the story of the recordings/band on one half page and not even mentioning the shortcomings of the (back then unreleased) album. I don't know, they make it appear like Pop Music Team was a big player in their homecountry in 1967. Amazing, I wouldn't want to miss out on this album, although all for the wrong reasons.

Now, can someone tell me where all these reviewers heard killer Psych? "Nashville" is on now and, frankly, it would be killer track at a kids' party. Just great stuff!



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dr Feelgood - Taking No Prisoners (With Gypie 1977-1981) (4) - #141

Dr Feelgood - Taking No Prisoners (With Gypie 1977-1981) (4)

I guess, noone had in mind in 1977, that viewers in 2013 still might be interested to see vintage Dr Feelgood footage. Or, just maybe, this was state of the art technology back then. But these days, with HD being present everywhere, this (mostly) grainy and out of focus material has a certain charm. In other words, the recordings don't make the cut. But who am I to complain, it's history we're seeing and the quality is, despite all its shortcomings, quite acceptable. Don't expect high resolution videos and think back to a time when you were easier to be satisfied and, voilà, there you are.

That the footage is scraped from various sources is quite apparent, due to the uneven quality. It's indeed mostly better than what I have on DVD and VHS, but even within the presentation, the changes are quite noticeable. This goes for the audio track as well as the visuals. At least one of the promo videos surprised me in as much, as they apparently didn't find a superior version. On the other hand, the "Violent Love" video is the best copy I've seen so far. This is quite an enjoyable visual trawl through the Gypie years and it brought back many memories of Dr Feelgood live in concert. For me, this DVD is the real highlight of the boxset (plus the demo version of "Riding On The L & N" in the audio section).

There's a very extensive Gypie Mayo interview on this DVD as well and, if you can sit through it, you're awarded with a lot of insight into the machinery that was Dr Feelgood 1977 to 1981. But I'd propose to split your viewing of this section into two or three parts because, at least for me, listening to a speaker going on for nearly an hour, it's more of a monologue than an interview, at least the way it's cut, the prospect of sitting there for an hour without a chance to get a word in sideways, is not very appealing. I'd rather have a couple of thin slices, than the whole pie in one go. The Richard Gottehrer interview is not nearly as impressive and I believe, I forgot most of what he said already. That section is also much shorter than the Gypie one.

Despite its shortcomings, the boxset is a real companion to "All Through The City". It could have been different and better, but did I think I'd get to see even one boxset all those years ago? Certainly not and this really is now the third such offer of any importance. Now, are we going to see a boxset of the Gordon years and one of the Steve years? Not that I'm exactly waiting for it, but with a better plan, there might be a few surprises in there. Not the least a decent version of "See You Later Alligator" in the DVD section.



Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dr Feelgood - Taking No Prisoners (With Gypie 1977-1981) (3) - #140

Dr Feelgood - Taking No Prisoners (With Gypie 1977-1981) (3)

Listening to the tracks that are not available elsewhere, e.g. the boxset minus the remasters, I believe this is a missed opportunity. I'm too much of a Dr Feelgood fan, not to feel slightly disappointed about this compilation. I don't care much for remasters, because I have decent vinyl in my collection, so that leaves me only with the one(!) demo track and two live sets (The Paddocks and The Pavilion). A bit thin on the ground, considering that the set cost me a fraction away from EUR 60.00 from one of my dealers. Really on the steep side, seeing that some others sell it for around EUR 30.00 less.

The demo version of "Riding On The L & N" is interesting, I wish there was more of the same. But apparently, this was not to be. Either the well has run dry or we're being treated with additional material (one track at a time) on forthcoming compilations. The live portion from The Paddocks is o.k., but the audio is not up to scratch (where's the remastering here?). I have much better sounding bootlegs in my collection and this is an official release. Repertoirewise this is what the band did at the time, this transition period from their first line-up to a settled down 2nd version. The band is tipping the brakes ever so lightly, but as a timepiece, this is priceless and can't really be compared to their full live albums during the Gypie period. On hearing "Cheque Book", I had this strange idea, that the track is nearly falling apart.

The excerpt from The Pavilion gig one  year later is much to short to give a real impression of the band 1978. There are only 7 tracks, while The Paddock gig netted at least 12 tracks for this set. Both not nearly enough to really give an impression what the band was, during that time. The sound on this second batch of live tracks seems to be slightly better (at least to these ears). And, I might be mistaken, but I think the band is more "there", more on top of their music and maybe a bit more confident, with Gypie having settled in nicely. It's Dr Feelgood as I appreciated them during this period. And I believe, this was the time, when Lee Brilleaux freed himself of Dr Feelgood Mark I.

As for the DVD, that's for another day! I don't want to rush through the visual part. I've probably seen most of the footage already, but just in case, I do expect high quality from first generation tapes. Just so you're forewarned.



Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Dr Feelgood - Taking No Prisoners (With Gypie 1977-1981) (2) - #139

Dr Feelgood - Taking No Prisoners (With Gypie 1977-1981) (2)

Just browsing through the booklet (and listening to Motörhead's "No Sleep At All"), it dawned upon me, that this is now 35+ years ago since Gypie Mayo joined Dr Feelgood. And 30+ years ago, when he threw the towel in. Ancient history, when you think about it. Dr Feelgood had their highs and lows until 1994, but it's really amazing that I have stuck with them during all those years. Who would have thought so in around 1974? Certainly not yours truly.



Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fender Wilko Johnson Telecaster - #138

Fender Wilko Johnson Telecaster

If you've got £ 501.00 (as seen on the internet) to spare, the 200 copies only limited Fender Wilko Johnson Telecaster in black and red could be yours. This is apparently only for sale in Europe, but I believe it's very optimistic of Fender to expect all guitars to eventually go to the public. Now, let me check if I can find a shop around here, willing to import the thing.



Saturday, June 29, 2013 - #137

Just to let you know, the website is currently down. I had to change the provider and all I have to do now, is to upload the whole shebang again. Let's see, I might even do it over the weekend. But truth be told, a website is very static and not the latest in internet technology. And what's more, I don't like the ancient design and layout of my website anymore. It really shows, that it all started more than 15 years ago. But to rework this into a contemporary web presence, for this I don't have the time and patience now.



Saturday, June 15, 2013

Wilko Johnson - At Cornbury Festival 2013 - #136

Wilko Johnson - Cornbury Festival 2013

This one comes as quite a surprise. Wilko Johnson will appear at this year's Cornbury Festival and take the stage on Sunday, July 7, 2013. Hats off to Wilko. I'm glad to hear, that he's able to do that one gig. I didn't think anything like this would happen after the cancelled shows on Canvey Island.



Saturday, June 8, 2013

Pogues - Just Look Them Straight In The Eye And Say ... Pogue Mahone!! (Box Set) - #135

Pogues - Just Look Them Straight In The Eye And Say ... Pogue Mahone!! (Box Set)

I knew there was a box set around, but until a few days ago, I wasn't aware, that this is unlike any other box set you've seen. I've to ask myself under which rock I've been these last five years. I've seen the Pogues many times live on stage (with Shane MacGowan or with Joe Strummer). I've been there since I don't know when and I've seen the original line-up on stage. Thank you! I've traveled the country to see the band and I've seen soundchecks that made me think, how's their singer going to make it until the evening. He did and it was a great performance. I got kind of used to Joe Strummer (not the least, because the Clash have a place in my heart as well) and in general, life was as good as can be. Until the day Shane quit the band (he was thrown out) and then the slow decline of the band was set in motion. Although they haven't released a really bad album since then, the fire was gone. The return of their foremost singer a couple of years ago didn't spark any new projects into life. All that came from this stint, was a live CD/LP/DVD from a rather recent show in Paris. Very welcome and excellent stuff, but I'm still waiting for new studio material. It probably won't come about.

And in mid 2013 I finally realise, that the box set (uh, I have already everything by the Pogues, I don't need another "Best Of") turns out to be a monster 5 CD-release with out-takes, alternate versions, demos, rare B-sides and some live tracks. In short, there are more than 100 tracks on offer and most of it is unreleased and can't be found anywhere else. If this set wasn't from the year 2008, I'd name it release of the year without a moment's hesitation. For me, this is the box set to which all other box sets have to be measured up against. I know, some provide more gimmicks like fake tickets, imaginary yearbooks, postcards and other paraphernalia, but this for the music fan, pure and simple. A revelation!



Sunday, June 2, 2013

Doctor's Order - Mean Business - #134

Doctor's Order - Mean Business

Here we are, June 2013 and Doctor's Orders new CD has in the meantime been released. I've mentioned this briefly some time ago:

Here's a full review on my website:

Recommended listening. I kid you not!



Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dortmunder - Harmonia ja kohu / V/A - Tapahtunut aiemmin - #133

Dortmunder - Harmonia ja kohu / V/A - Tapahtunut aiemmin

Quite unexpectedly, I got this double CD from Finland. And listening to it, the term, that Finland is THE Rock'n'Roll country of the world, has come true once again. Nowhere is the density of class A Rock bands per square kilometer higher than up North. Not even the U.K. comes close. You might say, finnish people are born with a shot of Rhythm'n'Blues (or any other kind of music).

I've no idea about the band Dortmunder. I'm just drawing a blank, although I've quite some finnish popular music in my collection. In fact, this is just a 5-track CD and all it does, is, wet your appetite for more. It's the kind of Rock music I've come to associate with Finland. Rootsy (in every which way) and upfront. No "independent" U.K. guitar stuff. Really, in a way this is old fashioned music with a twist. Very charming and uplifting. Tracks like "Toisinaan" make you want to sing along, even if you're like me and don't have the slightest idea about the finnish language. And can I just squeeze this in sideways, where my good friends of Doctor's Order make a guest appearance as well.

"Lainelautaileva amiraali" is an instrumental worth its salt. I couldn't find much about Dortmunder on the internet (and what little there was, I couldn't make sense of). As I understand it, this mini CD is still available. The Label is Maaseutumusiikki and they have an internet presence. Just check it out.

Not available anymore is the second CD that came with the Dortmunder one. Apparently, it was only pressed in a very limited quantity. Which is a shame really, as albums like this need a wider distribution and shouldn't be heard by a chosen few only. I'm being told, that this Various Artists compilation sort of tracks Marko Aho's musical life. Marko Aho being the guitarist and singer of afore mentioned band Dortmunder. Here, he's playing with a number of finnish bands. Most of them are unknown to me, except, of course Doctor's Order and I seem to recall Alli And The Gators from somewhere.

Twentythree tracks clocking in at around 66 minutes give you an idea what good music can mean to be. The chosen language of Marko Aho's vocals is finnish. Just don't think it won't work, it bloody well does. Fascinating stuff, even if you're left on the sidelines, wondering what this is all about. The vocals carry a certain mood that seems unique to the finnish nation. No wonder the Tango has so many followers there, as, as someone told me years ago, the Tango is some kind of white man's Blues. And I think he was right about this. This is really an excellent disc, showing off every side of the human mind. Sometimes it's sad, even depressive, at other times its bright and hopeful, with the music going from Rock to Blues and yes, friends and neighbours, I believe I heard some Tango in there somewhere.

There are songs to sing when sober is the last thing on your mind, this kind of alcohol drenched feeling that brings your selfpity out in the open. Other tracks seem to require you to keep your hands off the bottle. In fact, this compilation is quite a rollercoaster in unchartered territory. The joy to hear this album is immense. Listen to "Jos vain osaisin laulaa kantria (lailla Pekka Myllykosken)" and you're even in Country & Western fields. Listening to this CD over and over again, I got the idea, that Alli And The Gators were Mako's backing band for the happy go lucky songs. The Rock torch meanwhile being held high by Doctor's Order and then others going for the Blues and Tango bits.

I don't compare the contributors to each other, because I can truthfully say, everyone made a hell of a job and this is a very entertaining one hour plus. Despite the fact, that I'm listening to a Various Artists compilation, the whole thing is very coherent, something you don't always get. This is not really a contradiction on how I receive the CD, diversity is part of the package here, and not the artificially set up kind. The one thing that should be rectified however, is, that the album should be made available to the general public. This is a shame really, that a CD of this class should sink without being given a chance to swim.



Saturday, May 25, 2013

40th Mega Record & CD Fair, Jaarbeurs Utrecht, November 23 & 24, 2013 - #132

40th Mega Record & CD Fair, Jaarbeurs Utrecht, November 23 & 24, 2013

Finally, I'll be going to this record fair and I believe, I should better bring some cash along with me. Since sometime in the 90's I was thinking of going there, to spend my hard earned cash on some precious vinyl. It was mostly after the fact, that I realised, that I had missed it again and again. Not this time my friends, I booked the flight and the hotel half a year in advance. Days off at the office have been applied for (and granted). So, there's nothing in the way of holding me back. Unless I forget to go to the airport on November 22, 2013, that is.

I'm pretty sure, that this event is so big, I won't make it through everything in these two days. And this is me, instead of selling the collection off (I need more shelfs), I'm adding more and more to what's already occupying space around here. Nevertheless, I'm quite excited at the prospect of spending quality time in Utrecht. Here's the website



Friday, May 17, 2013

Golden Earring - Tits'n Ass - #131

Golden Earring - Tits'n Ass

I can't stand it, when Folks, who should have retired years ago, release a new Album, because they think they are still relevant. They might have been a marker thirty/fourty years ago, but the world has moved through space a couple of miles in the meantime and noone is waiting for old pensioners reliving the heydays of their youth. Really, these bands are a sad sight. Except the few who can pull it through and there's not a bad aftertaste in your mouth. Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome Golden Earring, 2012 style.

This Dutch rockband was a favourite of mine, back in the days when "Moontan" was still not recorded and "Radar Love" a hit reserved for future generations. I remember quite well the double LP "Pop History" (still in my collection), that had almost been played to a seethrough state. Four sides and not a bad song in sight. Of course, "Eight Miles High" followed and Golden Earring were forever in my heart and mind. And then, after "Radar Love" I just lost track of this band. Not forgotten, because I still used to put their LPs on the turntable, but just kind of faded (at least where newer material was concerned). This has been rectified over the last couple of years, but I still have not all of their post "Moontan" output. But I still have time.

2012 and the band is offering a new album and I cringe. Suddenly I have a bad stomach and my head aches. I dare not listen to the album for fear of absolute trash. My nightmares about have been rockers  seem to come to life once more. And yet, I took the jump into the cold water (I admit, not without having read a few reviews about "Tits'n Ass) and I'm surprised, really taken by what I hear. The band rocks and is contemporary without clutching to days of fame past. This is a bunch of great songs, based on excellent songwriting and delivered by a smoking band.

Fourteen tracks available on CD (also as a limited edition with a DVD "The Making Of Tits'n Ass") and double vinyl. I haven't watched the DVD yet, but I can vouch for the audio. Normally I'm nursing my rocksolid prejudices (I'm mastering at it), but Golden Earring proved me wrong (at least in their case). Give the album a chance, even if you think Golden Earring should have been stuck in the seventies. You'll be surprised.



Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dr Feelgood - Taking No Prisoners (Box Set) - #130

Dr Feelgood - Taking No Prisoners (Box Set)

Towards the end of June 2013, there's a new box set being released. This is about the Gypie years (plus) and consists of 4 CDs and 1 DVD. Most major online mail orders already have it listed, so go there to check out the contents. I'm really looking forward to the DVD section and hoping for a decent transfer of the CDs. There's not much in the way of alternative takes (or outtakes) to be found here, but the release is nevertheless very welcome.



Sunday, April 28, 2013

Les Sauterelles - Today - #129

Les Sauterelles - Today

There was a band in Switzerland in the 60's,who could easily have taken on the Beatles. And that's what they were called by their fans and by the press, the Swiss Beatles. They were ploughing the Pop field, and they did it very good. A string of hits, mainly in their native country and then, whooosh, they disintegrated. They left a mark in the history of Pop and some bandmembers carrying on in other bands or solo. The most remarkable is certainly Krokodil. But one went solo and since the very early 70's, this guy is a sort of fairytale uncle, grinning into every camera available, strumming his guitar and delivering his singer/songwriter material that's close to children's lullabys.

I mean, I like the old Les Sauterelles, I'm also with Krokodil, but if I see this Toni Vescoli guy once more, I'm jumping out of the window. Ground floor only, don't get me wrong! Some 40 years after the fact, this band has the nerve to release a new album (on CD, LP and DL). What I really really don't need from 70+ years old blokes is a rehash of their youth. What do we get on this album? The most tiresome old Popmusic you can imagine. Phil Collins is a rocker compared to these guys. Everything sounds like it's been eaten already thrice.

The funny thing is, yesterday afternoon, I went to one of my regular dealers, to stock up on some records. There he is, showing me proudly the LP version of "Today" and playing the thing on the inhouse deck. Some other customers present and, believe me, they were all of the age, of having heard Les Sauterelles, and admired them, the first time around, the remarks came flying and I kid you not, there was not a positive statement. When one of them remarked about Toni Vescoli's zurichois English, I was grinning from ear to ear. This is so provincial, Les Sauterelles were never the spearhead of the farmers union. They seem to be now. I don't understand how old men can damage their legacy so completely. Shut up in your rocking chair and let the past undisturbed. This release gets a mention as the most redundant album of the year. No, make this of the century.



Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Big Figure's Drum Kit For Sale - #128

Big Figure's Drum Kit For Sale

This is an interesting one. Big Figure's drum kit is for sale on one of the largest auction platforms on the internet. That's GB£ 10'000.00 to me and you. Or you can make an offer, if your pockets are not quite so deep. No questions, this is a piece of history, but I believe Dr. Feelgood fans are a couple of leagues below Beatles or Rolling Stones collectors in monetary terms. Not that it wouldn't be worth it, but if the Big Figure actually accepts a counteroffer, this will be less than 50 % of the current asking price. That's just a guess, but the way the market is going for Dr. Feelgood memorabilia, I don't see the current owner making a killing with this kit. Sold "due to retirement"? Don't count me in! But it's very tempting to say the least!



Monday, April 1, 2013

Wilko Johnson - Recent Articles In The Press (Update) - #127

Wilko Johnson - Recent Articles In The Press (Update)

You always wanted to know how to play like Wilko Johnson? Here's your chance, GuitarTechniques magazine #216 (Spring 2013) has three pages on our man. Apparently, you must have an easy/moderate ability to follow this. But best is "I'd advise you take a look at Wilko's playing on YouTube. If he stands still for one second you'll get the opportunity to see just how freely he mixes up strumming, picking, plucking and a whole host of other exciting bangs and bashes.".

The CD, that comes with the magazine, has a handful of Wilko samples to offer. Don't expect anything like an extended solo or the like, this is all very brief. But the item is going into my collection as a curio. The only drawback is, that GuitarTechnique is rather expensive. A cover price of UK£ 5.50 (US$ 15.99) is not exactly on the cheap side. The equivalent I paid for this at the newsstand is in Euros around 17.00



Steve Hooker - Smokin' Guitar - #126

Steve Hooker - Smokin' Guitar

The new CD from Steve Hooker (aka the Stripped Down Stomping Band) is quite remarkable, in that, of the eight tracks on offer here, four are instrumentals. I don't know wether one can expect this from Steve Hooker, but it makes the title of this release spot on. The CD clocks in at just below the half hour mark and again, I rather have 30 minutes of class A stuff, than 70 minutes of reheated fourth row musicianship. But with Steve Hooker there's no danger of that.

This is a slice of trademark Steve Hooker. I mean, he's not exactly reinventing the wheel, but then, I don't expect him to do. I'm pretty sure, if he would, I couldn't take him seriously anymore. But that's no surprise, one really expects new releases from certain artists to stick to their roots. Or at least what you consider their roots are. Seven of the eight tracks are Steve Hooker originals and the eighth is probably one as well, I'm not sure, as it says "Foxx C And I". The track is "Mocking Bird", and if I'm not completely mistaken, can be found on an earlier two track release (this is somewhere on my shelfs, but I would have to move a ton of records to get to it, so no checking there), although this here is an alternate version.

The music is, of course, the typical Steve Hooker Rockabilly/Rock mix. Kind of modern and not so much the retro stuff. Although I'm fine with both variations. Back to the four instrumentals, which, I think, suit his style very well and at least for me, are the highlights of this album. I'm not picking one over the other, but for the introduction to the CD alone, I have to give special points to "Wolf Farm (Grange Aux Loups)". And also for this heavy beat and well defined rhythm, this is very recommended, especially if you come from the same corner as myself (musically speaking).

Wether you buy "Smokin' Guitar" or not is, naturally, up to you, but you could really do worse than shelling out your hard earned cash for this release. This is an album you'll go back listening to and enjoying it. The cover is reminiscent of this French cigarette brand. Good job, but if it were for me, I would have used the backside for the cover (pun intended). Released on Pimphouse CD1. It might not be available in every record shop, but if you ask your brick and mortar outlet dealer nicely, he/she's going to order it for you. Alternatively, you can also get this from Steve's website at



Thursday, March 21, 2013

"Dr. Feelgood" - #125

"Dr. Feelgood"

I noticed that during the last couple of years, more and more people have come to their senses. This here I found in Classic Rock, April 2013 issue, in their Live! review section. It's the Great British Rock & Blues Festival, Skegness Butlins, and this is what the reviewer had to say about today's "Dr. Feelgood":

With no original members, headliners Dr. Feelgood are authentic and entertaining enough, but it's tough to ignore the levels of fraud involved ...

Hey, it's not like I'm searching these kind of statements, I just happen to realise that they are turning up quite frequently now.



Sunday, March 10, 2013

Canvey Island - 2010 - #124

Canvey Island - 2010

Here are some more impressions from Canvey Island, this time from a few years earlier (with a somewhat better weather):

"Be Seeing You" again. The Admiral Jellicoe. The sign was still there in 2010, it's missing now.

"Sneakin' Suspicion" 2010! The Canvey Island Social Club!

And the Oysterfleet Hotel, where the Dr. Feelgood Music Bar use to be.

And here, the very same ex record shop in 2010. It was a shop to let even back then.

Edsel re-release of "Be Seeing you". Back then, they had the restaurant upstairs, they've now moved it down where you can see the boarded windows. But that was also back in 2010.

And the Monico the way it looked three years ago.

And this is, of course, not on Canvey Island, but in Southend-On-Sea. The Kursaal.



Canvey Island - March 7, 2013 - #123

Canvey Island - March 7, 2013

Some impressions on Canvey Island during a rather rainy day:

Used to be a record shop. Was already up for rent back in 2010!

Canvey Island Social Club. Cover of "Sneakin' Suspicion".

Admiral Jellicoe. Cover of "Be Seeing You". The place has been redone years and years ago and doesn't look anything like the picture we know.


Dr. Feelgood bench at the seawall.

Benches galore and tankers in the channel! Well, not exactly tankers and not exactly the channel! But it fits.

"Be Seeing You", later LP release on Edsel.

The Monico. One of Lee's favourite watering holes!

As you can see from the pictures, no sunglasses needed that day!