Sunday, 20 August 2017

The Sunday Screech

I should know better by now. Experience should have told me that a double CD featuring music performed on "bicycle wheel, violin, saw, sarangi, voice and digital delays" was unlikely to be good. But I was intrigued and it was only 50p. Your Honour.

The CD in question is called "Freedom of the City 2002 - Small Groups" and features highlights from that year's free improvisation music festival in London. The performances are evenly divided between pretentious drivel and unlistenable squawking, so there is something for everyone.

The person playing the bicycle wheel with a bow is called Sylvia Hallett, and her set is actually one of the more bearable ones. See what you make of this little ditty.

"Violet Revisited" - Sylvia Hallett

I found myself wondering whether childhood trauma might lead people to want to make this sort of noise, and thought maybe Sylvia's parents could shed some light on the issue. So I got my friend Dr. Hook to ring up Mrs Hallett. This is his report.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Vive La France

There was a bit of an emotional breakthrough on these pages earlier this week when, commenting on the previous post, Charity Chic gave us a brief glimpse behind his Scottish Hard Man image and revealed he was partial to the girl groups of the 1960s. So let's see how he gets on with some French "ye ye" from around the same time, courtesy of the fabulous France Gall.

"Nous Ne Sommes Pas Des Anges" - France Gall

"Bonsoir John John" - France Gall

From John John, we move on seamlessly to Tom Tom. I had forgotten quite how dreary this was.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Mean Streets

Three little remembered girl group gems, from a compilation called "Boys Can Be Mean". We start with the title track.

"Boys Can Be Mean" - Sugar & The Spices

"Ain't That Love" - The Bouquets

"Here She Comes" - The Jelly Beans

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Glen Campbell RIP

Very sorry to hear the news that Glen Campbell passed away earlier today. It has been coming for a while, but is no less sad for that. Let's hope he has indeed gone to a better place. RIP Mr Campbell.

"A Better Place" - Glen Campbell

"About The Ocean" - Glen Campbell

"You Might As Well Smile" - Glen Campbell

Monday, 7 August 2017

Monday Morning Magic

Ease yourself itself the week with the smooth but funky sounds of veteran afro-jazz man and all round cool dude, Hugh Masekela. Both tracks are from his most recent album, "No Borders", which came out in 2015 and is his best for a while. 78 years old and he's still got it.

"Shango" - Hugh Masekela

"KwaZulu (featuring Themba Mokoena)" - Hugh Masekela

Friday, 4 August 2017

Pop in Penang, Part 2

We have had a request from George for some of the cover versions featured on the ace Malaysian 1970s compilation, "Kugirama - The Greatest Hots of Pop Band".

So here are Black Dog Bone demonstrating their mastery of both types of music - fast and slow - and Discovery with their squelchy version of "Gimme Litle Sign". As a special treat for you all, I've added Brenton Wood's incomparable original.

"Khayalan" - Black Dog Bone

"Hatiku Luka Lagi" - Black Dog Bone

"Berilah Ku Suata Tanda" - Discovery

"Gimme Little Sign" - Brenton Wood

In case you are struggling to place the Black Dog Bone tracks, here are a couple of subtle clues.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Pop in Penang, Bop in Borneo

More from Malaysia; specifically from a most enjoyable compilation of 1970s chart smashes called "Kugirama - The Greatest Hits of Pop Band". Strictly speaking that should be "bands" but let's not nit-pick.

A fair few of the tracks are Malaysian language cover versions of US/ UK hits of the day. The only one of them that varies from the original even slightly is Discovery's remake of Brenton Wood's "Gimme Little Sign", and if you ask very nicely I'll feature them both in a future post. Today, however, we have three tracks that are - as far as I can tell - authentic originals.

"Hey Hey Taxi" - Discovery

"Si Gadis Ayu" - Black Dog Bone

"Hanya Cinta" - Sweet September

Today's clip comes courtesy of the estimable abgcantik, who has uploaded a prodigious number of vintage Malaysian music videos to YouTube. I've not looked at more than a fraction, but I can't believe there are any others better than this. Thanks, abg!