Old tunes; new words

So yesterday I heard a rendition of some old hymn on the radio and it took me back to my school days when we had to sing those dreary old dirges during the morning assembly. I usually quite liked the tune but the words always left me a bit cold. All that Onward Christian soldiers! Marching as to war…and on to victory! stuff kinda felt a bit like after the Crusades to me. Either that or it was all I would go on the pilgrim’s journey, onward to the promised land. I’m not trying to be provocative but what exactly was a pilgrim anyway and how did it relate to me as a 12 year old who had a daunting maths lesson next? The reality was these songs meant something to a fearful congregation some 150 years beforehand but they were pretty uninspiring to pubescent lads from Poulton-le-Fylde.

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Album Part 2

Just to let you know I’ve updated the Album posting with a bit more detail on why I made the particular selections. Check it out by following this link or pressing the previous button at the top of the page. I hope this helps turn it into more of a story rather than just a selection box and encourages you to let me know of one or two of your own favourite LPs and why. The hills are alive folks and what else are you doing eh?

pavaloving paulie

 

Albums

You’ve probably seen the thing going around Facebook asking you to share one image per day of the covers of the 10 albums that defined your musical tastes. My lovely sister Hel nominated me and ordinarily I don’t do this sort of chain letter shit. But because it was her I responded but lumped them all together as I knew I wouldn’t be arsed doing one album cover at a time. Continue reading

And the operator says…

In my early days working in the International Telecommunications part of the GPO (a bit that would later be hived off to become part of the new British Telecommunications) there were huge buildings in central London which delivered the international telephone operator services functions. They housed thousands of operators (mostly women and a surprisingly large number of gay men) who worked in shifts 24/7 to deal with callers’ queries and helping connect them through to overseas destinations. They were also the most militant centres of union activism in the early 70’s (the Communication Workers Union made the miners look like Sunday school teachers at times).

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Soundtracks

You’ll have to excuse me. I was out with old friends from BT days on Friday (we get together on an occasional basis having worked as a small project team during the Rugby World Cup in 1999) and although it was a low turn out – just C, P and me – I had a blast and one or two drinks. Then last night we had dinner and a lot more drinks at old friends J & D and lovely daughter A . I think we finished around 5am which is outrageous but we were having a laugh at a video D shot of my 40th birthday do, which I haven’t seen in 20+ years. I have to say we had some fab parties at our old place in Buckingham and this was a prime example. Seeing family and old friends 20 years younger dancing away to ZZ Top is a real hoot, especially after one or twenty glasses of wine.

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The night Porter

Gregory_Porter

I know I promised a posting on Jeremy Clarkson next but I’ve got a bloody tune that I can’t get out of my head and I’m hoping this post will clear it. It’s by the guy pictured above, Gregory Porter, and despite wearing daft hats he’s a bit of a cool jazzy singer.

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Robbie Bland

I’ve been writing a bit lately about ageing and I notice I have been getting a little more reflective and mellower in my postings. It’s a sign of getting older I guess. I’d far rather watch Time Team than X Factor these days and I started wearing comfortable rather than stylish clothes quite a while ago. It comes to us all. But I have taken particular interest in the ageing process of one Robbie Williams of late, the one-time bad boy of Take That whose latest album has an intriguing title….

robbie-williams-swings-both-ways-album-artwork

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Don’t make me laugh Ray

ray davies 1

Last week-end our very good friends L & S came to stay and I had a quick browse through L’s paper of choice the Mail on Sunday. I came across an interesting feature in the Event section about how some of Britain’s biggest music stars wrote their signature hits. In other words what was their method of composing and their inspiration?   Later the same evening I watched a programme on BBC 4 about the most valuable songs of all time which asked a similar question. One illuminating fact shone out for me.

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