Welcome back to the Virtual Hot Tub, where I’ll be sharing a recipe for a dish that has become a big favourite around these parts. Inspired by one of my favourite restaurants, this Mexican style dish is simply out standing. The Food Blog has been quiet for a while, so let’s jump straight back into action!
This is a great recipe, which you can adapt to your taste – whether that be in terms of spiciness or experimenting with ingredients.
Place the chicken breasts in an oven proof dish, and add the chipotle paste (add this to your taste). Take a table spoon of water, and add to the dish – placing around the outside of the chicken and chipotle paste, not over it.
Cover with kitchen foil, and cook for approximately 35 minutes. The length of time will depend on the size – for example, smaller chicken breasts will require less.
When cooked, remove from the oven and shred/cut the chicken into small pieces.
Then put the chicken back in the dish and stir it into the sauce.
Cover with kitchen foil again, and cook for another 5 minutes.
Put the tortilla chips on a plate. We recommend cheap or own brand tortilla chips – these work better for us as they have a less over-powering flavour.
Add the chicken over the top of the tortilla chips, then crumble feta over.
Finally, add the soured cream and guacamole to taste.
And there you have it! A delicious Mexican style meal that’s exciting and full of flavour. I hope you enjoy it!
A big shout out to the amazing Death by Tacos in Chester, for the inspiration behind this dish. They created something similar for my daughter a while back which she loved – we’ve been back for more and had to devise a similar type of recipe!
Let’s start with a history lesson. The “Behold the Basilisk” EP by TOOM is a dug-up time capsule, having been recorded in January 2010. The band themselves were formed in 2007, and split not long after this recording. What could have been a long-lost curio, to be spoken of fondly by the few who had inside knowledge, has now been reanimated and set loose by APF records.
What we have is an EP consisting of four stoner doom tracks from an extinct trio. Like those ape dudes at the start of “2001: A Space Odyssey”, Teddy-James Driscoll, Jus Smith and Jack Newnham have been enlightened by a big, Black Sabbath obelisk – the legacy of which has been excavated for our enjoyment.
“Snake Chalmers” opens things up, with an acoustic guitar intro that’s highly reminiscent of those mellow Iommi passages from “Master of Reality”. It’s a beautiful, yet deceptive beginning to a collection of crushingly heavy music. Play it for Granny, she’ll be surprised as fuck when the lethal riffage of “There’s Nothing Cute About Cobras” revs up and creates utter destruction. Growling vocals and gruesome, pounding guitars are where we’re at here.
Similar approach for “Mandark”, though this track throws in some variations in riffs and tempo, with a short, but killer “quieter” section. Here and on the final song, “Decapodiformes”, there’s a hint of influence from the likes of Sleep, High On Fire and Mastodon – with relentless, mighty riffs powering through.
Gone but not forgotten, then: it’s introducing and welcoming back TOOM on this impressive EP. Makes you wonder what might have been…
I promised we’d revisit Platinum Al’s Virtual Hot Tub for another Singles Night, so here we go! Another evening of playing 7 inch singles and having a few cocktails (or beers, or whatever you thirst for). There’s a massive pile of these 45 rpm records to get through, so prepare yourself!
As a quick recap for the uninitiated, I have a stack (or several) of singles that I haven’t played yet. Some have been gifts, some have been picked up – usually very cheaply – from record shops, record fairs, charity shops and carboot sales. The idea is to play through the stack of vinyl one at a time, A side the B side, and enjoy the tunes.
Now I present to you my latest playlist:
Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Taste the Pain” / “Shoe Me Your Soul”
The Stranglers – “European Female” / “Savage Breast”
The Wee Papa Girl Rappers – “We Rule” / “Rebel Rap”
Salt-n-Pepa – “Shake Your Thang” / “Spinderella’s Not a Fella”
Vanilla Ice – “Ice Ice Baby” / “It’s a Party”
Motley Crue – “Girls, Girls, Girls” / “Sumthin’ for Nothin'”
Neil Pepper (Elvis) – “Stairway to Heaven” / “The Beatnix – “Stairway to Heaven”
Sham 69 – “Hurry Up, Harry” / “No Entry”
Kenny Everett – “Snot Rap” / “Snot Rap (Part 2)”
The Turtles – “Happy Together” / “Like the Seasons”
Aerosmith – “Janie’s Got a Gun” / “Voodoo Medicine Man”
Don Fardon – “Indian Reservation” / “Hudson Bay”
Cerrone – “Je Suis Music” / “Rocket in the Pocket”
Fiddler’s Dram – “Daytrip to Bangor” / “The Flash Lad”
Bob Geldof – “The Great Song of Indifference” / “Hotel 75”
Gary Shearston – “I Get a Kick Out of You” / “Witnessing”
Mr. Mister – “Kyrie” / “Kyrie (Extended)”
A note on disc number 7 above: Neil Pepper is an Elvis impersonator, and The Beatnix are a Beatles tribute band. On this record, both have covered the Led Zeppelin classic in the style of their inspirations.
The latter half of this playlist started to wander in to some strange, unknown territory – along with featuring some decidedly dodgy songs. A while back, I purchased a box of about 100 singles at a carboot sale for a fiver, quite a lot of which was quality music. Here though, some of the dregs have started to float to the surface.
It’s not all bad though, and there’s a fair spread of awesome tracks scattered through out the list to make it a fun listen. Plus a lot of variety too, from The Crue’s dumb party metal, to classic 60’s pop from the Turtles, 80’s pop with Mr. Mister and some great old school hip hop.
I’m favouring Sham 69 and The Stranglers as particularly fine songs. And of course the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which I bought because although the A side I have on an album, I wanted the B side to add to my collection.
Singles Nights are always a cool way to spend an evening. I’ll update you with another killer playlist soon.
White City Graves released this album back in August, but I’m reviewing it in October. Not because I’m a slacker, but because this album is totally appropriate for the Spookiest Month of the Year. That’s right folks, we’ve jumped on the Horror Punk ghost train again, so buckle up and be prepared for a rollicking roll on the tracks to hell.
To be fair, there’s definitely a Misfits/Danzig influence with “One Of Us”, but White City Graves cast a wider net than just horror punk. Aggressive as it is, and with the undoubted splash of melody from those aforementioned bands, these songs also owe a big debt to ugly metal bands like Motorhead, Venom and Mercyful Fate.
Like Tad jacked up on speed and Monster Energy whiskey cocktails, it’s furious and frightening. We’re only one motel stop from chainsaw killers and rabid werewolf bikers – all of which makes Al rub his hands with glee.
“Bump in the Night” starts with a sample of an obscure B-movie (of course) and proceeds in the manner we’d expect: punk’n’roll at 200mph and snarling vocals. “Lights Out” is a frenzied rocker with the hugest chorus on the album – think the Anti-Nowhere League partying in a haunted house and you’ll be there.
The band give a nod to their Seattle roots with an exemplary cover of Soundgarden’s “Hunted Down”, a surprising song choice, but it makes perfect sense. WCG take the original and inject even more brutality, but retain a little of the psychedelic feel of the original.
I’ve no idea who Brooks is, but “Brooks is Here” features a helluva fast, almost psychobilly freak out. “Make My Blood Boil” and “Day in the Death” have a similar feel, though “Deeper” takes a more metallic approach with some added Sisters of Mercy atmos.
“One of Us” is fast and nasty, unafraid to have some fun with the horror punk cliches, but adding a ruthless heavy rock influence. Like the best of Seattle bands, it’s an irresistible collision of punk and metal that’s fun and makes the listener beg for more. Why aren’t more bands like this?
My old mate Ronnie James Dio used to love Halloween. He had fantastic costumes too: demons, zombies, imps. I used to have to take him out Trick or Treating every year, acting as his minder. Of course, I looked more like his parent, and most of the people thought little Ron, knocking on their door, was a child. He got loads of candy though, and he always shared it with me. Happy days.
February 2022 saw the long awaited return of Pentre Fest. After falling victim to the pandemic, this local metal festival was revived and came back harder than ever. Two days of metal/rock, hosted in McLean’s pub in Pentre, Deeside, North Wales – I was over joyed to revisit this fantastic event.
Friday evening was headlined by Raised by Owls, with appearances by In Depths and my old mates Ryuko, amongst others (see the reviews below).
Saturday saw the largest audience ever at Pentre Fest, not surprising considering the legendary Blaze Bayley was headlining. Add performances from Absolva, Cadence Noir, Reaper, plus many more and it all equalled a spectacular day’s entertainment.
Despite a few of the advertised artists having to drop off due to the plague, there was a legit feast of music of various hard rockin’ types, spread over two stages. It was so good to be back: a feeling everyone seemed to share, bands and gig goers alike.
You can read the full review on the Ever Metal website here. Just for the hell of it, here are the bands that I reviewed personally.
The first band I caught this year was Navnlos, so that was a pretty good start! These guys deliver some heavy groove metal, powerful and relentless. I also detected something of a nasty grunge element, like Tad jamming Pantera songs in Venom’s garage. Navnlos feature evil riffs, primal rhythms and ogre like vocals – it’s the sound of a rampaging army of berserkers storming your tea party. Bloody great way to kick things off!
Some may have wondered how a psychobilly band would go down at a metal festival. Well, turns out that Hellfire Devilles fitted in snugger than Tommy Lee’s underpants. A raucous, rock’n’roll three-piece trading in high energy, foot on the gas music – these guys wrought crazy voodoo all over the outside stage. Thumping drums, frantic guitar and slapping upright bass – along with monster movie lyrics – the set was an absolute joy. This was freaky tiki, cocktail chaos a go-go: Killerbilly has arrived! Do not miss Hellfire Devilles if you get chance to see them. Main stage next time, please.
Although happily installed as Pentre Fest regulars, Bad Earth have had anything but a comfortable couple of years. With the band reduced to just founder member Geordie at one point, the addition of new members Karl and Ben has reinvigorated this band beyond belief. Big, fast, dirty, non-stop biker rock that would make my old mate Lemmy very proud indeed, Bad Earth played brilliantly and performed a highlight set. The term “power trio” does not do justice here: more like “annihilation trio”. I wore my Bad Earth t-shirt ‘cos I’m a fanboy, you can fuck objective journalism sky high.
My first experience of these guys and they were intense, with a capital “fucking hell mate, who just punched my teeth out?”. Originally slated to appear earlier, Wrath of Man were delayed due to a horde of Visigoths on the A55 (Bad Earth moved their own set to accommodate). The Wrath encapsulate a steaming metal cauldron of brutal riff and thrashy ferocity, topped with growling vocals that suddenly bloom into melodically sung choruses. Uncompromising, surprising and you should check them out, like now.
RIFF OVERLOAD! Quick, pals – jump on Al’s Master Charger fun bus, we’re starting a club for MC fanboys and I’ve saved you all a seat! I’d listened to Master Charger before, but never seen them live – and oh, what beauty I did behold. Sludgier than a dirty bath, doomier than the Goat of Mendes, we sold our souls for Master Charger and they gave us a blinding set of fuzzy, scuzzy rock. Seriously supreme, this trio destroyed all before them – afterward, I destroyed their merch table because yes, I bought bloody everything! I’m not pissing about, Master Charger were AMAZING.
And that’s it. More soon, I hope. As always, major respect to Fozzy, Beany and crew for making this happen. Please check out the bands above and share the love.
Wait, it can’t be time for a new Duel album, surely? It only seems like yesterday that I reviewed their last work for Ever Metal. Time flies when you’re having fun, eh? Well, that last album “Valley of Shadows”, also from Heavy Psych Sounds, was released back in 2019 – so yes, it’s time for more Duel. My cryo-freeze unit must have kept me out of trouble for longer than I thought.
Austin, Texas is where they came from, though Duel’s real home is good ol’ heavy metal and greasy hard rock. Whereas with the previous record review, I made comparisons to stoner rock and 70’s proto metal, this time around, “In Carne Persona” has a much more trad metal approach. Thundering out of the gates on the very first track, “Children of the Fire” has a galloping, early Maiden sound.
The NWOBHM influence rages throughout the album, with some classic Sabbath heaviness and Thin Lizzy style melody for good measure. Second track “The Veil” illustrates both sides of those 70s references with a pounding riff and laser sharp solo.
Tracks like “Anchor” and “Bite Back” take the intensity of Trouble or Saint Vitus and ramp up the pace with a ferocious Priest-like power. “Lizard Tongue” delivers the boogie, whilst final track “Blood on the Claw” provides an epic finish to the proceedings. Bringing the album to a huge and satisfying conclusion; it builds slowly, contrasting heavy chugging sections with refrained passages.
Superb bombastic vocals crown masterful musicianship that evokes the past masters, making “In Carne Persona” another triumphant album from Duel. Throughout it all, Duel create a dark and brooding atmosphere, that effectively stamps their own authenticity on the old template. Dark but never grim, it’s always exciting.
I remember a duel of sorts in my days with Purple. One night whilst on tour somewhere, we decided to have a game of beer Russian roulette. Thirty cans of lager on the table, one had been shaken up by yours truly and placed randomly back amongst the others. Participants would then open one can at a time next to their ear; one unlucky player would obviously suffer the frothy consequences.
Gillan, Lord and Blackmore all started well – springing open cans next to their heads which didn’t explode, so they could drink them down. Eventually, and inevitably, it was Ritchie who took the shaken beer to the head, he was soaked and screamed petulantly at Gillan, blaming the singer for his misfortune. It wasn’t like he didn’t know what to expect! Blackmore stormed off leaving the rest of us in hysterics. What was really funny was, when Ritchie wasn’t looking, I’d switched cans on him with another frothed up bullet. Ha!
Hello there! Remember me? It’s me, that bloke who occasionally reviews albums for Ever Metal and spins ropey old yarns about rock’n’roll. Yeah, him. Sorry I’ve been absent for a while, had a few things on my all-you-can-eat buffet plate recently. More about that another time (if the lawyers allow me). For now, recline in your favourite easy chair, and let’s review. With me? Good.
Right then, bit of a mammoth task, this one. “Live in the Mojave Desert” is actually a series of five albums, each recorded live (of course) amongst the sand and rocks of the Californian desert. It’s probably like Star Trek, when Kirk and crew are roaming around the cliffs and valleys – but in the dark, and with guitars and lights and stuff – and no one dies (hopefully).
Up first in my sequence of albums is the legendary Earthless, a band who should need no introduction. I listened to their offering whilst on a trip to North Wales; sadly the surf was flat, but the sonic musings of this three piece fitted perfectly the rolling roads between green valleys and big skies. In the land of druids and standing stones, witches and warriors, this was a perfect soundtrack. The songs are a journey in themselves, awash with psychedelic Hendrix style explorations. Only three songs, but they’re plenty lengthy and offer huge scope. It’s actually quite beautiful. (9/10)
Next on the list was Mountain Tamer, a band I’m not familiar with previously, but a cool name. And a cool name goes a long way with me. The Mountain Tamer sound is raw and in-your-face, with mighty, meaty riffs that clunk around in full-on doom style. There’s also a mind expanding, trippy element to their music, leaving me with the impression of Black Flag in a collision with Hawkwind. This unique approach is best exemplified by stand out tracks “Black Noise” and “Scorched Earth”, but it’s all damn fine. (8/10)
An offering in this series from my old buddies Nebula was very welcome, their brand of psych drenched sci-fi hard rock being something I’m somewhat partial to. This is the album with the most obviously “live” feel – not that it’s sloppy at all, the very occasional tiny imperfections and wall of fuzz give a genuine and celebratory vibe. Opening track “To the Centre” is a feedback drenched, blistering explosion. “Giant” is another standout track with a bouncing, crazy gonzo riff. (8/10)
Spirit Mother are another band I’ve not heard before, and they were a real surprise. Their first song, “Tonic (Exodus Inc)” is straight off the soundtrack of some forgotten Italian/Turkish 1970s horror movie. The band take the standard desert/doom rock and add violin, and everything veers off in a totally unexpected direction. From mournful 70s rock on “Ether” to creating their own genre of gothic Spaghetti Western (“Dead Cells”), it’s like Morricone on peyote orchestrating The Exorcist. Strangely beguiling. (8.5/10)
The album I listened to last in the collection was the debut release of STÖNER, the very aptly named stoner rock “supergroup” which features Brant Bjork (Kyuss, Fu Manchu, solo etc) and Nick Oliveri (Kyuss, QOTSA, Mondo Generator etc etc). With Brant’s drummer, Ryan Güt whacking the tubs. As a fan of these rogues’ other bands, I was definitely curious about this release. No fear here: this is exactly what I hoped it would be: desert rock royalty. “Rad is Rad” features a relentless, rolling bassline that drags the listener along on a head-nodding journey whilst Brant croons in his laid-back manner. The big, groovy bass continues in “The Older Kids”, and the tracks develop a trancelike vibe as it progresses. And strap yourself in for the final song, “Tribe/Fly Girl” – over 13 minutes that will melt your eyeballs. Definitive. (9/10)
That’s it: five albums, five bands, and a mind-blowing excursion into the remote desert valleys. Whether showcasing how it should be done, or abducting the listener in a smoke-filled UFO to be probed in new realms, these live collections are a trip.
Here’s a ton of links! Click away for more info on this awesome music…
Welcome to the second part of my reminiscences of my old Star Wars figures. This time, we’ll complete the rest of the Empire Strikes Back waves that came out in the early 1980s. A little less words maybe, a few more photos.
Last time we looked at the first wave of Empire figures, plus an early arrival (Boba Fett) and a late comer (Yoda). Whereas the figure selection for the first movie was never exhaustive (we could’ve done with more, to be honest) – the remaining Empire waves would deliver a bundle of key characters as well as some background oddballs, to pad out your playing experience.
The first wave gave us a classic Leia, this time in Hoth Outift. Again, the figure shown here is my excellent condition version, which I bought myself at the end of the line’s run, to replace my sister’s slightly beat-up one.
Next was Han Solo (Bespin Outfit), hands down my favourite Han figure. This guy saw a lot of play. Great sculpt, holds his blaster well, just awesome. The only negatives are that his trousers are too light in colour, and they packed him with the wrong gun.
The Rebel Commander was a welcome addition – you can never have too many troops! Lots of detail, but the blaster he came with is pretty lame. The Medical droid, 21B, was also a very detailed figure. I loved the transparent torso. Sadly, I lost his medical tool/needle thing years ago, so I should replace that.
A couple of Bespin characters next: the Ugnaught, who is exactly the type of minor character I have to own! He comes with a soft goods apron, presumably to add more value a la cloaked Jawa. And lastly, Lobot – a really cool looking guy who I’d have liked to see get more screen time.
Finally, with this wave, we got an Imperial officer! Named Imperial Commander on the card, this late-to-the party figure would have to double up for every Imperial officer in all three films – including Tarkin (don’t get me started on that thorny issue) – despite the black, not olive outift. So better get as many as you can! I have two; there’s a slight difference you’ll see in the pics below: one has no hair (I assume this is a paint app production error, or some one scraped it off – not a genuine variation).
At this point, the biggest toy around – biggest in size literally, but also in impact and desirability – was the AT-AT. I couldn’t believe that a toy would be made of this huge vehicle. Of course Kenner did, and thus I needed at least one, preferably two AT-AT drivers.
Last from this wave, another cool bounty hunter: Dengar. The first mail away figure I ever sent off for (Palitoy waved it’s proof of purchase nonsense this time), he took months to arrive. As in, literally months. Palitoy were swamped with requests, but one magical day, after ages spent in anticipation, a clean white box with Dengar inside arrived in the post. What a wondrous day that was…
Let’s start the next wave with the droids: C-3PO with Removable Limbs and R2-D2 with sensorscope. I wasn’t really expecting these figures as a kid. C-3PO was kind of cool as he came with a bag you could put him in, on Chewbacca’s back – though Chewie could never stand unassisted with the extra weight. R2’s new feature was interesting, though this version could never take the place of the very first R2 figure, my first and most loved Star Wars figure of all.
Luke in Hoth Outfit was a much needed alternate look, ideal to place on your Tauntaun toy. However, he came packed with that weird gun instead of the obviously more preferable (and accurate) blue lightsaber. The black Bespin Guard was an instant troop builder and a nice early nod to diversity. Twin Pod Cloud Car pilot was definitely a cool design, but he’s less “blink and you’ll miss him” and more “was he even in the film”? This figure was a necessity so someone could pilot the vehicle, I guess. I’ve lost his communicator sadly, this extra accessory was actually a good feature.
To finish the Empire figures, the “bad guys” from this wave. AT-AT Commander (or General Veers, if you knew your SW trivia) was another handy addition to the mighty AT-AT toy. And at last, a TIE Fighter Pilot, so stormtroopers could be relieved of their flying duties. You’ll notice here that the TIE Pilot isn’t holding his gun, I just couldn’t get him to grasp it for longer than two seconds. Interesting side note: my TIE Pilot had a nice fruity smell when I first opened him, which remained for years. Must’ve been the paint – anyone else have the same experience? Unfortunately, that smell has long disappeared now.
The last two bounty hunters shown here were two of my favourite action figures in the line so far: 4-LOM and Zuckuss. Both were really detailed and despite limited screen time, they were amazingly cool. Awesome weapons too – two of the best guns in the entire line. This adherence to showcasing the myriad background characters is exactly what I loved about Star Wars figures: I could scene build and create whole little worlds. “Which is 4-LOM and which is Zuckuss?” you may ask. The answer’s on the card name lozenge, that’s all I’m saying.
There we have it: all of the action figures from The Empire Strikes Back. The line was particularly strong at this time, with improvements in the sculpts and some great character choices, not to mention a masterful piece of cinema inspiring it all. This really was a magical time in mine – and many others’ – childhoods.
I was surprised how many of these figures I could actually remember buying, and from which now long-gone small toy shops around the country I found them (there was no Toys’R’Us in those days). I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief nostalgia trip, maybe we’ll meet again soon for the next chapter…
Leia and Hoth troops
General Veers – prepare you men for ground assault!
1980: by the time the Star Wars sequel was due to appear in the cinema, I was excited and more than ready for it. We’d waited three years, endured numerous playground rumours (“Luke and Darth Vader will have a lightsaber fight!”), but we knew that it wasn’t going to be called “Star Wars 2“.
It was going to be called “The Empire Strikes Back“. I was seven years old and had no idea what that could mean.
I was the first kid in my class to get to see the movie (I’d been the last for the first film, despite being forced to utilise relentless pester power). Of course, Empire was amazing, though not as good as the first: there was no cantina scene or similar. I do remember my Dad whispering to me “Did you just hear what he said?!” after Vader’s revelation. Mind blown! But let’s concentrate on the toys…
Over the previous couple of years, Star Wars toys had to compete with other toy lines for my attention (Action Man, Dinky and Corgi cars, etc etc) – but by 1980, I was pretty much laser focussed on Star Wars figures as my main priority.
Which Empire figure did I pick up first? It may have been Lando, as I thought he was cool and he was a major new character who hadn’t been created in plastic before. My original Lando is pictured, though I replaced the vinyl cape with a repro version recently. Note he’s not the white eyes/teeth version, which I thought I had as a variation somewhere in my collection, but apparently not when I rummaged through for these photos. So that’s one I may track down in the future.
Or maybe Luke was first, in his Bespin Fatigues. This figure is one of my favourites, in an outfit that became his new standard Rebel uniform. This was probably thanks to the great run of Marvel Star Wars comics between Empire and Jedi, where Luke wore it all the time. As a result, this Luke Skywalker went on many missions, though I sadly lost his yellow lightsaber. One to replace.
My sister bought the original Leia figures. This was cool by me as I was bizarrely self conscious of buying a girl figure. Or maybe it was because I figured out that I could still use my sister’s figures, and use my own money to buy a different character (two for the price of one, ha!). My sister didn’t look after her figures as well as I did mine, so I replaced all of her well worn toys with my own when the line came to an end in 1985 and I could pick them up cheap. Here’s my excellent quality Leia in Bespin Gown.
I was never a big fan of the Han Solo (Hoth Outfit) figure, with his hood up he could be anyone. So I didn’t pick that figure up till much later. Cool holster feature though.
Also pictured are the Hoth Rebel Soldier and the first Bespin guard, complete with snazzy moustache.
Boba Fett? I was never a fan, really. Overrated character who did very little in Empire or Jedi. I just never got the cult of Fett. My lack of enthusiasm probably dates back to when he was offered as a mail away. Palitoy required proofs of purchase for several figures, which I obviously didn’t have – so I couldn’t send off for him. So maybe it’s just sour grapes. Eventually, I warmed to Fett, but if i ever hear one more person say how this figure is really rare, I’ll go space loco.
Fett wasn’t technically a part of this wave, he predated it – but here he is anyway for completeness sake. Also pictured are the Snowtrooper (complete with vinyl “skirt”) and two way cooler bounty hunters: IG-88 and Bossk. Both are nicely sculpted figures with loads of details, and cool accessories.
Finally, one figure which I believe was held back from the rest of the first wave to avoid spoilers: Yoda. I picked this guy up as soon as I saw him. He’s tiny, but features some nice accessories to increase value for money. Unfortunately, his gimer stick is long gone and will need to be replaced.
I think that’s enough on this wave (of sorts) for now: this will have to be a two-parter. We’ll reconvene with the rest of the figures from The Empire Strikes Back soon.
Luke carrying Yoda in the backpack from the Survival Kit mail away.
Is this a variation? Hoth Rebel Soldiers with different chest insignia.
Original vs replacement Leia Organa (Bespin Gown), showing turtle neck variation.
Welcome, music lovers! Yes, we’re back at Platinum Al’s Virtual Hot Tub for another leisurely evening of spinning 45 rpm records and drinking a hell of a load of cocktails. It is on, brothers and sisters!
So what’s going down? It’s pretty simple. I have a stack of vinyl singles (hence “Singles Night”) and I’m playin’ ’em in order, side A then B, just for the heck of it. Because it’s fun. And you might just hear some great tunes. No cheating: play each single in the pile, with no skipping (even if it’s a dud).
Here’s the latest playlist. Grab a drink, this is gonna be fun…
Dread Zeppelin – “Stairway to Heaven” / “Jailhouse Rock”
INXS – “Suicide Blonde” / “Everybody Wants U Tonight”
Village People – “In the Navy” / “Manhattan Woman”
Mike Post ft. Larry Carlton – “The Theme from Hill Street Blues” / “Aaron’s Tune”
Sammy Davis Jnr – “What Kind of Fool Am I” / “Gonna Build a Mountain” / “Someone Nice Like You” / “Once in a Lifetime”
Giorgio Moroder w/ Philip Oakey – “Together in Electric Dreams” / “Together in Electric Dreams (Instrumental)”
S’Express – “Superfly Guy” / “Funky Killer”
Sting – “Demolition Man (Soulpower Radio Mix)” / “Demolition Man (Film Version”
Slade – “Far Far Away” / “OK Yesterday Was Yesterday”
Shakatak – “Feels Like the Right Time” / “Corina”
Roy Orbison – “Only the Lonely” / “Here Comes That Song Again”
Earth Wind & Fire – “In the Stone” / “Africano”
Little Eva – “The Loco-Motion” / “He is the Boy”
And were there any duds in this selection? Well, nothing disastrous, though “Hill Street Blues” was a bit of a mood changer.
But just look at the strength of the list over all: some absolute beauties from AC/DC, Free, Rainbow, CCR and double INXS. Plus that Budgie single (which is a really nice 7 inch picture disc, by the way) is totally cool.
Some great pop classics in there, too. Village People and Giorgio Moroder? Floor fillers!
Thanks for joining me for another Singles Night at the Virtual Hot Tub. Let’s do it again soon. In the meantime, keep your media physical and your drinks cool.