What a fantastic, sunny summer day it was! Beautiful weather, ideal for a laid back community event at the local park. This year’s Hawarden Classic Car Show, again organised by Deeside Round Table, showcased numerous classic cars from different times and places. There was also a bar, barbecue, music, numerous stalls and rides for the kids.
I turned up primarily to see the motors, photos of some you can see here. But the event itself was a lot of fun, and benefitted from the glorious sunshine.
This year I arrived earlier, and managed to take a photo of the gold Trans Am that eluded me last year. BOOM! Although as I arrived, an amazing yellow Mercury Cougar was rolling away. Never mind – if you scroll to my very first Motors post on Platinum Al’s Virtual Hot Tub, you’ll see the very same car.
There were some favourite cars from last year making another appearance – like the Chevy Impala – and lots of new surprises.
A great mix of vehicles of various types, plus a relaxed afternoon – all good. I finished things off with a couple of ciders (don’t worry, I wasn’t driving). Here’s to more days like this in the future.
You can see last year’s Hawarden Classic Car Show blog here.
Brant Bjork must be a very busy boy at the moment. We’ve already had an album out earlier this year from his desert rock supergroup, Stoner, and now here’s a solo effort too. He’s a multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist singer song writer and no mistake, offering up sonic expeditions of varying styles and pace. Most of all, though, Brant seems to be a decent bloke who’d be ideal company for a beer or three.
For “Bougainvillea Suite”, we’re in a more laid back, but still rockin’ mode. The album is like a combination of Santana and Steppenwolf, full of relaxed but vital summer vibes. ‘Trip on the Wine’, our first song, has a similar stomp to The Door’s ‘Five to One’, but less angsty. The late 60s-early 70’s groove is maintained throughout, ‘So They Say’ embellished with a sweet, melodic construction and ‘Broke That Spell’ having an early Purple raunch.
Stoner band mate Ryan Gut adds percussion and keys, whilst the final member of that trio, Nick Oliveri, pops up on ‘Bread for Butter’. This track and ‘Ya Dig’ are two of the more direct, heads-down rockers, whilst the extended blues jam of ‘Who Do You Love’ is trippy territory augmented with some almost Stooges-like lead guitar. This last track is a real highlight, it’s like a long-forgotten experiment involving all of the bands I’ve mentioned!
And that’s it: eight songs that whilst not easy listening, can be mellow, psychedelic and still rock your bones. “Bougainvillea Suite” would make perfect summer evening listening, a beer and a BBQ as the clear sky fades to black, good times with good friends after a long day shredding a pool. But it’s been released in late Autumn, so what do I know? Just buy it and enjoy.
What could be better: playing vinyl records in good company, with some beers in a great local pub? Sounds pretty good to me. Yes, Bring Your Own Vinyl Night was back again, in the traditional home of The Queen’s Head in Mold, North Wales.
Following both Record Store Day, and a record fair – both of which VOD Music in Mold were involved with, it has been a wax packed day anyway. So it was good to finish the day’s events off with a chance to spin some records.
So what exactly is involved with Bring Your Own Vinyl Night? It’s simple: everyone gets 15 minutes to play whatever songs they like, on quality record decks with a mixer. But it can only be vinyl format.
Here’s my playlist:
Jimmy McGriff and Groove Holmes – The Squirrel
You know those funky jazz instrumentals that the Beastie Boys did on “Check Your Head” and “Ill Communication”? I was immediately infatuated with those songs (see also their compilation “The In Sounds From Way Out!”). Research revealed that the main influences on those songs were Jimmy McGriff and Richard “Groove” Holmes, two soul jazz organ players and band leaders. I tracked down some records of each, and they are amazing. This track is from their joint album, “Giants of the Organ Come Together”. “The Squirrel” is a groovy number indeed, but you should check out the full album (and their individual recordings). Nice!
Queens of the Stone Age – Make It Wit Chu
A slinky, sexy number from the “Era Vulgaris” album by Queens of the Stone Age. This track quickly became one of my favourite QOTSA songs, though it’s from what’s probably my least favourite of their albums. Originally appearing on “Desert Sessions Volumes 9 & 10”, where it featured backing vocals by the wonderful PJ Harvey, “Make It Wit Chu” is pure class.
Clutch – The Regulator
More Clutch, ‘cos I just can’t get enough. This song, “The Regulator”, starts with a folky, bluegrass feel before it erupts into a pounding blues rocker. You can find it on the album “Blast Tyrant” and I suggest you go and track it down right now.
Devo – Gut Feeling
Ah, Devo. What can I say about Devo? We go way back, I heard their first album when I was a kid and it baffled me at first. Took a while to get it, but it was worth it. “Gut Feeling” is of course from the “Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!” classic debut. It’s a sunny, dreamy song with a surf rock feel.
And that wraps it up for my set. Four great songs which I enjoyed playing, I hope others liked them too. Either way, it was a great evening catching up and talking music with a few beers.
Thanks to Halcyon Dreams and VOD for organising a superb event.
And thanks to The Queens Head – a great pub, I really enjoyed my food too!
The crowds were thin at first at The Tivoli in Buckley, North Wales, for this evening’s entertainment – but that changed soon enough. Happily, the situation started to develop during the opening set, meaning that support band Red or Dead were able to play to fair sized crowd.
I say happily, ‘cos Red or Dead deserved to play to a decent size audience. Hailing from a bit further up the road in Conwy, the fourpiece are an accomplished group of musicians who are obviously inspired by classic 70’s punk, such as The Clash. Very impressive, with catchy tunes and a message, Red or Dead easily grabbed my attention and refused to hand it back. Definitely a band to keep an eye on, there’s a variety in sound and musicianship that hinted at an even wider repertoire – some research reveals they often play acoustic sets, which sounds very tempting.
Anti Nowhere League shouldn’t really require any introduction. I became aware of these deviants thanks to their association with The Damned many years ago, tales of debauchery spreading ahead of them like a bushfire. Now with just head lunatic Animal remaining in the band, he’s backed by a great, well tenured group of musicians who can really deliver on the band’s legacy, performing it with the respect – and ferocity – it deserves.
Hit singles aren’t really the order here, but of course ANL give us their wonderfully raucous treatment of “Streets of London” (yes, that one) in a set riddled with classics. That songs infamous B-side, the still unbelievably filthy “So What” makes an appearance too, earlier than I’d expected, complete with a concise history lesson from Animal, covering police raids and the later Metallica renaissance. The song still raises a smile and rocks like a nun on a washing machine.
The whole band play brilliantly, the result being a set that was even better than expected. For the uninitiated, Anti Nowhere League live in the corner of punk that’s largely UK Subs with a big, fat dollop of Motorhead. From “I Hate People”, “Let’s Break the Law”, a cover of Del Shannon’s “Runaway” (my Mother-in-Law wouldn’t dig it) and through to “We Are The League”, song after song is fast and furious with never a dud.
As anticipated, the audience loved it and the atmosphere in the Tiv was one not to be missed. Classic punk rock from Anti Nowhere League, who gave us quality tunes performed with the zeal and attitude it deserved. So glad I was there.