SK88: Old School Skateboard Playlist

Best years of my life? 15/16 years old, skateboarding all day and hanging around with my friends.  It was the late 1980s, and the days of the 180 Boneless, No Comply and learning to Ollie.  Back when kickflips were the raddest trick in the car park – except we called them “Ollie kickflips” back then.

This was also the time when I started to really veer off the obvious track as far as music was concerned.  Skate videos and Thrasher magazine began to open up a whole new world of music.  Sometimes these bands would enter the mainstream a couple of years later; sometimes they never did.

I remember hearing a great song on a Vision video.  I had no idea what the song was called, but worked out from the credits that it was most likely performed by the Descendents.  I recorded the song onto cassette off the TV as there was no other way to hear it.  A few months later, on a skate buying trip to Manchester, I stumbled across a record shop that stocked a few records by the band.  I had to buy one: taking a gamble on “All” as it featured a song called “Coolidge”, which fitted the lyrics of the track I loved.  I was so stoked when I got home, played the vinyl and heard the song I was hoping for!  Great album, all in all.

This practice of researching and hunting became a big feature of my relationship with music ever since.

Skating all day, then listening to music in the evening was a big part of my teenage years.  This playlist is designed to reflect those days: music I enjoyed back then and became the soundtrack to that time.

Some songs featured in skate videos (McRad, Odd Man Out).  Some were checked out after I saw them advertised or reviewed in Thrasher (The Cult, Misfits).  Others were just part of the current soundscape, and are forever linked with those halcyon days.

Here’s the playlist I made, split into a two CD format:

Part 1

  1. McRad – “Weakness”
  2. Odd Man Out – “Four Thirty One”
  3. Descendents – “Coolidge”
  4. Sex Pistols – “Holidays in the Sun”
  5. Devo – “That’s Good”
  6. Black Sabbath – “Paranoid”
  7. Motorhead – “Killed by Death”
  8. Faith No More – “We Care a Lot”
  9. Misfits – “Astro Zombies”
  10. Hard-Ons – “Don’t Wanna See You Cry”
  11. The Stupids – “Skid Row”
  12. Beastie Boys – “She’s On It”
  13. Circle Jerks – “Wild in the Streets”
  14. Spermbirds – “Something to Prove”
  15. Dead Kennedys – “California Uber Alles”
  16. Suicidal Tendencies – “Possessed to Skate”
  17. Generation X – “One Hundred Punks”

Part 2

  1. The Cult – “Wildflower”
  2. The Damned – “Love Song”
  3. Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Higher Ground”
  4. Fishbone – “Freddie’s Dead”
  5. Iggy Pop – “Cold Metal”
  6. GBH – “Too Much”
  7. Mudhoney – “Sweet Young Thing Ain’t Sweet No More”
  8. Ramones – “I Just Wanna Have Something To Do”
  9. The Stranglers – “Peaches”
  10. Bad Brains – “Soul Craft”
  11. Gang Green – “Church of Fun”
  12. Metallica – “The Thing That Should Not Be”
  13. Jimi Hendrix Experience – “Purple Haze”
  14. Rolling Stones – “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
  15. Jesus Jones – “Never Enough”
  16. The Skids – “Into the Valley”
  17. Fugazi – “Blueprint”

Some of the above tracks I owned on vinyl or cassette back in the day; some I found in later years.  There are still plenty of other bands from skate videos that I either still haven’t tracked down, or as I didn’t own them at the time I’ve omitted for now.

Instead, this is a basic playlist to represent my late 80s skateboarding days, boiled down to the bare essentials.  I hope you enjoy and these bring back some memories.

And this sin’t an exhaustive list: how Anthrax and Run DMC didn’t get included is baffling.  Maybe I can expand with some more for a Part 2…

Christmas Playlist

Nothing gets me in the festive spirit like a few classic Christmas songs, or indeed, a bit of seasonal strangeness – as in this playlist.  A bit of alcohol helps too, mind.

I’ve already covered my Top Ten Christmas songs, and this playlist isn’t just run down of all the usual Crimbo staples.  This list is more complicated, idiosyncratic, and pointless than that.

Within my music collection are several Christmas songs, of varying fame, often collected together on themed compilations.

This list pulls together the songs that aren’t on those compilations, as well as some of the standards that do, but for one reason or another have found themselves bundled in with this bunch of misfits.

For example, there are several tunes that are always part of any respectable Christmas collection, but can also be found bunged onto Greatest Hits albums.  Songs like the wonderful Slade song “Merry Xmas Everybody”: it’s on all the comps, but I selected my copy from the Slade Best Of to group together with similar songs.  Shaky, The Pogues and John Lennon are other examples of this type.

Then there are the album Crimbo album tracks that are hidden away on band’s regular studio albums, such as the Ramones track (see also: AC/DC, Joan Jett).  They’re not going to crop up on a Now Christmas comp, so I added them here.

Plus, there are various songs from singles (the Darkness track) and a few of dubious seasonal pedigree…

Here’s my Christmas Odds and Sods playlist.  Enjoy!

  1. Slade – “Merry Xmas Everybody”
  2. Shakin’ Stevens – “Merry Christmas Everyone”
  3. The Pogues (with Kirsty MacColl – “Fairytale of New York”
  4. John Lennon – “Happy Christmas (War is Over)”
  5. Queen – “Thank God it’s Christmas”
  6. Ramones – “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)”
  7. AC/DC – “Mistress for Christmas”
  8. The Beatles – “Christmas Time (Is Here Again)
  9. The Darkness – “Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)
  10. Tom Jones and Cerys Matthews – “Baby It’s Cold Outside”
  11. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – “Little Drummer Boy”
  12. Boney M – “Mary’s Boy Child”
  13. Christopher Lee – “Silent Night”
  14. Bad News – “Cashing in on Christmas”
  15. Roy Orbison – “Pretty Paper”
  16. The Sensational Alex Harvey Band – “There’s No Light on the Christmas Tree Mama They’re Burning Big Louie Tonight”
  17. The Damned – “There Ain’t No Sanity Clause”
  18. Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler – “Home for the Holidays”
  19. Monster Magnet – “Dead Christmas”
  20. UK Subs – “Hey Santa”
  21. Black Stone Cherry – “Santa Claus is Back in Town”
  22. Christopher Lee – “Little Drummer Boy”
  23. Queen – “A Winter’s Tale”

Merry Christmas all!

Talacre Playlist

Recently, we had a family weekend break in Talacre, North Wales.  It was to celebrate Mrs Platinum Al’s Dad’s big birthday.  We had a great couple of nights in a caravan at the Talacre Beach Holiday Park.

In the evenings, we often found ourselves having a drink and a chat whilst taking turns to select some music from the old iPods.  Here are the tracks I played.  Some were suggested or requested by others, some I chose to force on them!

  1. The Beatles – “Misery”
  2. The Beatles – “Anna (Go To Him)”
  3. Queen – Fat Bottomed Girls
  4. Queen – Flash
  5. Queen – Seven Seas of Rhye
  6. Suzi Quatro – “Can the Can”
  7. Suzi Quatro – “48 Crash”
  8. Johnny Cash – “Ring of Fire”
  9. Johnny Cash – “Orange Blossom Special”
  10. Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash – “Jackson”
  11. Chris Isaak – “Wicked Game”
  12. Chris Isaak – “You Owe Me Some Kind of Love”
  13. The Animals – “House of the Rising Sun”
  14. Eddie Cochran – “Summertime Blues”
  15. T.Rex – “20th Century Boy”
  16. The Kinks – “You Really Got Me”
  17. The Kinks – “All Day and All of the Night”
  18. The Kinks – “Tired of Waiting For You”
  19. Little Richard – “Good Golly Miss Molly”
  20. Roy Orbison – “Only the Lonely”
  21. Roy Orbison – “Crying”
  22. Roy Orbison – “Dream Baby”
  23. Roy Orbison – “Working for the Man”
  24. 2 Unlimited – “No Limit”
  25. The Clash – “I Fought the Law”
  26. The Clash – “Should I Stay or Should I Go”
  27. The Clash – “Rock the Casbah”
  28. The Damned – “Eloise”
  29. Rolling Stones – “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”
  30. Rolling Stones – “Honky Tonk Women”

Really nice place, Talacre.  Recommended.

Oh, and Happy Birthday Graham!

Bring Your Own Vinyl Night #9

Bring Your Own Vinyl Night

Queen’s Head, Mold

Friday 4th November 2016

It was great to be back in Mold for another Bring Your Own Vinyl Night.  It’s been a long time since the last evening in the Queen’s Head, with summer holidays and whatnot getting in the way – so it was good to see the familiar faces and crank out some tunes.

The usual rules applied: each person got 15 minutes on the decks to play whatever they liked, genre free – vinyl only!

Adam went for it first, here’s an over view of his varied and very enjoyable set:

  • Voice of the Beehive – I Think I Love You
  • Grandmaster Flash – Whitelines
  • Queen – One Vision
  • Willie Nelson – On the Road Again

I am so jealous of that Willie Nelson single!

Halloween had just been and gone a few days earlier, so I was still in a spooky mood.  This time, my set went like this:

Monster Magnet – See You in Hell

One of the many stand out tracks from Monster Magnet’s classic “Powertrip” album, this is acid drenched stoner rock at its finest.  The retro sound is augmented by a churning organ that whirls around as the bass chugs.  Psychedelic wonderment from Monster Magnet that sounds like a forgotten late 60’s gem.  I’ve owned the “Powertrip” album for many years on CD, but recently acquired the new vinyl re-issue.  Money well spent.  A truly great, under appreciated band.

Donovan – Season of the Witch

This fantastic song was featured in the Tim Burton movie Dark Shadows, a film I’m a huge fan of (though it appears not many other people are).  Whilst the previous song sounds like something from the sixties, this one is.  It’s a mellow groover that manages to wander out of hippy territory and sound somewhat sinister… Love this track, I felt it was a suitable jam for a Halloween inspired set.

The Damned – Plan 9 Channel 7

Ah, the Damned!  Where would a Halloween themed set be, without a tune from these punk rock proto-Goths?  One of my favourite bands, one of my favourite songs – from the indispensable “Machine Gun Etiquette” album.  Every home should own this!  The song is, of course, written about a viewing of Ed Wood‘s infamous “worst film ever made” – Plan 9 From Outer Space – on American horror channel 9.  Vampira, James Dean, Hollywood after dark – it’s all here in a perfect slice of rampaging pop punk.

The Misfits – American Nightmare

Finally, more horror punk from the masters themselves – the one and only Misfits.  On this track, Danzig and pals abandon the usual Ramones inspired turbo punk and offer up a ridiculously catchy rockabilly number.  Complete with handclaps and Danzig crooning more like Elvis than ever, this track sounds like a lost piece of 50’s nostalgia.  Classic stuff.

There we have it ladies and gentlemen – another great night in Mold!  Thanks to the guys from Halcyon Dreams and VOD music – and Dylan who helped out with an extra turntable!  More soon…

The Halcyon Dreams blogspot is here.

The Halcyon Dreams mixcloud page is here.

The Halcyon Dreams Facebook page is here.

The VOD music website is here.

Bring Your Own Vinyl Night #4

Bring Your Own Vinyl Night

Queen’s Head, Mold

Friday 2nd October 2015

For this month’s Bring Your Own Vinyl Night, I decided to have a theme for my set.  Although it was only early in the month of October, I decided to opt for a Halloween theme.  My music choices would have a horror element, or something dark and macabre.

If you’re not familiar with vinyl night, here’s the basic outline:

  • Hosted in the Queen’s Head pub in Mold, turn up and play a fifteen minute set of songs – vinyl only, no CD’s, mp3s, tapes or anything else.
  • Put your name on the list and wait your turn, have a few drinks, listen to the collection of tunes played by other vinyl fans.
  • There are two turntables plus mixing equipment to play your set, plus assistance if you need technical help.

Adam was first up tonight, his set list went as follows:

  • Amen Corner – (If Paradise is) Half As Nice
  • Los Lobos – C’mon Let’s Go
  • Jim Steinman – Surf’s Up
  • Guns’n’Roses – You Could Be Mine

Then it was my turn…

Bobby “Boris” PIckett and the Crypt-Kickers – Monster Mash

What better way to start than with this ghoulish classic?  I found this album a few months ago in a charity shop, and couldn’t believe my luck.  It was only a couple of quid, and worth the investment even though I don’t usually spend more than a pound!  This is of course the sixties gem that sound checks various monsters, with Pickett impersonating Karloff (and Lugosi too).  It’s great fun and essential for any Halloween party!

The Damned – Nasty

The first time I ever heard the Damned was when “Eloise” got to number 3 in the charts.  The second time was this fast paced, tongue in cheek ode to horror movies, on the brilliant Young Ones horror spoof episode “Nasty”.  The Damned appear and play this song in the Young Ones’ kitchen.  I was hooked straight away, saved up some money and bought an album with both tracks on it.  Given the exposure this song had, it constantly amazes me that “Nasty” was relegated to a B-side and hardly ever shows up on Damned compilation albums.  I’ve seen the band live more times than any other, but only saw this song performed for the first time a few weeks ago!  Anyway, the Damned are another essential for a Halloween theme.  Still a great song.

Danzig – Sistinas

Although not a horror related song as such, I couldn’t resist the chance to play something by the Dark Lord of rock himself, Danzig.  Instead of a more obvious bone rattling heavy rock number, I chose this incredible ballad that was hidden away on Danzig III: How the Gods Kill.  Glenn shows off his great vocal abilities here on a song that is more Roy Orbison than Black Sabbath.  Appropriately dark and wind swept, this is a morose beauty of a song.

The Misfits – Vampira

To be honest, I was spoiled for choices for a horror theme, there are tons of songs I could’ve played.  Despite risking a Glenn Danzig overdose, I just had to spin a Misfits song.  This band took the horror punk template established by the Damned, the Ramones and the Cramps and ran with it, off into a creepy cemetery populated by every 1950’s B-movie monster ever.  “Walk Among Us” is one of my favourite albums ever, and this short sharp song dedicated to proto Goth babe Vampira is one of their best.

So there you have it – another triumphant evening for Bring Your Own Vinyl Night.  There were old songs, new songs, obscure and obvious songs.  There’s always something to make you go away and research another band, that’s the beauty of these nights.  My personal favourite was hearing “Gut Feeling” by Devo!  Already looking forward to the next one.  A theme?  We’ll see…

The Halcyon Dreams blog is here, where you can find listed (very helpfully) all of the songs played on the night.

The Halcyon Dreams Facebook page is here.

Bring Your Own Vinyl Night

Halcyon Dreams

Bring Your Own Vinyl Night

Queen’s Head pub, Mold

Now here’s a fantastic idea: take along any vinyl records of your choice, and you get a fifteen minute slot to play whatever you like.  There’s a regular such evening at the end of every month at the Queen’s Head pub in Mold, North Wales.  It’s a great night’s entertainment combining music and, of course, beer.

I spent a little time raiding my vinyl collection and putting a playlist together.  Then my buddies and me travelled up to Mold.  The Queen’s Head is a pub like any other, but on these Bring Your Own Vinyl nights there’s a set up in the corner with two turntables, mixers etc, and people take turns to spin their wax.  No CDs, cassettes or any other funny business – just beautiful vinyl.

The variety of music to be heard is reassuringly eclectic, with examples from across various genres and ages.  It’s great fun, whether you take a turn on the decks or not – and you’re guaranteed to hear some old favourites or (even better) some new aural treats to research.

I’ve never used DJ equipment before, but no need to worry – the guys were very helpful in using the tech.  It’s quite fun, selecting your track and fading between decks, though I could do with more practice…

Here are the tunes I selected for my turn on the decks:

Ramones – I Just Want to Have Something to do

The lead track of the Ramones’ fourth album, Road to Ruin, this song features a great riff and lyrics of teenage boredom.  Though not considered their best record, I have a real soft spot for Road to Ruin and this song was a no-brainer.

Johnny Cash – Ring of Fire

An obvious Cash song to choose, but there was no way I wasn’t going to play something by this guy and Ring of Fire is always a popular choice.  The song that made me a fan of Johnny Cash.  This is off a random Best Of album that I picked up from a charity shop, and has a wild cover.

The Damned – Stranger on the Town

More punk rock, not that you’d know it – this song from their Strawberries album is some kind of 60’s psychedelic homage complete with brass section.  Possibly my favourite Damned song, the version I played was from The Light at the End of the Tunnel compilation (because it’s the first song on side 2, and easy to find…).

Beastie Boys – Sabrosa

I wanted some more variety for the last track, so went for this jazz funk masterpiece from the Hip Hop masters.  This funky instrumental is off Ill Communication, which I am very glad I have on vinyl!

Despite a few shaky moments with my DJ skills, the set seemed to go well and I really enjoyed it!

Dig out those vinyl albums kids – vinyl is back big time.  The Bring Your Own Vinyl night is an excellent concept – where can you go wrong with classic tunes and some beer?

The next night is on Friday 27th February 2015.

The Halcyon Dreams blog is here, where you can find listed (very helpfully) all the songs played on the night.

The Halcyon Dreams Facebook page is here.

The Damned – Gig Review

The Damned + The Ruts DC

Sunday 1st December 2013

Buckley Tivoli

It’s Sunday night, and far from milk and cookies and watching Songs of Praise, Mrs Platinum and I are off to see The Damned.  At the Tivoli in Buckley, no less.  A venue I’ve been to many times (remind me to tell you about my 21st birthday sometime) and a place I’d hoped this lot would play for years.

Support tonight is from The Ruts DC, and blimey they’re good.  I’d have gone to see them headline their own gig – with The Damned to follow this is unmissable.  A great set that swings from ska-reggae boppers to punk rock seven inch masterpieces.  Highlights include “It Was Cold”, “West One (Shine On Me)” and of course “Staring at the Rude Boys” and “Babylon’s Burning”.  They sound exciting, contemporary and confident.  Final song “In a Rut” put the lid on a support set that could have been a headliner.

I might as well own up and admit that the Damned are probably my favourite band of all time.  To see them in my “local” venue is a real delight.  As I hinted earlier, I’ve had many adventures at the Ballrooms over the years and always wanted to see this band here.

The Damned are the band that I’ve seen more than any other.  Tonight though, they play an astounding set that both entertains and surprises.  How do they do that?  Well, they play many songs I’ve never heard them play live before.  First song “Sanctum Santorum” is an interesting choice – atmospheric rather than bludgeoning.  The song worked really well live and served to create a sense of theatre from the start.

From that point on, The Damned kept me guessing.  “Don’t Cry Wolf”?  Yes, please!  “Sick of Being Sick”?  Don’t mind if I do!  Following “Wait for the Blackout” with the songs that followed it on The Black Album is a stroke of almost genius.  “Lively Arts” and “Silly Kids Games”?  Why sirs, with these gems you are truly spoiling us!

“Ignite” and then “Generals”?  They won’t play the third track off Strawberries though.  But they do!  “Stranger on the Town” is probably my favourite Damned tune, and one I never thought I’d hear live.  Brass section, you see.  Yet there it is, and Platinum Al can’t help but sing along.  Thank you, Damned!

And so it goes.  Later in the set we get the classic singles: “Neat Neat Neat”; “New Rose”; “Love Song”; “I Just Can’t Be Happy Today”.  “Eloise” sounds great.  More first time airings (for me) of “The Eighth Day” and “Ballroom Blitz” put the marzipan on the cake before a glorious “Smash It Up” finale.

Any criticisms?  The sound wavers a few times, unusually for the Tiv – some of the early set doesn’t sound as “full” as it should. A minor comment as this didn’t spoil my enjoyment.  Beyond that, it would have been nice to hear more of the recent material (no “Thrill KIll”??!)  – we don’t hear anything off the So, Who’s Paranoid? album.

Though as I’ve been treated to so many new live gems tonight, a full fourteen minute version of “Dark Asteroid” is probably a bit too much to ask.  Maybe next time.

So thank you The Damned, The Ruts DC and Buckley Tivoli.  It was a great night.  Work in the morning.

http://www.officialdamned.com/

http://www.theruts.co.uk/

http://www.tivolivenue.com/index.htm