What could be better, I ask you: playing through a pile of classic 7 inch vinyl singles, whilst having a few alcoholic beverages, basking in the glory of music? Not much. The only catch here, is that some of these records are less “classic” than others…
Never the less, my mission to listen to my stack of unplayed vinyl singles continues regardless. A side then B side, no skipping, playing the lot – whether hard sought after treasure; charity shop find or gift.
Pour yourself a drink and join me on my latest musical odyssey…
Iggy Pop – “Real Wild Child (Wild One)” / “Little Miss Emperor”
Garbage – “Queer” / “The Very Queer Dub-Bin Version”
Garbage – “When I Grow Up” / “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine”
The Gap Band – “Oops Upside Your Head” / “The Boys Are Back in Town”
Glen Campbell – “Rhinestone Cowboy” / “Lovelight”
Kim Wilde – “The Second Time” / “Lovers on a Beach”
Kim Wilde – “Dancing in the Dark” / “Back Street Driver”
Styx – “Boat on the River” / “Come Sail Away”
The Mama’s and the Papa’s – “Monday Monday” / Got a Feelin'”
Dave Davies – “Death of a Clown” / “Love Me Till the Sun Shines”
Duane Eddy – “Rebel Rouser” / Bobby Day – “Rockin’ Robin” / Chubby Checker – “Pony Time”
Trio – Da Da Da (English Version) / Da Da Da (German Version)
Billy Fury – “Halfway to Paradise” / “Cross My Heart”
The Zombies – “She’s Not There” / “You Make Me Feel Good”
Stevie Wonder – “Yester-me, Yester-you, Yesterday” / “I’d Be a Fool Right Now”
Roy Orbison – “It’s Over” / “Indian Wedding”
Gene Vincent – “She She Little Sheila” / “Hot Dollar”
The Motors – “Forget About You” / “Picturama”
Blondie – “Island of Lost Souls” / “Dragonfly”
T-Rex – “20th Century Boy” / “Free Angel”
Another 20 awesome singles! Great stuff there from Iggy, Blondie, T-Rex, Roy Orbison – plus double Garbage and double Kim Wilde. Crossing the genres and spanning the years, it was another fine night of music.
Time for another twenty slices of 7 inch vinyl goodness, with Singles Night at Platinum Al’s Virtual Hot Tub!
You know what that means: an evening of me playing through a stack of vinyl singles, one after the other, whilst imbibing the booze. It’s more fun than it sounds, honest! There are untold treasures in my pile of records waiting to be rediscovered – plus a few duds that should be consigned to the pop junk pile.
Join me now, on yet another daring voyage into my vinyl collection…
Paul Simon – “You Can Call Me Al” / “Gumboots”
Steppenwolf – “Hey Lawdy Mama” / “Twisted”
Steppenwolf – “Born to be Wild” / “The Pusher”
Iggy Pop – “Livin’ on the Edge of the Night” / “The Passenger”
C.W. McCall – “Convoy” / “Long Lonesome Road”
Belinda Carlisle – “Do You Feel Like I Feel?” / “Do You Feel Like I Feel? (Dance Mix)”
The Dave Clark Five – “Glad All Over” / “I Know You”
Chris Montez – “Let’s Dance” / Lonnie Mack – “Memphis”
Dion & The Belmonts – “A Teenager in Love” / “I Can’t Go On (Rosalie)”
Hank Williams – “Honky Tonk Blues” / “I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive” / “My Bucket’s Got a Hole in it” / “Baby, We’re Really in Love”
Slade – “Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me” / “Kill ‘Em at the Hot Club Tonite”
M – “Pop Muzik” / “M Factor”
Nancy Sinatra & Frank Sinatra – “Somethin’ Stupid” / Frank Sinatra – “Call Me”
Kylie Minogue – “What Do I Have to do” / “What Do I Have to do (Instrumental)”
Queen – “You’re My Best Friend” / “’39”
10cc – “I’m not in Love” / “Good News”
Rod Stewart – “Ain’t Love a Bitch” / “Scarred and Scared”
David Bowie – “Sound and Vision” / “A New Career in a New Town”
Eagles – “Witchy Woman” / “Earlybird”
The Sweet – “Hell Raiser” / “Burning”
Well, I had to own a copy of that Paul Simon classic, right? And the Slade B-side is tantalisingly close to hot tub, though I wouldn’t want Noddy and pals murdering anyone in my Virtual Hot Tub.
A couple of Steppenwolf killers there: look at that Easy Rider style double A side! One of the most underrated bands ever. I was lacking an Iggy single in my collection, hence that purchase – but didn’t realise that “The Passenger” was on the B-side. That’s definitely going in my jukebox, when I get one.
Regular readers will know how much I adore the lovely Belinda Carlisle. That single is a picture disc, with a bonus photo and frame (see pic) – not bad for a 50p charity shop purchase. On the other hand, I’ve never rated Kylie (I much prefer her sister, phwooar!) – but that tune’s not bad.
With some legendary country and pop – not to mention awesome tunes from Queen, Bowie and Sweet – that’s a pretty damn fine playlist. “Convoy” was one of my earliest favourite songs, by the way.
I’ll be back soon with another Singles Night – stay tuned!
One of the best things about the Brown Acid series is imagining the alternate reality where these songs, long forgotten in the mists of rock’n’roll legend, actually attained the success so many of them deserve. A world where these long-lost bands are as equally revered as BOC, Grand Funk or the MC5. The same world, probably, where Lemmy’s still alive, Trump never got near the White House and the last Star Wars film came out in 1983.
But maybe that’s just me. What I do know, is that the Brown Acid series from RidingEasy Records offers up another batch of ten proto heavy rockers that have been excavated from the depths of memory and given new purpose. Lovingly curated and nursed back to life; then unleashed upon a musical landscape that didn’t know it needed the songs, but by Jimi – we’re thankful for them.
The first track on this compilation, “Something Else” by Adam Wind, didn’t flip my switch much at first. After a couple of plays, however, the Hendrix style guitar frenzy did the trick. Then the marvellously named Grump rock out with “I’ll Give You Love”, reminiscent of the mighty Steppenwolf with skronky organs and scratchy guitar.
“Diamond Lady” from Larry Lynn is a fantastic punchy, psychedelic number. Then midway through the album, we get “In Wyrd” by Renaissance Fare. This track sounds like the Doors being particularly annoying when they’re on the wrong drugs. Thankfully, at under 3 minutes, it avoids some of Jimbo and pals’ lengthier exasperations; it’s the only challenge on an otherwise album of rock’n’roll killers.
My highlight of the collection is “Just Can’t Say” by Day Break – a boogie influenced groover with desert rock swagger. Debb Johnson contribute “Dancing in the Ruin”, which packs Stax style brass to great effect, and finally Crazy Jerry rounds things off with the riff-tastic “Every Girl Gets One”.
The Eleventh Trip in this series continues to surprise and entertain. It’s a compilation that’s so solid you’d need a forklift to move it. Dig out your flares and love beads, heat up the lava lamp – it’s party time again!
By the way, I invented the term “skronky organs” and I’m trademarking it.
Adam Wind – Something Else
Grump – I’ll Give You Love
Bagshot Row – Turtle Wax Blues
Larry Lynn – Diamond Lady
Renaissance Fair – In Wyrd
Zendik – Mom’s Apple Pie Boy
Day Break – Just Can’t Say
West Minist’r – I Want You
Debb Johnson – Dancing in the Ruin
Crazy Jerry – Every Girl Gets One
Check out RidingEasy Records on the world wide web here or on Bandcamp here.
Last year was a nightmare. The worst part for me, beyond the pandemic, was my Farmer Giles playing up. I was in absolute agony, for months. The previously pleasant experience of seeing a friend to the coast became torture.
Over the years I’ve had several tattoos; fallen off a ramp whilst skateboarding and landed forehead first; fallen through a neighbours loft, shredding my foot in the process – plus many more ridiculous episodes of pain. None of them have ever hurt like the Emma Freuds giving you trouble, I can tell you. God bless all the mothers out there, because I have no doubt child birth is worse than a cat-arse-trophy like mine and I respect you all the more for going through with it.
After several weeks and months of treatment and examination by wonderful NHS staff, my ailment had been diagnosed as an anal fissure and I was mostly cured. I still pray every night that I have beaten this terrible affliction.
Part of the healing process was a visit to hospital for an endoscopy examination, i.e: a camera up the bum. The problem was determined, and thus, this was purely a precautionary measure.
My examination was held at the Nuffield hospital in Chester, who were helping the local NHS heroes in a dire time. I was somewhat apprehensive, but was very well looked after by the nurses and doctors there. I had fasted for hours. Then, I had to wait in a rather grand, clean white room, wearing my surgical gown.
Whilst waiting for the exam, I was entertained by music playing around the hospital ward. It was a mixture of classic pop, rock and disco, mostly from the Seventies, and I enjoyed every second. Tapping my fingers and singing along, I was relaxed and optimistic for the procedure. I was so happy, I made a mental note of as many songs as I could remember and created this playlist.
Here is the playlist, which I recommend to lighten your spirits in adverse moments!
ABBA – “Take a Chance on Me”
Rainbow – “Since You’ve Been Gone”
Toto – “Hold the Line”
Blondie – “One Way or Another”
Buggles – “Video Killed the Radio Star”
Rod Stewart – “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy”
Yvonne Elliman – “If I Can’t Have You”
Bee Gees – “Jive Talkin'”
Stevie Wonder – “Superstition”
Wild Cherry – “Play That Funky Music”
Boston – “More Than a Feeling”
Kiss – “I Was Made for Loving You”
T-Rex – “Get It On”
The O’Jays – “Love Train”
Hues Corporation – “Rock the Boat”
Genesis – “Follow You, Follow Me”
Boney M – “Daddy Cool”
The Nolans – “I’m in the Mood for Dancing”
Those are all the songs I could remember (the gas they gave me may have blurred some of my memory). But what a great selection of songs! I’ll bet anyone would feel ecstatic with tunes like those to cheer you up.
One thing that made me laugh, was waiting for the doctor to visit me with a camera to go up the nether eye whilst “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” was blaring out. That song was so inappropriate I couldn’t help but chortle.
This blog was brought to you in association with the Viz Profanisaurus, a modern work of literary genius.
Python Lee Jackson – “In a Broken Dream” / “Boogie Woogie Joe”
Boom! What a great collection. My favourite Who song, Thin Lizzy’s best (?), BTO and Free. That Knack song is, of course, a classic – as is the Cheap Trick track. All were from a record fair (remember those?) if I recall correctly.
That Faith No More song is their very worst, by an otherwise spectacular band. I’m no Phil Collins fan really, but that track is pretty good, admit it. Throw in Flying Lizards and The Beach Boys and you’ve got a helluva playlist. And if you don’t love “Camouflage” there must be something wrong with you.
The Chris Cornell was a Record Store Day special which I picked up from VOD records in Mold. Great shop who also organised the record fair I mentioned above. Check them out here.
Here we go with the first Singles Night of 2021! The Virtual Hot Tub is ecstatic with anticipation for the return of these playlists.
What’s it all about? Well, I’m glad you asked. The singles in question are 45rpm vinyl singles, which I have accumulated over time from various sources. The plan: listen to the records, side A then side B, one after the other without skipping any in the pile. Whilst drinking booze.
Let’s see how I got on this time…
The Temptations – “Psychedelic Shack” / “That’s the Way Love Is”
Queen – “Killer Queen” / “Flick of the Wrist”
Buzzcocks – “I Don’t Mind” / “Autonomy”
The Clash – “Bankrobber” / “Rockers Galore… UK Tour”
The Clash – “Complete Control” / “City of the Dead”
The Damned – “History of the World Part 1” / “I Believe the Impossible” / “Sugar & Spite”
Skids – “Sweet Suburbia” / “Open Sound”
The Beach Boys – “Mona” / “Rock and Roll Music” / “Sail on Sailor” / “Marcella”
ABBA – “Head Over Heels” / “The Visitors”
Bananarama – “Cheers Then” / “Girl About Town”
The Belle Stars – “Sign of the Times” / “Madness”
Chicory Tip – “Son of My Father” / “Pride Comes Before a Fall”
John Farnham – “You’re the Voice” / “Going, Going, Gone”
Stevie Wonder – “My Cherie Amour” / “Don’t Know Why I Love You”
Bardo – “One Step Further” / “Lady of the Night”
The Motors – “Love and Loneliness” / “Time for Make-Up”
Hot Chocolate – “So You Win Again” / “A Part of Being with You”
Elton John – “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” / “Screw You”
Blondie – “The Tide is High” / “Susie and Jeffrey”
Slade – “We’ll Bring the House Down” / “Hold on to Your Hats”
Twenty – count ’em – twenty great tracks. Well, mostly. A solid offering from the world of punk rock in that collection, with the Buzzcocks, Clash, Damned and Skids singles all being salvaged from a local charity shop. Lucky day.
I had a great night spinning these discs, there are some really awesome records to add to the collection there. Time for more soon. Stay tuned!
In February last year, I interviewed Chester based punk/grunge band Ryuko at Pentre Fest. Due to numerous unavoidable issues – not least this blasted pandemic – the piece was unfinished till recently. Not long ago, this post finally appeared on Ever Metal, and I thought I’d republish it here too. Enjoy!
“Grandpa, what’s a gig?”
“Well son, a gig was what we used to call a band playing live music, in front of an audience.”
“What, people watching musicians play their instruments? Crazy!”
“I know it seems like a strange idea to you youngsters, but it used to be a fantastic experience. Actually being able to gather with friends and strangers to enjoy hearing music. It was another world.”
That’s what the situation seems like right now: no gigs, no gatherings for entertainment – the old days sometimes feel like a lifetime ago. At least it seemed a whole different world back in February 2020, before the pandemic, when I caught up with Chester based band Ryuko at Pentre Fest.
The three piece – comprising The Bobfather (guitars/vocals), Captain Andy (bass) and MattMan (drums) were something of an anomaly at the metal-centric Pentre Fest. Not that Ryuko don’t rock out, but their brand of punky, alternative rock was a little different from the other bands on show. I found their style of honest, yet far from pretentious rock’n’roll refreshing and it added a vital tone to the proceedings.
Post gig, I caught up with the band to pose some questions and contemplate the meaning of life.
First off, the cliched yet crucial discussion on influences:
Bob: It’s weird, ‘cos we’ve got influences from all over. If you listen to one of our sets, it has stages: it starts off punky, then it goes alternative rock. Then it goes a little metal/grungy, then back to punk at the end.
Matt: Drop D then back to punk! I’m a huge fan of Motorhead and Metallica, the list goes on, so me being the drummer, I was always doing these thrash beats. To go from that to stepping into this, this was more fun to me. I really enjoy myself when I’m behind the kit with these guys.
Bob: When I write the songs, I listen to quite a broad variety of music, so I think that becomes apparent in my songs. I don’t like to write the same song twice. As far as when I started out, I would say when I was a teenager, I first started listening to Nirvana, Carter USM. I also drew influences from a lot of electro – The Prodigy and stuff like that – so sometimes I’d try and work out how to play dance songs on a guitar. And then that would give me the influence to write more interesting songs. I like to try and fuse a bunch of different genres together, make it more interesting.
Andy: I listen to a lot of Neil Young, I think he’s a very diverse artist. He’s done folk, he’s also done electric stuff.
How do you promote yourselves?
Matt: I’m more into social media than these guys are. We’re promoting ourselves on Facebook, we’re gonna make a new YouTube account. That’s kind of going up and down at the moment…
Bob: We don’t know how to work it!
Where does the name Ryuko come from?
Bob: I’m really into anime and all things Japanese, Japanese music… At the time I was watching an anime called Kill la Kill. The main character is called Ryuko Matoi and I just thought it was a really cool name. Some really fun facts: Ryuko is one of the least popular names in Japan. It basically means “rebirth”, start over. So I thought, we’re starting again, it’s a really cool name.
Andy: Well it’s not a cool name in Japan, is it?
Bob: It’s cool to me! I think it’s cool!
Andy: I do wish we’d chosen a name that’s easier to spell and pronounce.
Bob: People can never say it.
Your cover of the Madness classic “Baggy Trousers” tonight was a surprising choice, but great!
Matt: We decided to spruce that up to make it ours. The original is completely different to how I play it, I add extra little bits just to make it more funky.
Do you feel you’ve got the right band dynamic between the three of you?
Bob: We’re pretty good as we are. More people add more complications cos you’ve got to think – are they free; do they drive, are they going to be available…
Matt: I’ve got a son, he’s 9, we discuss upcoming gigs before we agree to it. If I’ve got my son and he comes along with us, if he’s allowed in the venue we play – he’s got his little ear defenders, he just sits in the corner and watches us or plays his game.
Bob: I’ve got three jobs…
Sounds like a positive environment to work in.
It’s got to be positive, if it’s not it just doesn’t work. If no-one’s happy, nothing gets done.
So, what’s next? What are your plans?
Bob: World domination! One step at a time…
Andy: We’ve been working on re-doing our EP, we’ve been recording on and off. Recording, playing as many gigs as we can.
And there you have it: an enjoyable chat with the gentlemen of Ryuko. Make sure you check them out live, as and when we can return to the experience of live music. If grungy, punky alt rock with some metallic crunch is your thing, then Ryuko will be just the antidote you need in these dreary times.
With apologies to Ryuko, who have waited months for this interview to see the light of day.
Check out Ryuko on Bandcamp and Facebook. Plus you can follow this link to listen to the interview on YouTube – yes, you can admire my fantastic interviewing skills for real!
Who remembers that old TV programme, The Fall Guy? You know, the one where the Six Million Dollar Man becomes a stuntman/bounty hunter, getting into all kinds of daredevil scrapes whilst pursuing the bad guys? At the end of every episode, old Lee Majors (for it was he) would be seen chilling in his backyard hot tub, mulling over events whilst drinking a cold beer and smoking a big, fat cigar.
Well let it be known that I, too, like to relax in the tub with a beer after a long, hard day of whatever-the-fuck-it-is-I-do. None of your business, really. Just take it from me, I need to unwind in a mass of bubble bath, with candles and refreshment. And of course, some music, just to add to the ambience.
This might not sound very metal to you, but let me tell ya: this new album from doom metal originator Scott “Wino” Weinrich would make ideal tunes for chilling in the tub. Or pondering lost loves and fortunes in a dusty bar. Or sound tracking a lonely drive across the desert, escaping an inevitable encounter. But to be honest, I like the bathtub metaphor best, ‘cos I’ve not used it before.
“Forever Gone” is stripped down and intimate; the title song itself is just Wino the man, plus acoustic guitar. Beautifully melancholic, the listener can really get lost in this. “Taken” also ploughs a lonesome path, with Wino’s voice revealing a soulfulness that I’d never appreciated before.
For any fans of The Obsessed or Saint Vitus who were hoping for something louder and more aggressive, there’s not too much of a leap from familiar ground really. Other than the sonics, the emotions of loss and despair are what unifies Wino’s other output to this endeavour. “Dark Ravine” brings a more Americana style to the proceedings, but it’s all still intense as hell, whether the guitars are turned right up or not.
It’s not all gloom, though: “You’re So Fine” introduces a laid back, country blues number that sounds almost boogie-ish. Throw in a great cover of Joy Division’s “Isolation” and this is an album that’s certainly full of surprises.
Great music can create images in your head for your own movie; “Forever Gone” is one of those. Melodic yet mournful, intense and introspective, there are dozens of stories to be told within the grooves of this record.
Hit singles! All time classic songs! Novelty throw-away rubbish! From the cool to the crap, it’s all to be found at Platinum Al’s Virtual Hot Tub on a Singles Night.
You see, what I do is, listen to a pile of old 7 inch singles that have been languishing in my “not played yet” pile. They could have come from anywhere: genuine gems that I’ve tracked down; record fair lucky finds; or – more likely – junk I find in charity shops.
Pour yourself a drink and check this list out. Do you own any of these on vinyl? What are your favourites? What should be consigned to a fiery pit and melted down?
Kim Wilde – “You Came” / “Stone”
Louis Armstrong – “All the Time in the World” / “Pretty Little MIssy”
The Hollies – “The Air That I Breathe” / “No More Riders”
Duran Duran – “The Wild Boys” / “(I’m Looking for) Cracks in the Pavement (1984)”
Bananarama – “Robert De Niro’s Waiting” / “Push!”
The Beach Boys – “Good Vibrations” / “Heroes and Villains”
Justin Hayward – “Forever Autumn” / “The Fighting Machine”
The Buggles – “Video Killed the Radio Star” / “Kid Dynamo”
ABBA – “Angeleyes” / “Voulez-Vous”
The Creatures – “Miss the Girl” / “Hot Springs in the Snow”
Blondie – “Rapture” / “Walk Like Me”
Bobby Patrick Band – “Dallas Theme” / “The Waltons Theme”
The Beatles – “The Ballad of John and Yoko” / “Old Brown Shoe”
Goombay Dance Band – “Seven Tears” / “Mama Coco”
Lionel Richie – “All Night Long (All Night)” / “Wandering Stranger”
Donna Summer – “Dim All the Lights” / “There Will Always Be a You”
Jermaine Stewart – “We Don’t Have to…” / “Brilliance”
Allan Sherman – “Mexican Hat Dance” / “Won’t You Come Home Disraeli?”
Earth, Wind and Fire – “Let’s Groove” / “Let’s Groove (Instrumental)”
Pointer Sisters – “I’m so Excited” / “What a Surprise”
Some classics indeed. Another great night of a couple of small drinkies and spinning wax: I recommend it to anyone.
Hello there, reader! Welcome to my Virtual Hot tub. Grab a drink and chill out in the warm, comforting water – it’s time to play some more 7 inch vinyl records!
That’s right folks, I’m spinning more records and having a little drinkie. First off the top of the pile, A side then B side, working my way through the vinyl I’ve not played yet. No picking and choosing, just playing whatever’s next.
Here’s the latest batch:
Madness – “Michael Caine” / “If You Think There’s Something”
Elton John – “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” / “Screw You”
Peter Howell & The BBC Radiophonic Workshop – “Doctor Who” / “The Astronauts”
Madonna – “Into the Groove” / “Shoo-Bee-Doo”
Faces – “Pool Hall Richard” / “I Wish It Would Rain”
The Boomtown Rats – “I Don’t Like Mondays” / “It’s All the Rage”
Los Lobos – “La Bamba” / “Charlena”
Elton John – “Song for Guy” / “Lovesick”
Cozy Powell – “Dance with the Devil” / “And Then There Was Skin”
C+C Music Factory (ft. Freedom Williams – “Things That Make You Go Hmmm… (7” Remix) / “Things That Make You Go Hmmm… (LP Version)”
Divinyls – “I Touch Myself” / “Follow Through”
Marillion – “Kayleigh” / “Lady Nina”
Glen Campbell & Rita Coolidge – “Somethin’ ‘Bout You Baby I Like” / “Late Night Confession”
The Fun Boy Three with Bananarama – “T’Ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It)” / “The Funarama Theme”
Diana Ross – “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” / “Think I’m in Love”
Duran Duran – “Union of the Snake” / “Secret Oktober”
Kate Robbins – “More Than in Love” / “Now”
Jan Hammer – “Crockett’s Theme” / “Miami Vice: New York Theme”
Status Quo – “Caroline” / “Joanne”
Yes, that Glen Campbell/Rita Coolidge IS the same as the Quo classic! Quite a few fun tunes in that session, including one of my favourite Madness songs ever, double for Elton, and a great Miami Vice theme.