Random Bike Ride Playlist 2017 #1

It’s been a long, long time since I posted a random bike ride playlist.  My PC has had a few technical issues which impacted on my iTunes selection.  Oh, the joys of digital music.

Anyway, I went on a big cycle ride and left the music choice up to the iPod.  This is what I heard whilst on shuffle.

  1. Amy Winehouse – “Tears Dry On Their Own”
  2. Municipal Waste – “Lunch Hall Food Bawl”
  3. Sex Pistols – “No One is Innocent”
  4. Napalm Death – “Born on Your Knees”
  5. Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash – “If I Were a Carpenter”
  6. Nancy Sinatra featuring Lee Hazlewood – “Jackson”
  7. PJ Harvey – “Good Fortune”
  8. Killing Joke – “S.O.36”
  9. Husker Du – “Wheels”
  10. Manic Street Preachers – “Motorcycle Emptiness”
  11. The Cult – “Wilderness Now”
  12. John Lee Hooker – “I’m Gonna Kill That Woman”
  13. Valient Thorr – “Problem Solver”
  14. Rocket From The Crypt – “Ratsize”
  15. Pearl Jam – “Footsteps”
  16. SNFU – “Electric Chair”
  17. Ramones – “It’s Gonna Be Alright”
  18. Van Halen – “Where Have All the Good Times Gone?”
  19. PJ Harvey – “Meet Ze Monster”
  20. Social Distortion – “Writing on the Wall”
  21. Solarized – “Chrome Shop”
  22. Thin Lizzy – “Silver Dollar”
  23. Beastie Boys – “Shadrach”
  24. Johnny Cash – “Daddy Sang Bass”
  25. Pat Benatar – “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”
  26. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – “Love Me Two Times”
  27. Anthrax – “I’m The Man”
  28. The Answer – “Evil Man”
  29. Judas Priest – “Here Come the Tears”
  30. Fu Manchu – “Missing Link”
  31. Jello Biafra & The Melvins – “Yuppie Cadillac”
  32. Clutch – “Ship of Gold”
  33. Jimmy Eat World – “Hear You Me”
  34. Stevie Wonder – “For Once in My Life”
  35. The Cult – “Full Tilt”
  36. The Byrds – “The Times They Are a-Changin'”
  37. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – “Love is Pain”
  38. Weezer – “Pork and Beans”
  39. Manic Street Preachers – “Suicide is Painless”
  40. Bad Company – “Seagull”
  41. The Clash – “Jimmy Jazz”
  42. Reverend Horton Heat – “In Your Wildest Dreams”
  43. The Monkees – “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone”
  44. The Who – “See Me Feel Me”

Wow, I didn’t even know I had that Pat Benatar track!

There you have it – a mix of genres making a nice, eclectic mix of music.  Till next time…

Chester Vinyl Night

Chester Vinyl Night

The Lock Keeper, Chester

Friday 7th October 2016

So the two Bens – Ben the Swede and Coben – decided to stage a vinyl night in Chester.  Not to detract from the great night in Mold – but living in Chester they were keen to see how it would go.  There had been plenty of feedback from Chester locals who would love to try out the concept and play a few of their own records whilst having a few beers.

After some research, the Lock Keeper pub near the canal, just down Frodsham Street, was selected as the ideal venue.  The upstairs function room was ideal, with loads of space and a DJ area at the back.  The pub itself offered some fine beers at reasonable prices, so it was all set.

The idea was the same, borrowed from Halcyon Dreams and VOD: bring along a few records, have a 15 minute set to play whatever you like – vinyl only.

I volunteered to do my set early on, whilst waiting for the punters to arrive.  Thus following on from The Swede’s opening repertoire, it was my turn.  Playing to an audience of six people.

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Bad Moon Rising

I’d planned on playing the superior, and slightly less well known, “Born on the Bayou” by CCR as my first song.  However I mixed up Side 1 track 2 with side 2 track 2, and we got this evergreen classic instead.  No major mishap, “Bad Moon Rising” is a fantastic song anyway.  Always reminds me of “An American Werewolf in London”.

The Stupids – Mega Zombie

This is from one of the first records I ever owned, the “Frankfurter – Eat EP” by UK hardcore punk band The Stupids.  They were at the forefront of late eighties skate rock, and sound tracked many a days skateboarding in my youth.  This sublime song is just over one minute in length, with the words “Mega Zombie” repeated 27 times.  Very fast and a true challenge to prepare the next track in time!

The Ohio Players – Fopp

Luckily I just made it, and dropped the needle on this magnificent chunk of seventies funk.  The song first came to my attention via the Soundgarden cover, eventually I picked up a CD “Best of” compilation (also featuring “Love Rollercoaster”, as covered by RHCP).  Not long ago I added the Ohio Players album “Honey” to my vinyl collection – which both songs are taken from.  This is a solid piece of funk rock with a cool groove. op

Tone Loc – Loc’ed After Dark

I wanted to play some tunes to show case some variety, and felt that a bit of old school hip hop would be nice.  “Loc’ed After Dark” is the B-side from the “Wild Thing” 12 inch single.  I chose it as again, there’s a nice funky beat.  Got me strutting my stuff in the DJ booth, anyway.

So alas, my set was over – with still only six people in the audience.  Never mind, the evening picked up and soon the function room was full.  I even got to play a couple of tracks again at the end of the night to a fuller crowd!

The Chester Vinyl Night was a great success, with a room full of people enjoying the music and drinks.  There was a picture quiz which proved popular, and a wide range of tunes spanning several genres – from dub to hip hop to classic rock.  There was even a Phil Collins tribute section…

There will be more Vinyl Nights at the Lock Keeper soon.  Well done to Ben and Ben for organising the evening – looking forward to more of the same soon!

The Chester Vinyl Night has a Facebook page, click here.

You can also find The Lock Keeper on Facebook here.

Thanks to Halcyon Dreams and VOD Music for help and advice.

vinyl-poster

Bring Your Own Vinyl Day

Bring Your Own Vinyl Day

Civic Hall, Connah’s Quay

Saturday 24th September 2016

It’s been a while since I wrote about a Bring Your Own Vinyl Night.  What with holidays and other commitments, the Mold event has been a no go for me recently.  Not to worry though – the fine people at VOD Music ecord fairs would come to the rescue!

The record fair organised in Connah’s Quay Civic Hall also hosted Halcyon Dreams, organisers of the very fine Bring Your Own Vinyl events.  And this time, what with the timing of the record fair, this would be a day time event.

As I was at a record fair, I didn’t bring along any vinyl from my collection at home to play.  Instead I decided to wing it and just spin a few discs that I bought on the day.  This could be risky as I wouldn’t necessarily be familiar with the tracks.

I spent a long time perusing the various record stalls and making several purchases.  Whilst this was going on, the Halcyon Dreams decks were spinning all manner of wondrous delights.

Eventually I took my place at the turn tables, and made a few quick decisions on what to play.

Talking Heads – Road to Nowhere

My first problem was following a 12″ of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Propellerheads. An absolute killer track.  I went for “Road to Nowhere” by Talking Heads, from their “Little Creatures” LP.  I’d been after some Talking Heads for a while, and this only cost me £3 for a nice copy.  Great song – and I think I got away with the mix!  The vocals at the start were a nice contrast, and soon one or two people seemed to be enjoying it. th

Next there was a brief gap in my set, as one of the dealers asked us to play one of his singles for a potential buyer.  I think it was a group called The Jackson Sisters; early 70’s rare soul.  The cost?  £85.  But I can attest to the fact that it was DAMN fine track: funky, danceable groove – if only I had the money myself!

Eddie Cochran – C’mon Everybody

I followed up the 85 quid 7″ single with one that cost me 50p.  It was a re-issue from 1988 of the rockabilly classic, “C’mon Everybody” by Eddie Cochran.  I thought this would add some variety to my planned set, in style and age.  I remember becoming familiar with this song from the Sid Vicious cover, however Eddie’s version is superior.  It’s a stone cold classic.  I do love these 1980’s jean commercial promotional tie-ins, don’t you?  Classic song for next to nowt.

Stormtroopers of Death – Kill Yourself

And so, how should I conclude the set?  With a bit of egging on, I knew it had to be S.O.D.  I’d just picked this up for a nice price – most expensive purchase of the day, but worth it – as it was on my vinyl wish list.  Nasty thrash metal/hardcore with horrid lyrics (that I understand are a joke) – this Anthrax off shoot rounded off the set in scuzzy style.  It was a bit of a shock, anyway.

So there you have it – a great day’s record buying and some awesome tracks.  I’m already looking forward to the next Bring Your Own Vinyl Night!

You can check out the Halcyon Days blogspot here.

The Halcyon Dreams mixcloud page is here.

The Halcyon Dreams Facebook page is here.

The VOD Music website is here.

Songs of the Week 21.08.2016

Well then, I missed a week out on this fascinating weekly musical review.  And this latest edition is late.  Oh well – this isn’t about sticking to rules and regularity.  It’s all about the joy – and freedom – of music.

Here’s five songs from last week that resonated:

  1. Metallica – Lords of Summer
  2. Ohio Players – Fopp
  3. Toots & The Maytals – Funky Kingston
  4. Agent Orange – Tearing Me Apart
  5. Dinosaur Jr – The Wagon

The Holy Rollers – Gig Review

The Holy Rollers

Saturday 3rd October 2015

The White Bear, Mancot, Deeside

Now I may not know much, but I do know two things very well: the first one is ROCK and the second one is ROLL.  And so I was looking forward to finally seeing The Holy Rollers play, bringing their unique brand of rock star to a local venue.

The White Bear is a great pub; featuring live acts every Saturday in addition to all the other wonderful things they do (like the food).  It’s also very close to home for me, luckily.  Though I was a bit worried I might end up hosting the after gig party for The Holy Rollers, being so close to the place.  Luckily that never happened – otherwise my TV would surely have been thrown out of the window…

Wrexham’s finest – The Holy Rollers – are a covers band par excellence; expertly rendering classics across various genres from different decades.  I understand they’re also debauched rock’n’rollers with a penchant for chaos and partying.

Whilst anticipation mounted, the band took their places and the intro tape played the start of the A-Team.  You know, “In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison for a crime they didn’t commit…”  This was the first stroke of genius of the night.  If ever I’m in a band, I want the A-Team intro before I go on.  Awesome.

The Holy Rollers, crack commando rock stars that they are, launched into their first set of the night setting the tone nicely, with well chosen songs that skipped across styles effortlessly.  There’s some Oasis (“Rock’n’Roll Star”); some Stones (“Jumpin’ Jack Flash”) and even a classy “Beat It” to get the party started.  An early highlight for me was the Weezer classic “Buddy Holly”, just ‘cos I love Weezer. HR

The band confidently raided the back catalogue of numerous great bands to deliver a quality set, impressing with their craft.  Vocals and guitar duties are shared (and alternated) between Rob Roxx and G Bomb, adding some variety to the delivery.  Both of them delivered the tunes with a cool tenacity that made it all look easy.

The first set featured a storming final run through “Should I Stay of Should I Go”, “Hard Day’s Night”, “You Really Got Me” and Primal Scream’s “Rocks”.  You can’t fault that for a set list.

After a short break, the second half of the gig was back on.  We get ‘Phonics classic “Local Boy in the Photograph” and a bit of Bon Jovi.  The Holy Rollers version of Bad Company nugget “Feel Like Makin’ Love” was another highlight and a nice change of pace.

A mini punk rock section followed with “Teenage Kicks” (Undertones) and “Ever Fallen In Love…” (Buzzcocks).  The rhythm section did a fine job of keeping everything together as the pace changed through out the gig.  Bass player Maxx stalked the room like a rock’n’roll avenger with mayhem in mind.  Drummer Good Boy Roy pummelled the skins as if they’d insulted his mother.

Although delivering familiar material, The Holy Rollers always have an element of surprise tucked up their sleeves.  Case in point is the genius mash up of “Seven Nation Army” and “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” – two songs melded together to create a whole new monster.  It shouldn’t work, but it does – incredible.  The White Stripes and Marvin Gaye?  Who knows what other Frankensteins  these mad scientists can create?

The joy of The Holy Rollers gig was the fearless renditions of songs regardless of musical styles; be it “Uptown Funk”, Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” or the Smiths.  They are unafraid to play great songs, whether old or new, and regardless of genre.  It made a refreshing change to hear this four man mobile juke box playing songs that were well known, but given an exciting make over.

When the gig was over, The Holy Rollers dispersed.  Probably off to some rock star mansion to drive a Rolls Royce into the pool.  Or setting off fire works in expensive hotels.  Whatever they got up to; we, the people can rest assured.  Rock’n’roll is in safe hands.

Public Image Ltd – Gig Review

PIL

Public Image Ltd + The Hexmen

Saturday 26th September 2015

The Tivoli, Buckley

Well it’s been an amazing couple of weeks for gigs.  And what’s that?  Public Image Ltd playing up the road at the Buckley Tivoli?  Featuring the living legend that is John Lydon?  There’s absolutely no way this extravaganza can be missed!

It was England vs Wales in the Rugby World Cup that night, and the Tiv had decided to show the game on a large projector screen above the stage.  A bizarre idea but it worked out OK – happily Wales won.  Had they lost that could’ve put a right downer on the evening.

Support band The Hexmen are a non-stop R’n’B party.  And by R’nB I mean as in Rhythm and Blues, not as in Kanye West.  They’re a solid band with an unmissable skill in abstract between song banter.  Solid rhythm section, stellar guitar and soaring harmonica.  Pretty damn good.  They appear to play in these parts quite often, so check ’em out.

The Tiv was packed out for Public Image Ltd.  I think most of the punters were in a daze, unbelieving that the band would actually appear.  But lo and behold PiL did appear – the real PiL, not a tribute act featuring some Johnny Rotten wannabe.  The reception was warm, but the crowd really revved up when the third song in the set turned out to be the masterpiece that is “This Is Not a Love Song”.

There was a fair mix of tracks old and new, with “Death Disco” and “Warrior” standing out from the well known singles.  I’ve not got the new album yet (hangs head in shame), but the tracks of that and This is PiL (got that one) were all extremely impressive.  The massive bass groove of Scott Firth and precision drums of Bruce Smith created a throbbing tribal rhythm that brought these songs to life.

Lydon himself seemed to be having a good time, for the most part.  I couldn’t always tell.  He definitely got stuck in and delivered some quite stunning vocals.  His style is almost operatic; combined with his commanding presence at the front of the stage we are given a captivating performance.

I should also mention guitar maestro and all round talented bloke Lu Edmonds – he played a blazing gig.  I have no idea how he made all those sounds.  It was very hard to believe that there were only four people on stage.

The encore provides the songs “Public Image” and “Rise”, two fantastic songs that the audience were thrilled with.  I still remember seeing “Rise” performed on Top of the Pops when I were a lad.  That was my first experience of PiL.  The other kids thought Lydon was weird; I thought he looked cool.  It’s a perfect end to the chapter.

Oh, and I WILL go and buy the new album – promise.

The Public Image Ltd website is here.

The Hexmen website is here.

The Tivoli website is here.

Random Longboard Playlist #2

On Sunday 2nd November I went out for a quick skate on my longboard.  Luckily the weather has been fairly warm and dry, meaning that a short skate trip was possible.  Usually at this time of year, it’s too cold and wet outside for cruising and carving.  That skate might be the last of 2014, as the pleasant autumn has now decayed into winter.

As is often the case, the iPod went on shuffle, and here are the songs that provided a soundtrack to skate.

  1. Napalm Death – “Blind to the Truth”
  2. Volbeat – “Our Loved Ones”
  3. Blaze Bayley – “Madness and Sorrow”
  4. The Offspring – “Killboy Powerhead”
  5. Curtis Mayfield – “Party Night”
  6. Alice Russell – “Living the Life of a Dreamer (Mr. Scruff Remix)”
  7. Rocket From The Crypt – “Normal Carpet Ride”
  8. Electric Light Orchestra – “Can’t Get It Out Of My Head”
  9. Smokey Robinson – “Being With You”
  10. Anthrax – “Imitation of Life”
  11. Buckcherry – “Broken Glass”
  12. Pink Floyd – “Wish You Were Here”
  13. Zombina & The Skeletones – “I Go Psycho!”
  14. The Clash – “Rock the Casbah”
  15. Screaming Trees – “Witness”
  16. Run DMC – “Can You Rock It Like This”
  17. Judas Priest – “Living After Midnight” 10366066_10152942352488714_5260061854670921576_n