Thursday 25 May 2023

Birmingham in early March

Jack The Lad’s ‘The Wurm’ will always now be associated

with driving into central Birmingham

It ended seconds before I had to turn off the CD player 

to concentrate in an unfamiliar city’s traffic

from central Sheffield the drive to there was accompanied 

by ‘Dancehall Sweethearts’

and 'The Old Straight Track'

records that will always satisfy and move

years ago, for the only time in my life

I had walked briefly in Birmingham 

a record fair, the Bullring and surrounding streets

were where my feet trod

that time we drove North to get there

this time we drove South West

I had no anticipation that we would stand in an upstairs room 

of a back to back 

and have our picture taken by the phone of our daughter 

in a wonderful celebration of cultures

that was the Dyche Studio

just after seeing street art

before that we had seen the tiny dam and geese

and my heart was moved by death at a table

In an exhibition I had not expected to see

where I was touched by a reliquary

after seeing 'Horror in the Modernist Block', 

the exhibition that we made a day's three hundred mile round trip to experience

after entering the gallery on the way to the exhibition

we had been more than delightedly surprised

by an entirely unexpected piece of audio art

And me being who I am

I felt the need to collaborate with the art

Sunday 15 May 2022

'More There is' by As The Story Unfolds

Tomorrow sees the release of ‘ More There Is’ by As The Story Unfolds. 

I’ve been thinking of in which genre to place the music but there isn’t an obvious answer.

This doesn't sound quite like anything else.

What the listener hears is exciting music full of textures,

arty pop playing with sound.

There is a lot of guitar on this album, which is unsurprising as the music is by Edwin de Herder.

I have been a big fan of Edwin’s since I first heard him play what is probably my favourite studio recorded electric guitar solo, years ago.

On his new album he has constructed 10 song soundscapes around the enthralling voice and words of Sylvia van Bragt and produced something exhilaratingly innovative.

‘Haunted’ is the perfect opening track (and single}.My next favourite track is the dreamlike ‘Reverie. ’All the tracks on this album are very very good and if you like to be excited about music you should hear this record.

Hear it on Bandcamp

Monday 23 August 2021

Misfitmanonadune's Musical A-Z : Ackles: Down River

 I decided to play David Ackles for the first time in a while last night. I have loved his music since I bought 'American Gothic' from the Record & Tape Exchange in the late 1970s. Listening to David Ackles properly requires a certain mood and, tonight, he appealed. All his albums are masterpieces, but my favourite is his first Elektra album. The start of 'Down River' plunged me back in time to the Catskill Mountains in the 1980s, a magical place in my mental mythology.

I first bought this as a tape at a shop in the Catskills, that is probably long gone.

'Down River' one of those alchemy-inducing songs that can a bring a tear of joy to the eye, but is full of deep sorrow.

'Laissez-Faire' might just be the one of the best love songs that has been written.

'The Road to Cairo' is a powerfully moving piece of sad dread. There is a exceptional cover of this song by another great contemporary voice , that of Julie Driscoll, when she was singing with the Brian Auger Trinity.

What makes this album so special in Ackles' sadly very small catalogue, is his backing band, who would become Rhinoceros.

My other favourite David Ackles album,  'American Gothic' was produced by Ackles' fan Bernie Taupin.

David Ackles' music is held in high regard by many and if you haven't heard it you should.

I urge you to take 36 minutes and 51 seconds to actively listen to one of the greatest and most original song writing voices of the 20th century.

Listen on Spotify

Saturday 29 February 2020

The Magpies in Ripon

Last night  I went to Ripon to see The Magpies on the first night of their tour to launch their first album. I didn't know what to expect  as I hadn't listened to their music beforehand but was interested in going to the gig after seeing it announced on Sarah Smout's Facebook page, which I liked after seeing her play cello in Michael Chapman's band  in York last year.  Sarah was not there last night and the band consisted of Bella Gafney, Polly Bolton and Holly Brandon. I was very very impressed. I've been a huge folk fan for most of my life and The Magpies are one of the most exciting bands I've ever seen. They have real charisma and their blend of voices and instruments is stunning. All three write and write very well. Bella and Polly are both really distinctive lead vocalists. Their original songs are extremely good. The standout for me was 'Golden Girl', a beautiful haunting song, inspired by Swaledale (where my lead miner ancestors worked before they walked to Durham to become coal miners).Their covers were interesting and well chosen. I bought their CD (and was actually the first person ever to buy one) of which they unsurprisingly sold quite a few. 'Tidings' is excellent and I've played it more than once today. I've become an instant fan and will make a point to seeing this band again soon.
If you get a chance to see them on their current tour or subsequently, don't miss the opportunity. I'd be surprised if they didn't become stars of the folk music scene quickly.

Monday 10 February 2020

8 Tracks

This is my first post to this blog in just over 4 years. You can find other activities of mine in other places on the web if you search for manonadune or radioRAERONA. I'll post more about my web radio station later but the reason for posting today is to post a couple of playlists. I was sorting through my unread emails and came across one from 8 Tracks, sent at the end of December saying that they were ceasing streaming on 31st December. The email included the playlists I'd posted on 8 Tracks, so I thought I'd post them here:

a first mix on the first day of February | February 01, 2010

A first attempt at a mix here. There are ten tracks, including music by Tom Rapp, The Outsiders and Doll by Doll.
  1. The Jeweler (2006 Remastered Album Version) by Tom Rapp
  2. Daddy Died on Saturday by The Outsiders
  3. Disorient Express by Largo
  4. The Key Shop (War & Peace) by Hofstede-Kloet-Stips
  5. Through us all by Isaac Guillory
  6. The Four Horsemen by Aphrodite's Child
  7. Ordinary Joe by Terry Callier
  8. Main Travelled Roads by Doll By Doll
  9. A Thing Well Made by The Mutton Birds
  10. Sad Eye by The Pretty Things

manonadune's 2nd mix for February's cold days | February 19, 2010

ISB aren't on this but their song about February is in my head anyway. Here are ten tracks including music by Old Blind Dogs and the Tragically Hip
  1. Do It by Jesse Winchester
  2. Cordelia by The Tragically Hip
  3. Bad Words, Evil People by Skin Alley
  4. John the Baptist by John Martyn
  5. Battle of Waterloo by Old Blind Dogs
  6. Treehouse by Timebox
  7. Backwards Down the Number Line by Phish
  8. Woodland Bop by Tyrannosaurus Rex
  9. Too Close to the Sun by The Mutton Birds
  10. The Light Will Stay On by The Walkabouts

Friday 18 December 2015

a short playlist for mid December

Here's a short playlist I compiled this afternoon:

Tindersticks — People Keep Comin' Around
The Roches — Pretty and High
Mouth Music — Snowgatherer
Van Morrison — Snow in San Anselmo
John P. Strohm — Tangelo
Stalk-Forrest Group — Gil Blanco County
The Coal Porters — Idiot Wind
The Johnstons — The Tunnel Tigers
Tri Yann — Complainte Gallaiset
Al Anderson — Without Your Love
Exlovers — Wicked Game
Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo — Pause

Sunday 11 October 2015

Music in Belfast

In September, we visited Belfast for a short break. This was the first time I had been to Northern Ireland and I will definitely be visiting again and hopefully many times. I felt instantly at home in Belfast, which quickly became one of my very favourite places. While there we came across from great music and you can find a link to some videos I shot below:

Johnny McCarney - The Road

Gerry Norman - I Bit The Bullet

Tristan O'Meara - Feels Like Home Again