The Battersea Poltergeist – And Other Podcasts

Want something SPOOKY to get your teeth into for Halloween? Then may I suggest the Battersea Poltergeist?

I have spent the past week freaking myself out listening to this podcast at night…in bed…in the dark. Literally shitting myself! Lol. It is really creepy – well I found it creepy. The story centres around a house on number 63 Wycliffe Road, Clapham, home of the Hitchings family. It’s the winter of 1956. Strange things are happening and they seem to centre on 15 year old Shirley, daughter of Wally and Kitty Hitchings. Are the family being haunted by a poltergeist? You can listen HERE

Another podcast I listened to before that was the sad and harrowing story of missing 6 year old Mary Boyle. She disappeared when walking back to her grandparents house in Donegal in 1977. She has never been found. Over the past 44 years suspicion and accusations abound, leading to family relationship breakdowns. The podcast is called No Body Recovered. And you can listen to it by clicking the link HERE

The latest one I have started just last night is called Limelight: The House That Vanished. It’s the story of Neville Presho and his family. After starting a new life in New Zealand, Neville and his wife Fiona decide to return to Ireland with their young family to the remote island of Tory, located nine miles of the north coast of Ireland, off the coast of Donegal. When he moved to New Zealand, Neville left a house on the island, but when he returns to the island to live there with his family, his house is gone! Where did it go? How does a whole house just disappear without anyone on the island seemingly noticing or caring? The link to this podcast is HERE

She Rag Doll And Beautiful James

I was catching up with Billy Sloan’s radio show last night. I haven’t listened in for….a few months now. I think I got a bit overwhelmed by him referring to me as one of his “most loyal” listeners. And to be honest, I wasn’t at that point, though I would listen most weeks. But that statement from him – I guess it kind of put the mockers on it. I didn’t feel worthy of such a thing and then weirdly it kind of then … I dunno. Weird, eh?

Anyway, the previous week he had been asking for favourite songs that mentioned mens names in the lyrics or title. Earlier in the week when he first asked the question the song I chose hadn’t entered my head, even though it had been an earworm for days on end already. By Saturday evening, it was there swirling around as Billy posed the question again just before show time. Of course I put in my choice of “Oh, Jim”. I didn’t end up listening to the show that night. I was chatting away to a friend and ended up “otherwise engaged” but I was intrigued to see if my choice got mentioned. It did. And it seemed Billy had missed me! Bless him! I didn’t expect that at all. Well, I’ve missed him too. He puts on a great show week after week and there’s always something that particularly piques the interest – more on that shortly. 

Anyway, that’s a looong preamble to say…I am back listening to Billy Sloan’s show. I didn’t hear it go out live but caught up with it via BBC Sounds last night. The topic was … what do you think is the greatest song of all time? One choice! Mine is “What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted?” by Jimmy Ruffin. It’s both sadly melancholic but ultimately uplifting. 

Around midway through the show, Billy played “River Deep, Mountain High” and it had me thinking about Jim’s post a few days back about “songs of home” and him talking about Nutbush City Limits – another Ike and Tina Turner song. As River Deep, Mountain High was playing, I am taking in the words as I usually do with the songs I listen to. I always try to pay attention to the lyrics. Not always easy as singers’ diction when they sing can vary wildly so it isn’t always easy to decipher lyrics. Hence the long litany of misheard lyrics. Lol. Nothing wrong with Tina’s diction though. I was taking in the lines “when you were a young boy did you have a puppy?” and then my brain backtracked and was thinking about the first lines of “when I was a little girl I had a rag doll” and “I love you just the way I loved that rag doll” and started thinking… “Hang about? Is THIS the genesis for ‘she rag doll’ in Celebrate?”

I have been in recent times debating this line (one could deem it a “mass debate”, perhaps? Though no…not between just two people it ain’t. Lol) with a friend of mine about the true meaning of that “she rag doll” line. Rather unusually for me, I interpreted rather “innocently” – my version of innocent anyway. More a kind of “canoodling” way….a bit kind of “post-coital spooning” kind of way. My friend informed me that a “rag doll” can be seen much more sexualised than that even. I never considered it to have such potency. I found it potent enough with my interpretation of it to be honest. And if one ponders the lyrics further then “she rag doll, keeps him warm / but this negative shows no form” – then I guess a “rag doll” in its most sexualised sense would NOT show any true form on a negative. My word! 

Either way, it’s damn sexy! And it is why I love Celebrate so much. Celebrate, when you get down to the heart of it, is a kind of love song. Well, maybe not a LOVE song – but a song of desire. The desire for lust and life. “A lust for life.” And it’s certainly uplifting. That “dark light” of theirs. Of Jim’s lyrics. Give it a dark heart but make it ultimately “feel good”. God, he’s good at it!

Anyway, River Deep Mountain High seems like the most innocent thing in the world now compared to Celebrate! Lol

Also on Billy’s show, he played this – the new Placebo single. It immediately piqued my interest before it even played as Billy said the title of it is “Beautiful James”. And what a chorus! “Beautiful James / I don’t wanna wake you” – how goddamn beautiful is that?! That’s me right there picturing Jim sleeping and just enjoying the sheer beauty of it. Gorgeous. Just so we end on a rather more innocent note than we could have done on the dirty ditty of Celebrate.

Cherisse Osei – BBC Radio 5 Live Interview For Drumathon Live

As highlighted on Cherisse’s social media accounts as well as the Simple Minds social media accounts, Cherisse took part in Drumathon Live last night.

The Drumathon is a 264 hour non-stop drumming session, featuring drummers from all different bands from all around the globe. It’s all for charity, raising funds for the NHS and mental health charities, including the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, UK Trauma Council, Mind, NHS Charities Together, and Child Bereavement UK.

Yesterday morning, Cherisse was interviewed for BBC Radio 5 Live about the Drumathon. She also performed a little snippet of Alive And Kicking during the interview.

Mel Gaynor will also be taking part with his drumming slot taking place between 10am and 10pm on Thursday, May 20th.

You can tune into the live stream and donate by visiting drumathon.live

You can hear Cherisse’s interview below.

The Anchoress On Front Row

Catherine Anne Davies – aka The Anchoress was a guest on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row programme on Tuesday night. In case you missed it, you can listen here. This will remain a permalink of her interview.

I listened in live and it was very good. She was very eloquent, esp. when giving her response to the arts funding boost offered in the latest budget. A mere piss in the ocean. Then again, they dared only give NHS nursing staff a MEAGRE 1% pay rise. Oh, all that money saved from leaving the EU was going to go STRAIGHT into the NHS. Was it just…

Anyway, the wait is nearly over! The Art of Losing is out on Friday, and the Q and A with Pete Paphedis for Rough Trade will happen on Friday evening as well. This is going to be some album launch!

In the meantime, here is the Front Row interview for your lugholes to enjoy.

A Celebration Of U2 In 1982

Geez, I loved them then. What a cracking version of Gloria! And to hear A Celebration being done live is fab. That line in Rejoice “I can’t change the world, but I can change the world in me” resonated so much with me.
They were so flipping fab then. Honestly. Just watching this 9 minutes of them had me fist-pumping and singing along. I just don’t feel that from them any more, unfortunately.

I have no idea if Simple Minds were on the same show? They appeared on Get Set For Summer as well, doing Promised You A Miracle and King Is White And In The Crowd…Sweat In Bullet too.

I always find it odd too that these days, retrospectively (or…maybe not so retrospectively), I’d have Jim in a damn heartbeat. But back then I looooooved Bono. I was absolutely GUTTED when I found out he was married. Lol. It didn’t stop me getting jealous of every single girl he’d drag up on stage to dance with him, either. Lol

It’s Too Easy, Billy!

So, for this week’s topic for his show, Billy Sloan is asking which song that mentions metal or kinds of metal in its title or lyrics is your favourite, and why?

Normally I’ll reply with something, but I never go into the “why” that often. Sometimes I try to elaborate. And sometimes there is just no rhyme or reason for what you like about a particular song.

But in this incidence…it was REALLY easy to – not only choose a song IMMEDIATELY but give the most comprehensive reason why!

I said “New Gold Dream – absolutely ALL THE WAY. Not only because it is one of the best songs EVER written, but also because of this exchange I had about it with Jim.”

And well, I could have gone on and said, “which in turn inspired me to make art about it…but not only of Jim’s reply to me but also the lyrics themselves. And, well…also about how the song came to be written as well….in an irreverent and cheeky way.”

And it is my “constant” as a Simple Minds song right now. It’s hope and enlightenment and…gold…gold for the soul. It’s beautiful!

Breaking News: The Anchoress Announcement Tomorrow!

Catherine will be on BBC Radio 6 Music making an announcement on Steve Lamacq’s show at 4pm GMT tomorrow!

And…I just realised I might miss it! I’ll be leaving the house some 10 mins later to get to the city. Oh, bum! I’ll have to catch up! And I’ll share all the details here, of course.

Stay tuned! You can also check Catherine’s various social media too, either as herself or as The Anchoress.

EXCITING!

BBC Radio 2 – Best Albums Of The 1980s – National Album Day

Tomorrow is National Album Day and it has a theme this year – the 1980s. Celebrations abound over the next 48 hours or so. Special limited edition albums and singles are to be released today, available in record stores across the country.

Tim Burgess is holding a day of themed listening parties via his “Tim’s Listening Party” Twitter account tomorrow – mostly involving the albums that have been released to celebrate the day.

BBC Radio 2 have joined in the celebration by asking fans and collating the results with a panel of judges (involved in the music business) for the Top 40 Best Albums of the 1980s. The Top 10 list was revealed in the early hours of the morning on the BBC News site in the Entertainment and Arts section. I won’t link to the Top 10 here just yet. I feel a bit peeved it got revealed before the broadcast of this (information below), in actual fact.

Gary Davies hosts the Sounds of the 80s on Radio 2 and tonight at 8pm BST, he’ll be doing a countdown of the Top 40 Best Albums of the 1980s.

Will New Gold Dream feature in THIS list? It bloody better! Well, at least ONE Simple Minds album should! I’d even be happy if it was LITCOL to be honest.

Anyway, I’ll be tuning in to see how the list pans out and what gets where.

Click on the image to go to the page that will get you tuned into Radio 2’s Sounds of the 80s.

Recent Radio Offerings – New Gold Dream Album Club and Ged On Radio Scotland Arts Show

Firstly, Steve Lamacq played the entire New Gold Dream album as part of Radio 6 Music’s album club. It also includes an interview with Jim and Charlie recorded and aired in July, 2016, as part of the box set release of NGD at the time.

On Wednesday (Sept. 30th), Ged was on BBC Radio Scotland’s Afternoon Show with Grant Stott, discussing the new orchestral versions of songs from The Bard’s Tale, plus about Simple Minds and the state of the live music industry during the Covid pandemic.