In Other News – In Memory Of My Feelings – New Catherine Anne Davies/Bernard Butler Album

Now that we’ve gotten that crap “sycophancy Nancy” stuff out the way – drooling over 1982 Kerr aesthetic yet again! On with some proper business and serious music news.

Bernard Butler and Catherine Anne Davies have collaborated on an album together called “In Memory Of My Feelings”. It had been in the bag for some time and feared destined to languish and remain unreleased, but at last it is due to see the light of day.

The lead single from the album is called The Breakdown – rather fitting under current personal circumstances!

Further talk about the album’s imminent release can be seen on Catherine’s social media pages (as Catherine Anne Davie or under the moniker of The Anchoress).

This is not the follow up to The Anchoress’s debut album, Confessions Of A Romance Novelist. The follow up to that is set for release any day now – also some time in the bag and in the hands of the record label.

NME have a piece on In Memory Of My Feelings that you can read HERE.

The album is set for release on September 18th and is available to pre-order in various formats and bundles here – (I have already pre-order the vinyl signed version.) https://orcd.co/in_memory_of_my_feelings

UK Drum Show – September 21st, 2019 – Manchester

It was a bit of a palaver getting in to the venue. People had lined up promptly. I arrived there about 9.25am for the 9.30am start. The queue hardly moved in 30 mins. There was an appearance by Matt Garstka on the main stage due for 10am and many people who had paid to see it were still queued up outside at 9.55am. They were being filtered through by this point but they probably weren’t going to make it in. I hope Matt delayed things so people got in.

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I had booked to have a free drum lesson at the Trinity College booth for 10.15 and I just about made it in there. It was my first experience of an electronic kit. We were on Roland kits (can’t remember the model – lovely kit though) and had just a bit of basic tuition. We played along to Queen’s We Will Rock You and then to James Brown’s Hot Pants before going on to Blur’s Song 2 which did me in. Lol. It seems like it would be really straight forward, Song 2, but heck, there’s a whole lot of patting your head whilst rubbing your tummy stuff going on with that. Lol

I walked about a bit checking things out. Then I saw Emily Dolan-Davies and had a great chat with her and another man whose name I didn’t catch, but he was one of Nathan Shingler’s tutors. We had a good talk and he offered me some great pearls of wisdom in terms of how I get on with my own learning and stuff. I briefly met Nathan’s parents too.

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I went out for a bite to eat and then met up with fellow Minds fan Dave Kelly. We had a good chinwag and then went in to see Cherisse’s masterclass.

A fab masterclass it was too. We learned about Cherisse’s career. How she started out, who she’s drummed for professionally, as well as her performing demonstration medleys showcasing music from the acts she’s worked with.

Below are some vid from the masterclass of her talking about working with Mika and then talking about her time with Bryan Ferry and Paloma Faith and now her time with SM and showcasing a medley of Minds stuff (the observant amongst you will hear a little bit more of LITCoA ahead of its October 4th release).

She put on a great show and a really strong showcase of her immense talent. Jim’s tag of referring to her as “a little dynamo” is WHOLLY justified. For someone so petite, she has such power behind her! But also the subtlety when required.

 

She was doing a signing after the masterclass and I queued up just to say hi and to badger her for more lessons. Lol. Hopefully I’ll get to have a few in the weeks ahead.

As for kit that took my eye? Well, it needs to be about the sound and feel, but I was far too scared to test anything out. I have no real knowledge of what I want or need and a show like this isn’t really much of a buying experience for a complete beginner. Well, I don’t think anyway. So I was just looking at the aesthetics if kits. There was a beautiful looking Natal kit. The bass drums on the Natal’s are HUGE! I love the look of Rusty drums and there was a beautiful bass skin on display on their stall.

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But for looks and affordability, there was a lovely looking Gretsch there for £625. I know Dave Ruffy of Ruts DC plays on Gretsch kits and he always sounds awesome.

But Cherisse’s Tama kit looks and sounds amazing too. And I have been having most of my lessons on Pearl kits, so…how will I ever make my mind up?! Lol

After the brief chat with Cherisse and goodbyes with Dave, there was just time enough for another scoot about and a coffee over the road at the Costa before getting the coach back to London and onwards to home.

All in all, a fab day. I’d do it again.

Kelly Jones + The Wind And The Wave – New Theatre, Oxford – September 18th, 2019

It was a new venue for me. I hadn’t been to a gig at the New Theatre before. I had wanted to try and catch a show on the previous leg of the tour in June/July but money was just too tight at that point, and although money is still tight, things are set to ease somewhat very soon. Kelly had swung by closer to home on the last leg, having dates in London and Cambridge, so Oxford was a stretch in distance to cover, but I would get to see the tour’s finale. Not an entirely bad thing.

The show started promptly at 7.30pm with support act The Wind And The Wave. A duo from Austin, TX, comprising Patricia Lynn and Dwight Baker. Kelly appeared on stage to introduce them saying “Patti could sing the fucking phonebook.”

I enjoyed their set. Due to the prompt start, there was the obligatory interruptions from endless latecomers. Made all the worse for some of us. I was right by the entrance point for the middle section of the circle so the interruptions were constant. The ushers kept latecomers at bay to try and minimise the interruptions, but seated where I was it helped little.

But I still managed to enjoy their set. Dwight was full in interesting banter between songs which sometimes Patti interjected with or elaborated on. Minimal instrumentation, just an acoustic guitar with Dwight and some electronic percussion triggered by foot from both of them. They had fantastic harmonies. Favourites they performed were The Redhead In Aberdeen, Happiness Is Not A Place, This House Is A Hotel, and Human Beings Let You Down. I’d happily see them again. Just beautiful, simplistic music that is beautifully expressive and on any subject affecting the human condition…from the sublime to the ridiculous.

A short break and stage set up before Kelly arrived on stage at 8.45pm. A brief hello and then straight on with things. A few slow numbers to open and just the use of acoustic or electric guitar from Kelly with either piano or violin – sometimes both – accompanying him.

Of course I was also there to see Cherisse. Out she came about the 5th song in and instantly reminded me what I have been missing while Simple Minds are on a break for this year. I MISS MY TUTOR! Lol. Yes…it’s a contradiction, I know…as while she’s touring, she’s too busy touring for any tuition. Still, with the money situ having been as tight as a duck’s proverbial of late, I’d have not been able to afford lessons anyway. Chicken and egg…

You’ll have to excuse my ignorance on my knowledge of Stereophonics songs and my appalling memory to recall the songs I heard last night. But I will do my best to go over the standouts for me.

The first definitely was Kelly talking about Stuart Cable. It was quite a reminiscent homage but it was wonderful to hear. He then performed Before Anyone Knew Our Name. Another highlight was a brilliant version of Mr Writer. “For the past 20 years I’ve been having to explain what this song is about. For the record, I don’t hate journalists. This song isn’t about a journalist.”

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He performed a new song from the forthcoming Stereophonics album, Kind, called Fly Like An Eagle.

Below is a video I recorded of him performing I Wanna Get Lost With You.

A couple of covers were also a standout. Kris Kristofferson’s Help Me Make It Through The Night was beautiful, and The Wind And The Wave joined Kelly on stage for a fabulous version of Stop Dragging My Heart Around.

Towards the end of the show some “hits” – the most familiar Stereophonics tracks I know – were performed. I never knew the story of Local Boy In The Photograph. Also there was a wonderful rendition of Maybe Tomorrow.

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Finally the most wonderful encore of Dakota that had the crowd up off their seats and singing along (me included!).

There are a few clips on my Facebook page if you want to look, including that wonderful Dakota finale.

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I tried so hard to get some good photos of the stage set. I really loved the backdrop. It was a simple set up, but it was just visually quite lovely. The stage arrangement was great too and the lighting worked really well. The staging was expertly done. And the acoustics and sound was absolutely spot on.

I’ve shared a few pics but they’re not the best.

A fabulous gig. I’d definitely see Kelly again in future.

‘Til Wrong Feels Right – Lyrics And More by Iggy Pop

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News on the Virginia Turbett front. There’s a book on Iggy Pop coming out. In his own words, it seems. Not quite a memoir, as such, but more the printing of his lyrics with notes and photos complimenting and elaborating on the thought processes involved in the craft of songwriting.

It sounds really good. And a bit of a left-field choice for a publisher like Penguin Books!

Some of Virginia Turbett’s photos of Iggy feature in the book. And wow, she has taken some AMAZING photos of Iggy over the years. Along with continuing to expand upon my own personal Simple Minds archive of VT’s work, I plan to get some Iggy photos from her as well.

Check out Virginia’s website to view some of her wonderful Iggy stills – https://virginiaturbett.com

You can pre-order the book from the Penguin website, just CLICK HERE to be taken to the site.

She Makes War – The Anchoress Support

Supporting The Anchoress for her London and Cardiff gigs is She Makes War. I really like the sound of what I hear and I’m looking forward to seeing her in a few weeks time.

The Anchoress’s London date has sold out, but there are still tickets available for her Cardiff show on September 21st. You can purchase tickets HERE

New Date For The Anchoress – Still Can’t Go!

UPDATE: I’ve pulled a rabbit out of the hat in the past 24 hours. Booked a ticket for the gig. Cancelled the Manchester accommodation the night before the Drum Show and booked the train to take me to Manchester on Saturday morning…and staying the night in a hostel near Euston station instead.

So, The Anchoress in London IS ON!!

The Anchoress has added a new date to her album launch shows.

London on September 20th has been added. The day before her Cardiff date.

I can’t go to Cardiff because it’s the day of the Drum Show in Manchester. And because it starts early, I decided it would be best to travel to Manchester the day before.

So now…that rules out London as well! Yay ☹️☹️☹️
It would have been so bloody handy to get to as well. Fuck it!

Well…I can only hope for other dates. Never mind. It is what it is, eh…

You can get tickets for the show HERE

The Anchoress – First Tour Date Announced!

The follow up to groundbreaking debut, Confessions Of A Romance Novelist, is due out soon and with that comes tour dates. First cab of the rank is this! Click the image below to be taken to the Woodfired Summit website for tickets (or click HERE).

Sadly I am at the drum show in Manchester that day, but hopefully there are more dates to come, and hopefully closer to London too. I’ll add news as and when! Keep your eyes peeled, peeps!

The Impossible Dream – Melody Maker – September 19th, 1981

It’s an odd piece, this one. Almost like how Jim described the opening line to Barrowland Star to me a couple of weeks back. It’s about everything and nothing…all at once.

And this is the second time I’ve read about him being sick (not quite) on stage. But the first time coming directly from him.

He’s such a damn contradiction at that time. One minute he’s saying he was nervous and threw up…the next he’s saying he never gets nervous on stage…that it’s OFF stage, in intimate settings with strange people, is when he gets nervous.

I find this man endlessly, ENDLESSLY fascinating…beguiling…beautiful…

HELP! Lol

Simple Minds Tour Diary – Grandslam 2018 Compilation

A great retrospective of the summer’s Grandslam tour. I wish I could have gone to more in retrospect, having gone through most of July wondering if I should be going to any at all. But the three I went to were incredibly special for all varying reasons. And they will each of them retain wonderful memories. Meeting beautiful friends, hearing songs live at gigs for the first time. Having a meet and greet experience. All such amazing things. I’ll be forever “singing memories” with this band.

Review: Franz Ferdinand – Roundhouse, London – 26/09/2018 (So Good, It Floored Me – Literally!)

I left the house at 5.15pm in the vain hope I’d be dropped off at Luton Airport Parkway station for the 5.35pm train to Kentish Town. I got to the station at 5.26…and I needed to buy my ticket and make it over to the platform. With TWO MINUTES to spare, I bloody made it!

I was off to a good start! I wanted to leave at that time so I didn’t have to rush to the Roundhouse from Kentish Town. The venue is just shy of a mile away from the station. I wanted time to walk at a leisurely pace and still make it for 7pm open doors.

Well, I made it in plenty of time (even with a train delay of several minutes between St Albans and Radlett). There was no queue out the front! That was a strange sight to see. I needed the loo, so asked the guys at the door if there was any chance I could be let in to use the loo. “Have you got your ticket?” “Yes.” “No probs. In the bar there’s a toilet. In you go.”

It was 6.45 and on one was queueing outside?! Geez, that wasn’t the case back in Feb for the Minds gig there. The queue was almost stretching down to the Morrison’s fuel station down the way! Obviously Simple Minds fans like a queue. Lol

There was a small queue inside the doors though. I was told to hang back until the queue started moving. But after about 10 minutes of hanging around, I was allowed to join it. By this time a queue outside was now forming.

I got myself a good position at the front over to the left (audience view) of the stage. After about 30 mins of waiting, I was starting to feel the need for the loo again. But I was on my own and didn’t want to lose my place. I’ll be fine holding on. Every now and then a very brief wave of light-headedness would wash over me. In my head I’m thinking, “Oh, this is not good. I do feel a little strange every now and then. Please let this pass! I’ll be okay. Just breathe deeply.”

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Barry – Arriving promptly at 7.45, I had no idea what to expect from this foursome. A female rhythm section of bass and drums, and male guitar and lead vocalist/keyboards.

They’re quite kinda punk…in the traditional sense of the word…a little amateurish, but in a positive and endearing way. They reminded me a bit of the B52’s but Brit style.

Sadly they are hard to find info on due to their name. Stick “Barry” or “Barry band” in a search and all kinds of irrelevant things show up. They have a FB page and I’ve messaged them hoping they’ll lead me to a Soundcloud or Bandcamp page. I’ll add the info here if they do.

Anyway, I enjoyed their irreverence. I wouldn’t mind seeing them again.

Alexis Taylor – After seeing him last December performing with Green Gartside in Bedford, I was really looking forward to seeing him again. And he didn’t disappoint. In amongst his short set was a wonderful cover of Paul McCartney’s Coming Up and my favourite from last year’s gig (which he describes as “a song about the fact that you don’t drink tea or coffee, but you want a hot drink”), Hot Squash.

I managed to catch the Coming Up cover purely by accident and I was recording away with Hot Squash but my phone was running out of storage space, so it was cut short.

After Alexis’s set, I was trying to sort my phone out to make space, but it wasn’t going so well (to trim the Hot Squash clip down, I needed MORE space that I didn’t have so…that was not happening!).

Again, I had a wave of feeling unwell…except this time it was much stronger and I was thinking to myself “Oh please don’t faint, please don’t faint!” Try to stay calm! Breathe! You’ll be okay!”

The next second, I am coming to, faces around me asking me if I am okay, that my head wasn’t sore, what my name is, so on and so forth.

YEP! I had only just gone and fainted. Thankfully I had caring people around me who broke my fall and prevented me from bashing my head on the barrier and on the ground. Lifesavers! I had a medical officer come to me and she was absolutely ace. When I was in a good enough state to move, she took me to a medical room to be checked over.

I was given water and had my heart rate and blood pressure checked. My blood pressure was high when she first read it. And she was subsequently monitoring it…and bloody hell that band they put around your upper arm to take your BP bloody hurt like hell! And she kept trying to read it over and over. My right arm got squeezed to death. Then she was trying with the left. OUCH! Once I had come round, I felt okay, but I thought it best to agree to be checked over.

I knew it was my own fault, though. I had just not taken enough care of myself yesterday. I had very little to eat. A banana for breakfast, and then little pastry nick knacks for elevenses. Nothing for tea prior to the gig…just a protein bar before leaving the house. And just a small glass of water (and only one coffee and one tea all day before that). I had been an idiot and I paid the price. And my iron levels were probably down too as my period is imminent (yeah, sorry, icky female human body talk…but it probably added to things going as badly as they did last night).

I rather kind of off the cuff, wishful thinking, said to the medical officer when she said that I could go back out and watch the gig, “I wish I could be upstairs on the of the seats”. She says to me, “well, we’ll see what we can do about that.” OMG, bless them! Her colleague (who had actually been preoccupied watching a footy match!) had called someone and arranged it so I could sit upstairs. I had my ticket swapped over for a ticket upstairs. I missed the first two songs of the set, but I got to see the rest of the gig in comfort.

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Franz Ferdinand – And of course they were amazing. Alex is a fab frontman, and their musicianship is spot on. An amazing crowd. And the view from upstairs, and seeing how much the crowd down below were loving it. It was awesome. Did I regret losing my spot at the front due to my damn neglectful stupidity? A little. Was I angry at myself for missing the first two songs (one of which was Do You Want To)? Hell yes! But I was thankful for being able to see the rest of the set and be safe and comfortable.

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Amongst the songs I loved in the set were The Dark Of The Matinee (which I saw half of, getting to my seat), Walk Away, Take Me Out (obviously!), Twilight Omens and Darts Of Pleasure. I was really, really hoping for Michael, but after an encore of Always Ascending and Darts Of Pleasure, when they started This Fire as what I assumed would be the final song, I thought it best to leave a little early to avoid the mass exodus and getting back to Kentish Town station too late.

The walk back was a little more frightening than I had anticipated earlier in the night. It was recommended that I eat something before I set off home. But I had absolutely NO MONEY. And the 30 odd pence I had left on me, I gave to a begging homeless man as I left the venue…apologising to him profusely that I couldn’t offer him any more.

I made it back safely to the station and on the train home. Standing room only for a while. I still didn’t feel the best and had a headache coming on. I just wanted to be home, safe and sound.

Well, that was possibly the most eventful gig of the year FOR ALL THE WRONG REASONS! A lesson learned! I suppose at 47 (48 FAST approaching!), I should know better. It goes to show, I am not adverse to being a numpty…over and over.

I hope to see Franz again in the near future, and DEFINITELY under better circumstances.