White Music – January 1978 – XTC in the shires..

White Stripes?

 

January 28th 1978 I am 19 years old and on my one year foundation course at Oxford Polytechnic just as PUNK was filtering into the shires….wee were a year behind London 🙂 I remember watching in awe the previous autumn as a guy on the course purchased Buzzcocks first album complete with designed plastic bag and showed it off. I had a birthday in january and as money tight was first opportunity to buy a punk album. I only had two options in Didcvot. The Lays Electrical shop where I had bought my glam rock 7 inches off the pegboard walls or W H Smith which was vinyl central then or Woolworths. It turned out Woolies was more PUNK….I remember to this day looking through the rack and seeing three or four options..The Damned, XTC, Iggy Pop’s The Idiot and the red compilation of ‘New Wave’. I plumped for the Iggy Pop album for some reason and took it home over-excited. This ended as I put it on the tiny dansette hidden in my parent’s old sideboard….it was warped so badly it didn’t play.

So I took it back and had only two choices…the red compilatiuon or this weird album by XTC called White Music…it looked punky and I had no idea they were down the road in Swindon.

White Music it was…

 

I now listening to a digital version for first time in years..was way ahead of me then and still sounds exciting now. Not a bad choice and somehow over the years I lost my original copy…..will keep a look out for a replacement on vinyl for old times sake.

Meanwhile here what i listening to in a sideboard on a mono dansette in January 1978 🙂 A dub version of All along the watchtower….FFS 🙂

Swindon Boys and recorded at the Manor Oxford…..local post modernism 🙂

Did it influence my art not much…but it was the soundtrack:-)

More INFO: http://chalkhills.org/reelbyreal/a_WhiteMusic.html 

Chuck Berry re-takes on Mercury 1966

 

If you see this mid-price compilation from Spain from 1967 grab it as it is a re-badging of the Mercury Studios 1966 re-takes session Berry did when he swapped labels moving from Chess to Mercury (Fontana over here).

Original Mercury album cover from states

The session involved :

  • Chuck Berry – guitar, vocals
  • Ebby Hardy – drums
  • Johnnie Johnson – piano, electric piano
  • Quincy Macon – rhythm guitar
  • Eugene Washington – drums

They hit the hits at quite a lick and all in all it a feisty reinterpretation of the Chess standards with one new track Club Nitty Gritty that came out as the first mercury single and hence very rare.

 

More info on the Mercury Releases here : http://www.crlf.de/ChuckBerry/mercury.html

My particular favourite is the take on Roll Over Beethoven which almost punk like in its speed and intensity. The whole session sounds one-take live throughout. Leadbitter and Slaven’s Blues Records 1943-1970 states it recorded Clayton Mo, Oct/Nov 1966.

 

Full track listing:

Side one

  1. “Sweet Little Sixteen” (2:32)
  2. “Memphis” (2:07)
  3. “School Days (Ring Ring Goes the Bell)” (2:35)
  4. “Maybellene” (2:35)
  5. “Back in the U.S.A.” (2:27)

Side two

  1. “Johnny B. Goode” (2:45)
  2. “Rock and Roll Music” (2:33)
  3. “Roll Over Beethoven” (2:02)
  4. “Thirty Days” (2:10)
  5. “Carol” (2:24)
  6. “Club Nitty Gritty” (2:18)

Get In Get Out – Randall Bramblett

Most years the excellent Southern States magazine ‘Oxford American’ puts together a music related issue and an accompanying sampler. I was fortunate to acquire the one for 2000 but missed the rest.
cover

The compilations are wonderful and off this one the stand-out track for me was Randall Bramblett’s Get In Get Out.
A steamy bit of wordy southern funk.

The rest was just as good..almost

1. Train That Carried My Girl from Town – Doc & Merle Watson
2. Sometimes We Make You Move Your Feet – Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Band
3. Back to the Crossroads – Todd Snider
4. Break My Heart – Judybats
5. I Love You – Asie Payton
6. Best in Town – Hodges Brothers & the Hi Rhythm Section
7. Louisiana 1927 – Randy Newman
8. The Seventh Son – Mose Allison
9. Get In Get Out – Randall Bramblett
10. Billy the Kid – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
11. Whatever Way the Wind Blows – Kelly Willis
12. When the Roses Bloom Again – Wilco with Billy Bragg
13. Silver Dagger – Dolly Parton
14. Leaning – Robert Mitchum & Lillian Gish
15. He’s Got You – Dean Martin
16. I Know – Kim Richey
17. Dirty Angels – Kevin Kinney
18. Southern Casey Jones – Jesse James
19. Not for the Love of You Woman – Ronnie Milsap
20. Castanets – Alejandro Escovedo
21. Can’t Stop a Train – The Derailers
22. Grievin’ My Heart Out for You – Jimmie Davis
23. Down in the River to Pray – Alison Krauss

I then found Bramblett’s 2001 CD album ‘No more Mr. Lucky’ which was not all as good as this track but a good album. It seems he has had a long career as sideman which explains why his new album from 2016 ‘Devil Music’ includes luminaries like Mark Knopler on it. I missed out on albums in between so looking forward to hearing. The new album from online previews sounds like more Get In Get Out which no bad thing.

Check out: http://randallbramblett.com/

luckyRandall-Bramblett-300x300

Wreckless Eric – Someone must’ve nailed us together

 

Not sure where I picked this little gem up. My life has touched on that of Eric Goulden at various points but we never actually met. Last night he played a blisteringly good set at The Poppy and Pint in West Bridgford, ampoule Nottingham and this songwriter’s song was a highlight on what was an almost faultless night of Wreckless Eric at his best. He previewed at least three songs from the new album amERICa which were as good as anything in his impressive back catalogue. The single was self-released on Eric’s Empire Records through which he released two(recently reissued albums on Fire Records) the Len Bright Combo Presents and Combo Time. A little later he recorded and released a friend of mine Kevin Evan’s debut (and only) 12″ on Ambassador Records ( a record that somebody borrowed and never returned sadly) and his band Ritzun Ratzun Rotzer from Leeds.

Then in late 1990s I would happily frequent the second-hand bookshops on Charing Cross Road and I found out that Eric was serving behind counter in a shop a friend Jan Buchanan worked in. I am sure he served me at least a couple of times but I never mentioned the music. It now called Any Amount of Books but I think was called something else then….my memory not great. I remember the period because my friend found out a drawing by a Japanese artist she owned worth a fortune when I told her I’d seen similar on the Antiques Roadshow. Apparently she bought a house in France with proceeds…..we had both worked at Zwemmers in early 1980s. It was a gift from original owners allegedly.

Finally fast-forward the time tape machine to 2003. I am on second ever date with a lady who became my wife. We are at Alan Tyler’s weekly Americana event ‘Come Down and Meet the Folks’ at the ‘Fiddler'(???) in College Street Camden Town watching ..yes…Eric Goulden aka Wreckless. We were both drunk so memory hazy but I think Amy Rigby was either on bill or with Eric…so we both been in relationship ever since…

I recently picked up the Len Bright Combo reissues and Le Beat Group Electrique album from Fire Records and look forward to the new album on scratchy black vinyl 🙂

I hope Mr Goulden gets the attention he deserves…recent features in MOJO and Record Collector show his amp is rising 🙂 He is a national treasure , a Hull Art School domestic Daniel Johnston with words and pictures (actually he a much better songwriter than said cult artist) and has at least a dozen first class songs to his name..maybe more. That he was eclipsed in early days was more because of temperament. He a natural artist/garage band soul without the naked ambition of a certain other Stiff Tour bespectacled songwriter.

Last night Eric talked affectionately of listening to the first ever rendition of ‘Sweet gene Vincent’ by Ian Dury at his flat……
The autobiography by EG below is probably far more entertaining that EC’s recent tome and a hell of a lot funnier ( I looking out for a copy).

Keep laughing Eric and hats off to Amy….for inspiring this late flowering of an artist….or ‘miserable old c***t’ as he called himself on stage last night……

ericbook

http://www.thedonotpress.com/titles/dysfunctional-success/

Also available on Amazon : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dysfunctional-Success-Wreckless-Manual-written/dp/1904316182 

Last song ended with namechecks for his inspiration ..Velvet Underground and Bobby Gentry featured…at heart he’s a fan of great music…and makes some too along the way 🙂

Thanks for a great evening.

Further info. on The Medway Scene: http://www.goldminemag.com/features/book-review-neck-muddy-medway-waters

combo1combo2 groupbook