Friday, 25 August 2017

A new week, another frequency on a different wavelength:
BBC Greater London Radio (GLR: 1988-2000) and in particular Gary Crowley's show on Sunday afternoons during the early 1990s was undoubtedly responsible at the time for helping increase my fledgling CD collection. 
His radio show would unearth new talent like: Manic Street Preachers, Teenage Fanclub, Buffalo Tom, Smashing Pumpkins, Pulp, Placebo, Suede, Kingmaker, Catatonia, Gigolo Aunts, Dandy Warhols, to name just a few. Mostly artists from independent record labels, many of them are still together today.

If you have never heard of Buffalo Tom, from Boston, you are about to. This is 'Taillights Fade' off their 1992 album 'Let Me Come Over'. 25 years ago - where did those years go ?
Interestingly this track almost fades in… give it some volume 

More indie rock? Check out:  and/or

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Ramble Inn pub, Tooting SW17

> I just love the mobility scooter parked outside. Cheers 🍺🍺🍺

Friday, 18 August 2017

Having written FM Spot last week as an abbreviation for THE FRIDAY MUSIC SPOT I realised this could indicate some sort of radio station - as in Capital FM or Classic FM etc.
Frequency Modulation (FM) isn't new technology (invented in the 1930s in America - the tragic story of its birth is told here > Consequently FM radio was slow to emerge through the late 50s and 60s but being better suited to high fidelity music than AM broadcasts were, it finally took off and by the 1970s in the US it had arrived.
It became popular in the UK and the rest of world during this time but in one case, BBC Radio 1, it would be 1987 before it was allocated an FM frequency. Up until this time the station only shared evenings and weekend FM airtime with Radio 2, meaning during the week no daytime 'Wonderful Radio 1" FM transmissions. (More on this in the coming weeks).

Which about brings me to… I was listening to BBC Radio 6 at the weekend (strictly speaking a digital station and not on an FM frequency, but let's not split signals here). On came the song 'Summer Breeze' by the Isley Brothers, their version of the Seals & Crofts number from 1973. But would it be the superb LP version or the single, issued as an A side: 'Summer Breeze (Part 1)' and a B side '(Part 2)'. Would the radio play the full version or just the shorter single 'A' side? As it faded on 3 minutes I realised I wouldn't be enjoying the last 2 minutes of the full version, where Ernie Isley unleashes a guitar solo, that is one of my all time favourite solos, of all time.  But today we can!  And here it is…

Friday, 11 August 2017

Here's a relatively new song (2013) that sounds very much like an old song, circa 1972. From Rod Stewart's album 'Time' this is 'Live the Life'. The album was a welcome return to form for Rod and became his first No.1 album in the UK charts since 'A Night on the Town' in 1976. 
I really like the philosophy expressed in this track:

So love the life you live
And live the life you love

And always remember let the good times rule

Friday, 4 August 2017

… and then someone put on the Penguin Cafe Orchestra!
All very elegant English eccentricity or Avant-Pop as some would label it. First there's a track I already knew, then the one I heard played and finally another that was pointed out. In each case all of them come with a storyline…. I couldn't choose one in particular, so play all three tracks !

The one I knew 'Music for a Found Harmonium' - you may recognise it, as it's featured in many films and been adapted by various artists. Composed on an old harmonium found in Japan by Simon Jeffes. The 1989 BBC recording presents a great setting.

When I heard 'Perpetuum Mobile' play it reminded me of the harmonium track and there are similarities only it's strangely different with an unusual time signature. Same BBC show and set.

And finally the very odd 'Telephone and Rubber Band' - which I'd never heard of but is said to be the Penguin Cafe Orchestra's most famous piece. Using a telephone ring tone and rubber band (the title gives it away) as the backing rhythm. Nice old black and white movie images provide an interesting watch. It's mad, I love it.