Friday, 29 December 2017

It's that time when we look back on the year and remember our favourite moments. Newspapers, magazines and websites are full of lists suggesting 'the best' books, films and naturally music from 2017. You can take your pick ?
My nomination in the category 'Comeback' is the major return to form shown by Liam Gallagher with his solo album 'As You Were'. You know the deal, it's music with attitude. I could have selected any number of tracks but have gone for that rock attitude on 'Come Back To Me'.

While on another track he's almost apologising for his behaviour > 

An Oasis documentary film 'Supersonic' was on TV the other night. Good job they didn't bleep out the swearing, otherwise there wouldn't have been any dialogue left !!!

Friday, 22 December 2017

Two years ago the Friday Music Spot featured a song from Christmas Past > and last year it was Christmas Present. To complete the trilogy, here's my personal wish for the Future.

Walking through the bullring at Waterloo yesterday I realised there are still people living rough on the streets of London. My hope for Christmas Future is that this is not the case in years to come.
Legendary singer-songwriter, Ralph McTell, has re-recorded his timeless song, ‘Streets of London’, with a choir made up of clients and staff from Crisis – the national charity for homeless people – and guest vocalist Annie Lennox, to raise money for the cause in the run-up to Christmas. First penned 50 years ago, the classic song shares its birthday with Crisis, whose 50th anniversary also falls this December. 

To quote Ralph McTell: “It’s 50 years since I wrote 'Streets of London' and it saddens me that the issues raised in the song are still so relevant today". 

Friday, 15 December 2017

Chatting to one of my regular listeners earlier this week, he was most insistent that I check out Loggins & Messina, and particularly their 1974 LP 'Mother Lode'. Their music is very 70s California, and it might just make you feel a bit warmer on a winter's day. I've picked this track off the album called 'Be Free' - which has a bit of everything and the accompanying video takes you through all the seasons. 

Unfamiliar with Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina ?  Bet you're heard this one before:

Friday, 8 December 2017

Triggered by last week's work related track here's another story.
At my first job we produced the artwork for a local giveaway newspaper called 'Focus'. It was mostly adverts for businesses in the South London area, with articles to fill in the gaps. One filler was a very basic music page. I'd been asked by the Paper's owners if I'd like to compile this section and as it involved 'free' LPs sent to me to review any lack of journalistic ability on my part had been overlooked by all concerned.
Early in 1972 I heard there was a rock band called Focus and thought this was a coincidence worth exploring. So I wrote to the record company 'Blue Horizon' who released their music in the UK. They replied and sent me a press release that informed me they were a Dutch band. They also sent me their single 'Tommy' which was off the recently released album 'Moving Waves'.
The single and it's 'B' side were fantastic and as a result, despite no one having heard of them, I starting wittering on to friends about this great Dutch band Focus. Some months later, at the end of May, they made an appearance on 'The Old Grey Whistle Test'. 
Suddenly the same friends are calling me up and raving about them. The word was out. That British TV debut included a performance of 'Hocus Pocus'. Melody Maker newspaper voted Focus as 'Brightest Hope' that year. They played the Reading Festival in August followed by the MM Poll Awards at the Oval cricket ground in September. A return appearance on the OGWT in December sealed it and host Bob Harris said the show was inundated with calls and letters about the band.
Their new record label Polydor had issued a latest LP 'Focus 3' in November and then had to press more records to meet the demand.
A single off the album was released in early 1973 and reached No.4 in the UK chart. The single was called 'Sylvia'.

This track was also on my dad's cassette tape I made for him - remember that story? see:

More >
May 1972: The original OGWT appearance on YouTube, comes complete with the almost compulsory equipment breakdown, that was such a part of 'live' concerts in the early 70s. 

Friday, 1 December 2017

Officially tomorrow I retire. Some might say I have had a few practise goes at this over the years, especially during the 1980s.
With that memory in mind I have a track from Australian band Redgum that captures the mood very much from then but also now.
Someone mentions walkabout and kiss your job goodbye.

The lyrics tell the story, while I'm not quite sure exactly what the video is all about it has enough open roads to fit the bill. Pun intended !