My Favourite Songs – Essex Green – Mrs Bean

I only ever liked playing live at the Abelarde Sanction. In some respects it was a more wretched hive of scum and villainy than Mos Eisly and the bands certainly added to that impression, but it was a home fo people who wanted to listen in a country where audiences mostly see live music as an intrusion into their night out.

In between sets several DJ’s, most notably Martin Barbee, Manik and Darklord Smegbreath used to entertain us with songs from their vast collections. There were always new and challenging tunes and I miss that exposure.

My fading memory says it was the Darklord who brought in this wonderful tune. It was always a dancefloor filler, in a place where dancing was not always appropriate. Even today I can’t sit still when I hear it. For a little while I even had it as my ringtone but I was always leaving the phone unanswered just so I could hear the entire song.

It is good. It is perfect. And it always makes me happy.

 

My Favourite Songs – Gimme Shelter

Listen. Loud… and I mean really LOUD.

Listen through the whole song, don’t skip ahead. and wait for it. At 2:45 Merry Clayton starts probably the most spine chilling vocal break outside of opera. She sings the lines, “Rape, Murder, it’s just a shot away” with such relentless intensity that, well just listen to that voice break at 2:59 and thereafter. If you have a heart it will break.

It’s a song for terrible times.

Spaceman – A Christmas Cover

The last few months have been crazy. At times it seemed as if there was no way out of the stress but, here we are, it’s Christmas. Not everyone’s cup of tea but for me it is the most wonderful time of the year.

Most people are in a better mood. There’s more kindness and forgiveness, more smiles.

Last year I flatly refused to do a Christmas cover and I regretted it, especially after I heard what Frequency Theater had done with their version of O Holy Night. Try to find it, it’s worth it…

It took a while to come up with something I felt should be done. I got a lot of helpful suggestions from Twitter and Facebook friends (huge thanks to the inimitable @a_hadeda, the indomitable @brodiegal and the unwavering @Life_Writ_Large), but in the end I settled on a Chris de Burgh classic. Detractors will detract, but it is a lovely song.

Note: If this is your first visit it is worth knowing that I do not pursue professional quality in my recordings. The intention is to illustrate what can be done with a song, rather than how well I can do it.

Note 2: The punk version is epically noisy, and will remain in the archives. 🙂

Starman – A Cover

Sometimes you need someone else to remind you about a great song.

Last week Nadine posted this photo of a “UFO” titled “There’s a starman waiting in the sky, he’d like to come and meet us but he thinks he’d blow our minds”. So obviously I had to record a cover.

Blame it on the rain.

Thanks Minister.

True Love, aka “Song for a Waitress”

Philip West had this great riff and he wasn’t going to do anything with it. (what do you mean you don’t know Philip, where’ve you been?) so I used it for the verses. I don’t feel the lyrics are my best but I love the melody and that’s enough for me.