Monday, 30 September 2013

'A Night For Jon Brookes' on 18th October at The Royal Albert Hall


For Dancers Only - 5th October


John's Children - ‘A Strange Affair - The Recordings 1965-1970 (2CD)’

Released: 25th November 2013

John’s Children were the quintessential cult 60s Mod/Psych band, controversial, sharply dressed and subsequently the stuff of legend. The band were fronted by Andy Ellison (later with Jet and Radio Stars) and boasted Marc Bolan within their ranks during their short life. A STRANGE AFFAIR – for the first time – boasts the entire John’s Children output between 1966 and1970. The package includes:* Two singles for EMI’s Columbia label: ‘The Love I Thought I’d Found’ and ‘Just What You Want –Just What You Get’.* Four singles for The Who’s label Track Records: ‘Desdemona’, the legendarily withdrawn ‘Midsummer Night's Scene’, ‘Come And Play With Me In The Garden’ and ‘Go-Go Girl’.* Their mock-live album Orgasm! which was belatedly issued on US label White Whale in 1970.* Andy Ellison’s subsequent solo singles ‘It's Been A Long Time’ (Track), ‘Fool From Upper Eden’ (CBS) and ‘You Can't Do That’ (SNB).* Three tracks by pre-John’s Children band The Silence.* A raft of rare and previously unissued alternative versions and mixes. The 2-CD set has been compiled with help from Andy Ellison. Their manager Simon Napier-Bell will also be contributing to the detailed sleeve-notes, which are based around excerpts from Ellison’s yet-to-be-published autobiography. Fronted by Ellison, the current line-up of John’s Children will be playing a tie-in London show in January.

SINGLES & RARITIES

1. THE LOVE I THOUGHT I'D FOUND

2. STRANGE AFFAIR

3. JUST WHAT YOU WANT - JUST WHAT YOU’LL GET

4. BUT SHE'S MINE

5. DESDEMONA

6. REMEMBER THOMAS À BECKETT

7. MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S SCENE

8. SARA, CRAZY CHILD

9. COME AND PLAY WITH ME IN THE GARDEN

10. GO-GO GIRL

11. JAGGED TIME LAPSE

12. ARTHUR GREEN (credited to Andy Ellison)

13. IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME (Andy Ellison solo)

14. FOOL FROM UPPER EDEN (Andy Ellison)

15. ANOTHER LUCKY LIE (Andy Ellison solo)

16. YOU CAN’T DO THAT (Andy Ellison solo)

17. CORNFLAKE ZOO (Andy Ellison solo)

18. HELP (Andy Ellison solo)

19. CASBAH CANDY (Andy Ellison solo)

20. HIPPY GUMBO (Andy Ellison solo)

21. DOWN DOWN (by The Silence)

22. COLD ON ME (by The Silence)

23. FORGIVE ME IF I’M WRONG (The Silence)

24. MUSTANG FORD

25. NOT THE SORT OF GIRL YOU TAKE TO BED

26. SALLY WAS AN ANGEL (Vocal)

27. THE PERFUMED GARDEN OF GULLIVER SMITH (Vocal)

ORGASM!

1. KILLER BEN

2. JAGGED TIME LAPSE

3. SMASHED! BLOCKED!

4. YOU'RE A NOTHING

5. NOT THE SORT OF GIRL

6. COLD ON ME

7. LEAVE ME ALONE

8. LET ME KNOW

9. JUST WHAT YOU WANT - JUST WHAT YOU GET

10. WHY DO YOU LIE

11. STRANGE AFFAIR

12. BUT SHE’S MINE

BONUS TRACKS

13. THE LOVE I THOUGHT I'D FOUND (First Vsn)

14. DESDEMONA (“Why do you have to lie” Vsn)

15. REMEMBER THOMAS A'BECKETT (Alt. Version)

16. MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S SCENE (Alt. Version)

17. SARA, CRAZY CHILD (German Single Version)

18. JAGGED TIME LAPSE (Alternative Version)

19. IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME (Stereo Mix)

20. YOU CAN’T DO THAT (Acetate Version)

21. HIPPY GUMBO (Marc Bolan Vocal)

22. NOT THE SORT OF GIRL YOU TAKE TO BED (Alternative Version)

23. SALLY WAS AN ANGEL (Instrumental)

24. COME AND PLAY WITH ME IN THE GARDEN (Instrumental)

25. THE PERFUMED GARDEN OF GULLIVER SMITH (Instrumental)

26. MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S SCENE (Alternative Mix)

The Jam – ‘The Studio Recordings Vinyl Box Set’ Limited Edition (Universal)

Released on: 25 November 2013 and priced £89.99

About This Product

One of the most popular bands to emerge from the English punk rock scene of 1977, The Jam had a phenomenal impact on pop music and wider youth culture. In their short career, along with the Sex Pistols, The Clash, and Buzzcocks, they influenced a generation with their music, style, politics and inspiration.

This limited edition 8 piece Vinyl Box Set features all 6 Studio albums on Heavyweight Vinyl, plus 2 brand new discs of non-album tracks and B -Sides.

Also included is a 44 page hardback book with new liner notes by John Harris (Guardian/Mojo) and an introduction by Paul Weller, featuring period photos and memorabilia. The package comes housed in full-colour rigid slipcase and includes a voucher to download an MP3 version of all the albums.

1. In The City - 1977

2. This Is The Modern World - 1977

3. All Mod Cons - 1978

4. Setting Sons - 1979

5. Sound Affects - 1980

6. The Gift - 1982

7. Extras -Special Singles : 1977 - 1982 (Volume One)

8. Extras -Special Singles : 1977 - 1982 (Volume Two)

John Mayall to Celebrate 80th Birthday while performing in Sarasota

John Mayall will be celebrating his 80th birthday while performing with his band on November 29th at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium in Sarasota, Florida.

Ray Shasho had the rare privilege of chatting with John Mayall recently about the current tour, his incredible band of blues virtuosos and a musical career that has spanned more than 50 years.

Ray Shasho: Hello John, happy Friday the thirteenth.

John Mayall: “Is that what day it is … oh my God.”

Ray Shasho: You’re currently on a rather lengthy tour.

John Mayall: “Not sure which tour you’re talking about, we do several tours. We’ve got an east coast tour which is almost three weeks, is that the one you’re talking about?

Ray Shasho: So you correlate the tour as east coast or west coast in the states and maybe by continent when travelling abroad instead of classifying it as a worldwide tour?

John Mayall: “It’s just whenever the offers come in and where the agents can group together and we tour. The next one we’re doing is the east coast tour and like I say is about three weeks.”

Ray Shasho: You’ve got about eighty confirmed dates worldwide and counting, in my book that’s still a lot of touring.

John Mayall: “It’s really nothing …nothing at all.” (All laughing)

Ray Shasho: John, you’ll be making a rather rare appearance in Sarasota, Florida on November 29th at the Municipal Auditorium. I for one is extremely excited to have John Mayall performing in my backyard.

John Mayall: “We’ll certainly try and stir things up for you. I will also be celebrating my 80th birthday when we perform in Sarasota.”

Ray Shasho: I just can’t believe it.

John Mayall: “Yea, time rolls on doesn’t it?

Ray Shasho: It’s obvious you still have a passion for touring and you look incredible man …Do you have any secrets for looking young and keeping so incredibly fit?

John Mayall: “No, I guess I’m just blessed with good genes I suppose. But I keep healthy and I’m always very active and always have been so. I don’t really see any signs of aging yet. Music keeps you young.”

Ray Shasho: We have a lot of Brits that live here in Sarasota, usually on a part-time basis, do you have any connections here?

John Mayall: “Florida is a state that we don’t get to nearly often enough, but we don’t pick places, it always has to do with promoters in various areas and coming forward with gig offers. So it’s not really up to us.”

Ray Shasho: John, I really like your current band … Rocky Athas on guitar, Greg Rzab on bass guitar and Jay Davenport on drums … they’re all amazing musicians.

John Mayall: “They are pretty amazing; we’ve been together for five years now but it really doesn’t feel like anything at all, we just love playing together.”

Ray Shasho: They all have incredible resume too. What inspired you for putting this particular band together?

John Mayall: “Initially it was because I was taking a break after the disbanding of The Bluesbreakers and it coincided with Eagle Records wanting a new album. It was the last one on the contract that I have with them and that kind of triggered a new chapter.”

Ray Shasho: The band definitely captures that traditional classic blues sound and image onstage. I watched numerous You Tube videos from various 2013 live performances and the band sounds great! My favorite video was the group performing “Stormy Monday” the classic T- Bone Walker tune at B.B. Kings … just awesome!

John Mayall: “We just started doing that one again. A lot of things songs we lay dormant for several years and then decide to bring them out again … giving them a fresh life.”

Ray Shasho: John, it’s reassuring seeing the blues persevering and attracting audiences worldwide.

John Mayall: “Just judging by the amount of young players that always seem to be popping up … it will. Some of them are better than others, but the whole point about it is they are all attracted to the blues and want to play it.”

Ray Shasho: I’ll admit, I’ve been worried about the blues genre sustaining. Younger generations may not be able to sense or experience what it takes to conceive a bona-fide blues song … maybe too preoccupied with their cell phones.

John Mayall: “Anybody can get the blues because the world in a tangle the way it is; there are plenty of things to get you depressed about. Smartphone’s aren’t for everybody, there is an amazing amount of young players who devote all of their time to learning the guitar or whatever instrument …it’s usually guitars that seem to attract everybody.”

Ray Shasho: You play a variety of instruments effortlessly and you’re also an incredible harp player. I’ve never been able to master the harmonica, were there any special techniques that you used in learning how to play?

John Mayall: “It’s all self-taught and I just bumble my way through it into whatever best way I can. I don’t know how to explain it; I guess I do the best I can with any instrument I get attracted to. But they’re just tools in order for you to express yourself and that’s really the upshot of it.”

Ray Shasho: There were so many great blues artists from the very early days. Kim Wilson of the Thunderbirds introduced me to Harmonica Frank Floyd who actually played the harmonica without holding it or assistance of a neck brace while singing at the same time. And Maria Muldaur turned me on to the legendary Memphis Minnie.

John Mayall: “There was a lot to listen to out there. Memphis Minnie was one of the very few and very popular female blues singers and guitar players in the 30’s. She was a friend of Big Bill Broonzy who saw it all from that era of the 30’s and 40’s.”

Ray Shasho: John, what do you remember about growing up in England during World War II?

John Mayall: “We had the bomb shelters in the schools and had air raid drills. So I guess that was exciting I suppose. It was all part of what was going on. I was about eleven or twelve so I remember a lot of it. We lived about twelve miles from Manchester and Manchester was bombed pretty heavily. You could see the sky was red from the bombs.”

Ray Shasho: Was it difficult finding blues music while growing up in England?

John Mayall: “I had my father’s record collection right from when I was a kid and so I was kind of weaned on jazz and blues … mainly on jazz I suppose. 78’s were the only thing invented at that time, so there were plenty of 78’s to get the background of what was going on.”

Ray Shasho: Jim McCarty told me that Eric Clapton actually auditioned for The Yardbirds. Did he have to audition for The Bluesbreakers?

John Mayall: “No, he was a known quantity by then. The Yardbirds were a pop band from the beginning although they were doing blues material. Their final direction showed where they were really at.”

Ray Shasho: John, here’s a question that I ask everyone that I interview. If you had a ‘Field of Dreams’ wish like the movie, to play, sing or collaborate with anyone from the past or present, who would that be?

John Mayall: “I guess Big Maceo Merriweather was one of the people that I missed. He’s my idol on piano. So he’s the first one that comes to mind. I just feel lucky because I’ve played with most of the people who are no longer with us, so it’s great to have had that experience. But there are lots of people I would have loved to heard play … Lead Belly… Blind Lemon Jefferson … All the pioneers of boogie-woogie … just so many people, the list is endless.”

Ray Shasho: John, thank you so much for being on the call today but more importantly for all the incredible music you’ve given us and continue to bring. We’ll see you in Sarasota on November 29th for your 80th birthday.

John Mayall: “Excellent Ray, we’ll see you in Sarasota.”

Visit Ray Shasho’s classic rock music blogs at www.classicrockhereandnow.com

The Kinks may reunite for a 50th Anniversary tour says Dave Davies

Dave Davies has said there is a "50/50" chance that the band could reform and tour together next year.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, the guitarist said that there was a possibility that the group would play shows to celebrate their 50th anniversary, but he also warned that it would depend on the relationship with his brother Ray and ruled out the chance of them reuniting to record a new album.

Davies said he had met with Ray three times over the summer but said that although initial discussions were positive, they had become more difficult as they progressed. "The first two meeting were great," he said. "We talked about the old days and maybe doing something next year. I thought to myself, 'Oh shit, maybe we could do something before we fall down dead.' It was very positive."

He then added: "We had tea right before I came over to America, and he was so negative, grumpy and just mean. It was like he fell into a black hole. He didn't want me to come back to America. I think it's because I'm happy and I was doing something without his approval. I feel like he was miserable because I'm happy. He's a really troubled man."

Asked what the chances were of them playing together next year, he replied: "I'd say the odds of that happening are 50/50. The ball is very much in Ray's court. We used to play tennis, and when I was beating him he'd always develop a strategy.

"Basically, when I was winning he'd be like, 'Oh, I hurt my back!' I'd sort of back off, and then he'd get aggressive again. Then I'd get real angry. He'd smile, and it was really like the Emperor in Star Wars testing Luke's character. When he got Luke angry, the Emperor would be like 'Yes! I've got you!'"

On the subject of making an album together, meanwhile, he simply said: "I can't face the concept of days and days in the studio with Ray. I just can't do it."

Earlier this week, it was revealed that The Kinks will be reissuing their classic album 'Muswell Hillbillies'. The special edition version of the LP, which is set for release on October 7, will feature five previously unreleased songs as well as a smattering of alternate recordings and tracks taken from John Peel radio sessions on the BBC. Unreleased tracks include 'Lavender Lane', 'Mountain Woman', 'Kentucky Moon' and 'Queenie', in addition to a demo recording of the song 'Nobody's Fool'.

The track listing for the 2CD Deluxe Edition of 'Muswell Hillbillies' is as follows:

Disc One

'20th Century Man'

'Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues'

'Holiday'

'Skin And Bone'

'Alcohol'

'Complicated Life'

'Here Come The People In Gray'

'Have A Cuppa Tea'

'Holloway Jail'

'Oklahoma USA'

'Uncle Son'

'Muswell Hillbilly'

Disc Two

'Lavender Lane' (Unreleased)

'Mountain Woman' (Unreleased)

'Have A Cuppa Tea' (Alternate version)

'Muswell Hillbilly' (1976 remix)

'Uncle Son' (Alternate version)

'Kentucky Moon' (Unreleased)

'Nobody's Fool' (Demo – unreleased)

'20th Century Man (Instrumental)

'20th Century Man (1976 remix)

'Queenie' (Unreleased)

'Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues' (BBC Peel Session)

'Holiday' (BBC Peel Session)

'Skin And Bone' (BBC Peel Session)

Saturday, 28 September 2013

The Shades Of Blue – ‘Who’s Laughing Now?’ 7” (Heavy Soul)



The first release in the RAWING Sixties series comes from The Shades Of Blue who were a band from Essex that formed in 1965 and in June of that year recorded four originals at Tony Pikes’ Sound Studios in Putney.

‘Who’s Laughing Now’ combines a soulful voice with an organ driven beat that has been compared to Manchester Mod Gods, The St. Louis Union, and is destined to become a dance-floor classic. It’s a terrific song that I really like.

Side two features ‘So Long’ which again combines some great organ and guitar work with soulful vocals in another up-tempo number. Again, I really like this.

With sleeve notes from Ian Grinham and Adam Cooper, and all tracks coming directly from quarter inch reel-to-reel tapes or original acetates, this is sure to be an excellent and highly collectable series of 7” releases from the 1963 to 1968 period.

The Riot Squad (featuring David Bowie) – ‘The Toy Soldier’ 7” EP (Acid Jazz)



In March 1967, London group The Riot Squad were joined by David Bowie for approximately 12 weeks. Over the course of this short time the band rehearsed at The Swan in Tottenham and, over the course of six sessions, recorded the four titles included in this Acid Jazz vinyl EP release.

First up is ‘Toy Soldier’, a Bowie original about ‘Little Sadie’ who was a schoolgirl who liked to be whipped by her toy soldier, which is in keeping with Bowie’s writing around 1967 and is a quirky little number. ‘Silly Boy Blue’ is a raw recording of Bowie singing/playing acoustic guitar on a song that appeared on his debut LP later that year.

Side two of the EP begins with a cover of The Velvet Underground’s ‘I’m Waiting For My Man’ on which the band produce a pretty decent, if relatively straight, version. The final song on the EP is another Bowie original, the infamous ‘Silver Treetop School For Boys’, with its stripped back sound predominantly consisting of organ holding together the lead and backing vocals – a classic lost treasure.

Well done to Acid Jazz for finding and releasing yet another potentially lost gem in their ‘Rare Mod’ EP series.

The Moment – ‘Goodbye Tuesday’ 7” (Heavy Soul)



 It’s great to have The Moment back with us after the great releases and gigs they left us with from the mid-eighties – along with Makin’ Time and The Prisoners, The Moment were one of the best bands of that time.

With Adrian Holder and Robert Moore back together and with Boys Wonder & Corduroy sticksman, Ben Addison, on the drum stool for this release, we are treated to ‘Goodbye Tuesday’ c/w ‘Good To Be Around’ on this new 7” vinyl release from Heavy Soul Records.

I know ‘Goodbye Tuesday’ well, having released Adrian’s solo version several years ago on my Biff Bang Pow compilation, ‘Shimmy’. What we get here is a great Mod pop song with a strong Motown/Northern feel to it and a great hook line that will have you singing along to it straight away. A song with the feel good factor.

The flip, ‘Good To Be Around’ is another pacey/bouncy number, jointly written by all three band members, which could easily have been an A-side in its own right. Guitar and organ led, Ben’s comments at the end of the recording (encouraging further sales within your family) is a tongue in cheek pastiche from his Boys Wonder days. Nice.

Overall, a tremendous release from a great band. Get yourself over to the Heavy Soul web shop now to get your copy before this limited edition release has sold out – you only have a Moment!