Filed under music

Widdecombe Fair

I recently made a wonderful purchase from an antiques store – this fine pottery mug, of indeterminate age, which came from a dealer in Burton on the Water, Gloucestershire. But the fair it refers to is on wildest Dartmoor, about half way between Buckfastleigh and Moretonhampstead, and now found in atlases as Widecombe in the … Continue reading

Pop Gateway to Opera

My parents constantly complained that pop ripped off ‘real’ music, but it works both ways. Many classically trained musicians do pop as well. I’d never heard of Verdi when I discovered this beautiful song by 10,000 Maniacs’ Natalie Merchant. I heard it on the radio last night. It’s still one of the loveliest songs I … Continue reading

PIL Chaos on American Bandstand

This was the band’s first appearance on the show, in 1980 but as John Lydon/Rotten had a reputation from the Sex Pistols, they must have expected something out of the ordinary. This is brilliant – the audience had no idea what was happening, but they all seemed to have had a great time. Full credits … Continue reading

Remembering Prince

Someone on the radio said this has become a really bad year to be a celebrity – Victoria Wood and Prince within a few days of each other. Prince was so many things – songwriter, singer, performer, producer, but his virtuoso skills on the guitar have been often overshadowed, though comparisons with Hendrix have been … Continue reading

Song for the Weekend

We’re supposed to get conservative as we get older, but my tastes are getting definitely odder. I hated Tiny Tim when I was young, but am actually considering getting his greatest hits. This is ‘Fill Your Heart’, possibly one of his least weird offerings. It’s gloriously joyful. Have a great weekend!

Are You Going to Whittingham Fair?

Yet another excerpt from the fascinating ‘Highways & Byways in Northumbria’ which probably sounds familiar: Whittingham Fair was a great event along ago, when the countryside was more populated and fairs were the times of replenishing the household and all sorts of merchandise was on sale. To read of the games and merry-making at Whittiingham … Continue reading