Filed under pop music

The London Disease Comes to Cardiff

The London Disease Comes to Cardiff

Last weekend saw the end of the Brickstock Festival at a former brickworks in Central Cardiff. It had a huge number of events, with music by James Dean Bradfield and many others but I only made it to the last, a series of site-specific performances in a Victorian house. There was an old couple reminiscing … Continue reading

Jews and Slave Trading

Jews and Slave Trading

The British Labour party seems to be ripping itself apart on a number of levels, one of which involves the matter of anti-semitic comments. Jackie Walker, vice chair of Momentum, the group that supports its present leader, Jeremy Corbyn, Momentum, made some comments that were deemed offensive, and was suspended for claiming Jewish people financed … Continue reading

Social Mobility by English Rock Stars

The music business has long been seen as a means for poor people to make a living, but in the late 1960s/early 70s there were some truly stellar rises by the few fortunate enough to become famous.  The following snippets come from Dominic Sandbrook’s book The Great British Dream Factory: Bill Wyman had grown up in … Continue reading

No Brexit Negotiators

Yet another story that reminds us how inept our politicians are in planning the exit of the UK from the EU. This is from the i paper: The UK does not have its own trade negotiators because they are all working for the European Union, the sacked minister who was due to lead the Government’;s … Continue reading

Cameron and The Smiths

Some time ago,  former members of The Smiths, Morrissey and Johnny Marr “banned” the Prime Minister David Cameron from liking the band. Marr said: “Stop saying that you like the Smiths. No you don’t. I forbid you to like it.” I can understand their anger at the Prime Minister,but we live in a free country, … Continue reading

Singing Together

I’ve been enjoying reading singer fro Everything but the Girl’s Tracey Thorne’s book ‘Naked at the Albert Hall. She has a lot of great insights into the art and craft of the vocalist, but also of the importance of signing to us as people and as communities. Something I never thought about is why kids … Continue reading

Romantic Songs that Aged Badly

There’s been a lot of scandals in the past few years involving celebrities misbehaving with young people, which makes some commentators ask if anyone was not doing bad things back then, but without condoning any of this, things were different. IN Antonioni’s popular film ‘Blow Up’, the photographer David Hemmings is practically stalked by a … Continue reading

Songs In Memory

The past few months have seen a truly horrific rollcall of deaths in the performing arts, and today Umberto Eco joined the list. Last night BBC6music again showed why they are the top digital radio station when Tom Robinson’s show asked listeners to suggest songs to remember those we have lost. The show began with … Continue reading

The Origin of Rock and Roll

The Origin of Rock and Roll

Recent research suggests that a lot of the early popular songs originated in Scotland. They were the result of poor Scots being thrown off their land by the Highland and Island clearances, so were about longing for home and of going to a promised land, common themes in gospel and early American folk music. But … Continue reading

Change Partners

I’m old enough to have been a huge fan of Crosby Stills and Nash from the start, and used to listen to Songs for Beginners by Nash to help me through maths cramming but have always favoured Stills, as a far more cerebral musician – he writes pop music structured more like symphonies, and is … Continue reading