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Tuesday 30 April 2024

On the Buses 3 - Mystery Tour


No guest posts this week but we have a bit of a mystery tour. I found a folder called Bus Songs in my Music file with the five tracks below.

I only had one of these elsewhere so I expect that they were provided by someone else (Ernie perhaps) following on from my Bus Pass Day post.  I've had a scout around and haven't got to the bottom of it yet.

It seems only fair that we include the songs in question. 

First up is British psychedelic rock band Dantalian's Chariot  with Fourpenny Bus Ride. This has got me thinking that George might be involved! It seems that it is taken from Chariot Rising originally released in 1967 with a re-issue from Cherry Red in1996.

Next up is Midnight Bus by Betty McQuade appropriately from 1961 the year of my birth which made me eligible for my Bus Pass. It seem that it is taken from Lux & Ivy's Favorites Vol.17 if that helps with identification.

Third on the list is Tyler Childers with Bus Route. Apparently he is an   American singer and songwriter. His music is a mix of neotraditional country, bluegrass, and folk. .I'm none the wiser.

Nuru Kane is a Sengalese singer which strongly suggests that Ernie is indeed the culprit. Number One Bus is the title track from a 2009 album. I'm a 4 or a 6 man myself.

Finally we have Professor Nuts with Ina De Bus which is the only one of the five included on my Bus Pass Day selections.

Something more mundane next Transport Tuesday unless some guest post comes winging in.

Dantalian's Chariot - Fourpenny Bus Ride

Betty McQuade - Midnight Bus

Tyler Childers - Bus Route

Nuru Kane - Number One Bus

Professor Nuts - Ina De Bus

Monday 29 April 2024

St George's Tea's Out


 Last Tuesday was St George's Day the day which commemorates the Patron Saint of England.

To commemorate this occasion the true patriots draped themselves in the flag of St George, filled themselves with Belgian lager and headed to the Cenotaph in London for a scrap.

It seems that they feel that their Englishness is being threatened. While trying to get some examples of this a journalist was informed by a lady that we're a coffee nation, not a tea nation anymore. It is truly the end of days

Starbucks, Costa and Cafe Nero are now under armed guard.

If you own any of the songs below it is clearly your patriotic duty to burn your copies of them as soon as possible.

Squeeze - Black Coffee in Bed

Blur - Coffee & TV

Lightnin' Hopkins - Coffee House Blues

Otis Redding -Cigarettes and Coffee

Sunday 28 April 2024

Sunday Highway Songs 4


Happy Highway Sunday to you all.

As a Sunday treat you are getting another three songs from the series that will run and run if you pardon the pun.

Willie Heath Neal from Gwinnett County, Georgia is described by Discogs as an Outlaw Country singer .He has had an interesting life as this blurb from the splendidly named Chicken Ranch Records highlights. Out of Highway is the title track from his 2009 album on said label.

You will struggle to get a more country song than Highway 54 by Wayne Hancock from the brilliant 1998 album That's What Daddy Wants on the Ark label. It's all happening on this one.

It's country all the way this week as we conclude with New Highway an acoustic number from the great Dave Alvin

We will be hitting various highways again next Sunday

Willie Heath Neal - Out of Highway

Wayne Hancock - Highway 54

Dave Alvin - New Highway

Saturday 27 April 2024

Saturday Shuffle 51


A pretty eclectic trio for you today.

We start with BR-549 a Nashville band who treaded the margin between alternative country and rockabilly. You are getting  Even If It's Wrong from their eponymous  debut album. A word of advice. Only buy stuff of their which has a hyphen in the band's name. When they lost the hyphen they lost the talent.

Today's cover stars are Glasgow's all  female Punk band The Hedrons with I Need You from their 2007 debut album One More Won't Kill Us. It was followed up recently, some 17 years later, with Tired of Talking on LNFG

We conclude with the Lion of Zimbabwe himself Thomas Mapfumo with the Blacks Unlimited. Today's offering is Handina Munyama which translates from the Shona as I Am Not Unlucky - I was born right. The Spirits of my ancestors look after me. I know that I have the right parents and the right friends because of their deeds.

More eclectic nonsense next Saturday

BR5-49 - Even If It's Wrong

The Hedrons - I Need You

Thomas Mapfumo & the Blacks Unlimited - Handina Munyama

Friday 26 April 2024

The Home Nations - 5


A pictorial representation of the Home Nations for you this week.

England is obviously the biggest of the four nations but it gets to go first for alphabetical rather than size reasons. Today's English offering comes from a true English gentleman Nick Lowe who sings about The Rose of England.

Northern Ireland next with the O'Neill brothers Damian and John making their second appearance in this series. The first time round it was as part of The Undertones. This time it is as part of That Petrol Emotion. They would rather cross the ocean than make a big decision. The best song this week by a country mile.

For Scotland this week I have chosen a song about Glasgow my home city. Here are local band Sister John with Glasgow is a Rainbow a song which has also been covered by fellow Glasgow band The Bluebells

I had absolutely no idea that the band The Automatic were Welsh. This is probably because I know absolutely nothing about them other than they had a monster hit with Monster.

I'm beginning to struggle with this series so it will be the final instalment next Friday

Nick Lowe - The Rose of England

That Petrol Emotion - Big Decision

Sister John - Glasgow is a Rainbow

The Automatic - Monster

Thursday 25 April 2024

Broken Chanter at Stereo


On Saturday I was at Stereo to see Broken Chanter as part of their tour to launch their new album Chorus of Doubt recently released on Chemikal Underground  records.

I also managed to attend the launches of the two previous albums - Broken Chanter (CCA ,2019) and Catastrophe Hits (Glad Cafe, 2001). Not a bad hat-trick there.

I had the pleasure of bumping into JC who greeted me with a profanity the reason being my armchair supported team Dundee United had just pipped his team Raith Rovers to promotion from the Championship to the SPL. Good luck in the play offs.

JC is friendly with David McGregor (see my rubbish picture above) and recently attended a listening party  featuring the new album and also very generously gave away two copies of the album as part of a competition.

To the show. I was delighted to see that the support was Raveloe who had also supported them at the Glad Cafe. As per the last time she was excellent and you could do worse than picking up some of her stuff on Bandcamp.

David was joined by Bart Owl on guitar, Charlotte Pinter on bass and Audrey Tait on drums and they put on a stonking show. I'm pretty that all the songs from Chorus of Doubt featured with a few older songs not to mention David's amusing patter.

All in all an excellent evening. I'm listening to the album as I type and I strongly recommend that you get a hold of it.

One from each of the three albums in chronological order

Broken Chanter - Don't Move to Denmark

Broken Chanter - Extinction Event Souvenir T-Shirt

Broken Chanter - Knock My Pan In

Mike from Manic Pop Thrills gives an excellent review of the Edinburgh and Dundee shows

Wednesday 24 April 2024

The Secret Sisters


2024 Charity Shop Purchases #22 - The Secret Sisters - The Secret Sisters

First the good news - after about a month or so I have now finally ended my charity shop drought.

The not so good news. The CDs in Oxfam in Troon have gone up from 99p to £1.99. Still cheaper than the £2.99 they charge in Glasgow.

My purchase was the eponymous 2010 debut album from The Secret Sisters  on Beladroit/Universal Republic Records. They have appeared here on a couple of occasions before including the fairly recent Brothers. Sisters ... series.

This is the first time I have had anything by Laura Rogers and Lydia Slagle (nee Rogers) in a physical format. Although it has 11 tracks  it is only just over 29 minutes in length. The majority of the tracks are covers but I've gone for the two original ones..

I initially filed it within the Americana section but after a  couple of listens it has been transferred to the Country section. This, and the music, meets with Mrs CC's approval.

The Secret Sisters - Tennessee Me

The Secret Sisters - Waste The Day

Tuesday 23 April 2024

On the Buses 2 - Another Guest Post


Another Bus Guest Post - none for ages then following Brian along comes Khayem

The bus has pulled up at your stop K

You waited for ages for a bus and...Then Four Buses Came Along At Once. Quite literally, as that’s the title of my first offering, courtesy of Neil Hannon and The Divine Comedy circa 1998.

The other single deckers trundling into view are the Night Bus To Dalton by Bad Manners and Magic Bus, originally by The Who but here by the rather worryingly named Swervedriver. Who knows where they’ll end up?

What about the other one? Oops, Der Bus Is' Schon Weg or the bus is already gone, for those of you without an O Level German fail like me. Personally, I blame Nena for standing at the bus stop with 99 bleedin’ red balloons. I mean, would you let her on?!

CC writes:
Many thanks for these Khayem - four new to me songs or in the case of Magic Bus a new version. I suspect that German buses are probably much more efficient than ours.

Does anyone else wish to extol the virtues of the humble Omnibus?

Monday 22 April 2024

Musical Mum Memories


Steve Earle?

I was in the car the other day with Mrs CC and her mum when Emma by Hot Chocolate  came on the USB player. I regaled them with the tale that I was once doing the dishes with Steve Earle on the cassette player. 

"Who's that?" asked my mum "Steve Earle" I replied. "Is that the bloke from Hot Chocolate?" she replied. " No mum that's Errol Brown". Close but no cigar.

Then there was the time when the Clash were on. "Is that Spanish Bums that they are singing?" Again close but no cigar.

Finally when Blue Monday by New Order was playing she thought there was something wrong with the plumbing!

Miss you mum.

Hot Chocolate - Emma

The Clash - Spanish Bombs

New Order - Blue Monday

Sunday 21 April 2024

Sunday Highway Songs 3


Again a nice quiet highway for a Sunday drive.

Could it be a Highway to Heaven? The sixties Detroit soul band The Dramatics certainly seem to think so. It was a single in 1964 from their album Dramatically Yours.

Alternatively could it be a Highway to Hell? These posts aren't just thrown together you know! You can rest easy,  you are not getting the Aussie upstarts as they are far to loud for a Sunday. Rather you are getting the Bloodshot stalwarts Red Star Belgrade.

Could that be a theme for another series I wonder- Red Star Belgrade, St Etienne, Kaiser Chiefs ...

No Heaven or Hell but rather Sundown for this week's final Highway trip from Scott Hirsch a founding member of Hiss Golden Messenger.

More Highway adventures next Sunday.

The Dramatics - Highway to Heaven

Red Star Belgrade -Highway to Hell

Scott Hirsch - Sundown Highway

Saturday 20 April 2024

Saturday Shuffle 50


A half century of shuffles! How did that happen? 150 songs and as far as I am aware no doublers.

The good or bad news depending on where you stand there are currently 2467 songs on the MP3 player with more no doubt to follow. This series could run and run which suits me (and hopefully you!) . It doesn't take much thought and covers one day of the week with minimum effort.

It is only fitting that we start this week's offerings with something by the Reverend. Reverend Al Green that is with the song What a Wonderful Thing Love Is.

Heaven 17 have featured on the shuffle before but not with Play to Win yet another excellent song from the brilliant Penthouse and Pavement album.

We conclude this week with The Walkmen and the stonking Lost in Boston.

More like this next Saturday.

Al Green - What a Wonderful Thing Love Is

Heaven 17 - Play to Win

The Walkmen - Lost in Boston

Friday 19 April 2024

The Home Nations 4


Looking at the meagre lists of songs I have by artists from Wales and Northern Ireland I don't think that I will get more than 6 weeks out of this series. In the meantime let's bash on.

England first (isn't it always?) I was going to post England's Glory by Max Wall until it dawned on me that I had a version by Ian Dury somewhere. Sure enough there is a live version as a bonus track on my CD copy of New Boots and Panties !!

Northern Ireland seems to have been well represented during the Punk era. In addition to the previously featured Undertones there was also Stiff Little Fingers. I couldn't not feature Alternative Ulster in this series.

As icons go there are few better than Alex Harvey the legendary Scottish lead singer from The Sensational Alex Harvey Band. Their Live album from 1975, recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon, remains one of me favourite live albums. Here is track 1 side 2 Give My Compliments to the Chef.

Welsh blue-eyed Soul singer Aimee Anne Duffy shone brightly for a couple of years with two great albums Rockferry (2008) and Endlessley (2010). She then disappeared as quickly as she has arrived and sadly seems to have had a somewhat troubled life since then. Here is Mercy , the second single from Rockferry, and a number one hit.

More next Friday hopefully.

Ian Dury - England's Glory (Live)

Stiff Little Fingers - Alternative Ulster

Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Give My Compliments to the Chef

Duffy - Mercy

Thursday 18 April 2024

Unknown Pleasures


Now before you get excited at the back it is not Unknown Pleasures the dirge from Joy Division but  rather Unknown Pleasures  a compilation by Uncut magazine of rare and classic tracks from the archives of Demon Records.

Just look at this tracklist It has been converted to a download with the intention of it going to charity as part of the Compilation Cull. However I have  just had a change of heart. As things stand I can't bear to part with it at this stage even although I have the vast majority of the songs elsewhere. I'm sure that it will go eventually but not just now.

God, this can be hard at times!

Three quarters of the 20 tracks are worthy of inclusion here today but with better will power than above I have restricted myself to three absolute belters.

Loudon Wainwright III - Your Mother And I

Edwyn Collins - You Poor Deluded Fool

Elvis Costello & the Attractions - Tokyo Storm Warning

Wednesday 17 April 2024



We were watching the latest series of the Norwegian crime drama  Wisting on BBC 4 on Saturday night.

In one scene the daughter of the main character was splitting up with her boyfriend. He was round collecting his stuff and bequeathed her a vinyl copy of A.M. by Wilco. She was so impressed that they both had  their clothes ripped off five minutes later.

I can't say that it has ever had that affect on me. From 1995 it is the debut album by the band set up by Jeff Tweedy following the break up of Uncle Tupelo.

I've only ever had a burn of it as I did not really get into the band  until the next two albums - Being There (1996) and Summerteeth (1999) when I really got into them big style.

I was having problems ripping the burned copy to MP3 so I downloaded  the Deluxe edition from 2017 which has remastered versions of the original 13 songs along with a further 7 plus one by Uncle Tupelo.

Here's three that were on the original number including the only single Box Full of Letters.

Wilco -Box Full of Letters

Wilco - Shouldn't Be Ashamed

Wilco -Passenger Side

Tuesday 16 April 2024

On the Buses - A Very Special Guest Post


Following incessant pressure from Ernie I am now including Buses as the next theme for Transport Tuesday.

I am totally humbled to say that we are starting proceedings with a very special guest post from our dear friend Brian of Linear Tracking Lives! fame. He still comments on blogs regularly but I think that this is the first time since he stepped down that he has offered up a guest post. And it is totally worth the wait.

Take it away Brian:

The above art is from a split 7" that came out in 1993 and is shared by German bands Die Fünf Freunde and Die Time Twisters, Verdammt!

The sleeve suggests otherwise, but none of the songs appearing on the 45 have anything to do with buses. The use of it today is merely a cheap plug for the wonderful song "Jetzt" by Die Fünf Freunde. Nearly a decade ago the song squeaked in at number 100 in my Top 100 Tracks from the 1990s

Now let's hop on some buses, and don't pull the cord too early because we are making stops in Australia, America, and the UK. No worries. Free transfers!

First up is late '80s Melbourne band Captain Cocoa, headed up by twin brothers Glenn and David O'Neil and a revolving door of musicians. The band's original recordings go for bags of cash these days. Fortunately, for those of us all about the jangle, trumpets and budgets, Firestation Records assembled a well-done compilation of their work in 2022. The lads make it clear the beautiful people are not welcome on their route with the splendid "Barbies Off the Bus."

Captain Cocoa - Barbies of the Bus

I picked up one boxed set in 2023, and it has given me hours of pleasure. The 1985 album 'Tim’ from The Replacements receives a  new mix from Ed Stasium, and the original album loses its cloudy sound with a crisp remaster. There is also an entire disc of rare and unreleased tracks and another disc containing a live show from my old stomping ground, Cabaret Metro in Chicago, circa 1986. Nearly as important is the lengthy booklet telling the jaw-dropping tale of the band's self sabotage in front of every major label only to have Seymour Stein save the day. We know CC has earned his bus pass, but Paul Westerberg sings of a different kind of pass with "Kiss Me on the Bus." Here is a decidedly louder and less melodic studio outtake.

The Replacements - Kiss Me on the Bus

One downside of retiring a blog is you tend to lose touch with your online pals. Even though we haven't conversed in a long while, I thought of our mutual friend, The Swede , the moment this bus idea popped up. We have a shared love of Robyn Hitchcock, and Hitchcock is a man who loves a good mode of transportation, particularly trains and buses. I envy the Swede for seeing Hitchcock perform at a venue as unique as the Ipswich Transport Museum, and our chum chose the same song to accompany his post about the show as I thought of for this post on buses." Raymond and the Wires" is Hitchcock's vivid recollection of a trolley-bus ride he took with his dad in 1964. This one tugs at the heartstrings. I dedicate this pick to the Swede. Let's catch up soon, friend.

Robyn Hitchcock - Raymond and the Wires

 Last stop takes us to Preston and a record shop that has been around for more than 40 years. Action Records has been a label as well, releasing music by the Fall, Boo Radleys and today's choice, indie popsters Big Red Bus. I didn't really know this band until the turn of the century when a song popped up on the first volume of 'The Sound of Leamington Spa' series. Big Red Bus released a scant two 12" singles and a mini album between 1989 and 1991, and that's it. One song appears on Cherry Red's 'C89' box, and Firestation released a band compilation on CD in 2017. I never imagined I would ever see any of their original releases in a shop. Inexplicably, I found the mini album while on vacation in Palm Springs a few years ago. It was a good day.

Thanks, CC. Looking forward to seeing more buses leaving the depot on these pages.

Big Red Bus - Cathedral Walls

CC writes

The thanks are all mine Brian. It is an honour and a privilege to host you on these pages.

Another guest post will feature next Tuesday


Monday 15 April 2024

U.S. Highball


In December 2021 I saw Dropkick for the first time at a sparsely populated Hug and Pint. The were supported by Hugh Sturgeon & the Infomaniacs and U.S Highball

U.S Highball were on first. Two quirky Glasgow lads (James Hindle and Calvin Halliday) pootering about on synths for about 20 minutes. It didn't do much for me at the time

A good while later out of curiosity I downloaded their 2023 album No Thievery, Just Cool. I then forgot all about it until fairly recently when I got round to giving it a listen.

Quirky yes and a bit twee but also surprisingly catchy and good fun. "Is that Teenage Fanclub?" Mrs CC asked. A good shout but I would have them more in the BMX Bandits camp. It seems that they have a bit of a cult following and the good folk in Monorail appear to be fans.

So too is our dear friend Brian who I know is also a fan and it is payback for something which will appear here tomorrow.

U.S Highball - Irresponsible Holiday

U.S. Highball - Paris 2019

Sunday 14 April 2024

Sunday Highway Songs 2


One good thing about Sunday's is that the highways are usually quieter than normal.

Kicking off the Highway songs for this week are The Doors with Queen of the Highway from their Morrison Hotel album. A song called Highway Queen is scheduled to appear later in this series .

Next up is Joe Pug with Highway Patrolman. If you are thinking " hang on, is that not a Springsteen song?" you are not wrong there. Joe's version is taken from a compilation/ tribute album Return to Nebraska acknowledging the Boss' greatest album.

Finally, for this week it is the turn of the great Lefty Frizzell. He often wore his heart on his sleeve but today it's on the highway.

We will be hitting the highway again next Sunday.

The Doors - Queen of the Highway

Joe Pug - Highway Patrolman

Lefty Frizzell - Heart's Highway

Saturday 13 April 2024

Saturday Shuffle 49


I had a major catastrophe when I was at the gym yesterday. The MP3 player had run out of gas and I was subjected to the dross which pumps out of the speakers. I must have left it on the last time I used it.

When I got home the first thing I did was charge it and I did a shuffle while this took place.

First out the hat was a bit of glam. From 1973 here is a song written by Ian Hunter and performed by Mott the Hoople. Roll Away the Stone entered the charts on 24th November 1973 and stayed there for 12 weeks peaking at number 8. I played my small part in this as I bought the single.

Something a lot more up to date for the second offering. From earlier on this this year in fact . Present Tense is taken from The Shakes the most recent album by Glasgow's Savage Mansion

Finally a song which I am much less familiar with. Along Comes Mary by The Association is taken from a compilation which has appeared here a few times before Jon Savage's 1966 - The Year the Decade Exploded. It was a top ten hit in the US but did not trouble the UK charts.

The half century Shuffle will be along next Saturday

Mott the Hoople - Roll Away the Stone

Savage Mansion - Present Tense

The Association - Along Comes Mary

NB - you very nearly got 53 Miles West of Venus by the B52's until I noticed that it had appeared on Saturday Shuffle 23

Friday 12 April 2024

The Home Nations - 3


I remembered this week!

As per the last two times  the nations will feature in alphabetical order to stop accusations of bias or favouritism.

Therefore we start with England - not because it is the biggest and thinks it is superior to the others - but because it is the first of the four alphabetically.

We will start this week with the wonderful PJ Harvey with the title track from her excellent 2011 album Let England  Shake. I kind of lost touch with her after this one, something I should probably try to rectify.

Next we are off to Downpatrick, County Down in Northern Ireland the hometown of the band Ash. Although they have had many great songs and albums they have never bettered Girl From Mars from their 1996 debut album 1977.

Kenny Anderson aka King Creosote was commissioned to produce a soundtrack to the documentary From Scotland with Love. Mrs CC and I were privileged to see him perform the album in its entirety at a eerie Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow in March 2020 a couple of days prior to lockdown. Here is his homage to the Ayrshire seaside town of Largs.

Finally we have the Super Furry Animals a Welsh band who are even better than The Stereophonics. Hard to believe I know but it's true.

More jingoistic nonsense next Friday.

PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

Ash - Girl From Mars

King Creosote -Largs

Super Furry Animals - Hermann Loves Pauline

Thursday 11 April 2024

The Trouble Tree


The Missing Haul - Freedy Johnston - The Trouble Tree

I was stood at the till in Missing when the chap behind it advised that he couldn't find the CD by Willie Campbell of Astrid fame which I'd hoped to buy. This was a first for me although how they find anything given the quantity of CDs and albums they have is a mystery to me.

I therefore had to pick up something else as part of a 3 for £5 package and I opted for The Trouble Tree the 1990 debut album by Freedy Johnson on the Bar/None label.

I've had the 1992 follow up Can You Fly for years and it is a big favourite of mine. So much so that I chose it as one of the 50 Americana Albums to Hear Before you Die series.

After a first couple of listens I'm still unsure about The Trouble Tree .It's a bit raw. Reviews range from 4/5 by Allmusic to 1/5 by The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. I'm somewhere in the middle

Trouser Press write that  it captures Johnston’s wheedling and whiny voice in extreme close-up, forcing listeners to seek refuge in overextended wordplay and spare guitar-based arrangements whereas The Spin Alternative Record Guide called it raw-sounding, infatuated with dangerous sorts, and a bit unformed lyrically.

Hopefully it will be a grower.

It appears to have two different covers. The one pictured above is the one I have.

Freedy Johnston -Gina

Freedy Johnston - Little Red Haired Girl

Wednesday 10 April 2024

Mike Mills Presens ....


I'm cracking on with the cull of compilation CDs currently in boxes as there is no room for them on the shelves.

As things stand about 40 or so, mostly from Mojo and Uncut, have been downloaded on to the hard-drive and stuck on a memory stick prior to going to charity (hidden under clothing in case they are reluctant to take them!.)

The R.E.M Collection Disc 1 - Mike Mills Presents an Uncut compilation from July 2005 was on the pile and very nearly went before I had second thoughts. 

The reason? Just look at this tracklist. The vast majority of the 14 tracks are from bands that I have a great deal of time for. I probably already have about half the tracks  but I couldn't let it go.

It is appeared on these pages once before when Green on Red and Jason & the Scorchers featured. This time round it is the turn of The Dream Syndicate, The Replacements and the Long Ryders.

Mr Mills certainly has good taste

The Dream Syndicate - Medicine Show

The Replacements - I Will Dare

The Long Ryders - And She Rides

The Blasters are on the phone - they want a word!

Tuesday 9 April 2024

Caravan Club (Slight Return) - A Guest Post


I'm delighted to say that we are concluding this series with a guest post from Dubhead himself. And no doublers from Rol's contribution last week. Take it away Khayem

Yanked from the conveyor belt, metres away from the compactor, here’s half a dozen caravan

songs that nearly ended up as neat-but-heavy cubes of crushed metal.

I have a long relationship with caravans: many childhood holidays in Weymouth, Clan K excursions

to Dorset and Pembrokeshire in the late 2000s. Lots of happy memories.

In the 1990s, an ex-girlfriend bagged a relative’s caravan in Dorset and whisked me away for a

romantic weekend. I don’t know what was more odd:

that said caravan was reminiscent of the one featured in that Father Ted episode ;

that was my girlfriend’s idea of a romantic weekend (though we were pretty broke at the time); or


after a quick obligatory stop en route, my grandad gifted us with a 4-pound bag of runner beans,

plucked from his back garden. I kid you not, by day 3, we had pizza topped with runner beans and

still had plenty to bring home.

None of which I think has ever been successfully captured in song. However, here are half a dozen


Karl Wallinger, who sadly passed on 10th March, may well have had a similar experience, his song

You're a Hurricane , I'm  a Caravan appearing on World Party’s 2000 album, Dumbing Up.

If that isn’t quite evoking a cinematic experience for you, how about Juliette Dans La Caravane by

French hipsters The Limiñanas and Laurent Garnier from their 2021 album De Película?

Speaking of films, the first time I heard Duke Ellington’s 1936 classic was a cover version by the

Arthur Lyman Group which featured in the Clooney & Pitt remake of Ocean’s Eleven. But I’m not

going to share either of those. Instead you get the John Buzon Trio’s 1959 cover version, remixed

in 1999 by Eat Static. The latter were possibly staying in a caravan with the windows closed and

the bong on the go when they recorded this version.

Possibly under the influence of other mind-altering substances, Jim Morrison took to addressing

his caravan in the first person, beseeching it to carry him away to Portugal and Spain and “fields

full of grain” (but presumably not the rain that falls mainly on the plain). The rest of The Doors

indulged Jim’s nonsense ramblings by providing some beautiful music.

Last but not least, a couple of plain Caravan songs from John Cale (2003) and Inspiral Carpets

(1991) before the conveyor belt is fired up again and the hollow husks of holiday homes are tossed

back on to meet their fate.

World Party - You're a Hurricane, I'm a Caravan

The Liminanas/Laurent Garnier - Juliette Dans La Caravane

John Buzon Trio - Caravan (Eat Static Mix)

The Doors -Spanish Caravan

John Cale - Caravan

Inspiral Carpets - Caravan

CC writes:

Many thanks Khayem for bringing this series to an end. Swiss Adam will be happy to see the Inspiral Carpets getting an airing.

Monday 8 April 2024

Ghost on Ghost


The Missing Haul - Iron and Wine - Ghost on Ghost 

I've got a couple of things by Iron and Wine the nom de plume of Sam Beam - a burn of Our Endless Numbered Days coupled with the EP Sea and the Rhythm, a charity shop copy of The Shepherds Dog here and Years to Burn the LP he recorded with Calexico. All of which I enjoy.

It therefore made sense to pick up a copy of the 5th studio album Ghost to Ghost from 2013 on the 4AD label.

Wiki writes - Ghost on Ghost exhibits jazz, pop, and R&B influences and contains a more relaxed style and approach in comparison to Beam's previous two albums, which he felt contained an "anxious tension" he wanted to move away from.

And therein lies the rub. I've no objection to artists experimenting and trying different things, But in this case it does not always work for me to the extent that it sounds dangerously like Jack Johnson in places.

The critics disagree with the Metacritic aggregator giving it a very credible 76/100. Maybe I'm being too harsh after a first listen and it will grow on me over time. I hope so. I'm clearly missing the anxious tension. Further listens are required.

Iron and Wine - Caught in the Briars

Iron and Wine - Sundown (Back in the Briars)

Sunday 7 April 2024

Sunday Highway Songs


While sorting out some Mojo and Uncut CDs to go to charity I stumbled across a version of Lost Highway by Billy Bob Thornton. This got me thinking as to how many versions of this song I have. Quite a lot is the answer.

There are probably enough for a Single Song Sunday but I don't want to tread on Ernie's toes. Therefore I looked at all songs I have with Highway in the title and there are a barrel load. Certainly enough to keep a series going for a good few weeks.

Let's start then with Billy Bob. Then we have a couple of Scottish acts to keep him company The blues rock band Stone the Crows , who included Alex Harvey's brother Les and Maggie Bell among their members, weigh in with On the Highway. Finally we have the Radio Sweethearts a band I saw at King Tuts countless times supporting Americana acts with their single Heading on Down the Highway.

We will be heading down some more highways next Sunday.

Billy Bob Thornton - Lost Highway

Stone the Crows - On the Highway

Radio Sweethearts - Heading On Down the Highway

Saturday 6 April 2024

Saturday Shuffle 48

Another week, another shuffle.

The Isley Brothers are getting a bit ahead of themselves with Summer Breeze. Given that the clocks have gone forward I know that it is technically Spring but I am not prepared to accept that until it actually stops raining. It's well seen that the kids are off school for the Easter holidays!

A bit of disco should cheer us all up and take our minds off the rain. Here is the great British disco diva Maxine Nightingale with the brilliant Right Back Where We Started From.

Who knew that The Clash were massive basketball fans? Certainly not me. The Washington Bullets were a basketball team from 1974 to 1995 when they were re-named the Washington Wizards because of the violent overtones of the word bullet. It's just a pity that the vast majority of their American brothers are not similarly sensitive.

More Shuffling next Saturday

The Isley Brothers -Summer Breeze

Maxine Nightingale -Right Back Where We Started From

The Clash - Washington Bullets

Friday 5 April 2024

The Home Nations - a Belated Follow Up


A couple of weeks ago I posted a piece about the Home Nations with a view to starting a new series. I then completely forgot all about it and it was only a brief trawl through previous posts which jolted my memory.

As per the last time the nations will feature in alphabetical order to stop accusations of bias or favouritism.

Therefore we will start with England and who better to feature than the late great Kirsty MacColl with her interpretation of Billy Bragg's New England. I'm sure that Billy would concede that her version is better than his.

Last week the Undertones represented Northern Ireland .This time round it is the grumpy Irishman himself Sir George Ivan Morrison. He is accompanied by the Chieftains on Carrickfergus from their collaborative album Irish Heartbeat.

Lest I be accused of bigging up my home country Scotland here are indie darlings Ballboy with I Hate Scotland.

Last but by no means  least it is time for Welsh royalty with none other that the legend that is Cerys Matthews. Here she is with Gyrru's Ychen which according to Wiki translates as driving oxen. It sounds much better in Welsh.

A further Home Nations round up next Friday - if I remember.

Kirsty MacColl - New England

Van Morrison & the Chieftains - Carrickfergus

Ballboy - I Hate Scotland

Cerys Matthews - Gyrru'r Ychen

Thursday 4 April 2024

Helplessness Blues


Like the world and his wife I got caught up in the hype in 2008 and bought the Fleet Foxes eponymous debut album.

I subsequently got a copy of the follow up 2011's Helplessness Blues on Sub Pop/Bella Union from the library. I burnt it, played it a couple of times, and then filed it away on the Folk/Singer-Songwriter shelves where it has subsequently gathered dust for a good few years

The other day I converted the burn to a download to save space and thought that I should give it a listen. I must confess to not recognising any of the tunes and none particularly jumped out.

I am maybe in a minority in  being pretty underwhelmed as it was lauded by the vast majority of the critics and has a very impressive score of 85/100 on the Metacritic Aggregator and featured in pretty much every list of the top 50 albums of the year.

I've no regrets about demoting it to a digital only format.

Fleet Foxes - Lorelai

Fleet Foxes - Blue Spotted Tail

It's better than Knocked Down Loaded!

Wednesday 3 April 2024

Knocked Out Loaded


The Missing Haul - Bob Dylan - Knocked Out Loaded

One of my long term projects is to acquire the entire catalogue of Bob Dylan's studio albums preferably cheaply.

I'm doing reasonably well. I think that I now have 25 out of the 40 of them. Missing is a good place to fill in some of the blanks at a reasonable price.

As you can see above my latest acquisition is Knocked Out Loaded his 24th from 1986 and as always on the Columbia label.

It got panned by the critics and probably rightly so as this was not one of the best periods in Bob's long and normally illustrious career, This was reflected in the sales only reaching number 53 in the US and  35 in the UK. Only Rolling Stone appears to give it more than 2 out of 5. Even they say  Less bad than pointless, Knocked Out Loaded will prove most satisfying to those content to expect the very least from it.

If it wasn't part of this project I suspect that it may have been going back .If this was your introduction to Dylan you wouldn't go any further.

It will be interesting to see if anyone leaps to its defence. I won't be holding my breath.

Bob Dylan - Driftin' Too Far From Shore

Bob Dylan - Maybe Someday

Tuesday 2 April 2024

The Caravan Club - A Guest Post


I was just about to give up on this mode of transport and move on to buses when just like buses two guest posts came along at once.

First off here's Rol a man who never shirks a challenge

I don’t really see the appeal of caravans. They seem to exist just to slow down the

traffic on narrow country lanes. Also, I used to write radio ads for a large caravan

company, and the guy who ran it was a bit of a knob. Put me off them for life.

I like caravan songs though, so I was disappointed when CC called time on his

Caravan Club after just a couple of weeks. Here’s an extension then… like one of

those big awnings people stick on the front of their caravans to make them feel extra


We’ll start with Luke Haines, who seems like exactly the sort of contrary curmudgeon

who would enjoy snarling up the traffic on a Bank Holiday Monday, though I’m sure

he restricts his holidays to the south of England as he doesn’t like going further than

Watford Gap.

Luke Haines - Caravan Man

Haines will probably bump into Essex lad Darren Hayman on many a south coast

caravan site. They probably have plots reserved, right next to each other, and just

across from the shower block. Hayman used to be the main man in Hefner, but I

guess he got sick of the rest of the band eating all his Pringles, so now he caravans

on his own.

Darren Hayman - Caravan Song

Folk star Mick Softley is another Essex lad, though sadly he won’t be joining Luke

and Darren on their holidays, as he went off to the great caravan park in the sky

back in 2017.

Mick Softley – Caravan

Mick Softly - Caravan

The Teens were Germany’s answer to the Bay City Rollers, apparently. I bet they got

up extra early to make sure they reserved the best plot on the site.

The Teens - Gypsy Caravan

Finally, a wonderful mash-up I came across many years ago somewhere on the

blogosphere, mixing Caravan of Love by The Housemartins (as previously featured

here) with This Charming Man by The Smiths. Children of the 80s: this is your


10,000 Spoons - This Charming Caravan

CC writes:

Thanks Rol - that awning certainly did the job. Five songs that are new to me and all excellent in their own way (the last one being somewhat unique!)

Another guest will be joining the Caravan Club next Transport Tuesday

Monday 1 April 2024

Sometimes I Wish I Never Heard the Rolling Stones


I can't name names but someone very kindly forwarded me a copy of Glasgow Eyes by The Jesus and Mary Chain. I am not particularly a fan  of the band but like the curate's egg it is good in parts.

One particular song which appealed to me was The Eagles and The Beatles which seems to more about the Rolling Stones.

This got me thinking  of other songs where the Stones get a namecheck. The most obvious one is the song by Michael Hall and the Woodpeckers which lends its name to this post title 

Finally a couple where they feature briefly. From the album Halcyon Days I give you Jason & the Scorchers with Moonshine Guy/Releasing  Celtic Prisoners where they like the Stones and hate the Doors and think The Beatles sing for girls.

In 1977 The Clash are less than impressed with Elvis, Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

No doubt Rol could provide another  20 or 30 but that will do me for now.

The Jesus and Mary Chain - The Eagles and the Beatles

Michael Hall & the Woodpeckers - Sometimes I Wish I Never Heard the Rolling Stones

Jason & the Scorchers - Moonshine Guy/Releasing Celtic Prisoners

The Clash - 1977