I’ve mentioned before that I often listen to podcasts when travelling, and this track has been used on one of my favourite series for a few months now. The series is called The Social Engineer Podcast and never ceases to be fascinating. They have some really interesting guests talking about a range of aspects around social engineering and psychology, and a while back even had the lead singer of this band on. Oddly enough, there were connections to be made between singing to a crowd and social engineering, and it was an engaging talk. Check out the podcasts, recommended reading and more here.
The band are called Clutch, and from what I can tell have been going for quite a few years. I like the fact that this sounds like it’s quite laid back till you actually listen to the lyrics. Maybe it’s because the riff is repeated so often, but I’ve found it very catchy and draws you in. I hope you like it! Son of Virginia – Clutch
Try finding this on Spotify or iTunes and I doubt you’ll be able to get the original. But for some reason it’s all over YouTube, which is just as well for us!
As a regular ice cream eater, I thought it would be fun to include a song that has “ice cream van” in the lyrics in my TBT series. The song itself is relatively simple, but has a great riff, and Tammy Wynette’s voice goes perfectly with it. Chill out and enjoy the Kings of the Low Frequency – KLF – who also appeared as The Timelords singing Doctorin the Tardis…
This one is just for Dee. It’s “our song”, and I love her very much.
I guess Ive been a bit of a blues and soul mood recently, and this song just oozes quality. Such wonderful lyrics and so well sung. And the lyrics are just how I feel about Dee. It’s awesome, just like my lady,
How are you doing this week? Still on a high from listening to Aretha last week? Let’s keep the flying going with this track, also seen in The Blues Brothers. John Lee Hooker gives a great performance here, and the crowd help illustrate the passion and joy in the music.
This song appears to be all about a youngster who is having problems at home because all he wants to do is play music. His parents finally relent and the youngster is elated. The structure of the song is very simple, as most blues is, but from that simplicity it draws great power.
Oh, and it helps that I think that John Lee Hooker has a great voice, perfectly suited to his songs.
After years of listening to not much more than punk and goth music, my formative years were massively improved when I saw The Blues Brothers. The combination of great music and comedy combined to making it my favourite film of all time. Listening to all those quality musicians playing timeless classics – who could fail but be moved by them.
I’d hate to try to grade them in terms of which song / act is my favourite, but this track by Aretha Franklin is just awesome. She makes singing with such power, such passion, seem effortless. She doesn’t shout, but just seems to generate so much feeling in her delivery.
Don’t we all need to show – and receive – a little respect, especially in these days of online shaming and what seems to be a lot of hate and distrust. Enjoy this: the original was 1967, hence there’s no video!
OK, so this is another guilty secret of mine. I really like Melanie Chisholm’s voice (she’s better known as Mel C aka Sporty Spice from the Spice Girls). In this track I think it complements Bryan Adam’s rougher vocals and the contrast works really well. Someday I’d like to cover this in a band, as I think it’s just a great rock song which a lot of people probably don’t know they know, and will dance to it anyway!
Oh, and by the way, don’t read anything into the lyrics. I just love the song and thought Id share it with you this week!
Back in March I posted about how long it takes to recover from being at the front at a punk gig. I’m thinking now that maybe it was a one off, and here’s why.
Last weekend, the same band – Stiff Little Fingers – played a homecoming gig in Belfast, Northern Ireland as part of their 40th Anniversary celebrations. The venue was outdoors, in Custom House Square, and the capacity was around 5000. When tickets went on sale, over 3000 were snapped up in the first 48 hours – I got two, one for me and one for my friend S – and all 5000 were sold out long before the event. Dee came for the weekend but had decided that she didn’t want to join us at the gig.
The support acts were not too shabby: Belfast’s very own The Outcasts, Ruts DC (best known for Babylon’s Burning) and The Stranglers, who had their 40th Anniversary a couple of years back. I hadn’t seen the first two before, so I was looking forward to hearing them: I wasn’t disappointed.
S and I met up around lunchtime and took in some of the sights (pubs) in Belfast. It seemed like everyone in the city was wearing a tshirt or something related to one of the four bands, and the atmosphere was brilliant. We moved to the pub nearest the venue a couple of hours before the gates were due to open and joined the throng of cheerful fans.
For the last couple of years Jake Burns, SLF’s lead singer and only ever present in the band, has worn a black shirt with white polka dots when gigging. Someone on the SLF forum on Facebook thought it might be fun if fans turned up wearing something similar. Eventually it was decided that we’d all meet up near the gig venue an hour before gates opened for a polka dot photo. There were 50 – 60 people in polka dot shirts (S and myself included) who congregated at The Big Fish (officially called The Salmon of Knowledge) on the banks of the river Lagan, and everyone was in a happy and excitable mood.
Once photos had been taken, people either went back to the pub or, as S and I did, started queuing to get in to the venue. Once we got in, we headed straight for the merchandise stall and each bought a tshirt which had been specially produced for the gig: as it turns out, they were sold out very early on, such was the demand (more are being printed now, for a limited time only).
We then turned the corner and saw that there were hardly any people in ahead of us, so managed to secure a spot against the barrier at the very front, right in the middle of the stage. This was a prime position and we were very surprised to have captured it.
As the various bands came and went, the venue filled up and the press from behind grew stronger and stronger – but we didn’t lose our spot. Cue SLF, and the place went wild: there was a general frenzy of singing, pogoing, chanting – everyone totally blessed out on the music and the fact that we were there, in Belfast, where it all began for our favourite band. What could be better? What could ever top that?
From a music perspective, possibly nothing. But, the whole experience was enhanced by a couple of things. First off, at the end of the gig, I managed to get a hold of Jake’s set list, which is now framed and on my wall. Second, it turns out that the Ruts were staying at our hotel, and I managed to grab a few words with their bassist and got a couple of photos with him. Third, I found the exact spot – not far from the hotel as it happens – where the photo for SLF’s latest album, No Going Back, was taken: I of course had to get a photo of me taken there. And fourth, we found Hope Street, which is the title of a song and album by SLF.
At the end of the gig, the crowd dispersed, still on a high and in very good humour. Since then, my Facebook feed has been full of praise for the city of Belfast, for the welcome the fans received, and plaudits for how good the gig was. Just imagine that: a punk gig with 5000 people and no trouble, no fighting, no bad temperedness. Everyone was just glad to be there.
I described in my article in March how I’d been battered and bruised by being in the second row at the gig at the Barras, so how do you think I fared being in the front row at a gig that had more than double the attendance? I was absolutely fine. Other than temporary deafness which went after a day or so – and which would have happened even if I was further back – I had no ill effects. My legs were fine, elbows weren’t damaged and there were no bumps or bruises to speak of.
So, this begs the question – when I next go to an SLF gig, will be at the front again? You bet!