Category Archives: Music

Week 49 – TBT 2017 – Fields of Fire

We’ve just had St Andrews Day, so it makes sense that I choose a Scottish (sort of) band for this week’s entry. The reason I say “sort of” is because, although often referred to as Scottish, only Stuart Adamson and Bruce Watson – the guitarists in the band – were Scots. Bassist Tony Butler and drummer Mark Brzezicki were English. Listening to Tony and Mark had a big influence on me wanting to be a drummer or bassist.

I’ve chosen this track because it’s one of my favourites, and because the video shows the incredible energy that surged through the crowd at a Big Country gig. I love the interaction the band members have with each other and the way they feed off the crowd – and vice versa. This was recorded at Glasgow’s Barrowlands Ballroom – The Barras – which regular readers will know I enjoy as a venue. Watch the video, and try to imagine you’re near the front enjoying the show…

Fields of Fire – Big Country

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Week 48 – TBT 2017 – Ca Plane Pour Moi

Here’s a question. How cheesy do you like your music? And how cheesy can you possibly make a punk song and its associated video? I think this is the answer!

Although singing in French, Plastic Bertrand is Belgian. The song is well known for it’s catchy ooo-ooo-ooo-ooh vocals. As I don’t speak French I’ve been blissfully unaware of the meaning of the lyrics. Nevertheless, it’s a bright, bouncy song and I hope you enjoy it! I’ve got the 7″ single of this still…

Ca Plane Pour Moi – Plastic Bertrand

Week 47 – TBT 2017 – Cloudbusting

There’s a very haunting quality about Kate Bush’s vocals at the best of times, and it comes through very well on this song. Perhaps not as big a hit as Withering Heights, Babushka or Wow, but I still really like this one.

I hadn’t realised at the time, but part of the video is shot at the Uffington White Horse, probably England’s most famous chalk carving. There are glimpses of Dragon Hill too, where some legends say that St George slew the dragon. It’s actually just down the hill from the horse, and the whole area is a really mystical place to visit.

Cloudbusting – Kate Bush

Week 46 – TBT 2017 – Tubular Bells

After last week’s trip down memory lane with an electronic classic, I couldn’t ignore this track / album. Known by many as the theme from The Exorcist, this is a vast, soaring piece of work. It’s remarkable for many reasons, not least of which are that this was Mike Oldfield’s first album, he was a teenager when he originally recorded it, and he played every instrument himself. That’s just exceptional, in my opinion.  

Where’s best to listen to this though? I used to have a B&O stereo in my car, and cranking the volume up – particularly with the bass guitar but especially with the church organ – was such a spine tingling time it made sitting in traffic a real pleasure! Perhaps best of all is to lie down in a darkened room and just let the sound wash over you. 

I’ve found it to be quite an emotional piece at times, especially when I’ve made a point of doing nothing other than just listening to and losing myself in the music. 

Tubular Bells – Mike Oldfield

Week 45 – TBT 2017 – Oxygene 4

This track takes back to my school days. I recall the occasions when a TV set would be rolled in to the classroom and we’d sit and watch some programme or other from the Open University or specifically for schools. It would be on the (relatively) new channel of BBC2 – in those days we only had 3 channels in the UK. For some reason this track was often played as a sort of “hold” music while we waited for the programme to begin, this being long before video recorders. 

In the past I’ve owned the whole album, but I think this is the best track from it. 

Oxygene 4 – Jean Michel Jarre


Week 44 – TBT 2017 – Eighth Day

Towards the end of the punk era there were some fairly bleak films made, like Jubilee.  They were gradually replaced – as the music was – by more futuristic, technology driven films and sounds. This track is taken from the film Breaking Glass, which starred Hazel O’Connor. She also sang a large portion of the soundtrack, which in my opinion blends some of the punk ideals with the new (for those days) electronic music. 

Hazel O’Connor didn’t have the same commercial success as, say, Toyah, but this track stands the test of time well I think,

Eighth Day – Hazel O’Connor

 

Week 43 – TBT 2017 – Run to the Hills

This is a bit of a classic from the 80s. With its distinctive riff and incredible vocals, it’s instantly recognisable. For me, Steve Harris doesn’t get as much recognition as he deserves as a song writer but also as a musician. His bass lines are brilliant, fluid and galloping. For someone who plays finger style, it’s unusual to use three fingers rather than two. That’s the secret to his sound, and I can’t recreate it as my ring finger won’t work independently!

I wasn’t really a metal fan when growing up, but I used to love this track, and still do. It’s great that the plight of Native Americans was being raised to the general public even in the UK back then. I think more can be done, but recognising that Westerners stole land and resources that wasn’t theirs is a good start. 

Iron Maiden – Run to the Hills