Tag Archives: tbt

Week 37 – TBT 2017 – R-E-S-P-E-C-T

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! 

Respect – Aretha Franklin

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Week 36 – TBT 2017 – When you’re gone

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! 

Bryan Adams featuring Mel C – When you’re gone

Week 35 – TBT 2017 – Staring at the rude boys

Last weekend Dee and I were in Belfast for Stiff Little Fingers‘ (SLF) homecoming gig on their 40th Anniversary tour.  They had a great supporting cast of The Stranglers, The Outcasts and this week’s TBT selection, Ruts DC.

The original Ruts were also around during the punk days, and probably best known for Babylon’s Burning.  Their lead singer died of an overdose, and their guitarist died about 10 years ago. Now a 3 piece band, with the original bassist (Segs Jennings) and drummer (Dave Ruffy), their set had some of their old classics and some newer numbers which sounded great.  The DC in their name is from the musical notation Da Coda, or “go back to the beginning”.

I had the pleasure of seeing Jennings and Ruffy last year when they did an acoustic tour as part of Dead Men Walking, along with Jake Burns from SLF and Kirk Brandon from Theatre of Hate. That was a very intimate gig: Saturday’s was the opposite!

The gig was sold out, with over 5000 tickets for an outdoor event.  The weather gods looked kindly on us, and the gig gods were even kinder. I spent the whole gig in the front row, right in the middle: I was in seventh heaven.  And to cap it all off, Ruts DC were staying in my hotel and I had the pleasure of meeting Segs the next morning.

On the Dead Men Walking tour, they talked about this song,  It was based on a real night out that they were at, along with Jake from SLF and others, where a serious fight broke out and all the various factions got involved.  The song itself is very textured, and tells the story really well.  I hope you enjoy it!

The Ruts – Staring at the Rude Boys

Week 34 – TBT 2017 – Hazy Shade of Winter

With my penchant for cover versions, it’s perhaps not surprising that this brilliant Simon and Garfunkel song should make an appearance along with Mrs Robinson from a few weeks back.

I love this version with its catchy guitar riff and layered vocals. I think it adds depth to the original, which was pretty good on its own. 

I first saw The Bangles on The Tube a while before they really made their name in the UK. I think the song they played was Going down to Liverpool and I really enjoyed their sound. Even now it’s quiet unusual to see a band, playing instruments, which is entirely female: there definitely weren’t many back then. 

I like the connection that Michael Steele, the bassist, has with Joan Jett and Lita Ford. They all played in The Runaways back in the 1970s with moderate success. One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about music is the connection between bands and how people move from one to another.

Anyhoo, enjoy this blast from the past…

Hazy Shade of Winter – The Bangles

Week 33 – TBT 2017 – London Calling


Sticking with the punk theme from last week, I thought I’d share this classic track from The Clash.  Not just because the bassline is excellent, but because the photo that goes with it has become iconic in its own right.  

Paul Simenon is in the process of smashing his bass – presumably at the end of the gig – and I think the image has such powerful energy and makes a statement all on its own.  

I played this track with a covers band a few years back, and had it as my ringtone for ages (I now have an AC/DC tune, but that’s for another week!).  For all that the bassline is a classic, and is so much fun to play, I can also state from experience that if the guitarists don’t play with some attitude the song becomes a bit bland. The song is crying out to be played with passion, with a swagger, and if you don’t play it that way it loses a lot of its power.  

I should probably state for posterity that, for all I like(d) punk, I was never a massive fan of The Clash.  They just didn’t seem to “do it” for me in the same way that other bands – notably SLF, the Sex Pistols, The Damned or Siouxsie and the Banshees – did.  It’s almost heresy to admit that, according to some fans, but we all like what we like, right?  

Anyhow, here it is: enjoy! 

London Calling – The Clash

Week 32 – TBT 2017 – Nice ‘n Sleazy

One of the tunes I use when warming up prior to rehearsal or practice is this one. Only the intro, but it gets the fingers and hands moving well I think. The sound is unmistakably The Stranglers, and is a really dirty, grungy tone which I love. I’ve written before about how much I like JJ Burnel’s playing, and this is one of the classic examples that illustrate why. The first few notes are enough to give me goosebumps. I hope you enjoy it too!

Nice ‘n Sleazy – The Stranglers

Week 31 – TBT 2017 – When your heart stops beating

I can’t believe this song is 8 years old!  Where has all that time gone?  Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus from Blink 182 are the rhythm section of a band called +44, and this is arguably their only “big” hit.  I’m not sure why they named the band after the international dialling code for the UK, but it’s short and punchy, and I guess followed a bit of a trend back then for band names with numbers in them – or at least being called “The” something…

The song is pretty short but full of dynamic energy: the video shows Barker’s drumming power and complex rhythms really well.  I particularly like the break in the middle where the instruments each have a go, and a form of musical tension is built up.  This would be really interesting for a live band to play, as they’d need to be very tight to pull it off properly.  

Hope you’re ready for a good pogo and jump around – I am!  

+44 – When Your Heart Stops Beating