Thursday, May 31, 2007


Primavera 2007

Sea, sex, sun and rock 'n' roll.
Barcelona here I come!
The Pogues - 'Fiesta'
La Mano Negra - 'Indos De Barcelona'

Monday, May 28, 2007


Peel Sessions 55

Gallon Drunk, great name, great band. I had what I would consider to have had the good luck to have seen them live, they were only the support band but after their full frontal audio and visual assault on the unsuspecting audience the headliner PJ Harvey had her work cut out to follow them! They hailed from London and started gigging at the beginning of the 90's and displayed a spiritual fondness of North London pubs as their chosen venues being particularly fond of Camden Town. Musically speaking their sound was a tense, nervous, violent soundtrack to an imaginary film noir set in 1950's London. Retro maybe in influence but still very much up to date in spirit. It came as no surprise that band leader James Johnston was requisitioned by Nick Cave as live guitarist in 1994, finally becoming a fully fledged Bad Seed in 2003. The band have been out and about playing selected gigs for the last few years, and their first three albums, the early singles compilation 'Tonite.... The Singles Bar', 'You The Night And The Music' and their 1993 masterpiece 'From The Heart Of The Town' have recently been given the CD re-looking treatment along with the obligatory bonus tracks by Satorical Records. During the broadcast of Their only Peel session in July 1981 the DJ felt moved enough to say "Why? Because they don't sound like anyone else". here are the four tracks to let latecomers judge for themselves.
1. 'Ruby'
2. 'Some Fools Mess'
3. 'Drag 91'
4. 'Two Wings Mambo'

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


The Family Cat

Not the most handsome looking of bands were they? Though they were capable of making some fine guitar led pop rock that did the indie ghetto proud in the early 90's though for some inexplicable reason failed to trouble the main stream. My introduction to them came rather belatedly as I managed to miss out on the initial interest that was caused by their name checking debut single, 'Tom Verlaine' from 1989, I had definitely read about it but maybe because I had only recently left the UK I was a little bit out of touch. Some three years later and I was getting cutting edge records sent to me every week from the UK for my radio show, I can remember receiving a white label 12" single one week with the word steamroller felt tipped onto the label and nothing else not even a press release. Steamroller, was it the name of the band or the song? I must say this was a good way to get you to listen to the record and I wasted no time in dropping the stylus onto the run in groove. For the seven minutes of the song I was captivated by the song's thumping beat, scratchy guitar lines and lazy killer melody. The song stared getting some serious airtime from me and a favorable response from my audience. It wasn't before the following week that the name of the band was revealed to me and I could confirm that 'Steamroller' was the title. The Family Cat came from Yeovil and had also caught the ear of local girl made good PJ Harvey who was to provide backing vocals on their follow up 45t 'River Of Diamonds' both songs feature on the 'Furthest From The Sun' LP. Despite good press and being admired by their peers they failed to sell enough to dent the charts. The same fate was waiting for the 1995 follow up 'Magic Happens' and disillusioned the band called it a day. More information on the band can be found here.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Peel Sessions 53

Does one need a reason to post PJ Harvey? No I would tend to say as not only does the lady produce some fine music but by way of a bonus she is also pleasant on the eyes, I don't know about you but I'd much rather see an image of PJ than for example ZZ Top, no offence boys! Having said that I need no reason, there was obviously some thing that got me thinking her about her which was that for some unknown reason I've found myself listening to a lot of music that has its roots in England's west country. So it looks as if the week will be theme based, if you like a bit like Sound Of The Suburbs goes west.
To both fans of good music and avid followers of Peel alike Ms Harvey needs no introduction and it should come as no surprise that the two of them got on well together, and as such she was another of Peel's favorite artists. Late last year there was a 12 track compilation of tracks from her sessions, with the selection apparently having been made by Polly Jean herself, the release came in for a lot of criticism as the current tendency is to let the complete sessions come out of the vaults and such an important artist should be served by only by a snapshot. What I do agree with is the inclusion of the four songs, 'Oh My Lover', 'Victory', 'Sheela Na Gig' and 'Water' that made up the first revelationary session from October 1991. I have left out 'Sheela Na Gig' for two good reasons 1) I posted the song way back at the beginning of the blog and 2) Not everything's for free so if you like it, it's available, fork out and but it!

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Doll By Doll

I couldn't believe my eyes when I flicked my way through the pages of the May issues of the music press upon seeing Doll By Doll albums being reviewed. Was this some kind of sick joke? A quick visit to everyone's best friend, Amazon, revealed that indeed these lost masterpieces had indeed finally found their way onto the CD format some 20 plus years after Dire Straits democratised the the medium with their 'Brothers In Arms' album. Unbelievable is probably the best word as the bands four albums 'Remember' (1977), 'Gypsy Blood' (1979), 'Doll By Doll' (1981) and 'Grand Passion' (1982) had fallen victim to legal problems over rights as the label that unleashed the original vinyl, Magnet, had long since disappeared, this situation is particularly difficult to understand when considering the career band leader Jackie Leven went on to carve for himself. Anyway as they say happiness is only a click away and I wasted no time in ordering the first two which I have been rediscovering over the last two weeks. The strangest thing is that I never actually owned either of these albums, though I've been looking out for them for many years. 'Remember' was released in 1977 at the height of punk and could not have been more out of step with the year zero approach that was being preached by both bands and the music press, despite this they managed to gather some friendly press for their heartfelt songs maybe abetted by the some what sloppy production of the album that gives it an almost organic feel. In 1977 I had a part time job in a record shop while I was pursuing my studies, the shop was part of a local chain and John, the manager, and myself had a free reign over the music we played as long as we were sensible and did not frighten off the paying customers. As such I got to discover a lot of music that I would not have done otherwise as UK radio was in a poor state at the time and my finances were very limited. One of the bands that became a shop favorite in '77/'78 was Doll By Doll with 'Remember' that found a place in John's hippy summer of love sensibilities as it did with those of the young gun who was fervently following the new crop punk and post punk bands. I don't think we ever got to sell a single copy of the album though we loved it to death wearing out it's grooves with it's numerous visits to the shop's turntable. I think listening back to day that what pleased us so much was the obvious soul and feeling in Leven's versatile and characteristic voice. I would suggest that Doll By Doll are the missing link between Van Morison and Dexys Midnight Runners, just listen to 'Changes' from this album with it's almost doo wop opening before embracing a kind of Caledonian soul complete with falsetto vocals as it works itself up to a strong emotive peak reminiscent of Al Green. The follow up 'Gypsy Blood' took up from where it's predecessor had left off and refined the ideas into shorter songs that are easier to consume, the production is a lot cleared and the sound is big as can be heard on the epic and atmospheric 'Highland Rains'. I have genuinely had a problem in choosing a track a piece from these albums, such is the quality and variety on display. If you like your pop with balls, your rock with feeling and your soul inspired do your self a big favour and check out these two albums before they disappear again. Those of you that are unfamiliar with Jackie Leven's hefty volume of solo work should be ashamed of yourselves.

Friday, May 18, 2007


Foxy Ladies

My absence these last few days has been due to an exceptionally heavy workload this last week so I thought something of a frivolous nature to get the week end off to a good start is in order. This charming pair of young ladies with a rather brazen dress sense is none other than Shampoo, which was in effect Jacqui Blake and Carrie Askew who became friends while at school in the London suburb of Plumstead. Fascinated with music the pair started their own fanzine Last Exit dedicated to the Manic Street Preachers before deciding to give performing a go themselves. Their first single saw the light of day on pink vinyl thanks to Icerink Records before they were snapped up by Food which was of course the home to Blur, Jesus Jones, Diesel Park West amongst others. This move led to a softening of their sound to a more classic pop, they took up in many senses from where Voice of The Beehive had left off and were also to show the way for the world domination of Girl Power as seen by the Spice Girls a few years later. The pair had become darlings of the UK music press and were firm favorites of many an indie fan in the early eighties. This cult popularity was for once to be converted into mainstream success with 'Trouble' that gatecrashed the charts in 1994 and opened the doors to Top Of The Pops, Smash Hits and mega fame in Japan for Shampoo. They were not the most original of bands often lacking a little bit in the vocal department, a little bit one dimensional never the less they were great up beat fun and an important part of the decade. I was rather chuffed the other day to see a new factory sealed copy of their 'We Are Shampoo' album for sale for 2 euros, it's arrival in my post box was to fetch memories of my airwave days rushing back. Two tracks from the album 'Delicious' and 'Saddo' which between them should provide you with enough sugar for one day, should your tooth be very sweet you could always seek out the freshly re released album on Rev-Ola. Anyone know where they are or what they are up to today?

Monday, May 14, 2007


Peel Sessions 53

As our weekly Peel session rendez-vous enthusiastically enters it's second year of existence the thought came to my mind that the band that defined the post punk spirit of the sessions has been until now absent. So now is a good a time as any to remedy this situation, it also comes about because I'm actively trawling through my Fall collection as in a few weeks I shall find myself confronted by the maverick wordsmith genius, Mark E Smith fronting the latest line up of his garage monsters the Fall in Barcelona. Hard as it may seem to believe this will be the first time we meet face to face. I must confess that I am no great fan of the band, though I can remember being taken with the freshness, difference and above all attitude of the early days, that first LP still has a place in my top 1000. I often thought that at times quantity was preferred above quality as to say the least the band has been prolific. Their spells with a major independent, Beggars Banquet and a major, Fontana gave them the taste of chart success and also their most polished recordings. Both before and after this there were spells with different independent labels, the result of this contractual nightmare is that for a band with such an importance to modern music there was no career spanning compilation until 2005 when Castle picked up the rights and released a 6CD box set compiling the bands 24 Peel sessions as recorded over 27 years. The end result probably does the band a better service than a more classic compilation of studio cuts would as the the urgence of the session format appears to suit Mark E Smiths way of working. It goes of course without saying that the Fall became firm Peel favorites and he heaped such praise on the band that he eventually stated the he had "run out of superlatives" to describe them.
I have chose their first session that was recorded 30th May 1978, a mere 23 days after Peel's long time producer John Walters had first seen them playing a gig, and was first aired 15th June the same year. The immediate result was them being heard by Mark Perry who rapidly signed them to the Miles Copeland financed Step Forward. These four songs were to later be featured on their debut album 'Live At The Witch Trials'.

1. 'Futures And Pasts'
2. 'Mother Sister!'
3. 'Rebelious Jukebox'
4 'Industrial Estate'

Listening back to these songs almost 30 years later they still sound fresh and vital to these ears, and strangely enough I would suggest that they, and above all 'Industrial Estate' that despite it's grim subject matter contains a very catchy chorus, would not sound out of place in today's top 40 whereas when they were originally released this would have been impossible. This I guess we could consider as a step in the right direction.

Friday, May 11, 2007


Friday Nite Fever

Those of you that have been through the archives will have no doubt about my admiration for the work of Mark Vidler or as he is better known Go Home Productions. It's been a little while now since we have had any new work from him but his latest EP, 'Six Pack' makes up for those lost weeks as it inspires that weekend party feeling right from it's title inwards through to the very last strains of it's music. The 6 tracks are only available as a free zip file download, so don't go asking your record dealer for a copy, he'll only scratch his head and tell you to come back next week. On top form for these 6 tracks his favorite artists, the Beatles, Radiohead ....., are well represented with tasteful and imaginative mixing and mashing of the source material to come up with true foot tapping, bum wiggling, head shaking originals. My personal favorite is the preposterous coupling of 'Creep' with 'Lucky In The Sky With Diamonds' to revisit an Italian folk story on 'Pinocchiohead On Acid'. The week end starts here!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Drookit Dogs

A band that I found by surfing the web, not I might add my space, a concept that disagrees with me, but good old fashion follow the links and see where you end up, and I must say very pleased I am with discovering the Drookit Dogs. The name sent images of A Clockwork Orange rushing through my head and I guess the band are a little bit like the book and it's film in so far as you'll either love them or hate them. A Brighton based three piece that claim to play Polk? Don't bother looking as I've done it for you and the word is well and truly absent from the trusty Oxford dictionary. I can only guess that the term comes from mixing punk with folk, in any case they have very little in common with polka! What initially held my attention was the successful mixing of singer Matt Oldfield's booming voice that comes hurtling straight at you like a demented English folk singer backed by his trusty old punk guitar that has spent years at the bottom of a swamp. They managed to hold my attention as they also have a knack of writing some snappy tunes such as the wonderfully tongue in cheek 'Female Singer Songwriter' that does hit the nail on the head, 'Worthy' has got me thinking about another Brighton native Wreckless Eric with it's English trash sound, 'I'd Rather Be On A Comedown' is almost an epic with it's throbbing bass line and dare I say it Dylan meets Joni Mitchel like qualities add to this the simple but effective melody and you're onto a sure winner. For those of you that like these songs as much as I do there others currently available for free download on the bands web site. If there is any justice in the world the band will not be spending that much longer playing in small intimate venues, If you're in London or near Brighton do check them out as by all reports they are even more powerful in the flesh.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


For Why You Kicka My Donkey

A little trip down memory lane today. I finished my education by a three year stint at Redbridge Technical College, Sociology, Psychology and Communications where I studiously avoided my official studies as I held court in the pup on the other side of the green opposite the said hall of learning. It was here that I met many like minded people, our inebriated conversation would often turn around revolution and how to change and maybe even save the world. This heady subject matter would often be served with a side dish of music, whatever was new in NME or maybe something that had stuck in our head from Peel, or maybe arranging to go to a gig. Strangely enough we did not seem to know many people who actually played in bands, Dean Grant and my self rehearsed together for about three weeks under the tentative name of Mammary And The Glands, a good friend of mine, Tim Scott, a train driver by day, was the bassist with the Alsatians, one of the coolest pop bands to come from Canning Town who released the one single 'Teen Romance', and that was about as close as we got to rock 'n' roll in suburban Essex in the late 70's. Then by good luck I was to meet a shy retiring girl called Sema at college who grabbed my attention, little my little we became friends, she as well was a big fan of music, and she wasted no time in telling me about her older brother Joe who was the guitarist / song writer in a band. The name of the band was the Brakes, not to be confused with the Brighton based band these boys were from the East End of London with a base in Walthamstow. I guess the year was 1977 or maybe 1978, I wasted no time and caught the band live, I think the first time I saw them was at the Red Cow in Hammersmith. I was more than pleasantly surprised at how good they were, a classic four piece line up that delivered a powerfull live set of US influenced power pop, with the accent firmly on power though in pop terms their songs did not lack anything excepting the necessary luck to turn them into hits. Over the course of the next 18 months I would try to get along to see them whenever possible, often I would drag some of my friends along with me who tended to agree with me that we were in the presence of a great band.
The Brakes had already been signed by Magnet Records and were preparing to record their first album 'For Why You Kicka My Donkey' that hit the shops in 1979, there were two singles lifted from the album, 'Blame It On The Brakes' and 'The Way I See It', both of which failed to trouble the charts. The general consensus of opinion at the time was that the album failed to live up to the bands live promise lacking the punch of their gigs. I for one was the proud owner of a number of cassettes of their demo recording, which I have long since mislaid, and knew only too well that they they could deliver a much more spunky sound in the studio. The band never got round recording a second album, and I have no idea what became of Keith Wilson - vocals and guitar, Joe Fadil - guitar and vocals, Bob Renny - bass and vocals, John Brown - drums excepting that by the turn of the decade they were no more, there was a rumour that Steve Marriot wanted them as his backing band but nothing ever materialised. A shame really as they had genuine penitential, with their song writing partnership that was more than capable of delivering songs that Tom Petty would be proud of. Still they have left me with great memories and until recently that was all I had as my copy of their long deleted album had been left behind in Italy in the mid eighties and so it was 20 years since I had heard it, though I still knew all the songs by heart. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a German record dealer selling a new factory sealed copy for 10 euros, and so I am now the proud owner once again of 'For Why You kicka My Donkey'. I was more over the moon to say the least to hear these songs again and maybe I'm a little biased but I honestly think the 10 originals and the Bob Dylan cover stand up well today. It is not something I do very often as so much music has been re released in recent years, and yes I do believe in copyright and artists being paid, though I think the chances of this becoming available on CD or even digitally are negligible, so here are the 11 tracks that were 'For Why You Kicka My Donkey'. Enjoy.

Side One
1. 'What Am I Gonna Do?'
2. 'I Don't Know Nothing About Hollywood'
3. 'Doing Life'
4. 'Who's That Man?'
5. 'Like A Rolling Stone'
6. 'Blame It On The Bakes'
Side Two
1. 'The Way I See It'
2. 'Last Man At The Station'
3. 'Strange Man In The City'
4. 'Yesterday's Arrival'
5. 'It's A Shame'

Monday, May 07, 2007


Peel Sessions 52.

And the winner is, well actually no one bothered to enter, I'm not sure, why lack of interest? anyway I must confess that even I Could only come up with one other band of repute from Aberdeen, and that Is The Shamen, who lest we forget before they went all top 40 and easy rave in that horrible home counties way, they did come up with some good music, 'In Gorbachev We Trust' remains to this day a good listen. So In conclusion I guess we could say that herrings and rock 'n' roll don't mix!

I did threaten you with APB's second Peel session, from December 1982, and so here are the four songs:

1. 'Got It In One'
2. 'Play It'
3. 'Wonderdrug'
4. 'Back Inside Your Heart'

As I mentioned in Peel sessions 50, by the time of their second visit to Maida Vale the band's sound was a lot more polished I guess you could compare them to Spandau Ballet but without the silly clothes to detract from the music. They were not the only band making similar music that were to be ignored by the masses, another example is the excellent Way Of The West, both of these bands are the proof that in the eighties white boys were playing credible funk in their own pale way.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


Election Blues

Today sees the second round of the French presidential elections, after a record turn out two weeks ago there was no real winner, the right wing obtained the highest score at just over 30%. The projected results of today ballot give a narrow victory to the right but who knows maybe the opinion polls are wrong, it wouldn't be the first, time would it?
'Fuck The Mother Fucking President' by Witchypoo, no I don't know who they are but it's a great song, is dedicated to the winner be it Nicolas Sarkozi or Seglene Royal. 'Chirac En Prison' by the Wampas is a song that sums up a lot of peoples feelings about outgoing President Jacques Chirac, who has used his position to avoid investigation for criminal fraud charges.

Saturday, May 05, 2007



This last week has turned out to have had a theme running through it, a political rock axis around the Clash and Billy Bragg. So to round off the week I've decided on a pair of Clash Covers, and there are certainly no shortage of candidates! 'Bankrobber' was a single only release that got their CBS paymasters worried that the band really had too much control. Musically speaking it was a collaboration with Jamaican DJ / producer / artist , Mickey Dread, that obviously pursued the bands love of reggae, and was topped off with Strummer's amazing plaintive vocal delivery. The lyrics were not really political as it tackled that urban legend of the gentleman working class bankrobber, sort of a modern day Robin Hood that justified his career choice by the fact that some are born rich and some are born poor and above all he never hurt anybody! Sounds to me like a man that takes pride in his work. For very good reason this song has long been one of my favorites, though truth be told with the Clash I probably have far too many favorite song for this to be the correct adjective.
Audioweb delivered this version, that is a little bit too bombastic for my liking as it does little to fetch out the songs more subtle side, still it makes for a nice little toe tapper. On the other hand Chumbawamba have really done the song proud by totally reinterpreting it as a folk song where the story angle is pushed to the front, it's almost enough to enable us to forgive them for 'Tubthumping'!

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Jail Guitar Doors

As any aging punk rocker will be able to tell you 'Jail Guitar Doors' was the the b side the the Clash's 4th single 'Clash City Rockers', those were the days when singles really meant something, yes we would be waiting there as the record shop opened to buy our copy, and their flip sides were every bit essential as the tune the other side was. The song title has also given it's name to the initiative set up by Billy Bragg, yes him again, with the purpose of providing musical instruments for inmates of UK jails. This sounds like a great idea to me, ask any touring musician or his roadie and they will explain the possibilities of hiding your stash in your instruments! But seriously any action that serves the purpose of reinsertion as opposed to the current school of thought where by we punish you and throw the key away, is fine by me. In November this year Bragg will be headlining a date at London's Acton Town Hall, the venue that hosted the very last appearance of Strummer and Jones together on stage just before his death, with proceeds going to Jail Guitar Doors. I've heard and I must say that I'm hardly surprised that the date is already sold out!
The song itself opens with the lines 'Let me tell you 'bout Wayne and his deals of cocaine'. The Wayne in question is none other than MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer who actually did spent some time inside for drug offences after having lost his way a little in the 80's. When released he teamed up with briefly with Johnny Thunders in Gang War, maybe not the best of plans for someone being tagged by the drug squad. By 1995 he had embarked on a solo career with his albums being released by Epitaph. Two live tracks recorded somewhere in France some time in the 90's, both of which have a drug related theme, 'Dope For Democracy' proving that he is still a revolutionary at heart and 'Junkie Romance' that sounds not too far removed from Lou Reed.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Attila The Stockbroker

Back in Blighty's dark days of Mad Maggies mayhem there was a trinity of radical rockers that could often be found sharing the bill of a benefit or protest gig. Regular readers will already know who they were, The (Newtown) Neurotics, The Redskins and Billy Bragg, I guess we were lucky as these bands also played some damn fine music. As often as not somewhere on the bill would be a roundish balding male with an acoustic guitar strapped round his neck, he would either be spitting out his poetry or playing one of his songs full of anger and rage. The man was none other that Attila The Stockbroker, who started out as a bass player in a punk band influenced by none other than the Clash. He cashed in his chips and reinvented himself as Attila in 1998, the inspiration behind the name comes from when he had a temporary job on the London stock exchange. This change of name also led to the change of style and in many ways luck as for one man and a guitar it was a lot easier to get a support spot as opposed to a full band. As such he was quickly noticed by both Peelie, two sessions were to follow, and major indie Cherry Red, who would release two albums 'Ranting At The Nation', 1983 and 'Sawdust And Empire', 1984 from which we find 'Boadicea Uber Alles' a good example of his work from this period where he uses the Dead Kennedy's song as a starting block for his own ideas. Since parting company with Cherry Red he has kept himself busy writing, recording, performing and drinking beer. 2007 will see the 12th edition of the Sussex based festival Glastonwick where he manages to mix those things closest to his heart, poetry, music and beer! Apart from performing as a solo artist, listen to 'New World Order Rap!' to get an idea, since 1994 he has a side project in Barnstormer where he gets to mix his two favorite forms of music, medieval and punk! Listen to 'Haider' from their 2000 'Just One Life' album to hear what they sound like, and yes that is a recorder!

As I have already mentioned Attila was greatly influenced by the Clash and above all Joe Strummer, who wasn't? In the 80's it was not unusual for a Neurotics gig to end with a rousing version of 'Garageland' with Attila taken over the vocal duties, he has also recorded a rather straightforward cover of 'Washington Bullets' obviously chosen by him for it's political content, many of his own songs tackle US foreign policy. It should come as no surprise then that following Strummers untimely death Attilla was moved to put pen to paper and came up with the touchingly honest 'Commadante Joe'.

I guess in quite a lot of ways I grew up just like you
A bolshy kid who didn't think the way they told him to
You kicked over the statues, a roots rock rebel star
Who knew that punk was more than just the sound of a guitar
And I'll always remember that night at the Rainbow
When you wrote a soundtrack for my life, Commandante Joe.

So many bands back then were like too many bands today
A bunch of blokes who made a noise with bugger all to say
The Clash were always out in front, you put the rest to shame
Your words were calls to action, your music was a flame
You were our common Dante, and you raised an inferno
And you wrote a soundtrack for my life, Commandante Joe.

Reggae in the Palais
Midnight till six!
Rockin' Reds in Brockwell Park!
Sten guns in Knightsbridge!
Up and down the Westway
In and out the lights!
Clash City Rockers!
Know Your Rights!

I guess in quite a lot of ways I grew up just like you
A bolshy kid who didn't think the way they told him to
Like you I always knew that words and music held the key
As you did for so many, you showed the way to me
Although I never met you I'm so sad to see you go
'Cos you wrote a soundtrack for my life, Commandante Joe.

Not the most complicated of prose I will admit, but definitely from the heart and I must say it speaks volumes to me while putting a smile on my face and taking back to those innocent days of youthful optimism. If only all poetry could be as simple and direct as this.
If any of you have been taken by his music/poems there is a bucketful of mp3s to be downloaded here, and if you really feel like it well why not buy his records and his books, after all poets need to eat as well!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


May, 1

I hope there is no need for me explain today's choice of music, which come from long time personal favorite, Billy Bragg. Little side track here as I'm actually quite excited, and I'm not sure that this is good at my age, as in a few weeks I'll be off to Barcelona where I'll be catching Billy live at the Primavera Festival, the last time I saw Bragg live was during the days of the GLC and the first reign of Ken Livingston over London. The Music is taken from Billy's 1990 mini album of traditional political and workers songs that took it's title from his rewritten version of 'The Internationale' and also included a stirring version of the British Labour party's traditional song 'The Red Flag' played to it's more upbeat original tune. I was rather surprised when re listening to the title track to the similarity, in musical terms, between this and Monty Python's 'Every Sperm Is Sacred'! Over at Billy's blog he is up to part 7 of his ongoing podcast detailing his history and as chance would have it this latest posting is where he discusses the making of 'Internationale' and the period of change, well worth a listen, even I have learnt little tit bits of information such as Billy having been banned from East Germany just 6 months before the Berlin Wall came down due to his outspoken support for the imminent changes.
I don't know about you but I've always been a sucker for Russian art work, and all that it inspired such as the rich collection of posters from the Spanish civil war, well if you feel the same way as me there's a nice site here that includes as well a the usual revolution art a series of Russian anti alcohol propaganda.

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