Friday Night Music Club Vol 28

Before we go any further, my apologies for the absence of a new mix for you last week. I messed up and scheduled the post for Saturday instead of Friday night, and that would never do. Sorry about that.

So, I’ll not mess around, let’s get straight into this week’s shenanigans:

Friday Night Music Club Vol 28

And here’s your tracklisting, along with sleevenotes:

  1. Petula Clark – Downtown

A few months ago, this song seemed to be following me everywhere. I took this as a sign; Petula may as well have been singing “Stick me in a mix and release me to the world on a Friday night, yer bastard!” at me. Who could resist?

Besides, from experience of flat-sharing with young people, they tend not to actually go out until older flops like me are starting to think about going home; since I never publish these mixes until 9pm on a Friday night (UK time), this seemed an entirely appropriate and classy way to kick things off this week.

2. La Roux – Uptight Downtown

A roux is a combination of flour and fat (yummy!) which is commonly used as a thickening agent in cooking of stews and sauces.

It is not to be confused with La Roux, an 80s-infused synthpop duo (at least, they were when their first eponymously titled album came out in 2009, but they weren’t by the time their second long-player Trouble in Paradise came out in 2012, founder member Ben Langmaid having jumped ship and left singer Elly Jackson all on her Jack Jones). Their first album was beloved by public and critics alike, producing four singles, two of which – Bulletproof and In For The Kill – are genuinely magnificent. The second album was less fondly received, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any bangers on it. I really like this one for example.

3. Microdisney – Town to Town

I know many will point to their earlier releases, but for me, Microdisney’s Crooked Mile album is the best thing they ever released. This was probably because it was the first record by them that I ever heard; I instantly loved it, and when I investigated their back catalogue, I found it to be largely impenetrable. Crooked Mile is by far their most commercial release, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This, the opening track and lead single, is simply superb. It even has a joke in it about people mispronouncing Cathal Coughlan’s name – and the much-missed Coughlan was not exactly renowned for being funny.

4. Talulah Gosh – My Best Friend

Before I drift into making this a Town-themed presentation, an intervention of the twee-est variety. This lot’s biggest claim to fame is they were the first band to feature Amelia Fletcher, the favourite of every late-80s/early 90s indie acts, appearing on releases by The Wedding Present, The Pooh Sticks, and The Brilliant Corners to name just a few.

5. The Dead Milkmen – Punk Rock Girl

A not very well-known one, this, but one I was introduced to by an old mate Ian Drake, who lived about three doors down from my room in the halls of residence in my first two terms at college. I went to my first festival with Ian. In 1989 we went to the Reading Festival. It was the first time it predominantly featured indie music – main stage headliners were New Order, The Pogues and The Mission – the change in direction coming when, a year earlier, Meatloaf and Bonnie Tyler had to cut short their set and run for cover when a multiple of bottles of warm piss were thrown at them by an unimpressed crowd. When I was Social Secretary at the Students Union, I gave Ian paid work, even though he was no longer a student, and a few years later he returned the favour by getting me a job at Cardiff’s Virgin Megastore, probably the most enjoyable job I ever had, even if it was just for one Christmas.

Anyway, The Dead Milkmen didn’t play Reading in ’89, but Ian would often play this to me, when he wasn’t assaulting my eardrums with the likes of Lawnmower Deth, Napalm Death, or Extreme Noise Terror. Which is probably why I like this record all these years later: partly because it remind me of Ian, but also because it reminds me him playing a proper record for a change.

6. The Colorblind James Experience – Considering A Move To Memphis

Speaking of Ian, he played this at the Graduates’ Ball on the night that I, finally, graduated. And he played it just for me. And I know that because a) he announced it was for me, b) he knew that I wouldn’t be able resist dancing to it, and c) he also knew that everyone else most definitely would be able to resist, leaving me all alone and strutting my awkward stuff for all six-and-a-half bloody (marvellous) minutes of it.

7. Piranhas – Zambezi

Staying in the 80s for a while at least, with this horny (stop it!) number. I’ve always loved this one; not only is it catchy as hell, it contains one eternal truth: landlords and bank managers are gits and we shouldn’t worry about them anywhere near as much as we do.

8. The Larks – Billy Graham’s Going to Heaven

More horny (no, seriously, stop sniggering) brilliance. I look back with great pride on the fact that I posted this song on the day that Billy Graham did die and go to heaven (supposedly).

9. Fishbone – Ma & Pa

More in the same vein. As with the last track, I’ve posted this before, they both always remind me of my DJ’ing at Uni days, specifically right at the very start when I was being mentored by Jolly Jim, who, lest we forget, was the man who first called me Jez and broadcast it to the world (well, to about 30 people attending the indie disco that night). Should you be so inclined, you can read about that here.

10. K7 – Come Baby Come

Gear change ahoy! I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for this one, which reached the dizzy heights of #3 in the UK charts back in 1993. I was most impressed that before I checked the chart placing, I guessed it got to #4 in 1992. One year out – hey, Ken Bruce, where’s my t-shirt? (Also, my immature funny bone was tickled to find learn that Louis Sharpe (aka K7) hails from the city of Ponce in Puerto Rico. I’ll let you make your own jokes up about that.)

11. Kriss Kross – Jump

Since we’re on slightly cheesy hip hop tunes from the early 1990s, here’s Mac Daddy and Daddy Mac with their biggest hit in the UK. Coats-on-backwards-ahoy!

12. House Of Pain – Jump Around

More jumping, more (less cheesy) hip hop. Doubtless you’ll be aware that the opening of this is a sample of Bob & Earl’s 1963 Harlem Shuffle, a bit of trivia which allowed me to win a tie-break Name That Tune/Spot the Intro question in a quiz night at a pub I spent far too much time at back in my Cardiff days. Possibly my second finest moment ever (after the Billy Graham thing from earlier).

13. George Baker Selection – Little Green Bag

There was a time when this, along with the rest of the Reservoir Dogs soundtrack, was simply everywhere. I’ve tagged Steven Wright’s dialogue intro to the start, so I don’t think this needs any further explanation. Iconic.

14. The Isley Brothers – Fight the Power, Pts. 1 & 2

To my eternal shame, until I watched the rather brilliant series Fight the Power:How Hip Hop Changed the World which aired on the BBC a few months ago, I’d never heard this before. If you’ve never seen it, even if you’re not fussed on hip hop – actually especially if you’re not fussed on hip hop – it’s essential viewing, and its still up on the BBC iPlayer, so you’ve got no excuse (unless you’re not in the UK, in which case, switch your VPN to UK and pretend).

15. Bobby Womack – Across 110th Street

I shot my bolt by using the word “iconic” too soon with the George Baker Selection. Ah, what the heck. This is iconic too.

16. The James Taylor Quartet – Theme From ‘Starsky And Hutch’

I may have mentioned this before, but when I first moved to London, I had quite the commute to get to my new job. This involved going on the London Underground, and one day my dutiful iPod decided to play me these two tracks – Bobby followed by The JTQ – in the sequence I’ve placed them here. And now I can’t hear one without hearing the other, for on that day, I was not a bloke in a suit and tie heading to the office, I felt like I was in New York, dressed like Sly Stone, resplendant in flowery shirt open to the navel, massive flares and a huge floppy hat, strutting my stuff out of the subway. Such is the power of music.

17. David Soul – Silver Lady

Since we’re on Starsky & Hutch, here’s one from the pile marked There’s No Such Thing as a Guilty Pleasure to wrap things up. Back in the 70s, Soul was a hunk, a pin-up, and I will forever remember the whispers that went round school when a classmate’s mother was seen placing a big sloppy kiss on a poster of him. Such is the power of music. And chunky cardigans.

That’s yer lot.

More soon.

Late Night Stargazing

If you’re struggling with the whole ‘lockdown’, then a tip for you: rather than having the mindset that you have been ordered to stay at home, try to convince yourself that it was entirely your idea in the first place.

To assist, here’s 70s dreamboat David Soul, although I suspect he has more than binge-watching the latest Scandi-noir drama on Netflix on his smutty mind:

David Soul – Let’s Have A Quiet Night In

There’s something rather puzzling about the dots after the the title of the B-Side of that, isn’t there? Is it supposed to be an open-ended statement for us to complete? (“Mary’s Fancy…” what? David? Pants?) Or perhaps it’s two drag queens chatting as Mary, of whom they do not approve, totters past.

Yeh, you’re right: I need to get out more. I’m trying not think about it. Have you not been paying attention?

More soon.

The Chain #8

Ok, so where were we?

Ah yes, I left you with Hawkwind’s “Silver Machine”, and I asked you to suggest what we should play next, along with your ideas as to what linked that to the previous tune, which was KT Tunstall’s “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree”.

So first, the admin, and the official link between those two songs. As is so often the case, George was a) the only person who offered a suggestion, and b) 100% correct. He wrote: “I suspect the link between KT Tunstall and Lemmy is Stoke-on-Trent, as Lemmy was born there, although I don’t know which of the 6 towns it was.”

And here’s what it says on the BBC website:

Tunstall was one of the six towns that federated to form Stoke-on-Trent, which is Lemmy’s hometown…”

So, were I to be giving out Gold Stars, George would surely be the recipient for getting that right first.

But we’re going to pop George on the back burner for now. No offence, George.

So, to your suggestions. And first up is The Swede, who suggested this:

“I’ll keep it simple and go from ‘Silver Machine’ to ‘Don’t Leave Without Taking Your Silver’ by George Jones, a song that gets me every time.”

Your wish is my command.


George Jones – Don’t Leave Without Taking Your Silver

George Jones modelling for “Avanti” at C&A in that cover shot, by the way.

The Swede’s line of thought is not entirely dissimilar to mine. I’d initially thought of being utterly obvious and posting David Essex’s “Silver Dream Machine”, but I eventually plumped for this. And say what you like, schmaltzy as it may be, this is a great record:


David Soul – Silver Lady

Swiss Adam over at Bagging Area went down a similar train of thought as The Swede and I, but instead of concentrating on the “Silver”, he went for the “Machine”, and suggested this:

“Goldfrapp’s Strict Machine is a good follow on from Hawkwind’s Silver Machine. If a bit obvious.”

Obviousness is no impediment to a posting here (particularly when I really like the song in question), so here you go:


Goldfrapp – Strict Machine (Single Mix)

Which leads me to my second choice. Yes, I’m allowed two, it’s my blog.

This came on my iPod earlier, and I thought I should include it here, partly because it’s by a little known group, partly because I really like it, derivative rock’n’roll that it is, but mostly because it includes two riffs that have been shamelessly nicked from other songs which I couldn’t put my finger on for ages. I got there in the end. I’ll leave you to see if you can spot and identify them both:

Everybody Wants

The Struts – My Machine

Oh, wait, here’s George again, referring to his selection, which you haven’t heard yet:

“…you might as well stop taking requests right now because NO ONE will suggest a better song than that [his suggestion], even if they contrive a link to Fox On The Run.”

Simmer down George, I’m coming to yours.

The Swede concurs:

“George has nailed it – 100%. Magnificent choice.”

You’ll let me know if I’m building this up too much, won’t you?

Luckily, here’s Charity Chic, who bloody loves a challenge, and sent me this:

“Silver Machine to Silver Fox the nickname of footballer Fabrizio Ravanelli to Fox on the Run!”

I suspect that this is a private joke between George and Charity Chic that I’m not privy to. No matter. I’m equally unsure which “Fox on the Run” we’re talking about here; I’m aware of two, so let’s have them both:


Manfred Mann – Fox on the Run


The Sweet – Fox on the Run

Next up is The Great Gog’s suggestion:

“Lacking inspiration on this one, so it’s a personal tale. In 1988 I acquired my first car – a decrepit 9-year old VW Derby. In honour of the colour of the parts of its body that weren’t rusty, I named it the Silver Machine (I know, pathetic…). My friends took a different view – it quickly developed a reputation for bits falling off it (wing mirror, door handle, random bits of the exhaust system, etc.). They referred to it as the VW Debris.  So a personal link to Debris by The Faces (from A Nod Is As Good…).”

For which I must thank you, not just because it’s a bloody great tune, but also because the initial reason I started writing this blog was to tell the world, who I’m sure was just dieing to know, the reason I’d bought certain records through my life, and to drop some true life, often embarrassing, anecdotes as I do it. So, I’m always grateful for the occasional personal link as it reminds me what I’m supposed to be doing.

Anyway, here’s The GG’s choice:


The Faces – Debris

Oh, and congratulations to Sir Rodney of Glasgow/Los Angeles.

Which brings us to the final suggestion of the week. Okay, George, the floor’s yours:

“Here goes. Silver Machine by Hawkwind, a hawk is a bird, as is a penguin, and Penguin Eggs is a folk album by Nic Jones, and track 4 is The Little Pot Stove.”

Classic George comment show-boating there.

Now, I must confess, I’d never heard of Nic Jones before, but when two fellow bloggers whose opinions I utterly respect tell me this is worth a listen, my ears prick up.

I needed a little help to track down the song in question, however  (thank you, anonymous man who shall not be named!).

When I was younger, I probably would have described this as “finger-in-the-ear folk music”, but now I’m a little (ahem) older I can see this as nothing short of beautiful.

So, thank you George for bringing this into my world. Apart from the whole showing-offiness thing about writing a music blog (and no matter what anyone says, there is a certain amount of ego involved in doing this), this is exactly the reason I do this: to interact and find out about stuff I would never have otherwise encountered.

I imagine this may polarise opinion, but I urge you to give this a listen:


Nic Jones – Little Pot Stove

That really is a bit lovely, isn’t it?

No? You’re wrong.

Several Gold Stars to George for that.

(Dad – you’ll like that one, I think)

So to wrap things up for another week, here’s what the official link to “Silver Machine” was, and there’s already been a clue as to how they co-habit in this post:


David Essex – Rock On

I think we can agree that our suggestions are somewhat superior.

So, no real need for you to suggest what the link between “Silver Machine” and “Rock On” is, because it’s bloody obvious, but a warm welcome to your ideas as to what can follow “Rock On” please.

Same time next week?

Or, rather: More Soon.