Friday Night Music Club

Here we are again, and I’d like to start off by thanking all of you who got in touch to say they enjoyed last week’s mix; it seems Swiss Adam was right: make them shorter, and people are more likely to find time to listen to them. Truly, he is the Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams of the blogging world. (Somebody will get that reference, I’m sure.)

I really enjoy spending my Friday nights putting these together, although it has been to the detriment of the rest of the blog, I must admit. Hopefully I’ll get the balance right soon.

And so this week’s mix, Volume 6.2, the second hour (or so) of the six hour (or so) mix I originally put together before thinking better of it and splitting it down into six mixes, which should sound alright if you want to play them all in sequence. I guess you could say this is my equivalent of those collector’s magazines that seem to come out this time every year, where you buy one piece of a model per edition, glue it to the one you got last week and then wait until the next week when you can have your wallet lightened to the tune of a tenner in order to secure the next bit.

Except, with the Friday Night Music Club there is, in the words of Melba Montgomery’s mawkish 1974 hit (or J J Barrie’s 1976 hit, or Tammy Wynette’s version or Johnny Cash’s version or…aw you get the picture) No Charge.

And it’s more of the same this week, although perhaps a little less pop-heavy than last time, but essentially the usual formula of a real mixbag with a couple of unexpected 70s lost/over-looked/forgotten tunes thrown in (nothing as kitsch as an old one where I included The Dooleys, Guys & Dolls and The Nolans in the same mix, you’ll be relieved to hear), and where I momentarily slide off into what could loosely be called “a theme”. Fans of all things Gedge will immediately spot why The Wedding Present track follows the song it does, and how that started me off on the theme. Don’t worry, I manage to rein it in. Eventually.

If you are still dancing from last week’s mix, then this week’s definitely gives you plenty of time to have a nice sit down and get your breath back.

The first two records in particular remind me of people, if you’ll indulge me for a moment. The opening track is by The Kinks, and whenever I hear a Kinks record I’m always reminded of my mate Rob, because an old double album of their Greatest Hits, which I’d bought on vinyl from Britannia Music Club when I was a kid, would always make an appearance when he came back to my place after a night out clubbing.

The Kinks’ song I’ve selected also always reminds me of my old mate Richie. He was the first person to ever play it to me, and he insisted on performing a whole routine based around the lyrics of the song, which he mouthed as he pranced around. Truly, the spectacle of him acting out the line “…and when he pulls his frilly nylon panties right up tight…” was so funny it lives with me to this day, thirty-five (or so) years later.

He repeated the trick with the next song, the B-Side to Jilted John’s eponymous classic. You don’t hear Jilted John on the radio so much these days, as some of the phrases used in it are…let’s call them “of their time.” No such problem with Going Steady, though, to my mind a much funnier song, which has does some “of their time” lyrics of its own, most notably when Double J mangles the word “butch” so that it rhymes with 70s police show stars Starsky & Hutch.

Anyway, I’ll waffle on no further, other than to slide my usual quality disclaimer in: any skips and jumps are down to the mixing software; any mis-timed mixes are down to me; all record choices are 100% mine.

Here you go:

Friday Night Music Club Vol 6.2

And here’s the track-listing:

  • The Kinks – Dedicated Follower of Fashion
  • Jilted John – Going Steady
  • Graham Coxon – Bittersweet Bundle of Misery
  • Mud – Rocket
  • The Wedding Present – Flying Saucer
  • Menswear – Stardust
  • Darwin Deez – Constellations
  • The Postal Service – Such Great Heights
  • Portishead – Wandering Star
  • Kylie Minogue – Slow (Chemical Brothers Remix)
  • Suzanne Vega – Blood Makes Noise
  • Fujiya & Miyagi – Knickerbocker
  • Pop Will Eat Itself – X Y & Zee
  • Black Box Recorder – The Facts of Life
  • Rialto – Monday Morning 5:19 (Widescreen)

More soon (this time next week)

From Leeds With Love

Been a while since I did one of these, the thread being woken from its slumber (once again) by a comment left by JC a week or so ago about the relative merits of Billy Bragg’s cover versions compared with those of Wedding Present stalwart David Gedge.

So, back to 1992 we go, and the seventh single from the run of twelve The Wedding Present released that year. For the uninitiated, on the first Monday of every month, the group released a limited edition 7″ single, with an original composition as the ‘A’ side (ask your dad) and a cover version as the ‘B’ side (ask him again).

In all honesty, the twelve singles in the set were a little hit and miss, as one might expect from such a project, but July (that’s the seventh month of the year right, Gregorian calendar fans?) turned out to have two absolute belters on it.

Here’s them performing the ‘A’ side, “Flying Saucer” on Top of the Pops (apologies, it’s not the greatest quality in the world):

The ‘B’ side on this occasion was a cover of a single from 1974 by a band  who at the time were skirting around on the very outer edges of the Glam Rock scene:


The Wedding Present – Rocket

I speak of none other than Mud.

When Mud released “Rocket” it was on the back of a UK Number One (“Tiger Feet” – if you grew up in the late 70s or early 80s then you won’t have been able to escape dancing to this at some family do or other) and a UK Number Two (“The Cat Crept In”). “Rocket” reached the giddy heights of Number Six in the UK.

Here they are performing it on Top of The Pops:

That’s Les Gray singing; I don’t think I ever saw him without those shades on. He was like a rock’n’roll version of Lennie Peters from Peters and Lee. (There aren’t many pop stars called Les or Lennie these days, are there? Seems a shame, s’all). Before he found fame, Les earned his corn writing jingles for Pearl & Dean – another name that will have readers of a certain age drifting off into nostalgic reverie.

For those who I’ve now completely lost with my pesky “bit before your time” references: this is Peters and Lee:

(Now I think about it, you never used to see Les and Lennie in the same room…it can’t have been, can it….?)

…and this is the Pearl & Dean theme, which would be played before the advertisements at every Odeon or ABC cinema up and down the country (do they still play it now…?):

But I digress.

Shortly after the release of “Rocket”, Mud had their second UK Number One with “Lonely This Christmas”, a song which really capitalised on Les’ distinctive Elvis-esque vocal delivery, and this seemed to herald a change in direction of both sound and image for the band. They started doing cover versions of old rock’n’roll records (their third and final Number One was 1975’s cover of Buddy Holly’s Oh Boy”) in much the same way as bands like Showaddywaddy were having plenty of success at the time.

“Rocket”, then was one of their last original sounding hits. Here you go:


Mud – Rocket

More soon.