I Am The Mouth

When was the last time you heard a record by The Housemartins being played out that wasn’t “Happy Hour”?

Apart from when “Caravan of Love” gets its annual outing in department stores on the run up to Christmas (so, anytime from early September onwards), I mean.

Take nothing away from “Happy Hour”, it’s a bloody great tune. At the end of the video, there are three of the four members of the band dancing solo (drummer Hugh Whitaker doesn’t strut his stuff; in 1993, he was jailed for for assaulting his former business associate with an axe and setting fire to his house on three occasions, so he probably had other things on his mind at the time); when we were at college, me and my mate Keith would emulate guitarist Stan Cullimore’s moves (not be confused with former Ulrika botherer, dogger and professional footballer Stan Collymore) performing what we used to refer to as ‘The Wacky Stan Dance’.

It’s odd that’s pretty much the only record by The Housemartins that gets an airing; they were a consistent singles band, but only ever released nine, so it’s not as if there’s too many to choose from.

Rarely, for example, do you ever hear this one, an absolute rip-roaring belter, which was written on the same day as “Happy Hour”:

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The Housemartins – Me and The Farmer

Oh go on then, here’s the “Happy Hour” video, just so you can check out that dance:

More soon.

The Chain #37

“Sunday, Sunday here again in tidy attire
You read the colour supplement, the TV guide…”

Well, you can now add “The Chain” to the list of things to read on a Sunday, although events have rather caught up with me, meaning that it will be a race against the clock for me to get this finished by the end of the day.

We ended The Chain #36 with “Hyperactive!” by Thomas Dolby and the usual request for your suggestions for songs that can be linked to that tune. Let’s see what you came up with.

First, a batch of songs which link to “Hyperactive!” the song, and “Hyperactive!” the physical state, first amongst them being submitted by Rol from My Top Ten:

“‘Hyperactive!’ begins with a psychiatrist asking Dolby to “Tell me about your childhood.” So my first choice is…”

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Black Box Recorder – Child Psychology

Which allows me to blow the dust off of my Chain Catchphrase early doors this week. So, if you’re suggesting that, then I’m suggesting this:

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The Avalanches – Frontier Psychiatrist (Radio Edit)

A few weeks ago, Babylotti got in touch to put me on notice that he was looking to suggest a song which he thought it would be impossible for me to locate a copy of. This week is the week he put that into practice:

“Okay so starting off with the Hyperactive link, it reminds me of another 80s songster, Alexei Sayle. He had a hit with ‘Ullo John! Gotta New Motor?’ (not the link yet) [which is lucky, as it’s featured before, so I’d have had to disqualify it] in the charts at the exact same time as ‘Hyperactive!’, [I’ve checked this, and it is correct: 26/02/84, ‘Hyperactive!’ was at #29 on it’s way down from #17, whilst ‘Ullo John! Gotta New Motor?’ was at #35 on it’s way to the giddy heights of #15]  but in 1982 he released a single as the Albanian World Cup Squad, ‘Albania! Albania!’ (as threatened/promised!). With a chorus quite reminiscent of the Blackadder theme tune, I first heard it on the Anne Nightingale show back then, had been after it ever since.”

One of the rules here at The Chain is that if you suggest a song then you must be able to supply a copy of it in the event that I don’t already own it, or am unable to source it. This has happened 4 or 5 times since we started, and you won’t be surprised to learn than I couldn’t find this one. I had been prepared for this, as Babylotti previously advised me that as far as he was aware, it was only available on one website.

That website, he revealed, was his Soundcloud page. Should be easy enough to find, I thought, typing the words “babylotti” and “soundcloud” into Google. Did it find babylotti’s Soundcloud page? Did it heck. But what it did reveal is that some chap called Rick Shide has been reposting The Chain verbatim for a few months now on something called ‘Inoreader’.

Let’s all give Rick a wave, shall we?

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Hi Rick!

I’m sure you’re all as flattered as I am.

Anyway, to babylotti’s suggestion, which he ended up adding to his own blog, Livin’ Out Rock’n’Roll in order that you can all hear it today. I have to admit, it is pretty funny:

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The Albanian World Cup Squad – Albania Albania!

Babylotti then goes off at a bit of tangent, which is fine, as long as it’s justifiable, and his next two suggestions are, linking to “Hyperactive!” via the aforementioned Alexei Sayle record:

“I’ll then stay with the football theme and choose the song from when New Order ruled the world, World in Motion. The greatest football song ever, and that’s coming from a Republic of Ireland supporter…”

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New Order – World In Motion

Of course, one of the highlights of that record is the rap performed by John Barnes, and let’s be honest, other than that goal against Brazil, it was probably the most impressive thing he ever did in an England shirt.

Caught up on the tube in August last year, Barnes was kind enough to treat his fellow travellers with an impromptu rendition:

“And my last one,” babylotti rounds off, “which always reminds me of Goal of the Month:”

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The Lightning Seeds – The Life Of Riley

It wasn’t just the song title “Hyperactive!” that was linked to; many others linked to Hyperactive the condition.

Over now to Jules from Music From Magazines. In case you have any issues deciphering Jules’ contributions, as I did this week, please note something he said in a Comments Conversation we had yesterday:

“Please check the time I posted this , music from mags rules are only post in pubs…”

A fine rule, which I may have to bring in as mandatory…

Anyway, here’s Jules’ first suggestion:

“A Hyperactive Thomas can cause many problems, so let’s get it out the system and try Ivor Biggun and….”

Stop right there. Let me just slap one of these labels on this one:

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Although, it’s hardly needed, you can pretty much get the gist from the sleeve, the artist (I use that term most misguidedly) and song title:

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Ivor Biggun – I’m A Wanker

Ivor Biggun is a the “comic” creation of Doc Cox, who some of you may remember from his stint as one of the co-hosts of consumer show “That’s Life!”, a show spoofed here by the “Not The Nine O’Clock News” team (albeit, in pre-Cox days):

Thankfully, The Robster from Is This The Life? is here to de-smut proceedings:

“If you are hyperactive, some, or all, of your senses are working overtime so at the risk of requesting something that’s been used before….”

I must admit, I thought it had too, but nope!

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XTC – Senses Working Overtime

A couple more suggestions from me now. A quick browse through my thesaurus tells me that synonyms of the word “Hyperactive” are “Over Excited”, so….

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The Housemartins – Five Get Over Excited

…and “Excitable”, so…

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Amazulu – Excitable

If you ever need to investigate whether there was a link between increased illegal drug use (non-contraceptive) and teenage pregnancies in the 1980s, then you could probably cite this record, for gleefully announcing over a summery, steel drum tune that the lead singer is “drowning in amphetamines” and, even more irresponsibly, that “I don’t care if you get me into trouble”. Yours faithfully, Outraged, Tunbridge Wells.

Finally in this first batch, here’s Alyson from What’s It All About, Alfie? who, like me, went to see ‘T2 Trainspotting’ this week and, like me, bloody loved it. That’s a recommendation, by the way.

“Ian Watkins from the group Steps was always called “H” which was short for Hyperactive – If you’ve ever seen him being interviewed on telly (no I wouldn’t admit to it either) you will know why. The song of theirs that I’m going to choose is…”

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Steps – Tragedy

That’s not quite what I first thought the “H” stood for, if I’m honest…

Regular visitors to these pages will know that each week one suggestion is crowned “Worst Record of the Week”. Unbelievably, this week that record is not by Steps.

Moving on, and several of you provided links to Mr Dolby himself; here’s Rigid Digit from Stuff & Nonsense with one of them:

“Thomas Dolby was in The Camera Club (a band, not a photographic society) with Bruce Woolley.  Bruce Woolley was co-writer (with Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes) of ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’, the song which epitomises all things 80s (even though it was released in 1979).

Many earholes have agreed that the Bruce Woolley and The Camera Club version is superior.”

Let’s find out, shall we?

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Bruce Woolley – Video Killed The Radio Star

Over to Walter from a few good times in my life:

“Thomas Dolby wrote ‘New Toy’ by Lene Lovich a song that was played often long long years ago”.

Not be my, it wasn’t: other than her totally ace/bonkers (delete as applicable) Stiff release “Lucky Number” I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything else by her:

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Lene Lovich – New Toy

Okay, now I have.

The first suggestion we received this week was from The Great Gog, whose nominated track leads us rather nicely into the next batch of similarly-themed-suggestions:

“A fairly straightforward double-link springs to mind immediately. Thomas Dolby was involved in the production of Prefab Sprout’s ‘From Langley Park To Memphis’ album (although duties were shared out on that one). That album just happens to include another song with an exclamation mark at the end of the titles, so “Hey Manhattan!” it is.”

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Prefab Sprout – Hey Manhattan!

Yes, The Great Gog was not the only person to suggest a song on the basis that it, or the performing artist, had an exclamation mark in the name somewhere.

Welcome to SWC from When You Can’t Remember Anything with a swift three in a row followed by a mic drop:

“Hyperactive has an ! at the end of it. This I think also adorns the cover of “Enough is Enough” by Chumbawamba…”

It does:

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Chumbawamba & Credit to the Nation – Enough Is Enough

“If it doesn’t then I will go for ‘Hyper Enough’ by Superchunk…”

Well, it does, but I’ll allow this on the basis that, well, because it’s Superchunk:

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Superchunk – Hyper Enough

“Or continuing the ! theme ‘Annihilate Now!’ By Idlewild.”

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Idlewild – Annihilate Now!

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Next up, it’s Martin from New Amusements, who suggests a song by a band who are very dear to me indeed:

“Hyperactive has an exclamation mark at the end. Mid-80s twee-merchants The Chesterfields used to use an inverted exclamation mark as the “i” in their name, so how about ‘Ask Johnny Dee’ by The Chesterfields? Or maybe that should be The Chesterf¡elds…”

Taken from their jingly-jangly guitar lost classic “Kettle”, an album which came out in 1987 on the oft-overlooked Subway Records label; I recently placed it in a “Top 1o albums which have stayed with me” Facebook round-robin thing.

I’d completely forgotten about the ! in their name, and I have to say I’m bloody delighted to have the chance to post a song by them, even if they are very much “of their time”.

Oh but before I do, a clarification from Martin:

“On closer inspection, the exclamation mark in The Chesterfields wasn’t inverted, just normal i.e. The Chesterf!elds.”

It’s still in.

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The Chesterfields – Ask Johnny Dee

Last of the Exclamation Marks now, and another of my suggestions. In all honesty, when the first song linked by the exclamantion mark came in, I thought there would be no way that somebody wouldn’t suggest something by this lot.

If you don’t know this band, but like “House of Jealous Lovers”-era The Rapture, then I’d heartily recommend you give this a spin, if for no other reason than it’s prowling Slits “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”-esque bass line:

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!!! – Me and Giuliani Down by the School Yard (A True Story)

Okay, on to other Thomas’s now, and back to The Great Gog:

“Around the time that Mr. Dolby was first active musically, there was another keyboard player called Thomas releasing records, albeit with less commercial success – Thomas Leer. Mr. Leer later went on to be part of Act, who had a minor hit with ‘Snobbery & Decay’.”

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Act – Snobbery & Decay

Well, if you’re suggesting that, then I’m suggesting this, featuring Claudi Brücken, who was also in Act:

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Propaganda – Duel

Also hailing from the When You Can’t Remember Anything blog, here’s Badger:

“From Thomas Dolby to a Thomas who actually quite good – Thomas Bangalter from Daft Punk and the click tastic ‘Giorgio by Morodor’.”

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Daft Punk – Giorgio by Moroder

“My second choice,” continues Badger, “is ‘Thomas the Fib’ by much missed dancey jazz pioneers Red Snapper from their excellent ‘Prince Blimey’ album. Prince Blimey being the bastard son of Prince William and Katie Price from their ill advised affair of 2001. That was exposed by the Daily Mirror after Wills was seen leaving a kebab shop at 3 in the morning and letting himself into the back door of Price’s Penge Maisonette.” [Can we insert the word ‘allegedly’ in that at least once and preferably several times please? – Legal Ed]

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Red Snapper – Thomas the Fib

Right, you know who this week’s instalment of The Chain is missing? George, that’s who. Up you step, George:

“From Thomas (Dolby) to the diminutive Tommy, which could lead to any number of tracks from a double by The Who, but won’t, but does lead to Eric Clapton who performed Eyesight to the Blind in the film Tommy (I went with my mum to see that film).. Sonny Boy Williams (the second one) does the original”

I’m assuming it’s the original version that you want:

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Sonny Boy Williamson II – Eyesight to the Blind

Now, remember earlier that Jules revealed that he only ever posts when in the pub? Here’s another one from him, which he submitted after I had asked what on earth he was dribbling on about in two of his other suggestions (one of which i still don’t understand):

“St Thomas supported Lambchop at the Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth some years back, as the encore started we had to go to get the last ferry home. And the song a cover of The Stranglers “(Get a) Grip (of Yourself)’.”

Some admin, from me: the St Thomas referred to does not imply that Thomas Dolby has received some kind ecclesiastical sanctity; it is the performing name of one Thomas Hansen. Also, the cover isn’t by St Thomas, it’s by Lambchop, a live version of which appears on their “Rainer on my Parade” album, but I’m posting the studio version.

Some admin from Jules: “This [choice] is not a reference to my previous ‘I’m a Wanker’ suggestion.”

If you say so, Jules, if you say so…

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Lambchop – Grip

Two more categories to go now, and unsurprisingly, many of you linked to Thomas Dolby’s surname, and the technical side of sound reproduction.

I’ll let Martin explain:

“Dolby, as anyone of a certain vintage (i.e. all of us) knows, is the de facto tape hiss reduction technology. Dolby-B was most common. Dolby-C less so – better hiss reduction but too much loss of treble. Dolby-S came knocking just as tape succumbed to burning your own CDs instead, but it was brilliant! Especially if recording on a good quality metal tape (TDK MA90 or, better still, Sony Metal-XR)… sorry, turning into a hi-fi geek. The suggestion. So for me, Dolby makes me think “S” and hence, unfortunately, S-Express and ‘Theme From S-Express’. Not something I’m desperate to hear again…”

Long-term readers will know that some time ago I ran a very short-lived thread about the samples used on certain records, and ran one post which looked at exactly this tune. You can read it again here (not sure if the links are still active, let me know if not).

Anyway, here’s S’Express:

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S’Express – Theme From S’Express

Next to chip in is Michael, who suggests the sort of tune that Dirk normally does:

“Thomas Dolby > Alternative TV. Dolby as noise reduction, most TVs today have Dolby. I guess Action Time and Vision kind of sounds hyperactive.”

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Alternative TV – Action Time Vision

Before we go any further, a suggestion of a different sort. As mentioned earlier, one of the rules here is that we don’t play the same tune twice (unless the first time it was played it was because it featuring in The Official Chain, rather than being suggested by one of us). When you leave your Comment/Suggestion, you should have the option of ticking a little box which lets you know if anyone replies to your Comment – please tick this, for in the event of me being unable to source the song, or in case I need you to clarify your suggestion, or, as happened here, you suggested something that had already featured, it makes it a lot easier for me to get in touch with you. Thanks.

So, back to Rigid Digit:

“Spinal Tap reference time:

 When discussing the failure of their new album (‘Smell The Glove’), Jeanine Pettibone (David St Hubbins’ girlfriend) stated that the problem with the album was that “You can’t do Heavy Metal in DOBLY”

Suggested track: ‘Stonehenge’.”

Which we’ve had before (#32). So, in the absence of a response from Rigid to my request for an alternative suggestion, I’ve, er, plumped for this one:

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Spinal Tap – Big Bottom

Back to George now, who picks up the Dolby theme and runs with it, followed, it has to be said, by more than one of us:

“The Dolby system on tapes was to reduce hiss. Something else that makes a hiss is a snake, hence the track ‘Long Snake Moan’ by P J Harvey”

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PJ Harvey – Long Snake Moan

“See how I didn’t choose Union Of The Snake by Duran Duran…?” George signs off.

What, this?

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Duran Duran – Union of the Snake

A joint suggestion now, for The Swede of Unthought of, though, somehow nominated a tune that was on my not-so-shortlist, which he very graciously said he’d step aside and let me nominate. However, a better idea, I think is if we jointly suggest this and then both have another go at a snake related tune.

Over to you then, Swede:

“As George so rightly pointed out the Dolby system was developed in part to reduce tape hiss. Another thing that hisses is of course a snake, so let’s have ‘The Snake’ by Al Wilson.”

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Al Wilson – The Snake

Bloody great, that, isn’t it?

Ok, so The Swede’s extra suggestion goes thusly:

“I’ll suggest ‘Snakes and Snakes’ by Bell X1, an old favourite tune of both me and Mrs S.”

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Bell X1 – Snakes and Snakes

Ah. Well that pretty much beats my alternative snake song, which features a snake, the arch nemesis of the titular character, called Hissing Sid:

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Keith Michell – Captain Beaky

Nope, that’s not the worst record of the week either.

Some of you knew that Thomas Dolby was heavily involved in the development of ringtones; Rigid Digit says that he “…invented the Nokia Ring Tone (cue oversized mobile phone a la Trigger Happy TV: “HELLO!, I’m on the Internet. It’s very boring (mostly, but there are some places worth visiting – honest!)”

In case the reference to oversized mobile phones means nothing to you, Rigid refers to this:

..which prompted babylotti to pipe up:

“You’d almost want to go with Mario Piu’s Library there, it samples Dom Joly’s favourite phrase.”

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Mario Piu – Library

Quite an uninspring bit of cover art, that, isn’t it. Let me see if I can find a more appropriate library related picture…

*rummages around*

Ah yes, this seems about right:

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Anyway, where were we? Ringtones, that’s where. And here’s Alex G from We Will Have Salad with, without even the merest shadow of a doubt, the Worst Recod of the Week, by a country mile:

“Thomas Dolby went on to basically invent polyphonic ringtones. I therefore suggest this week’s worst record, ‘Axel F’ by Crazy Frog, on the grounds that it’s Thomas Dolby’s fault. I dimly recall there were some further, possibly even worse, follow-ups, but I think Axel F will suffice to remind us of the evil that Thomas Dolby has visited upon the world. His crimes must never be forgotten.”

It’s alright for you lot, you don’t have to listen to it, like I do when I check the copy I *ahem* aquired is clear and has uploaded okay.

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Crazy Frog – Axel F

I once berated a guy I worked with for having that as his ringtone.

As I mentioned when Alex posted that, the one redeeming feature of that record is, if my memory serves, that it stopped Coldplay from getting their first ever number one single.

Speaking of Coldplay, a suggestion from Charity Chic of Charity Chic Music fame:

“Thomas Dolby had the look of a mad scientist and indeed did ‘She Blinded Me With Science’. So, ‘The Scientist’ please – not the Coldplay original but rather the Willie Nelson cover.  If you can only find the original please don’t bother.”

Always a pleasure to deny Coldplay twice in one post.

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Willie Nelson – The Scientist

“Failing that, E=MC2”, CC adds.

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Big Audio Dynamite – E=MC2

Just two more suggestions to go now; penultimately, back to The Robster:

“The quirky scientist Dr Magnus Pyke guested on another of Thomas Dolby’s hits ‘She Blinded Me With Science’. In his Wikipedia entry, it claims one of the many books he’s written is ‘Tricky and Portishead and Other Stonehead Bristol Sounds of the Future.’ I have seen references of this come up occasionally in other places, but have never actually managed to track down any credible suggestion that such a book even exists. However, it’s a fantastic thought that Dr Pyke would have written such a thing, so I’m also going to suggest some things links with my other suggestion: Tricky’s cover of XTC’s ‘Dear God’.”

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Tricky – Dear God

Which would be where we’d leave it, but one last peek into the pub to see what Jules has been up to leads to something about him being too old to be in a fight, about Donald Trump, an admission that the one suggestion I still don’t follow “…still makes not a lot sense…”, that I should “…ignore previous drunken ramblings…” and most pertinently that “…I needed some Billy Bragg…”

So, as a one off, while I’m not at all sure how this links to the source record, I’ll assume that somewhere there is a link buried deep in Jules inner psyche, play it, and leave it at that. It is rather fine, as relevant today as when Woody Guthrie first penned the lyrics:

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Billy Bragg & Wilco – All You Fascists

Woody Guthrie died in 1967.

And so to the next song in The Official Chain, and once again, once of you was mightily close, getting the right band, the right link, but the wrong song.

Here’s the link:

“…Thomas Dolby produced an album by Prefab Sprout…”

Here’s the song:

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37. Prefab Sprout – Bonny

Here’s some Bonus Points for The Great Gog for proving Meat Loaf right when he sang “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad”.

And here’s a request for your suggestions for songs which link to “Bonny” by Prefab Sprout, along with a brief description of the link, via the Comments Section down below, in time for next Sunday’s edition (by which I mean, by Saturday night, please!)

More soon.

Late Night Stargazing

Okay, with just seven days to go until the Big Day, we’re going to crank up the Christmas round these parts.

Not that Late Night Stargazing is the sort of place where things get cranked up, of course.

But here’s a few of tunes which fit the mood of this corner.

First, from the simply wonderful “A Glimpse of Stocking” Christmas album they released a couple of years ago, here’s Saint Etienne:

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Saint Etienne – Snow

Sticking with female vocalists for now, here, from another Christmas album from 2012, is Tracey Thorn, her of Everything But The Girl fame, with the title track from said album:

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Tracey Thorn – Tinsel and Lights

One for all the pagans out there now. Here’s Ultrasound, with a tune to celebrate Winter Solstice:

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Ultrasound – Modranicht

Moving forward slightly from 8th Century Pagan to 16th Century Medieval with a Christmas carol performed all in Latin. You are not necessarily expected to sing a long with this one:

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Steeleye Span – Gaudete

“Gaudete” is not only one of only three songs performed entirely in Latin to be hit in the UK, it’s also one of the few to be performed a capella. Two more were Christmas Number Ones, “Only You” by The Flying Pickets, which I’m not going to post, and this, which, well, I am, obviously:

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The Housemartins – Caravan Of Love

Last one for tonight, then I think we’re about as cranked up as we get round these parts.

Back to female vocalists, and one from a band that, had my phone been working a couple of months ago when I was sent a text asking me if I fancied going, I would have seen play at my favourite venue, Union Chapel in Islington, at the start of the month. The invite was from my mate Neil, the only one from my little bunch of buddies that I haven’t been able to catch up with pre-Christmas, so Neil, this one’s for you:

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Low – Blue Christmas

More soon.

The Chain #26

Welcome back to the Chain Gang.

We ended up last week with me inviting suggestions for songs which link to The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “Voodoo Chile [Slight Return]”, which is lifted from their “Electric Ladyland” album, whilst also making a rather bold prediction:

“I’m willing to bet I know which artist Charity Chic will suggest.”

So over to you, CC:

“If you are thinking Wall of Voodoo, they only had one decent song which I suggested last week which could be winner if it didn’t take you back to the radio theme.”

Errrr,  no. That wasn’t who I was thinking of. However, that did prompt Dirk from Sexyloser to suggest the following:

“Wall Of Voodoo’s “Dance You F***ers*” was okay as well, if I remember correctly”

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Wall Of Voodoo – Dance You Fuckers

Fancy another go, Charity Chic?

“Chile used to be ruled by a tin-pot fascist dictator called General Pinochet. When he took I’ll he came to the UK where our very own tin-pot fascist dictator Margaret Thatcher gave him bed and board at the countries expense. Thereafter the normally spineless Jack Straw the then Home Secretary deported him. I wrote to congratulate him but never got the courtesy of a reply.

 So “(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang” by Heaven 17 please.”

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Heaven 17 – [We Dont Need This] Fascist Groove Thang

Nope, that wasn’t what I was thinking of either. How embarrassing. Anyone else?

Here’s Rol from My Top Ten:

“Why has nobody suggested Kirsty MacColl yet? Is that what you were expecting from Charity Chic?

Kirsty had an excellent album called Electric Landlady. The opening track is called Halloween, making it doubly appropriate.

That’s not my official suggestion. Just the obvious one you were no doubt looking for.”

Bingo!

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Kirsty MacColl – Halloween

You see, the other week, having successfully suggested a link to a Kirsty MacColl record for the second week running, and aware of our mutual adoration of her work, CC announced that he would attempt to link to something by her at every opportunity.

I’m reminded of QI, and the number of times Alan Davies has proffered “a blue whale” as an answer, and got it wrong, but then when it is the answer, manages to miss it. Like this:

Now. Before we go any further, I need to just clear a little something up. And having popped the tissues away, now I need to clarify something.

The reason we are linking to The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “Voodoo Chile [Slight Return]” is that it was the next record in the official BBC Chain, following on from Joni Mitchell’s “You Turn Me On I’m a Radio”, and the official link between the two was given as “…Mitch Mitchell played bass in the Jimi Hendrix Experience…”. Needless to say this raised a few eyebrows, by The Swede (“That’ll be news to Noel Redding’s estate”) and Alex G (“What a disappointing official connection. I expect better than that for £145.50 a year.”)

So let’s just check with the bible of all accurate data: Wikipedia, which lists Mitch Mitchell’s credits as ‘backing vocals, drums (except on “Rainy Day Dream Away” and “Still Raining, Still Dreaming”), percussion, lead vocals on “Little Miss Strange”‘ and Noel Redding’s as ‘backing vocals, bass on “Crosstown Traffic”, “Little Miss Strange”, “Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)”, “Burning of the Midnight Lamp”, and “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”, acoustic guitar and lead vocals on “Little Miss Strange”‘

So perhaps we should have a couple of Noel Redding related tunes before we go any further.

There is a town just outside London which hosts an annual music festival over the August Bank Holiday Weekend. That town is Reading, but it’s pronounced the same way as Noel’s surname. The other way to pronounce it is, of course, in the same way as in the phrase “Reading, Writing And Arithmetic”, which just so happens to be the title of the debut album by The Sundays. Here’s the opening track:

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The Sundays – Skin & Bones

Similarly, here’s George, with both of his suggestions linking to the unappreciated multi-instrumentalist:

“Noel Redding the bass player/drummer, could also play the mandolin, and so could Ira Lonnie Loudermilk, better known as Ira Louvin, one half the toptastic Louvin Brothers. (He was also the heavy drinking much married and alleged wife-beater who was once shot by one of wives). And one of the Louvin Brothers’ song is The Angels Rejoiced Last Night, which has one of the finest examples of lyrics in country music you’ll ever hear.”

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The Louvin Brothers – The Angels Rejoiced Last Night

I don’t know about you, but the sight of that album sleeve has just bumped that record to the top of my “must own” pile.

Here’s George’s second suggestion:

“I’m surprised no-one has posted an Otis Redding suggestion, so mine is ‘Stay in School’.”

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Otis Redding – Stay in School

I have two things to say about that. Firstly, I always thought Roy Orbison was ‘The Big O’? Secondly, George adds: “I played this to some of my classes when I was working.” So what on earth was your teaching style like if you had to play the pupils a record imploring them not leave?

“I also played them the occasional track by Gong,” George adds, like that makes it perfectly acceptable. Although maybe in an alternative to classroom bell context, a “That Gong’s not for you, it’s for me” kinda way, I guess it might work.

But I digress. Where were we. Oh yes, Chile. CC was not the only person to go down the “Chile” route. Here’s The Robster from Is This The Life?

“I also couldn’t get Chile out of my head, in this case the country – ‘Chile Your Waters Run Red Through Soweto’. While the Billy Bragg version is best known, for me you can’t beat Sweet Honey In The Rock’s take which is just wonderful.”

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Sweet Honey In The Rock – Chile Your Waters Run Red Through

And in similar territory, literally, here’s The Great Gog:

“Back in my mid-80s student radio days, I had a stand-in co-presenter for the mammoth 4-hour Saturday Sportswatch (not my choice of title). I set the Hendrix track off and as it finished I was busy scribbling info off Ceefax for an upcoming link. Said co-presenter then back-announced the track, pronouncing Chile as one would the South American country which is spelt that way. Cue much mirth around the studio where music snobbery was positively encouraged.

 Anyway…I’m obviously now in South American county mode, so I offer ‘Ecuador’ by Sash!…”

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Sash! – Ecuador

…or,” The Great Gog continues, “‘Brazilian Love Affair’ by George Duke.”

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 George Duke – Brazilian Love Affair

Before we move on to the most popular links, one which received two nominations this week, firstly from Rol (“The other obvious suggestion is ‘Slight Return’, the Bluetones’ biggest hit. But you can have that one for free.”) – CC: did you notice that’s the second time he’s said “obvious choice”? He may as well have said blue whale – but also from The Beard (“Alternatively, ‘Slight Return’ by The Bluetones”), which, to be fair, looks a little bit odd when taken out of context i.e. immediately after his other suggestions, which we’ll come to in a bit.

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The Bluetones – Slight Return

Now, a Public Service Announcement. I have had to disqualify three suggestions this week, because I don’t think the suggested link is correct. I’m talking about these:

“Jimi’s guitar solo from, oh I forget but not Voodoo Chile, was recycled in BAD’s C’mon Every Beat Box and then later Right Said Fred (Deeply Dippy I think). Which was then covered on the Heavenly Fred EP by the Rockingbirds. One of whom plays guitar for Edwyn Collins.”

I had the BAD track all lined up and ready to go, listened to it to make sure it sounded okay, and realised after it finished that I hadn’t noticed any Hendrix-guitar in there. So I listened again. And again. And again. And again. Nope. So I had a little look on-line, and stumbled across this page which explains all of the samples, source materials and references on BAD’s “No 10 Upping Street” album, from which “C’mon Every Beat Box” is lifted. No mention of Mr Hendrix at all there, nor on several other places I checked.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I would love to post all of them, not least The Rockingbirds version of Deeply Dippy, but as far as I can see, these suggestions fall at the first hurdle. So sorry, but in the absence of any link, I can’t play any of those tunes.

Ok, so there were two other means of linking to our source record this week which attracted mucho attentioni (those online Italian lessons weren’t wasted on me, right?), and so I’ll hand you back over to Dirk for a moment:

“Now, there are quite a lot of really good bands called “The Something Something Experience”, such as The Colorblind James Experience, The Iowa City Beef Experience, The Jean Paul Sartre Experience, The Joyce McKinney Experience, The Mr. T Experience, The Tony Head Experience plus, I’m sure, a few others which I can’t think of currently. ‘Lift To Experience’ spring to mind as well, but they don’t count in my Mr. Monk–world.

Also we have The Sid Presley Experience and the B-Side of their 1984 7″ ‘Hup 2-3-4’ is rather splendid, so it shall be my link for this week, please: ‘Public Enemy Number One’.”

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The Sid Presley Experience – Public Enemy Number One

Time to welcome back Charity Chic:

“I was going to offer up ‘Considering a Move to Memphis’ by the Colorblind James Experience but Dirk stole my thunder…I am not having a good day…”

Well, actually he just mentioned it in passing, so I’ll give you that one (also because it’s one of my favourite records ever):

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The Colorblind James Experience – Considering a Move to Memphis

And here’s another one of those ‘The Something Something Experience’ bands, suggested by Yours Truly, although strictly speaking they’re a the ‘Something Something Something Experience’ band: a band with a truly magnificent name, but who’s music sadly doesn’t quite fulfill expectations, unless you’re expecting some fey C86-esque indie jingly-jangly guitars, in which case, fill your boots:

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James Dean Driving Experience – Sean Connery

But by far and away the most popular link this week was to Voodoo. There was a great song by Vic and Bob from their “The Smell of Reeves & Mortimer” series called, I think, “Do You Do Voodoo?” which I was hoping to link to now, but can I find it? Can I heck as like.

So, let’s start off with a welcome return for Marie, who suggests this:

“As soon as I saw the word “Voodoo” (with Halloween being just around the corner an’ all), I knew that I had to suggest this song: Charles Sheffield’s ‘It’s Your Voodoo Working'”

I wish I could say I’d planned this week’s post to land a couple of days before Halloween, but honestly, I never look at what the next link in the Chain is until I come to write this, so I can’t claim to be that organised.

Anyway, here’s Charles:

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Charles Sheffield – It’s Your Voodoo Working

Time for babylotti’s suggestion(s):

“‘Voodoo Chile’ was part of the Hendrix medley released as a free record with Soft Cell’s most accomplished album, The Art of Falling Apart. The other side of that record was a song based on George A Romero’s film about a boy who believes himself to be a vampire. So I’m suggesting that one, ‘Martin’, by Soft Cell.”

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Soft Cell – Martin

It’s not long before babylotti’s back though, with a second suggestion:

“Jeez, how did I not take that chance to link to Tom Robinson Band’s Martin? I think I just did…;-)”

Don’t think you can get round me with a cheeky winking emoji, old chap. That’s the sort of thing likely to make me not post your choice. But since it’s a rather fine choice, here you go:

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Tom Robinson Band – Martin

It’s not often that we get different versions of the same song suggested here, but that’s exactly what happened this week. I’ll let SWC from When You Can’t Remember Anything explain:

“I have always thought that the greatest song to ever feature the word voodoo was by A Guy Called Gerald and Voodoo Ray….”

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A Guy Called Gerald – Voodoo Ray (Original Mix)

“But,” continues SWC, “his version is not the best for that you need to go to Acid Brass version.”

For the uninitiated, “Acid Brass” is an album of acid house choons covered by a brass band. The Williams Fairey Brass Band, to be precise. Don’t let that put you off though, this is, as SWC alludes, brilliant:

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The Williams Fairey Brass Band – Voodoo Ray

I said three versions, right? Right. Here’s Swiss Adam from Bagging Area:

“Voodoo Ray is not only the best record with the word Voodoo in its title, but one of the best records ever made. No arguing. Fact. The Acid Brass version is wonderful too but Gerald’s was proof that British house music was going somewhere else entirely. For an updated version see Optimo’s remix (done with Jeremy Deller).”

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Jeremy Deller – Voodoo Ray (Optimo remix)

Can we have a factoid about the tune before you go Swiss?

“It was supposed to be Voodoo Rage but there weren’t enough spaces in the digital name display so he changed it to Ray.”

Thanks Swiss!

Here’s babylotti again. He’s been thinking.

“Just yesterday I was listening to Philip Boa & The Voodoo Club, they once sang a song about Paul, who was in love with a container…..which is a line from another of their songs, so my next suggestion is Love on Sale by them…”

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Phillip Boa & The Voodoo Club – Love On Sale

Now. “Container Love” by Philip Boa & The Voodoo Club is another record I adore, so I’m a bit annoyed you didn’t pick that one. In fact, I very nearly over-ruled you and played that instead. But then I realised we’re a bit light on cheese this week – we love the occasional cheesy record round these parts – and without Love on Sale then you wouldn’t have been able to provide this week’s Dairylea triangle:

“Which leads me to my awful song selection, from Love on Sale to ‘You Gotta Be A Hustler If You Wanna Get On’ by Sue Wilkinson.”

Not awful, babylotti, cheesy.

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Sue Wilkinson – You Gotta Be A Hustler If You Wanna Get On

Ah. Okay. As you were. Awful it is.

That made it to Number 25 in the UK charts back in 1980. It was her only hit. Maybe she’d have had more if her name hadn’t been so…well, drab. I mean, it’s not exactly the sort of name that conjures up visions of a pop star, is it? To me, Sue Wilkinson sounds like the woman from the office with a fixation on cats, who arranges the collections for people’s birthdays and tries to engage you in conversations about The Great British Bake Off when you’re trying to mind your own business by killing time at the photocopier.

Now, we can’t really do a post referencing records linked to Voodoo without mentioning The Robster’s next suggestion:

“Screamin’ Jay Hawkins looked like a witch doctor who practiced voodoo. He’s best known, of course, for his classic I Put A Spell On You, but in 1974, he released a single called Voodoo, which was backed by You Put The Spell On Me. So you can have any one of those three.”

Suddenly, this has become like a version of Michael Barrymore’s “Strike It Lucky”: I can have top, middle or bottom, you say? Middle! (See, I can resist making the obvious joke sometimes)

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Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – Voodoo

Time for some Swede action. Here’s The Swede from Unthought of though, somehow:

“Working on the basis of ‘first thought, best thought’, the song that immediately popped into my head to follow ‘Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)’ was ‘(The Ballad Of) The Voodoo Ranger’ by Multicoloured Shades.”

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 The Multicoloured Shades – (The Ballad Of) The Voodoo Ranger

Chain Gang, count yourself very lucky, for that song made me think of one very cheesy one which, had I had the time, would have got posted right now. I’ll save it for another time…

Here’s Swiss Adam, back for a second, third and fourth bite at the cherry:

“Voodoo always makes me think of The Gun Club’s debut album Fire of Love (the cover art). Sex Beat is a peak on an album of peaky peaks. They were never that good again.”

I’m not sure we’ve ever had someone link via the medium of cover art before. I suppose, given the cover art I used for “Electric Ladyland” last week – which Hendrix himself disapproved of, by the way – I should be grateful. Anyway: a first!

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The Gun Club – Sex Beat

Anyone who regularly visits his excellent Bagging Area blog will not be surprised by the manner in which Swiss continues: “…which gives me two Andrew Weatherall links- Two Lone Swordsmen did a spirited cover version of Sex Beat…”

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Two Lone Swordsmen – Sex Beat

“…and the sleeve of Sabres of Paradise’s wonderful single Wilmot recycled The Gun Club’s cover images and is a voodoo influenced tune itself.”

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The Sabres Of Paradise – Wilmot

I always thought that was about popular chicken-in-a-basket entertainer Gary Wilmot. Apparently not.

A couple of weeks ago, one of the songs posted here was Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does It Better”, and I happened to comment that it was my favourite Bond theme ever, although occasionally it might be the next record. Here’s Alyson from What’s It All About, Alfie?:

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Paul McCartney & Wings – Live And Let Die

It seems Rol has been trying to think of something clever:

“I was going to try and be deep and obscure this week, but then I remembered one of my favourite tracks from my favourite album of last year: ‘Voodoo Doll’ by John Grant”.

Regular readers will know I share Rol’s love of all things John Grant related, so here you go:

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John Grant – Voodoo Doll

Time to welcome back (I think – you have posted here before, haven’t you…?) Brian from Linear Tracking Lives:

“Like The Robster, my first thought was Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. Then I recalled quite a few albums with voodoo in the name, such as the Dirty Dozen Band’s Voodoo and Paul Carrack’s Suburban Voodoo, but there isn’t that one song that hits on the theme. Then I smiled when I thought of Harvey Korman as Hedley Lamarr in ‘Blazing Saddles’ telling his band of bad guys “Now go do that voodoo that you do so well.” Yes, I’m that highbrow. Well, that’s liberally lifted from Cole Porter’s ‘You Do Something to Me’. Francis Albert sings that song with gusto, but it’s not my favourite. So, finally, my pick is a close cousin to voodoo…. Witchcraft, sung by Sinatra”

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Frank Sinatra – Witchcraft

Here’s Alex G, fresh from expressing his disappointment at last week’s link, which given the amount of research he’s done into his own link is a bit rich:

“Talking Heads did a song called Papa Legba, which is named after some sort of spirit in Haitian Voodoo.”

(Papa Legba is the loa who serves as the intermediary between the loa and humanity. He stands at a spiritual crossroads and gives (or denies) permission to speak with the spirits of Guinee, and is believed to speak all human languages. Either that or an over-priced midfielder currently arousing the curiosity of  Manchester United’s scouting team. You decide.)

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Talking Heads – Papa Legba

Alyson’s back, to expand on her earlier “Live and Let Die” nomination:

“Thinking about it a bit more, the fictitious island where much of the Voodoo action in the film took place was called San Monique but of course it is highly likely that this fictitious island was supposed to be Haiti where, apparently, the majority of the population hold Voodoo beliefs. This of course got me thinking of the song ‘Haitian Divorce’ by Steely Dan.”

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Steely Dan – Haitian Divorce

Time now for a big warm Chain Gang welcome to Kuttowski, who unless I’m very much mistaken, is Walter from the excellent A few good times in my life blog. Welcome aboard, Kuttowski/Walter, what have you got for us?

“I think it is time to join the chain gang. Thinking about the word voodoo Screaming Jay Hawkins and Voodoo Ray came to my mind. But it all said by the ones before. So I would suggest Voodoo by Mano Negra, a French band lead by Manu Chao back in the late 80’s. Starting with a dark mood this song turns into a weird folk chaos.”

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Mano Negra – Voodoo

“Otherwise,” he continues, “I would suggest Jah Wobble’s Voodoo.”

You can have both:

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Jah Wobble – Voodoo (Original Mix)

And so to the last of the Voodoo related tracks, and a very heartfelt welcome back, albeit via the conduit that is SWC, to Badger:

“I spoke to Badger and his suggestion from the sofa is thus. Part of the voodoo ceremony is to slaughter a rooster. (He is basing this solely from the Mickey Rourke/Lisa Bonet film [Angel Heart, I believe – Film Ed] of a few years back.) But that takes us too ‘Mansize Rooster’ by Supergrass.”

Hallelujah, what a great, often overlooked tune. And I think I speak for everyone here when I say it’s great to hear Badger is on his way back to fighting fit.

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Supergrass – Mansize Rooster

Four songs to go, and here’s my last choice. This is, I believe, a cover of a Kiss record, performed here by The Lemonheads back in their early days before they had added the The to their name. I’m not going to explain the link: if you don’t get it, then just type the words “Jimi Hendrix” and “Plaster Caster” into Google. But don’t do it at work:

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The Lemonheads – Plaster Caster

Having given him a bit of a ribbing earlier, I was going to let Charity Chic have the last word this week. But, that honour is being saved for my favourite link of the week.

So, sorry CC, but here’s your other selection:

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Neil Young – From Hank to Hendrix

Earlier on, I mentioned that The Beard had suggested The Bluetones “Slight Return” as his final choice, and here come his first two choices, the reasoning behind which I love:

“From Jimi Hendrix to Hendrik Van Kleefe, the dodgy Dutch diamond dealer from To Hull And Back, the Only Fools and Horses Christmas special from 1985. Two of the world’s greatest cities, Hull and Amsterdam, are featured in the episode. 1985 also saw the release of Flag Day, the debut single by “the fourth best band in Hull” aka The Housemartins.”

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The Housemartins – Flag Day

And finally:

“‘Amsterdam’ by Peter Bjorn and John didn’t come out in 1985 but is great nonetheless.”

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Peter Bjorn and John – Amsterdam

Right, can you all line up please? *Does quick head count* Okay, I don’t think I missed anyone out. So let’s have a look at the reason behind the next record in the official Chain:

“Jimi Hendrix’s manager was Chas Chandler, who played bass in The Animals…”

…and this was the record of choice:

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26. The Animals – The House of the Rising Sun

So, let’s be having your suggestions for records which you can link to The House of the Rising Sun by The Animals, along with a description as to the link between the two records, via the Comments section down below.

See you next week.

(More soon).

It’s Make Your Mind Up Time

So, today’s the day that I can legitimately visit my local primary school without being eyed suspiciously by all the parents. For today, I get to cast my vote in the EU Referendum.

This was going to be a very short post, where I simply posted this song, left those of you able to vote to ponder your decision, and went about my day:

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The Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

I wasn’t going to bang on about which way I’m going to vote, figuring that you can probably guess from my Election posts last year, or if you follow me on Twitter, which box my cross is going into.

But then a few things happened which made me reconsider.

Firstly, I re-listened to the tune, and realised that the lyrics “If I go there will be trouble, but if I stay it will be double” didn’t really convey my thoughts on the Referendum particularly accurately. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Secondly, the exact same song got posted over at “What’s It All About, Alfie?” earlier today, so I figured I needed to up my game a bity (no offence; I’ve only recently found this blog, and am very much enjoying it. You should check it out too). I also figured I could have spared myself a lot of time had I just remembered to post this a bit earlier in the day.

Thirdly, if we believe the polls (and Brexiters will never believe the Poles, unless they’re giving them a really cheap quote, in which case, they’re fine), it is very finely balanced between the Leave and the Remain camps. Some say Leave are marginally ahead, some say Remain are.

So, banging on it is then.

And let me pin my colours to the mast right from the start: I will be voting to Remain.

If you will also be voting to Remain, hello, you’re very welcome, stay as long as you like. Oh, I love your shoes!

If you have no intention of voting, or have not yet made up your mind, then stick around. Maybe something I say, or play, will strike a chord with you. You’re looking great, by the way; have you been working out?

But if you will definitely be voting to Leave, I’d recommend that you read no further. We’ll only fall out.

(Have they gone? Good, then I’ll begin)

So first, let’s talk about those of you who might be thinking of not voting. You should. You really should. This is one of the most important decisions that the British public has been asked in a very long time, and it may be the only time you get to have such a say.

So, if you can’t be bothered with voting, you don’t deserve a dedication, but you’re going to get one whether you like it or not:

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That Petrol Emotion – Big Decision

No, if ever there was an occasion where your country needed you, in a non-violent, non-war sense, then it is today. So. Stop. Take your time, and above all:

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The Housemartins – Think For A Minute (New Version)

I appreciate that this is not an easy decision, not as straight-forward as simply sticking with the political party you normally side with. Well, not for me it isn’t. I’ve voted the same way at every local, general or European election since I was able to vote, no matter how futile that vote may have seemed: I grew up in former Conservative Prime Minister John Major’s constituency, and the year that he got elected as PM I may as well have voted for Lord Buckethead, who was also standing against him.

But this time, the political lines are blurred. Whichever way I vote, I’m going to be agreeing with somebody who, essentially, I think is an utter cock.

I’m no fan of Cameron or Osbourne. But I’m buggered if I’m going to side with this motley crew of ne’er-do-wells (in no particular order of ne’er-do-well-ness): Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Nigel Farage, George Galloway, Britain First, Rupert Murdoch, Katie Hopkins, David Icke, for fuck’s sake even Donald Trump! (If Motley Crue had to pick a side, I’d have found this whole process a lot easier, of course).

Boris Johnson: a man who spent eight years as the Mayor of London, eight years where I can think of not one positive thing that he contributed to making our capital city in any way safer or better. A man who pledged to end rough sleeping in London by 2012, but then ignored the fact that the figure had risen from 3,673 in 2009 to 7,500 in 2012. A man who ran up taxi bills of £4,698 in one year, including one for £237.00 for a seven mile journey. How is that even possible?? A man who thinks that shamelessly playing the buffoon endears him to us. A man who has positioned himself as the most ardent and prominent of Leave campaigners, yet who, just two weeks before announcing he would be supporting the Brexit camp, wrote this in his column in The Daily Telegraph:

“It is also true that the single market is of considerable value to many UK companies and consumers, and that leaving would cause at least some business uncertainty, while embroiling the Government for several years in a fiddly process of negotiating new arrangements, so diverting energy from the real problems of this country – low skills, low social mobility, low investment etc – that have nothing to do with Europe.”

Or, in 2013 when he said this:

“Most of our problems are not caused by Brussels. My ideal world is: we’re there, we’re in the EU, trying to make it better.”

Bit of  change of heart, eh? What could possibly have prompted that? The notion of taking over from David Cameron as the next leader of the Conservative Party, possibly the next Prime Minister, even? Johnson is without doubt a shameless charlatan, a career politician, who gives not two hoots about anyone other than himself.

Michael Gove: putting aside his immense popularity following his performance as Education Secretary – where the National Association of Head Teachers, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, the National Union of Teachers and the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers all turned in votes of “No Confidence” against him – he’s had a phenomenal last couple of days of campaigning.

On Wednesday, he had to apologise for comparing economic experts’ – who probably know what they’re talking about, you’d think – warnings about leaving the European Union with the Nazis who denounced Albert Einstein in the 1930s.

On Tuesday, Gove announced that former Liverpool and England footballer John Barnes was backing the Leave campaign, only for this to happen:

Yes, that’s John Barnes turning up on Sky News, of all places, to set the record straight. (Someone should tell him that Euro 2016 is happening in France, not South Africa, though.)

Nigel Farage: last year, there was a General Election. In that General Election, we all agreed on something: we did not want this man anywhere near our system of Government. He was soundly beaten in his constituency.

He hates the EU, does Nigel. Hates them so much, that he left the Conservative Party in a huff in 1992 because they signed the Maastricht Treaty. And guess what he did then? Yup, became an MEP. What’s an MEP, you may ask? An MEP is a Member of the European Parliament.

In 2009, Farage was asked what he had received in non-salary expenses and allowances since becoming an MEP in 1999, he said this:

“It is a vast sum…I don’t know what the total amount is but – it must be pushing £2 million.” 

Pretty happy with being in the EU then, wasn’t he?

Hardly a surprise then, that when asked, in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal in April this year, if he was going to publish his tax returns – like David Cameron, Jeremy Corbyn and, yes, even Boris Johnson had done or pledged to do – Farage said:

“The answer from me is no. A big no.” 

Strange that, eh?

And when about when he was an MEP? Surely, he fought tooth and nail for the rights of good, proud, honest British workers, right? Well, no, not exactly. During his time as an MEP, there were 38 votes on European fisheries policies, each one of which would have affected the British fishing industry. Farage voted just 9 times out of those 38 votes. Presumably the pubs were open when the other 29 took place, or perhaps he’d found an excellent tobacconist.

Farage, of course, is the leader of UKIP, a political party which prides itself on its stance against immigrants, coming over here, stealing jobs from good, proud, honest British workers. But let’s ignore the fact that Farage is a hypocrite, since he himself is of French descent, and is married to a German lady, who he also employs as his parliamentary secretary.

No, let’s focus instead on the downright lies and frankly racist comments he has made during this campaign. That he signed off on and stood in front of this poster campaign:

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…ignoring the fact that that picture shows Syrian refugees – trying to escape ISIS – going from Slovenia into Croatia, not the UK. And that we have border controls.

The stuff about refugees and immigrants flooding the UK is not just a lie, it’s scaremongering of the worst kind.

And the biggest lie? This nonsense about us paying £350 million a week to the EU. Here’s the truth:

Coupled with that, there was the Leave claim that they would make £8 billion available for the NHS, which they said was supported by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). Here’s what the IFS felt compelled to say in response:

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And then there’s Britain First. Normally I would not waste my time discussing them. But this is worth mentioning: on June 13th, they posted this on their Facebook page:

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Yes. Yes they did fight for a free Britain. For that picture is of the No. 310 RAF Squadron, formed in Duxford in 1940, and piloted by officers who escaped Czechoslovakia after the German occupation. They came over here, flying our planes and defending us against the Nazis…

You don’t need me to tell you why siding with the rest in that list – just to remind you, that’s George Galloway, Rupert Murdoch, Katie Hopkins, David Icke, Donald Trump to name but a few pre-Leavers – does not show you in a good light, do you?

That said, the whole campaign has, in my book, been utterly shameful, with neither the Brexit (God, I really hate that phrase) or the Remain camps covering themselves in glory. But it seems to me that the Leave campaign have been the most guilty of peddling lies.

Time for a song:

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Fleetwood Mac – Little Lies

Up until the week or so, the campaign had been, nasty, sordid, unpleasant. And then it took a truly nightmarish twist.

On Wednesday, Remain supporter and Labour MP Yvette Cooper received this Tweet:

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He seems nice.

I imagine, Yvette Cooper gets trolled quite a lot on Twitter. Many people, especially women, in the limelight do, by idiots and cowards, taking a breather from tossing themselves off over the comments section in The Mail Online.

But given the events of 16th June 2016, there’s no room for this kind of stuff. There wasn’t before, truth be told.

On 16th June 2016 Labour MP Jo Cox, a Remain supporter and tireless campaigner for refugees and women’s rights, was murdered on her way to hold a surgery in her constituency. Shot, stabbed, and kicked as she lay dieing. A witness has reported that he heard the murderer shout either “Britain First” or “Put Britain First”.

And, although campaigning in the EU Referendum was suspended as a mark of respect for two days following the shocking events, when they resumed it wasn’t long before her death, and the possible reason for her death, took centre stage in the debate. Nigel Farage – who else? – claimed that David Cameron and George Osborne had tried to link her murder to the Leave campaign.

“I think there are Remain camp supporters out there who are using this to try to give the impression that this isolated horrific incident is somehow linked to arguments that have been made by myself or Michael Gove or anybody else in this campaign, and frankly that is wrong.”

Which of course, is something which could be levelled against me for mentioning it in this post. No: I’m merely reporting. Although, given the rhetoric the Leave campaign has used throughout, and which Britain First use as a matter of course, I’m not sure that you can totally disassociate yourself from a man who, when appearing in Court to face charges under the ‘terrorism protocol’ gave his name as “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain.”

Britain First of course, also tried to distance themselves from the alleged murderer, and some of their sympathisers tried to follow suit. With breath-taking results:

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Chapeau, sir, chapeau.

Anyway, Cameron’s response was this:

“What I have been talking about in respect of Jo is what a wonderful human being and great politician and great campaigner she was….What everyone has been saying, and what I say again, is paying tribute not only to her but the values she lived by and epitomised in public life of tolerance, of service, of community. That’s what we are saying about her.”

All I will say is that Farage’s silence was noticeable after Jo’s widower, Brendan, gave this interview:

I’m not saying that Jo Cox was murdered because she was a Remain campaigner. It’s not that black or white. Very little is. I am saying that she was murdered because of her political views, which included a belief that we’ll be better off remaining in the EU. And her bereaved husband agrees.

But it doesn’t matter what I think. Not really. For much as the Leave campaigners have scoffed, stamped their feet, and feigned outrage at the mere suggestion that there could be a link between the person who murdered Jo Cox and their campaign, yesterday there was a memorial service for Jo in Trafalgar Square. And this happened:

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That, in case you can’t make it out, is a plane carrying a banner which reads “Take Control #Vote Leave” which repeatedly flew over Trafalgar Square, just as Jo’s widower was giving a speech in her honour.

Words cannot express how tasteless that is.

Just to be clear: I’m not saying that all who support the Leave campaign are racists. But you can bet that every racist will vote Leave.

So today, please vote. It’s important. Think about not just which side you’re on, but whose side you’re on. And make the right decision, whatever you may think that is.

Some songs:

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Billy Bragg – Which Side Are You On?

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Suede – Stay Together

And if you won’t listen to me or Brett and the boys from Suede, then maybe you’ll listen to the Reverend:

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Al Green – Let’s Stay Together

More soon.

Never Trust Kelvin MacKenzie

One of the down-sides of my being a predominantly weekend-based blogger, is that when stuff of significance happens mid-week I’m a bit rubbish at reacting.

By now, every one in the UK knows what we’ve always known: that the deaths of 96 football fans at Hillsborough in 1989, 27 years ago, were “unlawful”.

I’m not going to comment on that. You don’t need me to. You can just watch this:

What I am going to comment on is Kelvin MacKenzie’s response to the jury’s decision.

In case you don’t know who Kelvin MacKenzie is, let me enlighten you. At the time of Hillsborough, he was the editor of The Sun newspaper, which, again in case you are unaware, is owned by the same company which owns The Times, The Sunday Times, and, until recently when it was found to have illegally hacked phones and was  forced to close, the News of the World. Yes, that’s right, News International, owned by one Rupert Murdoch.

Here’s the front pages of The Times and The Sun on the day after the verdict was announced:

The day after

Notice anything missing from them?

Back in 1989, in the immediate aftermath of Hillsborough, MacKenzie signed off stories that claimed some Liverpool fans urinated on police and picked the pockets of the dead. They were printed under the headline banner: “The Truth”.

Only they weren’t the truth. Those claims were found to be entirely without foundation and the product of a smear campaign designed to shift the blame from authority onto victims. A smear campaign orchestrated by the police. And claims which MacKenzie did nothing to investigate or even check, preferring to just accept – and print – what the police were telling them. The earliest example we have of the cosy relationship between News International and the police, right there.

But now, post jury decision, he tries to position himself as a victim, that he was hood-winked into printing those lies.

Poor old Kelvin. How hard his life must be, knowing he has lost precisely none of his relatives due to the incompetence of the police officers he actively sought to defend at the time.

There’s only one song to play:

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Billy Bragg – Never Buy the Sun

Well, actually, there’s two. I was saving this for a “Same Title, Different Song” post, but this is way more important:

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The Housemartins – Freedom

More soon.

Same Title, Different Song

Okay, so not quite the same title, but what’s an apostrophe and a couple of brackets between friends?

First up, this bit of bare-footed Bacharach and David brilliance:

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Sandie Shaw – (There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me

And here’s The Housemartins with their farewell single, which I always felt a little underwhelmed by. But then any single by The Housemartins was pretty great, and definitely better than much that was around in the charts at the same time:

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The Housemartins – There is Always Something There to Remind Me

The latter song is dedicated to Alan Duncan MP for his vile “low achievers” comments.

Us so-called low achievers are not jealous of the wealthy because of their wealth, we’re angry with them because of the way that they got their wealth. That, and their failure to contribute financially to the country in which they made it.

More soon.