Category Archives: Music

Magical and magnificent, bewitching and beautiful

bring back home - digital coverA review of Bring Back Home, by Ange Hardy.

First of all, that cover by Michael Cook. Absolutely a work of art. You can’t tell from the picture there, but it shines luxuriously with gold leaf on willow-leaf and moon-crest. You’ll want to have a bit of a fondle, and why not?

When you’ve finished pleasuring yourself that way, you big weirdo, surrender yourself to the music. With the addition of Lee Cuff on cello and Peter Knight – a long-time hero of mine – on fiddle, Ange’s sixth studio outing has an extra, beguiling layer of complex beauty over and above the mesmerising song-writing and rhythmical nous of her preceding albums (the glorious Esteesee is a standout album that everyone should own).

These are songs by a master-songwriter, performed with flair and confidence. I’m not going to bang on about every track individually, but I must single out the album opener, Sisters Three. It’s three minutes and fifty-nine seconds of sheer, bloody, untrammelled joy. It had me leaping and dancing like an eejit, not a sight oft seen in these days of dry age. It also begs to be written as a short story, and I’ll be on that like a tramp on chips, if Ange doesn’t mind. From the haunting, violin-wail strangeness of The Hunter, The Prey (part of Ange’s ‘mother Willow Tree’ sequence of songs) to Chase the Devil Down (a song to give strength to all of us who find our loving hearts pierced occasionally by the steel teeth of the uncaring modern world), every song here is equally strong, equally stirring, and each an instant classic.

More than anything, I love the landscape of Ange’s songs – in her own words, “Willow trees and streams interspersed with dense woodlands, immense trees with tremendous root structures.” It’s a land of wonders. Join me, and let us adventure in that country with a smile on our faces and dance in our steps. The rewards are legion. I love this album so much that my inner editor even forgives the occasional spelling error in the booklet, and so will you. wombicon5It’s right champion, this music. Makes my old blood sing. Five wombats out of five.


Review: The Passing of the Years – Liz Crippin

The Passing of the YearsThis CD of six songs (which makes it an EP in my book) was recorded live, and mostly in one take. The tracks are simply acoustic guitar and voice, creating a spareness that gives these melodic morsels of emotional oomph the space they need to breathe. You’re going to need two or three listens before you begin to realise the true depth and impassioned resonance of Liz Crippin’s songs. They speak of longing, love and lust; regret, remorse and rumpy-pumpy.

Her finger-picking guitar style melds with beautiful phrasing and intriguing, surprising chord patterns to provide a high, airy platform for Liz’s touching Welsh-accented voice to purr through the emotional gears. Sharp, intelligent lyrics reward more than one listen, too, as clever wordplay and metaphor are gradually revealed.

The title track gets into your blood. You’ll be playing it in your head for days. The pretty Rosie’s Song, a hymn of love for a beloved guitar, simply shines with beauty – listen to that guitar line, though, for a real release of endorphins. And if the unrequited longings of ‘Invisible’ don’t pull at your heart then you’re not a human being. If I have one criticism, it is that ‘Hurricane Girl’ needs more power in the chorus, as of a storm-driven wave hitting the shore. Perhaps, though, that was a limitation imposed by the recording conditions. I can’t wait for the album version.

wombicon5I adore this CD. You will too. The Passing of the Years by Liz Crippin. Songs: Rosie’s Song, Monsters, Hurricane Girl, Invisible, You Don’t Know Me. Five happy wombats out of five.

Buy it here:

It’s A Goddam Beautiful Day – review

unspecifiedFor many moons I’ve been intending to review this remarkable piece of work from the prolific Hilliat Fields. Since its release it has become one of my favourite listens, especially when I’m writing.

The first track – Cant. Busy. – an electronic kaleidoscope of sound that builds from the thinnest of edges to a deep lushness – sets me in mind of Skyrim Atmospheres, and takes my mind wandering across icy mountain slopes in search of dragons, or putting my character Glint into a fateful meeting with giant wolf spiders.

Slow Down, with its louche vocals and delicate, cloud-drift changes, is a song that is wearing shades and sprawling in the San Diego sun of Coronado Beach. This is your baby if you want to surround yourself in pure golden relaxation.

I really like Donum, with its guitar chunk meander like a ravenous dog randomly meandering through the rubble of a post-apocalyptic wasteland, searching for food, and finding a freshly dead body.

The final song on this splendid album, and the title track, is a paeon to all of those times that you’ve gone to bed with a smile on your face. No, not because of that, pervs. Think of a beautiful, soul-lifting day; one that made your senses tingle with delight. Like that. Glorious.

If you haven’t guessed already, this is an album that will paint pictures in your mind. There are a few weak moments – I could have lived without Beauty (Everywhere) 16, which made the cats stare at the speakers and hum – but that apart this is a stunning collection. The music surges like oceans, drifts like desert dunes, strokes your skin like the lightest of fingers. It’s music to wrap yourself up in. Go wrap yourself.

wombicon5Five happy wombats for IAGBD, as no one but me calls it. Go and get it here.

Twitter’s Gym Playlist

I asked Twitter to help me build a workout playlist for my Gym Sessions. Here it is.

Ghost_Love_Score_by_chibiwolf1005Ghost Love Score – Nightwish
Stereophonics – Dakota
Hadouken – Levitate
Britney Spears – Work Bitch
E-pro – Beck.
Swedish house mafia – antidote
Five’s Greatest Hits Megamix
Cannibal & the Headhunters – Land of 1000 Dances (1965)
The Human Beinz – Nobody But Me (1967)
The Who – Sparks (1969)
Ten Years After – I’m Going Home [Live at Woodstock] (1968)
David Bowie- Shining Star (Making My Love)
Royksopp – 49percent
Matt Bianco – Wap Bam Boogie (extended)
RuPaul – Jealous of My Boogie
Physical – Olivia Newton John.
Rudimental – Not Giving In
House of Bamboo – Andy Williams.
Comin’ Home Baby – Mel Torme
Le Freak – Chic.
Gone Daddy Gone – Gnarls Barkley.
Chelsea Dagger – The Fratellis.
Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand.
Rock Lobster.
Lemurian Star – Capt. America:The Winter Soldier soundtrack
Into the Fray – ditto

Sous le ciel de Paris

Today I started writing an unsettling little tale for Anthology Club’s ‘Autumn Anthology’. This Edith Piaf song is one of the inspirations behind it.

“Ursa Minor” by Kanute, it will grab you by the metaphoricals

Dscf0887From the moment that Rachael Gray’s ethereal vocal slides in over the hypnotic rhythm of Waking Up In California, this album worms its way into your ear and threads itself ineluctably into your heart. Kanute’s ‘difficult’ second album builds superbly on their critically-acclaimed (by me) “Standing Room Only”. Rob Overseer’s steady hand on the tiller ensures that rhythms never pall, pace never slackens, quality never drops.

While it is invidious to pick out a few tracks from this consistently entertaining selection, I’ll just mention a few of my favourites. I defy anyone to remain completely still during “Bodies” or “Fingerprints”, and Rachael lends a breathy quality to her vocal on the title track itself which simply melts the heart. The stand out track for me though, at least on first listen, is ‘Hurricane’. The track has an unusual feel that grabs you by the metaphorical balls. It will hypnotise you, and had me dancing round the settee and waving my arms in the air like an eejit by the time it had finished. Much to the amusement of my daughter, I might add. Oh, and the two-part Sunlight that closes the album will haunt you for years to come.

This is glorious music. Let it worm its way into your ear.


wombicon[30]“Ursa Minor” gets FIVE Happy Wombatsclick here to visit the Kanute website, from where you will be able to buy “Ursa Minor” soon.

My Girl’s Pussy–Harry Roy (1931)


There’s one pet I like to pet, and every evening we get set.
I stroke it every chance I get, it’s my girl’s pussy.
Seldom plays and never purrs, and I love the thoughts it stirs.
But I don’t mind because it’s hers, it’s my girl’s pussy.
Often it goes out at night, returns at break of dawn.
No matter what the weather’s like, it’s always nice and warm.
It’s never dirty, always clean. In giving thrills, never mean.
But it’s the best I’ve ever seen, it’s my girl’s pussy.
There’s one pet I like to pet, and every evening we get wet.
I stroke it every chance I get, it’s my girl’s pussy.
Seldom plays, never purrs, and I love thoughts it stirs.
But I don’t mind because it’s hers, it’s my girl’s pussy.
So often it goes out at night, and returns at break of dawn, break of dawn.
No matter what the weather’s like, it’s always dry and warm.
I bring titbits that it loves, we spoon like two turtledoves.
I take care to remove my gloves, when stroking my girl’s pussy.

Buy this for it is SPIFFING

Music from my good friend @RachaelKanute – give it a try; you’ll love it.

Ukulele Babes

Lou wears a hatInspired by this pic of Lou & The Llamas now infamous ‘Naked Ukelele” gig, I went looking on the internet for other uke-playing babes. What better way to fill my time between writing books? Here you can enjoy the fruits of my labours.

And fear not, there will be a follow-up ‘Ukulele Dudes’ post, although those are slightly harder to find although rather funnier when you do.



Nice pegs



Here’s a likely lady. She’s hung out her washing to dry in the sun, and now wants nothing more than to don a swimming cossie and warble ‘Princess Poo-Poo-Ly’ with the breeze on her thighs. You’ll see as we go along, it’s a popular thing to display some degree of nakedness while playing a ukulele. I do it myself all the time.










Don't fall!



Yet more thigh-flashing here as a gaggle of nymphettes defy park regulations and perform a bench-borhne version of ‘I Want To Marry A Lighthouse Keeper’. Interesting wrist action from the lady bottom right.









Crystal Tipps



A daring flash of knee is all we get from this smiling lassie, thumb-strumming along to ‘Honolulu Baby’ while shaking her sable coverings. From the smooth reflection and the way that it flows and curves, the uppermost question in my mind has to be ‘Is that made of real silk or is it her actual hair?’














Those of you who know me well will have long been aware that I do like a woman who fills a big trouser, and this buxom foursome certainly tick my boxes, although I doubt I’d be allowed anywhere near theirs. They’re obviously about to launch into ‘It Must Be Jelly Cos Jam Don’t Shake Like That’. Lovely socks.








Horny stylings




A rare early shot of @bossarocker and @imacosmicgirl before they found any boys to play with. I imagine that they are working on an embryonic version of ‘Wonky Face’.








Kick your shoes off, love



Oooh, sexy. Sexy and louche. Yeah baby, nice shoes. Play ‘Chippy Tea’ for me, you beguiling temptress. Of course, if she’s still alive she’ll be well into her nineties by now. There’s a sobering thought.








Is that Alistair McGowan on the right?



Three right happy pluckers here, judging by they’re right hands. What in the name of Satan’s pointy penis are they wearing though? The dress on the right looks like it was ironed by me. Bananarama here will be entertaining you tonight with ‘Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots’ or I’m a Dutchman.












Anyone for ten knees? See what I did there? Ha ha haha! Running through the snow in odd frocks makes for big old smiles despite those head-dress thingies. What song could you play in those temperatures, I wonder? ‘When Hilo Hattie Does The Hilo Hop’, I’ll be bound.






Boy Band



I’m not 100% convinced that these delights of femininity aren’t blokes in drag, actually, but let’s give them the benefit because they’re so well turned out. Now, to keep up with the theme I so cavalierly started earlier, I have to think of a song for these moptops to perform. ‘Donald Where’s Your Troosers?’ obviously.









Hi there



Oh, she’s nice, what with the stockings and the headscarf and that come-hither expression and all. ‘Yes Sir, That’s My Baby!’ … is the song that she would sing, sitting on her front steps there waiting for me to carry her indoors and ravish her. Ahem, sorry, as you were.





Look into my eyes







Blimey, look at her second from left. “Look into my eyes the eyes not around the eyes in the eyes you’re under”. Is probably her favourite chat-up line before launching into a wild abandoned version of ‘Purple Haze’ and setting fire to her ukulele. She’s pretty on the right, mind.



Young Charlie Dimmock





If that’s a fag hanging out of her mouth, she’s pretty cool. If it’s the single tooth she has left in her mouth, then no. Nice plant, love, now sing ‘All I Want For Christmas’ for me.







Flag Boy



More knees and those delightful knitted swimsuits that showed off a girl’s figure so well. Not sure about those socks, though. Honorary cool guy on the right there is well proud of his flag shirt, isn’t he? “Oh yeah, it’s got a flag on it. Flags are cool now.” Their chanson du jour? ‘Oh Lord Won’t You Buy Me A Mercedes Benz’ cos her with the uke reminds me of Janis Joplin. A bit.







Pointy pointy




Here’s another Janis for you. Janis Paige, apparently. I have no idea who that is, but she has succumbed to the naked thighs fashion of ukulele playing. She also hes extremely pointy boobs, which must get in the way of her upswing when strumming along to the likes of ‘Like A Virgin’.











You can more or less make-up your own jokes for this one, can’t you? The girls look like a big load of fun, so they’d probably start singing ‘Yes, We Have No Bananas’ don’t you think? I wonder if they’ve nailed that bloke by the ankles to that board, and the bowl’s to catch his blood when they drain him. Probably not.







Is that Debbie Reynolds?




Cor, look at the fretboard on that. She’s a ‘Come, Josephine, on My Flying Machine’ girl and no mistake. And yes, Flying Machine is a honking great euphemism.













This may be a competition to find Miss Spalding Maid or…. oh hell, I don’t know. Your guess is as good as mine. While you try to spot the ukulele, I’ll just sing you a short snippet of ‘I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate’.









That sand gets everywhere




Swimming costumes and ukuleles again. They go together like bacon and banana in a butty. The boy at the back is well impressed by their three-part harmonies on ‘My Little Stick Of Blackpool Rock’.





Peace man



Hippy ukulele chick probably playing some song about flowers, or something by Joni Mitchell. Ooooh, I wonder what ‘The Hissing Of Summer Lawns’ would sound like on ukulele?










Back to the cossies and the naked thigh meme. These girls are very happy in their silly hats, walking along, singing ‘I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside’. Prom prom prom.








I warned you but you still looked, you rude lot. This lassie has forgotten her vest, and will probably end up with croup. Look at her hair! No, not those, her hair. Now, if only I knew a song about nipples, I’d have her singing that, but I don’t, cos I am so INNOCENT. She can be singing a Frank Zappa song instead. This one.


The new National Anthem

Image1I’ve thought long and hard about this, prompted by the stirring renditions of “Flower of Scotland” and “Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau” at the recent rugby international. We need to replace our turgid dirge with something more arousing. I’ve considered the usual suspects – “Land of Hope and Glory”, “Jerusalem” and “The Theme from Dad’s Army” which, while far better than “God-save-our-gracious-queen-mumble-mumble-mumble”, still don’t lift the heart to the giddiest of heights. No, THIS should be our new anthem! As you listen, imagine a stadium full of people singing at the tops of their voices! Magnificent!

I know what you’re thinking – surely not everyone will want to learn to speak Dragontongue? With that in mind, I’ve written English words especially for the less linguistically gifted.

She’s the Queen, she’s the Queen, she’s so lovely and clean.
And she wears lovely coats while she’s eating Soreen.
She’s got millions of hats and a big crown as well.
Wherever she goes, smelly peasants all yell

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