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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Junior Kimbrough August 1, 2020

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One of the many Bluesmen that were plugging away until they were “Discovered” in their 50’s or 60’s. Junior Kimbrough was 62 when his first album was released and died at 67. He recorded three albums and by the end of his life the likes of U2, The Rolling Stones and Sonic Youth were making the pilgrimage to Holly Springs in Mississippi to see him play.
The first clip shows him playing in the club he co-owned in Holly Springs , He is also featured in a documentary “You See Me Laughin’: the last of the hill country bluesmen ” which I’ve put in at the end of the post (apologies for it having Bono). The two hour clip from the club “A Night at Junior Kimbrough’s” is amazing too. Interesting to look at the crowd in that clip too, seems word of the music had reached further than Holly Springs.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Tim Smith and Cardiacs July 25, 2020

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A very welcome guest post from Tiger2T

After a long illness Tim Smith passed away this week. I saw his band Cardiacs live only once in the late 80s, but his music and the everything surrounding it- the aesthetic, the stage show and the audience – were something I’d never experienced before or since.

In late 2018 I bought a ticket to see a few bands playing in The Garage in Islington on the Winter Solstice. I booked a night in a guest house nearby and secured a return flight to London City Airport. These bands were descendants, or offshoots of Cardiacs, my all time favourite band and obsession.

Long story short, four days before I was due to fly I fell ill. I spent 9 days in hospital up to Christmas Eve with suspected appendicitis and other complications. Hooked up to drips and drifting in and out of fevers I kept myself updated and frustrated on Facebook looking at photos and videos of the gig as they came in.

The bands were playing to raise funds for the medical care of Tim Smith, leader of Cardiacs who had been brought low in 2008 by a full cardiac arrest which in turn led to hypoxic brain damage and left him with a little known condition called dystonia (cardiacs.net). They were also playing to celebrate their Cardiacs lineage and to pay tribute to Smith.

In a nutshell, Cardiacs were formed in the late 70’s and delivered a beautiful/ugly cacophony throughout the 80s, 90s and early oughts. If ever there was a marmite band Cardiacs were it. Under the baton of Tim Smith, songwriter, guitarist and singer the many line-ups brought into the world a chthonic maelstrom of prog, punk, psych, pop, sweet, snarling, fairground nightmare, breakneck, whiplash, nursery rhyme, sea shanty, english hymnal, schoolboy shame, big important man, glitching, twitching ferocity and earthbound magic… for starters.

I was living in London in 1989 and was dragged to see them at The Brixton Fridge. I won’t say I was immediately smitten, it was more like the effect of a hallucinatory drug changing the way you see, hear and tolerate things from then on. I bought their album On Land and in the Sea and thought ‘this is awful, why can’t I stop listening to it?’

Cardiacs have a tight band of devoted fans/friends/followers referred to by Tim Smith and by themselves as ‘The Pond’. An amazing concert they played in Salisbury in 1990 was captured on film and can be viewed under the title ‘All that Glitters is a Mares Nest’. It wallops you with the full throttle Cardiacs experience from that time and a core of the Pond, there on the day, are still the Pond today. They’ve been joined by many later fish and the FB group, a reliable record of pond life, now boasts over 5,600 members.

In late 2019 one of the bands that played the night I missed, Spratleys Japs, announced another Winter Solstice gig this time in Brighton. “This time!” I typed into the FB comments. And so it came to be. I went to Brighton and had a brilliant night in the pond.

Cardiacs have been featured before on ‘This week I’ll be mostly…’ but they get another go because the work of Tim Smith has opened and blown our minds and holds such a special place in our hearts.

The assault starts here. The Duck and Roger the Horse is the first track on their ’89 album On Land and in the Sea and is probably my favourite Cardiacs live clip.

Irish composer Martin Keary (Tantacrul) gives an introduction to the strange and wonderful world of Cardiacs with the added value of a little music lesson

The first Cardiacs song on my radar, the video shares themes and images with a nightmare I had as a small child.

Everyone’s favourite Cardiacs anthem.

Is this the life?

A track from Some Fairytales from the Rotten Shed, footage of Cardiacs’ rehearsals of their early tracks.

Jibber and Twitch

The Sea Nymphs was side project for Tim and Sarah Smith and keyboardist Bill Drake

On the dry land

An amazing song from another of Smith’s bands.

Vine

My favourite album track, The Everso closely guarded line, from On Land and in the Sea.
One of their scarier songs. Yes it’s a prog-tastic 8 minutes plus but it rewards listening to the end.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Shane MacGowan and The Popes July 18, 2020

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After the break up of The Pogues,  Shane MacGowan was the frontman for The Popes for six years. They released a few albums and singles and played countless live shows. Saw them umpteen times and the sets were a good mix of Pogues and Popes songs. “Lonesome Highway” and “The Song With No Name” are two of my favourite MacGowan tracks ever. Even though they were very good, they still weren’t the Pogues!

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Lisa Hannigan and Paul Noonan July 4, 2020

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A pair of artists that regularly collaborate to produce some lovely tunes. Both happened to play concerts over the lockdown. Lisa Hannigan in the National Gallery of Ireland and Paul Noonan in the NCH. It was lovely to watch these, yet so strange especially looking at an empty National Concert Hall.
They also dueted on The lovely Printer Clips album.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Joe Dolan June 13, 2020

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One of the patterns from the lockdown and working from home is that I try and take lunch around 12.30. So I’m in the kitchen and the radio is on and like my mother before me, it’s permanently tuned to RTE Radio One. So daily as I make my lunch or cooking something for the family I’m listening to Ronan Collins.
Between the birthdays, Anniversary’s and other requests there’s the music. Generally it’s quite pleasant.
He plays a lot of Joe Dolan and I’ve found myself singing along to Joe numerous times as  my children look on incredulous.
Saw him in Wexford in the late 80’s and it was a great show, although I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone sweat so much on stage. There are so many tunes that everyone knows.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Bell X1 covers May 30, 2020

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Recently the Sunday Game came back with a promo featuring Bell X1’s version of Boys of Summer. It was a beautiful choice. They have done some wonderful covers over the years and their gigs always have a surprising one or two.
Paul Noonan plays the NCH next Friday June 5th as part of the NCH LiveStream Series.

 

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Artists I had tickets for but won’t be seeing this year due to Covid 19 May 16, 2020

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A reminder popped up on my phone last weekend that I was due to go and see Nick Cave in the Three Arena. Alas given the current circumstances it had been postponed. I had already missed out on David Gray but there were others coming up too that wouldn’t be going ahead. Guns N’ Roses in Marlay Park, a handy one in that it’s a short enough walk from the house there, so there’s no hassle getting there or back. The Frames were due to play in The Royal Hospital in Kilmainham, The Pixies in the Iveagh Gardens and God is as Astronaut in The Academy I think.
Given everything is postponed or rescheduled I can only hope that next Summer will be a great one for gigs.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… What I was Listening to Last Weekend May 2, 2020

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There’s four of us in the house and last Sunday I found myself, through various circumstances, alone in the house. It struck me that it must have been well over a month since I was home alone. I threw on the dinner and danced around listening to the selection of CDs in the kitchen. Given we’ve a bit of an open plan area with the TV there and the radio regularly on, the CDs wouldn’t get much of a play there.
The bit of time alone was nice. That said there are people on their own that are craving company. The cocooning is driving my Mam mad, although she is within the 2km for both my brother and sister to pop in on their daily exercise. I’ve been popping over with shopping and the like for her too.
I’m the designated shopper in my house, so whilst I’ll go and see my Mam, I’m not going near my parents in laws who are both highly vulnerable to Covid 19. So the circle is literally my own household and my Mother. Where my wifes is her family and ourselves. My teenage daughter and 20 year old son (who is doing exams at the minute) are being very good and not going out hanging around with friends. They are terrified (like the rest of us) that we’d inadvertently kill one of their grandparents!
My daughter has evening group chats with pals on her ipad and they even are doing excercises together at 8 each night. My son has online sessions with various friends too.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… The Doors April 18, 2020

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My son turned 20 last weekend , the day Leo announced further restrictions (The Lockdown) he did so at around four. It meant that we had to high tail it down to Nutgrove to try and assemble some kind of birthday present for my son or else we’d be reduced to the middle aisle in Lidl (although a Hurling Rebounder was added to the gift from there!).
Anyway Harvey Norman had a small selection of vinyl where I spotted The Doors first album. Figured it would be an acceptable present. Turned out it was a massive hit.
I had forgotten how good The Doors were, the album is really fantastic full of classic tunes.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to…John Prine April 10, 2020

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Could it have been anything else?

 

So many that I know I’m missing, but que sera.

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