Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Friday Fun – Carlsberg………………

………………………………..probably the worst adverts in the world…..if you aren’t English!!

June 4, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

Saturday Sun (A Football Free Zone)

Today’s track is taken from Elton John’s demo sessions recorded at Dick James Music Studio in 1968.

The sessions had Elton John singing the songs of Mike Heron, John Martyn, Nick Drake and Beverly Martin arranged by Drake’s producer, Joe Boyd.

The sessions featured Elton John – vocals/piano, Linda Peters (later Thompson) – vocals, Jim Capaldi – drums, Simon Nicol – guitar, Pat Donaldson – bass.

Here is Nick Drake’s “Saturday Sun”

“Saturday Sun” – Elton John

Saturday sun came early one morning
In a sky so clear and blue
Saturday sun came without warning
So no-one knew what to do.
Saturday sun brought people and faces
That didn’t seem much in their day
But when I remember those people and places
They were rarely too good in their way.
In their way
In their way
Saturday sun won’t come and see me today.

Think about stories with reason and rhyme
Circling through your brain.
And think about people in their season and time
Returning again and again
And again
And again
And Saturday’s sun has turned to Sunday’s rain.

So Sunday sat in the Saturday sun
And wept for a day gone by.

To buy the music of Elton John click HERE
To buy the music of Nick Drake click HERE

May 8, 2010 Posted by | Cover Stories, Old Music, Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

Snow Is Gone

The snow didn’t last long this time but the thaw has given me the excuse to post this great Josh Ritter song from his 2003 album “Hello Starling”

“Snow Is Gone” – Josh Ritter

birds beneath my window dustying their wings upon the lawn
Hear ’em in the morning light a last amen to a migratory song
they’re never looking round for me—their eyes are on the sky or the ground below
I’d rather be the one who loves than to be loved and never even know

hello blackbird
hello starling
winter’s over
be my darling
a long time coming
but now the snow is gone x 2

you were beautiful when I first saw your feathers and confectionery airs
the earth lit up and promised you the stars but you really didn’t care
I sang in exultation i pulled the stops—you always looked a little bored
I’m singing for the love of it—have mercy on the man who sings to be adored

hello blackbird
hello starling
winter’s over
be my darling
long time coming
but now the snow is gone

I’m underneath your window now—it’s long after the birds have gone to roost
I’m not sure if I’m singing for the love of it or for the love of you
I’ve flown a long way honey oh hear my confession then I’ll go
I’d rather be the one who loves than to be loved and never even know

hello brown one
hello blue one
last night’s feathers
exchanged for new ones

hello blackbird
hello starling
winter’s over
be my darling

long time coming
but now the snow is gone x 2

so long…..

To buy the music of Josh Ritter click HERE

Slush Covered Park

February 25, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tracey Thorn

After an 18-year career with partner Ben Watt in best-selling alt-pop duo Everything But The Girl (1982-2000), followed by a self-imposed hiatus to start a family, Tracey Thorn re-emerged in 2007 to a wave of critical acclaim with the glittering autobiographical folk-disco of ‘Out Of The Woods’. It was her first strictly solo album since 1982’s indie classic ‘A Distant Shore’.

Now she is back with another album: the starkly beautiful ‘Love And Its Opposite’ on partner Ben Watt’s Strange Feeling Records.

The album is released on May 17 (May 18, Nth America). Click HERE for a FREE download of the album’s opening track ‘Oh, The Divorces!’, or listen below.

February 23, 2010 Posted by | New Music, New News, Uncategorized, Video | , | Leave a comment

Bill McLaren

Sad news that the great Bill McLaren died today aged 86

January 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Minstrels, Poets & Vagabonds – The Haze

For Part Two of this series we head off to 2008 and The Haze who are no strangers to my iPod as their album “Spirits Are Rising” was one of my favourites of 2008 and not just because they covered “The Seeker”.

This is from their own biography:-

If the 21st century has seen music transformed – perhaps even overwhelmed – by technology, then it’s a relief to know that, for lovers of rock, the old values have become…well, invaluable. And no band better presents this truism than THE HAZE. A five-piece from Glasgow, they’ve spent the past few years learning their craft on the road, touring anywhere and everywhere they can across Britain.

“I’d say that we’ve played almost every major city, and most of the bigger venues,” says singer James Cairns. Through supporting the likes of Idlewild, Eagles Of Death Metal, The Cult, The Hold Steady, The Haze have developed their chops and curves, in the process becoming a sharp, focused, articulate, hard rocking crew who deliver dirty rhythms locked into garage melodies, amid choruses so towering they are in danger of being a hazard to low-flying aircraft.

Led by the distinctive lead vocals of James Cairns, The Haze combine the classic feel of artists such as The Cult and The Doors with a tension last seen in Oasis early years. Live, the recipe is one part brooding menace and one part soaring guitars – add a pinch of backline-heavy rhythms and you have a new, pulse-racing sound combining strong melody with heart-driven riffs. Tracks such as Ghostdancer (as featured on a Zero magazine covermount CD), Lord, Preacher and Just To Hear Them Say are solid proof of that.

“When we started out, our main influence was Oasis,” reveals Cairns. “But now, we’re much more into the classic giants: Zeppelin, the Doors, the Stones, the Who, Dylan…it means that we’ve managed to get interest from older fans, as well as pick up a large young following. It’s a great mixture.”

Cairns himself nearly joined the band as a guitarist. “I was invited down by John Paul Hunter (guitarist, who co-founded The Haze). I knew his cousin, and so got asked to come along for a bevy & a sing song, because they were looking for more band members. I went along, and actually just started to sing along to some of the tunes; that was it, I got the job…as the vocalist!”

Having never sung before in public, Cairns needed some severe anaesthetic intake to calm his nerves before doing his first ever Haze show. Consequently, his recollections are well…hazy. “Don’t ask me to tell you anything about that. I was so out of it; I can’t recall that gig at all, ha! But I’ve learnt my lessons. These days, we all party hard – but only after doing the show.”

The current line-up – Cairns, Hunter, bassist Ross Duffy and drummer Robert Mitchell – have been together since 2004 with the most recent addition Leahy only joining in the summer of 2009 , and the aim is to spread the word far and wide.

“We want to go to America, Japan, Europe…in fact, anywhere they love their rock music.” In preparation for such global plans, The Haze have just recorded their debut album, with famed producer Chris Tsangarides. “Man, that was amazing. He’s worked with Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest as well as tons of new acts …he has so many stories that it could keep us in lyrics for the next six records!”

The record itself will be called ‘Spirits Will Rise’, a title that comes from… “well, it’s inspired by spiritualism. But it also has another meaning, of course. One that’s more alcoholic! So, whichever way you look at it, this is the perfect title for our debut.”

The Haze aren’t a passing phase. They are the natural successors to so many great names who’ve graced the British scene over the past 40 years – from Lizzy to Zeppelin, Nazareth to the Pink Fairies. But they’re also very much part of the modern era as recently witnessed on their recent shows at King Tuts, Rock Ness and as support to The Enemy.

As long as we have bands like this, the future of rock ’n’ roll is a sure bet. “We’ve got festival commitments like T In The Park coming up, and it seems we’re currently in demand. But the five of us are also very much aware that to live up to the high standards we’ve set ourselves, there’s a lot of hard graft left to do.”

A band with talent, application and vision…that is refreshing.

“Capella” – The Haze

They have just finished a tour with The Complete Stone Roses and are now working on demos for the new album.

Keep up to date with them HERE

Here is the single “Streetfighter” released in Feb 2009 Kasabian beware!!

It’s a strange world when great new bands are supporting “tribute” bands Bjorn Again have a lot to answer for!

They are said to be from Glasgow but we folks from Dumbarton and The Vale consider them ours, second famous (for now) behind James Allan of Glasvegas who only played for the Sons of the Rock, then of course there is David Byrne of Talking Heads who is a real Son of the Rock.

Finally here is their take on The Who’s “The Seeker” my Fiona’s favourite Who song.

“The Seeker” – The Haze

To buy the music of The Haze click HERE

As Roberto rightly states in the book below “as long as we have bands like this plugging away, the future of rock ‘n’ roll is in safe hands”

To buy Roberto’s book click HERE

January 16, 2010 Posted by | Books, Fiona, Old Music, Uncategorized, Video | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Drown In My Own Tears

“Drown In My Own Tears” is an all time favourite song of mine and I am sure like many my introduction to it came via Ray Charles.

“Drown In My Own Tears” – Ray Charles

It brings a tear,
Into my eyes,
When I begin,
To realize,
I’ve cried so much,
Since you’ve been gone,
I guess I’m drowning in my own tears,

I sit and cry,
Just like a child
My pouring tears
Are runnin’ wild
If you don’t think
You’ll be home soon
I guess I’ll drown in my own tears

I know it’s true
Into each life
Some rain, rain must pour
I’m so blue
Here without you
It keeps raining
More and more

Why don’t you
Come on home
Oh yes so I won’t
Be all alone
If you don’t think
You’ll be home soon

I guess I’ll
(drown in my own tears)
Ooh, don’t let me
(drown in my own tears)
When I’m in trouble, baby
(drown in my own tears)
Oh, yeah, baby don’t let me
(drown in my own tears)
I guess I’ll drown in my own tears
Oh, mmmmm.

The song, written by Henry Glover was one of Charles’ most important singles during his Atlantic period, where he dominated the R&B singles charts. The song was also one of the first to include background vocals by other singers.

The song would later influence Charles to recruit a singing group he later called the Raelettes. It was also his third number-one single on the Billboard R&B singles chart.

The song was first recorded in 1951 by Lula Reed, on the King label (KING 4527) as part of a split-single 78rpm album. Blues pianist Sonny Thompson was featured on the A-side with the instrumental track, “Clang, Clang, Clang”. “Drown in My Own Tears” was a #5 Billboard R&B hit for Lula Reed.

Here is the Humble Pie cover version

“Drown In My Own Tears” – Humble Pie

It is hardly surprising that the song has been covered by the Queen of Soul

“Drown In My Own Tears” – Aretha Franklin

January 6, 2010 Posted by | Old Music, R&B, Uncategorized, Video | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sorry No Post Today

July 10, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Cover Story – Beck & The Velvet Underground


Beck has announced he’s to start a new online covers project featuring some big name friends including MGMT, Devendra Banhart and Jamie Lidell.

They’ll all be part of a new section/project called Record Club on his soon to be revamped website. The idea behind the project is that Beck ropes in some of his musician friends to record a cover of an entire album in one day. To make sure they capture an immediate, live feel there’ll be no rehearsals or arrangements done beforehand.

The covered album will then be slowly released online with a song a week being uploaded to Beck’s website and the websites of the musicians involved each record. The first album announced for the project is The Velvet Underground and Nico. Covering that in 24 hours without rehearsal, not something you’d imagine many musicians would do on their day off…


“Sunday Morning” – Beck

To buy the music of Beck click HERE

To buy the music of The Velvet Underground click HERE

Here is the original.

June 23, 2009 Posted by | Cover Stories, New Music, Uncategorized, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Fiona Friday – The Who

Who Put The Boot In Poster

It was 33 years ago today that I first saw The Who live at the “Who Put The Boot In” all day concert at Celtic Park.

Sounds May 1976

I was lucky that Fiona grew to love The Who as well though up until I met her the only album she had was “Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy” from which “The Seeker” was her favourite song and despite a real love for both “Who’s Next” and “Quadrophenia” that track remained forever her favourite Who song.

Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy

Fiona and I saw The Who live four times, twice in December 2000 at the Glasgow SECC

John Entwistle's Art The Who 2000

and then during a special weekend in London in March 2004 at a small venue where they were playing an intimate warm up show for a World Tour,


and finally at Liverpool in the big tent in July 2006.

…….we were there!

Fiona and I also saw both nights of Pete Townshend’s performance of “Lifehouse” at the Sadler’s Wells


June 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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