Thursday, 29 December 2016

Beyond Radio playlist 29 December

Final show of the year which I'll dedicate to Dave Swarbrick and Rick Parfitt both of whose music has given me a huge amount of pleasure over the years. I met Swarb once at a Lazarus gig in Kendal where he tried to sell me a book of fiddle tunes. 

Kate Rusby - The Village Green Preservation Society
Pentangle - Sally Go Round The Roses
The Rolling Stones - Angie
Cara Dillon - She Moved Through The Fair
Steve Knightley - Romeo & Juliet
Fairport Convention - Medley from Liege & Lief
Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain - Caroline
Manic Street Preachers - Bright Eyes
The Pogues - Wild Cats of Kilkenny 
Richard Thompson - Don't Sit on my Jimmy Shands
Peter Nardini - Hogmanay
Heidi Talbot - Whispering Grass
Led Zeppelin - Gallows Pole
The Bad Shepherds - I Fought The Law

See also

The Folk & Acoustic Music Show
Every Thursday at 8pm
On 103.5FM and online at

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Iron Maiden in concert 1984

From my self-published book "Drum Solos, Bottles & Bands - Memories of a Concert-goer 1981-1999". I thought I'd post this extract as Iron Maiden were formed on Christmas Day 1975 by bassist Steve Harris. 

Iron Maiden
The Playhouse, Edinburgh
13 September 1984

Having released their fifth studio album titled Powerslave, Iron Maiden were now taking their show round the world. Literally. The tour had started on the 9th of August 1984 in Poland and would finally come to a close in California the following July. They played in over 20 countries and the album Live After Death would be recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon in London and Long Beach Arena in Los Angeles. The album came with a booklet listing all the tour dates and gave details of the daily crew work schedule.

Anyone who saw them on that tour will remember the impressive Ancient Egyptian-themed stage set based on the Powerslave album artwork of Derek Riggs. The roadies would start at 8am and by 4pm all the lights, PA, band equipment and special flooring would be in place along with the stage set. After the sound check, the support band's equipment would be set up. The doors would open at 6:30pm and the show would start one hour later. After Maiden finished their set at 10:30pm it would take another three and a half hours to break everything down, load it into the trucks and set off for the next show.

It is only right and proper that I should mention all the hard working men and women who bring these concerts to us. The roadies, technicians, riggers, truck and bus drivers, catering staff and those at all the venues serving us drinks, selling us merchandise and yes, even the much loathed security staff, the bouncers. It took none other than Motorhead to sing the praises of roadies in their song 'We Are The Road Crew' from their album Ace of Spades. It's well worth a listen if you're unfamiliar with it.

The bigger the band, the more likely it is you will have heard of the support act and touring the UK with Maiden was Waysted featuring former UFO bass player Pete Way. It's not often fans will rush down to the stage and start chanting the support band's name before they come on but that's what happened with Waysted.

When the house lights went down heralding the arrival of Iron Maiden we heard the voice of Winston Churchill and his famous "fight them on the beaches” speech before Maiden launched into 'Aces High' from Powerslave. The set featured a mixture of songs from the new album along with favourites like 'The Trooper', 'Run To The Hills' and their theme song 'Iron Maiden'. Despite being at the back of the circle my ears took a real battering as this was undoubtedly one of the loudest gigs I ever went to at the Playhouse, eclipsed only by Motorhead later that year. But unlike Motorhead, Iron Maiden's sound was crystal clear.

These days venues will often supply free ear plugs but back in the 80s, having a buzzing sound in your ears for a day or two after a concert was part of the experience. I am probably not the only 40-something who suffers from tinnitus due to all the excessively loud gigs I went to in my youth and this is one of the reasons why I have become more of a folk music fan in recent years. Earache is no fun.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Best Gigs of 2016

I didn't get to a huge number of gigs this year but enjoyed seeing the following at various venues mainly in the local area. The Lancaster Music Festival had another successful year with its mix of local, national and international acts and it was good to see local bands The Low Countries play to admittedly a rather small number of people at Lancaster Castle and Stephen Hudson & The Fiat Pandas play to a good-sized crowd at The Hall. 

Further afield The Village Pump Folk Festival in Wiltshire included a rousing set from The Proclaimers on the Saturday night, some good banter from Mark Radcliffe and his pirate pals in Galleon Blast and the discovery of the festival was Keith Christmas who has been around for many years but his music was new to me. Other highlights were Martin Simpson & Don Flemons, The Willows, Fara and Barluath.

If I'm pushed to choose a favourite gig I'll probably go for King Creosote. It was the first time I'd seen him with a band since the days of the Fence Collective when I lived in Fife back in the 1990s and early 2000s. 

Top 10 Gigs of 2016 (in date order)

Tim Dalling, The Gregson, Lancaster
Steve Knightley, Glasson Dock Village Hall
Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman, The Hothouse, Morecambe
Gilmore & Roberts, Garstang Unplugged
Paddy Garrigan & The Stroller Priests, The Gregson, Lancaster
9Bach & Twelfth Day, The Hothouse, Morecambe
King Creosote, Cloudspotting Festival
Rory McLeod, Lancaster Music Festival
Jamie Smith's Mabon, Old Laundry Theatre, Bowness-on-Windermere
Belshazzar's Feast, The Hothouse, Morecambe

And check out my Recommended Albums of 2016

The Folk & Acoustic Music Show
Every Thursday at 8pm
On 103.5FM and online at

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Beyond Radio playlist 8 December

Here's tonight's playlist

Nuala Kennedy - Death and the Lady
Kim Edgar - Anchor in the Sky
Joseph Bridge - Winter Blues
Hugh Cornwell - Golden Brown
Carly Dow - Casanova
Amanda Rheaume - Mind Over Matter
John Cougar Mellencamp - Empty Hands
Crosby, Stills & Nash - Guinnevere
Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain - (He Played Real Good) For Free
Jamie Smith's Mabon - The Accordionist's Despair
Emily Smith - Winter Song
Siobhan Miller - One Too Many Mornings
Eddie & Luc - Here's The Tender Coming
Chamberlain & Haywood - Shalakho

The Folk & Acoustic Music Show
Every Thursday at 8pm
On 103.5FM and online at

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Recommended Albums of 2016

This year has seen community radio return to the Lancaster & Morecambe area in the form of Beyond Radio. I started broadcasting my weekly Folk & Acoustic Music Show back in August and it's been great to be back on air doing live shows despite the odd technical hitch and occasional operator error! Thanks to Duncan, Chris and the rest of the team for getting the station up and running and great news regarding the successful Lottery bid which will provide much needed funds to further develop the station.

As far the music is concerned, my thanks once again go to the promoters and artists who have sent me CDs or free downloads of their music. I haven't had so many albums from North America this year which explains the mainly UK feel to the following list of releases since the start of the year. But I have enjoyed listening to albums by The High Bar Gang, Howard & Skye, Locust Honey String Band and Roger Roger from the other side of the pond. 

This list is purely in order of date of release.

Recommended Albums of 2016

Jamie Smith's Mabon - The Space Between
Nuala Kennedy - Behave the Bravest
Chamberlain & Haywood - First Impression
James J Turner - Spirit Soul & A Handful of Mud
Claire Hastings - Between River and Railway
Paddy Garrigan  & The Stroller Priests - I Jumped Ship
Megson - Good Times Will Come Again
Alice Jones  - Poor Strange Girl
Jenny Sturgeon - From the Skein
The Low Countries - An Extended Play
Barbara Dymock  - Leaf an' Thorn
Kaela Rowan - The Fruited Thorn
Kim Edgar  - Stories Untold
Broom Bezzums - No Smaller Than The World
Wire & Wool - Wire & Wool
Liza Mulholland - Fine 'n' Rosy
Kate Rusby - Life in a Paper Boat
Sarah-Jane Summers  & Juhani Silvola - Widdershins
Eddie & Luc - Tirade
Emily Smith - Songs for Christmas

I have put together a mix of tracks from many of the above albums and uploaded it to

The Folk & Acoustic Music Show
Every Thursday at 8pm
On 103.5FM and online at

Friday, 2 December 2016

Beyond Radio playlist 1 December

Here's the playlist from last night's Folk & Acoustic Music Show on Beyond Radio. There were tracks from two new releases - 'Fetch' by Ewan MacPherson and 'Tirade' by Eddie and Luc. Ewan is a member of Salt House while Eddie Seaman plays pipes and whistles with the band Barluath. 

Kat Flint released an album titled 'Dirty Birds' in either 2007 or 2008 depending on which website you look at! In recent years she has been making a living as an illustrator and designer but she still plays the occasional gig. Check out her work at

Big Country - Peace in our Time
KT Tunstall - Miniature Disasters
Pauline Alexander - Imagine
Ewan MacPherson - The Cherry Tree Reel/Dog's Got an Itchy Nose
Kat Flint - Anticlimax
Rock Salt & Nails - I'm Looking Through You
HMS Ginafore - Suzy 4 Jack
The Rising Souls - The Boxer
The Midden - The River
Rab Noakes - Only Happy When It Rains
The Proclaimers - Shout Shout
Kris Drever, Eamonn Coyne & Megan Henderson - Shady Grove
Del Amitri - Be My Downfall
Eddie & Luc - Glint of Silver

The Folk & Acoustic Music Show
Every Thursday at 8pm

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Beyond Radio playlist 24 November

Coming up on tonight's show...

Bob Dylan - The Times They Are A-Changin'
Steve Knightley - Poppy Day
Miranda Sykes & Rex Preston - Do Not Surrender
Dick Gaughan - Waist Deep in the Big Muddy
Kate Rusby - Only Desire What You Have
Barrule - High Net Worth Individuals
June Tabor - Shipbuilding
Richard Thompson - Blackleg Miner
Jez Lowe & The Bad Pennies - The Judas Bus
Ewan McLennan - The Granite Cage
Karan Casey - The Fiddle and the Drum
Duncan McCrone - I Ain't Marchin' Anymore
Billy Bragg - Waiting For the Great Leap Forward

Jez Lowe will be performing as one of the Pitmen Poets at the Grand Theatre in Lancaster on Wednesday the 8th of February along with Billy Mitchell, Benny Graham and Bob Fox. Book tickets at

Jamie Smith from Barrule is playing with his other band, Mabon, at the Old Laundry theatre in Bowness-on-Windermere this Sunday at 4pm. More info at

The Folk & Acoustic Music Show on Beyond Radio
Every Thursday at 8pm
On 103.5FM and online at

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Beyond Radio playlist 17 November

The Folk and Acoustic Music Show on Beyond Radio

Here's tonight's playlist...
Simon & Garfunkel - April Come She Will
Angie Palmer - Deep Blue Sea
Skerryvore - Walk With Me
Eric Bibb - Dance Me To The End Of Love
Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee - I've Been Treated Wrong
Hat Fitz & Cara Robinson - Sister Sister
Howard & Skye - Deep
Tumbling Bones - I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby
Neil Young - Sail Away
Fairport Convention - The Ballad of East Rider
Salt House - Open Water
Steve Howe - Surface Tension
Mary Dillon - Army Dreamers
Tony McManus - Prelude in E Major (JS Bach)

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Beyond Radio playlist 10 November

Here's tonight's Folk & Acoustic Music Show playlist

Show of Hands - Arrogance Ignorance & Greed
Bert Jansch - I Cannot Keep From Crying
Barbara Dymock - Usher's Well
Pippa Reid-Foster - Colours of Autumn \ Pip's Jig
Peter Knight's Gigspanner - Two Constant Lovers
Cam Penner - Hour of Need
Lotus Honey String Band - Whose Shoulder Will You Cry On
Chris Murphy - Dry County
The Be Good Tanyas - House of the Rising Sun
Liza Mulholland - Potting Shed Stomp
Chas Ambler - Coal Train to Glory
Mishaped Pearls - Jimmy
Richard & Linda Thompson - Streets of Paradise

Monday, 31 October 2016

Beyond Radio playlist 27 October

Last Thursday's playlist - 

The Pogues - When The Ship Comes In
Liza Mulholland - Fine & Rosy
Linsey Aitken & Ken Campbell - Wild Roving
Christy Moore - The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Chris While & Julie Matthews - Shaky Town
Session Americana with Jeff Hamer - What Are Those Things (with Big Black Wings)
Vanessa Peters - Big Time Underground
Kris Kristofferson - Sunday Morning Coming Down
Larry Beckett & Long Lost Band - Song To The Siren
Lucy Ward - Lion
Kris Drever - Harvest Gypsies
Peatbog Faeries - The Real North

Re Larry Beckett & The Long Lost Band's new rendition of Song To The Siren, the song was originally written by Tim Buckley and Larry Beckett in 1967. This new version performs that famous song along with Larry Beckett himself, telling the story of how the song came to be composed.
CD and downloads are available on bandcamp:

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Upcoming folk gigs in the NW of England

Here's are details of some gigs coming up at The Platform and The Hothouse in Morecambe, Ellel Village Hall in Galgate, The Victoria Hall in Settle, The Kenlis Arms, Garstang and the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal. 

Sat 21 January
Amy Wadge and Luke Jackson
Ellel Village Hall, Galgate

Sat 28 January
Mark Radcliffe's Galleon Blast
Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal

Sun 29 January
Seth Lakeman
Brewery Arts Centre

Sat 4th February
Steve Knightley
Victoria Hall, Settle

Sat 11 February
Three Cane Whale
The Hothouse, Morecambe

Thu 16 February
Stephen Fearing
Garstang Unplugged

Sat 25 February
Brewery Arts Centre

Sat 25 February
Ferocious Dog
Victoria Hall

Tue 28 February
The Grahams
Victoria Hall

Thu 2 March
Fairport Convention
Victoria Hall

Fri 3 March
Phil Beer
Ellel Village Hall

Sat 4 March
Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker 
  and John Doyle
Brewery Arts Centre

Thu 9 March
Oysters 3
Brewery Arts Centre

Fri 10 March
The Platform

Sat 11 March
Jim Moray
The Hothouse 

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Beyond Radio playlist 20 October

Here's tonight's playlist. Don't know what happened at the end of the Union Station track but if you want to hear the full thing check out the link below.

George Harrison - If Not For You
Patsy Matheson - Domino Girls
Skerryvore - We Can Run
June Tabor - Beat The Retreat
Sarah-Jane Summers & Juhani Silvola - Spike on a Bike
Roger Roger - Dead Horse Creek
Anna Elizabeth Laube - Sunny Days
Alison Krauss & Union Station - I Am A Man of Constant Sorrow
Turnstone - The Grey Bird
David J Kelly - Boats to Build
Steve Knightley - The Girl From The North Country
The Portraits - Standby
Nick Drake - Road
Kathryn Tickell - Hareshaw Burn

The Folk & Acoustic Music Show
Every Thursday at 8pm on 103.5FM in the Morecambe Bay area
and online at

Friday, 14 October 2016

Beyond Radio playlist 13 October

Here's the playlist from last night's show. The first eight tracks are by bands who are performing at the Lancaster Music Festival this weekend apart from Flook but Rory McLeod is playing - this is the only track I have that features him.

I dedicated the last three tracks to Shooglenifty fiddle player Angus R Grant who died last weekend.

The Long Lost Band - Something Came out of the Dark/Survival
Greenheart - Walk in the Park
The Low Countries - Close to my Heart
Stephen Hudson - Kevin
The Thyme Machine - Racoon in my Kitchen
The Balkanics - Warsaw
Flook - Granny in the Attic
Paddy Garrigan & The Stroller Priests - Me and the Universe Blues
Wire & Wool - The Other Side
Steeleye Span - The Unquiet Grave
Kelly Oliver - Ghosts at Night
Richard Thompson - Happy Days and Auld Lang Syne
Kaela Rowan - Now Westlin Winds
Paul Anderson - Land of the Standing Stones

I've uploaded a Festival mix to

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Beyond Radio playlist 29 September

Here is the playlist for tonight's show. Tune in at 8pm on 103.5FM or online at 

The Willows - Johnny Robson
Fairport Convention - Walk Awhile
Jess Thomas - Honey Money
Seth Lakeman - Bold Knight
The Slambovian Circus of Dreams - Light A Way
Oh My Darling - Ma Belle
Heather Bristow - Raggedy Man
Neil Young - Old Man
The Low Countries - Summer Doesn't Know Me
Annlaug - Ord Som Fell
Salt House - She's Like The Swallow
Ross Ainslie - Dreaming Daisy
Eddi Reader - Mona Lisa
Jamie Smith's Mabon - The Joy of Lowenna

The Fairport track is a re-recording of a song which first appeared on their album 'Full House' in 1970. The band decided to ask fans which of the old songs they would like to hear recorded by the current line-up and 'By Popular Request' (2012) was the result.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Beyond Radio playlist 22 September

Here's last night's Folk and Acoustic Music Show playlist

Kate Bush - Cloudbusting
Ross & Ali - Sisters
Kate Rusby - Planets
Roddy Frame - Small World
Polly Barratt - Lay Me Down
Raphael Rudd - Who is Meher Baba?
Pete Townshend - Bargain
Roger Roger - Think Of Me
Annie Keating w/ Brooklyn Youth Chorus - Phoenix
The Tillers - Old Westside
KT Tunstall - Gone To The Dogs
The Beatles - Julia
Patsy Reid - The River Princes
Red Hot Chilli Pipers - Cars

Kate Rusby is playing King George's Hall in Blackburn on the 30th of September and The Lowry Salford on the 5th October.

Tune in on Thursdays at 8pm on 103.5FM in the Lancaster & Morecambe area and online at 

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Beyond Radio playlist 8 September

Here's last Thursday's playlist. There won't be a Folk & Acoustic Music Show next week as I'm away so the next show will be on the 22nd of September. In the meantime you might like to check out the shows and mixes I've uploaded to

Steeleye Span - Hard Times of Old England
Nuala Kennedy - Death and the Lady
Fabian Holland - Four Inch Screen
Calum MacLeod - Shetland Set
Idiot Johnson - A Girl Whose Time Has Come
Howard & Skye - Big Joe
Hayseed Dixie - Have A Drink On Me
The Mammals - 1952 Vincent Black Lightning
Trail West - South Australia
Ewan McLennan - Tales From Down At The Harp
Peter Knight's Gigspanner - Mad Tom of Bedlam
The Moonbeams - Watching Wildlife
Ralph McTell - Chattanooga Choo Choo

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Beyond Radio playlist 1 September

Here's tonight's playlist. Tune in on Thursdays at 8pm on 103.5FM in the Lancaster & Morecambe area and online at for more folk and acoustic music.

The Levellers - Celebrate
Chris & Kellie While - Power of Two
Gilmore & Roberts - Fleetwood Fair
King Creosote - Largs
Kaela Rowan - If I Was A Blackbird
The Carrivick Sisters - If I Had Time
Locust Honey String Band - When The Whiskey's Gone
The Deadly Winters - Table in the Corner
James J Turner - My Way Back Home
Karine Polwart with Jez Lowe - We're All Leaving
Jez Lowe & The Bad Pennies - Watter's Coming Annie
Drew Holcolmb and The Neighbors - You Can't Take It With You
Kyrre Slind - Sandra's Melody

Friday, 26 August 2016

Beyond Radio playlist 25 August

Here's last night's playlist. If you would like to be included on a future show or request something then please contact me on Twitter - @thebeatentracks - or via the Beyond Radio web site 

The Folk & Acoustic Music Show 25 Aug 2016

Crosby, Stills & Nash - Marrakesh Express (demo)
Indigo Girls - Closer To Fine
Cara Dillon - P Stands for Paddy (Lament for Johnny)
Paddy Garrigan & The Stroller Priests - Sea Monsters
Bellowhead - London Town
Broom Bezzums - Passing Through
Al Scorch - Slipknot
The High Bar Gang - Silver Dagger
Martin Stephenson - Little Red Bottle
Kris Drever & Eamonn Coyne - Moving On Song
Jenny Sturgeon - Running Free
Michelle Lewis - Running Back Home
Joni Mitchell - Chelsea Morning
Grateful Dead - Uncle John's Band

Here's the link to the Paddy Garrigan video

And links to upcoming gigs in Morecambe at the Hothouse and Platform including...

Friday 09 September
Roving Crows
The Platform

Saturday 10 September
The Baghdaddies
The Hothouse

Friday, 19 August 2016

First show on Beyond Radio

Here's last night's playlist with links to some of the tracks on YouTube. I thought the show went quite well though the two tracks I played one after the other could have done with a bit of a gap between them - that's something for me to bear in mind for the future. And I think that song by The Lovin' Spoonful came in automatically from the backup system, there having been a few seconds of silence before the Kim Edgar track. But it's early days at Beyond Radio and the odd technical hitch is to be expected. As the saying goes, to err is human but to make a real mess you need a computer.

Richard Thompson - Friday on my Mind
Ewan MacColl (with Kirsty MacColl) - The Manchester Rambler
Annie Keating - Coney Island
Will Pound - Waxy's
Clype - Now My Home
Kim Edgar - Things Crack Then Shatter
The Rails - Borstal
Natalie Merchant - After The Goldrush
Angie Palmer - The Secret Between The Sun and The Moon
The Alt - Going for a Soldier Jenny \ The Chandelier
Michael Chapman - The Mallard
Danny Schmidt - Bad Year For Cane
Rab Noakes & Barbara Dickson - (Don't Say) Money Doesn't Matter
Barrule - Europop Vona

Tune in every Thursday at 8pm for more folk, acoustic and Americana music on 103.5FM and online at

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

OTBT radio show 1 August

It's been a while since I recorded a show but I felt in the mood to do one after listening to Beyond Radio at the weekend which is the new community radio station based in Lancaster. I hope to be doing a folk music show on Beyond but need to attend an induction and training session before they'll let me loose on the airwaves. If you live in the Morecambe Bay area you can tune in on 103.5 FM.

I've also been to a couple of music festivals recently, the Village Pump Folk Festival in Wiltshire and the Cloudspotting festival here in Lancashire, though it may be in Yorkshire now as they've been messing about with the county borders to increase the size of the Dales. But I've included tracks by some of the bands and singers I saw at those festivals.

Listen to the show at

Kaela Rowan - Mary & the Gallant Soldier
Richard Thompson - Beatnik Walking
Megson - Burn Away
Barbara Dymock - Usher's Well
Kim Edgar - Anchor in the Sky
King Creosote - Not One Bit Ashamed
Michael Chapman - Prospector
Carolina Chocolate Drops - Cindy Girl
The Willows - Roseville Fair
The Proclaimers - Let's Get Married
Kaela Rowan - Bratach Bana
The Slambovian Circus of Dreams - The Trans-Slambovian Bipolar Express

Friday, 15 July 2016

OTBT mix 15 July

I started to put this playlist together yesterday before the awful news came through about the latest terrorist attack in France. I must admit to feeling complete despair and cannot comprehend why these terrible things keep happening. I'm sure I'm not the only person who feels this way. Coming on top of the political upheaval which has followed the Brexit vote, it feels like we are constantly being battered round the head by one bad news story after another just now. But as the death toll rose in Nice I turned to music to find some solace. 

I had recently been sent a free download of the latest album by French Canadian band Le Vent Du Nord so thought that would be a good place to start and found myself removing songs from yesterday's playlist which didn't fit my sombre mood. I stopped after selecting 12 tracks but realised I was making myself more upset by some of the songs - especially the Cara Dillon track which brought tears to my eyes - so deleted some and added some slightly more positive numbers including 'You've Got A Friend' by Carole King. But I think Quiet Desperation sums up how I've been feeling today.

Le Vend Du Nord - Petit Reve IX
Cara Dillon - Falling Like A Star
Billy Bragg - St Swithins Day
Christy Moore - Quiet Desperation
Le Vent Du Nord - Pauvre Enfant
James J Turner - Remember Me
Calum MacLeod - Calm Creativity
Claire Hastings - Son of No-one
Bill Malkin & Band Wagon - Let It Rain
Crosby, Stills & Nash - You Don't Have To Cry
Martin Stephenson - All Ways Us
Carole King - You've Got A Friend
Patti Smith - Helpless
Jimi Hendrix Experience - The Wind Cries Mary

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

LPs and Cassettes

I've hooked up a cassette player to my hi-hi and been revisiting some music I haven't listened to in a while. Some of my tapes I bought back in the 1980s and they still sound ok. I've been playing some LPs too as a friend posted on Facebook about those covers compilation albums we used to get back in the 1970s before someone came up with the idea of the 'That's What I Call (chart) Music' cds. I still have one called 16 Chart Hits which may well have been the first LP I ever bought. The opening track is a song by The Rubettes and it does sound very close to the original but most, if not all those albums were covers of Top 30 hits played by session musicians. 

So some of those old albums I've been listening to on analogue include...

ZZ Top - Deguello & El Loco * 
Led Zeppelin - (self-titled debut album)
Steve Howe - The Steve Howe Album
George Harrison - George Harrison & 33 1/3 * 
Sting - The Dream of the Blue Turtles
Iggy Pop - Lust For Life
Status Quo - 12 Gold Bars
The Rolling Stones - Undercover
Grateful Dead - In The Dark
Supertramp - Breakfast in America
16 Chart Hits - Volume 16
Sailor - Trouble
Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band - Stranger in Town
Ride - Nowhere

* these were 2 on 1 where, as the name suggests, you'd get 2 albums on 1 cassette. 

So many great songs on those albums but if I had to choose a favourite it might be this one. This is a song Iggy is still playing to this day, most recently in his collaboration with Josh Homme...

Thursday, 30 June 2016

EU Ref mix \ Beyond Radio

The latest news from Beyond Radio is that they have had their FM frequency confirmed - 103.5FM - and the transmitter has been installed and is ready to go. They are just waiting for a visit from Ofcom to check everything is in order and then broadcasting can begin. I haven't seen the new set-up yet and will be away on holiday for 2 weeks in July so may not get involved until August.  In the meantime here's my latest mix - spot the EU Ref connections!

The Low Countries - The Invisible Ray 2016
Jenny Sturgeon - Nowhere Else I'd Rather Be
Bert Jansch - All This Remains
Shaun Colvin - You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
Richard Thompson - Train Don't Leave
Heidi Talbot - If You Stay
Ian McNabb - You Only Get What You Deserve
Carly Dow - Watch It Go
John Mellencamp - Down and Out in Paradise
Jenny Sturgeon - Judgement
Led Zeppelin - Babe I'm Gonna Leave You
J Shogren & Shanghai'd - Exit in Flames
Seasick Steve - What A Way To Go

The Low Countries - We're All On The Verge Of Something 

Friday, 17 June 2016

OTBT radio show 16 June

This week's playlist has a French feel to it showing the links there are between not only British and French folk music but also the influence of French music in Canada and Louisiana. I also thought it would be a suitable theme seeing as how the Euro 2016 football tournament is on just now. 

I've also included two tracks from Alice Jones' debut solo album 'Poor Strange Girl' which she released last week.

Alice Jones - Poor Strange Girl
Chamberlain & Haywood - Tango Pour Claude
Mad Pudding - Le Beaujolais Nouveau
Dead Belgians - Au Suivant
Mabon - La Randonnee
Calum Stewart & Heikke Bourgault - L'Heure Avant L'Aube
MacMaster Hay - Breton
Steve Knightley - Tout Va Bien
June Tabor - Le Vingt-Cinquieme Du Mois D'Octobre
The Revelers - La Jolie Fleur DuBois
Alice Jones - Adieu to Old England
Breabach - Les Pieds Joyeux

Here's one on the subs bench...

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Tina Turner and Bryan Adams, Edinburgh Playhouse, 1985

In March 1985 Tina Turner came to the Edinburgh Playhouse on her Private Dancer tour. This was one of the comebacks of the 1980s as just a year or two earlier she had been playing much smaller venues. I went to the concert with my cousin Jenny who had been working out in Bahrain and had seen Tina play there, I think at the Hilton hotel where Jenny was working. After the huge success of the 'Private Dancer' album she was back playing big theatres and arenas and the UK leg of her world tour included four nights at London's Wembley Arena.

For the UK dates, support came from Bryan Adams who was also enjoying chart success with his fourth album 'Reckless'. The single Run To You just missed out on making the UK Top Ten and it was one of six singles to be released from the album which seems a little excessive as there were only ten tracks on the album in total. 

So when Bryan and his band took to the Playhouse stage, there weren't too many empty seats that I could see from where we were sitting in the front circle. But what I remember most from his set was that while the rest of the audience remained in their seats, one solitary long-haired fan in a sleeveless t-shirt made his way to the front of the stalls and punched the air in time to all his favourite Bryan Adams songs. This didn't go unnoticed by the singer who towards the end of his set went to the edge of the stage and shook the guy's hand, thanking him for being there. That must've made that fan's night!

I hope he stuck around for Tina's set as Bryan joined her mid-way through for their duet, It's Only Love. Looking at the set list I see that we not only got most of the Private Dancer album and a couple of classic Ike and Tina numbers but also covers of songs by Creedence Clearwater Revival, ZZ Top and David Bowie. She's one of the great female vocalists of all time. I'm glad I went to see her.

Here is Tina with Bryan recorded on that tour in Brimingham...

If you'd like to read more of my concert memories, check out my self-published book Drum Solos, Bottles and Bands 

Friday, 10 June 2016

Swarb Tribute \ Fiddle Mix

It's been a week now since Dave Swarbrick passed away. I saw him a couple of times in concert, once in 2009 with his band Lazarus at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal and the following year at the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow where he shared the stage with Dick Gaughan and the Jason Wilson Band. I also saw him at Cropredy with Fairport when the Liege and Lief line-up were re-united to play that classic album from start to finish.

So I've included a few Swarb-related tracks including one from the Swarbtricks album Duncan Wood released in 2013. You can read about that collaboration on this web site

The rest of the mix is made up of some of my favourite fiddle players all of whom I'm sure will have been influenced by, and may even have played with, the folk fiddle maestro known simply as Swarb.

Fairport Convention - Sir Patrick Spens
Swarb's Lazarus - Kilty Town / The Road to Cashel / Dog Big and Dog Little
Carthy, Hardy, Farrell & Young - June is the Coldest Month
Gilmore & Roberts - I Don't Want To Say Goodbye
Duncan Wood - The Happy Welcome / The Cat Among The Pigeons
Fairport Convention - Rosie
VAMM - The Burnt Leg
Nancy Kerr & James Fagin - Queen of Waters
Seth Lakeman - Lady of the Sea
Fairport Convention - A Sailor's Life

Thursday, 26 May 2016

OTBT radio show 25 May

An all-English line-up on this week's show with two tracks from the new album by Megson which is titled "Good Times Will Come Again." It is being released tomorrow and has already had good reviews from the likes of fROOTS, R2 Rock n Reel and Acoustic magazine. You can read the reviews on the Megson web site at

The full playlist for the show is... 

Megson - Burn Away
Jez Lowe & The Bad Pennies - The Judas Bus
Eliza Carthy - Stumbling On
Fairport Convention - Over the Next Hill
Lucy Ward - Summers That We Made
Martin Simpson - Spoonful
Philip Henry & Hannah Martin - Letter (unsent)
Show of Hands - Reunion Hill
The Willows - Maid of Culmore
Megson - Good Times Will Come Again
Patsy Matheson - From Your Computer
Michael Chapman - Hi Heel Sneakers

Listen to it at

Fairport Convention are currently on their spring tour with dates coming up at... 

26 May - Redruth
27 May - Stroud
28 May - Hay-on-Wye
29 May - Coventry

Here they are in acoustic mode, minus Dave Pegg, performing "Over The Next Hill"...

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

OTBT radio show 18 May

Thought I'd play a track from Ollie King's debut album as he's in the process of recording the follow-up and has an appeal on Kickstarter. On a recent Facebook post he says...

"I am very pleased to announce that next week I will be starting work on my new album Diffractions, due for release in 2017. It will feature songs and tunes from both within and outside the folk canon, and it a bit of a leap of faith for me.

However, in order to make it, I need your help. Today, I am launching a Kickstarter project to help make my ideas happen. There's some lovely things up for grabs, but any help would be gratefully appreciated. I'm incredibly excited for this record, and I cannot wait to share it with you all.
Here's the link to the Kickstarter campaign, and it would be great if you could share it around with anyone who you think will like my music."

Listen to this week's show at 

Claire Hastings - Let Ramensky Go
Jack Johnson - No Good With Faces
Twelfth Day - Street Lights
Megson - Generation Rent
Kyrre Slind - Borders
Gilmore & Roberts - Fleetwood Fair
Ollie King - Taro Fair
Chamberlain & Haywood - Czardas
Paddy Garrigan & The Stroller Priests - Now I Want More
The Handsome Family - Up Falling Rock Hill
Sarah McQuaid - In Derby Cathedral
Mary Hampton - Florence Foster Jenkins

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

OTBT Radio Show 4 May

There are three tracks from James J Turner's new cd 'Spirit, Soul and a Handful of Mud' on this week's show. James was joined in the studio by Amy Chalmers on violin and backing vocals, Vicky Mutch on cello, Etienne Girard on bass, Jay Hughes on drums and Henry Priestman on accordion. Check out his web site

I have included a Richard Thompson track which features the sax playing of Pete Zorn whose recent death was overshadowed by the passing of Prince. Pete was a regular member of Richard's touring band for many years and also joined Steeleye Span in 2009 standing in for Rick Kemp who took time out due to ill-health. Pete tried to get his affairs in order while battling the cancer that killed him but most of his money went on his funeral so his children are trying to raise some cash to help their mother. If you'd like to make a donation please go to

Listen to the show at

James J Turner - Spirit Soul & A Handful of Mud
Richard Thompson - Tear-Stained Letter
Cara Dillon - Black is the Colour
Peter Knight's Gigspanner - Two Constant Lovers
James J Turner - Alive Inside
Fabian Holland - Four Inch Screen
Chris and Kellie While - Van Diemen's Land
Bridget Marsden & Lief Ottosson - On The Moors
Kate Rusby - Underneath the Stars
Oysterband - When I'm Up I Can't Get Down
John Rigby - Fotheringay
James J Turner - Heart of Gold
World Party - Call Me Up

The intro music is from Kate Rusby's song The Elfin Knight.

Here is Pete Zorn with Richard Thompson performing Tear Stained Letter

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Film review - Emma Watson in Noah

NOAH (2014)  co-written and directed by Darren Aronofsky

It is always interesting to see what child actors do once they reach adulthood. The Addams Family films are a case in point. Christina Ricci has gone on from playing Wednesday to a host of many and varied roles whereas Jimmy Workman, who played Pugsley alongside her, only appeared in two or three more films before retiring from acting and he now earns a living behind the camera doing technical work. But the young actors who appeared in the Harry Potter films have a much larger audience watching their every move, particularly via social media which is something Ricci and actors of her generation didn't have to contend with, at least not in their teenage years and early twenties.

Emma Watson’s first post-Potter role was a small part in My Week With Marilyn but she made a bold statement of intent with her performance in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Gone was the awkwardness of having to kiss Rupert Grint in the final Harry Potter film – in …Wallflower not only was there snogging with co-star Logan Lerman but her character dressed up in full Rocky Horror garb which, one suspects, is a million miles away from anything Hermione would ever have done.

But on to Noah in which she found herself working once more with Lerman but not as his love interest, rather as his step-sister. Seemingly Watson shed tears of joy when she learned that she had won the role of Noah’s step-daughter Ila as she would be working with the likes of Russell Crowe and Anthony Hopkins. With the other main characters being played by Ray Winstone and Jennifer Connelly this certainly looked like a film worth watching.

When we first see Ila she is running through a forest being pursued by her stepbrother Shem, played by Douglas Booth. He catches up with her and we see that their relationship is rather more passionate than you might usually find with step-siblings but then as their family is living in isolation, being the last descendants of Seth, (third son of Adam and Eve) there is rather a lack of young women around. This is a source of constant frustration for brother Ham who spends much of the film moping around generally feeling sorry for himself.

Ila is infertile due to an injury sustained in childhood but this is magically reversed by Noah’s grandfather, played by Hopkins. Despite his long acting career, I still think of The Silence of the Lambs whenever I see him and there did seem to be something slightly menacing about his portrayal of Methuselah. Ila subsequently becomes pregnant but Noah has decided that it is the will of God that all humans, including his own family, should be punished and if Ila has a girl, Noah announces he will kill the new-born infant.

Watson does a pretty good job of showing how frightened Ila is as her pregnancy come to an end with two baby daughters being born. But they are spared by Noah who finds he only has love in his heart for his granddaughters.

We all know how the story ends with the ark finding land and the final sequence in the film shows the family building a new life, with the exception of Noah who has grown his own vines and is spending his days getting drunk in a cave looking out over the ocean. Ham is still as miserable as ever but decides to give his family a break and wanders off into the wilderness. Seeing as how there are presumably no other people alive, his future looks bleak and one can only surmise that he will end up as food for any hungry bears or wolves he encounters. But all ends well for Ila with her managing to get Noah to see sense and he is re-united with his wife and family.

Since then Emma Watson has appeared in two thrillers, Regression and Colonia, but I see she has also guested in an episode of the UK comedy series The Vicar of Dibley. Hopefully we can look forward to many more varied and enjoyable performances from her in the coming years. Maybe at some point in the future if another Addams Family film is made, we might see her cast as Morticia.

Colin Bertram
30 April 2016