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Acker Bilk

I was sad to hear that Acker Bilk had passed away. Known for his bowler hat, striped waistcoat and goatee beard, he had a huge hit both sides of the Atlantic  with Stranger on the Shore. Indirectly he was responsible for one of the funniest put downs I have heard. I asked a musician friend if x [...]

November 4, 2014 // 0 Comments

Debating points

Having reported upon my trek to Islington to see Friday night’s concert featuring Dave and Phil Alvin yesterday, I subsequently reminded myself of a fascinating discussion that my little group had whilst consuming its pre-match meal. Amongst his many attributes, a couple of years ago my [...]

October 26, 2014 // 0 Comments

Roots are what music is all about

Last night (Friday 24th October) I crossed town to the Islington Assembly Hall in order to join my brother and a pal on a pilgrimage to see Dave and Phil Alvin, sibling kernels of cult American rockabilly/R & B/Americana band The Blasters, on their latest (‘and The Guilty Ones’) UK [...]

October 25, 2014 // 0 Comments

Another slice of Bob Dylan

As I have mentioned previously, there’s a certain irony to holding down a post as music correspondent when I’m of advanced years, set in my ways, effectively tone deaf, regard classical music as just a posh form of muzak (aka ‘elevator music’) that is played in supermarkets, public toilets [...]

September 27, 2014 // 0 Comments

An opportunity missed

There is a particular track on the 1986 Van Morrison album No Guru, No Method, No Teacher that resonates with me for entirely personal and sentimental reasons. A couple of months ago I was talking to a lady of about my own age who works in the local travel agents’ shop. Over the course of some [...]

September 20, 2014 // 0 Comments

A talent to amuse

At home, kept usually somewhere close to my work desk, I possess a battered old Samsonite briefcase. In it I keep what might be termed my ‘vital belongings’, e.g. my passport, driving licence, cheque book and anything else, e.g. a stash of euros, a sentimentally-important old watch, innumerable [...]

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Don Giovanni

Last night I saw the performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni at Glyndebourne. The classification of his opera is neither opera seria or opera buffa (light opera), but drama giacoso (comic crama) and this reflects an opera that is both amusing and serious. Jonathan Kent’s production placed [...]

July 26, 2014 // 0 Comments

Farewell to a white blues legend

[The condition of albinism, a congential disorder characterised by the total or partial lack of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes can occur in any species. In human beings it tends to cause vision problems, pale skin and white hair.] Johnny Winter, the blues guitarist who died this week in [...]

July 18, 2014 // 0 Comments

Glasto review

  Although an occasional visitor to what in my youth were described as ‘pop festivals’, I have never been to Glastonbury – the 2014 version of which took place over the weekend – and probably never will. You can call me old-fashioned – or even just old – if you wish, but I [...]

June 30, 2014 // 0 Comments

Good … er … reservations

To be honest with you – rather like the Peter Cook character E.L. Wisty, whose ambition was to be a judge was foiled by the fact “I didn’t have the Latin” and who, on in response to the first requirement of the exam paper (putting his name at the top) “got 75% on that” – I was always [...]

June 25, 2014 // 0 Comments

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