Friday, 25 July 2014

Guest Top Five "songs with drums" from my youth by Tony Ruff

There's not many things I enjoy better than someone sending me a top five out of the blue, and this is one of those. Tony has had to put up with me discussing my latest top five down the pub for a number of years and finally decided to give it a go himself. It's a corker too, enjoy.

In no particular order, these are my top five songs from my teens which feature drums in some way and which probably influenced my musical taste for ever. I can’t play the drums myself (or indeed any musical instrument) but I have always enjoyed watching and listening to good drummers – especially if they are in a heavy rock ‘n’ roll band!

1. “Dreaming” Blondie - I bought this on 7 inch single (1979 I think) after I first heard it on Capital Radio (never really liked Radio 1). My brother and I shared a bedroom and he had a record player and I used to play it over and over again until he finally snapped and demanded that I use headphones. This meant that I could turn it up (to 11) and I properly got addicted to loud music from that point on. The drumming on this song is simply brilliant. There are a couple of videos on You Tube where the drumming is mimed, but there is one version where I’m sure he’s (Clem Burke?) hitting the skins as ‘live’. Mesmerizing.

2. “Overkill” Motörhead - To be honest the first time I heard this was in 1982 at Hammersmith Odeon when I saw Motörhead on the Iron Fist tour. I had a few of their albums but not Overkill and seeing/hearing the double bass drum crescendo of Philthy Animal Taylor really did blow me away. After the show I got hold of the album and the 12 inch single and played them to death. When No Sleep Til Hammersmith came out, the live version of Overkill got played so often that I scratched the vinyl at the beginning and end of the song!

3. “Bad Boy Boogie” AC/DC - Although the brilliant If You Want Blood live album came out in 1978, I probably got my hands on it a couple of years later. The third track, Bad Boy Boogie really demonstrates the amazing teamwork of drummer Phil Rudd and Malcolm Young on rhythm guitar. The song itself is dominated by Angus Young’s guitar solo but for me the sound of the drums makes the hair on the back of the neck stand on end!

4. “Rock ‘n’ Roll” Led Zeppelin - I don’t remember when I got hold of The Song Remains The Same album, but I do remember going up to Soho to watch the film in 1982 (in a dodgy cinema that usually showed more adult type films!). The live version of Rock ‘n’ Roll on this album is a classic – I only have to hear the ‘Okay lets go’ at the beginning of the track and I have to put my life on hold for the next 4 minutes. Jon Bonham - one of the best drummers, if not the best, of all time.

5. “In The Air Tonight” Phil Collins - I’m gonna get slaughtered for having this in the list but I absolutely loved it at the time. It’s more famous these days for having a gorilla play the drums but there’s no escaping the fact that it has great drums on it. It was either this one, or ELO’s Mr Blue Sky.


Friday, 18 July 2014

Harkive 2014

Bit of a change in tack from the usual post, here's my Harkive story recording what music I listened to on Harkive Day, 15th July 2014.

Harkive is an annual online music project intended to take a worldwide look at what it means to be a music fan in an ever-changing digital world. Harkive first ran in 2013 and was a tremendous success, the second year should allow the chance to begin to explore how music listening is evolving. On 15th July 2014 music fans across the globe contributed their stories to Harkive in many different of ways including; email, posting to social networking sites such as Twitter using the #harkive hashtag, blogging their stories, or by posting on the wall of the Harkive Facebook page.

This is my story.

I'm not really a morning person. I woke up about Seven but it took me at least half an hour to remember it was Harkive day.

Musically things didn't get off to a spectacular start, though I did have a burst of the KISS version of "God Gave Rock N Roll To You" going through my head as I got myself up and tried to convince the boys they needed to do the same.

Par for the course to be honest, Mrs T5 has long since stopped trying to understand my musical tastes and my two boys have decided it can all be categorised under the genre Weird Stuff. Tsk!

Having dropped my youngest at school though I decided I needed a blast of something to get the day underway.

Off to work, I recently succumbed to a cheap Deezer subscription (£1 for 3 months) and this lets me download music onto my phone and listen to it offline. Been trying to make the most of that whilst I can, normally I'd be listening to my iPod in the car or occasionally the radio.

Got into work and had a meeting and a few people to see so a music free start. I'm lucky enough to work in a small office though and we often stream live radio, so when I got back I logged on and caught up with the previous night's Marc Riley show.

That lasted 2 hours and helped the morning fly by.

Went to join in the regular Tuesday kickabout at lunchtime, a bit hot but we had a decent game, by the time I got back my work mate had taken control of the music.

Later in the afternoon I got the chance to do a bit of prep work for my Top 50 Debut Albums list, which will be dominating this blog over the coming weeks if I get my act together and start writing stuff down instead of trying to pick which albums are going to be on it.

We had a late night planned to get some system maintenance down and were back on live 6music for most of this, though it was pretty quiet so wasn't really registering while we worked.

Left work around Eight and returned to that Smith's album from earlier.

Another blast of Riley while I cooked my dinner, though I was also trying to get the boys to bed and managed to squeeze in reading a story to my youngest before I ate.

After a few too many late nights due to the World Cup and the Tour de France, I was happy to get to bed a little bit early.

Really should have gone straight to sleep but managed a bit more music via my iPod before my eyelids got too heavy and I finally passed out completely.

I usually go to sleep listening to music, it helps me get to sleep more quickly, but I don't think I heard many of the next album before I was comatose.

And so Harkive ended for me. A pretty typical day.


Friday, 11 July 2014

Top 5 Players I enjoyed at the 2014 World Cup

One of the best things about the World Cup is the chance to see players you don't know much about. I don't follow European football very closely and even in English football tend to be focused on the league Fulham are in. So these aren't necessarily the best players at the competition just the ones that caught my eye and entertained me.

1. Thomas Müller (GERMANY) - By no means an unknown player but probably my current favourite in world football. I like a goal scorer and Müller certainly knows where the goal is but he also adds a degree of guile & cunning to the German attack. None of these are the reason he's number 1 though, it's all about his style of play and those low slung socks. I've spent a large proportion of every match trying to work out if he's playing without shin pads, I've decided he is but that their really tiny old school ones. He seems to play the game at his own pace and gives the impression he's not trying too hard because he doesn't really need too.

2. James Rodriguez (COLUMBIA) - I think everyone will remember James Rodriguez as one of the stars of this tournament. Six goals are going to get you noticed and might win you the golden boot. At least two of those goals were absolute corkers and I think, despite the fact Tim Cahill's volley was outstanding, his first goal against Uruguay is my goal of the tournament.

3. Gary Medel (CHILE) - I knew Medel played for Cardiff but honestly had no idea he was from Chile until this World Cup. I'd assumed he was British, I mean how many Chilean's are called Gary!? We knew Chile were a decent footballing side but they have also been very organised & hardworking and Medel is typical of this approach. I was also enjoying Alexis Sanchez, who added a bit of flair up front to the team but it was Medel's performance against Brazil that really won me over. He ran himself into ground and until a thigh strain (picked up before the game) saw him leave the pitch on a stretcher, after 110 minutes of football, with tears rolling down his face.

4. Guillermo Ochoa (MEXICO) - There have been loads of good goalkeepers. Tim Howard's 116 saves against Belgium will live long in the memory. Raïs M'Bolhi of Algeria had a similar evening the night before against Germany. Of course Manuel Neuer of Germany was pretty impressive too, especially when he was allowed to play sweeper but it was Ochoa's performance for Mexico against Brazil that won the honours for me. He put in an amazing display, making saves he had no right to make, and was impressive in Mexico's other games keeping two clean sheets and only really being overcome by a dodgy penalty for Holland. The fact Mrs T5 had money on Mexico winning (at 300/1!) might have made me appreciate his efforts all the more.

5. Sofiane Feghouli (ALGERIA) Algeria weren't the most exciting side to watch but again proved you don't need to a have a team full of superstars to do well at the World Cup. Islam Slimani probably took most of the plaudits but Feghouli and his assortment of head bandages caught my eye and had me cheering for Algeria.

I can't ignore the Fulham connection. Technically there were four current Fulham players at the World Cup and three of them did pretty well. Bryan Ruiz captained Costa Rica who turned out to be one of the tournament's surprise packages winning Group D and being cruelly beaten on Penalties by the Dutch. Ruiz scored a couple of important goals and looked the sort of player Fulham fans knew he could be but rarely saw. Ashkan Dejagah was one of the star players in the Iranian team that also did well, drawing 0-0 with Nigeria and only losing to Argentina thanks to a very late goal by Lionel Messi. Cult hero Giorgios Karagounis also took over as captain for Greece (after previous Captain was sent off) and showed he is still capable of performing at the highest level, making me regret the fact we've let him go a little bit more. Meanwhile, on the same team, you might have missed the appearances of Fulham record signing Kosta Mitroglou. I think his record went; sub after an hour (did nothing) - started but injured after 35 minutes- missed game through injury - sub after an hour (hit bar, missed several, scored penalty). He didn't look very good but I still don't have much of a clue what he's really like. He cost Fulham over £12 Million.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Chop's Gig Reports - May/June 2014

The World Cup has slowed me down a little with the Top 5 production so here's the latest batch of gig review links to tide you over.

Laura J Martin at The Ivy House - Thursday 5th June 2014 - I've written about Laura J Martin a lot and was beginning to wonder if I'd have anything new to say about yet another gig but this was another fabulous night and in brand new territory for me too. In fact I'd never been to Peckham before let alone the venue and despite the myriad of public transportation options, found the venue fairly easily. A regular train followed by an overground train (after a few moments of indecision at Clapham Junction) and then a bus ride and a short walk eventually led me to The Ivy House, a smashing pub saved from closure about a year ago and now run by the local community. It used to be known as The Newlands Tavern and seems to have had quite a history of live music. Dr Feelgood played several times and other famous performers to appear include Joe Strummer, Ian Dury and early psychedelic Status Quo.

Dustaphonics at The Jazz Cafe - Friday 30th May 2014 - This was a combined celebration of the 14th anniversary of London retro club night Raison d'etre and the album launch party for the Dustaphonics new album Big Smoke London Town.

Swans at Sub89, Reading - Thursday 29th May 2014 - Swans were so amazing the last time I saw them I almost didn't bother with a date on this tour to avoid the inevitable anti-climax. I needn't have worried, the current line-up of Swans are so good could never be anything less than outstanding & are only really competing with their own high standards. They were fantastic again tonight despite a series of events that would have derailed my enjoyment of most other bands.