Sunday 29 September 2013

Bond x 10,000

My most popular post at TGWS has long been this one about Bond babes Britt Ekland and Maud Adams from way back in 2009. This search-engine-bothering post has now racked up over 10,000 page views...

...which I think is pretty cool. I could kid myself that this very brief look at The Man With The Golden Gun is so popular because of my pulsating prose and scintillating syntax  -  but I know it's purely down to the keywords "Bond" and "babes" and the appearance of images like these:
But that's not necessarily a bad thing :-)
So, if you've discovered this 'ere blog via the Bond!Babes! route then thanks for stopping by and helping the post reach such stratospheric heights of success...

Soundtrack: U.F.Orb by The Orb

Monday 23 September 2013

When I'm 64

"When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now..."
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen, aka The Boss, has ( unbelievably ) turned 64 today. But, unlike many who reach this Beatles-celebrated milestone, Bruce is showing no signs of slowing down. The mammoth Wrecking Ball tour, which had been rockin' all over the world since March 2012, finally came to a halt on Saturday when the E Street Band played the Rock In Rio festival.
And this is before they head down to Australia for another tour! I hope I've got just a fraction of Bruce's energy when I hit that age :-)
Happy Birthday, Bruce!

Monday 16 September 2013

Me and Ed and Ed

Further to my post the other day about the recent Ed Tudorpole gig here's a pic of me perfecting the art of photo-bombing, back-to-back with the Punk legend himself. And that's another Ed, bass-player supreme from the mighty Chinese Burn, also getting in on the act.
And here's Ed T flogging me a CD  -  "That'll be ten quid to you, squire..."

Sunday 15 September 2013

Letting the days go by

One of my all-time favourite songs in any genre from any era is Talking Heads' neurotic classic Once In A Lifetime. Just over four minutes of existential confusion with a jerky, New Wave Afrobeat, Once In A Lifetime still sounds like nothing else on Earth, even after three decades. I can vividly remember this song blaring out from radios back in 1981  -  my own personal Year Zero for music
( as previously mentioned here )  -   and being captivated by its strange, hypnotic groove and David Byrne's disconnected, paranoid vocals. I went out and bought the single ( probably from Stroud's Trading Post record shop ), played it to death, and thought to myself that I should buy its parent album, Remain In Light...
Well, thirty-two years later I've finally got round to buying that album. Hardly an impulse purchase!  And it's as great a record as I've always heard it was. Collaborating with producer Brian Eno and a host of extra musicians, the core Talking Heads unit build up layers of beats and grooves, mixing NYC New Wave with funk and with African polyrhythms, before David Byrne adds his nervy monologues to the mix. It's fantastic stuff and was clearly way ahead of any of the band's contemporaries, with the possible exception of The Clash. I really should have allowed this masterpiece into my life years ago...
Even James, my Dubstep-loving son, likes Once In A Lifetime! He says he knows it from the closing credits of Bill Bailey's Tinselworm DVD. He's got good taste, that Bill Bailey. 
I thought I'd dig out my original single copy of the song but, after trawling through my 250+ singles, I realised I don't actually own it any more. I know I sold / traded a lot of vinyl back in the '90s ( mostly to fund my Silver Age comic-buying ) but I'd be surprised to think I sold such an old favourite. In the words of David Byrne "My God, what have I done...?"

I'll leave you with a slightly unusual version of the song by that old Punk, Kermit...
Same as it ever was? Not really...

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Every Doctor has his day

Looking good for November...

Recent Gigs Part Two: Ed Tudorpole / Chinese Burn

One of the first gigs I ever went to was a Tenpole Tudor concert at Stroud Leisure Centre, waaaay back in December 1981 when I was the tender age of 14. The band were riding ( relatively ) high on the success of two Top 20 singles, Swords Of A Thousand Men and Wunderbar, and were touring their second album, the massively under-appreciated Let The Four Winds Blow. Tenpole Tudor were an exciting, enthusiastic live proposition, with their Punky-rockabilly racket, medieval costumes and boggle-eyed, eccentric frontman, Ed. My teenage mates and I had a great time, jumping around and singing along to the bands' anthems, dodging the scary Punks and even scarier Skin'eads around us, and singing Happy Birthday to Mr. Tudorpole because 'twas his birthday that day. Ah, memories...
But now, a frightening 32 (!) years later, Ed was back in Stroud, this time appearing at the Stroud Fringe Festival with his one man show, accompanied only by a battered old acoustic guitar. Could he relive the magic of days gone by...?
Well, we'll get to that shortly. First of all I have to mention Stroud's favourite sons, the mighty Chinese Burn who were supporting Ed at Stroud's Queen Victoria pub. This was their third gig in three days at the Fringe and they were well-rehearsed and firing on all cylinders by this point. The last time I saw them play was at Stroud's Subscription Rooms a couple of months back, with Gloucester Street-Punks, Demob. Not their best gig, it has to be said, but even on their more ragged days the Burn are always worth watching. No problems this time, however. They stormed through a set of tuneful, Punk-pop firecrackers, to the delight of a packed-out Queen Vic, and even dedicated a song to your humble blogger. Cheers guys! After they finished with the obligatory cover of Beat On The Brat it was time for the main event...
 Ed sneaked out of a doorway and proceeded to beat the living daylights out of his acoustic while regaling us with hilarious, touching and witty songs and stories. A ball of furious energy with a wicked gleam in his eye, Ed Tudorpole is a captivating performer, a true English eccentric. Topics covered in his warm, friendly, funny set included Malcolm McLaren and the Sex Pistols, moustaches, his teenage son, the merits of Mercedes versus Fiat, love, ageing and the pigeon-holing of artists as "Punk" or otherwise...
Here are Sarah and my mate Glenn's daughter Millie enjoying yet another of Ed's mad utterances.
( Ed actually made a bee-line for Sarah after the set, prompting her to splutter "I'm married... to him"  -  indicating me  -  much to Ed's disappointment. He said to me "Why do girls always mention their boyfriends to me? Why do they do that?" Bless him! She did give him a peck on the cheek before we left, so that will have to do... )
As well as many unfamiliar, but great, songs we were treated to some Tenpole Tudor standards like Throwing My Baby Out With The Bathwater and Three Bells In A Row as well as hilariously mangled versions of Friggin' In The Rigging and Who Killed Bambi?
After winning over a delighted audience Ed came back to encore with the most well-known of his songs... this time with a backing band...
Yes, Chinese Burn backed Ed Tudorpole  for a storming version of ( what else?) Swords Of A Thousand Men. With no rehearsal and having learned the song overnight, the Burn absolutely tore up the place with an awesome take on this old favourite, all clearly having the time of their lives. And that went for the audience too. To the untrained eye this all might have seemed like a bunch of drunk, middle-aged men shouting "Hoorah Hoorah Hoorah Yay!"... and that's exactly what it was... but it was fantastic :-)
After the set I got Ed to sign a couple of old pieces of vinyl for me and also bought the long-lost third Tenpole Tudor album, Made It This Far, from him. I'll sign off with his own words from the sleeve-notes of the album:
"God bless us all, love from Ed, Edward Tudor Pole, Ten Pole Tudor, Eddie Tenpole and all at no. 93..."

 Soundtrack: Rebellion ( Lies ), The Suburbs, Ready To Start and ( awesome new track ) Reflektor  -  all by Arcade Fire

Tuesday 3 September 2013

Dancing Queen

It was my beautiful daughter Sophie's 18th birthday on Saturday and we threw a party at our favourite venue, the Gloucester Guildhall, to celebrate. Here are Sophie and Sarah about to hit the dancefloor...
And I sneaked into this shot too...
We had a fantastic evening with loads of friends and family coming along to drink, dance, chat and just have a great time. Our little girl seemed very grown up as she danced the night away and then, after the party finished, dragged her boyfriend around Gloucester's drinking establishments until 2am. Oh, to be 18 again :-)
I'm cheating slightly with this last photo as it's actually from a wedding we went to in July... but most of our pics from Sophie's party came out quite dark and I really like this one... so for now I'll just pretend it's from Saturday night. Cheers!


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