End of Term Christmas – tastic Fiery Bird Show with Lisa & Darren

The last show of 2016 and I was going to write a quick panto. This went pear shaped for two reasons, mainly I couldn’t be arsed and secondly half my cast were busy having fun with other stuff, so I asked the rest of the cast to come and do an end of term show with me. My guests were Lisa VonH & Darren Patoto, both of whom are listeners also as well as people I do stuff with in real life so I had to tread carefully here. At any time either one of them could have blown the roof off with sensational headline exposures that would shock you to the core, or most likely, roll your eyes and mutter ‘stupid woman’ (on top of all those other times) I am enjoying the Fiery Bird Show on Radio Woking it fits a niche, I think it is called Car Crash Radio….. here is the evidence if you want to listen again… 
Lisa and Darren entered into the studio with aplomb and if you have never seen a video of a grown man with the forearms that only 30+ years of drumming gives you, in flip flops, in December, twerking to White Horses by Jacky shouting ‘this toon is rubbish!!!’ but still doing it – then you can catch up here and I will accept the award for cutting edge journalism – I thank you! Lisa couldn’t even be arsed to get out of the chair – she wouldn’t cut the rug on Strictly that one at all. However her own live contributions to the evening were, as always fantastic….
Luckily most of the shenanigans that they got up to is off camera……. and the mics were down….
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and that everyone gets everything they wish for and deserve in 2017 back on 5 Jan and some lovely guests lined up for next year…..
The playlist is below, covering songs that made memories, people lost a while ago and still miss and people lost this year who had an impact on the background of our lives and songs that give us a bit of a laugh in these uncertain times. 
1 Winter Wonderland – Booker T & The MG’s- coolio Booker T….

2 This is Radio Clash – The Clash – Joe Strummer’s anniversary, not my favourite Clash song but the lyrics seemed right

3 War Is Over – Lisa VonH live (with help from the ensemble)

4 White Horses – Jacky  – because I still haven’t got the horse I asked my parents for for Christmas

5 The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot – Nat King Cole – Darren keeps asking for a mic in the band – he never gets one

6 Changes – David Bowie – apart from the obvious this has always been and end of/new year song for me

7 In A Broken Dream – Python Lee Jackson – waking up your parents going to get your presents being told to get back to bed it is only 1.30am 

8.Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis – Tom Waits -who knew they had rugby teams in Minneapolis?

9 Baggy Trousers – Madness – all the teachers in the pub……and in my day, the students too….

10 Out Of My Window – Lisa VonH Live Original

11 Soho Square – Kirsty MacColl – an empty bench in Soho square….a song by a woman who wasn’t only a proper songwriter but saved her kids lives…

12 Fairytale of New York – The Pogues/Kirsty MacColl

13 The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole ‘Chestnuts roasting on an open fire….’ if that doesnt make your eyes water I don’t know what will…..

14 Sign O The Times – Prince 

15 Have Yourself A Merry Christmas – Lisa VonH live

16 I thought I heard that train whistle blow – Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated – many friends moan about the trains – fancy that a song about one arriving

17 Merry Christmas Everybody – Slade 

18 White Christmas – Otis Redding 

19 Gimme Some – Nina Simone – ooer missis had to cut that off double quick at the end I say Nina!

20 To Be Someone (Didn’t We Have A Nice Time?) – The Jam – yes we did and still do

21. Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life – Monty Python – Always. Bought the non explicit one, played the wrong one, shouted over the bad bit.


Fiery Bird Show *Starring!!* Mick Moriarty – Undercover Festival

It has taken me til Monday to post the catch up of last Thursday’s Fiery Bird Show. A surreal week that has a panto review on one day and a  festival organiser on the other has left me with a trace of PTSD 
I welcomed Mick Moriarty to the studio with gusto, I realise now it should have been with a cattle prod and gaffer tape and only one song under our belt we had already had a row about whose show it was. Anyone who has seen Fr Ted and witnessed the hardware store owners John & Mary will get the picture. We seemed to have accidentally themed the show without any effort whatsoever. To hear this travesty of broadcasting (albeit interspersed with mighty fine songs listed, you can listen again below)

Despite our shenanigans it was to hear about not only Undercover Festival coming back in its fifth year but other promotions and gigs Mick is putting on under the Undercover banner. The festival itself has gained a reputation as the ‘friendly festival’ and by attracting headline bands some of whom are releasing new material in addition to well loved back catalogues, as well as giving a chance to previously unknown quantities provides a leg up for them that other festivals often won’t take a risk on. The audiences are supportive and the mixture of bands/volunteers/audience who all want it to be great for everyone has especially recently ensured that people are aware of the true nature of the event. Started in Woking which was it’s home for the first three years Undercover has now moved to Dreamland in Margate for 8 & 9 Sept 2017, the line up so far is on the website http://undercoverfest.com/
1 Hersham Boys – Sham 69

2 Do I Love You – Frank Wilson

3 Get Along – Menace

4 Ca Plane Pour Moi – Plastic Bertrand

5 Safe European Home – The Clash

6 If I Should Fall From Grace With God – The Pogues

7 Never Buy The Sun – Billy Bragg (FREE DOWNLOAD) 

8 Monochrome Soul – Morgellons

9 Shake It Down – Holy Faction

10 Tom’s White Shoes – The Witchdokters

11 Do Anything You Wanna Do – Eddie & The Hot Rods

12 RIP Mr VIP – Rage DC

13 I Am The One – Kilter

14 Where’s Captain Kirk? – Spizzenergi

15 Beaches – Phoenix Chroi

16 Ghosts of Cable Street – The Men They Couldn’t Hang

17 Germ Free Adolescents – X-Ray Spex

18 We Wish You A Merry Christmas – Argonaut


The Fiery Bird Show Interview on Radio Woking with Thami – Music Artist Mentor & Coach

Thami joined me to talk about his work as a mentor and coach for musicians and bands and he gives good examples of how he approaches helping them. A musician himself who has worked in many genres and locations he gives insight to the enrichment that can come from applying a music career in so many settings, music teacher, community musician, writer as well as gigging own material and building an authentic career. A delightful guest who has worked at all levels of the music industry as A&R for labels like Island, Thami understands the issues that surround making music and dealing with raising a family and paying the bills as well. He has offered to come in again and run clinics for musicians giving advice for free, it was lovely to meet someone as passionate and committed as Thami 
We spoke about the importance of authenticity, humbleness and respect for others as part of the essential qualities that set artists apart and in sticking to the creative process that they believe in without worrying about what others are doing.
Also Cardboard Carousel and their music success, We Love Woking and all the work they do to promote a positive Woking and Moo Moo’s Art – beautiful slate art being sold to raise money for the York Road Project – which supports the homeless and those in danger of becoming homeless in Woking.


The Dog – Harry Johnson & The All Stars (cheeky little instrumental to get us going)

Get Ready For this 2 Unlimited – (What was I thinking?? Oh yeah it was for Zahir he likes this stuff)

I Spy (For The FBI) Jamo Thomas (Because A&R people are spying for the …oh that doesn’t scan quite as well)

Does Anybody Know? Cardboard Carousel (Because they’re a very talented band and it is a lovely song) 

Hanging Around – The Stranglers (a band that have stuck to an authentic sound for them)

Feeling Good – Nina Simone (the inexplicable meeting of a writer and singer from completely different backgrounds making an iconic feel good song) 

When I Saw You – The Ronettes (Phil Spector bringing in symphonies, and the first time you see your child) 

The Night Sky – Keane (for the volunteers I know who are working hard to make good things happen)

Hark Hark – Subculture (a lovely track from a new unsigned band I love) 

This Town Ain’t Big Enough For the Both of Us – Sparks….. 😉

Gypsy’s, Tramps & Thieves – Cher (what some people call us ol music people) 

Things Are Going To Get Better – The Small Faces no explanation because it isnt a Fiery Bird Show without them

13. Merry Christmas Everybody – Slade For Mitchy Moo and great memories of a fantastic charity event she put on for Face The Future a Woking charity that supports families of children born with Treacher Collins Syndrome.

You can listen again here


The Fiery Bird Show Interview – Holly Wilcox, Founder-North Bend Records

Fiery Bird Show w Holly Wilcox – North Bend Records Thurs 1 December 2016
After some technical kefuffles where the desk tried to take control from the off eschewing my own choice of song whilst Mabbsy and his guest Steve giggled in the corner at my ineptness, we settled in to a right old info fest with my guest. 

This week I was joined by Holly Wilcox who talks about her band work and what led to developing North Bend Records, a project she set up to help bands take their music to the next level. This seems to reflect a growing movement towards collaboration in music and people using their organisational skills from other work along with knowledge of the scene and industry from their own music journey to help other people along. Holly brought along some songs of the band she is working with now and her own work as well as some favourite tracks she picked out. Along with some old favourites I sneaked in and some newly released stuff we had a right old chin wag. Holly also brought me some sweets a quality that can never be underestimated in a guest and were I a different person altogether might prompt a ‘guest-o-meter’ value judgement approach. She is a lovely lady and her outlook very inspirational for anyone with a passion to set up a project whatever that might be. You can listen again here….


1 House Shoes The Bar Kay’s
2 But I’m Different Now – The Jam
3 Gangsters – The Specials
4 Brass In Pocket – The Pretenders
5 Steven – The Pony Collaboration
6 Down – Greedy Hands
7 Out of Control – Liza Bec
8 Free Money – Patti Smith
9 Victory – PJ Harvey
10 King of Soho – Tim Arnold
11. Novelty Wore Off – The Pony Collaboration

12. Afterglow – The Small Faces

13. Pictures of Lily – The Who

14. Baby It’s Cold Outside – Ray Charles

15. You’re Wondering Now – The Specials


Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs is the Panto offering for Woking this year at the New Victoria Theatre
There are many expert opinions on Panto but luckily this year people are all sick of experts so you get to read mine instead (just when you think everything has gone mad you see a selfish benefit – every cloud ‘n’ all that)
Star and Director of the show Warwick Davis has such a varied and high profile acting career and attracts a wide range of people to check out panto who before, might not have considered it – a young couple behind me talked about Star Wars alot….all the way through, luckily Panto is translated as ‘right noisy play’. I think Warwick (can I call you Warwick? I feel I know you) has become what is known as a national treasure, certainly borne out by the reception he got when he came on stage as Prof – chief dwarf of the seven who kindly took Snow White in without hesitation, seeing before them a person in need who has had to flee their home because of threat of death. What a great tradition that is – isn’t it? 

The thing about Panto is it’s the one time that something is designed for audiences of every age and background. Sometimes they are full of stunts, effects and surprises, and others, the dialogue carries the audience along weaving double entendre into the words that leave kids looking puzzled at their parents spitting out their smuggled sweets laughing (“bring a big bag and put your coat over it” one woman said who I wouldn’t recognise at all in a line up if pressured I am merely observing not judging). This was most apparent with Herman the Henchman (Andy Ford) for example he experienced a ‘touching cloth’ moment after being surprised by Muddles (Chris Cox). Most of us wouldn’t find a henchman who attempts murder of a young woman a sympathetic and hilarious character but Andy Ford manages to get the audience on side in this unlikely scenario and digs deep to bring out his softer side to help mind reader and jester Muddles save Snow White. Andy Ford is very funny, delivery of the lines is done in a cheeky gentle way ‘I’m doing this show at two levels pick the one you want to watch’ and when Muddles refers to getting a wall built ‘see that? – satire – you don’t often see it in Panto’.

This year we are treated to a variety show in the old fashioned sense, still the sumptuous costumes, hissing and booing at the baddie – Anne Smith’s vampish portrayal of Queen Morgiana had the right amount of villainy in it’s cariacature. The ballet scene in between was powerful and moving and the audience interaction enthusiastic. Chris Cox demonstrating his mind reading skills on a member of the audience mid show. Each of the Dwarfs had a party piece for a Moravia’s Got Talent show and the shadow statues – Distraction! were really funny.

Melissa Potts as Snow White was endearing and Shaun Dalton as Prince Wayne of Woking reminiscent of Howard Keel both in presence and vocals which is no bad thing in this type of theatre.

This years Panto is well written and funny and Warwick Davis does a great Las Vegas era Elvis as well. With his earlier rendition of Always Look On The Bright Side of Life and Snow White ending with the words ‘Good has triumphed over Evil I knew it would’ it does what Panto does best gives a glimmer of magic on daylight and who can be cynical about that?

Apart from cynics of course but what are they doing at Pantos anyway?
Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs is on at the New Victoria Theatre until 8 January 2017 www.atgtickets.com/woking