Fiery Bird Show feat Baz Warne -The Stranglers w guest Finn Panton – Menace

10 Mar

This weeks Radio show was like getting a strike in bowling and I can’t bowl (terrible hand to eye co-ordination and balance, had to do ballet as a kid and pick up pencils with my toes) so you can imagine the delight that not only having a phone interview with a Strangler lined up, then a Menace turned up as well! These punk rock stars are like buses aren’t they? I imagined telling my Mum I was dealing with a Strangler and a Menace in one go just a day after International Women’s Day as well!
Arriving for my show in normal attire, old clothes with bits of dinner on, red cheeks and a million bags of stuff, CD’s, notes, bits n bobs, lucky gonk, a proper pen, different notebooks in case I get to do work in between and I bump into Finn Panton (off of Menace) ‘eh? Eh?? Are you with another band then?’ ‘Yep he is not only a MENACE, or a D’Ska Assassin (for a nice man he has threatening band names) but he is also part of Lysander a band from his school days. I invited him to chat and he joined me for a bit, his passport into my studio was also that he was wearing my band tshirt though he boasted a bit much that his Irish passport had arrived and had nice pics of Eire in and mine is still ‘in the system’, what if I get denied now- after all these years, surely the number of Kimberley biscuits I’ve eaten should qualify me if the parents, summers in the Wesht and the attitude don’t??!!

Getting a Strangler on the phone was also a pleasant surprise to me earlier as the call came that one of them would do an interview. Whilst we waited for our gig in Brighton on Saturday the band tried to speculate which Strangler I’d be doing. They decided the best way to do it was to pitch the seniority of the team member I would get against my media status and decided based on that formula that I would get the roadie that had only joined the band five minutes before whose job was to lick the spittle from mics between the sets. THAT’s how impressed my bandmates are with this scenario of me as radio host. One of them once came in and showed his crack on my radio show (naming no names Darren) and it’s been a wipe clean studio ever since. I poo pooed their cynicism and basked in hope, and gratefulness. And after all it turned out to be guitarist and singer Baz Warne. I live with a life long Stranglers fan as well who knows more than me so I made sure to finger his collection before the show. He didn’t even flinch.

Ringing up from a radio station in a school named after a Prime Minister, Baz Warne answered in surprise ‘my phone said it was Winston Churchill on the phone!’ 
My riposte

‘Well the other day, my phone said it was The Stranglers Office on the phone.. in top trumps would a war time leader out trump a strangler?’ He agreed it probably would so I won (for God’s sake Elaine you gave up trying to win at Monopoly ages ago blaming it because of it being capitalist when really it’s just because you’re crap at games- why start being competitive now, in an interview, with a big cheese?!!)
Lucky I can’t hear the sound of eyes rolling across the phone lines but the man prevailed and was delightful in his repartee. 

He spoke of the writing process, the things that are important to them as a band and the relationships with the fans, and took the time to talk about a dear friend to the music scene here Anton De Croft. The encouragement of parents and coming to terms with loss is important milestones for all of us and this was again, an epitome of why I love having guests on the radio show, talking to new people at gigs or anywhere in daily life; ultimately whatever job we have, whatever profile, we all feel the same about the same things, we all want our kids to be healthy and happy, our elderly to be well cared for and to fulfil our lives with whatever vocation we have chosen to follow and it is always interesting the more people I meet to find that we all have more in common that divides us. A lovely guest who I could have chatted to all day but mindful that he was on the road and a first gig of their tour that night, he shared a lot of the bands insights, their commitment to writing and constantly making new work, and you can catch up on it here. Locally, The Stranglers are playing GLive with guests Ruts DC on 21 March 2017 

Morgellons – A Paupers Love Song

Oh Bondage Up Yours – XRay Spex

RESPECT – Aretha Franklin

Get Back In Line – Nervous Twitch

Not Rich – Argonaut

Lightning Strikes – Phoenix Chroi

To Be Someone – The Jam

In A Broken Dream – Python Lee Jackson feat Rod Steward

Sound of The Suburbs – The Members

Lily – Dan Shears & The Velveteen Orkestra

Til Victory – Patti Smith

No More Heroes – The Stranglers Live at The Hope & Anchor

Hanging Around – The Stranglers

Mighty – Phoenix Chroi

Tank Park Salute – Billy Bragg

RENT – The Musical, Woking Ovation

8 Mar

I’m still a bit dumbstruck by RENT. I am not sure I have ever seen as diverse an audience at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking nor one that so enthusiastically responded to the performance throughout, ending in a total standing ovation from people who absolutely engaged with the show from the first. (There you go, short version- if you need to get encouragement to go and see it) 
The set, musicians and cast are amazing the cleverly choreographed dances, Angel (Layton Williams) in Today 4 U and Mark & Joanne (played by understudies Joshua Denver & Jenny O’Leary) in Tango Maureen were amongst the stand out dances. The vocals of all the cast members were absolutely incredible, soulful, poignant, heart wrenching, rock and raise the roof however the vocals from Layton Williams, Jenny O’Leary & Phillipa Stefani (Mimi Marquez) Ryan O’Gorman (Tom Collins) particularly moved me. Jonathan Larson the writer who tragically died the day before its first scheduled performance was influenced by rock n roll as much as musical theatre and this is brought to bear in the songs, influences of of The Who are apparent as well as a sample of Quando M’envo within the score documenting it within La Boheme skilfully re made for the future.
If you have ever been slapped with a great big mackerel across the cheeks several times to wake you up and pull your attention (in a nice way) to witness something fantastic then you’ll probably be quite used to this, but despite an apparent brashness over the subject the beautiful layers intermingling and revealing universal themes throughout draw you in to this world created in Jonathan Larson’s RENT. That it is based around the tragic La Boheme set in 1990’s New York with AIDS being a central spectre as opposed to TB shows these sadnesses, celebrations and preciousness of life are the pulse that keep us going. These young people then living under a sentence repeating that mantra as repeated by young people century after century in war, disease and revolution know the value of life as a rich tapestry unafraid to stand against what is destroying them and make life beautiful in whatever way they can. I could see the musical, I could see the New York factory set and the people but then this odd stuff happened. I remembered a friend and when the lesions came, and I remember that he was happy in a relationship but then he died and his family threw out his loved one, partner of 20 years from their joint home, because they could then. Now we would be shocked by that and now they could be married and his partner would have grieved in the home they shared memories in. I hope those people have changed their minds about what love is now. There’s a theme I saw in RENT, there’s a lot of love in it with all different people but it remains the same, same as then same as now, just love.

Then I saw these bohemians protesting and dancing and the audience going wild for them and I remembered that our cultural spaces are being razed by big business and the bohemians are protesting, I hope people cheer on these guardians of culture as well, not just when it is in a play but when it is in real life in the spaces where dreams are made; in song, in art, in word and in gesture and that when we are poor it isn’t that romantic or glamorous when the electricity fails and people have nothing to eat; and I hope that in another 20 years or so that when RENT is still sharing this humane and universal message it won’t have to be updated again for a modern audience because these things were still happening, but I have a sad feeling were it set in these days it may be, the diseases we live under may change and the prejudices and the injustices and poverties but they are still there with a different outfit on. It would be great to make them historical dramas….
RENT is on at The New Victoria Theatre in Woking until Sat 11 March 2017


28 Feb

Ghost – The Musical, opened in at the New Victoria Theatre Woking, these days it seems anything is turned into a musical – watch out for the rock opera I am writing about going to Londis  and skirting a dog fouling issue (Londis – The Musical) however, throw this cynicism aside because this is an absolute treat. What it isn’t is a jazz hands ensemble bigging up the genre but a touching piece of theatre that reflects the depth of grief that people who have lost a loved one can relate to with some beautiful songs (from Dave Stewart & Glen Ballard) diversifying from big gospel style to touching heartbreaking ballad.
After the first five minutes where the relationship between the lead characters felt more like ‘get a room’ than great love story and the first intro of the iconic Righteous Brothers song and pottery wheel shenanigans so famous from the original film were fleeting, the action moves on apace.
The sets were clever with a beautiful cityscape backdrop serving the apartment, street, office, railway and the whole ensemble choreographed into short dances to move along. This gave more power to the scenes of bleak despair, Sam (Andy Moss) being murdered by the brooding, threatening Willie Lopez (Leo Sene) whilst Molly (Carolyn Maitland) holds him as he dies and his realisation of his mortality. The scene in the hospital waiting room as ghost played by James Earl Adair sings to him of letting go in a kindly retro musical way as he waits to meet his wife who is in hospital. This kindly ghost he sees juxtaposed with the violent threat from the subway ghost (Garry Lee Newley), in rage at his death from being pushed under a train, but, who nevertheless teaches Sam to focus so he can protect Molly from Carl (Sam Ferriday) who is out to harm her.
All the performances were strong, in particular Carolyn Maitland has an outstanding clear and expressive vocal performance on the songs. Jacqui Dubois steals the show as Oda Mae Brown a role made famous by Whoopi Goldberg in the film but in fact I preferred the Dubois interpretation, funnier without being deliberately played up for laughs. The chemistry between her and Moss makes them an excellent double act.

With songs written with Dave Stewart & Glen Ballard and beautiful orchestration, skilled musicians and vocals, those who enjoy musicals for just this thing will find something to satisfy however the theme of bereavement and depth of grief, which as any will know who have lost someone also contains so much comedy and, longing for the person back is still personified best, so poignantly in the reprise of the famed Unchained Melody that had a silent audience wiping away tears, and at the end, a standing ovation for this cast who well deserved it. 

This is a theatre piece that has been likened to portraying some fine Shakespearean attributes and characters drawn so. This could be dismissed as not worthy and too populist for a comparison to such a honoured playwright however he was an unashamed server of the popular, the themes of death, humans being drawn into the metaphysical, and never shied from the pain of love. These comparisons shouldn’t be dismissed by a faux elite nor be a barrier to someone who hated Shakespeare at school and wants a good story; critic or fan we have all stood in places we didn’t want to be and had to contemplate or will have to, the loss of someone that we can’t imagine living without. Like the days of writing in 1595 or now, people we love die and we grieve and wish it wasn’t so. This is a moving portrayal of a life cut short and the drama of discovery that people aren’t what they seem, there’s a lot of snogging as well, and singing. Which is good, singing is good, especially in a musical I don’t think Shakespeare really cottoned on to that so it might be Ghost the musical – one, Shakespeare – nil – in this case anyway.
Ghost is on at New Victoria Theatre until Sat 4 March 2017


16 Feb

Fiery Bird meets with cool jazz and an interview with Mark Baxter gave me some insights in the world that forms the backdrop of his work, the films and books sparked by his curiosity to get under the layers of what appears to current culture as an older archived way of living, listening and moving still to inspire new generations of modernists, what better to herald it with a pic from some of the modernists of my day above. 

We talked about his various work, passion for Tubby Hayes and his story, Ready Steady Girls, the book that celebrates the Mod woman, his collaborations with Woking sons Paolo Hewitt (The Mumper) and Paul Weller – he produced Jawbone the film that Paul Weller wrote the sound track for and wrote the fantastic narrative that Paul voices on this short film the Devil, from Emma Rosa Dias.

One O’ Clock Jump – Jimmy Smith
Big City – The Artwoods

Last Night – The Mar-keys

A Bomb In Wardour Street – The Jam

Can’t Sit Down – Phil Upchurch Combo

Can’t Believe What You Say – Ike & Tina Turner

Love Me or Leave Me – Nina Simone

Little Piece of Leather – Donnie Elbert

If I Ever Needed Love – Ruby Johnson

Get On The Right Track Baby – Georgie Fame

Open My Eyes – The Nazz

The Hunter Gets Captured by The Game – The Marvelettes


27 Jan

Tonight I welcomed Stephen Colegrave to the Fiery Bird Show. Stephen, is the co-founder of Byline Festival an alternative festival with a purpose, to have an event that brings the impact that Woodstock and Sundance had for this ‘post truth’ frenzy of an age. The fresh faced warriors of truth unfurling their capes and making them into tents in a forest where people can experience and produce examples of good, responsible journalism and claim back hope, enjoy music, comedy, workshops and meet others with a view of activism that is optimistic and kind and then take with them something that will start to change and grow in a society where buzzwords, spin and bamboozle has become King. To give strength to the voice of the child pointing out that, in fact, the Emperor is not wearing any clothes and indeed it is a very cold day.
Over many years there are many things conceived in pubs but usually the best things to be conceived in pubs are ideas and plans that are put into action – anything else would best be covered in a health related show. As with all those best ideas Byline Festival was also conceived in the pub, the aptly named Pillars of Hercules in Greek St Soho when Stephen and co-founder Peter Jukes were discussing what they felt was missing on the new landscape of festivals that had seemed to become so expensive, corporate and had lost their aim of being places that were agents for change, where new ideas and concepts became possibilities, alliances formed and humanity shed some of its obsession with the consumer in a common tribal setting of music and art
Whilst these ideas of something missing were bubbling under, with recent events like Brexit and Trump its impetus has crystallised and galvanised people into action. Stephen said that he spent most of last year going around looking for wardrobes where Narnia would be trying to find where all the likeminded people were, the people that told the truth. So here it is, Byline is Narnia and it is welcoming people to gather in the forest – in this case Pippingford in East Sussex. I bloody hope there is still Turkish Delight there.

Guests include John Cleese, Lenny Henry, Tom Watson MP, Hardeep Singh Kholi, there is a great emphasis on comedy – the new armour of the disenchanted – and all guests and performers feel so involved that all are donating their time, should any profits be made, they are put to the crowdsourced platform to encourage excellent standards and truth in journalism. The idea is that not only do people enjoy the elements of the festival but also feel galvanised to bottle the positive outrage and put it to positive work. Bands include John Ellis, The Priscillas, Phoenix Chroi, How’s Harry, Andy Twyman, Will Purdue, Hannah White, Lisa VonHArgonaut and many more inc headliners to be announced. 
John Cleese in particular asked to present the Bad Press Awards, an honour they don’t really expect many winners to want to pick up to collect but, nevertheless they will receive; they will be delivered, come what may. I asked if this would be somewhat of a pattern of award like the predictability of Ant & Dec picking something up at the NTA’s, but, despite expectation, there are more than one or two examples of bad press that will be highlighted and given due attention during the ceremony. 
This is about good news too though, the festival has captured the imagination of many people also feeling under represented and sick of being labelled with stupid derisory terms just because they care about something, the ‘PC Brigade, the ‘snowflakes’ the ‘Do-Gooders’ (yeah really great insult – to spit bile against people that ‘do good’ – ironically so often spouted by those who wish to cite their issue as the fact that a dogma they don’t even follow perhaps one whose tenet is doing good to other people, is being stamped out by another dogma they don’t follow or have even met anyone that does) There’s a weariness at constantly being told off on social media because of highlighting and experiencing inequality. The day after those same group cited the Women’s March as a failure and unwarranted with keyboards on fire ‘I didn’t see any of you marching against FGM/Saudi Arabian Women’s Rights/Insert other issue they didn’t give a shit about last week (these suddenly human rights activists on behalf of vulnerable women) you privileged spoilt group of lefty extreme women’ – do they not realise what equality means? What choice means? Do they not see the contradiction in their assertion that all of these women who look like their own sisters, mothers, daughters appear to be the majority because they are the majority and those they accuse of over running us are in truth a minority but as deserving of respect as any and that is what it is about. Do they not see that they need to understand that issues like choice, like abuse, like support affect all of us. All it seems is the extremes we now live in is the bars of the cage being shaken and the hunter with the gun knowing the locks won’t hold another generation who will live in a more equal, respectful world by operating a revolution, an activism, of kindness and respect. The hunter knows this so gets a bigger gun – silly hunter doesn’t realise that the cages are full of flocks of birds they treat like one scary bear. If Maya Angelou were here she would know. She knew why the caged bird sings. The boxing ring has fallen away and we have all stepped out of it, are packing it up and turning the space into a community centre where more gets done than some fancy footwork and jabs amongst two posturing powers while the rest of us have to stand by and watch with no say in the outcome.
For those people who suddenly rose up to use someone else’s pain as a vehicle for their fear that the party was over for them, rail about issues they never mentioned before, why didn’t you march against them before, why criticise others who are doing something and usually, it is generally those people dealing with those other issues too. That march was more about women and men expressing their shock that society had got to the level where someone can openly admit to feeling the power that allows them to denigrate and assault other humans and still gain high office with dangerous responsibility, than to do with carping and whining at what other political systems that have nothing to with us (and yet everything too) vote in. That is why projects like this are happening because the ordinary has become extraordinary and people are stepping up to speak out.

We spoke about other projects that Stephen has worked on and those currently so: The book Punk that he collaborated on with Chris Sullivan, his background in the punk scene and the freedom it gave to make things happen DIY, an inspiration to do things in a way of truth and authenticity. The inspirational photographers who contributed photos and putting exhibitions together with them since, we spoke of following a passion that makes stuff happen 
It was a lovely little chat to get the lowdown as my Mum used to say and as always to hear the stories of meeting and working with people like Rik Mayall, David Bowie, Georgie Fame,Danny Aiello John Ellis & many more was delightful.
Stephen is involved with other ways of supporting action with integrity with projects like

Uprising where he is a trustee. This takes young people from diverse backgrounds and puts them through a social action training course so help them see how can they affect their communities – people without the background and money deserve a chance and have the talent but don’t get the chance to get through and this is designed to give them that chance and that voice.
He is also a Trustee with the Young Actors Theatre Islington to give the opportunity to train and even if not pursuing theatre the chance of expressing yourself in any form will give confidence, to find your own voice and find genuine authentic connections and confidence in your own skin is how we will change the world. Happy confident people filling up our own skin and giving a hand up to others.
Tickets for the Festival are on sale now, and those in the Woking area can get a 30% discount until 31 January 
Festival Maker Tickets £25


£95 early bird before 31st January

£65 student
PLUS!! Discount for GU21/GU22 of 30% by 31 January use code GU22BYFEST or GU21BYFEST


Listen Again Here


1 Liar Liar – The Castaways

2 Swords of a Thousand Men – Ten Pole Tudor

3 All The Way To Holloway – The Priscillas

4. Indercate Your Mind – How’s Harry

5 Teenage Kicks – The Undertones

6 London Calling – The Clash

7. Never Buy The Sun – Billy Bragg

8. Bank Failures – Bob Miller

9 Not Rich – Argonaut

10 A Change Gonna Come – Sam Cooke

11. No More Heroes – The Stranglers

12. Preach & Teach – Georgie Fame

13. Sound of The Suburbs – The Members

14. The Best Is Yet To Come – Frank Sinatra


18 Jan

I went to look at the stars and saw how their tiny pin pricks in the sky, real diamonds, not cubic zirconia, real diamonds, not blood diamonds – nobody tears them from the earth or stamps on a person’s soul to put them in a ring and claim ownership of another. They reflect purity back – putting us in our place. 

At college we were told the Elizabethans thought they were crystal lights trying to break through the velvet night, pieces of heaven seen through those holes, too terrible and brilliant for us to behold so just kept beyond. Kept so we kept looking, we kept wanting to be worthy to be let in. The crystal spheres; and they danced, all the planets did to the music of the spheres, a heavenly parade.  We saw how that made us feel and makes us feel every new moon and full moon and star shower and dark cloudy night when they are denied to us. What do we think of these stars that are metal and stone and ash but to us such great icons of hope and dreams and every desire. These elusive crystals that we gaze at even when the moon abandons us as she disappears from her realm to be ready to dress, slowly by night again and do her monthly show. Do we need to know our dreams are stones and ashes already dead by the time we even realise we have them? Or, do we need ourselves to believe that is what is possible is as real as what is, that the part of ourselves that aspires and hopes is as corporeal as that which shits and cries? 

How we look at these things is how we look at each other, the silence behind the eyes that we see in another to determine, by gut feeling and instinct, the empathy we believe there, the depth, the compassion. None of these things are to be touched either – you may say that; but they are, they are touched when we hug, when we stroke and when we hold each other and that is where the stars come and shine their best and put their love in to hearts and minds. And us, and even those poor people, those poor unfortunate, burdened and cursed with being called stars on earth and the fools in all their glory who yearn for it.

The Fiery Bird Freezes

15 Jan

This Blog is in parts like Lord of The Rings but more maybe The Fiery Bird Freezes – there’s hardly any trees, it’s not interesting or clever and has has no literary merit; nor has it any potential for syndicated merchandise, so not like Lord of The Rings at all apart from being long. 
On Thursday 12 Jan the show (click on it to hear it again) brought the words Fiery Bird home in an unexpected way though it was ice and locks that brought the Fire Brigade to heft me over a fence at the end, not fire. 
I left the building to find all the gates locked, Joe parked outside was picking me up and told me to wave a crate in front of the sensor – usually as your car approaches it opens by itself. I’m waving a crate as much as possible and nothing is happening – ‘Wave harder! Wave the crate!’ He exhorts from under his flat cap on the other side of the fence like a cockney version of the Railway Children. ‘I am bloody waving!!!’ I’m trilling back melodiously (not). Then, deciding my lady waving was too delicate for the doughty gate sensor used to having a car bonnet poked at it, I grab one of the big wheelie bins and run it around to get a following wind and push it fast towards the gate to emulate said ton of metal that is a car. Nothing; a bit of a shudder but nothing raised or opened. Sighs of signs and portents of unopened doors and age analogies didn’t get me anywhere.. No one could be raised by phone and my girth is matronly, too much so to slide under. The fence too pointy in case of ne’er do wells, to climb over. In younger days the thought of being locked in school would have been a nightmare on the level of walking around town with no knickers on…oh wait that… never mind.
I wandered around the perimeter fence caught under the Wolf Moon, should’ve bloody howled at it it would have been as much use as anything to get out. It was like looking up at the cot bars when young and the only way out was when you saw your Mum come in the room and reach down. It was cold but as much as it was for the time it was, there are always options for people like us, with homes and hearth no matter how humble and stuck we appear. The person sleeping with no choice in that moonlight doesn’t bear thinking about -shouldn’t bear the brunt of what leads us to be a place where people still sleep with ice as a duvet. Things you think when something makes you stop. 
So the only option remained to ring 101 and let them know so they can call a key holder to come and unlock a 50year old woman trapped inside school grounds. So we waited, I was expecting someone to come shuffling over, grunting in tiredness, a possible slippers and high vis tabard combination unlock the gate and shuffle off again annoyed at their night being interrupted by a woman who has just spent the last two hours forcing her music and inane monologue onto the internet. Was all this science and satellite really intended for someone to just get to the edge of words and opinions and no further, exhort ‘You Gotta Fight For Your Right To Party!” and share her parenting revision woes? Doubtful but I suppose these little hobbies save us from ourselves and the science and satellite does a better job than thinking about stuff will, and all the things we deal with when confronted without softening the starkness of our own truths.
Seeing a fire engine driving up the road gave no clue assuming it was going straight on. Until it stopped. A whole crew got out (they must have heard about my weight gain – note to self – more veg less beer). We must have got a very dramatic 101 operator. They were nice friendly people, Kevin Dan & Michael who explained that they would put the ladders up and over and one would come and get me. Mortally embarrassed (bad leggings) I said I am sure I would be fine. I was also conscious that if I fell back on the fella it was some woman’s son I would be killing. Nevertheless they insisted so up I went and over. As I am half over the fence I can hear Joe talking to one of the other firemen about the electrics in the new venue- charming! As I got put down on solid ground he came over, his face a mask of concern ahh. ‘Apparently the electrics are a nightmare..’
They were very nice, I thanked them, I didn’t know how to thank properly ‘thank you for putting me over the fence’ I said I would mention them on the radio show – they don’t know I don’t think I have any listeners I put a confident face on it – like a blagger; they packed up and we all went off. I texted my friend Hannah and told her I had been stuck and had to get rescued by firemen her reply ‘you lucky bitch, I meant sorry, how awful are you ok?’ When I got home I put my head in the gin cupboard and made selections.
But that was the end of the night. 

In the beginning was the word. The ones we join up and I talk incessantly in between song. This show I was on my own, like being in isolation, the panic, no guest or co-presenter, noone to flick stuff at and blame for things going wrong – being used to working at home on my own I am often sitting talking to myself so this is just doing it using someone else’s electricity – oh and IP address as well!! What mischief I could get up to 
Working at home alone a lot I can share all sorts of tips on enrichment activities to lift the boredom. They do these things in zoos hiding food in places that the animals have to sniff out and discover so imagine my delight when I found the Christmas chocolates that had been strategically placed on the top shelf of the cereal cupboard behind all the Tupperware things without lids. I came across them quite by accident, the chair I had dragged over to stand on to look at the Tupperware and shuffle it about with my hands just gave me that extra super power. 
Have a think about your super power what would it be? I have several- I can wear more than one cardigan on a beach for example – exciting times!

This is the sort of encouragement I got to revise.

My daughter thinks her superpower is express revision- people doing Mocks, what a name for exams! It’s like mocks ‘ call yerself an exam’!! Exams in mocking people that is what I used to think or mocking the subject ‘Pah! English you think you’re as important as Maths?!!’ ‘Biology?? Biology?? All you are is a collection of rude words and noises that make people titter”. Language is a funny thing – I thought smear tests were an exercise in levels of journalistic depravity for years until I found out what they really were. So anyone with people of a certain age doing these things in their house are having this same problem as me between your expectation of what doing revision is like and what it apparently does look like according to the laws of the universe or, a seventeen year old. Since for legal reasons I cannot share our conversations in this regard (she will go ape and I can’t afford to get new door hinges) I expressed them in the form of song throughout the show.
I also had some songs dedicated to my sister Maureen (ooo she gives you more!) who reaches her diamond anniversary not just because I love her though that is true but as a ‘holding gift’ until her present was bought….she would recognise the type of nun above – we went to the same school though the nuns found me problematic.
There were also tangents that mean absolutely nothing at all but in looking at the ol tunes as I chose I thought I would stick one or two in. Mentions in dispatches for Mickey Rickshaw, Hannah White, Menace, The Sound Lounge and The Byline Festival, The Phoenix Centre

1 Walking In The Rain – The Ronettes because this woman’s voice………
2 What a Wonderful World – Sam Cooke …. Don’t Know Much about History…..

3 Rat Race -The Specials. I got one Art O’level it did nothing for me – on balance this song maybe didn’t give the message I intended

4 Uptight Everything’s Alright – Little StevieWonder. ‘Ah Mum it’s all fine…..’

5 Attitude – Suede hmmmmm

6 You Gotta Fight For Your Right To Party – Beastie Boys ……yes I know at weekends and holidays

7 Better Use Your Head – Little Anthony & The Imperials

8 I Don’t Like Mondays – Boomtown Rats – No one does love

9 The Bitterest Pill – The Jam 

10 We Can Work it Out – The Beatles – we always can

11 To Have & To Have Not – Billy Bragg Back To Basics played by Mickey Rickshaw in Woking this week when they played the Phoenix Centre as part of their European tour from Boston USA if you missed it you missed a corker!!

12 The Way We’re Made – Missing Andy Essex

13 Unbelievable – EMF

14. Singin the Blues – Guy Mitchell This was number one on 13 jan 1957 

15 Queen Majesty – Techniques because big sisters are always the Queens

16 All the Young Dudes – Mott The Hoople – a favourite of my sister- holy hell was unleashed when she couldn’t find it and the other loon wearing member of our household was fingered as it being an inside job. Small gobby children, a baby, a Donny Osmond fan and anyone wearing Aran Jumpers or headscarves were eliminated from the investigations (Mum:’ Wha’ Mott the Hoople? What sort of a name is that, look behind your father’s Chieftains record ‘Round the Dresser and Up The Hole’ B side Waxies Dargle -it might’ve been put in the wrong sleeve’)

17 Celebrate Summer – TRex

18 Top Of The Pops – The Rezillos memories of all the great audience dancing on the show – one foot/ the other foot/ look bored /one foot/ other foot look bored; and in our front room by big sisters

19 Hay Wrap – The Saw Drs – an Enid O’Blyton book about our adventures – Willie Joe and our pathetic attempts to get a free drink backstage

20 Exmouth Beach – WillB where she lives, he wrote a song about it.

21 Turn Turn Turn – The Byrds

22 Don’t Eat Yellow Snow – Frank Zappa

23.Bad Woman – Pat Farrell & The Believers (garage psych but the name sounds like a Christian country & western band from County Offaly 1957)

24 Bad – Kirsty MacColl

25 To The End – Blur