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meterman

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Everything posted by meterman

  1. 'Usual suspects' is right. I've already had confirmation that the Royal Opera House is in line for funding. Which on the one hand, is fine. Opera and classical is cool (in my books at least) and it would be a shame if it all disappeared in this country and went abroad. But ROH and most of the other main players in that world receive heavy corporate sponsorship already. Even the smaller concerns like my old local, Holland Park in West London, receive decent corporate coin in sponsorship for their outdoor opera events which are village green-sized affairs. Until late last night, this was the state of play: I've often wished I was based in France but even more so now! But yeah, 'cautious optimism' is where I'm at. Let's see what develops over the coming days and weeks. Time really is tight for the music industry in the UK. Wait and see, I guess.
  2. That's one of the coolest restorations I've ever seen! LOVE the refin work on that, it looks first class 👍
  3. While I'm glad and grateful that the government is offering £1.57bn, I'm going to hold off jumping for joy until I see how the funding is being dispersed. The £1.57bn is described as being a rescue package for "the arts" and the prime minister and Oliver Dowden and Rishi Sunak are quoted as saying that figure is to cover museums, cinemas, galleries and theatres as well as the opera and classical venues which already receive heavy corporate sponsorship in many cases. It's not necessarily a "bailout" for the music industry. 90% of independent festivals and venues are facing going under in 2021, and I've yet to see any mention that this is going to be addressed. The UK music industry is a huge ecosystem that goes way beyond just the musicians on stage. Obviously we all know that many concerts, gigs, shows or recitals (if you're refined!) require a team of often unseen staff and workers doing their best to make it happen. So yeah, there's the band onstage, but there's plenty of other heroes and heroines doing their bit too, many of whom will be freelancers. Like road crew and drivers. Techs and backline people. Sound crew. Light crew. Maybe a DJ or two. Bar staff and cleaners. Door and cloakroom staff. Promoters and venue staff. Or if it's a big show or a festival there'll be caterers. Portaloos and the people who install and manage them. Artists liaisons and site management, etc, etc. There's often an army of people of people behind every show working their horses off to make it happen. It's not just the folks onstage, it's the entire industry that supports and enables the show to happen. It's an emotive issue for me as I rely solely on live and studio earnings to pay my bills. And it irks me that we've had to go cap in hand to a government that clearly didn't want to get involved, just to get a bone thrown to us. Well, maybe to us, maybe not to us, it waits to be seen how the bailout package funds will be allocated. Naturally I'm apprehensive about how much of the £1.57bn will actually "bailout" the music industry. France gave €7bn to save their music and culture industries back in May without having to be lobbied for it so £1.57bn isn't exactly 'world beating' really. Sorry. I've gone on a rant! 😂 I rarely rant on about anything and I don't want anyone to think I'm having a political dig at anyone. This, to me, is a cultural issue, not left or right or centre, and it affects so many of us. "Cause even if you're not gigging, you might still want to go to see live music, or buy records, CDs or tour merch. Or you might have friends and family who are freelancing as roadies or techs and their careers could be on the line. Instrument manufacturers and repair techs are at risk right now 'cause if musicians go to the wall then everyone who depends on them go too. 'Cautiously optimistic' is how I'd describe how I feel about it, but I'm not holding my breath. (Only cos I need both hands to type and my fingers are crossed) Right. Rant over. Enjoy your day BC folks and let's stay hopeful about our musical futures. ✊
  4. Lockdown fever is making me post James Last's version of LZ "The Immigrant Song". Skip to 1:07 for the good stuff. James Last covering Deep Purple? No problem: And finally, at no extra cost, here's James Last going all batucada for you. This actually is proper fierce, I've played it in otherwise all-Brazilian DJ sets and folks often want to know which rare Brazilian record it is. Also, to the right of the LP sleeve pictured, the bass player has got what looks suspiciously like a super rare candy apple red Fender Bass V... I'm a firm believer that you can find great stuff in any genre of music, no matter how impossible it seems 😎
  5. Yes!!! Same here, absolute joy to hear this again 👍
  6. Ginger Johnson was big on the underground scene in London around 1966-67. Imagine someone like Donovan having to go onstage after Ginger and his band at full pelt! He shared bills with The Pink Floyd and The Purple Gang and a lot of the early hippie bands as well. He'd have blown them into the weeds I should think. Cracking stuff, thanks for posting it! 👍
  7. We never had any James Last records at home when I was a kid. I managed to remedy this deprived childhood by buying several James Last records once I left home. There's some cracking tunes if you look beyond the useless covers of the Seekers or Cliff Richard or Jim Reeves etc. "Voodoo Party" is great. Well, I say great. It's great if you like the idea of James Last covering Sly & The Family Stone and Marvin Gaye and Santana etc... The other LP that Lastheads go nuts over is "Well Kept Secret". It's the one where he roped in a load of LA session folks like Jim Gordon, Tom Scott, Max Bennett, Ernie Watts, Larry Carlton etc... But the absolute best is James Last doing Hawkwind: I'll leave it there, otherwise I'll be uploading his disco bangers or the live stuff with Benny Bendorf on bass. Please don't ban me yet, I can change, it's only a phase, etc...
  8. I keep coming back to this thread just to gawp at this. I thought I never ever got GAS but that's an absolute beauty! I thought I saw the bassist from actor John Simm's band Magic Alex playing one of these as well, back in the day? Must be a Manchester thing 😎
  9. For piano, there's loads. I was always partial to a bit of Otis Spann: But there's looooads to choose from. Some of my old school favourites would be players like Dr. John, Professor Longhair, James Booker, Johnnie Johnson, maybe some Mary Lou Williams etc, but now there's Jon Cleary and Chase Garrett and many many more. You can go down the YouTube rabbit hole and spend hours finding new players, easy! For organ, it's all your classic B3 players: Jimmy Smith, Brother Jack McDuff, Charles Kynard, Charles Earland, Shirley Scott and all the Blue Note or Prestige Records guys and girls. Also Booker T Jones had his bluesy moments with the MGs ("Sunday Sermon", "Over Easy" etc) and pre-Beatles Billy Preston records on Capitol or Sue Records are all pretty good. If "Billy's Bag" floats your boat then his 60s LPs definitely will. On a more obscure tip, Mick Weaver recorded a couple of bluesy Hammond organ LPs, the best of which is "Into The Fire" where he covers Howlin' Wolf: And also for Hammond check out modern bands like the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, or Alan Evans' AE3. Plenty bluesy funk action. I could pick out plenty more but I have to get groceries for my Mrs. Have this one for now: Cheers - Lee
  10. Wife's playing Joni Mitchell - "Hissing Of Summer Lawns". I always think "Court And Spark" is my favourite, but then I hear this one again and...
  11. Have a bit of Prince Fatty for Saturday morning! Some of their stuff can be a bit 'comedy' (grunge covers, etc) but when they're on form they're amazing. Great live act too. Super heavy 😎 Enjoy!
  12. Great record, love a bit of Dennis Brown!
  13. On a more Ethio tip are The Sorcerers. Straight outta Leeds! Signed to the excellent ATA label which is also home to The Lewis Express and Nat Birchall among others, the whole label has a lot of interesting things going on. If you're into the jazzier side of soul and funk, or the funkier side of jazz the label is worth a look. But anyway, The Sorcerers. They've got it totally locked. And bonus points for using a Jedson tele bass and a Philicorda organ (Philips home entertainment keyboard from the 60s) and making it work. 😎
  14. Loved both of those! The Shaolin Afronauts I knew a little bit, but the Maisha tune was a new one to me. Great mix of jazz and Afrobeat influence. Thank you!
  15. @itu +1 for King Sunny Ade and his African Beats, and you're dead right about Island Records. They had great artists in pretty much every genre, but for me especially African and Jamaican. And I thought the light blue / dark blue labels was a great touch. Here's a couple of tunes from an album that was released in 2015 that still hits the spot for me. Baba Sissoko - "Three Gees". A proper family affair, it's Baba and his wife and their daughter Djana with an electric backing band that includes Corey Harris and musicians from the Daptone Records roster. It goes from bluesy to funky to soulful and back, and the whole LP is a great listen imho. If these tunes float your boat, go down the YouTube rabbit hole of live clips of Baba Sissoko and his band in radio sessions and at festivals. Absolutely compelling stuff if African gear is your thing 😎
  16. I had some European dates in March and April get cancelled. And some in October as well. Got an email yesterday asking me if I'm okay with the March/April dates being rescheduled for next March! I've got no other gigs in the diary until then and no fixed income either. I know it's safety first and all that, but I'm still a bit gutted. I just want to play live again.
  17. Ezra Collective are great, both live and on record. Saw them cover a Fela tune and they put their own spin on it, a real sense of joy from them. Nomo is Elliot Bergman, who makes high-end electric kalimbas. A guy I play for has done records with him, that's my claim to fame haha 🤣
  18. Yep, that's scorchiooooo alright!!! I've played this in live DJ sets and it's always got people moving: And of course, this does it for me all day long: 😎
  19. As soon as I hear the intro to this, I'm instantly up: The Isleys version is great but this one edges it slightly for me.
  20. I absolutely love short scale basses but I often used to struggle with getting them to record well, it would always be the E string. Over the years I've had: early 1970s Shaftesbury Tele bass copy (beautiful to play, horrible to record with) 1978 cream Fender Musicmaster (recorded okay, but was the heaviest bass I've ever owned) 1978 black Fender Mustang (looked cool but was 'meh' all over) 2003 fiesta red MIJ Fender Mustang reissue (sold one Xmas when I was skint) 1997 surf green Squier Vista Musicmaster (beautiful to look at, but the frets started lifting so I moved it on) 1997 black Squier Vista Musicmaster (was okay but sold it to part finance another Mustang) 2008 oly white MIJ Fender Mustang (was nice but I swapped it for a 1966 Gibson ES-125T) 2012 silver sparkle Mikey Way sig Squier Mustang (kept the neck for a partscaster Mustang) 2000's black Squier Mustang (kept the body for a partscaster Mustang) I've still got a little Tanglewood EB-18 kid's bass I found in a charity shop as well. Not sure what the scale length is but I'm guessing 25" or something as it's tiny, really feels like a toy! It's got La Bella strings on it now and was my only bass for a couple of years. Fun to play but really hit or miss to record with. I wouldn't rule out another Mustang. If I had the funds I'd buy a JMJ Mustang reissue today. Like, right now. Maybe I'll find one someday when I've got disposable £'s. Anyhow, have a couple of gratuitous pics:
  21. Newen Afrobeat are soundtracking my morning 😎 There seems to be about 3 dozen musicians onstage, I bet their rider requirements are insane. Great tune though.
  22. I know what you mean! I definitely prefer their more dubby material but I like Caravan as well. Easily pleased, that's me 😂
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