Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Gert's Let Loose: VG Round UP, Jeremy Corbyn, VicLeka Ozone Belgrade, Summer Frippery, Reviewing Singles 1982 Melody Maker,MR James, Jock Scot, Big Gold Dream, Winchester, Trains, Heath Robinson, Lots of Lughole Nourishment, The Doors, Imagination, Todd Rundgren Gigs, Videos, Photographs,


Make your voice heard in the growing clamour for justice.
In all seriousness, I lost faith in what passed for Labour leadership and policies years ago, 2003 was the year the last nail was hammered in to the coffin of Labour integrity as far as I was concerned and along with many others felt disillusioned and fell into a state of apathy, seeing little difference between the devil and the deep blue sea. THEN Mr Corbyn stepped forward and is showing us that there really is another way to do things, it's achievable and lots of us are being shaken out our inertia and realising, that for once we actually can make change happen. It is such such a rare event that it has prompted me to take a leap of belief and register as a Labour supporter in order to personally add my voice to the 'CLAMOUR FOR CORBYN'.

PS  I would just like to make it absolutely clear to any Labour conspiracy numbnuts theorists that I  am NOT part of any Tory conspiracy to bring down the Labour Party or revolutionary Marxist conspiracy to overthrow democracy.

Perhaps it's the two full moons effect but I'm now feeling decidedly skittish. The result? This eclectic smörgåsbord of summer frippery, dive in and share the vibe.

Had a Wissie day out in Winchester

Saxton's 1575 map of Hampshire -

 For what is really a quite small market town in Hampshire Winchester is positively crammed  with things to do and see and if anyone is planning a visit anywhere near this very pretty part of the UK then I can highly recommend it as a destination ( or if you're in London or planning a visit to London, this is an easily doable day out, accessible by car and there is parking, however not that much, or by train (I travelled by train*). Lots of medieval architecture, a mill, still working, Medieval Jewish Trail, Winchester Cathedral, Keats Trail, Jane Austen Trail, Tudor Trail, Cricket Trail, and Viaduct Way.

  And a lot of museums including Westgate Museum, The Great Hall, which contains King Arthur's Round Table and lots of many and various military museums including the Gurkha Museum. A variety of places to eat to suit most, we ate at The Wykeham Arms, very nice indeed. We shared two Mezze boards between three - houmous, marinated peppers, salads, lightly dusted and fried courgette pieces, plenty of home made bread and a fragrant glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Highly, highly recommend.

 * I'm a big fan of our extensive railway network and those that keep it going and so would like to say that my train journey to Winchester went smoothly, it didn't, however the fault was mostly Network Rail's. I set off with plenty of time to spare to catch the 11.12am from Clapham Junction, day return ticket bought (not via London, which means Waterloo), first leg (one stop) went without incident, the next to Clapham Juction should have been a doddle, first train to arrive, which I got, only stopped at Putney then Clapham Junction however, and this is the bit  I have to say mea culpa for, it was still quite early, only had a couple of coffees and I wasn't paying attention. I snapped to as I became aware that we were pulling out of Clapham Junction. No worries, I thought, plenty of time still, I'll just get off at the next stop, Vauxhall, and get a train back, which  is when it started to go a bit haywire. By the time I reached Vauxhall (2 mins) there'd been a points failure somewhere and all trains going back were delayed by at least 20 minutes or cancelled! The only option was to go onwards to Waterloo, big up to SW Trains, they accepted  my ticket without quibble because of the delays, so no excess fare to pay. With all hope of catching my Clapham connection to Winchester gone, I resigned myself to being late. On arrival at Waterloo had a stroke of luck, the next Winchester train was departing in 5 minutes from the next platform. Safely ensconced in a packed carriage, it being both the Weymouth and Exeter trains until the first stop, Basingstoke, where the Exeter bound would be leaving us. Had to laugh (to myself) when we unexpectedly pulled in to Clapham 11.12am!!!  May have been a circuitous, Heath Robinson journey but arrived in Winchester only 10 minutes late.

William Heath Robinson (1872-1944) is best known for his humourous drawings and cartoons of ludicrously complicated contraptions,  constructed to achieve simple tasks, that are neither practical or effective.

You can get your hands on a copy of Railway Ribaldry from Abe Books.


 Gigs Update: Delighted to announce another couple of dates added to the growing list of Subway Sect Autumn/Winter gigs, Eastbourne Christmas Special and Trash'd Hastings with TV Smith and so pleased that Grant McPhee's acclaimed Sound of Young Scotland film Big Gold Dream will be screened at the gig with Grant coming for the Q&A, more info to follow. Not long to go until Fibber Magees Dublin, Vic's first gig in Ireland, taken him a while! They are all 'Specials' with fantastic line ups including The Dubtones, The Gakk, Audible Joes, Everett True, Lost Dawn, POST, The Sexual Objects, POST, El Cid, The Floormen, Rongo Rongo, Brasshaus, Pellethead,The Wolfhounds.......

September 11th - Fibber Magees Dublin
October 3rd - Trash'd The Brass Monkey Hastings
October 16th - Miss Peapods Penryn Falmouth
November 13th - The Admiral Glasgow
November 14th - Voodoo Rooms Edinburgh
November 26th - .........Shh, secret squirrel.
November 27th - The Cumberland Newcastle
November 28th - The Shipping Forecast Liverpool 
December 5th - The Underground Theatre Eastbourne (Christmas gig!)

Another first, Vic's never played in Cornwall before so looking forward to the trip West in October.
Full info will be added here as available:  
and here:

'Ello 'Ello 

Something For Your Lugholes

Chill out and zone in on nine minutes  of psychedelic 'Summertime' - 

While Tom Ravenscroft stood in for Marc Riley he played Vic and the Sect's '20 Flight Rock', recorded at their last Marc Riley session December 2014.  

6 Music Live hour presented by Chris Hawkins includes Sect Marc Riley session form 2009 -

1996 Vic Godard session for Mark Radcliffe with Simon Rivers, Neil Palmer, Paul 'Wiz' Baker, Edwyn Collins and james Dutton

Loving Joe Mckechnie's Blind Eye Sees All DJ mix, stonking selection -  
Just because I like it, Georgie Fame'Sitting In The Park'
If like Vic you prefer the original by Billy Stewart -

Blow your ears' minds with The Dave and Lee Travesty show:

Port Sulphur 'Fast Boys & Factory Girls' -

Heavenly release the wonderful Jock Scot's My Personal Culloden. About time too! 

'Won't Turn Back'  duet with Vic and Edwyn - superb and seamless mix courtesy of Murray Ramone.

Band of Holy Joy 'Isn't That Just The Life' new download single and video out 10th August on Stereogram Records.

The Best Rock and Roll Songs About Rock and Roll with Gideon Coe BBC 6 Music:

Keep your eyes and ears open for The Rehearsal, already played a few gigs.

What? You Want More? 
How about The Cathode Ray's Jeremy Thoms' "Top Ten Post Punk 45s" for Louder Than War? A very fine selection in deed including The Monochrome Set, Orange Juice, The Associates, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Vic...... and 'Bubbling Under' - Josef K, the Fire Engines, the Scars..... there are a couple of choices that are not my cup of demitasse so not listing any more!

"VicLeka" - A.M. Leka & Vic Godard

Interview in Blic:

Vic got a wonderful welcome in Belgrade and had a very enjoyable and very busy time on his visit to Serbia for the opening of 'Vicleka, at Ozone Belgrade, seeing Leka again, meeting Aleksandra and making lots of other new friends. Vic's hoping to return next year with the group to do a gig.

Photograph's left and below by Aleksandra.

In Leka's studio with Mrs T! by Aleksandra Kekovic Mladenovich
  Gnu's compiled two blog pages about Vic and Leka's history and their collaborations, culminating in the Vicleka Exhibition at OZONE Belgrade in July and includes photographs, interviews, articles, translations(!) and a couple to add, videos and more. As an introduction before you dive in to the pages the video below is 'VicLeka The Movie', soundtrack 'Empty Shell', originally released on What's The Matter Boy and now re-released on Live & Rare Vol 3.


Vicleka Part 1 - The History

Vicleka Part 2 - The Exhibition in Belgrade


Vic Godard Live & Rare Vol 3 'Vicleka'

Some very beautiful photographs of 'Vicleka' by the painter and photographer Milan Kralj on his website 'Gallery Shots' or The Unofficial Chronicle of the Gallery Scene in Belgrade. 

Vicleka OZONE Belgrade by Aleksandra

The video you can just about see playing in the background in the photo on the left is Vic singing with the Sexual Objects, you can just make out Douglas MacIntyre on the left and filmed either by Tracey Holloway or Lee McFadden however I couldn't tell you what song they're doing or which gig it's from, although you can see if you can find it in Lee and Tracey's Vic/SOBS playlist!

And talking of Lee and Tracey, this is for them-

And talking of the Sexual Objects....... it's Sounds in the Suburbs Sect/SOBS time in November! 


And Children of Godard Time in Newcastle and Bernie Connors Birthday in Liverpool.

All poster designs by The Talented Mr A. P. Shaw.

RIP Jon The Postman

Throwback Time
July 1982 - Vic & the gnu dissect the week's singles, no holds barred*,  and in which Vic makes Jason Williamson sound diplomatic!

I think this is one of the very few that isn't totally panned by either Vic or the gnu or both!

 *Until very recently I didn't know that 'no holds barred' was a wrestling term, in fact I always thought it was no 'holes' barred, never actually thought about where it came from or under what circumstances holes might be barred!

Haven't resorted to hocus pocus in a while so to brush up I'm going to try and 'cast the rune', in a manner of speaking, over the internet ether. This ear worm the size of a conger eel being the rune, embedded in the brain for over a week now, not that I don't love it, however it's time to move on. Apologies in advance if you're not a Todd Rundgren fan.  (I have the feeling it's also sticking because I'm green with envy, I want that part of Daryl Hall's house.) Play as loud as you can.

Ref: Casting The Runes by Montague Rhodes James, like all Mr James' ghost stories it's very scary, this is the original trailer for a BBC adaptation 1968:
You'll find all his stories here:,Date&sortorder=desc
and this is a reading of the whole of Casting The Runes

I'm off, sleep well. 

Friday, 26 June 2015

Gnu AND Gert Reporting on Sleaford Mods/Music Machine/Koko;Jock Scot;Brighton Love Fest,Debut of The Stool Pigeons, Sound of Young Scotland film 'Big Gold Dream',VICLEKA, Live & Rare Vol 3,Vic Stymies Costa,loads of vids & pics; Recommendations, The Clangers, The Avengers and more!

                                                       BEES ARE BACK.......IT'S SUMMER !

No preamble and no politics this time (well only a smidge) although there may be some confusion with both of us on the blog. Without further ado..........

A Tale of Three Cities
Been very lucky this year with gigs (see previous blogs), and the last three live events of the summer (unless something enticing turns up!) have not disappointed, memorable experiences in their own very different ways.

   Subway Sect with Special Guest Simon Rivers. KOKO 5th June 2015 by Kim Rivers

 The actual gig part of the Sleaford Mods gig at Koko was a bit of an existential experience, being on the merch stand in the foyer during the show so just about heard the sets though only saw snatches. Great to have The Bitter Springs' Simon Rivers joining Vic, Kevin Younger, Mark Braby and Ian Holford. Vic loved the drum and bass sound of the SMs, thought it was one of the best live performances he's seen in a long time.

Without a doubt the highlight of the gig for me was the unexpected pleasure of seeing the very wonderful Jock Scot, photograph with Vic by Tracey Holloway. Below is Jock with 'Above The Volcano' filmed by Tracey.

Jock introducing Vic and the Sect's opening number 'Born To Be A Rebel', filmed by Tracey H, edited by Lee M.

I can't quite put my finger on why the night reminded me of the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Last Action Hero (1993), perhaps because the Sleaford Mods seem larger than life and I admit I was a bit awe struck by them.............who knows.

You get to see the theatre in all it's gaudy glory when it's empty, particularly good view standing looking out from the stage. The very sturdy looking steel crash barriers in front of the quite high stage did make me wonder exactly what kind of crowd they were expecting for the SMs! The Camden Theatre/Camden Palace/The Music machine/Koko has an interesting history, opened by Ellen Terry in 1900:

The next VG & SS outing was a chilled out night of unadulterated enjoyment at the seaside for a Spinningchilli Gigs night of aural delights and general all round love fest with Asbo Derek and The Unreliable Witnesses at the Green Door Store in Brighton.
Vic Godard & Subway Sect, Asbo Derek & The Unreliable Witnesses Spinningchilli Night Green Door Store Brighton by Phil G
Phil and Shelley always put on a good show however this was pure pleasure from arrival to departure, lovely promoters, lovely groups, lovely music, lovely people, can't ask for more.

The Unreliable Witnesses are simply brilliant, Grant Bale, Miss de Meaner and Barry Stir (any resemblance to Lee McFadden, Marina Young and Cos Chapman is purely coincidental!!) treated us to their unique interpretations of some classic songs including. 'Aquarius', one of my favs of the night, however I also loved the UR's closing number, The Return Of The Los Palmas 7, timing is everything! Both videos filmed by  Tracey H.

"They only cover the lyrics which are recited (not sung) by Grant Bale - whilst Miss de Meaner and Barry Stir improvise the music. Mr Bale does not know which music they will play - Miss de meaner and Mr Stir will not know which lyrics will be read. In short - they don't rehearse. They aim only to ever play songs once - even if they play a song in soundcheck - that song will not make it to the main set." Lee McFadden

Find out who The Unreliable Witnesses really are (or not!) and where they are playing next:

Asbo Derek & The Enigma of Subo Boyle The first performance of the Asbo Derek classic following the news that Eric Pickles is to receive a knighthood, featuring the incomparable Subo on vocals, filmed by Tracey H.

Asbo Derek beguiled and taunted us with their sardonic wit and charm, treating us to some new songs including what I'm sure will become a new AD classic 'Bryan Ferry's Ball Bag' (hint of Mark E Smith in the vocal!) video courtesy of Steve Clements.

 A dead dreamy set by the Sect, Ian Holford, Kevin Younger and Mark Braby including 'The Water Was Bad', filmed by Lee, who also deserves a special mention for doing the sound check with all three groups!

Great review of the night by Joe Giacomelli with photographs from Guy Christie:
 and another(!) with more photographs courtesy of Steve Worrall at Retro Man Blog :

Thanks to Lee and Tracey Holloway for the videos, more from the 5th and 13th June here: 
and thanks to Phil G for the photographs, more from the night here:   /media_set?set=a.888594604547179.1073741852.100001899443736&type=3

and more upcoming goodies from Spinningchilli gigs:

PS Stopped off at Pease Pottage Services on the way would think buying a coffee would be easy...............the only outlet open was a Costa, manned solely by one man (a very patient man).........Vic approaches the counter and conversation goes as follows:
Vic: 'Can I have a small cappuchino please?'
Costa Man: 'This size (points to the smallest takeaway cup)?'
Vic: Yes, in one of those (points to small china cup)'
Costa Man: 'I am sorry it is only available in this (points to smallest takeaway cup)'
Vic: Ok, can I have it in one of those then (points to china espresso cup)?'
Gnu audibly sighs
Costa Man: 'No, I'm very sorry, you can only have it in a takeaway cup'
Vic: 'i won't have a coffee then, I'll have a cup of tea please, that size (points to medium sized china cup)
Costa Man (wearily, queue growing): I am very sorry but only takeaway cups are available, I am on my own.
At this point the gnu couldn't bear the poor man's trial by ordeal any longer and was compelled to intervene, explaining to Vic that whatever he chooses it will be in a take away cup, no matter how many china cups he can see, he can't have one, no he can't, because the Costa Man is on his own and can't leave the counter to collect dirty cups. 
Vic: 'Ah, I see, I'll have a tea then please in a small takeaway cup'
Costa Man, looking relieved: 'Thank you and I am very sorry sir, any other time when I am not on my own you can have any cup you want.'
You could not hope to come across a more polite and patient employee, anywhere, however taking in to account he was the only employee, in the only open outlet at these motorway services and at around midnight, his calm demeanour was exemplary!
M23 J11 West Sussex

PPS Forgot to mention a fairly important part of this story and what started it all .............the man in front of Vic in the queue said 'Can I get a latte?' and you know what he desperately wanted the Costa man to say!


And why is the village of Pease Pottage called Pease Pottage you may wonder? Moot point, however considered unlikely to be anything to do with the  eponymous Tudor dish, apparently more likely to do with the muddy texture of the land thereabouts (in other words nobody knows). More info here:
and should you fancy having a go at making Pease Pottage you can find the receipt here:

Gnu went to sleep with a silly smile still on her face.

Vic and the Sect are back in September kicking off the Autumn/Winter dates in Dublin on the 11th, then there is Falmouth, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Liverpool and a Marc Riley session. Brilliant poster designs by Andrew Paul Shaw. All details and ticket links here:

A Big Gold Dream!

Due North Next for something very special, still bathing in the reflected limelight of another love fest. Always get a buzz being back in Scotland, the warm glow starts to permeate after Berwick upon Tweed and this was no exception. A memorable few days in Edinburgh, another of my favourite cities for the premiere of the much anticipated Sound of Young Scotland film 'Big Gold Dream', directed by Grant McPhee. It began with a warm EIFF welcome (we were met at the station and a car and driver put at our disposal if/when we wanted it, though as our hotel (Apex Grassmarket), The Filmhouse and the Traverse Theatre are only ten minutes walk apart we didn't indulge! Huge thanks to Diane at EIFF and Innes Reekie for inviting us to be a part of this very special occasion and to Sandra and Harriet for looking after us so well, I have never experienced anything so extraordinarily well run.

Grant McPhee's film has a star studded roll call of characters, to name drop a few:  Bob Last and Hilary Morrison (Fast Product), Davy Henderson (Win, Nectarine No 9, The Fire Engines,The Sexual Objects), Robert King (The Scars, Opium Kitchen), Paul Reekie, Campbell Owens (Aztec Camera), Ken McKlusky (Bluebells), Malcolm Ross (Orange Juice, Aztec Camera and Josef K), Douglas MacIntyre (The Sexual Objects,The Leopards, Creeping Bent),Russell Burn (The Fire Engines, Opium Kitchen), Tam Dean Burn, Fay Fife (The Rezillos), Jo Callis (The Rezillos & Human League) and many more (including Vic!). There is fascinating, rare & unseen footage and photographs of Paul Reekie, Edwyn Collins, Orange Juice, Win, Paul Quinn and  Alan Horne (Postcard and who looks so young!) to name just a few. Although centred around the post punk music explosion in Edinburgh, Big Gold Dream expands in to far wider territory and shows the far reaching influence Scotland's musicians, songwriters, groups and independent record companies had on the entire UK post punk music scene and beyond, in fact not sure it would have happened without them. Add to this wry humour, touches of pathos and a real insight into the machinations and manipulations that went on behind the scenes and their not always happy outcomes and you have an an entertaining and enlightening film. Congratulations to Grant McPhee, Erik Sandberg, Innes Reekie and everyone else involved. If you need any more convincing that you need to see this film Neil Cooper's article in The Quietus should do it::

More about the film:

Vic and Malcolm Ross in conversation with Lewis Porteous in The Skinny:

STOP PRESS: Big Gold Dream part of 'Best in Fest'.............this means another chance to see the film on Sunday 28th June at Cineworld Edinburgh for the bargain price of £5!

Definitely one of those occasions when some will say, wish I had been there or, I was there and I'm glad I can say I was there to witness an electrifying set from The Stool Pigeons, a line up and a half with Mick Slaven, Douglas McIntyre, Russell Burn, Vic and Malcolm Ross and they were a revelation. I'm sure we are going to see more of them!

The Stool Pigeons sound check for BGD after show. 'Sweet Jane' (left) featuring Fay Fife and 'Be My Wife' with pretty amazing Mick Slaven guitar solo (below). Filmed by gnu so the usual avant garde filming techniques applied.

Ambition (below BMW) filmed professionally(!) at the show.        

                   AMBITION - Stool Pigeons . BGD Aftershow from grant mcphee on Vimeo.
Stool Pigeons - Vic Godard, Malcolm Ross, Mick Slaven, Douglas Macintyre and Russell Burn
Big Gold Dream aftershow - 19/06/2015. Filmed by Simon, Jonny and Lucas.

Two more from the after show sound check, The Stool Pigeons cover The Fire Engines 'Candyskin' and Josef K's 'It's Kinda Funny', both filmed  by the gnu.

    All in all a fab, unforgettable few days, lovely place, lovely music and lovely people. 

PS Vic met Bob Last for the first time at the after show, the man he says bears the onerous burden of opening the door wide enough to let the indie landfill in.   

    Heading Home -
 Stunning views on East Coast line.

Political Bit The only point of the trip that didn't reach the prevailing high was the poor standard of service experienced on the Virgin East Coast train line, how they got awarded the franchise I don't know. On the way up the train looked like it had been hurriedly cobbled together from the train scrap yard, bits of the interior finishings missing, no fold down tables so if you wanted to eat or drink you had to hold it, precarious at the best of times, a health and safety hazard when the train's suspension leaves a lot to be desired, as this one did. We were advised that the train was being leased, surely not a good excuse for treating passengers in this way and WHY do they need to rent a train, didn't anyone check they had the rolling stock before awarding the contract? Silly me, of course not, I forgot that's not how it works. Perhaps they are waiting on an order for some of the cramped carriages they use on their west coast line, the least comfortable service I've travelled on. The staff do not come across as happy campers and £1.60 for a small bottle of water, taking the p or what? GNER won the east coast line franchise when the trains were privatised in the 1990's and ran it very well, there was a real, proper dining car (two sittings) and travelling on the service was almost a zen like experience. Then, then in 2006 the powers that be took the franchise away from  GNER, not because they weren't providing an exemplary service with high customer satisfaction but because they were not projected to make 'enough' profit in the future. The franchise was given to the coach company National Express, who made such an utter hash of it that the line was re-nationalised (sort of) until Virgin took over this year, I don't  imagine customer opinion had a lot to do with the decision. I wonder how many tens/hundreds of millions would have been saved if GNER had been allowed to keep the franchise (or it had never been privatised in the first place!!)?

It's nearly VicLeka time! 

 "VicLeka" an exhibition of art works with words by Vic Godard (London) & images by A.M.Leka (Beograd). The exhibition opens in Belgrade on 10th July at Ozone Art Space, Uzun Mirkova 10 and Vic will be there with Leka!

".........Leka uses print-making to develop an interaction   between word and image, song and vision, but this time in an  
exhibition that is also a testament to a friendship that has been
forged through music and which is referenced in the merged names of the title, VicLeka. At the heart of the project is a sturdy, black box that serves as the repository for a limited edition of hand-made prints.  Each box contains a unique VicLeka set of prints that is composed of two parts: on the one hand, there are the printed facsimiles of Vic Godard’s original songs and on the other, the printed images that a particular song inspired Leka to produce."
Kate Grandjouan (extract from VICLEKA catalogue)

For more information on how this this artistic collaboration between the two came about:
A selection of 'Jane Barnes' videos of Vic and the Sect from their Oxford gig (22/05/2015) will be shown at the exhibition in Belgrade including this stonking Nobody's Scared with Kev, Mark and Ian: 

You can also read about the exhibition here (although you do need to understand Serbian!):

 To celebrate and coincide with the exhibition  GNU inc are releasing Live & Rare Vol 3, a collection of live and rare studio recordings of the 12 songs featured in VICLEKA, dating from 1978 to 2014. The CD is in production, master went off yesterday, due for delivery next week and on schedule for release on 10th July.  The first 100 will be signed and numbered. 
Two teasers, Back In The Community and Zero Tolerance

There is only one air line that flies direct from the UK to Belgrade, Wizzair, three outbound flights a week from Luton, all arrive after midnight and three back. The only air line I've come across where the price is the same for one or two people to travel, so cheap for two but quite expensive for one when compared to the cost of flying to other European destinations nearby and they do have a somewhat eccentric cabin bag policy.   

Talking of Serbia........  
  ' Belgrade' - A new book of street photography by John Bolloten.     Following the acclaim for and popularity of 'Bradford Streets' (only 10 copies left of the 2nd edition!) John Bolloten is treating us to another collection of evocative street's eye view photographs of  of life on a city's streets. ' Belgrade' was shot over one week in the Serbian capital. There is only going to be one edition of 60, each copy individually number stamped and the first 30 copies will include a free 7” x 5” print, an absolute bargain at £7 plus p+p. Ordered mine!

A New Kevin Pearce Book!

Following the success and consummate achievement of his epic tome 'A Moment Worth Waiting For', which focused on the early 80's, Kevin Pearce takes us on another insightful musical journey through the 60's and 70's with 'You Know My Name: The Lovers, The Dreamers, and Bobby Scott'. You may not have come across the name before ( I hadn't) but if you've listened to jazz, soul, pop, folk, blues or Brazilian music from the 1960s/70s then you will almost certainly have heard the songs or piano playing of Bobby Scott, including ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’ and  ‘A Taste of Honey’, and you may even have heard him singing, below is a beautiful version of ATOH sung by him (until the yucky bit at the end). 
You can buy Mr Pearce's ebook here:

And a bit of the Mel Tormé's about his voice in 'On The Street Where You Live'                                                                                                                                                                                     

     Mock cherries before the pigeons get them and deposit the purple waste on the car!

 Delighted to hear about the latest developments on the 'Dear Mr Kershaw' front, there is to be a publicly available edition of Derek Philpott's book of 'Letters to Pop Stars and Their Replies ' thanks to small independent label Plane Groovy who are publishing it. Order your copy here:
On the left you will find the fruits of Jean Philpott's Philpottery labours for the colour section of the book including Cheetah Gabriel, Amy Winemouse, Rick Hakeman, Nik Krowshaw, Moose Dickinson, Catfish Sensible, Jarvis Cockerel, Johnny Rotten-weiler, Zebra Harry, David Joey, Bobcat Marley and Ian Pandason.  There may still be a few of these one off pottery pieces still  available to buy although all of the above are sold.

The Clangers
Glad the makers of the new Clangers are sticking with original formula though Michael Palin doesn't do it for me the way Oliver Postgate did. Episode 1 from the original series with the mellifluous tones of Mr Postgate below. More original episodes can be found here: and this is a short snatch of the new series:
New episodes on BBC iplayer:


RIP Patrick MacNee. The Avengers was a seminal sixties series, then became a pastiche of itself in later incarnations. I particularly liked the Emma Peel era and in fact wanted to be Emma Peel when I grew up!
 Nature Corner
                                                        Planes can be beautiful!
Do you know your trees?


All for now bar the tweaking!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Post Election Blues, Vic Godard & Subway Sect News & Updates (inc new song & L&R Vol 3 'VICLEKA'),Videos/Pics from Brum & Oxford,SOYS Film 'Big Gold Dream', 2000 Guineas,Newmarket, Horsetail, Moomins, Sansend,Corybants, Gallipoli, Pics,Videos-Gil Scott-Heron,Lighthouse Family & more

'Sunset with Rear View Mirror' 1st May 2015 near Kennett Suffolk

I can't ignore it, have to address it, however I want to get it over quickly. I am still bemused and still cannot fathom it, how on earth did we manage to elect the toffs for another five years??? The Cons didn't have to do anything, Labour botched their chances looking like Con-Lite and lost political control of Scotland to the SNP without a scrap let alone a full blown fight. Mind you I don't fancy any politician's chances going head to head with Nicola Sturgeon, she pretty much won Scotland for the SNP single handedly, inspiring indeed. The Lib-Dem-Cons reaped the whirlwind of their Faustian pacts (hello Mr Cable or rather goodbye and good riddance). The only small consolation on election night was the look on Faraage Man's face when he on realised that he had failed to get elected...........again. His loss, despite being a Con win, also cheered me up as it demonstrated once and for all that if he couldn't get elected then his party is a spent force, sorry got that wrong, it never was a force in the first place, it was a passing wind of protest, in spite of the media's attempts to portray it as a viable political party.

I won't be supporting any electoral change to proportional representation, if we had this system we'd now be stuck with something like 50+ Faraage MPs and yet their support is centred in what is referred to as 'hot spots' and does not spread evenly over the UK. It strikes me they are the same areas that are ignored when it comes to encouraging investment and dishing out funds for regeneration, just thinking there could be a correlation. I think for PR to work you need a near 100% turn out and all demographics can but dream.
PS I know we would also have about 50+ Green MPs if we had PR however that doesn't convince me in itself that PR is a good idea. 
It's a Mad World.

Anyway we don't have to lie down and take what ever is thrown at us, on the other hand that could be an idea, everyone come out on to the street en masse and lie down. Flippancy aside we have a proud history in the UK of protesting to demand and protect rights 
and nothing stopping us continuing, you can show your disgust and contempt for any attempt to repeal the fox hunting ban by signing this petition: 
And there are all sorts of activities going on all over the country including - Saturday 20th June - London
National Demo - End Austerity Now 

                                                The Revolution Will Not be Televised


 Sorry that wasn't that quick, on to pleasanter subjects-

We had a couple of days away round and about Newmarket, Suffolk for the Guineas meeting.
Of course we got lost on the way, in a very small area, very close to our destination, Arran House Stud, Kennett, once again ignoring the directions I'd written as wholly implausible in practise. We stopped the only person we saw where it was safe to pull over and asked if he knew the way to Arran House Stud. Now, admittedly he did look like he'd enjoyed a long liquid  lunch however he took us by surprise when he looked at us incredulously and replied “You’re way, way off course, you’re near Suffolk.....England” So we did the sensible thing and phoned Arran House and the directions were right. Lesson learned? You sometimes have to go in what appears to be the wrong direction to go in the right direction.  
Arran House Stud B & B Kennett Suffolk (very close to Newmarket)
I liked it here. A warm welcome awaits you at this gem of a B+B in the village of Kennett, just outside Newmarket, and it's well nigh perfect if you are interested in horses, racing, birds (wonderful display at dusk of the house martins nesting in the stables) and  dogs, two very friendly and one slightly more human wary so more effort needed to win over, they are kept out of guest areas for those not so keen on mixing). We had a large en suite room overlooking the stables, it's up to you when you have your individually cooked breakfast, if that's what you have chosen, there is also a full selection of cereals, yoghurt, fruit, juices, tea and fresh coffee. The very yellow yolked eggs come courtesy of the hens out the back. Nearly forgot there is an indoor  swimming pool as well.
Ignore recommendations at your peril! 
Our host at AH recommended one of the two pubs in the village of Kennett that serve food to have dinner in, The Bell Inn 
 .......However, we didn't get to try it as Vic and I were starving and it was the other one that started serving first at 6.30pm. I don't like using the words should or but, but we really should have waited the extra half hour. Apart from anything else it took those thirty minutes to get our starters of asparagus and fried calamari to the table. The calamari was the most disgusting thing I have tasted since I inadvertently took a bite of and swallowed some practically raw liver (I got the translation wrong and it didn't look liver coloured having only been shown the shadow of a flame before serving). To say I detest liver is a gross understatement and the mere thought of it can elicit a gagging response and now calamari has been added to that category along with whelks. I forgot how truly vile overcooked, rubbery, fat rings of squid can be, in my minds eye they were going to be thin, tender hoops, fried at a high temperature in a crispy light batter for about 30 seconds, sadly not the receipt they followed, could not even chew my way through the first mouthful (and they were served on a piece of slate  @WeWantPlates ) The only good thing I can say about the experience was we had a friendly and attentive waitress. I didn't complain, I have complained in restaurants before and will do again however I wasn't in the mood and sometimes there isn't any point, we won't be going back.
John Gosden's string returning from the gallops. 

2000 Guineas Day
Cloudy with sunny spells but really nippy at times so opted for woollens and lace ups, otherwise I would obviously have gone for high heels and a fascinator! Killing time before the races we drove and walked past most of the Newmarket studs and stables, a particular treat was seeing John Gosden's string returning to his yard

Frankie Dettori didn't win on this one.
  I expected 2000 Guineas day to be more of an occasion, so I was a bit disappointed with the prevalent 'boys' day out/stag do atmosphere, seemed to be more interest in the bars than the racing. Winners were getting decidedly muted and short lived applause and cheers in the parade ring and enclosure, I thought it verged on the rude, even the Guineas winner Gleneagles, ridden by Bryan Moore and trained by Aiden O'Brien didn't get what I would call a rousing reception.My mood may have been affected by the fact that out of the four bets I placed three came last and the only one I did to win came second. Below is the closing seconds of the 2000 Guineas (at least someone won!) 

VG & SS Live News 

16th May - Thanks to Chris Wave for putting on another stonker of a Seventh Wave night at The Flapper Birmingham with The Cravats and Church of Elvis. This was the first VG & Subway Sect outing of 2015 with Ian Holford back on drums and still liking the four piece 'sound' with Vic on guitar. Lovely to see so many familiar friendly faces including Shelley and Phil and Tracey and Lee. Speaking of whom........many thanks to Phil & Shelley for the photographs : and to Tracey and Lee for the videos, including the new song 'I'll Find Out Over Time' which Vic and the Sect debuted at The Flapper. More of Tracey and Lee's Sect and Cravats videos from the night can be found here:

   Vic's changed the key since the gig! I thought a bit of a 'New Seekers' vibe crept in at The Flapper however Vic was reassured by this tweet: "Had this as an earworm since Saturday. @vic_godard closed his set with a new tune, which kinda reminded me of it"— David N  May 18, 2015

View From The Flapper Brum by Kevin Younger
  Birmingham is a city I feel right at home in as soon as I arrive, quite probably because it 'feels' like London. We stayed at City Nites, an aparthotel with very secure parking, practically spitting distance from The Flapper (however this didn't stop us going astray on the two minute drive to the venue). Extraordinarily quiet, very accommodating and helpful staff, we asked for and got a balcony apartment and extra bed (for which there is a charge, fair enough), they also do a breakfast pack which we didn't have. It is a very reasonable option for five, including the charges for the extra bed and car parking, for a city centre location even factoring in breakfast costs. I definitely recommend, it's unusual to be able to book an apartment for one night at the weekend, in any city and that's also got ample parking.

Stopped at Warwick Services (M40 Southbound) on the way home for breakfast and got to Harry Ramsden's just in time as they were about to change over to lunch, very decent for a motorway services offering (and Vic got extra black pudding).
What's Next -

22nd May - The Wheatsheaf Oxford with Les Clochards & Fishwife's Broadside

Stop Press.....Wheatsheaf gig in Guardian Pick of the Week!
UPDATE 24th May
Apart from the horrendous traffic on the M4/M40 on the way to Oxford it was an all round belter of a night at The Wheatsheaf with rousing sets from Les Clochards and Fishwife's Broadside and a stonker from Vic, Kev, Mark and Ian, all went down well with the appreciative crowd. Big Up to Joal the expert sound man at The Wheatsheaf. Thanks to 'Jane Barnes' for the fantastic videos including 'Somewhere In The World', the final encore which closed the set -
And 'Chain Smoking' -

More of Jane's videos from the night here:

And here's one of Gert's (visuals a bit shudder-y as usual!) 'Happy Go Lucky Girl' -

Finishing the Spring/Summer quartet of gigs with another two specials -

5th June - KOKO London guests of the Sleaford Mods (or Return to the Music Machine!)
STOP PRESS.........Simon Rivers of The Bitter Springsappearing with VG & Subway Sect at KOKO.

13th June - Spring/Summer Finale at the Green Door Store Brighton, Spinningchilli Presents what promises to be another memorable night with the inimitable Asbo Derek and the mysterious Unreliable Witnesses.

Further info/links for all gigs (not all tickets on sale yet) on Vic's FB page and at:  

Early '80s 'selfie' in Richmond Park

 Friday 19th June  2015
Sound of Young Scotland Film 'Big Gold Dream' Premieres at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
Vic and the gnu are really looking forward to this trip, Vic's one of the guests taking part in a Q & A after the screening and then there's a very special after show show with a one off very special line up, think it will be one of the highlights of the year. Vic on vocals/guitar, Russell Burn on drums, Douglas MacIntyre on bass and Malcolm Ross on guitar plus the tantalising prospect of more special guest appearances. Tickets on sale 27th May, keep an eye out for updates at:

Big Gold Dream - Post Punk and Infiltrating the Mainstream. EIFF Promo from grant mcphee on Vimeo.

Update on VICLEKA Exhibition 10-18th July Belgrade
STOP PRESSS.........Change in Venue, now at: 
Ozone Gallery, Uzun Mirkova 10, Beograd.

To celebrate VICLEKA, an exhibition of works A M Leka and Vic collaborated on, with images by Leka and words by Vic, gnu inc are releasing a very limited edition companion CD Live & Rare Vol 3 'VICLEKA', a mixture of live and recorded numbers. Some are for inclusion in the VL boxes and the rest will only be available at gigs.........unless the gnu can be persuaded otherwise. Vic's looking forward to his visit to Serbia for the opening of the exhibition at OZone Gallery Belgrade and gnu inc plans to  release Live & Rare Vol 3 'VICLEKA' on 10th July to coincide  with  the opening.
Background and more information:
Gert has uploaded a couple of the songs from the cd to whet the appetite including 'Back In The Community' recorded by Lee McFadden at the Voodoo Rooms Edinburgh in 2012. Photograph of Vic and Murray Robertson by Tracey Holloway. ( if you go scroll back in blog time you'll find  out a bit about this somewhat surreal night.......but not everything!)


Congratulations to Derek Philpott on getting to the finish line with his book 'Dear Mr Kershaw', how he got there is a story and a half in itself. Despite having to overcome just a few obstacles (you'll notice the title has changed!!) Derek's determination plus People Power has won the day. Looking forward to receiving my copy later this year. (The first edition of the book won't be on public sale)

 I love The Moomins and looking forward to seeing the new film The Moomins on the Riviera with music by Bjork, hope it is as true to the books of Tove Jansson and original series as reviews say and from the look of the trailer it is.

The Moomins (Original series) Episode 1 'Hobgoblin's Hat'

Only recently came across this Vic interview in Neil Cooper's Coffee-Table Notes blog, from 2012 - had a giggle reading it.

You don't often hear songs from Sansend so Gert uploaded one of her favourites 'Don't Take It All Out On Me' featuring Chantelle Lamond on lead/backing vocals, Holly Cook on backing vocals and Phil Martin on violin.

People who are pedantic
Can be fussy and finicky
Pettifogging or pernickety 
But never corybantic*

  * When I looked this word up it turned out to have quite a tale to tell. Corybantic definition - being in the spirit or manner of a Corybant (see below), ie wild, frenzied as in:

                  "rock and roll corybantic gyrations" 

which made me think of Vic, mind you he can't do the gyrating now he's back on guitar.

Origin  - Mid 17th century, first known use 1642 - from Corybantes, Latin name of the wild attendant priests of the goddess Cybele, the great Phrygian Mother of the Gods, a primal nature goddess worshipped with orgiastic rites and wild dancing in the mountains of central and western Anatolia.

Gallipoli Campaign -  British Commonwealth and French troops struggled and failed to take the peninsula between February 19, 1915 and January 9, 1916. It was one of the Allies great disasters in World War One and that's saying something considering the others. Video below is Liam Clancy with ' The Band Played Waltzing Matilda'

On The Horizon

Re-release of End Of The Surrey People on AED Records still on for later in 2015.

Gnu Inc Vic Godard 7"
I'll Find Out Over Time and Dead Dreamy
Recording in a couple of months and hope to have out by the end of the year.

Marc Riley session! Keep a look out for updates.

This and That

Cheeky Beggars - An example of a cheeky beggar is someone who says they are writing a book and then proceed to ask you to contribute "only about 400 words". Does collating and editing other people's words make you an author? Not in my book, excuse the pun.

  In contrast there is Kevin Pearce, a writer who spent years, researching, gathering information and actually writing his extraordinary, encyclopaedic oeuvre 'A Moment Worth Waiting For' himself. There's an extract here:
And if you haven't delved in to Kevin's blog, you are missing a treat:

  I didn't know what this curious plant growing in the drive was until one of Vic's FB friends enlightened me. It is Horsetail and although poisonous to horses and some other animals it has many health benefits for humans and is eaten as a spring vegetable in Japan.
Thanks to Maresuke Tanaka for the recipe.
Soy sauce (to taste)
I tablespoon Olive Oil
50cc Water

1. Rinse horsetail briefly

2.Heat the olive oil (you can substitute vegetable oil or similar) in a frying pan, add the horsetail and fry on medium heat. 
3. Add the water and fry until it evaporates
4. Add soy sauce to taste

Leaving you with a couple of my fav ravs of the 90's - Lighthouse Family - 'Lifted'
and Sounds Of Blackness - 'I'm Going All The Way'. Play both very, very loud for full impact!

PS If you've got one of these there is someone on FB who wants one and to quote them "Will pay any price"(!!)