Saturday, March 25, 2006


Look, I have to do the occasional music post. Go away, do something more useful. The oven needs cleaning. The dressing on your wound needs changing. The mattress needs to be turned over.

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Thanks must go out to the luverlee RLC, even though it's unlikely that she's reading this as she tends to do much more interesting things with her time. Anyway, she has been giving stuff away and I recently received the CD A Darker Bloom by the Blue Orchids, which is a compilation of their early work.

I've got most of this stuff on vinyl and drag out their classic 1982 album The Greatest Hit (Money Mountain) every so often. It was a huge favourite when I was too poor to buy many records, so the records I DID buy meant a lot to me. Martin Bramah is a disgruntled ex-Fall member (disgruntled ex-Fall members could probably fill the stands of a small football stadium) and it seems that he has sporadically produced albums under the Blue Orchids banner over the years that I wasn't aware of. Even the more recent stuff I've listened to here sounds pretty good, but I'd recommend you hear the track A Year With No Head first.

I have difficulty explaining why their slightly off-kilter, mystical songs are so wonderful without sounding like a complete arsehole so I can only state that they are among a handful of great overlooked bands who should have had more recognition in the 1980's.

It was only this week that I worked out why I love The Very Best Of Herb Alpert so much. I'm pretty sure that a cassette of the man Herb's hits was played on the coach which took us on our annual holiday to Colwyn Bay in North Wales each year from the late 60's to early 70's.

Stop taking the piss. Ours was a poor family and visiting Colwyn Bay was the nearest I got to achieving happiness before I reached the age of 8 and my IQ hit the double figures mark. I bung on this CD and I can already sense the anticipation of the sun, the sand, the jelly shoes, the horrible phlegm coloured jellyfish and the flavourless ice cream with unpleasant chips of ice in it. By the time I get to the track Zorba The Greek I've virtually dizzy with excitement, even if I'm doing the washing up.

Herb had a bigbig hit with the song This Guy's In Love With You. His flat singing would give Martin Bramah of the Blue Orchids a run for his money. The "video" to promote it is a classic of the genre, as Herb walks down a moody beach with the moody waves crashing behind him in a symbolic manner. He also takes a stroll with his woman through some sort of orchard on a hot sunny day. The air looks so heavy with pollen that it brings my hayfever on. I shall see if it's up on youtube.com at some point.

The coach driver was a gaunt man with blond corkscrew hair who used to wear gold winklepicker shoes every year. I wonder if he has his own blog?

Betty, you don't need to apologise for what you perceive to be a disastrous glitsch in your musical taste. Herb Alpert does what he does masterfully and is to be applauded. There is nothing wrong whatsoever in your choice.

On the other hand, my ex-wife had an album by Child. This probably contributed somewhat to the eventual failure of our marriage because whenever the subject of music arose in discussions with friends, I would produce the said album. Soon after, she suffered a mental breakdown and banned visitors with any semblance of musical taste.

Sharon is well able to defend and is indeed, proud of her teenage obsession with the Glitter Band (not the fat nonce with the wig but the musicians behind him) so our relationship is sound as a pound.
I'd never say I was ashamed of liking Herb Alpert. It takes a lot for me to be ashamed of admitting to liking music.

Child were the blond twins, weren't they? Much promoted in girls magazines like Jackie but fortunately they never became hugely popular.

I can't comment on the works of the Glitter Band and I'm not really that fond of the music of the fat nonce in the wig, although I love glam rock in general. Well, I think Rock 'n' Roll Part 2 is great, and on the plus side it doesn't have his vocals on it.
I think there were four of them in Child to be honest but I'm not wading through 85million google references to find a picture of them! As for the Glitter Band it was definitely the stand alone band she liked as opposed to them as backing a certain fat be-syrupped nonce. They were the ones responsible for such gems as "Let's Get Together Again" "Angel Face" and "People Like You" . There is a great deal of resentment towards the sad git among the remaining members because folk automatically assume they're linked, but the band had a huge solo career after they split from him.

I preferred the Rubettes.
well, I guess I have to look up the Blue Orchids. Never heard of them but I'm sure the band is a gem if you're recommending them :-)
Reading your post brings back memories of a coach trip to Rhyl when I was eight. This girl turned around and looked over the back of her seat (school bus style), looked me right in the eye and said 'You don't know what a prick is, do you'. She was right, I didn't.
I can't really remember the ice cream and the jellyfish - I spent the whole day dreading the bus journey home.
Richard - the Rubettes did some song about 2 blokes who set up home together despite all the hatred from family and friends (I think) and it ends up with a tragic outcome. Hadn't heard it for years, then it turned up on a Troubled Diva podcast about 6 months ago. Didn't they go a bit country?

Child definitely featured twin brothers and one of them turned up in the line up of the Spot The Mystery Guest Who Hasn't Had A Hit Single In Donkey's Years round. The poor bloke now looks like a fairly anonymous middle aged businessman but it didn't stop Jane MacDonald who was on the panel declaring that she still lusted for him after all these years. Poor sod.

Kyahgirl - I can accept no responsibility for injury, distress, confusion or death caused by my recommending something. It's happened before and it will happen again.

Tom - oh God, those horrible school outings, with children having travel sickness and thowing stuff at you in the coach. The worst one was the 1974 trip to New Brighton. I can't remember visiting a bleaker seaside town since, and there's a lot of competition out there.
I had to look up 'nonce' as it's not a word I've heard on Corrie.
MJ - I doubt that it'll be a word that figures in a forthcoming storyline on Corrie either.

Oh, I meant to say that the bloke from Child appeared on Never Mind The Buzzcocks. After all, I wouldn't want to give you the impression that what you're reading here is completely incomprehensible, would I?
Everything I know about Britain I learned from Coronation Street, EastEnders and Betty's Utility Blog.

Remember when Sarah Platt got tangled up with that online pervert? That would have been Corrie's one opportunity to use the word nonce.
Come to think of it, I'm sure Tommy Harris accused Martin Platt of being a nonce because he was in a relationship with his awful, awful, awful 17 year old daughter Katy. It's such a shame Tommy had to be killed by Katy and then she met her own terrible end (Death By Cake). They were such endearing characters.


I'm disturbed that you have learned so much about Britain from visiting this blog. I inhabit my own disturbing world and in no way express the views of any other British people, some of whom are actually quite nice.
Which ones?
surely a post in itself?

Anyway, what about Flint? Weren't they on some daft teen thing with Pauline quirke off Birds of a Feather?
Welcome, Doppelganger, whoever you are.

Where Are The Nice People? is a BBC1 programme in pre-production. Aled Jones and that woman who does the live wildlife watch programmes with Bill Oddie will be visiting Britain's nicest people. It should be on between Last Of The Summer Wine and Songs Of Praise
in the autumn.

They were Flintlock and the kids' programme they did with Pauline Quirke got complaints from viewers because one of the band was trying to look up her skirt.

Say no more.
I'm so glad I started a side comment thread thingy because that episode with Pauline Quirke has been bothering me for donkeys. I knew she got into bother for something but I didn't know what. Thank you Betty, I bet you didn't realise your teenage boy-band obsessions would one day come in so useful. I'm puzzling as to why a member of Flintlock thought looking up Pauline Quirke's skirt was a worthwhile exercise.
Richard - at the time I loved disco music (still do today actually) and didn't bother with those boy bands because it necessitated listening to some awful music. They always seemed to feature in girls' magazines though, and the business with the programme Pauline's Quirkes was in the tabloids at the time. Apparently Flintlock split up because they saw the Sex Pistols interviewed by Bill Grundy. Eh?
Memory can be a cruel mistress at times. I thought it was for swearing that she was pilloried. My sister used to take "Jackie" which I have to admit, was quite broad in its musical coverage; I can remember articles on Led Zeppelin as well as Barry Blue f'rinstance. I, on the other hand, subscribed to the Angling Times. Its understanding of punk and the NWOBHM was peerless.
New Wave of Bream, Haddock and Marlin?
This is great. Can't remember how I got here now but..The Street, the Fall, the Glitter Band! Any group with two drummers gets my vote. I was a Jackie girl but I do remember veering off on an ill-advised Fab 208 phase. What was that all about?
Richard - I didn't watch the programme but it seems the main reason the show was taken off the air was because of innuendo which might corrupt pure teenage minds - or so it seems from this -http://www.funtrivia.com/ask.cfm?action=details&qnid=25050

Jackie also featured a lot of punk bands because they considered the likes of Eater and the Vibrators "cute".

Geoff - I hope people are not going to start carping on with fish-related puns.

Didn't the Angling Times vote Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica the best album of all time?

Arabella - Adam and the Ants are among the best of the 2 drummers bands as well.

Fab 208 always used to plug Radio Luxembourg and its crap djs. As if I really wanted to know what Peter Powell got up to on a dinner date or what Tony Prince's "fave colour" was. Then there was Pink, and My Guy. Fortunately I grew up at some point (when I was 28).
Betty, on the subject of growing up, what is it that actually defines this point. Today I was trying to work out at exactly what point in my life I became bitter and cynical - is that the same as 'growing up'?
My sister still has the flexidisk from Jackie in which Tony Prince introduces The Osmonds. Disco 45. Remember that? Had all the words in. I recall copying down the words of Wizzard's "Ball Park Incident" for Marcus Joy. And didn't they have two drummers too?

Betty, It was "No More Fish Jokes" by Walter Trout.
Jackie! How I loved it! Although obviously I only read it when shielded by the NME.

And yes, Herb Albert and the Tiju, Tigu, Thiju Brass.

I rather liked that mad one on Coro, the one married to the taxi bloke. She grew larger and madder every episode. Assumme she must have died of cake too as I no longer see during my occasionally forays up the street.
Jackie was better than the NME.

I read Sounds and we hated the NME.
But were Adam & the Ants really better than Showaddwaddy? (Lawks, is that correct spelling?)
Looking at the comment clock I notice that you are all asleep, and here it is cocktail time. Sweet dreams.
Tom - I agree with you. I became bitter and cynical by the time I was about 12. Although perhaps it is the point when you stop thinking something great is going to happen in your life which will change everything for the better. So, probably about 24 in that case.

Richard (I) - when I used to live in the midlands, Roy Wood lived quite locally, although I didn't know this for a long time. I spotted him in a pub once and he was actually in my town's only curry house, on the table next to us with his "daughter" (hem hem).

I think I drag this anecdote out about every couple of months, because I have a miserable, lonely existence.

Caroline - are you aware that Lynne Perrie, who played Ivy Tilsley, died recently? She had been "in ill health for some time". In other words she was a boozer of Ollie Reed proportions.

Richard (II) - I bought both. Couldn't decide if Paul Morley was better than those pictures of hairy metal guitarists mooning in public conveniences, obviously.

Arabella - nooo, Adam and the Ants were definitely better. I would even defend their early pre-hit stuff.

Shouldn't worry about everybody else being asleep. A lot of bloggers seem to be insomniacs.
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