The WYCRA Top 20 – Number 20

echo

Number 20 – One of the greatest comeback records of all time and a story about a plastic tank.

Nothing Lasts Forever – Echo and the Bunnymen – Chosen by SWC – taken from ‘Evergreen’ LP (1997)

The Top 20 arrives, well done if you are still with us. We have where ever possible made this list and the stories surrounding them as happy as we possibly can. The problem is some songs no matter how we are feeling when we listen to they are synonymous with a sadder time. You all know what I mean. This is one of those occasions and I make no apologies for what follows, because this song plain and simple reminds me of my Granddads death (or rather his  funeral). There is no easy way of discussing that I’m afraid and as much as I love this song and as much as I happen to think that this is one of the greatest comeback records ever recorded, I find it really hard to listen to it, without thinking of him.

My Granddad died in the summer of 1997, he had a heart attack whilst halfway through cleaning the bathroom the evening before and died in hospital the following morning. It was only the second night my granddad has ever spent in hospital in eighty years. He was a great man, I honestly never met a single person who had anything bad to say about him, but then I would say that and to be honest, no one is going to turn around and tell me otherwise.

At the time I was living in London, spending most of my time writing for a music magazine and studying for degree. My sister phoned me and told me the news at ten past six in the morning. I won’t go into how devastated I was, it doesn’t really matter in the scheme of things I guess.

I remember being a bit of blur for the next few days, not really wanting to do anything or speak to anyone. His funeral came around really quickly, too quickly, and funerals are difficult at the best of times because, well they’re funerals. My dad asked me if I wanted to say something at the funeral, I’ve never done anything like that before, heck I’d never been to a funeral before (I was 22). I agreed because it felt like the right thing to do, despite not knowing what to say or indeed how to say it. It is what my Grandad would have done if he was asked. The night before I stayed awake for what seemed all night- trying to get the mood right for my eulogy.

At the funeral I stood up, took a deep breath and launched into a story about the time I went to Herne Bay (a seaside resort on the Kent coast) with my granddad, aged eight, and I lost my toy Batman figure (in reality I think I buried it in the sand). I told the gathered masses that I loved that toy – and it was my most favourite thing in the world and that I wanted to keep it forever. My granddads response was to shove a few Murray Mints into my hand, wipe my eyes and say “nothing last forever – but lets get you a better toy that might”. Half an hour later, standing in a cheap toy shop on Herne Bay sea front, he bought me a small metal tank which fired plastic pellets. I then told the audience that I still had that tank – and produced it from my pocket. It was battered and no longer fired pellets, but there it was 14 years later. Obviously I would swap that tank right away for more days like those in Herne Bay, but I still have the tank, wrapped in bubble wrap inside in a box in the loft. Its falling to bits, and I daren’t take it out of the bubble wrap these days.

I get home the next day to find the satisfying sight of a bundle of parcels from promotional companies, which contain a bunch of CDs and records. These are a welcome distraction from the last 48 hours or so, and I work my way through them. The second one stops me in my tracks. It is Echo and Bunnymen – ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’.

And I think I’ll stop there for a minute or two.

I’m back…This song is wonderful, and if the situation that had been even slightly different I think I would have happier memories of it, but I remember sitting in my lounge in London, my hand shaking as I held that CD.  Just looking at the title.  Then I played it, and believe me that took a stiff drink, a cushion and hastily grabbed photo of my granddad.

My review consisted of a few words ‘This is best song Echo and the Bunnymen have ever recorded, and ever will record, buy it immediately’.   Its still true to this day. Although the two below run it quite close in my opinion.

Bring on the Dancing Horses

The Cutter

Oh and don’t forget the chance to win some socks or something else from the back of my cupboard

 

 

 

The WYCRA Top 40 – Number 21

teenage

Number 21- Majestic indie guitar pop

Everything Flows – Teenage Fanclub – Chosen by Both of Us – Taken from ‘A Catholic Education’ LP (1990)

The other day I found myself in a strange town, by the sea, one that I barely knew. I was dropped off by a colleague, went about my business and then agreed to get a bus back to the hotel. The problem was I had no idea where the bus left from or even how much it was.

It gave me an excuse to pop into a café and grab a cuppa and a tasty looking slice of violet and blackberry cake. I sat in the window seat and gazed wistfully out towards the sea.   The young waitress came over and gave me the bill and I asked her where I could get a bus back to my hotel. I needed the 22 bus and I needed to get it by the Co-op.

So there I stood at the bus stop, a quick look at what was left of the timetable told me that I had a ten minute wait. The bus came I got on it, it cost £4.90, which seemed a little steep considering it was about a ten minutes’ drive, still that’s the coast for you.   The problem was that the bus didn’t go where I needed it to go and I found myself in an even stranger part of the strange town. I asked the bus driver how to get to the road with my hotel and he told me the same thing. You need Bus 22. I looked up at the front of the bus and it clearly said Number 22.

“But this is the 22” I said. “Oh you need the one going the other way, it will be marked Sea Front on it” he said unhelpfully. He then said – “you need to go over to that bus stop and get it from there” before shutting the bus door and driving off.

Well that’s just perfect. I surveyed my surroundings, it was dark, there was nothing but houses, a suspicious looking park, some feral youths, and a small church within walking distance. – I also have no idea what time the next bus will come. I could phone a cab I suppose – but I have no idea of local cab firms and besides, I don’t actually know where I am.

So I phone Mrs Badger, who laughs at me down the phone, and tells me to get some chips or something. “There is always a chip shop within a five minute walk of a bus stop in towns. Any town” she says wisely. “But what if the bus comes and it’s the last one” I bleat at her, but she has to go because her friend Nikki has arrived and they are going out to watch a comedian. It is about half past six in the evening, I’m cold, and frankly a bit miserable.

At times like this I adopt the SWC approach to life. Find a bench, get out your iPod and ride it out. I do this and this is where ‘Everything Flows’ comes in. Track seven during that wait was ‘Everything Flows’ but it wasn’t the version that you have probably already got or downloaded just now – it was a cover version of it by Saint Etienne and it’s sublime. Now I love the original, it’s a majestic piece of music that heralded Teenage Fanclub’s arrival on the world, but this version is also very very good. It’s a striped back, laid back, slowed down (and still good despite something which sounds suspiciously like a digeridoo in the background) version of it. It adds a new dimension to the song and it allow you, instead of concentrating on the musical brilliance on display in the Fanclub version, to concentrate on the lyrics, which are of course wonderful. Suddenly the wait didn’t seem that bad, I am at least smiling now.

Everything Flows – Saint Etienne

(Remember our competition – you can enter that by clicking here)

The WYCRA Top 40 – Number 22

carter

Number 22 – Competition Time

Shoppers Paradise – Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine – Chosen by SWC – Taken from ’30 Something’ LP (1991)

But first, all hail Carter.  I’ll keep this short.

Carter are one of the greatest bands that this country has ever produced.  ’30 Something’ their second album, is one of the greatest records ever recorded.  It is a near perfect, flawless, brilliant romp and if you don’t own it you either have no ears, are too young to have realised or an idiot.  Pick which one it is and rectify the situation immediately.

Between 1991 and 1998 I saw Carter live more than any band (perhaps maybe The Levellers…) and each and every time I saw them I left the gig with a massive grin on my face.  Total legends.

Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere

Bloodsport For All

One last thing before competition time…

INHEAVEN  – this lot are our Number 1 pick for the forthcoming year.  They have already made the finest guitar record to have graced my ipod since ‘Nobody Cares’ by Yung with ‘Regeneration’ and that song very nearly made it into this stupid rundown.  So folks, enjoy, comment and then go buy if you like them

Regeneration – INHEAVEN (and yes you have to type it in capitals)

So – competition time…..

We want you to predict our Top Ten.  Attached here is a document – if my limited IT skills work that is – it has a bunch of bands on it alphabetical order, all you need to do is send an email to Badger at the email address on the web page with what you think will be the Top Ten in the WYCRA 200 – and the one that gets the most positions right will win a prize.  I haven’t decided what that will be yet, probably some biscuits or some socks or something.

The closing date is December 8th…..(despite what the actual document tells you).

Go on have a go….

 

 

The WYCRA Top 40 – Number 23

sugar

Number 23 – Thanks Dave the Mechanic.

JC Auto – Sugar – Chosen by Badger – Taken from ‘Beaster’ EP (1993)

I love ‘Copper Blue’ by Sugar, I was very late to it though.  I was given a vinyl copy of it to listen to by my mate Dave, Dave fixed cars for a living and he was my mechanic.  He told me that the record was perfect to listen to whilst you fixed things.  Based on one listen of that I went out and bought everything else by Sugar that I could find as well as most of the Husker Du back catalogue.   I owe him a huge degree of thanks for introducing me to this band.  He lives in Dubai now, so I doubt he’s reading but if you are – ta mate.

‘Beaster’ blew me away further than ‘Copper Blue’ did.  In terms of sheer ferociousness its up there with ‘In Utero’ by Nirvana – in fact its louder, deeper and better than that. ‘JC Auto’ short for Jesus Christ Autobiography is probably the most ferocious song on this entire list.  Its relentless the pounding drums, the killer riff, just remarkable stuff. Added to the ‘Judas Cradle’ track which comes before it on the album you get around twelve flawless minutes of brute force.

Judas Cradle

Come Around

Oh and here is my last Top Tip for 2017

2. King Nun

A bunch of teenagers from London who unleash a wild, abrasive and totally addictive sound.  They will probably turn out to be the next Razorlight but until they do, enjoy them.

Tulip – King Nun

Oh and tune in tomorrow for a competition….

 

The WYCRA Top 40 – Number 24

jamc

Number 24 – Step Back and Watch the Sweet Thing

Happy When It Rains – The Jesus and Mary Chain – Chosen by SWC – Taken from ‘Darklands’ LP (1987)

Here is the full story of one I hinted at a while ago.  Its the story of the greatest kiss of my life – at the time anyway.

I am seventeen and I have literally just going out with Our Price Girl, that came about after I walked her home from work one Saturday and then went with her to a club and the rest was sort of stumbling, stuttering five minutes of getting to the point.  When I asked her out it went something like this…

(“do you, erm, you know, erm, want to go and see a band or something, some time, if you want, you don’t have to, erm”)

She sort of laughed and said, “We sort of already are, aren’t we”.  To which I replied, “Yeah, of course” and then when her back was turned, I looked up at the heavens and mouthed “Thank You”. I’m not even remotely religious but it felt right at the time.

Yet I am slightly shy, slightly in awe of her, (she is slightly older than me) and I am suddenly thrown into a new world of people I hardly know, people she knows really well.  Anyway, it is July and the summer evenings are in full swing, we are frequenting a pub near the river called The Army and Navy, its an old pub and one that has been taken over by Our Price Girl and her crowd, it has a decent jukebox, which the landlord puts on ‘free play’ and a decent beer garden.

We sit in the pub, by this stage we have been seeing each other for about two weeks and things have developed, I’m going to be frank here, I was pretty inexperienced, I had an ill advised adventure one New Years Eve with a girl I hardly knew but that was pretty much that in terms of ‘activity’ for me.

it’s difficult to describe how I felt that night, drinking sweet cider with a girl I was crazy about, knowing that my life was changing for the good but it felt great.  The sun was out, the cider was tasty and well Our Price Girl was beautiful.

Very quickly the clouds turned black and it absolutely belted down, people ran inside to get out of the rain, but Our Price Girl sat there, her clothes getting soaked, she had a habit of wearing long flowing dresses over boots (they all did back then) and then she took me by the hand and kissed me, right  there in the thundering rain.

It felt like it lasted for ever, in reality it was about thirty seconds I suppose, I remember rain dripping off our hair as we kissed.  Then she leaned her head over my neck and started whispery singing in my ear, she was singing ‘Happy When It Rains’ – I think it was because I had just surprised her with Jesus and Mary Chain tickets for a gig in Brixton in December, but it was lovely all the same.

Then she said “Let’s go” and we did.

Just Like Honey

Sometimes Always

And now, Badger

Sorry to ‘rain’ on SWC’s parade here but its my turn to do the WYCRA 2017 pick – we are down to number 3

3. Cousin Kula

Wait – they are nothing to do with Kula Shaker.  Cousin Kula are from Bristol and make a kind of psychy pop noise and its only a matter of time before they will infect your brain.  Their debut single is called Hesitation and here it is

Hesitation – Cousin Kula – as ever tell us what you think and if you like, go buy…

 

 

The WYCRA Top 40 – Number 25

beta

Number 25 – Something to warm the cockles of your hearts.

Needles In My Eyes – The Beta Band – Chosen by SWC – Taken from ‘Los Amigos Del Bandidos’ EP (1998)

Now this story has nothing to do with the Beta Band and I can’t even crowbar a link in, I just wanted to share with you a lovely story about an old friend.

When I was at school, one of my best friends was Jason, he was really popular, far more popular than I was and I kind of clung to his coat tails whenever I could.  Then around the age of 16, he left school, I went to college and we drifted away, as you do.  Thank the lord then for social media or Facebook to be more accurate.  A short while ago, I received a Facebook friend request from this lad – Jason – and I immediately accepted it. A rare event in my life, one that anyone would want to Facebook Friend Request and two that I would accept it.  Anyway, I dropped him a message, asking how he was and what he had been up to for the past twenty five years.  This is what he told me…(and I’ve copied this word for word from the email – with Jason’s permission – he’s also going to write something else for me in a few weeks time, as man, he can tell a tale)

“My life has changed completely, first I went to University in Middlesbrough which was alright, I studied English Literature, then a year after I graduated I got engaged to a female, only for her to run off with a mate of mine – or a so called mate.  Then the really bad luck started.  One October night I crashed my dads car, I was driving, I swerved to avoid a child who had run out of the road to get a ball or something and my mum was sitting in the front passenger seat.  She was badly injured, whereas I had a couple of scratches, obviously I would swapped places instantly. For a while it was touch and go.  My dad blamed me for the crash and then as my mum pleaded with him not to, he dropped this bombshell.

He told me there and then that I was adopted and then he wished he hadn’t taken me in.  There I was aged 25, with no real purpose in life, devastated because I nearly accidentally killed the woman I thought was my mother, and the man who raised me, pretty much told me that he regretted my very existence. Naturally I was devastated.  At first I turned to drink which numbed the feeling of worthlessness, but then through a support group and my mother who was secretly still talking to me, I found some way through the pain. This took perhaps 7 years or so.

I worked with an agency who managed to help me trace my natural mother.  It turned out she now lived in Australia.  She gave me up when she was only 17.  At that point something clicked inside me, I knew that my future lay in Australia, I emotionally blackmailed my dad to lend me £2000 and I caught the next flight to Australia.   Three days later I had a job in a bar in Sydney and two weeks later, I knew the location of my birth mother. It was in Adelaide.  A month later I knocked on her door and it was like a scene in a movie, she instantly recognised me, its funny because I often wondered why I have jet black hair and both my parents in England were blonde.  Still….I owe them a lot and they know that.

Ten years on, I’m married, I live five minutes walk from my mother, and I have two sons.  I have a fantastic job with an online newspaper, a swimming pool in my garden and on a good day I can see the beach from my window.  Life is tremendous”.

Now, I maybe a cynical old bastard at times, but is that not one of the greatest, most heart warming things you’ve ever read.

Push It Out

Dr Baker

Its Over

Onwards with out WYCRA 2017 picks as well – here is the latest one

4. Nadia Rose

Nadia Rose is a 22 year old rapper from Croydon, cousin of Stormzy, and leader of a sudden new wave of female MCs.  She also make DIY videos, often filmed in the streets of Croydon.

Skwod – Nadia Rose

 

 

 

 

The WYCRA Top 40 – Number 26

aphex

Number 26

Digeridoo – Aphex Twin – Chosen by Badger – Taken from ‘Digeridoo’ EP (1992)

So welcome to the last guest contribution for a while.  We’ve been very lucky, because by and large, when we gave a track to someone to review for us, they usually loved it.  Remember JC’s words around Billy Bragg and The Robsters around Bjork.  Then we gave Charity Chic the chance to write about The Aphex Twin, where we find someone as far away from their comfort zone as it possible to be without physically waterboarding them…

If you are by any chance reading this Richard D James, I love this song and you are a genius.  Your album ‘Selected Ambient Work’ is one of the greatest records of all time.  That is all.

Repetition, repetition, repetition!

Asking me to review a song by Aphex Twins is like asking a vegan to take part in a black pudding making competition. Yup I am that far out my comfort zone

Badger tells me that Didgeridoo features as the ring tone on phonecalls from his missus. I didn’t have Mrs Badger down as a construction worker busy constructing a new motorway (Badger adds – well she does have the outfit at home but that might be for another day) but there you go.

On a more positive note it is pleasantly repetitive and puts me in mind of somebody servicing a spacehopper.

 Strangely Aphex Twin is a man and not in fact a twin unlike those musical giants The Thompson Twins.

Also he is not even Australian. He is Richard David James an Irish born British electronic musician and composer of Welsh ancestry based in Scotland and originating from Cornwall, England so he should appeal to the Brexiteers.

 They say that repetition is the key to success and as Mark E Smith once pointed out President Carter loves repetition. So I could well grow to like it

and there we have it.  The key word there is ‘Grow’.

Charity here are some Aphex Twin tracks for you

minipops 67 – taken from ‘Syro’

En Trange to Exit – taken from ‘Wasted’

Continuing our WYCRA picks for 2017 here is the next one

5. Fronteers

Fronteers are from Hull and could just about be the greatest thing to ever come from there.  They are a four piece and their bio suggests that they bond over a love of girls, music and Hull City FC.  Now apart from that last one what is not to love about that.  They released their debut single last year.

Youth – Fronteers

The WYCRA Top 40 – Number 27

courtenay

Number 27 – Brilliant beat poetry from Australia

Avant Gardener – Courtenay Barnett – Chosen by SWC – Taken from ‘Single of the Same Name’ (2014)

“Will you stop that whistling?”

This is Mrs SWC speaking to me, I am in the kitchen fixing my daughters tea. The rain outside has been thundering it down for around 48 hours, most of Devon is underwater at the moment. I have just driven back from work and have also picked my daughter up from pre school.   Normally I travel home and listen to music in the car, and my daughter tells me if it good or bad…The Wonderstuff are ‘beautiful’, Echo and the Bunnymen are ‘sad’ and Radiohead are ‘noisy’….but today we are listening to the local radio because the roads are terrible. Listening to local radio means listening to their music, which is invariably useless.

I’m not aware that I am whistling, I’m no Roger Whittaker that’s for sure. I stop, and shout back “Sorry, wasn’t aware I was doing it”.

“Yes, badly and out of tune and worst of all, you were whistling Genesis”.

What. This is news to me. Maybe it was so out of tune that it just sounded like Genesis. I don’t listen to Genesis.

Then I stop in my tracks, the Hello Kitty Pasta Shapes are bubbling away to mush. A horrible shiver runs down my spine. I was whistling Genesis. The last song that came on the radio before I switched the engine off was ‘I Can Walk’ by Genesis, not the Peter Gabriel fronted Genesis that it is sort of ok to like but this is the horrid, nasty, not ok to like Phil Collins fronted Genesis. I feel sick, I feel dirty, and immediately run to the sink and drink some water in order to wash the stench of Collins from my mouth. On reflection I should have used vodka and piece of wire wool.

I then realise I am a fraud, I give it the high and mighty indier than thou attitude, and all along there I am whistling along to Genesis, worst still whistling along to the words of Phil Collins, a man who for some reason has become my arch enemy – not only did a burglar once tell me that I should listen to Phil Collins instead of PJ Harvey but Phil himself once tried to sue me because I wrote something nasty (and in hindsight, definitely, unquestionably, untrue) about him and his 27 bedroomed Geneva mansion. I can only apologise if I have let you down.

Here as some course of compensation is Courtenay Barnett. Now we had kind of intended to do a load of awards at the end of this rundown but decided to just announce the awards when the winners came up, you’ll see these a lot over the next 25 or so records. So here is the first one – “Avant Gardener” is the highest placed track by a record in the WYCRA 200 to have been released in the last three years.   I think, and I’ll need to check this, that it’s also the highest placed track by an Australian and whilst we are at it, it is definitely the highest placed track to feature the words ‘pseudoephedrine’. I’ve checked the Australia thing, the answer is yes.

Depreston

Lance Jr

And just to show I am indier than thou really, here is a band that are going to make your 2017 so much better

6. Littler

Littler are from Philadelphia and should be adored by fans of Waxahatchee, Swearin’ and Speedy Ortiz.  Their debut album ‘Of Wandering’ is a marvellous mixture of punky poppy brilliance.

Of Wandering – Littler

 

 

The WYCRA Top 30 – Number 28

graduate

Number 28 – Let’s Talk about sex, baby…

Sound of Silence – Simon and Garfunkel – Chosen by both of us – Taken from ‘Greatest Hits’ LP – The final Dad Pick

It is Christmas. I am back at home in Kent for a fleeting visit to my Dads. It is definitely a Saturday because we have been to the football, (a feisty 2-2 draw against Luton Town, including three red cards, two penalties and an injured ref) and then the pub and now we (my brother is with me) are back at my dads house tucking in to an Indian Takeaway.

We are munching our way through the naan breads when my dad starts channel surfing. Eventually he settles on a film. That film is ‘The Graduate’, one of my favourite films of all time, and one with a cracking soundtrack. Simon and Garfunkel are another one of the acts that my dad loves, one that I have heard him unashamedly singing along to in the shower or one of the acts that he keeps a tape of in the car.

We watch the film in near silence, marvelling at its brilliance, when suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere, my dad goes “Of course, that kind of thing happened a lot in the sixties”. He is of course talking about the seduction of the young Dustin Hoffmann by Anne Bancroft. It may be the vegetable biriyani sitting in front of me, or the beer that I have drunk, but my stomach makes a strange lurching noise.   I have this feeling that my dad is going to tell us about a time when he had sex with an older woman.

My brother, looks at me, and we unconvincingly try and change the subject “What about that second red card” I try and my brother jumps in straight away “never a red card..” but he is interrupted. “There was this woman, on my paper round, fifteen I was”. Yup, told you. Brace yourselves…this is pretty much word for word, but I wish I had a tape recorder so I could have loaded that as an mp3.   Dirk, read this in small doses please.

“I used to deliver the local news, in the morning, I’d get a lift up to the shop from Derek on the milk truck, you know that chemists on Station Road, that used to be a paper shop, and collect my papers. One morning, my mate Malc never turned up so I had to do his round. He delivered to a lot of the big houses on the posh streets. I got to this big house, with all the curtains drawn, I’d never been along this street before, but you tell it was a posh street because everyone had cars, it was 1962, cars were few and far between back then. Anyway, as I delivered the paper, this woman answered the door in her dressing gown, but it was slightly open. She smiled at me, and goes “you’re not Malcolm”. So I told her who I was and gave her the paper. I then went on my merry way. About twenty minutes later, I walk back past that house and the woman is in the garden, and she calls out to me and I wander over…”

At this point I interrupt and say “Dad have you been watching those Robin Asquith films again?” which he ignores, my brother is sinking into the sofa more and more. My dad continues “She gave me a half a crown I think and asked me to bring her some milk back, and I could keep the change, so I trooped back to the shop and then back to the house. The door was opened when I got there”. He stops and takes and gulp of his beer, I hate to say it but my brother and I are hooked, utterly captivated.

“Boys, I went in that house with a bottle of milk and came out a man”, with that he shuts up. A look, a dirty, happy look covers his face, a bit like a nice Albert Steptoe. I realise I am speechless, stunned, I’ve also dropped a naan bread in sheer amazement.   Dad started again.

“Of course, she was famous for it, none of us knew, but it turned out that her old man was in prison doing a ten stretch for armed robbery – he robbed the bank on Rainham High Street in 1960 and his wife was taking revenge by shagging the paper boys, the milk men (Derek included apparently), the postmen, the light infantry, Uncle Tom Cobley, the bloke off the Daz adverts, everyone. Malc’s mother had found out why he late home a few days earlier and had literally beaten the truth out of him and then told him that he couldn’t deliver the papers anymore, I have a feeling that the vice squad raided her house one Sunday morning, and then left on Wednesday afternoon”

A massive laugh, and one that is soon replicated by both me and my brother.

The Boxer

Mrs Robinson

Oh and if you can bare to stay on this cheap 70s style comedy page here is the next WYCRA 2017 pick.

  1. Pinegrove – A band who those of you who like Built to Spill or perhaps Wilco will enjoy.  They are another band coming out of New Jersey, this one make country tinged indie, and this year released ‘Cardinal’ – which is as it happens one of the finest records you will hear all year.

Waveform – Pinegrove

 

The WYCRA Top 40 – Number 29

zombies

Number 29 – A nostalgia tinged trip down memory lane

Time of the Season – The Zombies – Chosen by Badger – Taken from Odyssey and Oracle LP (1969)

Dad Picks Number 4

Whereas SWC the other day spoke of his dad asking to go to a rock concert with him, today I’m going to speak about a time where I willingly went to a concert with my dad.

The year is 2002 and my parents are making their first ever voyage south from Yorkshire to Devon in thirty years. They are visiting my wife and I in our new home, sadly we don’t have room to house them in this new house. So we pay for them to stay in a hotel in the beautiful resort of Paignton. I say beautiful I of course mean run down shitehole, yet it turns out that mum and dad honeymooned in Torbay, back in the days when Torbay was actually quite nice.

Anyway mum and dad stay in this hotel overlooking a nice park and everyday we would go over and see them and drive them around and having lunch and all that. One evening my dad and I are having an evening walk through a lovely park and setting the world to rights. I say lovely, I mean we are dodging the burnt out cars, the feral youths and trying to barter the heroin dealers down to £10 per bag.

My dad was always one for information, he used to read every notice on every lamp post, shop window, just because he always thought he might miss something. It kind of worked, he once managed to get himself a free five course meal by reading a sign one a window. – one that was placed by a chef who wanted people to try out his menu before opening his new restaurant. That sort of thing.

So that night, in that park he finds a notice board and plants himself in front of it, which is where he sees the poster. The poster reads “An evening of conversation and music with Colin Blunstone. Tickets £16, includes food and glass of wine.” The date is tomorrow evening. His eyes light up, “that’ll be good, do you think we could get tickets”.

Turns out we could and the next evening we had a tremendous evening in this old mansion in a grandiose old ballroom where Colin sang and entertained us- I sat there and spent most of the evening watching my mum and dad smiling happily at this chap on the stage, cheekily holding hands under the table. It turns out that they saw the Zombies live back in the sixties at the Bridlington Market Hall (I think he means the Spa Theatre…) shortly before he proposed to my mother.

Now Colin Blunstone as most of you will know is the singer in the Zombies, a band who despite being massively influential had very little success in the UK in their pomp (one Top 40 hit). Nowadays their album ‘Odessey and Oracles’ (which was deliberately spelt wrong) is considered a classic and the band are probably more popular than ever.

‘Time of The Season’ is brilliant, for loads of reason, but my favourite bit, is the bit where it goes “Who’s your daddy?” Its just such a timelessly brilliant record.

And after that here is my latest WYCRA 2017 pick

8. Cabbage a band that a couple of you have already mentioned on your own blogs

Kevin – Cabbage