Live and Local

Although the past week has seen us spend the odd evening immersed in our favourite occupation of searching out records to buy, cataloguing the ones we’ve bought, planning our playlists for upcoming gigs and, most importantly, listening to the ones we’ve already got, our diary has suddenly exploded with live music events. The bar […]

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    The King of the Rocket Men meets Johnny Clash – and everything goes swimmingly

The King of the Rocket Men meets Johnny Clash – and everything goes swimmingly

If in 1977 anyone had suggested to the 15 year-old proto-Teddy Boy Midcentury Chap that one day he’d be working with a band playing punk rock and thoroughly enjoying it, he’d have dismissed you as someone who simply didn’t get the gulf that existed between the scenes of the time. Punks and rock’n’rollers sat […]

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    The Scenes are Coming Apart at the Seams – and It’s Great to be in the Middle

The Scenes are Coming Apart at the Seams – and It’s Great to be in the Middle

Music scenes have always been about tribalism. What you listened to defined who you were, especially when it came with clothes, clubs and a language that deliberately set you apart from ‘others’. In the background, those who simply didn’t get passion for and identification with music sometimes tried to ridicule it, differences were most […]

Cosmic Keith Memorial Gig – Boston Arms 27 January 2024

How do you commemorate a character like ‘Cosmic Keith’ Marples, taken from us at the start of the COVID lockdown? Only one way – put several hundred lovers of the big beat in a venue with which he’ll forever be associated and ply them with eight hours of the finest music on vinyl, topped […]

A Random Selection of Vintage Knits

Every so often, it’s nice to include a post that’s light on words and heavy on pictures, so here’s a collection of vintage knitting pattern covers rescued when my Mum was moving home – so these are all designs that were all a realistic proposition in the MidCentury home of the 1960s, but I’m […]

Hank Janson – the American Tough Guy (from England)

This is another of my occasional image collections, by no means completist, but included just to share graphics that please my MidCentury eye and that I’ve been collecting in paperback since I was old enough to have disposable pocket money. This time the theme is Hank Janson novels. Although marketed as archetypal American hard-bitten […]

Christmas is Coming – and Big Sandy’s in Penarth

When we caught Big Sandy in London during his tour last year, we were tempted to repeat the experience a couple of nights later when he played Penarth, so when we discovered he was appearing there for one of only two UK gigs in his ten-show 2023 European tour (the other being the Wildest […]

The Ichi-Bons at the Water Rats

Every ten years or so, a band emerges on the rock’n’roll scene that ignites a rare sense of ‘must see’ excitement. Having missed out on the arrival of bands like Big Sandy, the Planet Rockers and the Bellfuries, I was keen to explore what the buzz was about around a trio from Toronto, Canada, […]

Catch My Drift – Rhythm & Blues Record Heaven in Bristol

What do get if you combine 29 DJs and record collectors, 3 venues, 8 record decks, 31 hours of music and around 800 records? The answer, the Catch My Drift R&B weekender held on 20 and 21 October in the heart of Bristol. To review an event like that is a literal impossibility – […]

Lost London Delights

Having posted a selection of photos of central London taken in the 1980s, I started trawling back through other albums and was saddened to see how many great midcentury venues we’d lost in the past decade or so. It’s one thing to find that buildings photographed on wet film have gone, but when you’re […]