I can’t sleep tonight…

Well I always enjoyed Lee and the boys live. Actually to be honest I probably enjoyed myself more than I should’ve done and have no real recollection apart from sweaty jumping around in dark smelly bars.

I like The La’s album well enough, it misses the mark on so many levels of what they were like live. I am however over the poseur approach to never listening to it, it is after all the lasting legacy of a band that could have been so much more. Of course this is the ragged memories of an aging old fart remembering. It is inconceivable it was over 30 years ago.

So the BBC Sessions is on very cool green vinyl, it’s numbered, my guess however there was in inconceivably large number made, mine is one thousand and something.  Most of the songs from the album are here played with the ragged energy and sense of urgency that I remember. Like The Kinks met the Hollies in a dark alley and decided to become the Stones. Jangly and off kilter, it would be sacrilege to refer to the B’ band in reference to The La’s and maybe not relevant.


There is the myth of the band and then there is the legacy of the recordings. They made one really good pop album, yes it could have probably been better but there really is a point when perfectionism has to give way. The BBC Sessions is a good addendum, it’s rougher it’s more immediate and maybe better, that is however probably more to do with the limitations of recording for the BBC reducing the possibility of getting that perfect take.

It did however manage to distract me really well for two hours, that’s almost three and a half plays in regular time. I danced around the living room, sashayed in the kitchen and rhumbaed in the bedroom before taking a nap.

it’s a cerebral vibrator…

Not been feeling it much these last few days.

Five posts deleted, just no happy with them and they had not been coming together for over a week so goodbye.

The obvious answer is something loud and brash and obnoxious. Enter Hawkwind’s Undisclosed Files, no label, no real track listing, the songs are written in the wrong order on the shield. It’s  a self released live album from 1993, although it’s the mid 80’s Hawkwind  you are hearing. Hawkwind 1 or The Emergency Broadcast System  is the apparent name of the label. Described as unofficial on Discogs but released by the band, only Hawkwind could unofficially officially release an album.


So what do you get?

You get some classic wacked out Hawkwind, chugging along with Nik Turner  honking away, Harvey’s synths and Brocks metronomic riffing and Huw Lloyd-Langton playing his heart out. Some classics like Master of the Universe that is melded with Coded Languages, Orgone Accumulator, Motorway City and Angels of Death, as well as some other tracks of interest such as Watching the Grass Grow and Ejection.

Ultimately though you get to romp back to a simpler time when festivals were free and pandemics were something in books or movies. You get to remember what ti was like to romp around in the sun in a field with some like minded folk and drink warm beer and cider.

The thing I loved most about 80’s Hawkwind was the synths. They were an ever evolving pattern of oddness permeating everything that was happening musically on stage and visually. It was the wall of sound bubbling away that held the rest of the show together. Harvey really came into his own when he moved form bass to synth.


“You must question the nature of your orders…”


Take these sunken eyes and learn to see…

I have thought long and hard about my Dad recently, he died just a little over a year ago and for all sorts of reasons I couldn’t say anything at his funeral, now it’s another Fathers Day. 

My uncle Robert did an awesome job of talking about him at the crematorium, and what he meant to his siblings as a big brother and who he was as a man. My Dad was poor growing up and was taken out of school at 14 to work, he worked every day of his life, until his body let him down, he always took care of his family. He saved every day and me and my Mum never went for anything we wanted or needed. He valued education because his was cut short and he was determined I would not have to work so hard it broke my body. He was a solid rock and I miss him every day.

Of course it is just true he was better than everyone else’s Dad because he was my Dad and he loved me unconditionally although we did not always get along all the time, I did however always know I was loved. We would argue about politics, religion and life and I miss that, he would always listen and answer.

He taught me how to pull a splinter, he spat water in my eyes when I had dirt in them, he picked me up and cleaned off my knees when I fell down. He taught me to swim and dive into the deep end of the pool/lake or ocean. He taught me how to be a man, a husband  and a father. He taught me to garden, although I hated it, he would laugh as I tried to push the lawnmower. He made me hate games because he never let me win. He always worked to find interests we could talk about or do together.

I want to share one memory towards the end. It was one of the last surgeries he had in 2018 I think. I came home because he was not sure that it would go well. The night before the surgery we sat and watched TV and talked after my Mum had gone to bed. I thought he would want to watch something light but he had a real need to watch the documentary about Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood Speech he had recorded. His reason was he was seeing some of that hatefulness of Powell seeping into UK life from conversations he was having with friends and others. He wanted to challenge himself to better understand the racist world he had lived in and may have contributed to, and he wanted to do this the day before a surgery he may not survive. 

Think about that, it was important he continue to improve himself even to what may be the end. 

During the film, he sat and occasionally wiped his eyes as he remembered how racist the bus company in St. Helens and Ford motors and the railways he worked on as a lad and the post office job he loved, had been and how he had been complicit in it by not speaking up at times. He also talked about how immigrants had been treated and continued to be treated, his talk was often conflicted and he could understand why people would be afraid of immigrants and other races. He often came back to this idea that it was fear that caused his inaction at times, he struggled with why he was afraid and why others were afraid.

At the end of the film he was silent and mumbled that man was evil about Powell. 

Now my Dad was not perfect, he did join the Conservative club after all because the bingo prizes were better. I am not either. He did however teach me the most important lesson ever, he taught me to always be open to the idea that my biases needed to be challenged and that often they are based in fear. 

If a 70 plus man on the day before a life threatening surgery could confront his own biases and fears, we can from the comfort of our isolated worlds confront our own fears and biases and speak out. My Dad was no saint and never pretended to be, and I won’t lie and pretend he was either, he was an honest person about himself and his own behaviors though, sometimes that was painful for him but it made him a better brother, husband and father.

Happy Father’s Day.

If you want to watch the BBC documentary Rivers of Blood it’s here:


If you want to hear a great song about racism and hatred by a great old Liverpool band go here:

Maybe go to both and if you like the song and find yourself agreeing with some of the vileness Powell is spewing ask the question what are you afraid of? 




Sitting here numb and exhausted from watching the news unfold for the last few days/weeks.

All this horror.

I am not actually able to put anything together that would be useful about the current state of affairs in my homeland/chosen country.

Two of my sons went downtown to protest tonight, I hope they will be safe and I am proud of them. This is very real for one of them as he said my children won’t be white, I have to admit that I had not thought that, this stuff impacts us all in so many ways.

This seemed appropriate and yes I still have no words, take the time to listen, even though our “leaders” won’t.

I have not got past Side 1. this week.