Thursday, 24 April 2014

Retro Vinyl Spotlight: The Seekers

Roving With The Seekers - Music For Pleasure
To celebrate the beginning of The Seekers 50th Anniversary farewell tour in the UK next week, today Retrospace pays homage to the Australian quartet with a selection of my personal Seekers vinyl finds from the past 12 months. 

These have included a few albums and several of their original run of UK singles. Roving With The Seekers was the groups second Music For Pleasure release from 1970 and a reissue of a 1964 album.

Seekers Vinyl Collage

The above collage features several releases on vinyl , their first MFP release The Four and Only Seekers, a 1968 Columbia compilation The Best of The Seekers and a collection of early tracks released on Fontana Records, The Seekers Golden Collection.

Seekers Vinyl Collage Singles
Finally, here are four Columbia singles from the 1960s, I'll Never Find Another You, Walk With Me, Morningtown Ride and A World Of Our Own.

For the latest news on The Seekers visit their official website.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

CD Round-Up: Turner, Eliza Doolittle, Chas and Dave, Dr Feelgood, Jethro Tull and Ultravox

Here's a round-up of several new release CD's I've had immense pleasure listening to recently...

A single can sometimes say too little and an album too much, yet Louise Turner AKA Turner gets the balance right her debut mini-album release This Is Turner. With roots erring in 60s soul and beat pop (This World Without You) and even a nod to Bowie Oh! You Pretty Things, Turner is one to watch!

Some artists struggle to deliver the goods with a second album, but not the case for Eliza Doolittle whose second offering In Your Hands has already done well in the charts. Sunshine pop fans will find Let It Rain irresistible while the R and B influenced Waste of Time and the funky beats of Back Packing demonstrate Eliza as a music force to be reckoned with.

Chas and Dave delighted fans of all ages when they hit the road once again in 2013, and are currently touring with their new album That’s What Happens. This album features a nod to the duos rock n roll roots including a tribute to Lonnie Donegan and a re imagining of their biggest hit Ain't No Pleasing You.

Purveyors of old fashioned rock n roll will also welcome Get Rhythm The Best of Dr Feelgood 1984-1987. Lee Brilleaux’s 80s line-up catches Feelgood  at their best on a 44 track collection including Close But No Cigar, Rough Ride  and Mad Man Blues.

If your tastes are slightly broader an expanded reissue from Jethro Tull’s back catalogue Benefit captures an early incarnation of the band in 1970 shortly after their first chart successes. Steven Wilson’s 2013 Stereo Mixes beautifully clean up tracks such as With You There to Help Me, Teacher and Witches Promise in stereo and mono formats. For the purists there is also a bonus DVD with the original Flat Transfer Masters.

Finally 80s electro fans who have well- worn out Ultravox vinyl in their collection will welcome the release of The Albums 1980-2012. A 9 CD package housed in a clam shell box featuring all releases from the classic line-up of Midge Ure, Billy Currie, Chris Cross and Warren Cann. Vienna is the classic everyone remembers but the bands ability to paint dramatic story lines into songs such as Lament, The Voice and Reap the Wild Wind display why their music has remained timeless.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

CD Review: Foreverly by Billie Joe and Norah

Foreverly arrived on the review desk before Christmas and inevitably before the passing of Phil Everly, so although it was recorded as a tribute by Green Day's Billy Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones it will no doubt take on an ever deeper meaning now to those who hear it.

Fans of The Everly Brothers will no doubt recognise many of the songs featured on Foreverly from the Everly’s album Songs Our Daddy Taught Us.

It’s fair to say that both Norah and Billy Joe haven’t strayed to far from the original arrangements of the The Everly’s but is that a good or bad thing?

Undoubtedly, an Everly Brothers homage is long overdue and this is clearly what the featured artists have intended displaying the influence The Everly's have had on them whilst serving to introduce a further generation of fans to the Everly Brothers music and the track I'm Here To Get My Baby Out Of Jail still produces a lump to the throat today as it did over 50 years ago.

Zoinks! - Scooby Doo Live! - Reviewed!

Scooby Doo Live! The Mystery of the Pyramid
New Theatre, Cardiff

Okay, let’s stop all this “it’s for the kids” nonsense, few cartoon series around at the moment span the generation gap quite as well as cartoon canine sleuth Scooby Doo and his friends can.

Their spooky adventures are up there with the best and have been since Hanna-Barbera put out the first cartoon series towards the end of the 1960s.

Almost five decades on, Scooby and his friends have taken to the stage in a new musical show and it was this very show I witnessed with my three children at Cardiff's New Theatre on Good Friday.

The Mystery of the Pyramid featured the gang in familiar territory, on the trail of mysterious mummies in an Egyptian pyramid and facing the wrath of a Pharaoh who threatened to transform anyone who approached his tomb into stone.

Josh Little (Fred) , Julia Cave (Daphne), Louise Wright (Velma), Eddie Arnold (Scooby Doo) and Danny Stokes (Shaggy) breathed life into their cartoon counterparts and successfully pulled the audience’s attention into a whirlwind of slapstick shenanigans  and musical choreography.

Echoes of “it’s behind you!” when a menacing mummy appeared unified grown ups and children in their enjoyment. I even passed quite a few parents on the way out with  broad grins like they’d just realised a lifelong ambition seeing their cartoon canine hero live on stage, and it was all thanks to those meddling kids!

A version of this review has appeared on The South Wales Argus Website.
For further information on the Scooby Doo tour visit Scooby Doo Live!