Sunday, 27 December 2015

Loves, losses, gripes, glories and gratitude in 2015

A rueful, joyful look back 

It's been a full-on year. I wrote, a lot. Did audio production, a lot. Halfway through the year, I pulled out of a draining work situation and cleared my head. Then, naturally, I took a deep breath and promptly hurled myself into new fields of work, scrambling up fresh and steep learning curves. Some of it has been difficult and disappointingly fruitless. Other stuff has succeeded beyond my wildest expectations. You think I'd have learned by now. 

Here's some of the things I stumbled across this year, some gripes and some regrets... and a few little treats, after the jump.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

80s band invasion! Some are zombies; others, rosy-cheeked and twinkly of eye.

Everybody's re-formed. Some do it better than others. 

Ocean Colour Scene are back in the Irish Centre in Digbeth for their 20th anniversary tour gig.  I just spotted a flyer for a gig in Manchester next year, with The Wonder Stuff headlining. Also on the bill are Bentley Rythm Ace. Richard March of that band plays with Rhino and The Ranters, who supported the Stuffies' acoustic gig last week in Birmingham. The Ranters' drummer, Pete Hammond used to be in the Au Pairs. And lo, Au Pairs head honcho Lesley Woods is back in Brum next year. 

There's a lot of it about. In August 2014, I met up with Terry and Gerry as they plugged a comeback tour. We were kindly given the back room at the Hare and Hounds, and they ripped though 'Butter's On The Bread' live for me to use on the blog. It's here.

I went to the local gig, full of excited 50-somethings and some of their kids. The full band played: Sue and Mick on washboard/percussion and guitar, with Terry on Bass, and Gerry fronting on guitar.

Mile-wide grins all round. Since then things have moved on apace. 

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Beeb big boys in Brum! For a bit anyway...

It's been a fun week

The BBC came to town; about time too. Well, yes, I know there is a much shrunken BBC here already, but this was important national network activity. So a load of network types swept in to be all networky and relevant at the BBC Music Awards on Thursday afternoon at the NEC, oops, sorry, Genting Arena. 

They made a big of a fuss about this. I'm glad they did, and glad they're coming back in 2016, but, really, this is a wannabe version of the Brits: international acts there to shift product in an identikit concrete hangar. Who gets most out of this? More on this whole process later. 

The upside of the week was a lot of local action. And as well as the music events, some old radio hands got gongs. Nice.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

The BRILLIANT Levitate video.

A short blog this week, belated too, for which I must plead events beyond my control. Good events, mind; I'll explain in due course.  

Watch this video. It's a brilliant production, even if I do crop up in it a bit. If you read my blog, you'll know my thinking already. It is, however, so nice to see so many fantastic people saying and doing the right thing.

Congratulations to Tessa Burwood and the Levitate team. This expresses exactly why I love the music scene in my town, and why it deserves both our support and greater media support. 

More music posts on Radio To Go


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