Tuesday 28 February 2023

Namesakes #23: The Tourists

Last week, you had to choose from three bands called Linoleum... though your biggest disappointment was that none of them came from former Lino Capital, Kirkcaldy.

Above is the cover to 10cc's album Bloody Tourists, home of cod-reggae smash Dreadlock Holiday, a Number One that has probably been consigned to the "never play this again for fear of offending someone who wasn't offended by it in 1978" pile by Radio 2. 

Here are three more bloody Tourists...


New Jersey - birthplace of Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, FM radio, the electric lightbulb and... in 1977, proto-metal / stoner-rock outfit The Tourists, led by one Bob Solberg. This was their only single... 


Annie Lennox. Dave Stewart. Long before the world-conquering hi-jinks of the Eurythmics, they were The Tourists... although the band really belonged to lead guitarist and principal songwriter Peet Coombes, the man behind their biggest hit that wasn't a Dust Springfield cover.


Eschewing the definite article, and all the way from sunny Torquay, home of Sydney Opera House, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon and herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plain... here's a bunch of contemporary Tourists who "combine elements of shoegaze and synth-pop with deeper-rooted post-punk influences, crafting their own identifiable brand of dark, melodic dream-pop". Whatever happened to just writing catchy tunes, eh?

As usual, discogs sent me down a couple of rabbit holes which didn't lead to any actual tunes, though I was most disappointed to not find audio from Las Tentadoras... I mean, clearly this one would have been a winner.

Special mention goes to country rock pioneers Wynn Stewart & The Tourists, who were disqualified by the VAR. I'd have let you in, guys, I really would. And if it were up to me, the wonderful Lonely Tourist would also be shoe-horned into this week's post.

Which Tourists would you welcome in your record collection... and which ones just need to go back where they came from?

Monday 27 February 2023

Celebrity Jukebox #73: Angela Lansbury

Last week, we lost Raquel Welch. It's only a few months since she featured here... so maybe I am going to stick with dead celebs for the time being. Plenty of them to go around, and as Alyson reminds us, there will be more and more over the next few years.

All of which brings us to Angela Lansbury, who died last year, aged 96. Most famous for her role as crime-busting author Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote, Lansbury had been acting for over 40 years before she took on that part, including major roles in The Manchurian Candidate, Bedknobs & Broomsticks and The Company of Wolves. Not forgetting that she was Elvis's mum in Blue Hawaii. And she could sing too...

Would you expect to find her in a Wu Tang Clan song though?

Hereditary trait, seeking salvation like the Cranberries
Wrote Murder with Angela Lansbury often
Til my biological clock stops and my casket falls


Once that's out of the way, we can turn to music (and lyrics) more suited to these aging eardrums...

Sinatra died and Grandma cried and we all sat around until
I asked if you'd ever seen the Manchurian Candidate
It's a John Frankenheimer film
A real attack on McCarthy and
I have to admit Angela Lansbury rocks as the Mom

Brooklyn's Shilpa Ray gets compared to Patti Smith, Nick Cave and Ella Fitzgerald. Got to be worth a listen, right?

He's made of rеvisionist history
Rolling deep in cheap mysteries
And I'm Angеla Lansbury
And it's the same sociopath

Canada's B.A. Johnston, meanwhile, has been dumped. I wonder why?

Murder, she wrote
Murder, she wrote
Our love is dead
And I guess Angela Lansbury could easily solve this
She probably just got tired of my shit
Easy to leave

How about some titular mentions? Starting with an instrumental from Indianapolis's Operators...

A little more shouty...

And I would be remiss if I didn't remind you all of this 90s gem...

The best I can come up with today though is this catchy obscurity from Canadian band Prairie of Prax.

Dissecting Agatha Christie prose, such a surprise 
Wherever Angela Lansbury goes, somebody dies

Sunday 26 February 2023

Snapshots #281: A Top Ten Banana Songs

Ten songs to send you completely bananas on a Sunday morning... I left out The Banana Boat Song only because it seemed too obvious, and Harry featured here just a couple of weeks back.

10. The right bloke finds a special place in Samantha and Amanda's heart.

There's a man inside both their names.

Man - Bananas

9. In betweeners.

Ween is hidden inside Betweeners.

Ween - Bananas & Blow

8. Jobson investigates Tom's accent and George's band.

Richard Jobson was in The Skids. Tom Petty had a Southern Accent. Boy George's band was Culture Club.

Southern Culture On The Skids - Banana Puddin'

7. Points for Sweet Talking.

A Sweet Talking Guy gets loads of marks.

Guy Marks - Loving You Has Made Me Bananas

It gave me a great deal of joy to hear that again after so many years.

6. Robert got the blues in a box.

Robert Johnson had the blues. Jack in a box.

Jack Johnson - Banana Pancakes

5. Connects Mary to a Carpenter.

Mary Chapin Carpenter. You could also have Harry Carpenter to complete...

Harry Chapin - Thirty Thousand Pounds of Bananas

4. Regular jolts.

Prunes keep you regular. Electricity gives you jolts.

The Electric Prunes - The Great Banana Hoax

3. Attenborough, Davies, Bird.

They're all Dickies.

The Dickies - Banana Splits

2. Anton.

Christopher Anton Rea...

Chris Rea - God's Great Banana Skin

1. Nomad on narcissistic crusade hides answer within.

NoMAD ON NArcissistic crusade.

Madonna - I'm Going Bananas

Keep your eyes peeled for more Snapshots next Saturday.

Saturday 25 February 2023

Saturday Snapshots #281

It's Saturday morning - time to start monkeying around with some more Snapshots.

Can you identify the cheeky chimps below... then work out the missing link between their songs?

10. The right bloke finds a special place in Samantha and Amanda's heart.

9. In betweeners.

8. Jobson investigates Tom's accent and George's band.

7. Points for Sweet Talking.

6. Robert got the blues in a box.

5. Connects Mary to a Carpenter.

4. Regular jolts.

3. Attenborough, Davies, Bird.

2. Anton.

1. Nomad on narcissistic crusade hides answer within.

Marmo-set your alarms for 8.30 tomorrow morning when the answers will be revealed...

Friday 24 February 2023

Product Placement Friday #3: Heinz Baked Beans

A million housewives every day
Pick up a can of beans and say:
“What an amazing example of synchronisation”

Only three weeks into this feature, and I'm still surprised that's the first time Nigel Blackwell has put in an appearance...

I do like a nice tin of beans, but they give me terrible heartburn (not to mention the other). But I do wonder why the other baked bean companies are still bothering. I mean, Pete & Roger settled their superiority over 50 years ago...

Sell-outs! And here's a modern day version of the same trick...

You wouldn't expect that kind of thing from Paul Weller...

Love me, love my jeans
I must buy shares in Heinz baked beans
Too busy buying up, selling out, selling off.

Less a fan was singer Heinz Burt (real name), originally a member of The Telstars, who once went on tour with Gene Vincent and Jerry Lee Lewis. Old school rock n roll fans didn't take to this young pretender though, and ended up chucking beans all over him while he sang his biggest hit...

Of a slightly more contemporary vintage, here's the wonderfully named Anorak Patch...

I’m always seeing adverts
Where boys just talk in lines
And sayin’ how much they like Heinz beans
And eat them all the time

Well, that’s not very clever
I’m not all that impressed
Cos’ everybody likes Heinz beans
Cos’ Heinz beans are the best

Rappers like Heinz beans too! Here's your proof..

My favourite discovery this week comes from Aussie rock band The Drones. Let's just say that I like the cut of their gib.

People are a waste of food
Don't bother learning Chinese
Thou shalt find oneself perturbed
By less verbose calamities
Just get some Heinz baked beans
A 12 gauge, bandolier and tinned dog food
We'll eat your dog, bury our dead
Or eat them instead
That's entirely up to you

Thursday 23 February 2023

Record Collection Recollections #6: The Personal Touch

Back when I worked in the radio station, I collected quite a few autographed CDs. Hardly the big names, and nothing that would be worth any money, though I still prize my copy of What Are You Going To Do With Your Life? signed by Ian McCulloch. I never actually met Mac though, so it's not like he signed it for me personally; it was just something the record company sent through. (They probably intended us to give it away as a competition prize, but, frankly, it would have been wasted on our listeners.)

These days, I buy a fair few CDs from Bandcamp, or direct from the artist's website, and it's nice when you get a little signed note to show they've posted it themselves. I recently ordered a couple of Otis Gibbs CDs direct from the States and got a nice "Thank you, Rol," on note-paper decorated with musical staves. In the streaming era, independent artists really do appreciate those of us who still shell out for the physical media.

I'm similarly impressed by artists who work their own merch stands at gigs. I'm much more likely to buy something if they're selling their own stuff. I had a good chat with David Gedge when he was working the Cinerama merch stand at The Leadmill back in the 90s, and this cemented my impression of him being a very down-to-earth rock star. 

Just last week, I met Kirby Brown at the American Aquarium gig. Kirby was manning his own merch stand after playing a cool support set. BJ Barham from AmAq promised to meet everyone at his own merch stand after the gig; sadly we had to leave before getting the chance to take him up on that offer, but Kirby was there straight after his set. I was unfamiliar with work 'til that night. He does a good line in acoustic Americana, though he hails from Brooklyn rather than anywhere near Nashville. He'd travelled up from London that afternoon via National Express, so I figured he deserved to make a sale. Plus, I was rather taken with his songs, particularly Spiders. He didn't have any change and I only had a twenty pound note, so he had to get it changed at the bar... but this is the kind of memory that will keep him on my radar in future.

Spiders make homes in old guitars
People feel young in classic cars
The ocean makes room for fallen stars
Some things just don’t change

Wednesday 22 February 2023

Celebrity Jukebox #72: Dickie Davies

It's common knowledge that I'm not a football fan, so you might imagine I wouldn't have much to say about the passing of Dickie Davies... however, I did watch World of Sport almost every Saturday afternoon when I was a kid. Not for the football... for the wrestling! Giant Haystacks, Mick MacManus, Kendo Nagasaki, Mark “Rollerball” Rocco... and, of course, Big Daddy! Easy! Easy! Easy!

I was therefore very familiar with the genial moustache of Dickie Davies, who introduced the wrestling... and all the other sports we were allowed to watch on Saturday TV before Premier League football was even invented. 

There's an obvious winner on the jukebox today, but before we get to that, here's those dashing charmers, The Sleaford Mods...

Ya can earn seventy quid on a Monday night
Sliding round a pole
In front of four or five rotting bits of bacon
Blokes that look like Dickie Davies
Smoking fags like it's the Seventies

Next up, a solo offering from the current lead singer of Thin Lizzy, Black Star Riders and The Almighty. Busy bloke.

Red hands as big as Ulster
Stubble on his chin
We wrestle on the front room floor
And his beard would burn my skin
When Dickie Davies told us
That Lester's horse had won
I'd run along behind him
And he 'd shield me from the sun

Finally, a tribute to the glory days of wrestling...

I read in the obituaries that Giant Haystacks died
He's gone to fight Big Daddy in that big ring in the sky
Where every day is Saturday, and Dickie Davis smiles
And the Saturday Lunchtime Wrestlers never died

Today's obvious winner is so well-associated with Dickie that it even merits a mention on his iffypedia page. Not only that, but it'll claim another victory if ever I get around to Cadbury's Flake on Product Placement Friday. Kim Carnes had Bette Davis, but Nigel Blackwell always preferred Dickie...

God I could murder a Cadbury’s Flake
But then I guess you wouldn’t let me into heaven
Or maybe you would
‘Cos their adverts promote oral sex

A Romany bint in a field with her paints
Suggesting we faint at her beauty
But she’s got Dickie Davies eyes

Tuesday 21 February 2023

Namesakes #22: Linoleum

Last week, we had a bunch of Valentines. If you received one that made your heart flutter, you're the real winner.

This week (following on from Felt, a fortnight ago) here's another material you can cover your floor with. Can there really be more than one band named after Linoleum?

Yes, there can.


Caroline Finch, Paul Jones and Emma Tornero formed the crux of our first slab of Linoleum back in 1994 in ye olde London Town. Their first two singles were released with linoleum sleeves. And their drummer was called Dave Nice. Not to be confused with his namesake...

I was reminded of this particular Linoleum as a result of Martin's second volume of Thank You For The Days. Here's the song I'd nominate for that feature. It fits very much into the Elastica / Sleeper stable, and the video features Caroline making a call from a red phone box. Like we used to do back in the good old days...


Skip forward a year or two and across the world to Melbourne where our next Linoleum released two albums of "tuneful indie powerpop" in the late 90s, one of which gets extra points for being titled "Floored".

No video, I'm sad to say, but here's a link to their bandcamp...


And here we have some pretty cool Indonesian punk rock from 2010...

I also found a Bulgarian punk band with the same name from a couple of years later... can't seem to find any of their music online though.

Which one would be in your festival line-up... and which one do you think should lie low?

Monday 20 February 2023

Celebrity Jukebox #71: Burt Bacharach

What the world needs now is another tribute to one of the most important musicians of the 20th Century. From his peerless work with lyricist Hal David to later collaborations with Carole Bayer Sager, Neil Diamond and Elvis Costello, Burt Bacharach created an unparalleled songbook of timeless classics. What can I say that hasn't already been said by far more erudite folk than me?

How about sitting back and listening to a few tributes from the Celebrity Jukebox? And who better to start with than... The Quo?!?

Hardly going to beat that, am I?

Maybe not, but I was pleased to find that a number of my favourite artists happily name dropped Burt B. in their lyrics. For example...

Aimee Mann - It Takes All Kinds

I would like to keep this vision
Of you intact,
When we'd hang around and listen
To Bacharach
And you loved the world you lived in
And it loved you back

Thea Gilmore - Saviours And All

It's closing time
And the drunks sing some stray lines of Bacharach
It's too late now to even out the score
You drain the glass and raise your hand for more
So I'll take cover while you just take the floor

Jens Lekman - If You Ever Need a Stranger (To Sing at Your Wedding)

If you ever need a stranger
To sing at your wedding
A last minute choice then I am your man
I know every song, you name it
By Bacharach or David
Every stupid love song that's ever touched your heart
Every power ballad that's ever climbed the charts

Weezer - Do You Wanna Get High?

Do you wanna get high?
It's like we're falling in love
We can listen to Bacharach
And stop at any point

They Might Be Giants - You Culture Killed My Dog

Bacharach and David
Used to write his favourite songs
Never, never, never would he worry
He'd run and fetch the ball

Cracker - Shine

You'll be a Russian acrobat
You'll be like Burt Bacharach
You come to the party, you say "What's new pussycat?"
Someday you're gonna shine
You'll see

Then, if we look a little further than just the usual suspects, we find this eccentric selection with lyrics that scratched my itch...

Riffer - That's The Kind Of Room

Now that's the kind of room
I'd like to fill with Burt Bacharach music
The look of love
Is in your eyes

Remember when Burt was married to Angie Dickenson
Can't you see her
Angie's in an evening gown
Drinking scotch on the rocks
Those rocks are clinking as she walks across the room
"The Look of Love" rises from Burt's piano
Oh, what a muse!

Eva B. Ross - On My Way Out

But oh you could fool me into staying
Talking in the corner, hating all the music playing
I like the Rockmes and Bacharach
And I'd happily burn a playlist with an explanation 
Track for track

Particularly fond of this next one...

SE Webster - Already Gone

Meet me in the backwoods, we're going after dark
We're digging a hole in the ground, there's no need to worry at all
You ask too many questions like, "who's it for?" etcetera
C'mon, you must know you're already gone
Just think back to Bacharach & chocolate-covered strawberries
Since you seem to think it's our only good memory
You say you've been done around here
No need to repeat, you've made it perfectly clear
That you're already gone

All of which leads us back to where we started, songs that mention Burt in the title. Can anyone compete with the Quo? You decide...

Snuff - Bacharach

Beaumont - Bacharach

Fitness Forever - Bacharach

Bigott - Bar Bacharach

The Worn Flints - Burt Bacharach

Today's best discovery comes from "Withington's Burt Bacharach", Chris Keaney and his Electric Lovehandles. Let's just say that bandcamp purchases ensued. This is proving an expensive feature for me...

Sunday 19 February 2023

Snapshots #280: A Top Ten UFO Songs

As a wave of UFO sightings sweeps the world, surely we must ask ourselves whether shooting them out of the sky is really the smartest option? 

The objects in the sky may be unidentified, but I'm sure you had no problem identifying this lot...

10. Inside next issue: dead pigeons!

Inside next isSUE: DEad pigeons!

Suede - UFO

9. Persson of interest found near Dortmund.

The Persson of interest would be Nina Persson. Hagen is a German city near Dortmund.

Nina Hagen - Flying Saucers

8. Killers from Barking.

Slaughter & The Dogs - UFO

7. Joel + Arthur + Lard.

Billy Joel + Arthur Lee + Mark 'Lard' Riley...

Billy Lee Riley - Flyin' Saucers Rock 'n' Roll

6. John, Harry & Charisma.

John Carpenter, Harry Carpenter and Charisma Carpenter...

The Carpenters - Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft

"We are your friends..."

5. You can't argue with this lot.

The Undisputed Truth - UFOs

The Undisputed Truth is out there!

4. The Sound & The Fury, relatively.

William Faulkner wrote The Sound & The Fury. 

Isaac Newton had a theory of relativity.

Newton Faulkner - UFO

3. Gloating goat found in cut price store.

The gloating goat would be Billy Bragg, here pictured in Wilko... sorry, Wilco.

Billy Bragg & Wilco - My Flying Saucer

2. Valet, can be green or golden.

A valet can park your car. Grahams can be Golden or Greene.

Graham Parker - Waiting For The UFOs

1. Stolen Bounty.

A Bounty is a chocolate bar. If it's stolen, then it becomes hot property.

Is this song about Errol Brown's very own close encounter? No doubt about it...

Hot Chocolate - No Doubt About It

More unidentified photographic objects for you next Saturday...

Saturday 18 February 2023

Saturday Snapshots #280

This is Nick Drake's sister, Gabrielle, welcoming you to this week's Snapshots, maybe because I'm running out of pictures of even semi-famous people holding a camera. Or maybe not.

Can you identify the ten artists below and tell me what connects their songs, please?

10. Inside next issue: dead pigeons!

9. Persson of interest found near Dortmund.

8. Killers from Barking.

7. Joel + Arthur + Lard.

6. John, Harry & Charisma.

5. You can't argue with this lot.

4. The Sound & The Fury, relatively.

3. Gloating goat found in cut price store.

2. Valet, can be green or golden.

1. Stolen Bounty.

If you find yourself at a Crossroads after that lot, turn in the direction of the answers tomorrow morning...

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