All posts by Steve

Swans Doing Their Jobs

Dawns rose tinted hand lights the east
The trout are rising
Sun sparkled droplets
Mint prisms shining like diamonds
Atomising worry calming tension
Running water dripping tranquility
Flattening stress easing panic
Optimism bounces into ascendancy
Suddenly the worlds a better place
A quiet moment by the canal
Ducks preening in the crisp morning air
Flapping splashing dipping quacking
Making rainbows dance in magic light
Swans doing their jobs

Mick Gallagher

mick
Mick Gallagher – Born in Newcastle-upon Tyne, England on 29th October 1945

Recorded, played and toured with Rock bands since 1963 including…

1963/64  The Chosen Few
1965  The Animals
1966-68  Skip Bifferty
1969  Arc
1970-71  Bell & Arc
1972-73  Frampton’s Camel
1974-76  Loving Awareness
1977-00  Ian Dury & The Blockheads
1979-80  The Clash
1983  Eurythmics
1984  The Music Students
1986/87  Kiyoshiro Imawano
2003-present  Animals and Friends

Composed music for Theatre Productions

1987  Royal Court Theatre ‘Serious Money’
1989  Royal Court Theatre ‘Apples’
1992  Royal Shakespeare Co. ‘The Jovial Crew’
1993  Royal Shakespeare Co. ‘The Country Wife’
1994  Royal Court Theatre ‘The Queen and I’
1994  Royal Court Theatre ‘The Libertine’

A Brand New Pound Bit With A Tracking Device

A brand new pound bit with a tracking device
Has now been spent and paid its price
But hold on a moment the tills been sprung
He’s been passed on quickly in exchange for a bun
Thrown into the dark with lots of other rifle
In and out of daylight traded in for trifles
If only he hadn’t been forged in a furnace
He might have been a nifty and splashed about in earnest
Struck by the mint not cut out for fame
Left in old trousers or dropped down a drain
A sole purpose in life is to wear out people’s pockets
Or left as a tip or stored in misers wallets
A humble scrap of metal with no intrinsic value
Dropped on floors rolling under tables
Picked up by a cleaner with an eagle eye for money
Converted once again for a pot of runny honey
Nocturnal transactions throughout the wee small hours
In exchange for commodities fags drugs or flowers
It starts to turn snide at eleven
o’clock sharp
When it’s spent in a pub for an Ice cold half
Given back as change or make weight for a round
It’s not all wine and roses in the life of a pound
But the worst thing of all or so it would seem is being stuck in the slot of a condom machine
Get poked by keys as they attempt to prise you out
Shove you with penknives further down the spout
So resign yourself to your hopeless position
Chewed up and bent and out of commission
You’ve passed through the hands of dealers thieves and liars
Now you would spend yourself for a man with some PLIERS

Derek the Draw

derek

Derek has been a poet for many years and after joining the band in 2000 has become the main lyricist and Blockhead storyteller.  A man of sartorial distinction and a playful wit, Derek is driving the Blockheads forward into a new era.

Banged to Rights

There’s silence in the court the Judge has just arrived
The geezer standing in the dock has panic in his eyes
There are twelve total strangers who’ve been chosen to preside
A double row of chairs where wigs and silks reside

What happens next will soon unfold A B H or stolen gold
A sordid tale starts to unravel to the echo of the judges gavel
The prosecution kicks it off a witness cross examined
What is truth and what is lies is up to them to fathom

The accused standing in the box his body shaking in his socks
His brief then drops his master stroke my clients not the guilty bloke
The defence lawyer stands his ground some new info has just been found
The prosecutor leaps to his feet the evidence is incomplete

Exhibit ones a wooden cosh
Twos a knuckle duster
Exhibit three is a rake of cash and a weighty diamond cluster
Exhibit fours a fingerprint
exhibit fives a knife
Exhibit six is D N A
looks like bang to rights

Henpecked

You drive me up the pictures
You send me round the bend
Keep me spinning sideways
It seems to never end
Kneed me in the cobblers
Sloshed me round the face
Hoofed me up the jacksee
Have I got a saving grace

Treat me like a dish cloth
Will I come back for more
Dip me in the bucket
Make me scrub the floor
Insist I scrub the karsee
Then do the washing up
Work me to a frazzal
Till you think I’ve had enough

You make me walk a tightrope
And keep me on the cusp
You like to run me ragged
Cos you like acting tough
You love to dish out orders
Assume to rule the roost
Watch me do your ironing
And squeeze you orange juice

Send me for your shopping
And buy your cigarettes
Don’t forget the omo
Then fold the serviettes
You use me like a doormat
Boot me with your clogs
Get me cleaning windows
And walk the fucking dog

I don’t get what your doin
I can’t hear what your saying
The chimney needs a sweeping
Lightbulbs need replacing
The carpet wants a beating
The roofs got a leak in
The grass expects a mowing
That sock has got a hole in

Hurry up hurry up
Get a move on
A woman’s tongue never rusts !!!

Gilad Atzmon

The Big Session at De Montford Hall, Leicester Picture date: 13 June, 2008
The Big Session at De Montford Hall, Leicester
Picture date: 13 June, 2008
Photo taken by Jason Sheldon

Born in Israel on 9th June 1963

Until 1994 acted as producer-arranger for various Israeli Dance & Rock Projects, performing in Europe and the U.S.A. playing ethnic music. Highly involved in the Israeli musical scene.

Toured with Memphis Slim and supported many international jazz names such as Jack De Johnette, Michel Petrucciani, Richie Byrach and others.

In 1996 through to 1998 awarded HMV Top Dog Award at the ‘Birmingham Int’ Jazz Festival’. Wrote Dance material with DJ Face and toured Japan with Simon Turner. Toured with ‘Jazz Africa’ ( Gail Thompson). Kenwood Dennard in the Middle East and recorded with Simon Turner.

1998-9 Toured and recorded with Ian Dury & The Blockheads, Mike Scott ( Water Boys), Little Mothers (‘The Worry’) and Simon Fisher Turner. Released a Solo Trio album ‘Take It Or Leave It’ (‘Face Jazz’) and a dance EP ‘Juizz Music’ (‘Fruit Beard).

In 2000 performed and recorded with ‘The Blockheads’ and SFT. Released a new solo album ‘Gilad Atzmon & the Orient House ensemble'(ENJA Records) and performed with the ensemble on prestigious U.K.festivals and stages as well as in Europe and the Middle East. Played with Bill Le Sage’s ‘The Be-Bop Preservation Society’.

Gilad’s solo albums:

1993  Spiel
1995  Spiel Acid Jazz Band
1995  Spiel- Both Sides
1999  Take it or Leave it
1999  Juizz Muzic
2000  Gilad Atzmon &The Orient House Ensemble
2001  Nostalgico
2003  Exile
2004  Musik

Why not visit Gilad’s site?

John Roberts

j_r

Born on 1st April 1976

John started playing the drums at the age of 12 after joining various bands he started playing pro gigs when he was just 14 which took him all over the world. In 1995 John studied at the Musicians Institute London which was run by Denise Roudette. There he received tuition from drummers such as Bernard Purdie and Thomas Lang.

In 1997 John landed his first proper gig being the house drummer on the Channel 5 ‘The Mag’ (in the UK).

In 2001 he was invited to play a few shows for the Blockheads and he has remained a regular player for them ever since.
John has been in demand as a session drummer and perfomer he has appeared with acts such as Wilko Johnson, Wreckless Eric, Suggs, Cathy Denis, Dr and The Medics, 911, North and South, John Otway and Bryn Howarth.

John also teaches drums in a couple of prestigious independent Schools including Bedales in Hampshire as well as privately tutoring many pro drummers.

Davey Payne

Slapstick Silent Comedy Fundraiser, Colston Hall, Bristol Picture date: 24 October, 2008
Slapstick Silent Comedy Fundraiser, Colston Hall, Bristol
Picture date: 24 October, 2008

Born 11 August 1944, in Willesden, North West London)

Davey grew up in Clacton, UK, and started playing the clarinet because of his enjoyment of Dixieland jazz.
On hearing swing, bebop and Dexter Gordon in the 1960s he moved to London, and began taking lessons and going to jazz clubs. He also took up the soprano saxophone, and began playing in mixed media events.

He was drawn into The People Band, and moved with them to Holland.

He met Ian Dury when he visited London in late 1970 – “He thought I was a junkie, I thought he was an idiot” – and returned to Holland. After the People Band played a gig in London with Kilburn and the High Roads in 1971, he was coerced into joining them for a jam at their home, and ended up staying with the band until it broke up in June 1975. He thereafter returned to Clacton; he played 2 gigs with Ronnie Lane, and a few with The Fabulous Poodles.

In the meantime Ian Dury managed to launch a solo career, and Davey contributed to New Boots and Panties!!, in 1977. Davey however joined Wreckless Eric’s band.

After the completion of his album and its success, Ian badgered Davey into rejoining his band, now called the Blockheads, full-time and he did! Davey is credited as a co-composer of numerous songs in the catalogue. Not to mention one of the most famous recorded Saxophone solos in popular music and certainly the most famous with two saxes played at the same time… Hit Me!

Davey left the band in August 1998 for the West Country of England. We are very happy and proud to welcome Davey back whenever time and location permit!

Terry Edwards

terry

Born on 10th August 1960 in Hornchurch, Essex

Terry Edwards has been a mainstay of the British Indie scene since the early 80s, having first made a name for himself with John Peel favourites The Higsons (alongside The Fast Show’s Charlie Higson).
After several top-ten indie singles, a contract with Two-Tone Records and tours of the UK, Europe & America the band split & Edwards concentrated on the twin career paths of solo artist & session brass-player to the great & the good. His credits include work with Madness, Robyn Hitchcock, Nick Cave, Siouxsie Sioux, Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols/Rich Kids), Spiritualized, Julian Cope, PJ Harvey, Tindersticks & many others. More recently he’s been playing with Jerry Dammers’ Spatial AKA, The Blockheads, Faust, Paul Weller and ‘Allo Darling.
Every Indie label worth it’s salt has at least one act that Edwards has recorded with – Factory, Rough Trade, Mute, Damaged Goods, Creation, Wiiija, Go! Discs, Cherry Red & Perfecto.

Terry regularly plays with Gallon Drunk (he’s been a member since 1993) and Lydia Lunch whom he has worked with for over 12 years & currently collaborates with as Big Sexy Noise (Lunch, Edwards, James Johnston & Ian White).
The diversity of the session work is mirrored in Terry’s solo career – an early flirtation with 50s sax-led Rhythm & Blues in his outfit New York New York, the culmination of which is his soundtrack-style recordings with BUtterfield 8, co-founded with Madness bassist Mark Bedford.

Terry Edwards & the Scapegoats introduced the world to what has become known as ‘jazz-punk’ with their mid-nineties albums My Wife Doesn’t Understand Me and I Didn’t Get Where I Am Today. These were precursed by a series of inventive cover version EPs – The Jesus & Mary Chain (trumpet-led instrumentals), The Fall (in ska style with a few members of Madness giving it authenticity), Miles Davis (speed-metal!) and The Cure (hi-life and dance-floor beats).

The untimely death of John Peel inspired an eponymous CD of improvised music which is echoed in recent performances by The Near Jazz Experience (Edwards, Bedford & Simon Charterton). There’s more – commissions by choreographer Charles Linehan, recordings for the BBC’s Psychoville and the stage-piece The Black Rider created by Tom Waits, William Burroughs & Robert Wilson where Terry got to work with the great Mr Waits (2004-6)

2010’s solo album Cliches sees another departure. Inspired by the Alex Chilton covers album of the same name, Terry pays homage to the Big Star frontman in the same way that Chilton’s record paid homage to his hero Chet Baker.

To paraphrase John Peel’s appraisal of The Fall – Terry Edwards, in a nutshell, is “always different – always the same”.