Friday, June 29, 2012

It's another Wilko weekend at the Village Green Festival

Although this won't be an improv pop up performance similar to the recent Railway runs.

No, no - Wilko (accompanied by bass legend Norman Watt-Roy) is one of the many local legends and homegrown hitmakers appearing at the 2012 Village Green festival. Musically the main stage pitches up a live playlist pooling togther:

Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, Jake Shillingford (My Life Story), • Wilko Johnson • The Correspondents • Canvey Island Allstars • Little Dog • Under the Ice

On the Sundown and smaller satellite stages are The Lucky Strikes, John Hegley, Dead Poets. Along with a hay bales and campfire acoustic drop in run by Dave Crix of Rhythm shack.

Although music is only one component in this all day buffet of art, poetry/comedy (John Hegley), Kiddie friendly bits, and foodie stalls all parked up in Chalkwell Park making this one of the South East's most family friendly festivals and capping off with a civilised finish at 8pm

And the Chalkwell cherry on the top - it's all completely free!

So if you're round and about Southend way this Saturday come along and dip into this jamboree bag of bands, arts and entertainment on the banks of the Thames Delta - dig in to the details here...

Should you fancy a warm up, a preview, a sampler of all that is Village Green: live music, dancing and doings - then haul your boogie to Chalkwell Hall for a one off Listen To This from 7:30 tonight - Morton Valence , Dooyah!, Clout, The Tupenny Bunters - are on the bill with Andrew Branch and Daryl Easlea a' hosting and a'DJing.. A few tickets are still available here

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What an evening, what an event - what a weekend! And Wilko Round Two

Where shall we start: Friday's ram-out at The Railway perhaps. Southend's most rock 'n' local was packed to a bubbling and sweaty swell before the sun had set, with gig-goers gathering together from North Yorkshire (John Medd - whose match report is recorded here) to North London (Mark Underwood, Alan Powell) and all points inbetween including: designer Sophie Lo, photographers David Apps,  Eric Waring and guest of honour Gaye Black (formerly Advert) in attendance.

Andy J Gallagher played the first hand in tonight's three way split, with a roaring set of rafter raising rock. Dick York livelied up the night, with sing-a-longa Southend solo set. And ripping up the Railway's massed capacity crowd  - TV Smith's set of stripped down acoustic punk, which with his songbook reduced to an unpolished raw-rooted form - punches through and carries forward  a foot-stomping, fist clenching tradition of both protest folk and delta blues. And you know it's been special night when there's stage-diving an at acoustic gig.

The full gallery of grinners, gurners, drinkers and dancers, is viewable here - thanks to Paul Hughes for another snaptastic recording of the night.

A huge Podrophonic honk is due to Fi Jacobs, Dave Dulake (and all at The Railway) , Retro Steve, Johnny Medd, Piley, TV, Gaye, Steve Pegrum for threading together such a special event.

Saturday saw us parked up in Leigh Library Gardens for the all things folkie at Saturday's section of the Leigh Folk Festival including a jazz/blues set from the spectacularly talented Jess Noah.

Photo by Marmite Boy

And what a way to wrap things up of a Sunday - a return to The Railway with Marmite Boy for our Sunday Sessions,  DJing around Martin McNeill's jump blues tunes - which bonus of bonuses included yet another surprise guest appearance from Railway regular Wilko Johnson!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Punk Britannia Live - TV Smith at The Railway tonight...

The evening has finally rolled around, the hour is upon us, and at last we're standing inside the inky red ring on the calendar that marks tonight's Punk Britannia shakedown. A last call goes out for all Southenders, locals and grockels who fancy taking in three shades of punk-pumped performances live at The Railway.

What's on the agenda: Piley and I warm up the room with some Podrophonic crate-dabbing from 7. Dick York of Crysiss kick starts the live agenda at 8pm

Andy J Gallagher patrols the mid-set slot with a three piece band

And the headlining tonights triumvirate of top rockers - the platinum plated legend that is TV Smith.

We've heard a scramble of shifting whispers and knowing nudges hinting at special guests and gig-goers who may be milling about Railway-wise tonight - but I'm saying nothing and staying zipped .

A special mention and honk of the Podrophenia klaxon goes out to John Medd. who, has put in the hours and legwork to migrate southwards from Yorkshire to Southend for this gig. Glasses will be raise in his direction. And Steve Retroman and Steve Pegrum for threading the event together.

So, eight o clock it is - we'd love to see you shaking your communal legs, or bothering us to spin in a tune ( that we probably haven't got).

You may remember last week's mention of an interview with Southend's finest news source - the Evening Echo, take a slow squint below for the hard copy, or click here for the digi edition.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Acoustic Punk Britannia - with Brian James

As a way of warming up for Friday's Punk Britannia live night (details here), another member of the first wave of new wavers - Brian James, formerly of The Damned and Lords of the New Church, has just rolled out a fruity new album of acoustic tunes. 250 words were readied last Autumn for then due Vive Le Rock, but with album delays, it never made the print edition. Nothing goes to waste around here - so lend your eyes and ears to a Chateau Brian below... 

Thirty Five years on from The Damned's slab-handed riffing and the Lords of the New Church gothic rockings, Brian James strips away the overdriven amps and Telecaster attack for his new album of acoustic blues and campfire mantras.

The Stones have always been one of The Damned's default influences and Chateau is no exception. Mick 'n' Keef's sticky fingerprints are dabbed all over the tracks - from the Beggars Banquet stomp of Treat a Lady to the Exile style shuffle and swish of Teasin’ Me Baby. Digging deeper, James has traced these rootsy references to their source - the earthy dirt and death row confessionals of Lightning Hopkins, R L Burnside and Robert Johnson.

But it's not all dark doings and shady tales - the lightness of Ronnie Lane breaks through on Tipitinas’. Chateau Brian's hobo honky-tonkers and battered blues are the perfect soundtrack backdrop as autumn's stretched shadows begin to set in for winter

 Brian James Grand Cru - Tipitinas’

Friday, June 15, 2012

When TV Smith can't take the call, Dial M for Mondo...

Ahead of the Retroman/Southend Punk/Radio Podrophenia team up that brings you a Punk Britannia Live on Friday 22nd June, at our town's most rock 'n' roll - The Railway, Southend's finest news provider the Evening Echo, was after a few words with Mr TV of Smith - who, proving his platinum plated punk credentials was:  unavailable for comment/on tour/fatigued (actually he was on holiday).

So who got the call for chat about the event - me! You can read all about it in the Scene section of next Wednesday's Evening Echo, courtesy of southend's jazz-singing journo Hannah Marsh.

Piley and I are on decks duties for next week's shakedown - what can you expect to hear from our combined playlists? Some glam, punk, garage, ska, rock oddities - perhaps even a bash of baggie and big beat. But be warned, I may try and whip this one in from my 'crates'..

And a nod for all the dad's past and present with Father's Day coming up

Joe Loss - Steptoe and Son

If you fancy a warm up for the TV Smith gig, fill your ears with this excellent podcast a TV special from the Retrosonic team..

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

M is for....

Monkees, Mother Earth, Moroder and possibly even Manfred Mann

After a bank holiday break, Piley and I are installed back in the Chance Radio bunker for the 13th instalment of the Podrophonic Alphabet - the Letter M. There'll be a couple of pop quizzes, Piley's Newsround - and Fi Jacobs from The Railway Hotel joins us for a Railway Round-up. Dig in here from 9.

The single edit of a magical Moroder moment..

Giorgio Moroder - From Here To Eternity

Spot the sample? Which Essex band borrowed this horn riff for their own use? And is it my grizzled old ears or do the Manfred's sound frighteningly like The Charlatans here..


Friday, June 8, 2012

How in the name of Dr Feelgood did I end up playing bass with Wilko Johnson last Saturday?

And we'd only popped to the pub for a mid-afternoon set by a barbershop quartet who never arrived. All true!  Mrs M and myself had peddle-powered the fifteen minute cycle ride from home to Southend's most rock 'n' roll local The Railway, and parked ourselves with three generations of Piley to take in the afternoon's open mic spot.

You may remember I'd had some banter recently with Pal Wilko for a Vive Le Rock feature - so a pleasure then to spot him at the bar for a quick hello and a handshake, while he was enjoying a gin, with Southend legend French Henry. Midway through our natter, MC and pianist for the open mic (and recent Blow Up signing) Dave Woodcock asked Wilko would he fancy doing a spot. After some gentle nudging and shuffling with Wilko on a lent guitar (why he's not playing a regulation Tele), a borrowed bass for me and pub owner Dave Dulake installed on drums we were off and away within minutes.

This improv gig blasted off so smartly there was no time to text or alert mates who may have been out, about or nearby, including Feelgoods fan Piley who'd left only a few moments earlier. I can't give you a breakdown of 20/30 minute Jubilee Jam, but Wooly Bully, High Heeled Sneakers were in there. And how mind-bogglingly bizarre to have been watching Wilko on Friday's Punk Britannia the previous evening putting Southend on the musical timeline, and just a handful of hours later to be playing Feelgoods classic She Does It Right, looking left and there's the skitter-king working his Thames Delta voodoo.

(he band L to R: me (bass), Kate Johnston (guitar), Wilko, Unknown (percussion), Dave Woodcock (piano ) Dave Dulake (drums) not pictured

As it unfolded, this spontaneous set felt like a fuggy is-this-actually-happening blur - while it was actually happening. Almost a week later, it still seems like some surreal waking dream. Thankfully Mrs M had the good sense and presence to snap a few pics (full set here) and luckily I was chatting to a chap on Sunday who videoed the entire set. I'll be sure to keep you posted....

Speaking of all things Railway related - Marmite and myself will be back there, DJing this Sunday from 4 til' turnout time playing, funk, soul, jump blues, R 'n' B, funky covers in around the bands. With Southend's finest jazzers The Basey Brothers fronted by the spectacularly talented Jess Noah firing up from 8pm. If you can't make the gig, redirect your ears to Radio Novalujon. for a live broadcast.

One possible from my playlist and a track covered by the Feelgoods is Freddie King's romper-stomper of a shuffle..

Freddie King - I'm Tore Down

Friday, June 1, 2012

It's all Adverts

The BBC fires off the opening shots of its Punk Britannia trilogy tonight at 9 on BBC 4, and continues this celebratory trajectory by way of a documentary at 11, We Who Wait centering on the Devon/Essex contingent of the class of 77 - The Adverts . It's one of the few (read: three) 'ma’amageddon' programmes that The Scotsman have recommend - review here.

So, a royal result then, that punk troubadour T. V. Smith heads up the second Retroman and Podrophenia team-up taking place on June 22nd at Southend's Railway Hotel built around a lineup of vintage and new punk-powered acts. Andy J Gallagher and Roman Jugg filling out the middle - and Dick York opening the evening.

Around the bands Piley and I will be doing our usual brand of Podrophonic crate-dabbing, spinning winners, wallopers and curiosities throughout the night, which, should be a rip-roaring, rocker of a tear-up if our previous Len Price 3 shindig is anything to go by...

If you fancy hearing the Podrophenia ident T.V. Smith kindly recorded for Radio Podrophenia, lend an ear to Tuesday's Radio Podrophenia: covers - our first Anniversary edition...

Radio Podrophenia: covers