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Showing posts from September, 2018

Ultimate Supergroup: Part 4

Finally: lead vocal/front-man

Drums: here
Bass: here
Guitar: here

Again a consensus pick would be either Robert Plant or Mick Jagger. This is my list though, so neither of them make the cut. 

As this is a rock supergroup, a powerhouse vocalist is required. Technically ability is less important than being able to cope with cutting through the almighty racket that would no doubt be coming from behind them one stage. My initial choice, and the only one of my choices to actually be in a supergroup, to my knowledge, is the much missed Chris Cornell. 


The late Soundgarden front-man was not only a big lunged screamer but could also provide some rhythm guitar stability when needed. If you don't think he could cut it in such exalted company, listen to "Black Hole Sun"

However, I've moved on from my original thoughts. A supergroup needs a super front-man, especially when you consider the planet sized talents already included. A great singer, obviously, but also som…

Rockin' The Suburbs Appearance

Just a short post today to mention that my voice, and ramblings, feature in today's episode of the superb Rockin' The Suburbs podcast.

If you've never checked it out, I highly recommend you do. Jim & Patrick put out five shows a week, and I've discovered some great new music through their show. 

Over The Rhine and Jason Isbell to name but two. It's one of the best music podcasts out there.

Available at all the usual podcast sources, and at

I talk about Nuclear Valdez's "Summer", David Bowie's "Strangers When We Meet" and Bernard Butler's "Not Alone"

As well as Teenage Fanclub of course!

The great version of "Let's Dance" can be found here.

Ultimate Supergroup: Part 3

Drums: here

Bass: here

Guitar: The instrument closest to my heart, and the one where my favourite guitar player and the one whom I consider to be the greatest ever player are one and the same; the jaw-dropping Steve Vai.

(photo: from

However I'm going to overrule my heart and go with my head here. Vai is a truly great musician, but he can be a bit esoteric at times. A band with Keith Moon on drums needs a player with a bit of an earthier style.

Thinking of guitarists who have defined or redefined rock playing, it comes down to 3. Chuck Berry was one of the pioneers of rock n' roll, and inspired most, if not all, of the '60's greats.

Eddie Van Halen changed the technique of all those virtuosos who came after, but he stood on the shoulders of the ultimate guitar hero. A man who had his contemporaries sweating buckets that they were no longer the top dogs.

James Marshall Hendrix

(photo: from

The wisdom of having Hendrix and Moon in the same band, with the attendan…

Ultimate Supergroup: Part 2

Part one: Drums here

Whereas picking a drummer was easy for me, the list of possibles to hold down the bottom end whilst Keith Moon did his manic best was considerable; Moon's band-mate John Entwistle, John Paul Jones, Geddy Lee, Chris Squire, Cliff Burton and more.

However my pick is not only a consummate musician, but one of the greatest songwriters of the last 60 years. He could also do a decent line in harmony vocals. 

Paul McCartney might not be the obvious choice, but go and listen to some of his playing on those Beatles songs. If the Beatles are the greatest group of all time, then how can the best musician in that group not make the ultimate supergroup?
With Moon on drums, this group doesn't need a flashy player, but someone who will play with the band, whilst at the same time elevating those around him.

Someone has to write the tunes, and only a fool would dispute McCartney's songwriting abilities. Combine his innate musicality and multi-instrument proficiency and I th…

Ultimate Supergroup: Part 1

It's a pub conversation had many times; who'd be in the ultimate supergroup?
Most real life attempts have failed to reach the heights the collective talent merits.
CSNY? Live, and in their heyday, certainly. But nothing on Deja Vu would displace a song from "Tonight's The Night" or "On The Beach".
Cream? Yes, but given the artistic output of the individual members post-Cream, I'd question the 'super-ness'.
Temple Of The Dog? Don't really count as they only really became a supergroup in retrospect. At the time, Pearl Jam hadn't yet broken and Soundgarden hadn't fully scaled the heights they would go on to do.
The Travelling Wilbury's? The ultimate in star power, but seriously with this much talent, did anything that they produced even approach the back catalogue work of these behemoths?
Given all that here's my attempt at the ultimate supergroup line up. I figured there were 3 ways to do this.
1. Pick the best player at each …

Classic Album Review: The Boatman's Call by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Released in 1997, and following the success of "Murder Ballads", "The Boatman's Call" was a departure from it's predecessor. Ironically, it was far more in keeping with what those who bought the aforementioned "Murder Ballads" on the strength of the "Where The Wild Roses Grow" single would have expected. The raw, violent music found within "Murder Ballads" would have come as a shock to those not either paying attention to the title, or being familiar with Cave's previous work.

By contrast, "The Boatman's Call" is sparse, featuring mostly just keyboards and light drums. The mood, whilst not murderous is still dark and moody. Themes of love, loss and faith dominate, explicitly so. There is no implied meaning, Cave lays it all out in black and white.

The song titles alone tell the story. "Into My Arms", "People Ain't No Good", "Brompton Oratory", "There Is A Kingdom", &qu…