RIP Terry Hall (1957-2022).

The Specials were part of my youth, and I saw them several times, including that magical first time with Madness and Dexys and The Selecter all on one bill in 1979.


The word ‘iconic’ gets systematically misused, and overused, but it deserves to apply to the opening credits of Twin Peaks. And especially to Angelo Badalementi’s score.


P J Harvey – 50ft Queenie

21st September 2022 · 1990s, 1993, Music, Punk
After the death of the Queen a Las Vegas hotel, the Palms, erected a giant billboartd featuring a portrait of our late monarch… a 50-foot queenie.


I was lucky enough to get to see Queen Ida and her Bon Temps Zydeco Band about 40 years ago when she was just a stripling in her early 50s. She’s now 93 and still going strong, incredibly. In fact she’s about to go out on tour. (more…)

A long time ago I took my folk-fan brother-in-law, visiting from Ireland, to the Hackney Empire to see Bert Jansch. This was not the rather more celebrated affair with Pete Doherty, which came later; it was just Bert and his acoustic guitar. (more…)

The Pet Shop Boys and Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine don’t immediately seem like the most obvious bedfellows. And yet… this works perfectly. (more…)

I didn’t immediately jump on board the Madchester bandwagon. But I once spent an interesting three days in Barcelona trying to talk to Shaun Ryder. (more…)

The great Senegalese singer Baaba Maal plays a key part in the birth of my daughter Lily. No, not like that… (more…)

After ten days of solitary confinement with Covid I am finally allowed back into the community today* – so what better song to celebrate than this. (more…)

Walter “Wolfman” Washington plays the blues in that unique New Orleans style, blending funk, soul and jazz in that steamy brew synonymous with the Crescent City. (more…)