Sunday, 19 April 2015

The Guide Featuring Nina Jones, Dr Robert, Eggsy, Tayo Aluko, Mark Newnham and Sir Bruce Forsyth

This weeks e-edition of The Guide culminated a very busy week for me writing up interviews, reviews and previews, however I felt there was some good content here.

Musically there was a Q&A with Newport singer songwriter Nina Jones, an interview with the legendary Dr Robert (Howard) from The Blow Monkeys and another Q&A courtesy of Eggsy from Goldie Lookin' Chain.

In the land of theatre, I put questions to the brilliant Tayo Aluko about his one-man show Call Mr Robeson, speak to Mark Newnham who plays Cookie in Return To The Forbidden Planet and there's a sneak preview of my interview with Sir Bruce Forsyth!

Read this weeks e-edition of The Guide here.


Saturday, 11 April 2015

The Guide Featuring The Mono LPs, Albert Hammond , Jessica Williams and Centrestage Cymru

This weeks edition of The South Wales Argus online entertainment Guide is now available to view online.

There's a lot crammed into The Guide this week but much happening including My music Q&A's with Liverpool's rising stars The Mono LP's (love that name and their music) and legendary singer/songwriter Albert Hammond (who has written hits for everybody from Leapy Lee to Whitney Houston).

There are also two theatre stories with two strong Wales' links. I chat to Bargoed dancer and actress Jessica Williams who stars in The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night-Time at Wales Millennium Centre this week and Newport based musical group Centrestage Cymru who are about to tread the boards in Godspell The Musical...

You didn't know I wrote so much did you?

Friday, 10 April 2015

Stars On 45: When I Fall In Love / Calypso Blues by Nat King Cole (Capitol, 1957)

Nat King Cole was only 45 when he passed away in the mid-1960s. One of the 20th century's greatest music voices, his legacy of recordings have gone on to win newer fans since Nat's own heyday.

I've known and loved several of Nat's greatest hits and Christmas songs over the years and have more recently started listening to some of his earlier work as part of the Nat King Cole Trio.

I was delighted to make a couple of Nat King Cole finds in Carmarthen last weekend, two singles and a CD in fact!

Here's the first release I came across, an original 45RPM of Nat's 1957 classic When I Fall In Love on Capitol Records covered with Calypso Blues on the B Side.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Book Collection: The Beatles Book No.39

I was well-pleased when my former work colleague Nigel Corten contacted me last week and asked if I'd like some old editions of The Beatles Book Magazine he'd found in a cupboard. I cant say I own every edition of The Beatles Book Monthly so I welcomed these back copies for my collection.

I've always been a huge Beatles fan and I used to try my hardest to pick up copies of this particular publication from a newsagent in Darlington indoor market back in the 1980s, some months I'd be lucky and get several editions (including back copies) other months they wouldn't have it - there's a lot to be said for ordering magazines!

No.39 (July 1979) contains a reprint of the October 1966 edition of The Beatles Book which features a period interview with George Harrison which gives an insight into how creative The Beatles were at the time, laying with tape recorders in the studio while been interviewed.

George reveals in the interview that since he began songwriting he has thrown over 30 songs away. "They may have been alright if I'd worked on them, but I didn't think they were strong enough," George told the magazine. "My main trouble is the lyrics. I can't seem to write down what I want to say - it doesn't come over literally, so I compromise, usually far too much I suppose. I find that everything makes a song, not just the melody as so many people seem to think, but the words, the technique - the lot."

Monday, 30 March 2015

Stars On 45: Little White Bull / Singing Time by Tommy Steele (Decca, 1959)


Its back to the 1950s with another 50p 45RPM Newport charity shop find (located on March 14, 2015) ...

I missed the 1950s by nearly a decade but was always aware of the music of Tommy Steele during my formative years in the 1970s with frequent TV appearances of the star in various variety shows and reruns of his film Half a Sixpence...

One film which I only recall seeing once on television however was his 1959 movie Tommy The Toreador which also featured Sidney James and Bernard Cribbins and finds Tommy as a sailor arriving in Spain and been mistaken for a famous bullfighter.

Possibly modern attitudes that now encourage an aversion to bullfighting have prevented this 1950s pop and comedy crossover from been rerun on our TV screens for the last three decades but Tommy's hit single from the film, Little White Bull coupled with Singing Time (Decca F11177) is still fondly remembered.


Little White Bull was written by Lionel Bart (who had also penned Living Doll for Cliff Richard), Jimmy Bennett and Mike Pratt (who would later go on to star in the 1960s ghost sleuth drama series Randall & Hopkirk Deceased).

Little White Bull reached No.6 following its release in December 1959 and stayed in the charts for a total of 17 weeks continuing to sell well into 1960.

Issued in a picture sleeve featuring a cartoon of Tommy and a Little White Bull, the single cover states: Tommy Steele's Royalties From The Record Will Be Donated By Him To The Variety Club Of Great Britain Fund For A Cancer Research Unit For Children. A great example of how buying records to support a charitable cause was around long before 1984's  Band Aid and Do They Know It's Christmas?

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