New Year listening and reading

lStill listening a lot to Damien Dempsey, especially Almighty Love, Chase & Status’ No More Idols and heaps of Seth Lakeman.

My favourite 1960s female singer is Julie Driscoll and I have most of the stuff she did from Streetnoise on, apart from the more obscure free jazz stuff, which I tend to find unlistenable although I realise that her hubby, Keith Tippett, is a very talented guy and I admire his commitment to his craft rather than opting for a more profitable career.

Recently, more Jools, Brian and the Trinity stuff, however, has appeared on youtube, although there was already quite a bit there.  So I’ve been watching a 30-minute stint of them from a Dutch TV show in 1968.  They do ‘Wheels on Fire’, ‘Road to Cairo’, ‘When I was a Young Girl’ and ‘Season of the Witch’.  ‘Young Girl’ is probably Driscoll’s most impressive vocal performance from that era and it’s interesting to see how powerfully she could produce those vocals live, not just on Streetnoise.

So I’ve been back listening to a lot of Jools.  Her stuff with Brian Auger & Trinity, her first two solo albums (1969 is one of my all-time favourite albums), her one-off reunion with ‘Auge’ (Encore), and the album her and Keith made with Nostalgia 77 in 2009 (Nostalgia 77 Sessions feat. Keith and Julie Tippett).

Anyway, check out the group’s excellent 1968 performance on Swing-In, especially ‘When I was a Young Girl’ which starts at about 11 minutes into the film.  Jools was born in 1947 so she would only have been 20 or 21, makes her vocal performance even more impressive, although she mucks up one line of the lyric.  Anyway this stunner is at:

Also, the short film she starred in, I think it was a BBC or ITV television play, Season of the Witch, is now on youtube.  It’s an interesting little snapshot of 1969 in Britain.  In it, Jools’ character gets sick of her office job and takes off on a trip, hanging out with student radicals, attending Blind Faith’s Hyde Park concert, going to the seaside, having sex with Paul Nicholas and more.  See:

Also, just while writing this, came across Jools, Brian, Lobs and Toli, in what I assume is either 1967 or 1968 – it’s when Jools had her Cleo Laine Afro:

book_launch_tracey_cpi_poster_1Book wise, I’m currently reading the first volume of Matt Treacy’s History of the Communist Party of Ireland, covering 1921-1969.  I must say it reconfirms my view that the CP has a lot to answer for and would be best dissolving and handing over its assets to the socialist-republican groups.  He certainly demolishes some CP-created myths in relation to the 1930s.

However, the book needs some serious proof-reading, as it’s riddled with typos; it also needs proper referencing and an index.  If people are going to bring out books, they actually need to observe certain standards of production.  Having said that, I’m finding the content fascinating and well worth the effort.

But please Matt, get your publisher to get the second volume properly proofed and get the footnotes and index sorted. . .

My latest book purchase is Theodore Koditschek, Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua and Helen A. Neville’s Race Struggles, which I’ve yet to start.  I’m also going back over Rubin’s Essays In Marx’s Theory of Value and his History of Economic Thought and bits and pieces of Capital, as I update an old all-afternoon seminar on “Capital and Capitalism”, to try to make it more interactive.

I’ve also got to read up on World War I in order to put together an all-morning course at the local Workers Educational Association on the origins, course and outcome of this massive imperialist conflagration.

Posted on January 17, 2014, in Leisure. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Philip I am a big fan of Julie Driscoll and still have the single, Wheels on Fire that I bought in 1968.. Also have Julie Driscoll Brian Auger & Trinity LP 1969 with the stand out track Let the Sun Shine In.

  2. I have ‘Wheels on Fire’ from that time too. I’ve got the EP from 1968 or 1969 that has ‘Wheels’, ‘Save Me’ pts 1 & 2, and ‘Road to Cairo’. I’ve got the vinyl copy of ‘Streetnoise’, although it’s quite battered from having travelled around the world a few times with me and the cover is in two bits now. I used to have the vinyl of Jool’s first solo LP, but I think I left it at Rose’s place when I returned to NZ 20 years ago; so now I have the CD version of it – you should check it out, it’s called ‘1969’ and the remastered CD of it came out about 4-5 years ago, so the sound is pretty good. She wrote all the tracks on it.

    I don’t really know why her, Brian Auger & Trinity weren’t a lot more successful. For instance, ‘Road to Cairo’, the follow-up to ‘Wheels’, just bombed completely, but it’s a fantastic single, should have been a big hit.

    Her, Brian and the band had a great knack for taking other people’s songs and making them their own. It’s not often someone bests Nina Simone or Aretha Franklin, but Jools’ singing ‘When I was a Young Girl’ bests Simone, and her doing ‘Save Me’ matches Franklin. And their version of ‘Wheels on Fire’ is better than Dylan and/or The Band.

    Check out all the stuff by them on youtube, it’s bloody amazing.

    I run a course on the 60s and I use photos of Driscoll between 1964 and 1969 as great primary sources for evidence of social change in Britain in that era. You can tell by looking at pics of her that a lot of social change was occurring in Britain at that time and that it speeded up in the later 1960s. What she looked like in 1966 when her and Auge were part of Steampacket, with Long John Baldry and Rod Stewart, is nothing like what she looked like a year or two later.

    I don’t know what attracted her to free jazz, but I find a lot of her stuff after 1975’s ‘Sunset Glow’ virtually unlistenable, with the exception of the 2009 ‘Nostalgia 77 Sessions’, which are less a cacophony than a lot of the stuff she has done over the years with hubbie Keith Tippett.

    I think Driscoll was the best female British singer of the 60s. Better even than Dusty Springfield and Lulu, especially since those two great singers were waylaid into singing corny pop crap. Lulu had an amazing voice, but it was completely wasted on ghastly pop dross. But Driscoll never sold out – in fact, she ended up going too far the other way in her determination not to be “a puppet”, as she put it.


  3. This is a crackin 80 minute mix from Joe Acheson of Hidden Orchestra.
    A lot of the tunes are his own or he’s had imput into them, but he’s also chopped up the beats or acapella’s of track from the likes of Kate Bush, Tom Yorke, John Lennon, Johnny Cash, Bob Marley and the underlying narrative gelling everything together is ‘sleep, or the lack of it’

    Tis a free download too!

    00:00 Spoken – Hidden Orchestra
    00:01 The Great Animal Orchestra (Audiobook read by Nigel Lindsay) – Bernie Krause
    00:22 Reminder (drums only version) – Hidden Orchestra
    04:08 Unconscious Motivation (film excerpt) – Prelinger Archives
    05:06 Reminder – Hidden Orchestra
    05:25 Paivi’s Favourite Sound – (Interview with Joe)
    06:19 Fourth Wall – Hidden Orchestra
    06:55 Fourth Wall (drums only version) – Hidden Orchestra
    07:04 Forgetmenot – Floex
    07:13 Kimmo’s Favourite Sound – (Interview with Joe)
    12:25 Insomnia (film excerpt) – Prelinger Film Archives
    12:52 Music For 18 Musicians (Section VI) (Joe Acheson Many Musicians Remix) – Steve Reich
    13:25 A Day in the Life (acapella) – The Beatles
    17:25 Feel the High pt. 2 (acapella) – Finsta Bundy
    19:54 Shipwreck Glue – Kelpe
    19:58 Staring Out of the Window (Short Story) – Alan Bennett
    20:06 Black Swan – Thom Yorke
    24:36 Stop Parching Yourself – Kelpe
    24:56 The Blankout Agreement – Kelpe
    25:10 Up Up and Away (spoken introduction) – Sammy Davis Jr.
    25:15 Nightbreed (acapella) – Klashnekoff feat. Jehst
    27:52 Storrington Birds Spooked (field recording) – Joe Acheson
    27:53 The Great Animal Orchestra (Audiobook read by Nigel Lindsay) – Bernie Krause
    27:55 Sounds of Harris: Lullaby of a Lapwing – Kuljit Bhamra, Jacqueline Shave & John Parricelli
    29:07 Tarbert Nightwalk (field recordings from Isle of Harris) – Joe Acheson
    30:06 Sounds of Harris: Song of the Shiants – Kuljit Bhamra, Jacqueline Shave & John Parricelli
    31:12 Ursa Major – Floex
    31:24 Patrick Moore in interview – (prod. Journeyman Pictures)
    31:51 Insomnia (acapella) – Maxi Jazz
    35:13 Topkapi Park (Istanbul field recording) – Joe Acheson
    35:15 Dave Brubeck in interview – BBC Radio 4
    35:24 Ping (Joe Acheson refix) – Haushka
    38:51 Tenere Taqqim Tossam (Joe Acheson refix) – Tinariwen
    40:12 Conflict (acapella) – Guru
    41:48 Keep – Nils Frahm
    41:55 The Great Animal Orchestra (Audiobook read by Nigel Lindsay) – Bernie Krause
    43:40 Crunky – Crunch
    45:24 Half Broken Harp – Kelpe
    45:31 I’ve Gotta Be Me (Spoken Introduction) – Sammy Davis Jr.
    47:51 Visa Fran Utanmyra (Joe Acheson remix) – Jan Johansson
    47:53 I Like Sitting – Ivor Cutler
    48:38 Hurt (acapella) – Johnny Cash
    49:52 Darkness – Ivor Cutler
    52:32 If Everybody – Ivor Cutler
    53:03 After The Goldrush – King’s Singers
    53:50 Atoms for Peace – Thom Yorke
    54:33 Rooster Was a Witness – Neil Cowley Trio
    54:54 Atoms for Peace (Four Tet Remix) – Thom Yorke
    56:47 Disquiet (drums only version) – Hidden Orchestra
    61:25 Disquiet – Hidden Orchestra
    61:26 Unconscious Motivation (film excerpts) – Prelinger Archives
    66:29 Dave Brubeck in interview – BBC Radio 4
    66:38 Radar – Hauschka
    67:10 Is This Love (acapella) – Bob Marley
    70:07 Edit 2 – Crunch
    70:17 And Dream of Sheep (acapella) – Kate Bush
    72:00 The Great Animal Orchestra (Audiobook read by Nigel Lindsay) – Bernie Krause
    72:18 Whistman’s Wood (Joe Acheson remix) – John Surman

  4. Don’t recognise much there, mainly Johnny Cash doing ‘Hurt’. I love his version and the video is one of my all-time five favourite videos. You might be a bit shocked at the others: Don Henley’s ‘Boys of Summer’ has magnificent video, as does Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’. Way back when the latter came out, whenever it was in the 80s, I even had a go at writing a short story based on that vid. BT is another female singer with a great voice that was sidetracked into quite a bit of dross.

    Also recognise ‘After the Goldrush’ and ‘And Dream of Sheep’. Speaking of Ms Bush, she also does a stunning version of ‘My Lagan Love’, albeit with completely different lyrics.


    • Ah yea, its not everyones cup of tea, more for those into hip-hop beats and whatnot but a great freebie.

      Best gig I was at in 2013 for me was Bonobo in the Olympia.
      These lads are the tightest group of mucisians if seen and I’ve caught them 3 times so far. Simon Green is the brains behind them but everyone on stage is really tallented.
      Inbetween songs they swap around instruments like it isn’t a bother to them.
      This a taste of what they sound like live:

      They’re playing the Latitude festival in Marley park this summer and I’d pay the admission alone to see them.
      Feck, I’d pay the admission just to see the drummer alone (
      Savage stuff if you’re into brass/strings/beats sound like Massive Attack/Portishead.

      All the best!

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