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Showing posts from August, 2011

DEXYS: New Album

After exchanging e-mails with Jamming! fanzine’s Tony Fletcher last week and possibly timed to coincide with a final disappearance into an early 80s vortex, I learned this week, somewhat behind the news, that Dexy’s Midnight Runners are back in the studio. The band, under the moniker Dexys, confirmed on that they’re rehearsing and recording a new album – their first since 1985’s Don’t Stand Me Down.

The band posted a message which said: ‘Dexys new album. Can't really say why, because it's hard to put down to any one thing, but it's working – it's early days, but so far so good.’They hope to have the album ready for release in 2012.
A snippet – the first minute of a sweet piece of Celtic soul titled ‘Now’ has recently been posted on youtube. The current line-up includes singer Kevin Rowland and original bassist Pete Williams along with former Merton Parkas and Style Council keyboardist Mick Talbot and guitarist Neil Hubbard. Merton Mick is also …


Back in the day when I was editing Article Magazine, we used to run Top 5s as a useful back page filler. As time went on, mainly we invited guest interviewees to contribute, and it's an impossible ask, but here's one I dropped in early on, Top 5 basslines:

1.Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick – Ian Dury & The Blockheads (Norman Watt-Roy) like a bubbling bass fountain of bassiness.

2.Guns of Brixton – The Clash (Paul Simonon) much sampled, nicked and Simmo gets to sing it too.

3.I’ll Take You There – The Staple Singers (David Hood) Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, tight as it gets.

4.Ceremony – New Order (Peter Hook) from the ashes of Joy Division, etc, etc…but what a way to announce your entrance.

5.Babylon’s Burning – The Ruts (John ‘Segs’ Jennings) a bassline so urgent it makes your teeth ache.

Of course, you may feel differently...


There comes a point in the fiction writing process when, if you’re on the right track, your characters begin to take on their own lives. It is as if they demand a hand in their own destiny. Of course you can’t just leave them to it – there’s a God complex to satisfy for one thing, to say nothing of a slavish devotion to the twists and turns of the plot you’ve sweated over. But whose plot is it anyway, yours or theirs? The deeper your understanding of key characters, and the further into their lives and motivations you immerse yourself, the more likely the plot will develop to accommodate them, and be more convincing as a result.
As we meet John Le Carré’scerebral, yet unassuming spymaster George Smiley, the physical description hints at a far deeper representation of character.
“His overcoat, which had a hint of widowhood about it, was of that black, loose weave which is designed to retain moisture. Either the sleeves were too long or his arms too short for, as with Roach, when he wore…


Linda turns both plates a few degrees clockwise for one final inspection before serving: prime Scottish beef at two o’clock, seared, slow roasted to perfection, still pink and melt in the mouth tender; twelve freshly minted garden peas arranged like tiny green apostles; opposite these, buttered baby carrots, pan-fried and fanned; a light and golden Yorkshire pudding; four crisp roast potatoes; a swirl of rich, dark jus. ‘Oh Heston,’ she whispers and steadies herself against the worktop.
‘You gonna be much bloody longer?’
For a moment, she had forgotten. ‘Just a sec, Phil.’
Linda wipes a jus smear from the plate’s border, carries it to the table and places it in front of him. She sits, closes her eyes and says a private grace. Oh Lord, for what he is about to receive, make Phil truly thankful. Let him like the food, let him appreciate my work, let him… She opens her eyes and is chilled to the marrow.
Ketchup, HP sauce, English mustard, whole grain mustard, horseradish. The plate is a Pol…