Betsey’s Autumn Fayre, Saturday 13th October, 2018

MELANIE XULU runs through a fantastic day at the Betsey…


Robert Chaney

Entering through the doors of The Betsey Trotwood, I was immediately consumed by a sea of double denim, paisley and velvet. Over the sound of happy chattering and clinking glasses, autumnal folk and psych sounds played through the speakers. Artificial autumn leaves and fairylights were draped across side boards and found hanging from chandeliers across the three flours of the characterful Victorian pub, all the more emphasising the Betsey’s rustic charm and folksy quirkiness.

The autumnal all-dayer boasted a mixture of folk, psychedelia, jingle-jangle and country from 3pm-1am, holding host to an impressive line-up of bands and musicians including Italian folkstress Emma Tricca, fresh from her European tour with legendary Pink Floyd founding member Nick Mason, Wolf People bassist Dan Davies, Swedish Grammy nominated alt-country singersongwriter Christian Kjellvander, Welsh multi-instrumentalist Gwenifer Raymond, as well as, San Antonio Kid, Bob Of The Tops, Robert Chaney, The BV’s, and of course, cosmic country quintet, The Hanging Stars.

Gwenifer Raymond

The DJs carefully maintained the blissful autumnal mood throughout the fayre, spinning seasonal folk, psych and country songs by the bar of the Betsey, including Shindig!’s own Jon ‘Mojo’ Mills who set the tone of the evening perfectly.

Rich Olsen, The Hanging Stars

Stand out act of the evening had to be Gwenifer Raymond, the Welsh musician brought the American South to Clerkenwell, playing a tempestuous set of instrumental tracks alternating between guitar and banjo, from ‘Sometimes There’s Blood’ and ‘Requiem For John Fahey’ to the manic “Bleeding Finger Blues”, all of which can be found on her outstanding debut album, ‘You Never Were Much Of A Dancer’. Raymond, an accomplished adapter of the distinctive American primitive guitar style developed by Fahey, left the crowd in a stunned silence.

Co-hosts, The Hanging Stars, who started the day off with an acoustic set, finished the fayre off with a set in the basement. Betsey’s Autumn Fayre was an international coming together of fans of cosmic country, acid folk, and psychedelia. I can only hope the seasons roll around quickly and the autumn fayre returns once again next year.

 

 

Facebooktwittermail

Unusual Sounds: The Hidden History of Library Music

Cool short film about those fab ole library music sounds and the people that made them. Album due, November 9th, on Anthology.


 

In the heyday of low-budget television and scrappy genre filmmaking, producers who needed a soundtrack for their commercial entertainments could reach for a selection of library music: LPs of stock recordings whose contents fit any mood required. Though at the time, the use of such records was mostly a cost-cutting maneuver for productions that couldn’t afford to hire their own composer, the industry soon took on its own life: library publishers became major financial successes, and much of the work they released was truly extraordinary. In fact, many of these anonymous or pseudonymous scores-on-demand were crafted by the some of the greatest musical minds of the late 20th century—expert musicians and innovative composers who reveled in the freedoms offered, paradoxically, by this most corporate of fields.

Unusual Sounds is a deep dive into a musical universe that has, until now, been accessible only to producers and record collectors; a celebration of this strange industry and an examination of its unique place at the nexus of art and commerce.

The perfect companion to the David Hollander curated book Unusual Sounds: The Hidden History of Library Music (out now on Anthology Editions), these 20 tracks encapsulate the niche and fascinating subculture of library music. Genres were spliced, conventions dispensed with, and often times hybrid music of astonishing complexity was produced. Elements of rock, jazz, soul, even twentieth-century avant-garde composition were all utilized, and no stone was left unturned. As a result, some of the best library music defies all categorization, reflecting the individualistic quirks and artistry of the various musicians who made it.

Today, library music turns up in cartoons, video games, and is sampled by the likes of Jay-Z, DANGER DOOM and Gnarls Barkley  It scores the work of Quentin Tarantino and Wes Anderson and turns up on a wide range of TV shows and film such as Scream Queens, Dancing With The Stars, Parks & Recreation, August: Osage County, SpongeBob Squarepants, Curb Your Enthusiasm and more than a couple of adult films.

This compilation includes compositions by Brainticket founder Joel Vandroogenbroeck, KPM Allstars John Cameron and Keith Mansfield, Montenegrin-born composer Janko Nilović, and the Italian film composer Stefano Torossi amongst others.

David Hollander is a producer, music supervisor, writer and collector living in Texas. A lifelong record collector, his library music collection is considered by many to be one of the finest of its kind in the world. Read more Unusual Sounds: The Hidden History of Library Music

Facebooktwittermail

In Conversation With The Reverend Billy G – From The Coachmen and Moving Sidewalks to ZZ Top

The cover stars of Shindig! issue #85 are none other than those titans of Texan rock, ZZ Top. In London to celebrate the release of his latest solo album The Big Bad Blues, ZZ Top’s main man BILLY F. GIBBONS met up with our Contributing Editor THOMAS PATTERSON to chew the fat and share memories about the band’s early years. It’s a wild tale, one that’s recounted in full in the new issue (in UK stores November 1st).

A loquacious, erudite and fascinating interviewee, Billy’s a chap who can spin fantastic yarns about blues greats, psychedelic pioneers, famous studios and legendary LPs – so much so, it’s almost a shame we had to edit his thoughts down for the magazine. So, as an added treat, here’s the unedited transcript of Billy and Thomas’s conversation, full of byways and highways, digressions and laughs. Strap yourselves in and get ready to boogie…


 

Shindig!: Billy, thanks for sitting down with Shindig!, and congratulations on The Big Bad Blues. It’s such a fun album.
Billy Gibbons: Yes, I must say, it had its inauspicious beginnings in that we had booked some studio time and coincidentally the day we opened the door, our dear friend and drummer from days gone by, Greg Morrow, was passing through Texas. He was on tour with somebody and he had a three-day holiday. And I said, “Well come on in, come on in.” Joe Hardy, the engineer along with our other engineer GL ‘G-Mane’ Moon – it’s a long one – anyway, they got things organised and Joe picked up the bass, Mr Greg Morrow started tapping it out, and I said, “Well, you know, let’s warm up with some of the favourites, the usual Jimmy Reed, BB King, whatnot.” The third day, we wrapped up and Greg said, “You know, reluctantly I have to bow out to get back on the road.” Well Joe said, “Shall we listen to what we’ve been doing for three days?” I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “Oh, I taped over the red light because the recording was on-going.” That is a bonus. We were just ploughing through it. Caution was to the wind. And that’s how the cover tunes were selected to appear on the record. Two Muddy Waters numbers, ‘Rollin’ And Tumblin’’, which goes back to the ’30s, and then two Bo Diddley numbers, ‘Bring It To Jerome’, a tribute to the maraca player Jerome Green and ‘Crackin’ Up’. ‘Crackin’ Up’ has an interesting background. The guitar figure that opens the song in the original Bo Diddley recording from 1957 is inside and out, upside down and backwards. I had talked about this particular track with Keith Richards. And he and I had joined the legions of curious listeners trying to figure out that opening figure. And he gave up. He said “Oh no, it’s only done once, it’s on the record.” It took days to try and figure it out. I came close. And I think if Bo Diddley were sitting here now he’d probably say, “Yeah, OK, close enough, now let’s do another one.” (Laughs) I’d say, “One’s too many and a hundred ain’t enough!”

SD! You came from a musical family, right? You picked up the guitar aged 13.
BG: Exactly. 13. Xmas day. I turned 13 December 16th and nine days later my dad reached behind the tree and I said, “Wow a guitar, yeah!” And then he pulled out a little table top Fender amp and I said, “Wow an electric guitar!” (laughs).

SD!But before that, is it true you studied percussion with Tito Puente?
BG: When I was 12, my sister and I, we spent a little over a year down in Mexico City with our next-door neighbours. The dad of that family was some big shot with Standard Oil, which was partners with the Mexican government, they’d nationalised their oil, P-Mex. And they had some problem down in Mexico. So my buddy who lived next door he said, “Oh yeah, we’ve got to go down to Mexico, there’s some problem, my Dad’s going to put that fire out, we’ll be back in a couple of weeks.” Well, a couple of months later he called up and said, “Dude, we’re never getting out of here! Can you come down?” And I said, “Well it’s summer, summer’s next week, we get out of school.” So my folks willingly sent us on our way. Read more In Conversation With The Reverend Billy G – From The Coachmen and Moving Sidewalks to ZZ Top

Facebooktwittermail

It’s My Pride: Canadian Nuggets

Garage, psych and acid-folk gems from the land of maple leaf… On the back of our Guess Who feature in issue #84 CAMILLA AISA picks her faves. Enjoy.



 

The Guess Who – Clock On The Wall

After a few heavily Anglophilic efforts, in the Summer of 1966 The Guess Who welcomed their third LP It’s Time and finally found their sound… as well as their iconic voice. Burton Cummings had joined the band a few months before and started sharing vocal duties with singer and founding member Chad Allan. One of the earliest Cummings-fronted gems, ‘Clock On The Wall’ was written by guitarist Randy Bachman and released in May as a single. “Burton had this wonderful voice where he could sing’Danny Boy’ and make you cry, but he could also sing ‘House Of The Rising Sun’ and scream like Eric Burdon”, Bachman tells Sean Egan in the latest issue of Shindig! ‘Clock On The Wall’ surely belongs to the latter category, permeated by the Animals-like fierceness that would ultimately make the former Chad Allan & The Reflections (often mistaken for another English band) The Guess Who, the Canadian icons the world would soon get to know and love. Canadian garage was finally ready to clang loudly and find its own voice, and this is exactly where our trip starts.

Jack London & The Sparrows – If You Don’t Want My Love

But let’s not forsake the British Invasion-influenced groups yet. The Sparrows were one of the first and most significant ones (complete with fake accents), their frontman Dave Marden having tellingly chosen the stage name Jack London. ‘If You Don’t Want My Love’ underscores the not-so-missing link between the more effervescent side of contemporary British rock and the roaring North American garage sounds. A year later the group would welcome new singer John Kay, change their name to The Sparrow and then again, after moving to California, to Steppenwolf. The rest, as they say, is history. Wild history.

The Ugly Ducklings – Just in Case You Wonder

The Ugly Ducklings had also fluttered their eyelashes at the British shores (at The Rolling Stones, in particular). But then came ‘Nothin’’, a hit in native Canada, and after that ‘Just in Case You Wonder’, an explosion of fuzz delight that would be featured in one of the Pebbles anthologies almost two decades later. Now – forget about the tragic album cover that you will be seeing (it’s an ’80s compilation of garage songs from an overlooked band, after all) and tune in. Is this the finest moment in Canadian garage? Well, what’s sure is that it couldn’t get more garage than this; composer/singer Dave Bynghamtakes us in the most alienated and noisy room of the house: “I’m in the basement yonder, counting all the rats”!

A Passing Fancy – I’m Losing Tonight Read more It’s My Pride: Canadian Nuggets

Facebooktwittermail