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Blog on the Tracks Episode 24

On to episode 24 overall, series 2 episode 10 officially of Blood on the Tracks. This is the final episode of tie second series, and I’ve really enjoyed some of the new guests, and the Five Track playlist concept, and hope this gets recommissioned. If it does, I’ll decide if I want to carry on with this blog at that time.

Anyway this final episode’s guests included DJs Tony Blackburn and Gideon Coe, grime artist Nadia Rose and comedian Kojo Anim.
A song from your collection that you fell in love with as a child, and still love as much today – Well my childhood idol was Adam Ant. What kid wouldn’t see a rockstar who dresses up as a highwayman or a pirate for fun and idolise them? Here’s “Stand and Deliver.”
Who is best artist or band from Croydon? I am doing my first draft on a plane so my options to do some research are pretty limited, so I may update this later. But I’ll draw from Colin’s medley the late great Kirsty McColl, and her cover (and extra verse) of Billy Bragg’s “A New England.”
Shuffle – The live version of “Bohemian Rhapsody” from Live Aid. Classic Queen!
A song that stopped you dead – Narrowed this down to two songs of the same part of the 1990s, and I remember being blown away by both of them, they are: U2’s “Hold Me Kiss Me Kill Me Thrill Me” and Oasis “D’you Know What I Mean?” While I do think that the lead single from Oasis’s third album is a monumental song, I don’t think that U2’s theme to Batman Forever actually gets a lot of recognition and I recall (probably Simon Mayo on Radio 1) playing it twice in a row and this is still fantastic.
Five Track Playlist, theme of start of the day with a coffee – I once recall, in his brief time as the host of the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show, Steve Wright at about 8am playing The Beatles “We Can Work it Out” and it just feels like the sort of song that tells you that no matter what the day throws at you, you will work it out.
Final – second album better than the first – The wife and I have this discussion on two 1990s indie bands: The Wonder Stuff (The Eight Legged Groove Machine versus Hip) and Suede (Suede versus Dog Man Star). I have loved Suede’s second album since it came out, and I love it as much as the debut, but I dare say that “Suede” dips off towards the second half, while “Dog Man Star” is brilliant throughout. Here’s “This Hollywood Life.”
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Blog on the Tracks – episode 23

On to episode 23 overall, series 2 episode 9 officially of Blood on the Tracks. Guests included DJs Scott Mills and Vanessa Feltz, comedian Josh Widdecombe and YouTuber Poet.

Pick a track from your collection that your guest would love as well – Well no partner here, although I do have a wife! I do recall she was very impressed that I owned the Bis debut “Kandy Pop“, although I did try to turn her on to Slipknot with “Duality” and that didn’t work. So let’s for Glasgow’s finest.
Best track to hear first thing as you get out of bed – I’m usually a Today Show followed by podcast in the morning type, so the two that I narrowed it down to are Beastie Boys “Sabotage” and one I have had me get out of bed, Carly Rae Jepson “Call me Maybe“. As the latter worked, I’d better opt for that.
Shuffle – Transvision Vamp and “I want your love“. I recently watched the Top of the Pops 1988 documentary and this was featured, so this is a pretty new addition to the playlist.
A song when first heard it, listen to words, relate to me – So I’ve been inspired by Scott Mills here and his ambitions for a career in media. When I was trying to get in I found it really hard and it seemed that no matter how many letters and CVs I posted (dated reference!) I never got a response. So I’ll pick one of a try double, either “Harder I Try” by Brother Beyond or “I Try” by Macy Gray. Let’s go for Macy, as I was as useless in chatting up the women as I was applying for jobs.
5 Track playlist, theme of alcohol – Sure I’ve done this before on champagne, so I’ll go for a spirit this time and “Whiskey in the Jar” by Thin Lizzy.
Note – it was going to be Snoop Dogg and “Gin and Juice” but Poet stole that.
Final, one song you love by an artist but everything else you hate – I also struggle with the term “hate” but one band I’ve never got on with is Carter USM. There is very little to like in my view, but I’ll pick one I remember from their brief chart flirtation and “The Only Living Boy in New Cross“.

Blog on the Tracks – Episode 22

On to episode 22 overall, series 2 episode 8 officially of Blood on the Tracks. Guests included musician PP Arnold, broadcaster “whispering” Bob Harris, Jamal Edwards and returning guest Mike Bubbins.
Time you met music royalty – So back in 2000 I found myself back in Glastonbury, working at the Christian Hearts on Fire festival. The headline act was one Cliff Richard, and I had a chance meeting with the pop prince backstage, and he signed a copy of “Mistletoe and Wine” I had taken with me. Royalty to some, and he is a knight of the realm. Here’s “Wired for Sound“.
Moment where heard song for first time, blew you away and still love it – Any number of options here, but I’ll pick one from my teenage years. Opinions are swayed back in favour of Oasis these days, and when I first heard them I was impressed, but it was “Live Forever” that absolutely blew me away. Even through the blokes with arms around their mates’ shoulders era and their fall from favour, this still sounds fantastic.
Shuffle – I was sure this has come up before, it’s “Black Hole Sun” by Soundgarden. However upon review it had not, but it’s a third appearance for Chris Cornell as my shuffle.
A song with a secret credit or backing musician – I’ll admit to drawing a bit of a blank on an option for this, so what about Boogie Box High with “Jive Talkin” which was
produced by Andros Georgiou and featured Nick Heywood and one George Michael
(Andros’ cousin).
5 Track playlist, theme of sunshine – I narrowed my summer playlist songs down to two, and as it is specifically a song about sunshine, it has to be “Sunshine Superman” by Donovan. The other song I’ll save just in case!
Final – an LA story – Challenge here is I’ve never actually visited Los Angeles in all my travels of the USA, so I’ll pick a song about the city that had taught me about the places I only heard about in films (Mulholland Drive, Karate Kid to name two) and it’sFree Fallin” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Blog on the Tracks – episode 21

After a short break, and allowing myself to gather a few episodes up in time for a train journey for a work conference, I’m now on episode 21 overall, series 2 episode 7 officially of Blood on the Tracks. Guests included EastEnders actor Jake Wood, Justin Hawkins from The Darkness, presenter Arielle Free and DJ Melody Kane.
What song played at your funeral would make mourners think “that’s so you”? Well I’m not one for great funeral plans, although I have always liked The Beatles “In My Life” and I do know someone who had “Devil went down to Georgia” at their funeral. I wouldn’t want something too sombre, so maybe Manic Street Preachers and “You Love Us” for some positivity.
One song everyone loves, but you bloody hate – Jake stole ABBA, and there are very few genres or artists I really dislike, but I’ll go for Elbow. I saw them once as I went to see the support acts, and lasted three songs. I find them dreary and dull, and that violin song is so overplayed and boring, I think it’s called “One Day Like This.”
Shuffle – Funnily enough this was one I considered for the funeral song, it’s the “Galaxy Song” by Monty Python.
What would be your ring walk in music – Not that I had answers ready, but mine would be the immediate rock intro of Marilyn Manson’s “New Model 15” or Imagine Dragons’ surging “Radioactive“. I’ll go for Radioactive for the curtain opening and turn around on the bassline introduction.
5 Track playlist, theme of “dirty, sexy songs” – I was a bit liberal on the way to describe this! So the immediate thought was Marvin Gaye, but he is not dirty and more romantic, so I’ll go for Guns n Roses “Rocket Queen” for the seedy and sleaze of the 1980s tale, and the apparent real noises over the instrumental section.
Final, the best single never was – Ok so a song from an album that was never released? I have thought and researched on this and one stands out, and it’s another entry for the Manics, it’s “Judge Yr’self“. Originally intended for the Judge Dredd soundtrack but held back for several reasons, including the disappearance of Richey Edwards, this only has 3 lines but it’s an absolute cracker.

Blog on the Tracks – episode 20

Blood on the Tracks goes into its third decade of episodes, and the guests included Brix Smith from The Fall, activist and actor Rose McGowan, rapper Maverick Sabre and comedian Iain Stirling.

Musical fast food, a track you know not good for you but every other month you crave it – There are a number of songs I revisit every now and again, and they range from Metallica’s “One“, Jay Z’s back catalogue and including the now un-PC “Big Pimpin“, but in this case I’ll choose something from a band I listen to irregularly, Sweet and “Blockbuster.”
Fashion icon of music, or one you followed and you regret – Like many teenagers of the early 1990s we often wore check shirts and DM boots, to represent the change from Guns n’ Roses to Nirvana, but another fashion faux pas I fell for was the chin beard around the late 1990s. I thought I looked like Jim Neidhart, but in reality I looked more like Jacoby Shaddix from Papa Roach. Here’s “Dead Cell.”
Shuffle – A live version of “Graceland” by Paul Simon. I didn’t go to this Hyde Park gig, but my wife and mother in law did, and this is a great version.
Favourite song by a Scottish artist ever – Most of the best options were picked on the show, but my wedding first dance was to “Whistle for the Choir” by the Fratellis, so with a special mention to Altered Images “Happy Birthday” I’ll opt for The Fratellis.
5 Track playlist, theme of flowers – Many options here the more you think about this. I was tempted by “Lily the Pink” or even “Wonderwall” by Mike Flowers Pops, but I’ll go for 1980s classic “Lavender” by Marillion.
Final – a singer who wouldn’t get past talent show first round, but is inspiring and has a unique voice – A throwback to 1990s watching Jools Holland, Brit Awards, Top of the Pops etc, and how my step mother would react whenever Bjork came on the screen. One of the most distinctive voices of the past 30 years, she would be given the boot from any of the modern talent shows. Iceland’s Got Talent Perhaps? Anyway here’s “Human Behaviour.”

Blog on the Tracks – episode 19

The (overall) 19th episode of Blood on the Tracks gets underway, with what host Colin Murray describes as a bunch of perfect strangers. Guests included musicians Neil Hannon, Cassadee Pope, and Michael Dapaah, and comedian Chris Washington.

What song reminds you of a moment in your life that you shouldn’t share with strangers – Well I told my Let Loose story in a previous episode, so here’s a more recent one. Back in 2013 I was due to be the opening speaker at the SC Magazine awards at the Park Lane Hilton. Having attended Infosecurity Europe all day, I naturally got changed at the venue in the disabled toilet (the venue was empty at the time, so don’t judge me). I get changed and go to open the door, and find its locked and I can’t open it. Cue a desperate five minutes of me having visions of having to miss my big moment on stage as I’m stuck in a toilet. Undramatic ending is someone was able to help and it turned that the door had a different handle, and I was out to open proceedings a few hours later. As for the song, I had wanted to walk on to “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour (but got some incidental music) so let’s go for that.
Based on Divine Comedy’s “A Short Album About Love”, a hidden gem that everyone needs to have in their life – A band that appeared around the time of the new series of British bands in the mid 2000s was Hope of the States, and they seemed to get lost in the way Mansun did in Britpop, and I loved them. This is “The Red The White The Black The Blue.”
Shuffle – A bit of a modern rock classic, “Breakout” by the Foo Fighters.
Best and worst festival DJ Set moment – Not seen many DJ sets, so I’ll opt for the live show choice. Best for me would have to be from that 1997 Radiohead headline show. I just remember being mesmerized throughout, and “Karma Police” was terrific. Worst for me was probably at my first Glastonbury, seeing the Boo Radleys who not only were caught in the “Wake Up Boo” hype, and apparently resenting it, but barely played anything from the previous album, while Sice was in a foul mood for the entire show constantly asking for his guitar to be turned up. They stormed off and we recalled how much better Supergrass were the previous evening.
5 track playlist, theme of food – This was actually harder than I realised, as without cheating and not spoiling for the next answer, I went for a song that was a little too late for 1980s hair metal but still marked a high point for them in the early 1990s, it’s Warrant with “Cherry Pie“.
Final, a track didn’t know it was them as it’s so different – The voice is pretty distinctive, but after the period of slacker rock that “Loser” and “Devil’s Haircut” provided, Beck’s album Midnite Vultures had this gem of a country song with steel guitar called “Beautiful Way.”

Blog on the Tracks – episode 18

On to series 2 episode 4 of Blood on the Tracks, which featured guests Martin Fry from ABC, BBC Radio DJ Monki, golfer Andrew “Beef” Johnston, and returning guest comedian Ellis James.
Something about yourself feel less like strangers – There are a few songs you could associate with me, from the (prefer not to talk about it) “Jim’ll Fix It” theme, to my childhood obsession with Adam Ant to adult obsession with the Manic Street Preachers, as well as my time spent waxing lyrical about Littlehampton’s finest delirious? There are plenty of choices, but I’ll pick something from another Sussex legend, Fatboy Slim, and “Rockafeller Skank.”
Favourite piece of music associated to sport – I did like the options presented, but I can’t believe nobody picked the “Life of Riley” by the Lightning Seeds. Was there ever a better bed for goal of the month?
Shuffle –Woke up this Morning” by Alabama 3. Theme from The Sopranos. Pretty sure this has come up before, but still a cracker, and RIP to band leader Jake Black.
A song tells the story of someone else – My initial thought here was to go for the original version of Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind“, but instead I’ll pick a rock and roll classic, that tells the story of Buddy Holly, and many other rock stories of the 1960s, Don McLean’s “American Pie.”
Five track playlist – theme of Animals – The Beatles White Album is a hive of animal themed songs: Piggies and Rocky Racoon included, but I’ll opt for Paul McCartney’s gorgeous “Blackbird.”
Final, favourite last line of a song – So how often does the last line stick in your mind? Well one song that does is from 2001’s breakthrough debut by The Strokes and “Hard to Explain“:
I missed the last bus
I’ll take the next train
I try, but you see
It’s hard to explain.”

Blog on the Tracks – episode 17

This episode of Blood on the Tracks featured two returning guests, Levi Roots and Laura Whitmore, as well as comedian Al Murray and dancer Karen Clifton.

A song that sums you up – Well I like to think myself as the optimist, so generally I’d pick something in that theme. I’ve used Captain Sensible’s “Happy Talk” in the past, and Ken Dodd’s “Happiness” is too kitsch, so I’ll pick a slightly offbeat one, “Optimistic” by Radiohead. “Try the best you can, the best you can is good enough.”
Old fashioned jukebox, what putting in as first song – Taking the option of an A and B Side, and a classic debut too, Suede’s “The Drowners” and “To The Birds“. I love The Drowners, and would put it among my top five Suede songs, while I’ve come across the B side over the years, and I love the moodiness of this song.
Shuffle – One of those songs that you loved at the time, forgot about and when you hear it again you love it all over again. “Novocaine for the Soul” by Eels. I love this version from TFI Friday.
Best Break up song – There were some great choices in the episode, but I was very surprised that “Dry Your Eyes” by The Streets was not selected, as very few songs are done from the point of the victim so effectively. Also a special mention for Marilyn Manson’s “User Friendly” for “I’m not in love, but I’m gonna fuck you until someone better comes along'”
5 track playlist, theme of smoking weed – What came to mind first was most of “Black Sunday” by Cypress Hill, but I also really like “Sweet Leaf” by Black Sabbath, but I secretly really like the cover by Ugly Kid Joe more, so that’s my choice.
Final: song that brings back the most embarrassing memory – As I was finishing school in the sixth form, we were in the early days of bands touring schools as a promotional effort, and one who visited in my time were forgettable 1990s boyband Let Loose. Among their collection was a song called “Cardboard City” which had the lyric “She walks alone in cardboard city” and the singer, encouraged a sing-a-long, where he sang the first part, and the audience did the second half of the line. This begins, and being ever attentive and supportive, decide to join in, and it turns out that I was the only one who did. Quite how this happened baffled me then and now, maybe I was the only one listening to the lyrics, but there I was being praised by the lead singer of Let Loose in front of the school for a solo sing-a-long. Here’s their best known song “Crazy for You“.

Spurs – a match for the past, present and future

Tonight watching my team play in a Champions League final. When I first watched the final it was between Marseille and Red Star Belgrade, and never in a lifetime would I have dreamed that my team would even compete at that level, let alone reach the final. But they did, after a tricky season but under a genius manager.

Speaking of football geniuses, earlier today I watched John Motson’s documentary on 100 years of Spurs from 1982 which contained interviews with both Bill Nicholson and Arthur Rowe, and featured many of the players who made this team great in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as the resurgence in the 1980s.
So to round up this mind dump, I’ll refer to the words of our opponent’s legendary manager and another genius, Bill Shankly: “Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I don’t like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that.”
Tonight is a match for our history, and our future.

Blog on the Tracks – episode 16

As the new series of Blood on the Tracks gets into full swing, here’s my take on the questions for episode 16. I listened to this whilst on a treadmill in my local gym, so some of my answers may be a bit tiresome or flippant! Series 2 episode 2 featured Girls Aloud’s Nicola Roberts, Lighting Seeds frontman Ian Broudie, Doc Brown, and rugby referee Nigel Owens.
What song makes your heart soar? My initial thought here was a movie theme, specifically Star Wars or Back to the Future, but in the cold light of day it’s more likely to be something by Frank Turner, and it’s hard to overlook “Photosynthesis.”
Favourite verse of rap ever – So when I heard this was going to be an option, I did have an initial thought and then that was stolen by another member of the episode (Ian Broudie) so avoiding spoilers, I’m going to go for a band that changed my thinking on music in 1989 when I was 13, it was from De La Soul’s groundbreaking “Three Feet High and Rising” and from “The Magic Number“:
“Parents let go ’cause there’s magic in the air,
Criticising rap shows you’re out of order,
Stop look and listen to the phrase Fred Astaires,
And don’t get offended while Mase do-se-do’s your daughter”
Shuffle – Back to the Spotify playlist, and it’s a classic of the early 1990s, Soundgarden’s “Jesus Christ Pose.”
Song featuring no men – Very hard to find something exclusively female, but I’ve recently discovered a band called Liines, and saw them again last night, and they are terrific. I’m not au fait with each song yet, but here is “Shallow.”
5 track playlist, theme of Wales – I’ve understood this question better this time, and for a purely Welsh effort, it has to be Manic Street Preachers and their theme for the Welsh 2016 Euro team “Together Stronger (C’mon Wales).”
A male vocal that makes hair stand on end – There are so many to choose from here, and I thought I would go for something a bit less obvious, as Jello Biafra did come to mind for his lyrical delivery on “California Uber Alles” by the Dead Kennedys, so a bit irreverent, but a stunning vocal performance.