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Category Archives: Michelle’s Music

March Acoustic Session Set Recording

This month’s set list is taken from a single singer-songwriter partnership comprised of Pete Atkin and Clive James. Yes, THE Clive James (Writer, Broadcaster, Poet) is also a lyricist. Clive and Peter began working together decades ago, and have an extensive recording career together. I first discovered them on BBC Radio4 about them. It’s a radio programme so even if you’re not in the UK you can still listen. For some reason the BBC doesn’t protect radio shows as much as television. Perhaps because so much BBC Radio content get syndicated to noncommercial radio elsewhere.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06nnnlc

So after a listening I identified three songs that I felt were outstanding. They are all from album called “Beware of the beautiful stranger”. The title track concerns a man’s trip to a fairground to have his fortune told – I guess its akin to when a woman is warned of a “dark handsome stranger”. Anyway, I bought the album off iTunes. Oddly enough despite the duo’s cult following this influential album is out of print – so the 2nd copies of the vinyl and CD are massively expensive on Amazon. But you can pick up the album from iTunes for less than a ten quid. The cover is wonderfully retro. That corduroy suit and cravat is sooo retro!

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 14.08.48

Anyway, my version of my favourite tracks is up on Soundcloud for your delectation. The only song I think I’m really doing different is the one called “Laughing Boy” which sounds a bit Elvis Costello like. Anecdotally, I heard a story that Pete and Clive did discussing writing for Elvis Costello. I think the generally view was Elvis didn’t need any help in the writing department!

So there’s three tracks in this single recording… and I’ve provided the links to the lyrics if your interest (and the music) Pete has the words and music up on his website.

  1. Beware of the Beautiful Stranger (http://www.peteatkin.com/a13c.htm)
  2. Laughing Boy (http://www.peteatkin.com/a12c.htm)
  3. Touch has a memory (http://www.peteatkin.com/a2c.htm)

 

Posted by on April 15, 2016 in Michelle's Music

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February Acoustic Session Set Recording

As some as you might know I’m taking a grown-up gap year to pursue my own personal interests (travel, photography, music, and creative writing). In the last two months I’ve been ‘gigging’ around my local “acoustic session” scene in area. Just so you know there is a difference between an acoustic session and the popular term “open mic”. An acoustic session is totally unplugged – whereas an open-mic will have mic and perhaps even amplification. Right now I’m playing at least once a week, but I’m thinking of upping that to twice a week. The idea is to get over my ‘performance nerves’, as I often play a song in the kitchen quite well, but even with a small audience my nerves cause me to screw it up or not ‘commit’ to the song enough.

I have a ‘set’ of songs from January and February. Folks have been asking me if I was doing any recording, and I’ve been avoiding that for a while. But this afternoon I recorded Februrary’s set in the kitchen this afternoon. The reason I did that was because they are more familiar, and also they are all related to each other. Looking at my black folder of music in Jan, I realised I had few Elvis Costello songs. So I thought I would practise those and gig those around the circuit. I’ve written a couple of songs in the last couple of months, but I’m not sure if they are really ‘ready’ for a public outing than just the local pubs!

So in Soundcloud there is a recording of the set. They were recorded individually with GarageBand with a Snowball Mic, and then a little effect put on each one to make them stand out a bit.

1) New Lace Sleeves
First appeared on the album “Trust”
Lyrics: http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/index.php/New_Lace_Sleeves

2) Our Little Angel 
First appeared on the country sounding “King Of America” album
Lyrics: http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/index.php/Our_Little_Angel

3) Gods Comic
First appeared on the “Spike” album
Lyrics: http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/index.php/God%27s_Comic

4) I’ll wear it proudly
First appeared on the country sounding “King Of America” album
Lyrics: http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/index.php/I%27ll_Wear_It_Proudly

5) American without tears
First appeared on the country sounding “King Of America” album. It tells the story of the young women who fell in love with G.I’s “over-sexed and over here” in the UK during WWII, and then found themselves living in the US after the war was over.
Lyrics: http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/index.php/American_Without_Tears

6) Good year for the roses
First appeared on the “Almost Blue” album. It’s a ballad written by Jerry Chestnut and originally recorded by American country singer George Jones. It rose to #2 on the country singles chart in 1970, but I first heard it by Elvis Costello…
Lyrics: http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/index.php/Good_Year_For_The_Roses

 

Posted by on February 24, 2016 in Michelle's Music

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Mike’s Music – 2014 Round-Up

It’s been absolute age since I wrote a blogpost about my 1st love – music. I’ve been busy with work (but heck, I always am) and in my mind I was waiting for something “big” to jump out at me and reflecting pure musical brilliance on Jools Holland’s Later. But then it occurred me I’ve been picking up gems of musical brilliance all year – but not written them about them. As the year draws to a close I’m looking back over the year and what I’ve been listening to. And I thought I would rave about them here, in the hope that others might be similarly inspired.

Enjoy!

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Posted by on November 25, 2014 in Michelle's Music

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Mike’s Music: Natalie Duncan performs “The Devil In Me”

MY favourite music show is back on air, and so its time to re-introduce the “Mike’s Music” slot. 9 times 10 the subject of the Mike’s Music slot is something from Jools Holland’s Later Show. It’s really musicians musican show – because there are no frills just music. If your not from the UK then you might not appreciate how influential the show is – so for example both KT Tunsel, Adele, and Paloma Faith have made their TV debuts on the show.

This performance is particular significant because Natalie Duncan is young lady from the city near where I live – Nottingham. Enjoy.

 

 

Posted by on October 13, 2012 in Michelle's Music

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