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Monday, 19 December 2011

Tell Them Johnny Cash Sent You

Tonight was The Sunday Alternative Christmas party, a lavish affair, black tie and everything. Actually it wasn't. I met Erik Petersen for pints of Guinness beforehand in an empty pub in Bulwell. The fact that the barman announced that he would close as soon as we left was incentive enough to order another round.

To say this was my first show with a good drink inside me, (Sunday lunch doesn't count), it was a fantastic two hours of radio that if you missed, Santa will kill a baby rabbit.

The theme of the show was Christmas number ones, which started in 1952 with 'Here In My Heart' by Al Martino. This was the first song in which sales figures came from records, rather than sheet music. I mentioned how I correctly predicted how the download rule would open the chart to subversion, despite being two years early. I managed to get as far as 1974, which was 'Lonely This Christmas'. The Christmas number one run through will continue on New Years Day, no show next week as it is Christmas Day.

We also spoke of Cliff Richard, and a little story that I don't like to talk about, about how I saved Christmas. It was strange to be playing such a musical departure from my usual output, and between this and my January 1st show, the comparisons with John Peel should fade away. I'll be back with cool indie music and unsigned bands on January 8th.

The songs played, were all Christmas number one. In brackets is the year that they topped the festive hit parade.

Al Martino 'Here In My Heart' (1952)
Frankie Laine 'Answer Me' (1953)
Johnnie Ray 'Just Walking In The Rain' (1956)
Harry Belafonte 'Mary's Boy Child' (1957)
Conway Twitty 'It's Only Make Believe' (1958)
Cliff Richard And The Shadows 'I Love You' (1960)
Danny Williams 'Moon River' (1961)
Elvis Presley 'Return To Sender' (1962)
The Beatles 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' (1963)
The Beatles 'I Feel Fine' (1964)
The Beatles 'Day Tripper' (1965)
Tom Jones 'The Green Green Grass Of Home' (1966)
The Beatles 'Hello Goodbye' (1967)
Scaffold 'Lily The Pink' (1968)
Rolf Harris 'Two Little Boys' (1969)
Dave Edmunds 'I Hear You Knocking' (1970)
Benny Hill 'Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West) (1971)
Little Jimmy Osmond 'Long Haired Lover From Liverpool' (1972)
Slade 'Merry Christmas Everybody' (1973)
Mud 'Lonely This Christmas' (1974)

It would have been good to finish the 1970s, so I could do the rundown again. After 1969 I read through the list using 'At The Sign Of The Swinging Cymbals', which isn't as easy as Tony Blackburn makes it appear.

Listen to some waffle in piss poor sound quality on The Sunday Alternative soundcloud.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Christmas With The Notts Live Chaps

I was out of town tonight once again, and so those nice boys from Wednesday night's Notts Live show kept my seat warm once again.

There seems to be a seasonal pattern to their play list!

Eels 'Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas'
Ebeneezer Pop and The Scrooges 'Santa Is Dead'
Sufjan Stevens 'Put The Lights On The Tree'
Six By Seven 'I Believe In Father Christmas'
Run DMC 'Christmas In Hollis'
Noah 23 'Psychedelic Christmas'
Barnes and Barnes 'Fishheads'
Love Fungus 'Eight'
Tori Amos 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'
The Polyphonic Spree 'Happy Xmas (War is Over)'
Rusholme Ruffians 'Last Christmas'
Spaceships Are Cool 'Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown?'
Ramones 'Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)'
Low 'Just Like Christmas'
George Harrison 'Ding Dong Ding Dong'
The Fall 'Hark The Herald Angels Sing'
The Timelords 'Doctorin' The Tardis'
The KLF '3am Eternal (Growling Machines Remix)'
The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu 'It’s Grim Up North'
Whitemoor 'Three Words At Christmas'
Emily Needs 'The Christmas Soldier'
Maps 'Stay Another Day'
Imogeine Pease 'Silent Night'
Slade 'Merry Xmas Everybody'

Monday, 5 December 2011

Accordions, Amish Radio, And A Man Called Whoopee John

L-R William Tennant, Erik Petersen and myself. I rock the cardigan look.

Tonight's show was a very enjoyable one indeed, in which I was joined again by Erik Petersen from The Nottingham Evening Post, (as I still insist on calling it) and comedian/singer-songwriter William Tennant.

Erik came on my show a couple of weeks ago to discuss his campaign to save Broadmarsh Wimpy, and stayed for the whole show. He settled in well, was relaxed at the mic, and has a lightening comic ability that I can work with. So I asked him to come back and do it all again. The results were again amazing, so hopefully he will become a full member of team Sunday Alternative.

William coped very well amid the chaos of the show, and having driven from Manchester to make the appearance, joined in with our bantering as if we were a seasoned comedy troupe.

I also played the odd record...

Tessie O'Shea 'Nobody Loves A Fairy When She's 40'
Billy Fury 'Halfway To Paradise'
Calling All Astronauts 'Someone Like You'
Nirvana 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'
Johnny Cash 'I Walk The Line'
New Generation Superstars 'Way Back Home'

William Tennant
'I'll Never Play Doctor Who Now'
'The Night I tried To murder Mr Benn'
All the above songs performed live, see the videos here.

Bernard Cribbens 'Right Said Fred'
Neds Atomic Dustbin 'Kill Your Television'
New Town Kings 'Dynamite'
Any Trouble 'Name Of The Game'
Captain Dangerous 'Forgive Us We're British'

(There were two other songs, but I didn't write them down and can't remember them now writing this several hours afterwards.)

Erik enjoyed sitting on a stepladder, look at his happy face!

I have a stepladder, I never knew my real ladder!