Lindisfarne – Magic In The Air

It was my Dad who bought this album, on cassette, and I have no idea what prompted him to do so as he wasn’t a big consumer of music, but buy this he did and it found its way to me at a time where I only had a cassette player and very few cassettes, so I played this pretty much every night as I fell to sleep for quite a few years, probably starting when I was around 12 or 13 years old. I listened to it most often on a mono headphone as I drifted off, it was shit.

When I left home at 16 I don’t remember taking it with me, though I do have a vinyl copy now that I bought for two or three pounds a few years ago.

Sometimes records, or just songs, evoke memories or feelings in a way that nothig else does. For me, this record takes me to a much simpler time, a time not without drama or pressure, but seen and felt through a different lens. As a teenager I didn’t worry about a job, or money or even school, because I, like so many teenagers, had no real idea what was coming in my future and was pretty indestructable and yes, I was an expert on everything, even things I knew nothing about, because youth.

From Rock Goes To College the same year, 1978, that the album was released is the opening track from ‘Magic In The Air’, Lady Eleanor.

The album version is better to be honest.

There was a time when I knew every word to every song, and still remember most even now, but the song that I always felt highlighted the incredible songwriting of Alan Hull was ‘Winter Song’. Even as a know nothing 13 year old I understood everything that was being conveyed through the words Hull wrote, and so did Elvis Costello, who performs the song below.

When winter’s shadowy fingers
First pursue you down the street
And your boots no longer lie
About the cold around your feet
Do you spare a thought for summer
Whose passage is complete
Whose memories lie in ruins
And whose ruins lie in heat
When winter comes howling in
When the wind is singing strangely
Blowing music through your head
And your rain splattered windows
Make you decide to stay in bed
Do you spare a thought for the homeless tramp
Who wishes he was dead
Or do you pull your bedclothes higher
Dream of summertime instead?
When winter comes howling in
The creeping cold has fingers
That caress without permission
And mystic crystal snowdrops
Only aggravate the condition
Do you spare one thought for the gypsy
With no secure position
Who’s turned and spurned by village and town
At the magistrate’s decision
When winter comes howling in
When the turkey’s in the oven
And the Christmas presents are bought
And Santa’s in his module
He’s an American astronaut
Do you spare one thought for Jesus
Who had nothing but his thoughts
Who got busted just for talking
And befriending the wrong sorts?
When winter comes howling in
When winter comes howling in

That’s poetry that is. Alan Hull wrote this around 1967 and it appeared on their album “Nicely Out of Tune in 1970”. It’s good that it is still being performed today, by Sam Fender, who released it as a christmas single:

The album title comes from the song ‘Dingley Dell’ which is from the album of the same name. There are many, many good songs in this live collection and while I am not here to try and convert anybody to the music of Lindisfarne I would urge you to give it a listen, you never know, you may like it.

The album is below, it’s part 2 starting with Lady Eleanor

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/0ZEJnrAVfBHBLVaTzOSpbg

BLUE DOT FESTIVAL 2019 – DAY 3 – Sunday

Although it was only a couple of weekends ago I’m already confused about what I saw when! I’ll do my best though.

We were underwhelmed by the music offering on Sunday, in that there actually wasn’t very much to go and see. I caught a little of ‘She Drew The Gun’ who were on the main stage as we walked past in search of coffee. I was going to go and see what was happening on the Roots stage but I never actually found it. We accidentily caught the spoken word ‘Punk in Drublic’ just becasue it was happening where we decided to eat something. it was poetry of the sort that is shouty and seems to centre around ‘My Life is shit but it’s not my fault’, so we wandered away to a bookshop. I think we did go to a lecture/talk, but that may have been the day before, we didn’t really do much until 18:50 when Anna Calvi was on the Main Stage.

I knew of her and had probabaly heard a few tracks but that’s all. I liked her, I liked some of the songs, what I wasn’t quite so impressed by was all the guitar noodling. You can hear it in the video below and make your own judgement, but for me, there is too much and as a guitar player she isn’t skilled enough to get away with it.

I’m not completely negative about it though, her drive and energy were great and overall I enjoyed it.

Next up was John Grant, same deal, knew of him and knew a few songs, loved every minute of his performance. He has real charecter and is funny with it. For my own purposes, so I can re-visit the songs he played the set list is below:

Preppy Boy
Pale Green Ghosts
Grey Tickles, Black Pressure
GMF
Sensitive New Age Guy
Queen of Denmark
Black Belt
Metamorphosis

And for you dear reader, here is somebody else’s video to enjoy of some of the performance:

Next up was me getting completely crushed by the crowd, a piece of performance art I’d put together, unfortunately a lot of others had the same idea and it’s uniqueness was lost. Then came New Order.

We had a decent spot for this

I should have enjoyed this much more than I did, I am not entirely clear on what my problem was but my working hypothesis is that my feet were cold, wet and painful, I was unable to move my arms and I had already decided to drive back after this performance and had that ahead of me. There was alos a lot of film on the big screen behind them and they were pretty much silhouettes to me for most of what I saw, the songs were good though.

Set List:

Singularity
Restless
She’s Lost Control
Transmission
Your Silent Face
Tutti Frutti
Subculture
Bizarre Love Triangle
Plastic
The Perfect Kiss
True Faith
Blue Monday
Temptation
Encore:
Atmosphere
Love Will Tear Us Apart

It was during Temptation that we headed to the car and I had no idea there was an encore. I’m now sorry I missed those last two tracks, but truthfully, I was pretty miserable by now, not Bluedot’s fault, things would have been so much better if I’d brought different boots.

Overall I did have a great weekend and I think if that, upon leaving, you start thinking about coming again next year then that’s a good sign. I would probably attend more talks if I go next time as the ones I did see were really very good, and delivered to an audience who are keen to hear it, which helps.

BLUE DOT FESTIVAL 2019 – DAY 2 – Saturday

Day 2 and I can’t remember anything much right now so I will refer to my phone and try to figure out who and what I saw when. My initial memeory was that the bed was uncomfortable and that it was freezing cold in the tent, my second initial memory, if there can be such a thing, is that there was a bloody baby crying in the next tent, which set of another one in another tent.

So it looks like we went to see Tony Njoku first, in one of the tents. This is he:

It wa sa little odd as we both liked him, as a person if you like, but found the music a little disjointed and the vocals often in to high a range for his voice, live at least, where he dropped the key down and sang a little deeper it seemed to us to sound much better. There were a couple of tracks where it felt they were building to something and then didn’t, which only ever really leaves the listener with a sense of dissapointment. Don’t let this put you off though, we listened to the song below and a couple of others before deciding to pop in and watch, it’s good:

I saw a little bit of EASY STAR ALL-STARS: DUB SIDE OF THE MOON, of which I approve having listened to it years ago, however, I was never very keen on the Radiohead stuff they did and seeing people waving their hands back and forth to Karma Police just seemed a little strange to me.

The next thing I remember seeing was KoKoKo!, who I spoke about HERE. I enjoyed their set.

Then came a bit of a dissapointment to me, which was Omar Sullyman. I have his last album and really rather like it, it’s loud and busy and vibrant, unlike the perfomance on the main stage. 1 Guy with Keyboard, 1 Guy singing, not much movement, not much fun. At least I didn’t think so. I left before the end to go and get a coffee, or charge my phone, or something equally banal. As you can see from the video below, that’s as animated as it got, I was genuinely bored, which is a shame as I had high expectations, perhaps that was the problem.

Next up was JARVIS COCKER [INTRODUCING JARV IS]. He is a great frontman, wonderful personality and knows how to manage a crowd, however, in my opinion, playing almost all new material or songs nobody knows is almost always a mistake. I gave this a good go, lasting almost half an hour before getting bored with it all and wandering off. Just one song I knew and I probabaly would have lasted until the end. Actually, it may have been that we received a message to say that the Kraftwerk 3D glasses were now available to collect, so that may have been when we went to get them. As we approached the tent at the back of the soundbooth we could see the guy handing them out, as we arrived we heard him tell somebody there were none left. We’d missed our chance by a matter of seconds.

This was a major dissapointment and, when I discovered they only had 3000 to give out to a crowd that was 3 times that, I was also quite annoyed. Your basic 3D glasses cost almost nothing, I have a pair in a drawer at home somewhere which I wish I’d brought, and to watch a 3D show without them would diminish its impact so much. We hung around for a while but there weren’t any more forthcoming and we headed back to the tent for a bloody good sulk about it.

As we passed the main stage my lad noticed a guy leaning over the barrier handing a few more out, he legged it over and got a couple, sorted! Although I did feel sorry for those that didn’t have any, particulalry as there were a few people rubbing it in, shouting “Glsses for Sale 100 quid” and laughing uproriously at their brilliant joke. One guy was really mean, literaly holding his glasses up in peoples faces and saying “Got Mine”.

The above is the only picture I took of Kraftwerk, who aren’t there yet. I was so enthralled by the whole thing that I didn’t take and try another picture while they were playing, that and the fact that I could barely move my arms. I had forgotten that if people want to get past you make them go behind you, otherwise they will make out they are passing through and just stop in the space you’ve created and stay there, then call their mates in. I was actually much closer myself when the gig started, but I moved forward nicely and politely.

It was a fabulous show and despite my previous moaning about Omar Souleyman not being very animated, Kraftwerk were even less so, but that was exactly as expected. Once the £D got going it was extremely cool, with arms and musical notes and satellites all coming right towards you as though they were going to take your head off.

Set List:

Numbers / Computer World
It’s More Fun to Compute / Home Computer
Computer Love
The Man-Machine
Spacelab
The Model
Autobahn
Geiger Counter / Radioactivity
Tour de France / Prologue / Étape 1 / Chrono / Étape 2
Trans-Europe Express / Abzug / Metal on Metal
The Robots
Boing Boom Tschak / Techno Pop / Musique Non Stop

While I was deliberatly trying to look like a goofy idiot in the following picture, I have no idea why my eye looks so bloody massive.

All in all it was a decent day, topped by finally getting to see Kraftwerk for the first time.

KOKOKO! ‎– Fongola (and BlueDot 2019)

I received a yellow vinyl version of Fongola by KoKoKo! a couple of weeks ago via my Rough Trade subscription and I didn’t get to play it more than once before I headed to Hong Kong and then the festival. It was coincidence, a useful one, that they were playing as to receive a new album and get to see the band shortly after is pretty cool.

A wind of change is blowing over the cultural landscape of Kinshasa.

An amazing alternative scene is thriving far for the occidental fantasies of “world music”…

It is explosive and vibrant. These sounds are emanating from the ghetto and downtown clubs of the Congolese capital in between the government-imposed power cuts. The artists actually bring something alive in the chaos of the 3rd biggest african city. They have strong new ideas with DIY constructed instruments and a powerful and unique drive. This movement is more expressive, lively, spontaneous and direct compared to most big cities’ scenes, like London, Berlin etc… It’s raw, free and open creatively more like NYC in the 70s and 80s or Berlin in the 90s if it has to be compared to artistic movements. It’s inventing everything from nothing and it’s happening now and you can experience it through the recordings, the videos and KOKOKO!‘s incredible live shows.

The above is from the BlueDot write up. So it was a lively and energetic performance and I really enjoyed it. I’m listening to the album again now and it does benefit from better production than the live show (which is to be expected) and I am recognising some of the tracks having heard them live.

It does actually take a lot for me to not like something, it has to be exceptionally bad in my view, but this isn’t. Though there is a little repetitivness, in the repetiton of the band name in many of the songs for example, it isn’t a problem at all and even though I have no idea what the subject matter of each song is, they all seem to have a sense of joy about them.

Rosalia – El Mal Querer

This was one of my albums of 2018, though I’d never mentioned it before then. There’s actually a lot of albums that it takes me while to get around to mentioning, some going back several years, I’ll get to them eventually. So, in the best of 2018 I wrote this: I like modern flamenco, who knew? Not me for sure, until I was told what genre this actually fell into. Apparently the album is based on a Occitan novel from the 13th or 14th century and documents a toxic relationship where the mans jealousy drives him to imprison a woman. This was part of her degree thesis I believe and the whole album was under her complete control, delivered to the record company for distribution only. It is a triumph.

And here, through the magic of the interwebs is a wonderful performance of the lead single on Later with Jools Holland:

Flamenco is often seen nowadays as something cheesy put on for the tourists amusement and is discounted as a result, but Rosalía Vila Tobella has ripped up whatever rule book there was and created her own, new version of the traditional genre that could be listened to without the knowledge that there was any link at all. It is seeped in modernism, deploying production techniques that are more akin to the chart toppers of today than the castanet wielding dancer of yesteryear.

My only complaint would be its brevity, clocking in at around 30 minutes, I have 12″ singles that play for longer, however, that is because I want more of the good stuff and I would rather it be short than padded out with fluff. It does come in a nice gatefold sleeve with a good 12×12 booklet so that does help justify the price a little.

There are a couple of earlier releases for me to investigate, and I do hope that the success that Rosalia is currently enjoying is used as a springboard to greater things, although this album will be a difficult one to top.

Peter Gabriel – Secret World Tour – 1993

The second time I saw Peter Gabriel live was on the Secret World tour back in 1993, which was 24 years ago and yet it feels like no more than 5 or 6. “Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so …” I was 16.

At the Earls Court gig Sinead O’Connor turned up and sang the two songs from ‘US’ that she appeared on but also took the place of Kate Bush for ‘Don’t Give Up’, or so I thought but I can’t find any record of that ever happening. Perhaps I imagined it, though she did join in on ‘In Your Eyes’ and ‘Biko’ during the encore according to the set list I found online. I’m dubious, I’m sure I remember ‘Don’t Give Up’ and it isn’t even in the set list, although maybe I just thought that would be a cool thing to do and was disapointed when they didn’t but my memory has morphed it into something else, ah well, it was quite a while ago.

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They were an item for a while around this time but it still came as a very pleasant surprise to see them perform together.

This is the set list from the night:

  1. Come Talk to Me
    (with Sinéad O’Connor)
  2. Quiet Steam
  3. Steam
  4. Games Without Frontiers
  5. Across the River
  6. Slow Marimbas
  7. Shakin’ the Tree
  8. Blood of Eden
    (with Sinéad O’Connor)
  9. San Jacinto
  10. Lovetown
  11. Shock the Monkey
  12. Washing of the Water
  13. Solsbury Hill
  14. Digging in the Dirt
  15. Sledgehammer
  16. Secret World
  17. Encore:
  18. In Your Eyes
    (with Sinéad O’Connor)
  19. Biko
    (with Sinéad O’Connor)

Dave and I went to the gig, it was a Monday evening, May 31st 1993. I can’t remember how we got there, it was probability by train and tube. We were on the balcony to the side but had a great view of everything going on, and it was both a musical and visual extravaganza.

I happen to have been quite the fan of O’Connor, her debut ‘The Lion and the Cobra’ is, in my opinion, a wonderful album, I had it on cassette and played it to death. I like bits and pieces after that but, for me, it remains the best thing she ever did.

Rather than go into a long explanation of what the concert consisted of, you can watch it yourself, not Earls Court but from the same tour, same set list but, sadly, no Sinead.

 

Slade – Hammersmith Odeon 1981

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I have absolutely no idea quite why I agreed to go and see Slade all the way down in London, but I did. I can’t even remember who I went with at the moment and I’m having a bit of a guess at the date because there were three gigs there in ’81 but I’m very sure that I remember how weird it was that they played Merry Xmas Everybody so far from Christmas, so it wasn’t the January or December gig, must have been the March gig. Noddy Holder came on in a Santa suit, which was actually a lowlight of the gig for me.

There were a number of things that were highlights, such as Dave Hill’s guitar playing, he was really bloody good, although I never have and never will understand the haircuts, and the fiddle playing of Jim Lea was also really good and unexpected, by me at least.

As usual, after all these years have past, memories are hazy, so I found a set list from the gig before the one I was at as I couldn’t find the actual one, but it was pretty much the same as far as I remember.

  1. Rock and Roll Preacher
  2. When I’m Dancin’ I Ain’t Fightin’
  3. Take Me Bak ‘Ome
  4. Till Deaf Do Us Part
  5. M’Hat, M’Coat
  6. Everyday
  7. A Night to Remember
  8. Lock Up Your Daughters
  9. Gudbuy T’Jane
  10. We’ll Bring the House Down
  11. Get Down and Get With It
    Encore:
  12. Mama Weer All Crazee Now
  13. Merry Xmas Everybody
  14. I’m a Rocker
  15. Born to Be Wild

Slade were having a resurgence in 1981, having actual hits, in the actual charts with ‘We’ll Bring the House Down’ and ‘Lock up your daughters’

My mate Dave and I had our own lyrics for this, “Let’s have a party, woh oh oh oh oh, jelly and blancmange, sausages on sticks etc’ at 14 it was bloody hilarious.

I found this review, which may have been the gig I was at, or may not, but it was of the same period at least:

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If you need to remind yourself or have no idea who the hell Slade were then here is a big chunk of songs to help you out.

Blackfoot – Hammersmith Odeon 1982

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I read a post here by 80smetalman and it reminded me of seeing Blackfoot at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1982. It was one of only three visits I ever made to the venue, but I would read Melody Maker or Sounds every week and see ads for bands playing there and desperately want to go, but I was a kid with no source of income, hence only those three visits.

Blackfoot were quite the thing at the time at school, there was a lot of people into them but only two of us went, myself and guy called Andy who I haven’t seen or spoken to for 35 years, so I have to go on my own recollections. We had seats in the balcony but still had an excellent view and everybody stood up when the band came on, which seemed weird as I thought that would be the sort of thing the people downstairs would do as we actually had a better view sitting down, but it was a rock concert of course so everybody should stand up, I was young and inexperienced, I didn’t know these things.

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Rickey Medlocke – Hammersmith Odeon 1982

The gig that night was amazing, the band were tight and seemingly had boundless energy. I believe the Live album they released, ‘Highway Song Live’ contained some of the tracks form this gig, it was recorded on a 1982 UK tour so it is very likely. As far as I know the track list on the night was:

01 Gimme gimme gimme
02 On the run
03 Wishin well
04 Dry county
05 Lady turn on a red light
06 Rollin’ and tumblin’
07 Fly away
08 Good mornin’
09 Too hard to handle
10 Road fever
11 Train train
12 Highway song

This sounds about right but I can’t be sure.

There are videos on youtube labelled as Hammersmith 82 but I think, from the comments, that  they may actually be from 1980 as I don’t remember seeing any cameras at the gig. They do, however look very familiar, especially the knee length denim coat worn by Rickey Medlocke. The ticket below isn’t mine but I do have this very vague recollection that the gig was postponed for some reason, hence the date being re-written in pen, but it was a long time ago so the memory is hazy.

tk10
Not my actual ticket

I bought a sweatshirt at the gig and I think I wore it home on the train afterewards, unfortunately, about  a year later, it went ‘Missing’ off the washing line and I never saw it again. This was the image on the front of it, I think it had tour dates on the back:

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T-Shirt Design

I think we should have a look at those videos (which aren’t great image quality) that purport to be Hammersmith ’82, and some others from the same year.

From 1979 to 1982 Blackfoot released a trilogy of almost perfect Southern Rock albums, and finished up with a live album that incorporated the best of their output and their live performances.

  • Strikes (1979)
    220px-blackfoot_-_strikes
  • Tomcattin’ (1980)
    220px-tomcattin27
  • Marauder (1981)
    220px-blackfootmarauder
  • Highway Song Live (1982)
    download (2)

I still have my copies of the middle two albums, but I’d probably say that Marauder was my favourite of all their albums, though there are plenty of great tracks on the others. It was all killer and no filler:

Tracklist

Good Morning 3:34
Payin’ For It 3:35
Diary Of A Workingman 5:33
Too Hard To Handle 4:00
Fly Away 2:56
Dry County 3:42
Fire Of The Dragon 4:03
Rattlesnake Rock ‘N’ Roller 4:00
Searchin’ 5:34

In 1982 I had to choose which albums I bought very carefully as I had no money at all, being 15 years old, and choosing to buy Marauder was a big thing. I bought Tomcattin later, even though it was released earlier and never bought Strikes. I’m pretty sure I had a copy of the live album at some point but I’ve no idea what happened to it. So the cost of going to the gig and buying a swetshirt as well as a programme (I think so anyway, I recognise it) had to be quite a considered thing.

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As a result of eveything above I’ve been listening to Marauder again today and it brings back all sorts of memory snippets, nothing worth writing down, just general fragments of nostalgia. Above all though it reminds me what a bloody good band they were.

Lamb Live At Manchester Cathedral

Lamb will make their hometown return to Manchester Cathedral on 16th October 2017.

The whole concert is being recorded by the Live Here Now team for release as Lamb, Live At Manchester Cathedral across 2 x CD, 3 x LP, and bundle formats.

Expected CD Release Date October 19th
Due to the unavoidable production time necessary, the 3 x LP will follow the CD and Download and be released in early 2018.

So I ordered the triple vinyl via Pledge Music a couple of weeks ago because I really rather like Lamb and have most of their albums on CD, and just one on vinyl, 2001’s ‘What Sound’, but I’ll pick up more as I find them.

Tonight I was listening to a live version of the track ‘Goreki’ (below) and thought I’d write up this post to just quickly mention the album. Then I had a thought, and this thought was, “I wonder if there are any tickets for the Manchester Cathedral gig left,” so I had a look and, much to my delight, there were some left and I got two. To have a triple vinyl of a gig I am attending is just marvellous, I’m delighted.

As far as I can tell the Cathedral holds about 1100 people and it will look rather like the image below:

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Gary Numan Last Night

Good gig last night, Dave enjoyed it and loved the venue. It was a mix of new and old numbers, the encore being ‘down in the park’ and ‘are friends electric’ which went down well.

The new single was good and Numans daughter, Persia, came on to sing as she does on the single. It was a nice moment, some of which is in the short video below that I took on my phone. (Edit – Couldn’t upload mine so here is a much better one from youtube (Edit 2 – Playlist of 5 tracks from the night))

There were some songs from the new album, so I didn’t know those, but they sounded pretty good, which bodes well for the upcoming album release. I had a look at the merchandise and there was a triple album called ‘Obsessive’, I saw the price and enquired no further, £80 for a three record set is more than I was ever going to pay.

 

Setlist

Everything Comes Down to This
Films
Bed of Thorns
Metal
Ghost Nation
Jagged
We’re the Unforgiven
Mercy
A Prayer for the Unborn
Here in the Black
My Name is Ruin
(Performed with his daughter Persia)
Cars
Pray for the Pain You Serve
Love Hurt Bleed

Encore:
Down in the Park
Are ‘Friends’ Electric?

Gary Numan – Tonight

Gary Numan at the Assembly in Leamington tonight with my friend Dave. It’s the second time I’ve seen him there but I really had to twists Dave’s arm to get him to come, I think it was the threat of nipple clamps that finally made him give in and agree to come. He’s never been to the venue, and it’s a great venue, so even if that’s all he gets out of it then that’s enough, but Numan puts on a great`at show and might surprise him.

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There’ll be no seats tonight and it’s not actually as clean as it looks, those carpets on either side are so sticky with beer you can hardly lift your feet at times.

Anyway, here’s the video of the single from the new album, which I backed on Pledge music or whatever it’s called so I should have a copy as soon as it’s available.

 

BJORK LIVES!

Some time ago I signed up to the Bjork email list so that I could receive updates about new logoreleases and suchlike, but also to know when she would be performing in the UK again. I was desperate to go to the Wilderness Festival last year but couldn’t find anybody to go with. I don’t have a problem going to gigs on my own but a festival alone seems a really rather sad thing, so I didn’t do that, maybe it’s the opposite though, it could be wonderful. Yesterday the mailing list email popped into my inbox to tell me that Bjork would be playing at the Royal Albert Hall in September and provided me with a pre-sale link for tickets. Well that made me feel special, for a while, until I actually tried to buy them.

They went on sale this morning at 09:00 and I was there, logged in and ready to go. 09:04 and the site was claiming to be down. I’m already frustrated at this point. 09:05 and I’m in and there are drop downs where I can select the number of tickets I would like. I select, I
press buy tickets, the same screen comes up again, so I select the number of tickets I would like, I press buy tickets, the same screen comes up again. I was in this loop for 20 minutes, becoming increasingly annoyed and frustrated at the web site seemingly mocking me, repeatedly raising my hopes and then smashing them into tiny little pieces. So I gave up.Capture23236

I went and made a coffee and, having had this little break, I thought I’d have one last try.  I select the number of tickets I would like, I press buy tickets and I’m in! I didn’t believe it of course and was fully expecting to crash out at any moment but actually made it all the way through and I have tickets. I’m so very pleased.

They aren’t the best tickets but I care not, as this is the only UK 2016 gig I’m just happy to have been there at all, also, I believe that at the Royal Albert Hall you are never that far away from the stage. To confirm this I went to their web site and found the following picture which is taken from very close to where I will be. Happy with that.rah_26057959464

There is also ‘Bjork Digital’ at Somerset house, details of which can be found here:

http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/visual-arts/bjork-digital

Which I may also go and see if I have time, ideally before the gig. It’s a 3 mile walk from Somerset House to the Albert Hall, which is quite possible as long as I’m not wearing heels.

 

 

Björk ‎– Vulnicura Live

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Label: One Little Indian ‎– tplp1328
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: UK, Europe & US
Released: 15 Jul 2016
Genre: Electronic, Pop
Style: Experimental

I am a sucker for all things Björk, and I think she knows this as she keeps releasing things and making me buy them. I bought ‘Vulnicura’,  I bought ‘Vulnicura Strings’ and now I have bought ‘Vulnicura Live’. This is quite an odd situation and I am very much beginning to feel over Vulnicurad. I’ve said before that sometimes it can take me a long time to get to really like a Bjork album and this album, in all it’s variations, is another example. I find some of the tracks really lacking a much needed structure, they are angular, full of corners and edges, which may be entirely intentional as it is supposedly Bjorks ‘Break-Up Album’ but there are tracks which seem to have absolutely no melody whatsoever and the words are sung prose rather than lyrics. This can work, and it does more often than not, and the words themselves are at times powerful and heartbreaking, particularity in respect to the break up of the family unit:

Family

Is there a place
Where I can pay respects
For the death of my family
Show some respect
Between the three of us
There is the mother and the child
Then there is the father and the child
But no man and a woman
No triangle of love

 What is lacking, as far as my listening experience is concerned at least, is something to cling on to, a little hook, a snippet that I can hang my hat on and say to myself, I get this, I understand this, I like this. ‘Family’ is an example of this, musically it feels at times like a soundtrack from a 1960’s thriller, vocally it is Bjork singing (quite beautifuly) what she speaks, and the two don’t sit side by side as comfortably as they should.

Here is ‘Lionsong’ from the Vulnicura tour, it’s pretty damn good actualy:

More time is required for the Vulnicura tracks on my part again, I have little doubt of that, but I very much hope that my patience is not let down, though it never has been by her before.

The tracks that weren’t from Vulnicura are in bold below, with the album from which they are taken, These are really very good versions, perhaps because they are more familiar.

The packaging is nice, with another die cut front cover and a gate fold sleeve. I did think about waiting for the deluxe version of this, but decided against it, I don’t really need a mask (some would disagree!).

I’m not disappointed with my purchase of this album, far from it, it’s just taking me so long to like the whole album that it is a bit frustrating at times, which may say more about me than Bjork.

Tracklist

A1 Stonemilker 7:24
A2 Lionsong 6:35
A3 History Of Touches 3:19
B1 Black Lake 10:44
B2 Family 7:50
C1 Notget 5:09
C2 Come To Me (Debut) 5:16
C3 Undo (Vespertine) 6:10
C4 I See Who You Are (Volta) 3:52
D1 Quicksand  4:04
D2 Wanderlust (Volta) 6:18
D3 Mutual Core (Biophilia) 4:58
D4 Mouth Mantra 6:28

Music you can’t listen to and music you can

When I saw Ennio Morricone at Blenheim Palace a couple of weeks ago he played some of the music from his score for the film ‘The Red Tent’. I’d never really heard of it, the film or the music, and I enjoyed it so much I decided I would get myself a copy of the soundtrack, or at least listen to it again. Neither of these things proved to be easy. The full soundtrack doesn’t appear to be available on any streaming service, well, I checked Apple Music, Spotify and Amazon Prime and it wasn’t there. The main theme is, but there’s more to it than that and I wanted to hear it all. In particular, there is a track called “Others, Who Will Follow (Altri, Dopo Di Noi)” which is over 22 minutes long and takes up the whole of Side B of the soundtrack album.

Please bask in the glory of this album cover for a moment:

R-6462959-1424114449-5344.jpeg
Label: Paramount Records ‎– SPFL 275
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: UK
Released: 1971
Genre: Electronic, Stage & Screen
Style: Soundtrack, Experimental

Tracklist
A1 Love Theme From “The Red Tent” (Tema D’Amore) 3:31
A2 Do Dreams Go On 2:30
A3 Death At The Pole (Morte Al Polo) 4:11
A4 A Love Like The Snow (Un Amore Come La Neve) 2:12
A5 Message From Rome (Messaggio Da Roma) 1:40
A6 They’re Alive (Sono Vivi) 1:39
A7 Farewell (Addio) 2:51
B Others, Who Will Follow (Altri, Dopo Di Noi) 22:20

So I ended up buying it from Ebay, it arrived yesterday, and have since discovered it cheaper on discogs, ah well, my own fault.

Here is the main theme from the film, with a lovely vocal, it’s one of the few tracks available to listen to:

The 1969 film was a joint Soviet/Italian film directed by Mikhail Kalatozov. It’s based on the story of the mission to rescue Umberto Nobile and the other survivors of the crash of the Airship Italia. Sean Connery plays Roald Amundsen, though I haven’t seen the film and can’t find any clips of it I think it safe to assume that Connery’s Norwegian accent is distinctly Scottish. Peter Finch plays Nobile, he probably sounds very English.

S0, June 23rd 2016 , Ennio Morricone at Blenheim Palace. The weather was good, a few spots of rain but barely noticeable. I didn’t take many pictures really as I only had my mobile with me but this gives an idea of the setting and whatnot, and not all the pictures are mine:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The internet is strangely quite on the subject of this concert. I can’t seem to find a review or post concert news anywhere. I do know that the M40 motorway was closed so a lot of people didn’t turn up until after the interval, which meant we had loads of room during the first half, which was nice.

Here is somebody’s phone video they posted on youtube from the actual concert, which is quite good quality. I was in the second row, and paid handsomely to sit there, but it was actually better to sit about 20 rows back I think as the stage was so high you couldn’t see everything and, as I was off to the left, I don’t think we got the full effect of the orchestra, although the view was much better than in this video.

I don’t have the set list from Blenheim but a couple of days later there was a concert in Ghent, and as the program was probably pre-printed for the tour, I’m going to go with the one below, until I can compare with my program and see if it’s the same, it won’t be far off:

  1. Volti e fantasmi (from “The Best Offer”)
  2. The Legend of the Pianist (from “The Legend of 1900”)
  3. Ribellione (from “Baaria”)
  4. Chi mai (From “Maddalena”)
  5. H2S (from “H2S”)
  6. Metti, Una Sera a Cena (from “Metti, Una Sera a Cena”)
  7. Croce d’amore (from “Metti, Una Sera a Cena”)
  8. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
  9. C’era una volta il west (Jill’s Theme) (from “Once Upon a Time in the West”)
  10. Giù la testa: (Sean, Sean) (from “A Fistful Of Dynamite”)
  11. The Ecstasy of Gold

    INTERMISSION

    It was at this point that I went off and purchased a Gin & Tonic from one of the concessions that was set up in the grounds. It was a lovely G & T, but it was £10, which is ridiculous, but I could have just not bought it I suppose.

  12. L’ultima diligenza di Red Rock(from “The Hateful Eight”)
  13. Bestiality(from “The Hateful Eight” and “The Thing”)
  14. Deborah’s Theme (“from “Once Upon a Time in America”)
  15. Addio Monti
  16. Thème de Vatel (from “Vatel”)
  17. Per le antiche scale (Preludio)(from “Per le Antiche Scale”)
  18. Irene-Dominique (from “L’eredita Ferramonti”)
  19. Do Dreams Go On (from “The Red Tent”)
  20. They’re Alive (SOS) (from “The Red Tent”)
  21. Other Who Will Follow Us (from “The Red Tent”)
  22. Gabriel’s Oboe (from The Mission)
  23. Falls (from “The Mission”)
  24. On Earth as It Is in Heaven (from “The Mission”)

    ENCORE

  1. Abolisson (From ”Queimada”)
  2. The Ecstasy of Gold
  3. On Earth as It Is in Heaven (from “The Mission”)

My mission at present is to get myself copies of the Soundtracks from which each of the tracks was taken. Some of them really aren’t cheap as they are out of print, but I’ll be patient and wait for bargains. I have ‘The Red Tent’ of course and I also have recently picked up a copy of ‘The Hateful Eight’, which is just brilliant. I also have Music From The Original Sound Tracks Of “A Fistful Of Dollars” & “For A Few Dollars More” but that still leaves me with 10 or 11 to get.

I have yet to see the film ‘The Hateful Eight’, but I will at some point and I am currently in the position of knowing the soundtrack really well (I’m about 30 plays in by now) but not the visuals. It’s a double and comes with a poster (which is nice but I never use them, they just sit inside the cover forever). Here it is:

H8tful

I stole this image from the internet but this is the cover I have, although there appear to be a few different versions.

Label: Decca ‎– 4769494
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: UK & Europe
Released: 2015
Genre: Stage & Screen

Style: Soundtrack, Score

Tracklist

A1 Ennio Morricone L’ultima Diligenza Di Red Rock – Versione Integrale 7:30
A2 Ennio Morricone Overture 3:11
A3 Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh “Major Warren Meet Daisy Domergue” 0:34
A4 Ennio Morricone Narratore Letterario 1:59
A5 The White Stripes Apple Blossom

Written-By – Jack White 

2:13
A6 Tim Roth, Kurt Russell “Frontier Justice” 1:50
A7 Ennio Morricone L’ultima Diligenza Di Red Rock – #2 2:37
B1 Ennio Morricone Neve – Versione Integrale 12:16
B2 Kurt Russell, Michael Madsen “This Here Is Daisy Domergue” 1:01
B3 Ennio Morricone Sei Cavalli 1:21
B4 Ennio Morricone Raggi Di Sole Sulla Montagna 1:41
B5 Walton Goggins, Bruce Dern, Samuel L. Jackson “Son Of The Bloody Ni**er Killer Of Baton Rouge” 2:43
C1 Jennifer Jason Leigh Featuring Kurt Russell Jim Jones At Botany Bay 4:10
C2 Ennio Morricone Neve – #2 2:05
C3 Samuel L. Jackson, Demián Bichir, Walton Goggins “Uncle Charlie’s Stew” 1:41
C4 Ennio Morricone I Quattro Passeggeri 1:49
C5 Ennio Morricone La Musica Prima Del Massacro 2:00
C6 Ennio Morricone L’inferno Bianco – Synth 3:31
C7 Tim Roth, Walton Goggins, Kurt Russell The Suggestive Oswaldo Mobray 0:47
D1 David Hess Now You’re All Alone

Written-By – David Hess

1:30
D2 Ennio Morricone Sangue E Neve 2:05
D3 Ennio Morricone L’inferno Bianco – Ottoni 3:31
D4 Ennio Morricone Neve – #3 2:02
D5 Walton Goggins, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Madsen Daisy’s Speech 1:32
D6 Ennio Morricone La Lettera Di Lincoln – Strumentale 1:41
D7 Ennio Morricone, Walton Goggins La Lettera Di Lincoln – Con Dialogo

Written-By [Letter] – Samuel L. Jackson

1:46
D8 Roy Orbison There Won’t Be Many Coming Home

Written-By – Roy Orbison, William Dees

2:44
D9 Ennio Morricone La Puntura Della Morte 0:27

Morricone provided 7 or 8 pieces to Tarantino who had a sound engineer rebuild these into what appears on the Soundtrack, which, apparently, is quite normal. The ‘Overture’ for example, was one of these Cut & Paste pieces. The soundtrack won the 2015 Oscar beating these composers to the prize:

  • Bridge of Spies – Thomas Newman
  • Carol – Carter Burwell
  • Sicario – Jóhann Jóhannsson
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens – John Williams

So, yes, if the Oscars are to be believed (and it’s debatable sometimes whether they are) then this is the best Soundtrack released in 2015 (on this occasion I agree).

There’s a very nice video for Neve below (Disk 2, Side 1, Track 2)

The Beat/P.I.L – O2 Academy, Oxford

I am not really in great physical shape at the moment so attending a gig was very much not something that I would have chosen to do last night, but I bought a ticket months ago and I did not want to not go and then regret it later, so I went. Public Image Ltd were headlining with support from The Beat.

The O2 is about 25 minutes from where I work and there is a nearby car park so it wasn’t IMG_2052difficult to get to, I just needed to work late so that when I set off for the gig I wasn’t stuck in rush hour traffic. I arrived just before 7PM, which is when the doors opened, but decided to avoid the building queue and sit in Subway across the road with a Ham & Turkey sub on wheat bread, it’s the lowest fat one they do. I took a photo of it, don’t judge me.

I wandered over at about 7:30 and found the place to be pretty empty so I walked to the front and hung about 5 people back from the stage, which would turn out to be fortuitous as the heat in the place when it filled up was massive and I’d accidentally chosen to stand right under the air conditioning, which they put on at 8:45, by then it was a little late but it was better than not being on at all.

The beat were really very good, full of energy, getting the audience to join in and happily playing the songs the audience wanted to hear. I did take a couple of minutes to get my phone out and record a song, which shows my proximity to the stage as well.

Frontman Rankin Roger introduced his co-vocalist as Rankin Roger Jnr, which is nice. They did about an hour and it was really enjoyable, despite the heat.

IMG_2059

At 8:50 P.I.L took to the stage and, being entirely truthful, it was a little bit of a disappointment. Perhaps this is my own fault as I love P.I.L and maybe I was expecting more than I should have, but the sound was a bit muddy, the levels on the vocal often made it unintelligible (which sometimes it’s supposed to be, but when it’s not, it shouldn’t be). I stood in the same spot for 4 songs but then had to move further back as space was getting tighter and, as previously mentioned, I’m not in the best of shape to deal with that at the moment.

I did do a quick snippet of ‘This is not a love song’, which is below, and listening to it back this morning, it sounds better on the video than it did being there. John Lydon, as he does nowadays, read the majority of his lyrics and still forgot some of them, or more likely lost his place. It was song after song with almost nothing in-between and I felt at times like I was present at a practice session and felt that they weren’t really up for it and were going through the motions somewhat. I could be entirely wrong about this and it may have been me projecting how I was feeling on to the band. Oh, the video is the wrong way up, bloody phone (because it can’t possibly be my fault! It’s been corrected in youtube, so that’s better)

I was still enjoying the gig but I had to leave early as it was all getting a bit too much for me to deal with and I had over an hour still to drive home.IMG_2062

I did try and take a few pictures of P.I.L but they were bloody awful so I quickly gave up.

I was glad I had the opportunity to see P.I.L. live and do wish I had been in finer fettle and could have stayed until the end.

Ennio Morricone at Blenheim Palace

Absolutely over the moon that my good lady wife and I now have tickets to see Ennio Morricone conduct a 200 piece Orchestra at Blenheim palace in the summer. I have loved his music since I was a little boy, even though I didn’t know it was him, from ‘The good, The Bad & The Ugly’, ‘Fistful of Dollars’ and other spaghetti westerns, through ‘The Mission’, ‘Once Upon a Time In America’, and an appearance in ‘Kill Bill’ and recently ‘The Hateful Eight’. He is extraordinarily prolific having composed scores for over 500 films and over 100 other full length pieces. Morricone is basically a legend.

untitled

Our seats are about 10 rows from the front and off to the left a bit. It should be a great view.

We saw a concert on TV a few years ago, 2011 probably, set in Piazza San Marco in Venice, accompanied by the Roma Sinfoniettaa, and were enthralled by it. Eventually hunting it down on DVD so that we could watch it again. It’s on youtube now and you can watch it in all it’s glory below.

Bring Back The Old Grey Whistle Test

I miss OGWT, there is nothing like it on TV today, in fact, music in general is sadly under represented on TV nowadays. BBC Four and Sky Arts have the odd programme that is worth a watch but so much is a load of talking heads being nostalgic interspersed with too short clips. MTV should re-brand itself, Music Television it is not.

OGWT was the album version of Top of the Pops. The 45’s appeared on TOTP but it was 33 1/3 on OGWT and much the better for it. The first time I ever saw the show was in the Seventies, when presented by ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris, who it is fair to say, had difficulties with the punk scene around 1977 as it developed on independent label 45’s on bob_1943392cnot on the major labels, and not albums. He left in 1978, or was more likely moved on, to be replaced by Annie Nightingale, who I thought did a marvellous job of presenting the show. Not so her replacements though. From 1982 the show was presented variously by  Andy Kershaw, David Hepworth, Mark Ellen and Richard Skinner but I never really took to them. Not that there was anything I could put my finger on about them exactly, I think it was more to do with it being different from what I had first seen and I never really got used to it.

There were some amazing performances on this show, the sort of thing you couldn’t really see anywhere else at the time. I put the following forward as an example (and don’t forget, there were only 3 TV channels available in 1973):

Where else could you see this? I would suggest nowhere. I had a look at a 1973 top 30 chart run down, 29 white acts and the Detroit Spinners at number 10 (Gary glitter was number 1, oh dear) and not just that, the style of music wasn’t really represented either, along with others. Here’s the chart run down which you can see for yourself if you like:

Although unless you are already immune to the cheesiness of Tony Blackburn it might be better not to watch it.

There is a huge amount of music out there currently which is massively under represented. I know we have youtube and other places to view things now, but I have always liked a show, properly structured, along the lines of ..Later With Jools Holland but including some documentary and on location films. The OGWT could really fill that gap.

Here are some performances from the show that I’ve liked, not all of them, there are loads, just some:

There’s a list of who was on which show here if you are interested:

http://www.edensongs.com/recordings/setlists_3/OGWT_AllInfo.txt

#bringbackOGWT

What’s In The Bag? (98)

Big_Country_-_The_Crossing.jpgI spent a good half an hour on ebay looking for a reasonably priced copy of ‘The Crossing’ by Big Country before giving up, then, today, I was flicking through my albums looking for something else and there it was, and now I’m listening to it and it’s great. Saved myself at least £10 there and the feeling of foolishness I would have experienced when I found the one I already had.

I mentioned before that I saw Big Country in 1983 at Reading Festival and probably didn’t appreciate them quite as much as I should have, but I did enjoy it. The problem was, I suppose, that they were on right before headliners ‘The Stranglers’ and I was really looking forward to that (although I confess to forgetting until recently who the hell I did see at Reading that year, the whole thing is still a bit of a blur).

I managed to find the set list for that gig:

AUG 26 1983 Big Country Setlist
at Little John’s Farm, Reading, England

Harvest Home
1000 Stars
Close Action
Balcony
Porrohman
The Storm
In a Big Country
Chance
Angle Park
Fields of Fire
The Tracks of My Tears

I have an extremely fuzzy memory of the last track, a cover, being an encore, after they brought the house down with Fields of Fire, although I could, quite possibly, have just made that up.

The album is as good as I remember it, and I haven’t listened to it for at least 20 years. It made Number 3 in the UK charts when released, which is pretty damn good for a debut. You can hear The Skids in it (Stuart Adamson was formerly a member) but there’s a particular ‘Scottishness’ about it. This was augmented by this vibraty thing that he often used on the guitar, I can’t for the life of me remember what this piece of equipment was called though.

Sadly, back in 2001, Stuart Adamson died in Honanlulu having gone missing either during or just after their farewell tour.

If you have never listened to this album, or haven’t for a while, give it another spin:

Below is a documentary – The Story of Big Country, and below that is a full gig from Reading Hexagon in 1986.

8/10

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Warwick Arts Centre 22/10/2015

Last Thursday night I went to Warwick Arts Centre to see Godspeed You! Black Emperor on the first leg of their UK/European tour at the Butterworth Hall, which apparently holds 1780 people, but I would have a guess at there being maybe 900 there last night, it certainly wasn’t full. I was fine with this as I was in the balcony and had almost a whole row to myself.

The support band was Dead Rat Orchestra who were really very interesting and I may well seek out some more of their music. The two members there last night performed for around 25 minutes and it was a mixture of 16th and 17th century folk songs played on a number of acoustic instruments (banjo, a thumb piano, harmonium, a bell on a string in a bucket?) but with a laptop adding sounds and textures. I honestly didn’t think I was going to like it at first as it does sound quite awful as a concept, but after a while it draws you in and it was much more interesting to listen to and experience than initial impressions suggested.

I had a listen to their album, ‘The Guga Hunters of Ness’, which bears only a passing resemblance to what I heard last night, though this is understandable as it was recorded as the soundtrack to Mike Day’s film for the BBC which documented the endangered tradition of the Gannet Hunt in the Outer Hebrides. I like it. Here it is:

And this is a one of several videos available, though there were only two members playing on Thursday:

GYBE wandered on to stage to a deep hum and slowly picked up instruments, initially a double bass and violin, joined by percussion and then guitars and other bits and pieces. I can’t claim to be any kind of expert on GYBE, so I have no idea who the personnel were but it was probably something like this:

• Thierry Amar – bass guitar, double bass, cello.
• David Bryant – electric guitar, dulcimer, Portasound, kemençe.
• Bruce Cawdron – drums, vibraphone, marimba, glockenspiel
• Aidan Girt – drums
• Karl Lemieux – 16mm frames artwork, photography
• Efrim Menuck – electric guitar, hurdy-gurdy
• Mike Moya – electric guitar
• Mauro Pezzente – bass guitar
• Sophie Trudeau – violin, Casio SK-5

There were 2 drummers, 3 guitarists, 2 bass players and a violinist, so that seems about right.

I can’t provide a set list either as they played for an hour and three minutes before there was a noticeable pause for crowd appreciation and though I recognised the music from previous listening, I don’t really know the track names. I do think they did ‘Piss Crowns Are Trebled’ from latest release, ‘Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress’ but am not entirely sure. What I can tell you is that I fully understand why the majority of people don’t get GYBE, it can sound like meaningless noise, if you are not paying attention, but in amongst the repetitive barrage of sound there are rather intricate little melodies that rise to the top and then disappear back down into the depths of the ocean that they create within the hall.

The 16mm movie loops worked really well as, quite often, there wasn’t very much to watch. Apart from several people standing on the stage playing instruments, which makes the experience a little like listening to an album, but really loudly, so the movie loops seem quite necessary.

I took a little video, which is not great quality but gives a good idea of how the gig went as it was all along the same lines.

12046789_10153264552751884_1156072937762162060_nI thoroughly enjoyed the experience, although I will be a grumpy git about it further on, but I enjoyed it partly because it was what I was expecting and hearing the music recreated right in front of me was quite wonderful. Also, I bought a T-shirt, which is something I haven’t done, that I can recall, since Rush in 1981! I like it as a T-shirt though, not because it was band related. To be honest, there won’t be anybody around when I wear it who would ever make the connection anyway. Unless they read this of course, and most people don’t.

I’d like to make a brief mention of Apple maps, it is appalling. Perhaps partly my own fault for not paying attention, but I really didn’t want to go down single track roads and through tiny villages when I know there are A roads that would take the there. A google maps download means I will hopefully mean I never have to use it again.

Also, when did it become a thing to use the torch on your phone to find your seat? They were lighting up all over the place, which would be ok if the band hadn’t started, but they had and it was bloody distracting, as was all the people using their phones to take pictures, turn the bloody flash off! it will not help when you are in the dark and 50 yards away from your subject. There, grumpy gitness over.

This is a vieo that somebody else took:

Piss Crowns Are Trebled

Tickets bought!

godspeed-you-black-emperor

Just bought myself a ticket to see Godspeed You! Black Emperor at Warwick Arts Centre. Sadly, nobody to go with as I don’t know anybody else who would be interested, but I went there on my own to see Lambchop and it’s fine. Link to ticket sales below:

Link

I also tried to get a ticket for P.I.L but they were sold out. I might be able to get one from a re-seller but that will probably mean paying triple the face value. Will think on it.

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