Monday, November 27, 2006


tURniNggREen: what have we done

tURniNggREen: what have we done

turning green: what have we done

Fans will have been waiting for this masterpiece for some time. If you have been lucky enough to have seen this lot in one of their London or Brighton area residencies or on tour, you will know what a great group they are.

But Live Performance and Studio Recording are 2 quite different artforms. This CD will prove that tURniNggREen are expert in both.

In live performance, they are beyond comparison – each appearance is a religious experience for the growing hoard of cognoscenti. The atmosphere is almost orgasmic.

On disc, they whole thing is toned down to the extent that you could play it in the presence of your grandmother without causing too much offence. The live performance is put into perspective in that the disc is so well produced that you can hear every brilliant word of the songs. You can hear the perfectly balanced virtuosity of the individual players and how they each contribute to the group. And although they are each masters of their instruments there is a Gestalt at work here that makes the combination so much more impressive. They are a well matched outfit – everyone contributes to a brilliant whole.

The most noticeable aspect of the CD is just what accomplished jazzers tURniNggREeN are. Not just jazz-funk, but acid, lounge lizard and Jimmy Smithery too. Chuck in some psychedelic or bluesy prog-rock riffs, a bit of flamenco guitar, Robert Wyatt and other assorted punky voices and you have a recipe for a great new departure in recorded music.

There is a horrible habit developing in CD album production at the moment. It believes that if you’ve got one or two good songs, it’s OK to pad out an LP with fillers. Thank Goodness tURniNggREen have not fallen into this trap. Not that they’d be likely to – their song-writing and tune-smithery are so well developed that every number is strong, entertaining and different. Having said that you will have some favourite tracks as I do. It’s nice being able to put words to some of the live performance standards – Flavour, Flick Knives and If You Believed It – are my personal selections for single release!

Anyway, get yourself along to the website and order up a copy. And if you haven’t got their earlier offering ‘Heavy Petal’ you can get that there too.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


The Lady's not for Turning Green - but I'm sure YOU are

I have been very remiss and I am hanging my head in shame.

A couple of days ago, I received the following email, which I should have passed onto you....

'Ello Abi

The Drookit Dogs are a fantastic band - and we're very pleased to be playing at their Dog Show - this Friday 24th upstairs at The Hope - Queens Road - Brighton. We'll be on around 9 - entrance - I guess - will be a fiver max.

Come on down for a fine evening of music.




I'm soooo sorry - you'd have loved it

I had a bit of a rigmarole getting there on B&H buses, but bumped into my old friend Margaret on the way which was nice [give our love to Lizzie and Jim, Margaret]. The venue was The Hope in Queens Road, an establishement I have previously not frequented. It was handily close to a bus-stop, so I conveniently avoided my third drenching of the day - it being a dark and stormy night! Anyway enough of me ... let's cut to the chase.

It seems like some of you haven't been paying attention. I have told you time and time again that if there is just one thing to do before you die Turning Green are The Band To See and time may just be running out for you!

The Hope Upstairs room is a proper sweaty little dive [if it's possible to dive upstairs] and as I stepped inside the heat and noise hit me like a tidal wave [or tsunami as we are meant to say nowadays]. The evening's opening act had just started their set and were going down a storm [to continue with the geophysical metaphor] . Strangely monikered Raineater [is this a literary allusion? - perhaps you can tell me] they played an envigourating form of what I can only categorise as prog rock versus Tom Waites joins the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Interesting, no promising I'd say - I hope they go far. I would add that they would have impressed even more if the people who set up the sound systems {PA?} at such gigs could do a rather better job than they generally do. It's the 21st Century for goodness sake.

{Boring Old Fart's aside: I saw a fledgling Led Zeppelin in a field in Bath in 1969. The sound system was so good you could have heard a pin drop - why isn't this possible today in any venue with half-reasonable acoustics - it seems a little thing to ask but how often can you actually HEAR what a vocalist is singing - not often I'll warrent}

Turning Green were up next and it seemed that quite a few of their regular posse were present in support of their idles oops - I mean idols - if there's any future in religion I believe that this is the one.

Our four heroes seemed to be forming up for a group hug, the obligatory way of preparing for an onslaught nowadays so my more politically correct friends tell me , but no.... they launched into an explosive acapella vocal of enough impact to stun the audience just long enough to allow them to pick up the respective tools of their individual trades to begin the meteor storm [geophys again] that is their act.

Now if you were to meet either of bassist Dan Teale or keysman Matt Gest on in a country lane on a dark night, you'd run a fucking mile, they are so scary.

Both have protuberant eyes which seem determined to escape from their anchors and go for any throat exposed to their hungry stares. [actually in real life Dan is a chartered accountant and Matt embroiders willy covers for residents in old people's homes]. The psychotic personae depicted in the above images do actually relate directly to the manic sound which issues forth when Turning Green are in full flow.

Because although the group possess all the honed skills of students dedicated to years of cloistered study in the Arts of Jazz-Funk, power-pop and psycho-babble, put them in front of a set of microphones and they become manic. Axeman Dunstan Belcher and saMUEL Walker on drums do their best to keep the other two in check but sometimes they just can't hold them down long enough to inject the tranquillisers.

It's no wonder they're not top of the bill. The audience needs the nice calming chill out provided by the likes of The Drookit Dogs before they're in any state to face the journey home.

So your project for the week is to make preparation to get yourself along to The Lansdown in Lewes on Friday 1st December to receive your next dose of treatment which will hopefully Turn YOU Green.



Thursday, November 23, 2006


Spin Doctors in da Park

On October 31st being All Hallow's Eve, Blaker's Park hosted a Halloween Event as it has for the past couple of years. There was the usual array of spine-chilling activities including donut-chomping, apple-bobbing, lantern competition, specially devillish food and drink and so on with an accompanying soundtrack of Horrific music c/o Spin Doctors.

My thanks are due to Nicola for the photo

For more news of what's happening in Blaker's Park, please check out BLOGGING FOR BLAKER'S

Friday, November 17, 2006


New Reviews

I'm sitting here with a pile of discs I've accumulated over the past couple of months while I've been sans computer. A couple are from promo firms but most are recent things I've uncovered in Charity shops etc. The market for junk CDs is booming at present and thankfully it's a buyers' market. I rarely buy anything above £1 and when I do it's because I'd have been willing to buy it at full price in regular outlets.The best finds lately have included 2 promo discs from the Buffalo Springfield Box Set at a mere 10 pence each! Lucky me. The price one pays means that most of them are rubbish, but there are gems amongst them. Several of the records in my pile I've yet to sample so I could be extolling the virtues of previously undiscovered masterpieces or slagging off dross - who knows. Read on to find out.
First up, we have...
MONKEY SONS: Uh-Oh Here Come The Monkey Sons Naked Ape records NAR001websiteLogo1
Actually I lied a bit above. I have heard this before - in fact I've been playing it to death. This is a great little record from a local Brighton-based band describing themselves fairly accurately as indy psychedelic hip-hoppers. The lead track Ha-Ha featuring Elemental is as good a candidate for top of the pops as I've heard in many a long year. It's fun, catchy, crazy and grooves along at 60 mph. Just the sort of thing that would have got a 'tingggggg!' on Juke Box Jury in Days of Yore. One other great highlight is their version of Down and Out from that wonderful gangster movie Bugsy Malone. Would make a great party record at Christmas. Seek it out and enjoy.
J*S*T*A*R*S: Put Me On A PlanetAlbum Sampler23 Records LINK5037454772462_1821Well, I couldn't find much useful info on this outfit - variously described as trance, dance, electronica etc by different sites on the Net, I have to supply my own label to pigeonhole the record. It's a bit like Cacharpaya on Speed to listen to but I guess ethno-electro-jazzfunk might be an approximate description to give you some idea what it's all about. Personally I dig it and rather wish I had the whole album plus anything else they've produced in my collection. It's got a great groove throughout and although some might say it's a bit mechanical and I'd agree there is plenty of room for developing the repertoir in the future, I'd be happy to bop for a few hours to just this record at any club offering it up as an alternative in preference to most of the pappy dance tunes you hear nowadays. Interesting stuff.
Nneka: The Uncomfortable TruthYo Mama's Recording Company Cat. No. YPS 82876736682 1. The Uncomfortable Truth (3:49)2. Stand Strong (Live Version) (4:01)LINKB000ayqkka01_aa240_sclzzzzzzz_v57028645_

Great Old School (dreadful phrase!) Soul from German based Nigerian born female singer with powerfully dynamic voicebox. The instrumentation on the title track has great horns and an afro drum beat to die for. Very funky. The live track is more in the modern R'n'B bag but Nneka's voice makes it interesting and different enough not to lump it in twith the mass of dross masquerading under this epithet merey issued to grab the money burning holes in the pockets of gullible teenage girls. Pretty good stuff. I look forward to hearing and seeing more of this lady.Nnekafrontpage1
Next please.....
alteredvibes presentsGum Drop: 'Hi-Falutin'AVBPM005 LINKGum_drop_hi_falutin1Cool jazzy soul with variety of vibes - elements of hip-hop, jazzfunk, stevie wonder, mid-60s psychedelia, blaxploitation - you get the picture. Not exactly unforgettable but not at all bad. If any of the foregoing are your bag you'll probably dig this.
Max Tundra: Some Best Friend You Turned Out To BeDomino Recording Company WIG82LINK909882400541Noodly doodly electronica this one. Good fun on the whole but a bit pedestrian in places. I notice it's from 2000 and Max has had several release on the same label since then. By rights he should be ripe for picking by now!
Well, I think that's probably all I can manage for now. Quite wearing listening to unfamiliar records and trying to pass instant fair judgement, which I hope I've been able to do. There are plenty more where these came from so I'll try and repeat the exercise again soon! Ta-ra for now. Abi



Me at Work

here's a pic of Abi at work on Halloween in Blaker's Park

goto Nicola Anthony's Flickr account to see more of her fine fotos
thanks to Nicola for permission to reproduce the snap

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