Not so long ago I caught Jake support Colin Vernecombe in the beautiful surroundings of an arts centre built from a converted tithe barn. The changing light streaming through the arched windows behind were the perfect backdrop to his set of percussive, minimalist and often slightly melancholic songs. What he offers us with Allegorical House is something totally different. An upbeat, summer slice of fizzy pop, which largley eschews his usual dexterous delicacies for a straight down the line strum and beat driven song. And it is great. Different but great. Whether it is the sign of a new direction or just an artist wilfully throwing a spanner in the works is irrelevant, take the song for what it is and as ever the lyrics are worth dwelling upon.
We’ve got a new website up and running and this current one will stop working shortly. Please head over to http://www.redgrapemusic.com for all the latest information on our artists and releases.
We’re absolutely delighted to announce that Red Grape will be releasing a new album by folk legend Peggy Seeger in spring 2014. It seems rather a long way off, especially as we’re so excited by the prospect, but good things come to those who wait etc etc. I think that the album is her best ever – she’s in fantastic voice and the songs are all original, except for one which was ‘found’ written in pen on the back of the door of a public toilet. The songs are so powerful they grab you by the lapels and won’t let you go – I challenge you to not be moved to tears by at least two of them. But it’s not all gloom and doom – other songs muse on the delights of taking an older lover, and give words of caution about heroes or believing in fairy tales.
We’ll have a preview of a track in the next couple of weeks and in the meantime wish Peggy a speedy recovery from a recent operation.
Boo Hewerdine and The Bible will play two gigs next month to celebrate the 25th Anniversary re-release of ‘Eureka’.
March 1st – Islington Assembly Halls https://agmp.ticketabc.com/events/bible/
March 15th – Bury Met http://themet.biz/event/the_bible/1541/
Original members Boo Hewerdine, Tony Shepherd, Neill MacColl and Leroy Lendor will be joined by Martyn Barker on drums and Kate St John on saxophone.
If you saw them back in 2011 at Clapham Grand or Glasgow, or indeed in 2012 at the Junction in Cambridge, you’ll know what a great night it’ll be. If you missed the chance to see them before, I definitely recommend you try to catch them this time round. Personally, I can’t wait!!
Normally we stick to music related things on this blog, but we got sent a great email today from our friends over at MacKing which we felt we just had to share. It’s guaranteed to make you laugh and feel a bit clever (which surely has to be a good thing for a Thursday).
BRAINS OF BRITAIN . . . (these are real examples)
UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE (BBC2)
Jeremy Paxman: What is another name for ‘cherrypickers’ and ‘cheesemongers’?
Jeremy Paxman: No. They’re regiments in the British Army, who will be very upset with you.
BEG, BORROW OR STEAL (BBC2)
Jamie Theakston: Where do you think Cambridge University is?
Contestant: Geography isn’t my strong point.
Jamie Theakston: There’s a clue in the title.
Stewart White: Who had a worldwide hit with What A Wonderful World?
Contestant: I don’t know.
Stewart White: I’ll give you some clues: what do you call the part between your hand and your elbow?
Stewart White: Correct. And if you’re not weak, you’re…?
Stewart White: Correct – and what was Lord Mountbatten’s first name?
Stewart White: Well, there we are then. So who had a worldwide hit with the song What A Wonderful World?
Contestant: Frank Sinatra?
LATE SHOW (BBC MIDLANDS )
Alex Trelinski: What is the capital of Italy ?
Trelinski: France is another country. Try again.
Contestant: Oh, um, Benidorm.
Trelinski: Wrong, sorry, let’s try another question. In which country is the Parthenon?
Contestant: Sorry, I don’t know.
Trelinski: Just guess a country then.
THE WEAKEST LINK (BBC2)
Anne Robinson: Oscar Wilde, Adolf Hitler and Jeffrey Archer have all written books about their experiences in what: – Prison, or the Conservative Party?
Contestant: The Conservative Party.
BEACON RADIO ( WOLVERHAMPTON )
DJ Mark: For 10, what is the nationality of the Pope?
Contestant: I think I know that one. Is it Jewish?
Bamber Gascoyne: What was Gandhi’s first name?
GWR FM ( Bristol )
Presenter: What happened in Dallas on November 22, 1963?
Contestant: I don’t know, I wasn’t watching it then.
PHIL WOOD SHOW (BBC RADIO MANCHESTER)
Phil: What’s 11 squared?
Contestant: I don’t know.
Phil: I’ll give you a clue. It’s two ones with a two in the middle.
Contestant: Is it five?
RICHARD AND JUDY
Richard: Which American actor is married to Nicole Kidman?
Contestant: Forrest Gump.
RICHARD AND JUDY
Richard: On which street did Sherlock Holmes live?
Contestant: Er. … ….
Richard: He makes bread . . …
Contestant: Er .. …….
Richard: He makes cakes . . …
Contestant: Kipling Street?
LINCS FM PHONE-IN
Presenter: Which is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world?
Presenter: I was really after the name of a country.
Contestant: I’m sorry, I don’t know the names of any countries in Spain …
NATIONAL LOTTERY (BBC1)
Question: What is the world’s largest continent?
Contestant: The Pacific.
ROCK FM ( PRESTON )
Presenter: Name a film starring Bob Hoskins that is also the name of a famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci.
Contestant: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
THE BIGGEST GAME IN TOWN (ITV)
Steve Le Fevre: What was signed, to bring World War I to an end in 1918?
Contestant: Magna Carta?
JAMES O’BRIEN SHOW (LBC)
James O’Brien: How many kings of England have been called Henry?
Contestant: Er, well, I know there was a Henry the Eighth … ER. ER … Three?
CHRIS SEARLE SHOW (BBC RADIO BRISTOL )
Chris Searle: In which European country is Mount Etna ?
Chris Searle: I did say which European country, so in case you didn’t hear that, I can let you try again.
Caller: Er …….. Mexico ?
PAUL WAPPAT (BBC RADIO NEWCASTLE )
Paul Wappat: How long did the Six-Day War between Egypt and Israel last?
Contestant (long pause): Fourteen days.
DARYL DENHAM’S DRIVETIME (VIRGIN RADIO)
Daryl Denham: In which country would you spend shekels?
Daryl Denham: Try the next letter of the alphabet.
Contestant: Iceland? Ireland ?
Daryl Denham: (helpfully) It’s a bad line. Did you say Israel ?
PHIL WOOD SHOW (BBC GMR)
Phil Wood: What ‘K’ could be described as the Islamic Bible?
Contestant: Er… …. …
Phil Wood: It’s got two syllables . . . Kor . .
Phil Wood: Ha ha ha ha, no. The past participle of run . . ..
Phil Wood: OK, try it another way. Today I run, yesterday I . . .
Melanie Sykes: What is the name given to the condition where the sufferer can fall asleep at any time?
STEVE WRIGHT IN THE AFTERNOON (BBC RADIO 2)
Wright: Johnny Weissmuller died on this day. Which jungle-swinging character clad only in a loin cloth did he play?
We’re absolutely delighted that Liz Lawrence’s debut album ‘Bedroom Hero’ is now available to buy on CD from the Red Grape shop. Liz has been battling through the snow this month on her ’20 dates in 20 days’ house concert tour, playing to an eclectic collection of friends, fans, cats and melodramatic goldfish. Her ‘official’ tour starts in February (dates are on her website http://www.lizlawrencemusic.com)
In the meantime, click on the shop link above and get your ears around the album…..
To celebrate the 26th November release of ‘Bad Bad Girl’ by Broadcaster feat. Peggy Seeger, we’re giving away a ringtone based on the track. So if you too would like your phone to sing out “Bad bad girl” everytime your girlfriend/wife/best mate/mum/mother-in-law phones you, look no further than here: http://soundcloud.com/redgrape/bad-bad-girl-ringtone
Black is popping over to Moscow this weekend to take part in a TV extravaganza at the Olympic Stadium – we’re packing thermals, warm socks and woolly hats. Hopefully they’ll provide the vodka!
We had the great pleasure of attending the AIM Independent Music Awards the other week, to see Broadcaster’s album ‘Folksploitation’ shortlisted for the Genre Spotlight awards. We had an excellent night in great company and although we didn’t win the award, it was hugely gratifying to be one of the 5 shortlisted albums. You can see the whole list of nominations and well deserved winners here: http://www.musicindie.com/awards
We’ve got some exclusive copies of this amazing album, signed by both Peggy Seeger and Broadcaster. There are a limited number of these, available ONLY from the Red Grape Shop. A future collector’s item? Probably. A chance to get your hands on a great album? Definitely!