Pub Rock Revisited: No Sleep Till Kennington Oval

The Cricketers, Kennington Oval

I’ve recently spent time writing sleeve-notes for a Balham Alligators box set. That’s exactly the kind of thing washed-up old hacks like me have to do when they reach a certain age. I was researching “pub rock” when I stumbled on something surprising. It’s seemingly now accepted that the Pub Rock scene collapsed following the Punk Explosion of 1976-77. Legend has it … Read more

Separated at birth?

Separated at birth?

Separated at birth? You tell me… So, what do HM the Queen and Rolling Stone guitarist Keith Richards have in common? The obvious answer is money. They are both stinking rich, though one more than the other. I’ll let you work out which is which. As you’ll have gleaned from reading my About Me page, … Read more

Glastonbury on the BBC

Glastonbury Festival

It’s hard not to find mentions of Glastonbury on the BBC. Most mornings I rise to the Today programme on BBC Radio 4. This morning, sixty-nine-year-old rightwing journalist John Humphrys was at Glastonbury. But why should I be surprised? Every year the BBC turns itself into a massive PR machine for this commercial enterprise. At … Read more

Rhythm Festival: “the inside story”

The Blockheads on stage at Rhythm Festival 2011

Mention “Rhythm Festival” within my earshot and I guarantee you I will cringe. Maybe even start to sob. But why did I do it? I constantly ask myself. Why? Oh why? Oh why? Starting a music festival from scratch was definitely one of my wilder projects. It’s up there with starting The Do-Not Press, even … Read more

Seasick Steve and Key Lime Pie

I’ve just been watching Seasick Steve on a Sunday morning cookery programme on BBC Two television called Something For The Weekend. In it he sang a song, drank a cocktail and grated cheese into a bowl in order to make it look like he was making a key lime pie. The presenters oo-ed and aw-ed … Read more

Life As An Out-Of-The Loop Music Promoter (Part 1)

Slambovian Circus at Rhythm Festival 2009

I’ve been a music promoter for most of my working life. It’s basically the same as being a theatrical impresario except, instead of plays, I organise rock ‘n’ roll shows. The wife likes to think of it as being something like a professional gambler, but that’s just her. A music promoter hires a venue, finds … Read more