A bridge, not THE Bridge!
It’s been a holiday weekend here in the UK and as most destinations get packed out (lots of fine weather in cities, mountain areas and at coastal resorts in the last three days), Caroline and tend to stay home and chill out (me) or get out on the bike (Caroline).
Yes, I was working at the day job yesterday, but I’ve also spent a few hours doing online staff training.
As an antidote to the staff training, I finished watching the box set of Series 4 of The Bridge on Friday night and was reminded of how much of an earworm the theme song Hollow Talk is…
It’s not the only earworm doing the rounds at the moment as one of Roxy Music’s classic album tracks – In Every Dream Home A Heartache – is currently being used in a TV advert at the moment.
Other earworms of note recently have turned up on the shop music system – Friday I’m In Love and In-between Days by The Cure, Enola Gay by OMD and other tracks by The Smiths, New Order and The Stone Roses.
Ironically the only earworm that hasn’t been heard recently has been Kylie Minogue’s Can’t Get You Out Of My Head…
That pic of the bridge at the top of this post was taken in Ronda back in September 2018.
Or is it?
As one deadline passes and one, two or more rear their heads, we still don’t know what’s happening with regards to Brexit!
With that in mind, I give you a list of tunes to ponder on as the powers that be here in the UK discuss things…
The Final Countdown – Europe
Road To Nowhere – Talking Heads
Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now – The Clash
Making Plans For Nigel – XTC
Madness – Madness
In Between Days – The Cure
State Of Mind – Fish
51st State – New Model Army
Mama Weer All Crazee Now – Slade
Slip Sliding Away – Paul Simon
On a different note, it’s a good job I checked the exchange rates on Monday when getting some Euros for next week.
Our local supermarket was offering a better deal than where I’d ordered from.
Mentioned this to our supplier who proceeded to check the supermarket’s rate and match it.
Result was an extra €15 or so to take away with us – a couple of local train trips for two at our destination or a larger light lunch!
One of the most successful acts of all time and this CD/DVD collection has all of the hits that you either heard at the time or reminded of the last time you watched Mamma Mia the movie or had a night at the stage show…
Dark Side Of The Moon – Pink Floyd
One of the best selling albums of all time that still sounds innovative more than forty years after it was first released.
One suspects that there’s a few successful albums from the last decade that won’t be held in such high regard in forty years time!
Hits Collection – Dusty Springfield
There’s a documentary that keeps reappearing on BBC4 that tells the story of Dusty Springfield and it makes for interesting viewing.
Almost all of Dusty’s hits are on this CD (the ones with Pet Shop Boys are missing), but it makes for a fine reminder of a singer that didn’t need Autotune or other modern recording techniques to commit a great song to analogue tape.
Hotel California – The Eagles
Yes, it’s that 1970’s classic album – the one you either like or hate (one of my University house mates hated it with a vengeance).
Can go a couple of years without playing it and then put it in the CD player and sing along with it all over again.
Live And Dangerous – Thin Lizzy
Thin Lizzy in fine fettle a few years before I blagged my way in to photograph the band.
I have both the CD and DVD versions of this album and it’s interesting to hear the stories regarding the finished album that are related by band members in interviews on the DVD.
No Sleep ‘Till Hamersmith – Motorhead
One of heavy metal’s heaviest bands caught live with the bomber lighting rig on the cover and their best tracks on the CD.
We Are The Road Crew was recorded at Newcastle City Hall – I know, because I was there!
I also know what the dedication was for the song No Class on that night….
Real To Real – Marillion
This is the Fish era live album from the 1980’s that sounds good thirty years on from its original release.
Garden Party and Market Square Heroes still hit the spot, especially when the car stereo is turned up to eleven!
The Essential Nina Simone
Name checked at least once in an episode of CSI Vegas and featured and mentioned in the Bridget Fonda film The Assassin, Nina Simone has one of those voices that pre-dated modern recording techniques.
The Collection is a three CD box set that mixes studio and live recordings that showcase one of the best singing voices of all time.
Vigil In A Wilderness Of Mirrors – Fish
This was the former Marillion singer’s first solo album and I’d still rate it as his best so far.
All of the songs were heard first live in a mix of club, town hall, village halls and small cinemas in the Highlands & Islands of Scotland a couple of weeks before Vigil was released and there’s still memories of that rather hectic week lingering years later.
(What’s The Story) Morning Glory – Oasis
One of the few albums that really caught my attention when I was a student writing for a student newspaper back in the mid-1990s.
Others may disagree, but it is still Oasis’ finest album to date…
So, day two in Aylesbury and breakfast time at Holiday Inn.
Which was okay, apart from the fact that we weren’t offered coffee tops ups as we were expected to find the unmarked filling station and the couple of vacuum jugs on a tray.
Caroline headed off whilst I tried to find out what was up with the car as a light had made it’s presence known on the dashboard, had gone off and then illuminated itself once more when I headed off on Friday night.
I didn’t sort it, but it was fixed later in the day by someone who did know what they were doing and had the gizmo to rectify the problem…
So after that and more coffee, I headed out for a bus that would take me into Aylesbury town centre. I missed one, but caught the next and was pleasantly surprised at how reasonable the return bus fare was.
I’d only visited Aylesbury once before, to attend a show at Aylesbury Civic Centre by former Marillion singer Fish. It was an interesting way to spend Independence Day 1990, but another good night out was had by all, despite getting a bit flummoxed by Fish’s announcement that he was going to sing a song inspired by Aylesbury’s Market Square.
I wasn’t the only one expecting him to sing fan favourite Market Square Heroes, but that wasn’t the song he was looking for. The song that was sung was one by David Bowie – Five Years – a version of which eventually appeared on Fish’s Songs From The Mirror covers album.
But I digress. Wandering aimlessly around Aylesbury without a plan seemed like a good idea and that’s what happened. It didn’t take too long either as retail’s usual suspects were all present and correct and didn’t need exploring.
A couple of magazines and a paper were bought for research purposes at WH Smith and that was almost about it as far as non-food purchases went. Lunch came courtesy of Greggs, but the prospect of a lunchtime pint on a sunny day wasn’t going to be passed up, especially as I wasn’t planning on driving for a few hours.
And that was about it for Aylesbury. Three hours including lunch and beer stops. The bus station was nearby and there was a bus in, so it was back to Holiday Inn to read the paper and magazines and to do some internet surfing on the iPad.
Once Caroline arrived back, we headed off to The Five Bells for an evening meal before having drinks at the hotel and calling it a night.
Breakfast came and went on Sunday morning, but yours truly was starting to feel rather rough. No, it wasn’t down to the affluence of incohol, but a gum pain of the throbbing kind – three or four days after a dental check-up.
We hadn’t any paracetemol in the car or our respective bags, but we managed to acquire some in the hotel, so I took these and then applied a liberal coating of Bonjela over the gum area.
With Caroline heading off once more, I stayed put for the day, took more painkillers, used more Bonjela and managed to get to solve the problem a few hours latter by applying some pressure on the gum which popped the offending item, got rid of the goo and brought almost instant relief.
By breakfast the following morning, everything was almost back to normal. The emergency we’d travelled down about was over, I was feeling a lot better and we had to vacate our room anyway.
So it was time to go home, but not without a small side trip – to the wilds of Milton Keynes.
Why Milton Keynes? There’s a Rohan shop there with a clearance department. It took a little bit of finding, but find it we did with a little help from an app on Caroline’s phone.
Some delving around saw us leave the shop with a bag of clothing – a jacket and a dress for Caroline and a couple of pairs of socks for me. Next stop was the nearby Shell filling station for petrol before we aimed the car in the direction of the motorway and home.
So, what did we learn from this?
Keep some paracetemol in the car for potential use, remember to pack the couple of travel coffee presses we have plus some decent ground coffee and some biscuits (the Holiday Inn coffee in the room wasn’t wonderful and guess what? No biscuits either!).
And that there are times when you have to forget about planning stuff and just go with the flow…. and have the phone number handy for the local curry house so you can order a meal to be delivered when you do get back home!
Next week – Northumberland!
If it’s Thursday, then it’s time to get thee to a flamenco club.
Now we’d seen what the admission charges were for some of the flamenco shows, but we’d heard about a club in one of the back streets when reading a Kindle book on Seville (Seville for Free 2016 by Lynne Knightly) before we headed off.
The same club – La Carboneria – was also recommended to us by the owner of the pension we were staying in as being one of the best places to go – and he was right.
My earlier confusion in trying to find the club was understandable as we’d found out after seeing that notice near the original entrance on Calle Levies which pointed in the direction of the new entrance a few hundred metres away on Cespedes.
As we’d taken our time over the tapas, we arrived at La Carboneria around 9.30pm and wandered in.
The club was already busy, and there weren’t any seats to be had. So beer beckoned and a couple of camas of Alhambra ordered in my best Spanish (I was getting the hang of it, honest!).
At €2 per glass, it wasn’t going to break the bank, but one guy standing next to me came rather unstuck when he came to pay as he presented a card to pay for his drinks. The problem he faced? No cards, so he was given directions to the nearest ATM…
There was a sense of deja vu as I looked around La Carboneria as it brought back memories of heading out to clubs to see bands in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.
Unlike Riverside in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, La Carboneria wasn’t a standing venue as there were long tables and benches on the lower and upper levels of the club.
The audience was a good mix though – old, young and of different ethnic backgrounds too (very reminiscent of those attending gigs at the Harambe Africa festival). You could spot the tour parties though – students with one eye on their friends and the other on the screens of their respective mobile phones.
The music started around 10pm though. Guitars first and then the essential combination of guitars and dancer.
Whilst there were two musicians, there was only one dancer, but was there passion in the dancing? Oh yes…
From where we were standing, we could only see the hand movements and the facial expressions, but there was so much intensity in those movements and expressions that seeing the feet moving wasn’t necessary.
As the intensity rose, the dancer’s hair started to move too and it wasn’t long before hair was falling into the dancer’s face.
Fortunately that happened on the last song/dance of that particular set. That passion contented as the night wore on in the other two sets we witnessed from the same players and dancer.
As the night wore on though, we became conscious that we’d been up for a long time and that as good as the night was, we really did need some sleep, especially as we had a long, good Friday planned.
It was to be our last full day in Seville and there was a lot to do, especially as we had planned on an early start to get in the queue to take a look around Seville’s Alcazar.
More on Monday!
More from Spain…
Five days in Northumberland
Five days in North Norfolk
More thoughts on packing
Bits of news
Some silly stuff
Books, films and television programmes
And links such as the one below…
We’ve used and mentioned Osprey Farpoint packs a few times on wisepacking, so we’re pleased to see that there’s a new variation on the theme – the Osprey Fairview range.
They’re ladies packs and more info can be found here…
Live is best, but when you’re on the road, unleash the CD or iPod!
After spending a great deal of time listening to all kinds of music during my time as a music fan, writer and band manager, when it comes to listening to songs when I’m driving here in the UK or plugging in the iPod elsewhere, there are some songs that choose themselves.
Naomi and Bel set me thinking yesterday morning when they posted one of their playlists on magazutravelling yesterday morning. The link to their post is highlighted below, but this is what I came up with as a master playlist culled from the batch of CDs that I’ve made to play in the car which just happen to also be saved on various playlists on my iPod too…
- Hey Ya – OutKast featuring Andre 3000
- Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson
- Song 2 – Blur
- Rock & Roll – Led Zeppelin
- Ace Of Spades – Motorhead
- Caroline – Status Quo
- Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who
- Born Slippy – Underworld
- Barber’s Adagio For Strings – William Orbit
- Street Fighting Man – Rolling Stones
- In Between Days – The Cure
- Deliverance – The Mission UK
- White Feather/Childhood’s End – Marillion (with Fish, not H)
- Monkey Wrench – Foo Fighters
- Firestarter – Prodigy
- Higher Ground – Red Hot Chilli Peppers
- Extreme Ways – Moby
- Keep On Rocking In The Free World- Neil Young
- Shot By Both Sides – Magazine
- I Am The Resurrection – The Stone Roses
- Valerie – Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse
- Bring Your Daughter To Slaughter – Iron Maiden
- The Boys Are Back In Town – Thin Lizzy
- Enola Gay – OMD
- 1999 – Prince
- Whiskey In The Jar – Metallica
- 1812 Overture – used for the two explosive set pieces in V For Vendetta
- Tiny Dancer – Elton John
- Hurricane – Bob Dylan
- Sylvia – Focus
And that link to Naomi and Bel’s playlist?
There’s a lot going on in the world at the moment, so it’s good to see that some light relief going on in the media here in the U.K.
There’s some good comments on the story too that highlight how many have seen the source film and taken it in…
And the comments also show how many have spotted that the piece has been run next to one on Stonehenge!
The comments are a bit sweary in places – you have been warned!!!
I caught the breaking news last night regarding George Michael.
I wasn’t a great fan and whilst I recognised his voice and songs (both solo and with Wham!), I don’t actually have any of his music on the CD racks or on my iTunes setup.
The guy was talented though, reaped a host of rewards via his talents, but also came unstuck with a series of high profile problems or incidents along the way which weren’t covered up or made to disappear as is sometimes the case with some major stars. Allegedly.
The tributes are all out there on TV, online and presumably in the papers too ( I haven’t been into any shops today and there weren’t any lying around in the pub that Caroline were in at Malham this lunchtime.
I suspect that more will be coming our way in the coming days, weeks and months and that his music may be heading back into the charts here in the UK when the latest single and album charts are announced on Friday…
I’ve mentioned a couple of times on wisepacking that Caroline and I had a great night out in Blackpool earlier in the year when we went to the first night of Status Quo’s Last Of The Electrics tour.
It’s sheer coincidence that we watched the latest Quo compilation DVD on Thursday night as there was nowt on TV and it was only lunchtime today that I was looking at the band’s website.
Little did we know what was going to be announced a couple of hours ago…
I’ve seen Status Quo play at least five times now – Caroline only saw them for the first time in Blackpool – and I interviewed Rick Parfitt twice during my days as a music journalist.
Rick was one of the best interviewees that I’ve talked to. No airs and graces, friendly and a good laugh too.
There’s quite a bit online already, but The Guardian has this as part of its’ range of tribute features. The reader comments are worth reading too.
In a world of bland music and blander ‘stars’, Rick Parfitt will be missed..