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Top 10… albums for the car

Abba Gold

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…

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Aylesbury II and still no pics!

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 BowieFive 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!

No pics, just words…

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-TyneLa 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!

Coming soon…

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More from Spain

Five days in Northumberland

Five days in North Norfolk

More thoughts on packing

Trip inspirations

Bits of news

Some silly stuff

Books, films and television programmes

Music

Classic kit

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…

http://www.ospreyeurope.com

TTFN!

Music on the move…

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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…

  1. Hey Ya – OutKast featuring Andre 3000
  2. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson
  3. Song 2 – Blur
  4. Rock & Roll – Led Zeppelin
  5. Ace Of Spades – Motorhead
  6. Caroline – Status Quo
  7. Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who
  8. Born Slippy – Underworld
  9. Barber’s Adagio For Strings – William Orbit
  10. Street Fighting Man – Rolling Stones
  11. In Between Days – The Cure
  12. Deliverance – The Mission UK
  13. White Feather/Childhood’s End – Marillion (with Fish, not H)
  14. Monkey Wrench – Foo Fighters
  15. Firestarter – Prodigy
  16. Higher Ground – Red Hot Chilli Peppers
  17. Extreme Ways – Moby
  18. Keep On Rocking In The Free World- Neil Young
  19. Shot By Both Sides – Magazine
  20. I Am The Resurrection – The Stone Roses

Bubbling under…

  1. Valerie – Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse
  2. Bring Your Daughter To Slaughter – Iron Maiden
  3. The Boys Are Back In Town – Thin Lizzy
  4. Enola Gay – OMD
  5. 1999 – Prince
  6. Whiskey In The Jar – Metallica
  7. 1812 Overture – used for the two explosive set pieces in V For Vendetta
  8. Tiny  Dancer – Elton John
  9. Hurricane – Bob Dylan
  10. Sylvia – Focus

And that link to Naomi and Bel’s playlist?

https://magazutravelling.wordpress.com/2017/03/02/roadtrip-playlist/

This story goes to 11…

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!

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/feb/08/spinal-tap-lawsuit-harry-shearer-rob-reiner-vivendi

The comments are a bit sweary in places – you have been warned!!!

George Michael

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…