Wednesday, 5 August 2020

The Two Sheds Mix Tape #15: Music To Grow Up To

A lot of people’s musical tastes are influenced by their father. Mine was as well, but in a slightly different way.

When I was a young child Dad worked for the council on the dust carts as a bin man, collecting rubbish all around Cromer, from homes and businesses alike. This included one of Cromer’s many cafés . You may know the one I’m talking out. It was a café, then it was a sweet shop, and now it’s a café again.

The café had a jukebox that played the hits of the day, and every so often a man from a company would go to the café and change the singles, giving the old singles to the lady who owned the café. She in turn would give some of the records to my Dad, who in turn would give some of those records to me, my brothers and my sisters.

Sunday, 2 August 2020

Gabriel Ain't No Angel

A few days ago the BBC’s Amelia Reynolds took to the streets of Norwich to get some views on the current state of things regarding the coronavirus pandemic. She managed to get a wide range of views, and expectedly among the more serious and sensible people she encountered some whose views made you want to bang your head against the wall.

There was the old man sitting on a bench eating chips who seemed to believe that everything was okay now, a woman who seemed to find wearing a face covering quite inconvenient, as well as a young chap called Gabriel who made you want to bang your head on that wall a hell of a lot harder.

Saturday, 1 August 2020

What I Need For My "Hospital Appointment"

I've finally got a follow-up appointment with my cardiologist on the 23rd. It's via telephone because of the pandemic, so as I'm not going to the hospital this time around I need to find the following for my house so it feels like a normal trip to the hospital.

An old couple to moan loudly about how things were better in "their day".
A young couple complaining that they've been waiting too long.
A woman with two young children who are very loud and who won't behave.
Two people who don't seem to understand what a "please queue here" sign means.
A nurse with a very loud voice.
Someone to open a shop in my hallway selling stuff that you don't normally associate with hospitals.
Someone to set up a cafe in my kitchen with very expensive drinks and snacks.
A drunk man who argues with pigeons at bus stops.
An annoying man who normally sits on the bus claiming to know everything about everything.
An old woman who refuses to move the shopping from the seat next to her so I can sit down.

And a dedicated team of health professionals who have done the NHS proud this year. :)

Friday, 31 July 2020

The Two Sheds Mix Tape #14: Tribute to Peter Green

Following on from my recent blog about the sad passing of blues legend Peter Green I’ve put together this small Mix Tape featuring some of the tracks he appeared on in the 1960’s. Tracks 1-3 are from John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, with tracks 4-11 from Fleetwood Mac. 

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Remembering Peter Green

It was around 1987-88 that my brother Michael was really getting into Fleetwood Mac. Their Tango in the Night album had been doing incredibly well, and Michael had been searching out the band’s vast back catalogue. It wasn’t just the Buckingham/Nicks era he was interested in, he’d been searching out the old Peter Green era stuff as well.

One afternoon he began playing a video of a late-night documentary about the band he’d recorded. It was the first time I’d really paid any attention to the band, although I’d had a brief dalliance when Albatross became a part of my record collection when I was a very young child and when big sister Sue got a copy of the Tusk single in 1979.

Monday, 27 July 2020

The Two Sheds Mix Tape #13: Songs From The 1920's

Those of you who listen to my podcast will know that during the early days of the lockdown I felt the need to listen to a different kind of music, so I began listening to a few songs from the 1920’s.

Listening to songs from this era was nothing new to me. My parents had a few Al Jolson records back in the day, and I’d listened to the likes of Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith and Blind Lemon Jefferson for years. Reading about blues music online led me to find a few compositions from W.C. Handy and Lonnie Johnson, and late-night viewing of Ken Burns’ excellent documentary series Country Music led me to discover Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family.

Thursday, 23 July 2020

New Fiction Addition: The New Age *Updated July 23rd*

Those of you who follow me on social media may have seen that I've been adding a few old chapters to the blog in recent times. The New
Age was by far the biggest Anglo-Force story I'd written at the time,coming in at over 25 chapters. Hopefully you've already read the prequel, set during World War II, and there will also be a sequel of sorts, set during the time of The Valkyrie Chronicles.

The first few chapters have already been posted, and you can read them by clicking on the links below. More links will be added when the chapters go online. Enjoy!
Chapter One

Saturday, 18 July 2020

The Two Sheds Mix Tape #12 - Summertime

If you haven’t heard at least one version of the song “Summertime” then you’ve probably been living on another planet for the past eighty years. Written by George Gershwin in 1934, “Summertime” is the opening aria from his opera “Porgy & Bess”.

It’s one of the most recognisable songs in history, and it’s been recorded over 60,000 times, by jazz musicians, soul icons, prog rock legends, psychedelic masters, and even a Beatle! One version even “inspired” an iconic heavy metal song!

Thursday, 16 July 2020

The Two Sheds Review Podcast Episode 12: Where Have All The Sensible People Gone?

In this edition Julian continues to make his way through this coronavirus-affected world as he wonders what's happened to all of the sensible people. Are we incapable of following a few helpful and possibly life-saving suggestions?

*Contains language that some people may find offensive.*

Saturday, 11 July 2020

The Two Sheds Mix Tape #11: 2001 - The Year I Turned 30

The 11th part of my Mix Tape series sees us getting a bit more modern, if you can call the year 2001 modern that is.

2001 was the year I celebrated my 30th birthday, and it was also the year that I began to take an active interest in music again. I’d spent the latter part of the 1990’s not really paying attention to what was going on in the UK charts, and I only really listened to artists who’d been around the block a while. New music just didn’t interest me that much.

Then something called NuMetal crept up on me. Artists such as Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach and Slipknot began to appear on my horizon, some of them helped by appearances on WWE’s television shows, and some of them helped by almost constant appearances on Kerrang’s TV channel.