The Only Way is Harley

The two faces of January have shown their identity again as the promise of a New Year fades to same old shit and the drudgery of the post Christmas period sets in. Wet, cold and miserable and full of the dreaded lurgy- and that’s just the lucky ones.

The end of the year I spent working and despite my best attempts to avoid the dance floor I ended up getting dragged on to it by Shelley. It was a good night, if a little slow starting, with much jovial antics by the regulars and staff alike, I kept being boring and very aware that I was driving home did not partake in any beer or alcohol related products as plod would be out in force and frankly even though I wouldn’t have more then one, I wouldn’t want to wait for 30 mins to prove I was under the limit via breath test in the wee small hours with another two full days work ahead of me.

Noticeably, between boxing day and NYE we at the Plume were visited by a small group of twentysomething socialites who seemed to be the Salopian version of Joey Essex and his ilk, move over Essex, the next E4 hit will be The Only Way is Harley.

Other then that work has settled into the usual January foot trap of people being spent up and/or full of winter bugs, I myself have suffered an abnormally length bout of Man-flu which has hit my sinuses pretty bad and inflicting some ropey headaches…


Books wise I am just about at the end To Put You in the Picture- the memoir of British scriptwriter and Producer Robert Banks Stewart (1931-2016) and it is very interesting with lots of behind the scenes stories but suffers from his tendency to write in very small paragraphs, no doubt a habit he picked up when subbing newspapers. For those of you not in the know, Bob Banks Stewart has an impressive CV with episodes of Danger Man, The Saint, The Avengers and Adam Adamant to his credit, but had great success with his two hit series Shoestring which bought a young Trevor Eve into the limelight and Bergerac, the Jersey based police show which made John Nettles into a star. I’ve also recently purchased The Pirate Plane which is James Goss’ novelisation of a Douglas Adams script of the same name and is drawn from the initial script drafts rather then the final version which made it to the screen which very nearly didn’t at all as it was considered to technical for the available resources, even then the finished production proves that the script was still too long as each episode overruns and there is quite a bit of cut footage on the DVD release (sadly time coded if memory serves so an extended print couldn’t be put together). I enjoyed his novelisation of City of Death so I hope this turns out to be as good as that, certainly I believe that The Pirate Planet is better source material and shows a large element of Hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy imagination to the proceedings. Also while browsing on Amazon to see if a release date for George Mann’s fifth Newbury and Hobbes novel has been set, the novel has been much delayed having originally been scheduled for an August 2015 release but has yet to appear (perhaps George Mann sent the manuscript to the publisher via 2nd class post), I happened across a book called the Vinyl Detective which immediately made me think of a friend and a brief reading of the blurb made it sound very interesting. The book is written by Andrew Cartmel an author whose name I am quite familiar with to his tenure as script-editor on a certain British Sci-Fi series and a few previous books namely Warchild and Atom Bomb Blues. The later makes me wonder if Cartmel has a soft spot for Jazz music as not only does Duke Ellington make a cameo appearance about half way through but one of the (sort of) villains is motivated by the change of grabbing a complete set of Duke Ellington records thanks to the notion of parallel universes, also Silver Nemesis has an appearance by Courtney Pine and a Jazz record is used to block transmissions to and from a Cyberman invasion force (no, really) and this book has the hunt for a rare Jazz record the hook for the story. I’ll let you know how it all transpires once I get around to reading it.


Music wise I’ve made a few purchases and a consequence I think I should probably do a stock count as it were of my collection as I have unwittingly bought a couple of duplicate albums. Now I have been indulging in the recent spate of 5 Original Albums sets coming out and have sets of Billie Holiday, Oscar Peterson, Miles Davis, Joe Henderson and Kenny Burrell. Now while browsing through my CDs to look for a new set to put in the car I come across a double album from Blue Note’s Connoisseur Series: Introducing Kenny Burrell, which contains both Introducing Kenny Burrell and the follow up album Kenny Burrell and a few bonus tracks… guess which two albums appear in the 5 album Kenny Burrell set. Got it in one…. it gets worse. I also managed to buy a cheap copy of Paul Desmond’s Take Ten… which is in the complete Columbia album boxed set I own and listen to so often it is still in the cellophane. Whoops!


Thanks to a good rota this week I am going to be able to attend two live Jazz sessions this week, Barbara and All That Jazz at The Boycott Arms and the Severnside Jazz Band at the Four Crosses in Bicton, the latter I haven't seen for nearly 5 years and a chance encounter with Geoff Inwood at the Plume put me back on the dates of their sessions. This was good because his Jazz West Midlands site is no longer running and I had assumed the worst and was thankful to find that this was not the case, he'd merely decided that it was getting too much to keep the website up to date which I can sympathise with.
So on that note I shall leave you with some Jazz
This is the Severnside Jazz Band from 2014 which was a gig celebrating drummer Cliff Crocket's 100th Birthday. Geoff videoed the piece- though he appears to have some trouble finding the direction to point the camera. I’ll assume he hadn’t realised he had started recording
From Jazz Club 90 at its new home at Albrighton’s Sports and Social Club
Now from those halcyon days of Jazz Club 90 at the Harp- Terry Roberts playing the Earl Bostic hit Flamingo
and finally from Upton Jazz 2015, a video filmed myself though incomplete due to my battery dying. This is the wonderfully named Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band with one of their own compositions(?): Russian Dolls
So toodles for now


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