Visit to the legendary Sun Studio, Memphis

In the history of rock ‘n’ roll there can’t be many more important places on the planet than this modestly-sized building on the outskirts of Memphis. 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee is the home of Sun Studio, where Sam Phillips established his Memphis Recording Service back in 1950 with the aim of giving a recording … Continue reading Visit to the legendary Sun Studio, Memphis

Sunny Afternoon (the musical based on the story of the Kinks) at The Theatre Royal, Brighton 22/12/16

I’m not normally a huge fan of musicals. However, I am a huge fan of The Kinks so when the opportunity to see Sunny Afternoon came up I was never going to say no. With most musicals I generally find the mix of dialogue and song unconvincing. The one musical I have properly enjoyed prior … Continue reading Sunny Afternoon (the musical based on the story of the Kinks) at The Theatre Royal, Brighton 22/12/16

Elvis songs before Elvis – the origins of six iconic Presley classics

From Hound Dog to Always On My Mind the original versions of six classic Elvis songs Hound Dog Written by songwriting team Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller when they were both still in their teens, ‘Hound Dog’ was created specifically for blues singer Big Mama Thornton. It was recorded in 1952 and released in 1953. … Continue reading Elvis songs before Elvis – the origins of six iconic Presley classics

Visit to the birthplace of British rock ‘n’ roll – the 2i’s coffee bar, Soho

London has been getting better at celebrating its rock ‘n’ roll history in recent years. More blue plaques are going up, you’ve got attractions like the Hendrix flat and generally more and more effort is being made to mark some of London’s historic musical legacy. One place you might want to take a look at … Continue reading Visit to the birthplace of British rock ‘n’ roll – the 2i’s coffee bar, Soho

The death of Elvis is relayed to a caravan in Morecambe. August 1977

A caravan site in Morecambe, Lancashire. My older stepsister returns with the morning paper and attempts to relay the day’s main news to my mum. “Elvis dead.” “Elvis’s dad? What about Elvis’s dad?” “No. Elvis is dead.” “Elvis’s dad’s dead?” No. Elvis is dead.” At this point my mum bursts into tears. It had always … Continue reading The death of Elvis is relayed to a caravan in Morecambe. August 1977

Review: ‘You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970’ Exhibition at the V&A

The Victoria & Albert Museum’s ‘You Say You Want a Revolution? Records & Rebels’ covers the period 1966-1970, a time I recall as one of starting nursery school, learning to ride a red plastic motorbike and amassing a collection of soft toys. The music I probably took in by osmosis while still in the womb … Continue reading Review: ‘You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970’ Exhibition at the V&A

Ian Hunter at Shepherd’s Bush Empire 11/11/16

77 and still putting out great albums, I’ve been eagerly anticipating each new Ian Hunter release for around three decades now. Fingers Crossed, Ian’s latest album with his superb Rant Band came out in September and it’s great to be seeing Hunter performing songs from that album live so soon afterwards. A raunchy, rocky ‘That’s … Continue reading Ian Hunter at Shepherd’s Bush Empire 11/11/16

#FolkForChristmas the top 10 folk / acoustic / Americana albums of 2020 on Darren’s Music Blog

The hashtag #FolkForChristmas was dreamt up as a means of supporting artists whose income has been devastated by the impact of coronavirus and lockdown this year. People are encouraged to support independent artists and their wonderful music and shop with them this Christmas rather than heading off to Amazon. In putting this list of recommendations … Continue reading #FolkForChristmas the top 10 folk / acoustic / Americana albums of 2020 on Darren’s Music Blog

Rock/Americana: album review – Lee Gallagher & The Halleluja ‘L.A. Yesterday’

Taking inspiration from that the likes of The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers and Buffalo Springfield, Lee Gallagher lays out his own take on that cosmic California sound with his latest album L.A. Yesterday. It’s all majestic-sounding piano, nifty guitar licks and laid-back California vibes. With Gallagher’s emotive, highly expressive vocals (he’s been compared to … Continue reading Rock/Americana: album review – Lee Gallagher & The Halleluja ‘L.A. Yesterday’

Book review: ‘On Track: Hawkwind – every album, every song’ by Duncan Harris

This review was originally published by Get Ready To Rock here ‘Hawkwind – every album, every song’ is another volume in Sonicbond’s ‘On Track’ series, this time taking on the Herculean task of documenting the prolific adventures of Dave Brock’s gang of space rockers in the recording studio over the past five decades. Author, Duncan … Continue reading Book review: ‘On Track: Hawkwind – every album, every song’ by Duncan Harris