Theme Time Radio Hour

I've had a stinking code (cold) since Xmas day so haven't been out much. But I have been thoroughly enjoying Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour, currently being repeated on BBC Radio 2. Checking out the playlists, I'm pleasantly surprised to see he plays a Bonzo track on 'Halloween'. I hope he does a 'Trains' programme sometime soon!

Yvonne's tour diary

All the back-stage gossip and photos of the Bonzo's tour I didn't see - from Yvonne Innes on the Neil Innes Music website.


Filming Axed Arts Centre

Irony Of Film About Axed Arts Centre (from The Argus): "A documentary on the last months of an arts centre is being funded by the organisations whose cuts contributed to its closure. Award-winning film-maker Michele D'Acosta will shoot a fly-on-the-wall documentary about the final season at Gardner Arts Centre in Brighton. The film is being funded by Brighton and Hove City Council and the Arts Council South East." As Nick pointed out, Londoners wouldn't think twice about travelling 10 minutes to see a gig or concert! Shame on Brighton!


The Lovely Brothers

lovely, originally uploaded by fred pipes.

My camera went bananas at the Pog gig at the Cowley Club last night and produced some weird ghostly images of The Lovely Brothers (I'd set the flash to 'slow'!). I'd already missed openers We am Janet but caught a fine set by Asbo Derek (check out their anthem 'The night James were excellent' on MySpace), an energetic Wob, and then after another personnel shuffle (Paul's sister Kerry seems to be in most bands tonight!) it was Pog, playing for the second time that day (most of the bands had played earlier at the Albert to celebrate Paul Stapleton's birthday). Then, fresh from an engagement in Shoreham, The [incognito] Lovely Brothers exploded onto the stage area to finish another fantastic free event at the famous anarchist club in superb style, lubricated on my part by Dark Star's excellent Solstice and Pale ales (cheers Rich!). I'd missed the Sussex County Arts Club xmas party to be here, but no regrets (there'll be a rant about parties and group meals another time, suffice to say that IMO while parties drain the energy out of you, live music continues to be exhilarating and life enhancing - support it whenever you can!). So tired this morning I missed my regular Clarion ride...


Is The Gardner Arts Centre too far from the City?

Is The Gardner Arts Centre Really Too Far From The City (from The Argus): my letter about the closure of the Gardner Arts Centre at Sussex University, Falmer. Can someone explain how the excellent Gardner Arts Centre in Falmer is considered too far away from the city centre for Brighton and Hove City Council to continue funding it ("Arts centre faces closure", The Argus, December 8), but that the proposed football stadium, across the road in Falmer, is close enough to be treated as a city resource? Do sports fans exist in a different space/time continuum to arts enthusiasts? Alan (Fred) Pipes, Gerard Street, Brighton


The Gift

The Gift, originally uploaded by fred pipes.

What do you call a tribute band with one of the original members? The Gift is Rick Buckler, drummer with The Jam, along with Rickenbacker wielding Paul Weller substitute Russell Hastings and Bruce Foxton sub Dave Moore. They were playing at Concorde 2 in Brighton, not my favourite venue as it's a bit of a cycle, but redeeming itself by having a single Harvey's pump on the bar among the ubiquitous lagers. Support when I arrived were local mod rockers Young Soul Rebels who sounded just right for this audience of hardened Jam fans. Then a gap and on came The Jam, err The Gift. To a chant of 'we are the mods' from an audience possibly too young to have been first-generation (or even second-generation) modernists, they launched into 'This is the Modern World' and from then in it was Jam song after Jam song, much to the delight of the ecstatic audience who sang along to every one. Half way through, unannounced, on walked the real Bruce Foxton, and the crowd went mental. Dave handed over the bass and took up rhythm guitar and we had the great Kinks cover '(I wish I could be like) David Watts' played by two-thirds of the original Jam. Finale, several hits later, was the rousing 'Eton Rifles' and the three-song encore finished with the crowd pleaser 'Down in the tube station at midnight'. That's entertainment! A fantastic gig, with all the energy, drive and freshness of those Jam gigs way back when, twenty-odd years ago. On the way home, along Madeira Drive, police were out keeping an eye on boy racers with pimped-up cars, and inspecting (and towing away) stretch limos! Brighton on a Saturday night is a very strange town.

Minor rant: the ticket price was a good value 12 quid, but I paid 13.50 at the Dome Box Office. Why the extra 1.50? Booking fee, that's what (I should have bought it at Resident Records, who only charge a quid). If I'd bought it on t'internet I'd have paid booking fee, credit card surcharge, postage, etc etc. Never mind outrageous bank charges, this needs to be looked at! Rip off, I say!


A Jolly Xmas

A Jolly Xmas, originally uploaded by fred pipes.

Have a great Winterval!