Music Television 2

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Post  misery guts on Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:13 am

The BET Life of B2K
I can't pretend I was a fan, but they were treated here like a black N Sync, despite imploding pretty quickly after managerial difficulties resulting in Omarion going solo and the other 3 not doing much at all.

Hits, Hype & Hustle - An Insider's Guide to the Music Business
Another 3 hour look over how to succeed, covering how to make stars, how to tour, and how to make a comeback. Some of the stories came up in each episode eg Motown, and there were some caustic anecdotes about those who made it, and those who didn't. A&R is a different ball game these days, touring involves professionalism and organisation, and it's easier to make a comeback if you have a back catalogue more like OMD's than Musical Youth's.

Planet Rock Profiles: The Cranberries
A repeat from 2002, not really much of a tribute to the late Dolores. But at least she could tell her story herself here, and how the touring treadmill worked against them, and her in particular. Sad.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:10 am

Live in London Session: Tiwa
Ms Savage is from Lagos, and her gig here at the HMV Apollo was fairly entertaining stuff.

Needle Time: Thomas McClary
He started on the ukulele, from which he moved to the guitar, having developed a innovative style. His family faced tough times during civil rights struggles, but he made it to Tuskegee University, where he met Lionel Richie, and they formed the Commodores. Their funk project predated disco, trying to be progressive. They toured as the openers for the Jackson 5, and earned a contract. They mixed up the groovy tracks with more mellow ballads like Three Times A Lady. They got respect from Rolling Stone magazine, and enjoyed their success. They tried to be a black Beatles. But Lionel went solo, and in ire at the others, Thomas left too, though he still hopes for a reformation some day. He's written a book "Rock and Soul", and has been on the straight and narrow and near to God since the big time.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:11 am

Live in London Session: Wizkid
Still at the HMV Apollo in London, it's the Nigerian wunderkind from 2011 in a lengthy set notable for also including Banky W, Eddie Kadi and others, and a special appearance from footballer Djibril Cisse to do a little dance.

Marmozets: On Record
Matt Stocks' series returns with him talking to Rebecca and Jack from this upcoming Brit rock group whose 2nd album is out now, coming a few years after their first. They've experimented a bit with this album, but feel confident in their directions, test material on tours, and respect Weezer and Queens of the Stone Age as acts who plough their own course without worrying about what record companies think. They've advanced from their 1st album, and are happy to get back on the road.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:29 am

Live in London Sessions: Timaya
An hour or so from the IndigO2m from a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter (apparently). The most notable skit was at the end where he gave the mic to some bloke in the audience who was singing along (about as well as Timaya).

Ricky Ross
The Deacon Blue frontman here touring his 6th solo album from back in 2013. The first 1/3 seemed to be a straight documentary, then it became a gig from Dundee, where he grew up. He did banter and intros between songs and came across really well, and he did some Deacon Blue songs inbetween his own, which were just as excellent. All in all, a treat. He concluded his tour at Barlinnie Prison, prison gigs being something he enjoys, fearing no stigma, and rewarding guards as much as prisoners.


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Post  misery guts on Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:49 am

Belladrum 2016 - Cridhe Tartan - Gavin James
A short burst from an Irish singer-songwriter, fair enough stuff.

The Fall - The Wonderful and Frightening World of Mark E Smith
A 2005 tribute repeated in remembrance, spookily featuring Smith's biggest fan, DJ John Peel, amongst other former band mates like DJ Marc Riley, and fans like Stewart Lee. The most memorable parts were some of the unexpected ones, such as an endorsement Mark recounted getting from Bo Diddley. There will never be another band quite like the Fall.

Live in London Sessions: Davido
A Nigerian producer and singer, with performance mixed in with brief excerpts from behind the scenes chatter about his sense of pride in performing there, his African tour, his support acts and so on.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:02 am

HARDtalk: James Rhodes
The highly-gifted classical pianist, talking more about his horrific experience of being abused, and another recent book about it. He's a likeable guy, but he must have some incredible strength to not only carry on as normal as he can. He does talk about quitting a financial career at the age of 28 to devote himself to music, which is his pain release mechanism, and which he is clearly very talented at.

Live In London Session: Zahara
There's oddities about this series, but this was a steady enough little show from Wembley Arena, apparently. She talked of how moved she was to get such a great reception in London. She's a star in her village. Probably the most intriguing song sounded like it had a melody like Knocking On Heaven's Door, but wasn't.

Belladrum 2017 - Cridhe Tartan - Franz Ferdinand
The Scots pop-rockers have a new 5th album out around now, but this was from last year, and seemed to mainly plumb their earlier works, and avoid the big singles. They also name-checked KT Tunstall, so I hope that gig turns up in time too.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:10 am

The South Bank Show Originals: Liza Minnelli
From a show in 2008, where Liza was doing a one-woman show at the London Coliseum to mark 40 years in showbiz (so I think even amateur mathematicians can suss what she'll be marking this year). She spoke of having good parents, how acting informed her singing, was brought up alongside other children of big stars, appearing at the London Palladium with her mother, her admiration for Bob Fosse, her godmother being Kay Thompson, and so on. Michael York was featured in 2018, looking distinctly ancient.

Larry King Now - Andy Grammer
His 3rd LP, "The Good Parts" has recently been released. His mother died 9 years ago. He started out busking for 4 years, until he was star spotted one day and the rest was fame. He opened for Stevie Wonder last year, he admires Bruno Mars and Alessia Cara, and would like to work with Billy Joel. He's involved with a project to deal with homelessness, had a go at Dancing With The Stars, comes from LA, and would like to take up drumming and acting at later dates.

Live In London Session: Psquare
They seem to be brothers. I suspect this show was abbreviated too, but at least the tracks were introduced by caption. They've worked with Akon and Rick Ross, and their mother died fairly recently to whenever this was shot.

Bob Marley - The Making of a Legend
Actress Esther Anderson became connected to Bob Marley, and took early home movies of him and other band members in the early 70s. The tapes were believed lost for 37 years until they turned up in Canada, and hence this 2011 film with Esther relating her story. When Bob cheated on her with Cindy Brakespeare, she was philosophical about it, but when she learned Bob was in fact married to Rita, then she left him. I came away with admiration for her, and less for him.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:47 am

Live in London Session: Iyanya
He's a multi-award-winning Nigerian rapper who won the 1st series of some fame reality show. The highlight was an "oldschool RnB medley" which covered, I kid you not, Richard Marx's Right Here Waiting, Marvin Gaye's Sexual Healing and a 3rd track I couldn't identify. He gave way to Emma Nyre after a while, apparently doing a set to launch an LP, something in connection with "Triple MG". Iyanya returned for a track enticingly called Bust My Brain, which seemed to sample Snow's Informer, but then was cut off. I suspect this was another show cut short by poor scheduling.

The Animal Symphony
Tiresome animal-friendly presenter Chris Packham planned to see if wildlife responded to music, and asked Nitin Sawhney to try and compose a symphony to appeal to them. Clearly there are connections, where howling dogs, twittering starlings and blackbirds, dancing cockatiels and sealions, or the songs of wolves and whales. With help from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Sawhney had a bash, with mixed results. The wolves responded to the whalesong, the sealions and cockatiels boogied to the rhythms, and the birds joined in. Only the dogs didn't go for it.

The BET Life of Ciara
The usual career stuff from the R&B star who's apparently put out 5 or 6 LPs, though she hasn't hit in the UK in over a decade. Her "Matrix" dance, her typifying "Crunk & B", her being from Atlanta, it was much the usual story.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:08 pm

The Blockheads - Live at the Water Rats
An entertaining show, and some of their newer material compares favourably with their classic stuff. That said, it seems weird to recall Ian Dury died almost 20 years ago.

Only Men Aloud - Y Bois At Enlli
The 20-strong choir have had a cull, and now there's only 8 of them. They spent a week on retreat on the remote Bardsey Island to discover a new sound for their new set-up. Seemed to work out quite well.

The Old Grey Whistle Test - Live For One Night Only
A 3 hour tribute show with former presenter Bob Harris talking to guests from the show's 16 year history, montage clips from the many acts to do sets for the show, and live efforts from acts varying from Kiki Dee to Peter Frampton to Gary Numan to Albert Lee. Really well-meant and joyful.

The Old Grey Whistle Test Story
Unlike this sour crap from 2007, with largely acerbic criticism mainly about the show (and especially Bob Harris) in failure to immediately appreciate the wonders of punk rock. Harris famously dissed the New York Dolls as "mock rock" and he's quite sanguine about it these days I believe.

Nicky Horne Presents with Gene Simmons
The Kiss frontman has a new boxset out and another book. He talked of his humble background, and the tough work ethic he got from his mother. Whether that justifies his money-making antics is up to personal choice, I suspect. His daughter is into EDM. He views the famous make-up as warpaint rather than a mask to hide behind. He's also adopted a lot of African kids in a bid to make the world a better place.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:40 am

Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble
How the talented violinist formed his own orchestra in 2000 from different nationalities. After initial difficulties, the 9/11 tragedy really gave an impetus on the importance of the project, and its ability to bring peace and hope to repressive parts of the world.

Annie Nightingale: Bird on the Wireless
This 2011 doc made me laugh when I first saw it for its hubris and lack of awareness. Paul Weller amusingly sums it up by saying Annie isn't a celebrity DJ, shown in a one-hour tribute to her?! She moved to Brighton where she was soon writing for the local press, and later brought into DJ circles in London, and then BBC Radio 1. She was very big on the importance of art school movements, from the Beatles to Roxy Music. She was dead keen on punk, and less on Rick Wakeman's ice spectacular. She enjoyed acid house, raves, grime & dubstep and so on. A frequent subtext was to claim that John Peel, often credited as a great friend to unknown talent, was not as important as Annie etc.

Belladrum 2017: Feis a Cridhe Tartan - The Pretenders
From Inverness, Chrissie Hynde rocked a decent set with plenty of material from across the band's career, and she frequently gave a shout-out to her drummer.

Don Broco: Uncut
A good half-hour or so with Matt & Rob answering questions about social media, what inspired their new album, how phones are now part of a concert experience. They seem to be progressing steadily.

2017 MoBO Awards
Held at the First Direct Arena, Leeds last Autumn, this show featured some performances from Stefflon Don, Ray BLK and Davido, with the bulk of the awards simply shown in a swift montage. Stormzy's 3 awards were all given coverage, and Idris Elba accepted an award in person.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:36 am

Bryn Terfel - Cyngerdd Gwyl Ddewi
A St David's Day concert from St David's Hall, somewhere in Wales, with the popular Welsh tenor backed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, upcoming soprano Menna Cazel, and the official harpist to the Prince of Wales, Hannah Stone. In fact, the only surprise was to find it was from 2015, not 2018.

Live in London Session: Wizkid
A different edition to another I think I've seen of him, but I'm still at a loss as to why he's so popular, based on this evidence.

Breaking a Monster
Bizarre doc about a teenage black heavy metal band called Unlocking the Truth, who became a YouTube sensation, and were taken on by Alan Sacks, who previously did good for the Jonas Brothers. He had his work cut out getting the UTT lads to get serious about what the business required, why having signed a mega-deal with Sony wasn't an automatic pass to greatness, and especially why frontman and songwriter Malcolm needed to curb his attitude and cut out the skateboard antics if the band were to succeed. I've never heard of them, so maybe after this 2015 film, things nosedived.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:10 am

Hebridean Celtic Festival
A short double bill from The Boy Who Trapped The Sun, and Anderson, McGinty, Webster, Ward & Fisher, two acts with equally ridiculous names, but good material all the same.

Niteworks / Obair Oidhche
An interesting line-up at Glasgow University, with INYAL and The Elephant Sessions supporting headliners Niteworks, all of whom sounded alright.

Belladrum 2017 - Feeder
Steady pop-rockers with a fair mix of their hits, no Buck Rogers oddly enough, but plenty of other big ones.

The South Bank Show Originals: Vera Lynn
From 1991, when she was a mere 74, which Melvyn noted was his mother's favourite edition of the show. She started singing young, and left school early, but soon earned good money from singing, and WW2 made her a star as a forces' sweetheart.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:52 am

Toots and the Maytals: Reggae Got Soul
Decent lengthy 2011 effort with endorsements from Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton and Keith Richards, not to mention Jimmy Cliff, Ziggy Marley and Sly & Robbie. He seemed a more authentic positive sound, whilst not stinting on the politics either.

Live With... Jessica Lee Morgan
She's Tony Visconti's daughter apparently, and has some fine songs to sing in her own right.

Neil Sean meets Eden Kane
Plugging a career compilation c/o Cherry Red, Eden spoke of his all-too-brief early 60s heyday, spending time in Australia, then Las Vegas. Now tours with Marty Wilde and others in a package of that era. He apparently spent 18 years working on various Star Trek iterations, which was a bizarre twist, but probably more fun than real estate.


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Post  misery guts on Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:49 am

Tones, Drones & Arpeggios - The Magic of Minimalism
Conductor Charles Hazlewood looks at the story of minimalism, and its 4 greatest exponents, La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich and Philip Glass, looking at their stories in California and New York, how their music developed with tape loops, early synthesizers, phasing, and so on, as well as their effect on other musicians from John Cale to Mike Oldfield, and the next generation. Kraftwerk were mentioned fleetingly as much to dismiss them as to give them a mention.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:27 am

Belladrum 2017 - Cridhe Tartan - The James Hunter Six
Entertaining stuff from Saturday evening on the Garden stage at Beauly, a wide and plentiful set of songs, and someone I'd be happy to hear more from.

Hebridean Celtic Festival - Paddy Callaghan Trio / The Battlefield Band
Two short samples from 2013, competent enough, but I feel they deserve to be more than just schedule fillers.

April Towers at Electric Dreams
A short set from Bognor Regis in 2017. A solid enough little band, maybe bigger things lie ahead for them.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:15 am

Hollywood In Vienna - The Sound of Space & the Wondrous World of Alexandre Desplat
The Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Keith Lockhart, performed a 1st half of tunes from movies about space, like Gravity and Contact, and then the 2nd half of tunes that Desplat has done for films like The Imitation Game and Argo. He's done a remarkable number given this was nearly the first I had heard of him.

Andrew WK: On Record
Matt Stocks handled the questions as usual. I never really liked AWK back in 2001 when he was pushed for the song Party Hard. But I can't deny he was a likeable and thoughtful interviewee, and his songs aren't that bad, really.

Live In London Session: Flavour
Another in this seemingly endless series, with an "Ibo heart-throb", whose songs seemed OK enough, and he was joined by Iyanya later on.

Johnny Hates Jazz at Electric Dreams
Much more my cup of tea. Clark Datchler is still bringing it on some classic 80s material, and the crowd were happy.

Neil Sean meets David Hamilton
The DJ and presenter has done a book about 11 of his Radio 1 colleagues, and talked about his long career, the people he worked with, the people he admired, and the way that modern comedy doesn't stack up against the legends he had the privilege of knowing and working with. He got his nickname Diddy from working with the late Ken Dodd. A decent cove.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:54 am

Celtic Connections 2012: Songs of Ireland
Ricky Ross introduced a concert with many Irish acts like Finbar Furey and Dick Gaughan, and including Brian Kennedy doing "Danny Boy". Hm...

TOTP2: St Patrick's Day Special
From 2001, and with assorted Irish acts, plus 4 appearances for U2, in case you might wonder who are rated above everyone else in Ireland. It was amusing that Van Morrison managed to sneak in thanks to his 1989 duet with Cliff "not Irish" Richard.

A Very Soul Train 90s House Party
Amusing compilation of archive from the likes of Snoop Dogg, Young MC and Salt N Pepa (with the decidedly not-90s Push It). Biz Markie played a DJ holding it together. Whoever he is.

Belladrum 2017: Cridhe Tartan - Dub Pistols
A ska act brightening up the rain with some spirited performances, including a take on the Specials' "Gangster(s)".
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Post  misery guts on Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:30 am

Piano Reflections
A short clip from the early 1940s with Arthur Koch playing music from Tchaikowsky, Strauss and Chopin. Curious to see.

Tube Screamer - Judas Priest Special
They've a new album out, and Rob and Richie were present to talk about it. Rob's a genre legend with almost half a century in (and out of) the band, whilst Richie is a more recent arrival, but has already fitted in well. They're headlining the Bloodstock festival this summer, and looking forward to playing some of the new album live. They respect their fans, and won't use Twitter for negativity and attention seeking.

Belladrum 2017 - Cridhe Tartan - The Sherlocks
A more recent band, but thrilled the crowds from the Hothouse stage in Beauly with a steady set of entertaining songs.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:33 am

Being Blacker
Record shop owner and Blacker Dread Records brains goes through a difficult period, burying his mother and then going to jail. He was quite a character, and after his release, attends his daughter's wedding. The music wasn't really an angle in this, though his shop had a big community effect, and his jail term meant its loss.

Rick Wakeman's Six Wives of Henry VIII
From May 2009, the keyboards whizz finally gives a full concert performance at Hampton Court Palace, with Brian Blessed helpfully narrating to introduce each section, which was all part of the magic.

The Movie Music of Spike Lee & Terence Blanchard
From the Nospr Concert Hall in Katowice, with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Alexander Humala, and Blanchard playing trumpet in many of the performances. Intriguingly pleasant stuff.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:36 am

Modern Romance at Electric Dreams
Another 80s-fest, but hardly from the top class. They even covered Rod Stewart's Baby Jane. But they did push having a new album on the horizon, and the couple of tracks they played from it sounded OK.

Iris Williams - Portread
She was born in the same part of Wales as Tom Jones, and was adopted. She shone at school, and got a scholarship to develop her singing. She broke through on a pop show called Disc A Dawn. When she moved to London, her career took off, and then moved to New York for new challenges, and even more success. This 2002 tribute was pretty good stuff.

Live With... The Wonder Stuff
Miles in fact played alone on guitar, but it was still solid stuff, throwing a couple of hits into the mix.

Neil Sean meets Mark Wynter
He's another with a Cherry Red compilation, including some rare tracks and I think footage from Aussie shows. He'd been 57 years in the business. He was lucky to get an audition with Decca on a nod from Lionel Bart. He diversified from singing into acting, which meant he worked with many comedians over the years. He keeps swimming, and was learning the alto sax. He appeared in some pop films in the 60s. He preferred working in the theatre. He wasn't keen to write his autobiography, though read many others. He was on the package tour that Eden Kane plugged in his show.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:49 am

Classic Artists: Yes
A 2 part (therefore 3 hour) effort from 2007, featuring presumably all the then-surviving band members, together with producers, road managers and engineers. They were one of these bands with many line-up changes, like Deep Purple, and even reached a point in the late 80s where several former members formed their own supergroup, to success, before being lured back into the fold. Trevor Horn proved pivotal in getting them through a tricky patch in the 1980s, and even to a US #1. I gather they've plans for their 50th anniversary this year, so it's a story with plenty of life left in it.

Legends of the Canyon
The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Mamas and the Papas and Crosby, Stills and Nash (and sometimes Young). They suggested folk rock boomed because of the Beatles. Whether you think any of these acts were super-important is I suppose in the ear of the beholder. Some of them certainly aren't.

Belladrum 2017 - Cridhe Tartan - Twin Atlantic
Rising Scots pop-rockers, headlining the Hothouse stage on Friday night in Beauly, with a creditable blast of their hits, to crowd delight.

Ceolmhor @ Piping Live
Highlights from the 2014 festival, here including Daimh and Havanti.

Eden ac Elin Fflur
From the Bryn Terfel Theatre in Bangor in 2018, a three-piece girl-band, with special guest soloist. Entertaining stuff, for an appreciative crowd.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:37 am

Belladrum 2017 - Cridhe Tartan - Sister Sledge
Though Joni has gone, they still have her son Thaddeus in the band, and sang Amazing Grace in her memory. They also did Good Times/Rapper's Delight, as Nile Rodgers is prone to do.

Only Men Aloud
Not sure I want to watch too many of these series. From 2010, when they still had the larger line-up, here in Cardiff, things improved for me when they did songs I knew, like Copacabana (At The Copa) and Hello Dolly.

A Very Soul Train R&B House Party
Like the 90s one, here with a mix of the familiar (Destiny's Child, TLC) and the forgotten (Color Me Badd, Jade) and the never-heard-of-them (702, After 7). Amusingly the Where Are They Now? bits tended to reiterate that many of these acts were on reunion tours together.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:53 am

Eithne - Eadar Da Shaoshal / Between Two Worlds
The intriguing but ultimately sad story of Eithne ni Uallachain, a Gaelic singer with La Lugh, who increasingly suffered with depression in her 30s, and took her life at the age of 42. She had just been working on a solo album, which her husband and band member helped complete after a 15 year gap.

Ceol Eithne ni Uallachain
A special commemorative concert in early January 2016, in which friends and family remembered Eithne, at St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:27 am

Future Perfect at Electric Dreams
A husband & wife electro-pop duo doing a short afternoon set with plenty of good songs there.

Live With... Mark Morriss
The Bluetones frontman has plenty of good songs of his own. I might have expected some more blather introductions, but he scarcely bothers.

Only Men Aloud
Another show from Cardiff here, with support from Elin Fflur and harpist Catrin Finch. Entertainingly, they had a good go at MacArthur Park, before closing on Amazing Grace.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:24 am

Ceolmhor @ Piping Live
Two more editions of this, with the Vallely Brothers the focus of one, and Paddy Keenan the big name in the other, but also Pipe Idol winner Calum Brown, prize winners Inveraray Pipe Band Quartet, Fred Morrison and Simon McKerrell.

Live From Abbey Road - Classics: Norah Jones
She appeared in January 2007, Studio 2 speaking fondly of the late Arif Mardin, who produced some of her albums, how she wrote her recent album on guitar. Additionally, Josh Groban featured from October 2006, where he spoke of the importance of his voice and his love of musical theatre.

China Crisis at Bognor Regis
I notice on YT that the singer swears quite a lot more than he did in this version. But they did a wide blend of material, and plenty of hits. Good that they're still persevering really.
misery guts
misery guts
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