What happened there . . . . ?

Posted: April 22, 2011 in Hear This . . . . !

This has turned out to be a spectacularly busy week one way and another and keeping up was nearly as important as getting where Ihad to be!

One of the real highlights of the week was a trip to the cultural centre of Putney, the long-running and much celebrated ‘Half Moon PH’, which continues to be a fine music venue offering a fascinating array of artists and styles in its programme. This visit was to catch a rare re-appearance of Mike Sanchez and his band and it was simply the most sensational show I’ve seen him give for many years. He was on top form and boasted a band that was tight, exciting and packed with top class musicians, most certainly without any exceptions. Mike has had many musicians in his bands over the years, but this band was truly exceptional.

The show set off at a storming pace and never let up for two solid hours. The folks who packed out the Half Moon’s showroom cheered, danced, screamed and shouted encouragement throughout. The walls were ringing wet by the end and most of the audience too. If you want ‘full-tilt’, rocking RnB with fun and attitude, this is a ‘must see’ show. Be assured, once you’re there . . . . ‘You can’t sit down’ (respects to the Phil Upchurch Combo). Joy!

A guided tour of the Royal Albert Hall was a special treat and a great opportunity to see behind the scenes of my favorite London music venue. Some fascinating stories and insights that was followed by afternoon tea in one of the Capital’s ‘select’ hotels and another visit to The Jersey Boys to enjoy an excellent presentation of the story and music of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons.

My ventures around various record emporiums of London recently have bagged some notable ‘finds’ that will, doubtless, be shared with listeners to the radio show in the weeks to come. One such venture, in the company of fellow DJ Max Quirk proved to be a joyous outing on an already bright day that ended with a spring in my step, joy in my heart and clutch of real gems in my hand. The thing that really knocked me sideways, though, was the generosity of DJs Johnny Alpha, Max Quirk and The Shake over the past weeks. Each surprised me with outstanding record contributions to my collection. Great guys and great music!

The sun has made more than a few welcome visits to the Grand Duchy of Bexleyheath this past week and brought with it the serenade of lawn mowers and masked the customary fragrant wafts of mimosa and coriander in the air with the scent of sizzling sausages that signaled the re-discovery of many a barbeque. The weather has changed the appearance of the local traffic too, with the roads of the grand Duchy festooned with a perpetual parade of posers’ cabriolets, each with its own musical accompaniment and the drivers replete with the requisite dark glasses and hair blowing in the wind (of course I was always to proud to chase after mine).

DJ Leyton Rocks returned to Cruising with The Commissioner to take the wheel for a guided detour across some very ‘rocky’ terrain and there may have been some white knuckles as one or two gripped the edge of their seats on this part of the journey. But you should be assured that DJ Leyton Rocks’ road safety record is well known in A&E departments across the land and he still has all the body parts he started out with (some in near mint condition).

This edition of the show featured a couple firsts . . . . the first of the ‘Three From Me’ feature, where we invite someone to nominate three favourite tracks from their current playlist. It was a great coup to have the company of The Majestic, who is widely regarded as a spiritual leader amongst pipe-smoking DJs (and a comfort to dry-cleaners wherever he goes). The occasion also marked his decision to abandon his vow of radio silence in order to provide his speaking debut on radio. The result was an undoubted triumph of style and taste and, on the back of this, I think we may have significant competition in securing his return to Cruising with The Commissioner, but we’ll certainly try. Next week, we hope to persuade DJ Wheeliebag to offer ‘Three From Me’ and I think we can look forward to another excellent selection.

Another first was the inaugral trip Down Memory Lane, in the company of fellow Wireless FM DJ, The Shake. Recalling the earliest entries in his record collection, including Pinky & Perky’s cover of the Osmonds hit ‘Wild Horses’ and a punk rock anthem from the Angelic Upstarts (featured on the show). I think we have a much better understanding now of how The Shake got the way he is and perhaps we can encourage him to find that Pinky & Perky track and play it on his Tuesday night show sometime.

For the avid archivists amongst you, here’s the playlist for the latest show:

Be My Guest – Fats Domino
One Way Love – Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers
The Question (Whatcha Gonna Do) – Mike Sanchez & His Band
Say Mama – Gene Vincent
Teenage Heaven – Eddie Cochran
You’re Gonna Hurt Yourself – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
Down In Mexico – The Coasters
Get Back In Line – Roy Rogers
Mojo Boogie – Johnny Winter
Girl Don’t Make Me Wait Too Long – Bunny Sigler
That’s When The Tears Start – The Blossoms

Three from me . . . .  The Majestic
One Mint Julep – The Clovers
Hang Me Now – Jean & The Darlings
Easy As Saying One Two Three – Timmy Willis

Cruising on . . . . .
She’s Not There – Santana
For What It’s Worth – Keb Mo
The Jackal – Ronny Jordan (with Dana Bryant)
If You Don’t Get It The First Time – Fred Wesley & The JBs
Ride The Groove – The Players Association

Down Memory Lane . . . . The Shake
Teenage Warning – Angelic Upstarts

The Leyton Rocks detour . . . . .
Into The Drink – Mudhoney
Start Choppin – Dinosaur Jr
Positive Bleeding – Urge Overkill
Debonair – The Afghan Whigs
Solid Brown – Sebadoh

Back on the highway . . . . .
With This Ring – The Platters
Almost Summer – Celebration
You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice – The Grass Roots
Cut It Out – Joe Tex
High School Dropout – Roy C
Uptight – Stevie Wonder
Hoochie Coochie Coo – Taj Mahal
Olena – Don Nix
Everybody Needs Somebody To Love – Wilson Pickett

The chatroom chatter during this show touched on the al fresco listening opportunities offered by the warm weather, the vaguaries of the postal system (a frequent topic for record collectors) and gave an enthused welcome to ‘One Way Love’ by Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers, ‘That’s When The Tears Start’ by The Blossoms, and ‘The Jackal’ by Ronny Jordan (with Dana Bryant). If you stop by the show on a future Thursday night, why not check out the chatroom and let’s have your pleasure of your company and comments too.

 The fact that you are reading this confirms that the Cruising with The Commissioner website is live and has not crashed yet, so “I must being doing something right” (respects to Dee Dee Gartrell). It seems to have been well received, although it feels like flying a plane while it is still being fitted out. It will get developed further with time.

If you like the mix of music on Cruising with The Commissioner, make a date to tune in to Wireless fm (http://wirelessfm.net) each Thursday night at 8-10 pm, for more rock, soul and ‘real’ RnB. We’ll aim to post future shows on this site for the benefit of the curious, the inquisitive and those who enjoy a little deja vu.

Oh, and don’t miss the Tuesday Night Mafia on Wireless fm . . . . they’ll offer you music you can’t refuse and you’ll never forget: Welcome to the Spongelab (6-7.30 pm), Out of Sight (7.30-9.00 pm), Max’s Magic Circles (9-10.30 pm) and Killer Diller (10.30-Midnight).

Until we meet again, have fun!

Listen or download the show here:  Cruising With The Commissioner #3 (21-04-11)

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