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Graham Parker & The Rumour, Glenn Tilbrook – Rock City, Nottingham (May 28, 2014)

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Graham Parker & The Rumour, Glenn Tilbrook – Rock City, Nottingham (May 28, 2014)

Posted on 30 May 2014 by John Haylock

It’s a grim wet Wednesday in Nottingham. People hurry between pubs with out of control umbrellas, girls meet boys in shop doorways, trams crawl along like luminous centipedes and at the imposing and prestigious Theatre Royal, there is a performance of Sister Act by the bleedin’ Carlton Operatic Society. Fortunately for us just across the road on this overcast sullen evening a little bit of pop sunshine broke through the clouds of mediocrity and neon lit drizzle.

Not one but two, veritable legends of songwriting, both from the school of late seventies new wave post punk, both erudite and passionate performers with back catalogues to die for.

Glenn Tilbrook

Glenn Tilbrook

Up first is Squeeze frontman Glenn Tilbrook, he takes to the stage, slightly out of breath, he explains he didn’t realize it was an early show! He should have been on at seven but was fifteen minutes late, anyway armed initially with his acoustic guitar he took us on a brief whirlwind romance, opening with ‘Take Me I’m Yours’ featuring some very dextrous guitar work, and the evergreen ‘Up The Junction’, onto the deeply personal ‘Persephone’ a song he wrote with his sidekicks The Fluffers.

Then with minimal fuss  he picks up his black stratocaster and gives us a short sharp slap of ‘Still’, proving yet again what a great guitar technique he has, finally playing out with a bouyant ‘Slap and Tickle’, which is so fantastic it would even put a smile on a depressed Lib Dem who’s just lost his seat.

Graham Parker

Graham Parker

The place suddenly becomes full of people, a very small, well-dressed Graham Parker takes to the stage, (I think he’s shrunk since 1977) complete with the tightest funkiest band you ever heard, namely Brinsley Schwarz on guitar, Bob Andrews keys, the huge towering figure that is Martin Belmont on second guitar, Andrew Bodnar on bass and Stephen Goulding, drums.

They race through a huge set of his classic tunes, at times you thought they might spontaneously combust, such is the ferocity of their playing. Parker possesses one of the greatest white soul voices this land has ever produced. He sang his heart out on ‘White Honey’, a blistering ‘Coat Hangers’ from the new album, but then going back to his roots with ‘Hotel Chambermaid’, ‘Howlin’ Wind’ and ‘Discovering Japan’.

Parker  even previewed a brand new number, ‘Wall of Grace,’ which he announced was being ‘played for the very first time in Nottingham!’ It was a stonker ! Icounted 22 numbers in total andhe finished in triumph with ‘Hey Lord, Don’t ask me questions’ and ‘Soul Shoes’. Beat that Carlton Operatic Society!

Words by John Haylock, pictures by Arthur Hughes

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Splendour Festival, Nottingham (July 20, 2013)

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Splendour Festival, Nottingham (July 20, 2013)

Posted on 23 July 2013 by Joe

If ever a name was more appropriate than Splendour for a festival, then I can’t think of one. With it’s beautiful backdrop of the magnificent Wollaton Hall (Wayne manor in the latest Batman movie) and set amid acres of lovely rolling countryside, fields, stables, courtyards and enclosures in addition to a great views of Nottingham from it’s highest point, this park is one of the areas must see attractions.

Kagoule

Kagoule

To utilize it as a venue was inspired, and despite initial concerns from local (dead posh) residents, it is becoming an annual fixture to the local music scene, and this year saw another pop focused, family friendly line up, spread over a couple of stages, with a  relatively diverse bunch of acts set to cater for different generations of fans.

It took until mid afternoon until something special kicked off, a band with the unassuming name of Kagoule, turned it all up to eleven, with a set of arresting blasts of paint stripping three-piece punk rock. From noisy kids to slick middle aged ex- new wavers; Squeeze have come a long ,long way since their days at the forefront of the school of clever English post punk pop. Always a magnificent singles band, they dropped hit after classic hit, middle aged women swooned liberally and dropped their strawberries as they perfectly executed Black Coffee in Bed, Take Me I’m Yours and Pulling Muscles From a Shell. It was so nice to see the band’s songwriting duo Chris Difford and Glen Tilbrook back in the pop saddle again, evidently crazy happy that they are cherished for the institution they so definitely are, oh and the icing on the cake was a great version of an almost forgotten classic, Slap and Tickle.

Peter Hook

Peter Hook

Ok, admission time. The last time I saw Peter Hook live was on the 22nd of October 1979, when Joy Division blew The Buzzcocks off stage in Derby. To see him here tonight with his band, was a tear jerking trip down memory lane. Good god, I thought, as they started with Joy Division’s  Atmosphere. It was middle aged men going apeshit time!

This was then followed by, yes you guessed it, the greatest tune ever in the annals of rock music, my song, and probably yours as well, Love Will Tear Us Apart. But that was merely the beginning of a seventy minute set that then went on to cover everything fantastic that New Order ever recorded, including Your Silent Face, Regret, Senses and Temptation went to another level, prompting a mass sing a long with added hat throwing and pogoing. His finale with Blue Monday was just astonishingly sublime.

Jake Bugg from a safe distance

Jake Bugg from a safe distance

KT Tunstall played some pretty pretty rock ‘n’ roll, Dog Is Dead proved to be merely competent, but Maximo Park caused sparks to fly with a spiky set of jerky pop that caused much silly dancing and teenage girl hysteria. But they couldn’t compete crowd wise with the much anticipated headline appearance from local kid makes good, Jake Bugg. He certainly drew the biggest crowd of the night, but I remained distinctly unimpressed by his lack of  tunes, zero stage presence and  underwhelming voice. Neonfiller photographer Arthur Hughes even remarked that he sounded a bit like Lonnie Donegan At least Lonnie Donegan had at least two great songs, this guy hasn’t got one. We decided to move on and see Ryan Keen on the other stage. Now this guy has it all, a presence, a winning personality, superb acoustic guitar skills and a fabulous voice, very mellow, very beautiful, very laid back. This chap should be on your radar, a previously unheard gem of a discovery. More than compensates for the over priced jacket potato earlier that afternoon. All in all a grand day out, me duck.

Words by John Haylock, pictures by Arthur Hughes.

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Squeeze and Peter Hook Among Splendour Festival Acts

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Squeeze and Peter Hook Among Splendour Festival Acts

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Joe

Squeeze and ex-Joy Division/New Order bassist Peter Hook’s band The Light are among the acts confirmed for this year’s one day Splendour Festival in Nottingham.

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Taking place on 20th of July in Wollaton Park the line up includes Jake Bugg, Maximo Park and KT Tunstall. Local act Dog Is Dead is another to play the event.

In addition the event’s comedy stage will be playing host to among others Craig Murray and Andrew Bird and Splendour also features a kid’s area and funfair.

Interesting festival fact is that Wollaton Park is the grounds of Wollaton Hall, which doubled up as Wayne Manor in the last Batman film.

For more information and ticket information visit here. Discounts are available for local residents.

by John Haylock

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Top Ten Great Songwriters – Part Two

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Top Ten Great Songwriters – Part Two

Posted on 19 June 2012 by Joe

What makes a good song writer? Is it the ability to turn a phrase on its head , capture an emotion perfectly or to simply be a great story teller? Here’s the second part of our top ten greatest songsmiths. View the first part here.

5. Chris Difford

Back in his days with Squeeze Chris Difford he would scribble down his lyrics, rush over to fellow band member Glen Tilbrook’s house, who would bring music to his wonderful words. While, arguably his best song writing days are behind him, he still releases and writes, with his last album coming in 2010, which just about qualifies him for our list as an active and releasing songwriter.

Chris Difford

Among the main reasons for his inclusion are his expert story telling and biting observational lyrics. For us his finest song was Squeeze’s Up The Junction, the tale of a doomed romance as  the protagonist drinks and gambles his way out of a family and home. It has no chorus and ends with him failing to get the girl, but was still a hit. Here’s one of our best parts where his life begins to crumble.

This morning at 4:50, I took her rather nifty
Down to an incubator, Where thirty minutes later
She gave birth to a daughter, Within a year a walker
She looked just like her mother, If there could be another

And now she’s two years older, Her mother’s with a soldier
She left me when my drinking, Became a proper stinging
The devil came and took me, From bar to street to bookie
No more nights by the telly, No more nights nappies smelling

Humour is another facet of his lyrics and Cool for Cats typifies this well as the male bravado is given the Difford treatment with lines such as

I fancy this, I fancy that, I wanna be so flash
I give a little muscle, and I spend a little cash
But all I get is bitter and a nasty little rash
And by the time I’m sober, I’ve forgotten what I’ve had
And ev’rybody tells me that it’s cool to be a cat

His enthusiasm for encouraging songwriting is another factor  in his inclusion as he spends some of his time these days giving talks and using gigs to explain his craft.

4.PJ Harvey

If an artists songwriting abilities were based on award nominations then Polly Jean Harvey has enough to justify a dozen careers in music. Four Mercury Prize nominations alone over an 18 year period, the last two as winner in 2001 and 2011, make her the most successful artist in that particular competition.

PJ Harvey

Even if you have little patience for back slapping industry events it is hard to argue with the quality of her back catalogue with 20 years worth of albums and barely a wrong step amongst them. Like Kristin Hersh she has an amazing ability to move between musical styles without ever losing her own identity. Vocally she is a real chameleon, listen to the timbre of ‘Rid Of Me‘ compared to the fragile folk stylings of ‘Let England Shake‘ for evidence of that.

Lyrically her work has always had a very personal feel, with raw sexuality and emotional openess a repeated theme. More recently her work has taken on a more thematic approach, never more so than on her critically acclaimed 2011 album Let England Shake. War, identity and the concept of England and Englishness being the central themes on the album. This doesn’t always make for easy listening, more poetry than lyrics, but it is bold songwriting and stands Harvey out from most of her peers.

Death was in the ancient fortress,
shelled by a million bullets
from gunners, waiting in the copses
with hearts that threatened to pop their boxes,
as we advanced into the sun
death was all and everyone.

3. Nick Cave

Nick Cave doesn’t just tell stories in song. He likes to get right inside the head of his protagonists, with criminals a particular fascination. With the Bad Seeds and as a solo artist Cave’s  gothic horror style makes him more akin to the likes of Edgar Allen Poe or Harry Crews than the Australian punk  scene he emerged from.

Take Mercy Seat, his track about a killer facing the electric chair that was so brilliantly covered by Johnny Cash. All the way through the protagonist bravely protests his innocence and says he has no fear for his impending death. But as the electricity sears through his body he finally admits to telling a lie. Whether the lie is about his innocence or his bravery in the face of death is nicely left for the listener to decide.

And the mercy seat is waiting
And I think my head is burning
And in a way I’m yearning
To be done with all this measuring of truth.
An eye for an eye
And a truth for a truth
And anyway I told the truth
But I’m afraid I told a lie.

The Murder Ballads album is another of our favourites, with Where the Wild Roses Grow among the album’s most well known and lyrically best tracks. Loosely based on the traditional tale Down in the Willow Garden it tells of a man killing his lover and laying her to rest among the flowers. Cave tells the story through the killer’s and victims eyes, with Kylie Minogue taking the role of the unfortunate lover. In this track and each of the others on the album he describes the moment of death so perfectly, it’s as if the listener was there. Here’s the final two verses of Where the Wild Roses grow where the terrible deed takes place.

On the third day he took me to the river
He showed me the roses and we kissed
And the last thing I heard was a muttered word
As he stood smiling above me with a rock in his fist

On the last day I took her where the wild roses grow
And she lay on the bank, the wind light as a thief
As I kissed her goodbye, I said, ‘All beauty must die’
And lent down and planted a rose between her teeth

Cave is still writing, using his skill as a story teller across music, film and literature, including writing the screenplay for Australian western The Proposition (2004) and as one quarter of Grinderman, which disbanded in 2011. At the time of writing he is helping develop a film adaptation of the Threepenny Opera with the actor Andy Serkis.

2. Billy Bragg

Billy Bragg is arguably the UK’s greatest living folk songwriter, with his lyrics managing to mix serious political and social commentary with sparkling observations. He is also one of the few songwriters to write about the issues of the day, with corruption at New International and the rise and ultimate fall of the BNP among his more recent subjects.

Billy Bragg at Glastonbury 2011 (pic by Joe Lepper)

Never Buy the Sun, about News International, phone hacking and the shockingly irresponsibly coverage of the Hillsborough stadium disaster in its Sun newspaper was written in 2011 and shows as far as Bragg is concerned the protest song is alive and well.

Among our favourites is Levi Stubbs tears. This heartbreakingly sad tale of a girl and her miserable life seeking salvation in the voice of Four Tops singer Levi Stubbs, whose tears mirror her’s. Here’s one of our favourite versus.

She ran away from home with her mother’s best coat
She was married before she was even entitled to vote
And her husband was one of those blokes
The sort that only laughs at his own jokes
The sort that war takes away And when there wasn’t a war he left her anyway

It’s no wonder Woody Guthrie, the great American protest singer is such an influence. Like Bragg Guthrie also transcended the simple protest song and often wrote about love and family life. We caught Bragg’s show at Glastonbury in 2011 and urge anyone who hasn’t seen him to do so. Anyone who wants some political discourse wll be disappointed, I’m just going to belt em out” he told the crowd.Its something he’s been doing for decades.

Joint 1.David Lowery

David Lowery first came to our attention when he was the singer with Santa Cruz country-ska-waltz-punk-pop band Camper Van Beethoven just before they split up (first time around) in 1990. The band were known as a bit of a one-hit novelty act thanks to ‘Take The Skinheads Bowling’  but this song (as good as it is) distracts from what a sophisticated songwriter and lyricist Lowery was and is.

David Lowery

The early songs were brilliant in their own right, humorous and anarchic with a real emotive sense of the world that Camper Van Beethoven existed in their formative years, but it is on the last albums they recorded where Lowery’s lyrical genius became apparent. On the peerless ‘Sweethearts’ he sings;

Angels wings are icing over
McDonnell-Douglas olive drab
They bear the names of our sweethearts
And the captain smiles, as we crash

Heard in the context of the music their is something just a little bit heartbreaking about those words.

Over the past two decades Lowery has done many things including recording with Sparklehorse, writing for Sussanah Hoffs and reuniting with Camper Van Beethoven in 2004 to record the brilliant concept album New Roman Times in 2004. Throughout that period his main day job has been fronting Cracker with guitarist Johnny Hickman and writing dozens of brilliant songs over their eight studio albums. His lyrics clover a whole trange of subjects but always manage to painty a beautiful picture, take these verses from ‘Big Dipper’;

Hey Jim, Kerouac
(The brother of the famous Jack),
Or so he likes to say.
Lucky bastard

He’s sitting on the Cafe Xeno’s steps
With a girl I’m not over yet
Watching all the world go by

He continues to write and record music, and each new album serves up a selection of thoughtful, witty songs that sound like no one else. His last was released in 2009 and finished with these wise words;

So if you want to see what’s in the shadows
the burning meadows
of our apocalypse
I dream of fallow fields
I dream of winter
cause dying is easy,
It’s living that’s hard.

You can read lots more about David Lowery’s songwriting process (and get a bit of a history lesson to boot) at his 300 s0ngs blog.

Joint 1. John Darnielle

The Mountain Goats’  John Darnielle is America’s greatest story teller in song. Sometimes as on Sunset Tree his songs are about his own life and recovery from an abusive, early homelife.

The Mountain Goats (John Darnielle, centre)

Other times his songs are about fictional characters or the lives of real, sometimes famous people, such as Judy Garland and Charles Bronson, who feature on All Eternals Deck (2011). Autopsy Garland from that album, in which he imagines Judy Garland’s last moments, remembering the abuse from studio executives as she takes her final, global road trip away from the horrors of Emerald City, is a particular highlight in his career.

Fat rich men love their 12-year-olds
Deco cufflinks and cognac by the glass
Look West from London toward the emerald city
Remember Minnesota

Across his career Darnielle’s  lyrics are always compelling and his stories are always told with conviction. In an interview with InDigest Darnielle explains more about his motivation tell stories in song

 It’s kind of impossible for me to think of a song that doesn’t also tell a story. That whole period in the early nineties when indie-ish bands were into “abstract” lyrics that didn’t tell stories or have beginnings middles & ends, God I hated that

Among our highlights in a career, which started through releasing tapes  of just vocals and acoustic guitar made on a boombox and currently resides with Merge Records, is No Children from Tallahassee about a hateful, but wonderfully well-suited couple, and All Hail West Texas’s The Best Ever Death Metal about teenage friends Cyrus and Jeff. In one cruel moment Cyrus is sent to a mental institution, known as ‘the school’ because of his love of death metal, which paradoxically appears to be the only thing keeping him sane.

This was how Cyrus got sent to the school
Where they told him he’d never be famous.
And this was why Jeff,  in the letters he’d write to his friend,
Helped develop a plan to get even.
When you punish a person for dreaming his dream, don’t expect him to thank or forgive you.
The best ever death metal band out of Denton will in time both outpace and outlive you.
Hail satan! Hail satan tonight!

Darnielle used to work in such a place as a mental health nurse, proving Partridge’s point that the most successful songs are about what you know. It is perhaps the songs about his own life where his song writing is most poignant and powerful.

Here’s some lyrics from Pale Green Things, about a rare good memory about the step father who beat him. This  track, set at a racetrack with the young Darnielle gazing at the green moss and grass growing in the dirt underfoot as he stands beside his abuser, was another in our list to make our top ten tearjerkers list . The doubling up of the phrase ‘at last’ is simple but tearfully effective.

My sister called at 3 AM, Just last December
She told you how you’d died at last, at last
That morning at the racetrack, was one thing that I remembered
I turned it over in my mind,like a living Chinese finger trap
Seaweed in Indiana sawgrass, pale green things, pale green things

Despite a formidable track record of song writing behind him arguably Darnielle’s best work may still be ahead of him. As Autopsy Garland and For Charles Bronson on On All Eternal’s Deck (2011) showed the quality of  his song writing is showing no sign of letting up. Here in an exert from For Charles Bronson Darnielle charts the Death Wish star’s final years in film, battling alcoholism and his falling star.

Hit the gym each night, stay cool and seldom speak
Keep the heart of a champion, never let them see you’re weak

And whatever they say on your page three mention
Focus on the parts that make you feel good, be grateful for the attention

For more about John Darnielle see: Ten Bands That Changed Our Lives Part 4 – The Mountain Goats

Compiled by Joe Lepper, Dorian Rogers and David Newbury

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Top Ten Songs About Parenthood

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Top Ten Songs About Parenthood

Posted on 14 December 2010 by Joe

As rock stars get older the angst fades and they often look towards home  and their  kids for inspiration. While for some it is the sheer joy of parenthood that is  inspiring, for others being a parent carries some serious emotional baggage that needs airing. We’ve got some tracks by some great folk artists, angry punks, the chameleon in chief of modern music and XTC – practically our house band at Neon Filler. Sit back, pull up a fairy cake and enjoy Neon Filler’s Top Ten Songs About Being A Parent.

1. Animal Collective – My Girls

We’ve gone for one of the most recent songs about parenting for our number one slot. Here Animal Collective’s Panda Bear sings about the most basic of parenting emotions of  providing a safe and loving home for his family.

The My Girls in question are wife Fernanda Pereira and daughter Nadja. “I just want four walls and adobe slats (red roofing tiles in Portugal where he lives) for my girls,” he sings. Panda Bear’s girls have since been joined by a son, who was born in June 2010, who now also enjoys the family’s four walls and tiles.

My Girls features on Merriweather Post Pavilion (2009) read our review here.

2. XTC – Holly Up on Poppy

As our Top Ten Bands that Changed our Lives feature explains XTC are the kind of band you can grow up with. From their teenage roots as new wavers in Swindon to becoming family men XTC’s chief song writers Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding always come up trumps when singing about the every day important issues of life. Parenting is a theme that crops up in many of their songs but Partridge’s song about his daughter Holly riding on her rocking horse perfectly sums up the joy a parent has watching their child play.

Quoted on the excellent Chalkhills XTC web site Partridge explains that the song’s beauty is its simplicity. “Originally the song was titled ‘Holly High on Poppy’ but people thought it was about drugs. Even now someone’s said it’s about dying of cancer and taking drugs to ease the pain. But it’s really about my daughter and her rocking horse.”

Holly Up On Poppy features on Nonsuch (1990)

3. Squeeze – Up the Junction

Up the Junction is a classic for so many reasons. It’s a weepie about a foolish alcoholic man looking back at his regrets. It’s a rare hit that has no chorus. But for me it is the few lines about the protagonist’s joy of becoming a parent that make this a classic about parenthood. “This morning at 4:50 I took her rather nifty, Down to an incubator, Where thirty minutes later, She gave birth to a daughter, Within a year a walker. She looked just like her mother, if there could be another.” Wonderful stuff.

Up The Junction features on Cool For Cats (1979)

4. Ben Folds – Gracie

Ben Folds has written for both his son and daughter but it is this tribute to his daughter Gracie that really caught our attention. Folds perfectly captures the special bond between parent and child, as he sings that “you will always have a part of me nobody else is ever going to see.”

The innocence of being a kid is also wonderfully summed up, with Folds showing genuine emotion describing the everyday events of a child’s life as he sings to Gracie, “with your cards to your chest walking on your toes, What you got in the box only Gracie knows.” Ahhh.

Gracie features on Songs For Silverman (2005)

5. David Bowie – Kooks

Kooks is a great tribute to a newborn. Written just after his son Zowie Bowie was born it shows Bowie imagining life as a parent, hoping he does a good job. Among the many splendid lines is this beauty about his son’s school life to come. “Don’t pick fights with the bullies or the cads, Cause I’m not much cop at punching other people’s Dads. And if the homework brings you down, Then we’ll throw it on the fire,And take the car downtown.”

This shows a wonderful warmth that was sadly not replicated in Bowie’s odd choice of name for his son. With a name like that there’s no need to pick a fight with a cad, they’ll come flocking. Thankfully Zowie is now Duncan Jones and a fine director to boot.

Kooks features on Hunky Dory (1971)

6. Guided By Voices – My Son Cool.

Having a cool dad is par for the course being a rock star’s son or daughter and they don’t come much cooler than Guided By Voices frontman Robert Pollard. An indie music stalwart, prolific song writer, influencer of many and a former college sports star as well. Pollard is cool as you get. It is with a certain knowing air that he shuns his own coolness and says to his son Bryan, no, it is you that is cool. Now off you go son and do you own thing.

As Pollard said in 2005 about parenthood. “I’ve at least allowed my children to pursue their own interests without too much interference, and I think they both turned out pretty good.” A proud dad indeed.

My Son Cool features on Alien Lanes (1995)

7. John Martyn – My Baby Girl

Sometimes songs need little explanation; the lyrics and title say it all. That’s the case here with My Baby Girl, written by the late John Martyn in the mid 1970s. Its sugary, its syrupy and there’s nothing wrong with that. This line in particular shows how much Martyn and his daughter need and inspire each other. “Daddy will you sing for me, Daddy try to swing for me, Daddy play your strings for me, Daddy don’t you cry for me, Daddy will you fly for me, Daddy will you try for me.”

My Baby Girl features on  Sunday’s Child (1975)

8. Joni Mitchell – Little Green.

Mitchell gave her daughter up for adoption in 1965, explaining some years later that , “I was dirt poor. An unhappy mother does not raise a happy child. It was difficult parting with the child, but I had to let her go.” Writing about this tragic part of her life is no mean feat, but in 1967 after a number of rejigs she finally managed to deliver Little Green, about the toddler she never knew. While Little Green is one of the saddest tracks on our list, the real life story has a happy ending of sorts, with Mitchell being reunited with her daughter Kilauren Gibb in 1997.

Little Green features on Blue (1971)

9. Wilco and Billy Bragg – Hoodoo Voodoo

Being a kid is silly, being a parent can be silly. Sometimes there are big issues to sing about, but sometimes as on this Woody Guthrie track re-imagined by Wilco and Billy Bragg, there is a lot of fun to be had. Here Guthrie’s odd nonsense rhyme for his kids is given the music it deserves. How can you not like a song with the lyrics “Hoodoo voodoo, Chooka chooky choochoo; True blue, how true; Kissle me now.”

Hoodoo Voodoo features on Mermaid Avenue Vol 1. (1998)

10. Hamell on Trial – Inquiring Minds

I’d never heard of Ed Hamell until I put out a request on Facebook for ideas for songs about parenting. Turns out I’ve been missing out on not only one of the best songwriters around but one of the best songwriters about being parent. Hamell sings whole albums about being a parent. It is this excellent track Inquiring Minds that was recommended to us, where Hamell expertly bluffs his way through some of the embarrassing questions more investigative kids might pose.

Inquiring Minds features on Parents Who Enjoy Drugs (2006)

compiled by Joe Lepper (with help from Neon Filler’s  friends on Facebook and inspired by his sons Dylan and Charlie)

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