Music To Escape With

I’ll be honest: this post nearly didn’t happen. I was sooooo pissed off last night at the changes to the Christmas restrictions (for non-UK readers, five days in which you could see friends and family suddenly telescoped into a single day after everyone had made plans) I just wasn’t up for it. For what it’s worth, which isn’t much, I’m mostly pissed off at the way the media can have their cake and eat it, monstering the politicians for not doing the opposite of what they’re doing, no matter that they were monstering them for the other way round the day before. I think it’s called power without responsibility.

Anyhoo, given that my ultimate response to the announcement was to go upstairs, throw on my headphones, plug my guitar into my DAW, and lose myself for 45 minutes recording music, I kind of thought the best I could do was give you my year’s worth of musical recommendations.

First of all, from the albums I ordered a couple of months ago after outsourcing recommendations from Facebook pals, honourable mentions to Jason Isbell and Chuck Prophet for Reunions and The Land That Time Forgot respectively. However, for a more left-field suggestion, try Tash Sultana and her 2018 album, Flow State.

A lot of the songs on this (I’ve still to explore her stuff further) start off with that jump-cut beat, a bit hip hop, a bit reggae, a bit I don’t know, with her intoning some mockney stuff over it, even though she’s Australian. So far, so Kate Tempest – but not really to my taste. And then, and then… she will peel of the most outrageous wig-out guitar solo you’ve ever heard this side of the Seventies (except perhaps from Prince, of whom we shall speak presently). I have to be honest and say this is the one I keep playing more than the others. Check this out:

Elsewhere, I’ve been buying all my music recently through Bandcamp, as it benefits the artists a hundred times more than zillion plays on Spotify, and I’ve been spending quite a bit of time exploring the Aldora Britain Records stable (full disclosure: my track, ‘Copper Wire,’ features on one of their recent compilations). This record label is the work of one incredibly dedicated bloke, name of Tom Hilton, who as well as being from Edinburgh and a fellow cricketer, appears to be completely mad about his music and releasing new sounds out into the ether. More about Tom in a future post.

Despite the name, Aldora doesn’t confine itself to British artists. My faves so far – and I’m really only scratching the surface – include David Newbould, at the rock end of my spectrum of usual tastes, and the much more country-tinged Duane Mark. These are both US-based, but my next purchase will be Luback, who despite producing Americana-tinged southern rock, are actually from Madrid. Guess whose gigs I’m going to be checking for next time we fly into Barajas!

So, go on, lose yourself. Stick those cans on and dream of Spring, and Big Pharma, and those lovely vaccines rolling off the line. It’ll be a shot in the arm for you!

Meantime, I just have to finish with Prince stealing the show at the George Harrison tribute concert. If you haven’t seen it before, stick with the first few verses until the Purple One takes over; and stay on till the end, to see the coolest stage exit. Ever. In the history of rock and roll. Since, I dunno, like Roman times.

And, if I don’t speak to you before, have a great festive season and here’s to vaxxing it up in the New Year…




  1. Will check out your recommendations, Andrew! In the Gould household, we are also fed up with the Tory government’s shilly-shallying about. Our son, Jason, has a permanent (if not full-time) job for the first time in the 5 years since he left school, and has been doing really well with it, and now has to stay at home on Christmas week when he could have been earning himself a bit more cash to do things he wants to. I had ordered 2 much-needed pairs of pyjamas from M & S for Mike’s Christmas present, and arranged to pick the order up at our local store this week. I had to cancel the order and place it again including delivery so as to get the items in time for Christmas…at a few minutes past midnight, due to being moved from Tier 3 to the newly-invented Tier 4 (pretty much the same as a lockdown). What is the world coming to? However, on the good news front I have a cover being painted for my next book, The Zarduth Imperative: Discovery, by a fab artist. Have the best Christmas and New Year you can, and let’s hope 2021 is better than this year was!

  2. WXPN is a good radio station. They play a wide range of music. It’s based in Philly. They do all kinds of ambitious things. They asked listeners recently to vote on the best songs ever. The station compiled the results into two thousand and twenty songs. They played all of them in order, finishing the countdown a few days ago. What do you think some of the top ten songs were?

      • some of the songs in the top ten were Like A Rolling Stone, Satisfaction, A Day In The Life, Gimme Shelter, God Only Knows, and Born To Run. The number one song, believe it or not, was Thunder Road.

      • Not a bad top ten then! Don’t think Thunder Road would be my number one, but it would be up there. I might give these guys a listen. It sounds like their listeners have my kind of taste in rock – although scrolling through my phone today, I was surprised at how many country artists I have on there now.

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