Archive for the ‘Mill Road’ Category

Money Just A Fall Like Rain   3 comments

Had a bit of a reggae windfall this week. I’m getting used to the heartache of seeing a box of records lying about in Resale, falling upon them like Indiana Jones, but then being told they are still to be looked at and then never seeing them again. The other week there was a box of jazz treasures with a microwave sitting on top of a warping copy of A Love Supreme and all I could do was try to minimise the damage. Anyway, really fucking weirdly, or perhaps because of the recession/collapse of so-called Western Democracy, Resale Al saw me sideling about the aisles the other day and almost conspiratorially informed me that there was a box of records in the kitchen that I might want to have a look at. I’d actually seen them about 3 weeks previously but had given up all hope they’d appear in the shop. Anyway, nice seam of the black gold stuff:

D.J. Showdown – Johnny P, Tuffest, Bunny General
Treasure Isle Dub – Arthur “Duke” Reid
Umkhonti We Sizwe (Spear Of The Nation) – Prince Far I
Dub Classic – Rupie Edwards
Sons Of Thunder – Dr Alimantado
Crucial Reggae Driven By Sly & Robbie – Various
Dub Plate Special – Jah Woosh
Dub Me Crazy 7: The Adventures Of A Dub Sampler – Mad Professor
In The Mix – Dr Alimantado
Brass Rockers – Tommy McCook And Aggrovators, The
Dubwise – The Mighty Diamonds (no cover with this, unfortunately)
DubDisco Vol 2 – Bunny Wailer
Reminah Dub – Lee Perry
Straight Out The Jungle – Jungle Brothers
Haunting Ground – Bim Sherman
Sky Larking 12″ – Horace Andy
Rasta Fiesta 12″ – Sly Dunbar
Checking It Out 12″ – Sonia/Creation Rebel
Crucial Burial 12″ – Augustus Pablo
Call The Police 12″ – Ini Kamoze
Homeward Bound 12″ – Creation Stepper
Liquidator/Longshot Kick De Bucket 12″ – Harry J Allstars/The Pioneers

A wink and a smile to a Mill Road exile.   4 comments

Yesterday I was in the Cat’s Protection League doing dumb things like wondering if I should spend £7 pounds on a hugely outsized cream-coloured kind of, uh… ornate designer bling streetwear jacket and just about resisting but then hardly wondering at all whether i should spend 50p a pop on some old 78s of Maori music and a version of Onward Christian Soldiers and a sweet looking 10″ of some Polish spoken word. Whilst I was in there I hear some voices outside, and in my nosey way I clock this Mill Road Character woman (who I can always scent a bit of a story about because she has these fiercely intelligent eyes and a way about her that just suggests she’s a bit of a wrong ‘un) and another, older female companion. Anyway, Wrong Lady is saying something like “How much is that? That’s nice that is. Have you got four pounds on you you could lend me?” and I have to say I’m immediately thinking the worst of her. Sadly, it turns out I’m not entirely on the wrong track of the Wrong because a minute or some later she comes up to the counter with a cat-transporter-box thing and says to the Cat Woman “Do you know how much this is? Is it two pounds? Is it two pounds is it? Cat Woman smells a rat and asks her co-worker out the back how she put on the item and quickly the chancer-lady starts going “Or was it… four? Was it two, or four? No, no that’s fine. I’ve got a Burmese, see?” As soon as she leaves the cat persons start muttering about how this isn’t the first time.
Then I go into the RSPCA and I’m buying a Dictators 12″ and this short, intense-looking spoddy chap asks the manageress in posh, clipped tones “Have you any Pevsners?” And when she looks a bit in askance he just reiterates “Pevsners”. “Everything we have is on the shelves…?” she attempts, and then as she kind of gives up and walks off he clarifies slightly by saying “I’m looking for the County Durham one…”. Anyway, I know I was in animal shops but it all felt a bit anthropologically very Cambridge indeed.

Maori music
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Me and Simon had this conversation the other day about the Japanese-looking chap who is always on Mill Road and apparently has been bothering our separate curious minds. He’s always alone, and although quite neatly turned out and well-groomed has slightly well-worn elements on his clothing, like where the backpack he habitually carries has rubbed into the fabric of his jacket etc. He is often seen smoking and drinking outside local pubs and cafes and usually carries an umbrella. Apparently Simon has mentioned him in his lyrics somewhere. Anyway the conversation with Simon put me in mind of one I’d had with my brother about how sensitive observers of the human condition are often spurred to travel to foreign lands not so much out of an adventurous urge to encounter the new but rather to escape the maddeningly familiar, and in particular the banality of the background noise that is immediately apprehensible as a native. My brother used the example of his recent trip to Colombia and how shitty commercial radio there was nothing like the awfulness of its UK equivalent. We speculated that this Japanese exile was merely resting his troubled intellect in what for us was our over-familiar numbingly-crap lowest common denominator British street culture, almost (but not quite, lest it seems like I am getting carried away) like Burroughs and Bowles might have found a kind of nourishing solace in an alien environment like Tangiers or whatever. If I ever get the chance I am going to ask this guy what he is all about. It’s starting to feel like I am obligated in some way, to be honest. Then again, perhaps I should be preserving his psychological ecology, or something, and I should probably just give him a wink and a smile.

Party Records   Leave a comment

I have a nasty birthday next week, so I’m in party activist mode this week trying to make sure the damn thing has food and music and guests and stuff. As I’m super stinko-poor I haven’t bought hardly any records in about a year and a half apart from a couple of charity-shop things that were cheap enough for me not to be able to resist. In fact I’ve been trying to sell stuff like mad on Discogs to get the damn things out of my room and make a little dough to survive. Last week I had a good week because Guru died and some Finnish geezer bought a Gang Starr 7″ (Love Sick) I had and a Jackson Sisters LP and the Hi-Tension Record. Also sold some Psychic TV-related thing I only had the second disc of. Anyways money came in and records and mailers went out and then it all fucked up yesterday because I stumbled on a nice little stash of vinyl that seems tailored to the kind of thrash I’m hoping to midwif a week today. So, spent about everything I’ve got to live on but it had to be done.

Not a party track. Or is it?

Also got a Bohannon tune called I’ve Got The Dance Fever which I can’t find on YouTube. Oh yeah and ditto The Enemy Within the Sherwood/LeBlanc Support The Miners record. All 12″!

Local Person   Leave a comment

If you want to see me on the 25th I’m afraid it’s going to cost you £32. Also, apologies to anyone who plays guitar.

Threads Of Life   2 comments

Possibly as many as ten years ago I received an email from a stranger asking me curtly if I “…still had Threads Of Life, Alco.” I wondered what the person meant for for a minute, but then worked out that they must have been referring to a record that I probably had mentioned on my website. I was in the habit of listing records I had bought as a sort of charity-shop hipster’s version of conspicuous consumption, so the email flicked a switch that eventually turned the light bulb on that hovered above my head and shortly after that the dollar signs appeared in my eyes. At first Google told me nothing, which was kind of a good sign, and then deep in GEMM’s listings I found some dude trying to flog this record for $1403 (funny figure, I know, but worth about half that in sterling at the time). At this point I started to wonder whether I really was in posession of the record myself, but after about ten minutes of sweaty fingering (a favourite hobby of mine) I was holding the 12″ piece of treasure I never knew I had. I had bought it in Sally Ann’s amongst a bunch of other records just on general cover-based instinct. I’m not a proper record collector by any means, although fuck knows I’ve got enough of them, but back then I was a real amateur, as this post plainly shows. Amazingly, the record was in really good nick too. I’ve actually just been in Twitter-correspondence with the always-worth-reading Kid Shirt, who sent me a link to someone selling another copy:

Alco -Threads Of Life – Rare Private Issue Progressive EURO 1350

Alco – Threads Of Life (UK Alco ALC530 – 1972) Ex /Ex+ Stunning condition copy of this incredibly rare private press progressive album. Recorded by the band Alco at University of Surrey Mobile Studio in 1972. A-Side contains a wonderful progressive suite, including sections augumented with the Itchen Orchestra conducted by Jonathan Palmer. B-side is just Alco themselves who are Tim Caesar – keyboards and lead vocals, Paul Fidlin – bass / lead / vocals, Ben Brooke – lead / bass / vocals and Julian Caesar, drums, / synthesizer / vocals. There are some tracks by the Itchen College Barbershop Shoppers at the end. Tracks are
Side A : Threads Of Life Suite (i) When I Was A Child (ii)Rain Upon My Mind (iii) In My Dreams. Side B : (1) Waiting To Be Born (2) Look At The Clouds (3) Hello Love (4) The Chordbuster (5) Carry Me Back To Old Virginny(6) De Animals(7) Humble (8) Bill Grogan’s Goat (9) Ashmolian

Funnily enough this listing contains several words that seem to allude to various Um themes and private mythologies. I used to clean the toilets at The University Of Surrey, for example, so it’s nice to think that the karmic wheel had a done a full 360 with this one. Anyway, I was so freaked out at the thought of the record’s value that I metaphorically hugged the thing close to my body and shooed the guy away who was enquiring about buying it off me, and for all I know he could have had very deep pockets. It seemed a cruel twist of fate that he should alert me to the value of the thing and in doing so place it further from his reach, if you know what I mean. The thing is I’m selling records at the moment, as I literally cannot move for the things both in the sense that my living space is severely restriced by them, and also they would represent such a collossal inconvenience if I ever wanted to get out of my current accommodation that it actually puts me off considering it. Plus I’ve got a lot of stuff that I have no interest in owning due to buying job lots or taking gambles on covers (innit!) or inheriting record collections just because people see you as some kind of record nut (a self-perpetuating myth rather like the harmoniums at Crabapple, where people donated harmoniums because of the harmoniums). And lastly because, although I have been laughably skint my entire adult life, I have never been as potlessly piss-poor as I am at the moment. I’m currently trying to sustain body and soul for myself and 50% of an 8-year old on about 50 quid a week and it ain’t really possible, let me tell you. My JSA hasn’t turned up this week and that’s been just fucking calamitous.

So yeah,

Live rates at 2009.10.25 14:42:58 UTC
1,350.00 EUR = 1,236.99 GBP
Euro United Kingdom Pounds
1 EUR = 0.916288 GBP 1 GBP = 1.09136 EUR

would be extremely welcome, so if you’re reading this let it be known that here at Um we say that IT’S ALL GRIST meaning art and life are one and the same if this post could function as an engine that alchemically transmogrifies my fated chance encounter with the certain Threads Of Life into actual Malcom McLaren-style CASH then I could actually go and buy myself the beer I could do with or pay my son’s dinner money or something.

Bob's 4 Rules Of Rock   5 comments

I’d been good to myself all of last week but I took my therapist’s advice and got really good and fucked upon Saturday night. On Sunday Bob was on the wagon but he took one look at me on Sunday morning and took me to the pub for breakfast out of the sheer goodness of his heart and the evil shit that his liver has to putup with. He sat me down and explained to me Bob’s 4 Rules Of Rock, which are all patently nonsense and yet somehow have something of the Socratic about them. The Rules are:

1. The Beatles didn’t do anything worth a damn until Revolver.
2. If you were on a desert island you’d be better off having all the Stones albums than The Beatles albums.
3. If The Who had all died on their ’71 tour no-one should be sad.
4. At any given point you are better off listening to Led Zep than any of the above bands.

Then two English brothers turned up with two Polish sisters, for the second time in 24 hours. The elder brother has been told to wear jeans when he turns up for work at Morgan Stanley next week. We were talking about heartbreak and death and that Cher song came on the jukebox and the younger brother revealed that he was working in HMV when Believe was at Number One and when people would ask for that Cher song he would pull a blank face and ask them to sing it.

OK, gotta go.

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Posted March 30, 2009 by peteum2013 in bobby jesus, Mill Road, pete um

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Government Guide to Cambridge   3 comments

Thanks to Jo Brook for sending me this and for her usual superb eye for details. This 24-hour gig business has obviously now been granted legend status.

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