Saturday, 25 June 2011

In Praise of Freddie "Parrotface" Davies or We'll Always Have Didsbury


This is to draw readers' attention to a DVD which features a selection of clips from films and TV shows in which Freddie "Parrotface" Davies has appeared over the years, including the very first TV appearance of his Samuel Tweet character on Opportunity Knocks from 1964.

He tells a single joke, really a shaggy dog story (appropriately, the setting is a pet shop), but what comes over is the performer's enjoyment in the relaying of what is a fairly simple gag and the sense of his knowing how to work the audience.

That was the moment which "started everything" for the former Redcoat - even though, acccording to an interview with Martin Kelner, it was entirely fortuitous:

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Alastair Dougal songs

Click below to hear two songs by Alastair Dougall, he of the ode to Phil Cording and Cheapo, which can be downloaded for free at bandcamp:

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Donovan Albert Hall reviews or How Do You Like Them Gold Apples?


[Last update: October 8th 2011. I have read that an official DVD of the gig is to be released at some point, and some of the clips embedded below have been removed from youtube so they won't play. I have read that there are plans to release an official DVD of the gig, which would explain it. Nevertheless, at the time of this note, a fair number of the clips below are still operational.]

No, I didn't go. I will add to this post over the next few days with reviews by others - y'know, people who actually went there, who took the chance and sat and sweltered on the tube in the hope of happiness to come by being present at Donovan's recreation, at the Royal Albert Hall last night, of the Sunshine Superman album.

The only review I have come across to date is by Kieron Tyler on the Arts Desk website, readable in full here. He notes that "the voice is not what it was" but concludes:

Friday, 3 June 2011

Donovan: why I'm not going tonight. Probably.


Have been thinking more about the Donovan Albert Hall gig tonight (above, same location in 1973). Not entirely unexpectedly, no mysterious benefactor has offered to pay for a ticket so far (so that cruel contributor Mr F, was right), and I've rather lost hope in that direction.

But in a way the money is not really the issue. Funds have been severely diminished but I could go if I really wanted to - and had a good look at the Royal Albert Hall website today, where good seats are still available, though sales seem to have been pretty good.

No, it's more about the level of disappointment. That there will be disappointment I am reasonably certain; that there will be flashes of enjoyment in between I am less certain, but that, too, seems, on balance, probable. But will those flashes be enough?