Trouble Over Bridgwater
Title obviously from Simon & Garfunkel's 1970 LP 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', Bridgwater being in Somerset, a couple of junctions down the M5 from Bristol. The CD comes complete with fine history of 'Evil Gazebo', penned by Nigel. The Brodsky Quartet are a string four-piece who had the misfortune to record with Elvis Costello once.
Nigel's liking for 'list' songs shows no sign of abating. The main tune is from the hymn by the name of Hosanna to the King of Kings; the bridge bit is the similarly-reverential Agadoo by Black Lace. Most of the people mentioned don't really need explaining.
Marquee Moon is the odd one out, being an LP by Television.
'4 real' Yep, you can't keep a good man down. Or Richey Edwards.
A natural follow-on from A Country Practice.
Uffington is between Wantage and Swindon, in Oxfordshire. Famous for that white horse on the hill...and contrary to what the neo-pagans claim, it is not a dragon, it's a sodding horse. Demo version. Probably commemorating a local battle with the Danes held there in the pre-Norman Conquest days, when England enjoyed a rare home win. Seems that the area has inspired Nigel quite a bit on this album.
Wassail House-to-house carol singing, amongst other things.
Britannia Music Club sell crap CDs and videos via mail order. 2 million members, apparently, mainly because it's easy to join but bastard difficult to leave.
The Rhone in France, down Lyon way.
Mistral wind. The Mistral proper is a strong wind from the NW affecting the eastern Mediterranean coast of France, from Marseille to St. Tropez.
The Met Bar, The Groucho designer boozers.
Martinique French island in the Windward Islands.
Feltz Vanessa, large daytime TV presenter nearly-beloved of the BBC.
Woodchurch Lane is the one-way street that takes you to Prenton Park, home of Tranmere Rovers. Not far off the A552.
"..root of Jesse.." Nigel's been at the Bible again:
"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots."
Isaiah 11:1. Ta to Stuart, our religious correspondent.
Sealed Knot Society re-enact English Civil War battles.
Luton Town - Millwall, 1985 More recent civil war battle, where most of Kenilworth Road's plastic seats suddenly sprouted wings and flew across the ground.
Hand Me Down My Silver Trumpet is a gospel song:
Hand me down my silver trumpet, Gabriel. Hand it down, send it down, any old way just get it down Oh hand me down my silver trumpet Lord.
Although the tune is obviously from 70's BBC sit-com The Liver Birds. Nerys Hughes strikes again.
Cher impersonator rising up in Israel Dana International, or whatever the Eurovision winner's name was.
Late Lunch Live C4 tea-time show, presented by Mel (Giedroyc) and Sue (Perkins) who now seem to spend just as much time advertising bread. Unbelievably, the show has a fans' website, as do the presenters.
bongo-laced 22nd album since we didn't try that on the first twenty-one.
Vreni Schneider Women's skiing champ of the 80's from Switzerland.
Title nicked off the graphics of the Match Of The Day replays over which Alan Hansen, Trevor Booking and Mark Lawrenson expound the virtues of hoofing the ball into the stand at every opportunity.
Fixed odds coupon betting.
Italia Conti is a theatre academy in London.
Bulbarrow Hill Dorset's highest point, at 274m, in Hardy country near Ibberton.
"Iíve got fur in my kettle and a film on my tea" is from a Brita water filter advert of the time.
polytunnel plastic tunnel sold in garden centres, like a flimsy plastic greenhouse, for keeping your courgettes warm in winter.
Frampton Comes Alive! Peter Frampton's 'legendary' live LP from the 70's. There's also a village called Frampton about 10 miles from Bulbarrow Hill...
Also on this track is another reference to Thomas Hardy; from The Return Of The Native chapter 34: "O, if any man wants to make himself immortal by painting a picture of wretchedness, let him come here!"
In a similar vein music-wise to A Shropshire Lad, only in a dance stylee.
Detroit where it all started.
Amen interjections probably refers to the Amen break, a classic drum and bass sample (thanks Grilly).
Moroder Georgio, man of many soundtracks and production credits.
A552 runs pretty much through Birkenhead.
Jockey Slut, Mixmag, Wax, Update dance music mags.
Kenny Ken Drum'n'bass DJ. Played at the Truck 2001 festival in Oxfordshire in August, don't you know.
AKA make microphones amongst other things.
Steve Madden Not the designer clothing bloke, but an ex-BBC Radio 2 through-the-night presenter put out to pasture. Turned up again on Radio Northampton (networked with other East Anglia local stations) not so long back.
Charles Nove JazzFM Northwest DJ, Sunday afternoons, used to be on Radio 2. Also does TV voiceovers, Jim Davidson's 'Big Break' being one of them.
(Katrina) Leskanich Yep, her of The Waves, and another of those top 'English' Eurovision entries. And of course, that Radio 2 slot.
Stretch'n'Vern DJs and chart superstars. Almost. Haven't yet turned up on Radio 2.
Look And Learn the sort of "comic" that your parents would buy for you to help with your education (if you grew up in the 60's and 70's), but which no self-respecting child would buy on his/her own behalf.
Mary Anne Hobbs Radio 1 DJ, who now does the Rock Show.
Sad Café My oh my. Manchester bunch, lasted for about 20 years from the mid-70's onwards. Singer Paul Young (no, not that one) left to join Mike & The Mechanics.
For those who are too young to remember, or have managed to erase them from their memory, Climie Fisher (Simon and Rob) were a truly appalling 'pop' band from the late 80's, Love Changes (Everything) being the one song I can unfortunately remember most.
In 1997 Simon Climie recorded an album, Retail Therapy, under the name TDF with Eric Clapton which apparently "mixes smooth jazzy arrangements, with electronics and jungle rhythms - all offset by Clapton's tasteful acoustic and electric guitar". Prior to being in Clime Fisher he was in Naked Eyes who had another hit with a cover of Always Something There to Remind Me in '83 (cheers Matthew!).
Climie is still writing bland pop rubbish today - latest example (as of 24/6/00) being Louise's Two Faced, which I believe charted at no.3.
White Dolomite a mineral.
Canterbury Spar the nationís favourite dry-dashing aggregate for over 70 years, according to Bretts, as 'roasted' at Whitstable Harbour (ta to Andy Knott for the research!).
Hadleigh Long-running though little-remembered (probably 'cos it was deadly dull) drama series from the 70's with Gerald 'Adam Adamant' Harper in the title role playing some Lord-of-the-Manor type. Series currently being rerun on Granada Plus.
"You're a dead man, Fisher" an ad that came true in August last year (not too long after Nigel wrote the song...) - Rob died aged 39.
Tony Gubba BBC sports presenter with sandy-coloured hair, now mostly does football commentaries.
"A thousand sandy-couloured clowns..." "A candy-coloured clown they call the sandman, tiptoes to my room every night" is a line from In Dreams by Roy Orbison.
More football allusion.
Cartmel in Cumbria, not far from Barrow-in-Furness, with a horse racing track.
A re-wording of Bob Dylan's With God On Our Side.
Abersoch is on the Lleyn Peninsular in Gwynedd, N. Wales. You know, just round from Pwllheli. Nice beach.
Bauhaus Goth band from Northampton, from the early 80's, Bela Lugosi's Dead and all that.
Borough Surveyor is responsible for the cemetries.
Gipton is a less-than-affluent suburb of Leeds.
Placebo, Cradle Of Filth You know already.
Land Of My Fathers Welsh anthem.
World (that's) Gone Wrong is a Dylan LP.
Prestatyn is on the N. Wales coast, just east of Rhyl, and just over the water from the Wirral.
Another spoken-word, repeat-bass-line story. A fair few of the lyrics have previously been heard in the between-songs banter at gigs.
Ladbroke Grove in London, has a tube station on the Hammersmith line.
Nick Drake 70's folkie, tortured soul, died from overdose, possibly accidental, possibly not, reincarnated as Belle & Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch.
Tindersticks End-of-the-night music for smoky halls.
Hamilton Bland Ex-British Olympic swimming coach, now a disgraced BBC swimming commentator. Bland gave advice to local authorities on new swimming pools. He recommended, throughout Britain, moveable floors in their pools, for which he received kickbacks from the manufacturer. Bland "extorted" money from Han Mooyer, a Dutchman whose company, Poly Pool Floors, manufactured the moveable floors. He also made around £300K from those bloody ASA swimming badges you used to get as a kid, which were supposedly funding the Olympic team. AND he sells a remarkable number of "celebrity rare memorabilia"...so rare, he sells the same "rare" ones again a few months later...and again...and again. Apparantly he was such a sod as a swimming coach that (allegedly) Sharron Davies got into his house, put cress seeds into his living room carpet, and sprayed water on them when he was heading off to the Olympics...with predictable results.
Another related story: in an early interview with the band in the NME, Nigel claimed, at some election or other, to have scored out the names of the candidates, scribbled in the name 'Hamilton Bland' and put a cross against it (Ta Dougal).
Brazil shirt, no.10 Pele being the most famous wearer of said shirt.
Tupac Shakur, murdered rapper whose alleged murderer also go the bullet. Just as Nigel says, really.
Exactly what it says on the tin. It's a reprise of Gubba Look-a-Likes, in case you were wondering.
Indeed it is.
Mr Edmonds Noel, the bearded one, obviously residing in Crinkly Bottom General when the 'visitor' appears...
Capel Curig is in Snowdonia, a few miles on from Betws-y-coed.
Sleater-Kinney are a top-notch female three-piece in the Riot Grrl vein from the U.S.
Neil Morrissey is the knobhead from Men Behaving Badly, and more importantly, those bloody Homebase adverts.
A sort of follow-on from Soft Verges, I guess.
The Palace Brothers, Bonnie Prince Billy are both Will Oldham, top U.S. morose-sounding folky bloke.
"Shit band no fans" rearranged football chant, of course.
Labradford Three-piece from Richmond, Virginia; the Virgin compilation LP 'Isolationism', to which they contribute, was released in 1994. Sort of early post-rock, if you will. They record all their LPs live.
Motorola mobile phone, in this case.
Wampum er, make jeans.
Continental make tyres.
Countdown C4 weekday word quiz, with Richard Whiteley and...
Carol Vordermann, who would seem to be on TV just about permanently at the moment.
Oh Carol Neil Sedaka song.
Umbria in Italy.
EasyJet cheapo airline.
Wantage town, south of Oxford.
Arconada Luis, Spanish keeper, early 80's.
Pfaff Jean Marie, Belgian keeper, early-mid 80's, played club football for Bayern Munich.
Bats Joel, French keeper, mid 80's. Nigel's been reading his World Cup encyclopaedia again.
Joseph-Antoine Bell St Etienne and Cameroon keeper.
Velvets Velvet Underground, pioneers of intentional feedback (yes, I know The Beatles' "I Feel Fine" came earlier).
Thurston Moore Main guitar man of Sonic Youth.
Nantwich South-west of Crewe.
Theremin An excuse for people to wave their arms about in the name of art/music.
Arc An LP of feedback released by Neil Young a few years back (as a 'bonus' disc with the Weld live set).
Title nabbed from The Happy Mondays' Twenty Four Hour Party People.
Rollright Stones ancient stones, located just north of Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. I think Nigel's trip round the county last year has had a profound effect...
Talk Radio absolote bollocks, although the cricket was handy.
Leadbelly wrote Goodnight Irene and popularized Rock Island Line, which was also Lonnie Donegan's first hit.
"I got ham, I got cheese..." is a reworking of the "I got sheep, I got cows..." bit from Rock Island Line.
The last verse of the song is a variation on a verse from Leadbelly's Where Did You Sleep Last Night?, probably more famous these days since it appeared on Nirvana's Unplugged LP.
Hallmark cheapo compilations a-go-go.
Wilmslow suburb of southern Manchester; also an insurance company.
Fierce Panda Record label run by Simon Williams, ex-NME journalist and official mate of Steve Lamacq. He brought us Placebo, you know. Thanks mate.
To the tune of "She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain".
Garth Crooks Spurs frontman in the 80's, now turned annoying TV football interviewer and surprising late night BBC2 political pundit.
Manics No, I've got no idea who they are, honest. Have they got any tunes, Dad?
The middle bit is an old American Civil War tune, The Red River Valley, which has been more recently taken up as Scouser Tommy on the Kop.