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25 albums that shaped my life

I don’t think it’s ‘Cabin Fever’, but since the lockdown I’ve had some very strange dreams. They often have very surreal storylines featuring people and places I wished I’d taken more effort to try and visit, and they’re always so very mixed up. An interesting one I experienced recently was one where I travelled through a Dali-esque landscape of my past life as well as my overburdened ‘To Do’ wishlist, accompanied by a musical soundtrack overlayed with a succession of album covers.

Obviously my Facebook newsfeed was to blame for this, over the past few weeks I’ve noticed several friends making selections of a series of albums which have been important in their lives. More often than not though, they’ve restricted themselves to only 10 choices, which I would find impossible. However there needed be a reasonable limit, but instead of trying to fit into the 10 album strait jacket I decided I’d allow myself the luxury of slipping into an XL of 25 (of which one is actually an EP).

While it was fresh in my mind and thinking it would be an interesting memory lane exercise to indulge in, I thought I’d reconstruct my dream as a musical self portrait blog. There’s no particular message to accompany them, they’re just personal time capsules that spark memories, which I’ve played to death over the years, and the ones I constantly return to. There’s time aplenty right now to remember those special people, places and moments that’s been a part of one’s life, and the perfect excuse if ever I needed one to share some good memories as a musical message.

Anyway, it’s only a blog of dream inspired lockdown fun, but nevertheless I’d be more than happy to have these as company on my Desert Island. Click the links………..and enjoy!

Golden Age of Lonnie Donegan – Lonnie Donegan

Please Please Me – The Beatles

Nice Enough To Eat – Various Artists

This Was – Jethro Tull

Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelli with the Quintet of the Hot Club of France

Death Walks Behind You – Atomic Rooster

Hunky Dory – David Bowie

Elgar – Cello Concerto (Jacqueline Du Pré) & Sea Pictures (Janet Baker)

Led Zep II – Led Zeppelin

Every Picture Tells a Story – Rod Stewart

Split – The Groundhogs

Skid – Skid Row

With a Little Help From My Friends/Joe Cocker! (Doubleback Series)

Innervisions – Stevie Wonder

Kind of Blue – Miles Davis

Beethoven – The Nine Symphonies

The Art of Segovia – Andrés Segovia

Mingus Ah-Um – Charles Mingus

Rattus Norvegicus – The Stranglers

Specials – The Specials

This Year’s Model – Elvis Costello & the Attractions

Stop Making Sense – Talking Heads

Hot Fuss – The Killers

With Love & Squalor – We Are Scientists

Two Parts Diamond – 3 Parts Dirt!

3 Parts Dirt! at The Angel Inn, Oundle


(as it might have been reviewed for Radio 3)

After reading the following message in my Facebook newsfeed how could I not take the time to accept such an irresistible invitation, 3 Parts Dirt! were going to be playing virtually in my own backyard, I welcomed it with alacrity!

3 Parts Dirt Angel

It was good decision too. Another splendid evening’s entertainment was savoured with the 3 Parts Dirt! beat combo who, despite the close proximity of an overcrowded, enthusiastic and adrenaline fuelled ‘mosh pit’, entwined both humorous anecdotes and audience participation with a breadth of musical expression of the Hard Rock genre. From the melancholic and contemplative they also exhibited an over-riding and inordinate ability to build to a crescendo of optimistic ebullience and euphoria, their set meticulously woven with an intricate filigree of rhythmic patterns and texture, expressive colours and deep rooted emotional nuance.

Like the ‘real’ Skid Row of the early 70’s, an Irish trio playing thumping rock blues featuring the prodigious talent of a teenage Gary Moore, 3 Parts Dirt! have one of their own in the accomplished and adroit Sam Duff on drums. Firing syncopated paradiddles like a machine gun, he is the engine room of the outfit with a style derivative of the John Bonham School. His outstanding ability to exploit the potential of a conventional drumkit was well proven, but we still await the tantalising promise of a cowbell to be included within his percussive repertoire. (After all, the late great JB employed one on Moby Dick).

3PartsDirtPoster30.4.16On lead guitar Ed Czudek’s imaginative and virtuosic playing is consumately and dexterously executed. Not only is it shocking but, unbelievably, also true that he has only recently been encouraged to actually perform in a public arena, previously playing merely to a limited and very select audience, while watching TV in his living room or perhaps to his bedroom mirror. Why, only he can answer because it could be argued that he must be one of the best and most imaginative lead guitarists around. Observing his fingers running along his fretboard conjured images of Niccolo Paganini playing his violin, or Conlon Nancarrow his piano. Ed’s lead is talent indeed.

Vocalist and songwriter Phil Duff delivered aggressive, mesmerising bass lines and rhythmns, his modus operandi somewhere between Geezer Butler and Pablo Casals. He is also the fresh faced young composer in the band, his youthful appearance belying the years of undoubted experience expressed within his writing. Like all enterprising creative artists, his subjects are taken from a deeply personal viewpoint and acute observation of life as he has seen and witnessed it.

Presented with a passionate intensity The Angel order of play counterbalanced the serious with the lighthearted, the music interposed with a collection of ‘one liners’ which generated an affable rapport with what might at best be described as a very lively ‘Rowdy Oundle’ throng. I particularly enjoyed the one about the skeleton who went into a bar and asked for a pint of bitter and a mop! I’m certain everyone engages in conversation with jaunty and blithe subjects such as kidney failure, addiction, serial killers, injustice, irritating ‘know-alls’, homelessness, sexually transmitted disease, depression as well as one’s personal record collection on a daily basis both socially and within the workplace, I know I do, and 3PD! certainly engaged these elements as a conduit with a most honest frankness and refreshing candour.

Though unknown to the majority, titles performed at Saturday’s recital elicited
an ardent and fervent response from all corners of the compact auditorium, whether stone cold sober or downright inebriated. For future reference, it’s worth remembering the set list, there’s a very good chance this material will soon become de rigueur for the many cover bands currently touring the pub circuits around the country…………..
Part i:
Everything & Nothing
Sea of Love
Size 9
Waiting for God
Falling from Grace
Stab in the Back
Six of the Best
Part ii:
Old Codger
Old Skool
Letting Go
Drinking in the Sun
One of a Kind
Shut Up & Lay Down
Girl in a Box
Message from Bon

Without a shadow of doubt, this band represents the apogee of musical creativity within the landscape of the contemporary rock spectrum, and this venue was privileged to witness another formidable 3 Parts Dirt! live performance. This band should be over-whelmed with invitations to play when an atmosphere such as the one generated at The Angel Inn is a virtual guarantee. There is a rumour that 3 Parts Dirt! have recently spent time in a recording studio. If true, the sooner this music is unleashed upon the ears of a wider public audience, the better.


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