Saturday, 22 December 2012

NICK MARSH: The Latest Album Review In The World.


In a dark & gloomy northern town, there does exist a gentlemans club. Not just any old club, where fat blokes go to drink beer, smoke fags & talk crap. NO SIR! This particular, once weekly, Wednesday evening soiree has it's roots firmly entrenched in ancient & sinister, secret societies. One who's membership can be traced back over the centuries! One whos entrance betwixt those hallowed doors does not depend on finance, power & political influence, but on knowledge! For only the righteous and just, know that knowledge is power! To become a member, one must overcome a series of tests, both physical & mental, which make the entrance to the freemasons appear like Noddys daytrip to toytown!
 Dear reader, I have already divulged more information than my life is worth! However it is at this very club (which shall be known to all here as 'Fat Club') where the beautiful music of Nick Marsh is endorsed by one & every member, where one & all have sworn under oath, to go forth into the world & spread the gospel.
Which is where your old mate Flash comes in!

 'A Universe Between Us' was initially released in, I believe 2006, then given a facelift & re-issued in 2010. So where the hell was I? How come I knew nothing about this? To these & to more cutting questions I just cannot give an answer! (Answers on an e-mail to However, a huge debt of gratitude is owed to a certain 'Miss Burns' for introducing me to this magnificent opus.
 Now Our Nick has been lovingly described by some in this 'ere parish, as a Frank Sinatra from hell! Not an analogy I'd particularly agree with as I do believe that Nick is doing it his own way. (Groan)!
However, I can see where people are drawing their comparisons from. 
 The influences one can hear in this album are countless. From Andy Williams to the Beach Boys, me & the boys from 'Fat Club' have come up with multitudes. 
 That's not to say that 'Ol' Nick' can be accused of any kind of plaigarism; 'no sirree!' Why my dears, this magnificent piece of work is merely the product of a truly beautiful mind.

 'Destiny Angel' kicks off the album in a fine guitar driven ballad style. All dark, swampy & moody, setting the precedent for the rest of the album! 
 'Devil Child' is a mellow, haunting, string laden number, which rolls along very nicely & has a chorus which seems to come out of nowhere & totally lifts you to another place. 'Girl on the roof' has a distinctly European feel to it, (don't ask me why or how, it just does!) & sees our velvet voiced crooner telling the tale of a young girl contemplating taking her final step from 'the ledge'.
The title track of the album is just....well it's.........EXQUISITE!   I tell you what cherubs, as a special treat, get a load of the video right here!
Oh, the bliss!!!!!!!

 'Red hot & ready' invokes images of the seedy late night bars that you might see in 'The Man With The Golden Arm'. Or the kind of place where pleasure doesn't come without its cost!

'The Smoking gun' sees dear old Nick riddled with bullet holes at the hands of a totally unfeeling femme fatale (is there any other kind?)
 Candidate for best song title ever, ever, bloody ever, is 'Best Shag In The World'. A cautionary tale of obsession & lust, for those of us who have drunk of the cup & its intoxication I can still well recall. The vocals are beautifully executed, with its flamenco style guitar intro & trademark spaghetti western haunting whistle, suffused with just the right amount of humour, you don't get much closer to musical perfection than this!

'Don't Give Up On Me' is as close as you'll get to a straight rocker from Nick on this album, whereas 'Organazised' has our man in repentant, morning after mood, threatening to get his life sorted. That's another cup I've been drinking from recently!
 'El Deludo' is a haunting instrumental piece with female vocal 'aaaaaahs' ebbing & flowing in & out of the number. Talk about knowing how to build a mood!
The final track (ok, I haven't actually put them in the right order, so who's counting?) is the old Lee Hazlewood, Nancy Sinatra classic 'Some Velvet Morning', which remains quite true in delivery to the original. Just to give you a hint as to the direction Mr Marsh is coming from on this album.

Overall, this album could/should be a film noir classic. Dark & full of mean brooding menace, yet strangely uplifting at the same time. It has perfectly arranged strings & female vocal harmonies, never overstated, just done to a tee like a perfectly flambeed fillet steak. 
In a just & righteous world where musical genius is actually recognised, this would & should have sold by the gazillion. This album has to be the most played album, if not in West Yorkshire then in the magnificent borough of Pontefract. My sweet little cherubs, this is the part where you should be digging deep & investing in a little piece of musical ecstasy. If you trust your old mate Flash & I strongly recommend that you do, then know this! If you can't dig this album, then you surely have the piss of a rancid polecat coursing through your veins.
 I also have it on good authority that Nick Marsh has a new album due for release sometime in the spring. With this, should bring some live shows. Me & the boys from Fat Club are salivating & making travel plans already.
Dear readers, for I know you are bountiful in number; please help your old mate Flash stop with the yakkety yak already......stick this cd into your stereo, turn down the lights, lay back & ABSOOOOOOORB!!!

 Chin chin!!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Heavy Metal Kids.

Sutton In Ashfield: The Diamond: 26-9-12.

Grimsby: Yardbirds : 27-9-12.

Gadzooks, it's been a while since I last clapped eyes on these fine young fellows, so it was more than a trifle pleasing to know we were gonna get a double dose of the good ol' H.M.K. Two nights in succession, don't it just lift your spirits?
  The first port of call was the Diamond in Sutton In Ashfield. A great purpose built venue which plays host to live music seven nights a week. 
The Kids were playing on a wednesday night, fresh from a brief sojourn into Scotland where they played to packed houses & totally wowed 'em. So I guess they can be forgiven for turning in what was by their high standards, a bit of a lacklustre performance. 
 Why, do I hear you ask? Why?
 I'll tell you why, it's because no bugger turned up!
 Apart from the usual stalwarts & diehards (me included). This was a thoroughly miserable turnout. Lesser bands would have packed up their gear & headed off for home!

 Not so these boys! They carried on regardless & turned in the best show they could under the circumstances. 
 No H.M.K gig comes without its bonuses, for we did indeed sit up into the wee small hours with Keith & Justin, Mr Karl Green, Wakey Dave & his mrs (Dave is a veteran of more H.M.K gigs than you could wave a shitty stick at)  & Richard Smith with his good lady wife. Richard actually runs the Gary Holton website, which is a real labour of love. Cop a load of it here my dears.    Keith & Karl did indeed furnish us with a veritable array of fine entertaining tales of their rock'n'roll escapades from days of yore. Priceless stuff.

So there I was, on the Thursday afternoon, doing a bit of housework, (the cleaning lady actually ran off with the butler, dirty bleeders) & having a generally chilled out day, when the phone rang. 'Twas Wakey Dave! "Nar then me old cocka" sayeth he, "duz tha wanna lift to Grimsby toneet to see yonder Evvy Metal Kids?"  "It'll save on t'expense o' runnin two 'orseless carriages".
 "Gawd bless thi" I did retort, "al si thi at seven".
 Boys & girls, my timbers had never been so shivered, I had to smother 'em in paraffin oil & wrap 'em in best brown paper to get over the excitement! (It's the only known failsafe cure for shivered timbers!)
I've said it before & by God I'm gonna bloody well say it again! the Grimsby Yardbirds is one hell of a grand 'ol rock'n'roll club! 
 Run by the chaps from the local motorcycle club, it exudes a fine atmosphere indeed!
 On repairing to the bar for a couple of steadiers, the first person we bumped into was none other than drummer extraordinaire, Mr Keith Boyce. Drinks all round then!

After a couple of steadiers, we went backstage for a drink & a natter with the Kids. 
 Now listen here peeps & listen good, for in the field of human experience, no one alive has ever been privy to the decadence that did ensue in that dressing room on this balmy Autumn eve. 
 Brace yourselves cherubs & hang on to your hats, for we did watch X factor U.S.A & laugh hysterically at the whole ridiculous bunch of arse with the Heavy Metal Kids. Now not many people can say they've done that! 
 However, we came to see the H.M.K shake their stuff & shake their stuff they did! Giving us a sonically refreshing alternative to the prior evenings performance.
 Though the crowd was far from full, the boys totally shredded it at the Yardbirds, giving every drop of heart & soul.

 As for the Diamond show, it appears that the lack of any kind of advertising led to the poor midweek attendance. 
 Rumours abound of  a tour in the new year with a big name band, but firstly there's the small matter of a show at the Merton Manor club on the 10th of November. That's tomorrow kids!! 
Let me tell you kittens, this is not gonna be your standard H.M.K show. It's a 40th anniversary show where the band will be playing their classic album 'Anvil Chorus' in it's entirety. My god, how I wish I could be there, if only to see the boys play the 'Big Fire'. So get yourselves down there kiddies, take your cameras & film the whole show for your old mate Flash!

There's something quite endearing, how in the face of public apathy these guys soldier on relentlessly &  always seem to have a plan & a trick up their sleeve for future capers. It breaks my heart to see 'em play & give their all to such small crowds, so if these cats are playing a venue near you, do yourself the biggest favour of your life; get off your arse, pay a measly few quid & get yourself thoroughly entertained! 
 A HUGE tip of the Tightpocket titfer goes to Keith, Cosmo, Justin & Ronnie. Collectively known as the Heavy Metal Kids! 
 Boys; I never loved you more!

N.B. No flashgun was used or attempted to be used in the making of this blog!     (Cheers Coz)
Chin Chin!