#MindTheBand 2021: Diary

I should be out and about pretty much every day of this extended challenge week, so I thought I might as well keep a diary of sorts – even if half of it will probably end up being a whinge about work! There will at least be some nice things going on to balance this out, however, so don’t get put off…

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Thursday 21 October 2021
Today’s featured artist was Bob Marley, following on nicely from the Get Up, Stand Up! press night at the Lyric Theatre the night before. Not that I managed to get the post written, of course! I’ve done more writing in the past week than I have for months, so it was bound to catch up with me at some point – especially with our regular teaching sessions kicking off again at work, and ticket queues to join (Coldplay, here I come!). At least you had my review from the early hours to read, if you were getting desperate. I did also sneak off to see Metamorphoses at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, so perhaps I was a bit preoccupied with all that as well!

  • Album of the day: Exodus – Bob Marley and the Wailers
  • Track of the day: My Universe – Coldplay (with BTS)
  • T-shirt of the day: “Welcome to Coral Island”

“Don’t ask me why
Things are not the way they used to be
I won’t tell no lie
One and all got to face reality now.”
Bob Marley and the Wailers – Natural Mystic

On this day in music history: In 1976 Keith Moon played his last show with The Who; Manfred Mann, Steve Cropper, Julian Cope, Brent Mydland & Tony Mortimer were all born; in 2006 Sandy West died.

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Friday 22 October 2021
Today’s featured artist was Roger Taylor, as it was the final date on his Outsider tour – which I just so happened to be going to… But before that I had to get through a morning at the office, made all the more difficult by oversleeping (oops) and then the buses being on a go-slow (grr). I did get in eventually, and thankfully in my breaks between work I managed to catch up on the writing I was supposed to do yesterday! All the while distracted by what was coming up in the evening; I’d booked a ticket partly because I wanted to make sure I saw Roger (in case anything happened between now & the Queen + Adam Lambert gigs in June), and also because I had a sneaky feeling a certain frizzy-haired guitarist might show up… I bloody love being right. And in all that excitement, I completely forgot my achievement of the morning: bagging a ticket to Coldplay’s Music of the Spheres tour in Paris!

  • Album of the day: Outsider – Roger Taylor
  • Track of the day: See Ya When I See Ya – Miles Kane
  • T-shirt of the day: Hot Space – Roger Taylor face

“It’s been a long time, been a long time
Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time.”
Led Zeppelin – Rock and Roll

On this day in music history: In 1969 Paul McCartney publicly denied rumours of his death; Shaggy, Bobby Fuller, Plan B, Shelby Lynne & Zachary Hanson were all born; in 1989 Ewan MacColl died.

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Saturday 23 October 2021
Today’s featured artist was Tom Jones, as I was heading up to Birmingham for a matinée performance of the new jukebox musical What’s New Pussycat? – based on Henry Fielding’s novel Tom Jones, and using the Welsh legend’s back catalogue. I obviously knew most of the hits (who doesn’t?), but I’d never really sat and listened to them in the context of their albums or considered the decades in which they were released. Lucky I had a three-hour coach journey and needed to block out the noise of inconsiderate fellow passengers, then! I think it made a difference to me to have educated myself prior to the show, though it’s so much fun that you don’t actually need to gen up on the subject – just go in and let yourselves be entertained. Thankfully it meant the trip was very much worth my while – it’s always a bit of a risk for a new show. I also veered off the Tom Jones track ever so slightly on the way home; the coach journey back was a little bit quieter (thanks to a driver who kept reminding people to put headphones on), so I got started on the audiobook of Patti Smith’s Just Kids.

  • Album of the day: Reload – Tom Jones
  • Track of the day: Delilah – Tom Jones
  • T-shirt of the day: The Killers logo

“He knows the meaning of success;
His needs are more so he gives less.”
Tom Jones – Thunderball

On this day in music history: In 2005 Arctic Monkeys achieved their first number one single with ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’; Freddie Marsden, Pauline Black, Kelly Marie, Weird Al Yankovic & Richard McNamara were all born; in 1964 all four members of Buddy and the Kings were killed in a plane crash.

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Sunday 24 October 2021
No featured artist today, as I decided to make it ‘New-ish Album Sunday’, and finally listen to a handful of 2021 releases that have been waiting patiently to be heard. My original intentions were to catch up on the writing I had planned, but after 18+ months of not travelling around the country for theatre I’d obviously forgotten how much it exhausts me – and how likely it is to give me a horrible headache. I most often listen to albums on the go (like yesterday) these days, so it was nice to be sat still and allow myself to properly focus on the music for once! Quite a varied quartet, but music tastes that aren’t at least a bit eclectic are rather dull, aren’t they?

  • Album of the day: Music of the Spheres – Coldplay
  • Track of the day: Quiet Town – The Killers
  • T-shirt of the day: Assembly – Joe Strummer

“With make-up running eyes turned towards the sky
Our hands all gripped together holding on so tight.”
Manic Street Preachers – Still Snowing in Sapporo

On this day in music history: In 1962 James Brown recorded his ‘Live at the Apollo’ album; Bill Wyman, Dale Griffin, Debbie Googe, Rob Green & Ed Chester were all born; in 2017 Fats Domino died.

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Image credit: Hulu

Monday 25 October 2021
Today’s featured artist ended up being Paul McCartney, after I decided to download his most recent album (and the Imagined version) and listen on my way home from the office, later smashing through the McCartney 3, 2, 1 series on Disney+. My initial thought for the day was to bring a bit more balance and have feature some female artists, culminating in a trip to see Tina in the evening as I’ve yet to see it – but, of course, I didn’t end up bagging a rush ticket (it’s far too expensive to buy a ‘normal’ ticket for this show). To be honest, I was still rather knackered from the weekend’s events and my run of 5am starts for work, so it was quite nice to be able to come home and finish up my work for the day, before relaxing with the Macca series. I am disappointed with the distinct lack of writing so far, though the music I’m hearing is a reasonable substitute – for me, at least! Plus there was some great news today about a Stereophonics J.E.E.P. tour in the lead-up to their Cardiff Christmas shows; it’s been talked about as a possibility for a little while, so I’m glad to have it confirmed – I just need to stretch my ticket-buying muscles once again, as it’ll be even harder to get into one of these more intimate venues… Last but not least, I finally started reading the #TimsTwitterListeningParty book in advance of his event on Thursday, and the 1,000th album party.

  • Album of the day: McCartney III – Paul McCartney
  • Track of the day: People of the Pride – Coldplay
  • T-shirt of the day: Outsider tour 2021 – Roger Taylor

“I know there must be other ways of feeling free
But this is what I wanna do, who I wanna be
Every time I try, I feel like I can fly
But I know that I could die trying.”
Paul McCartney – Slidin’

On this day in music history: In 1970 Richard Nixon asked radio programmers to ban all songs containing drug references; Glen Tipton, Matthias Jabs, Chad Smith, Ed Robertson & Katy Perry were all born; in 2014 Jack Bruce died.

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Tuesday 26 October 2021
Today’s featured artist was Queen, as I was kind of hoping that the Queenpod would be making its return in October (there were whispers that it might) – and so this would have served as a nice appetiser before the main course of the pod on a Wednesday. Alas, that’s not to be. Despite being stuck at the office a lot longer than I had planned for, I did somehow manage to get my backside in gear and write a few posts for this day; I was hoping to also catch up on a couple of others I have planned, but I think posts on A Day At The RacesA Kind of Magic, and Innuendo is probably enough for one day! Plus I did have to apply my focus to The Great British Bake Off for a bit, especially as I’d managed to make this Pie Day (every single meal was all/mostly pastry – no regrets), and then later Never Mind The Buzzcocks (which has definitely warmed up since the first episode). I somehow also snuck in a rewatch of Blinded By The Light (one of my favourite films of 2019), in anticipation of tomorrow’s talk from Sarfraz Manzoor.

  • Album of the day: A Day At The Races – Queen
  • Track of the day: I’m Going Slightly Mad – Queen
  • T-shirt of the day: Lady of the Sea (Freedom Fields) – Seth Lakeman

“What is this thing that builds our dreams, yet slips away from us.”
Queen – Who Wants To Live Forever

On this day in music history: In 1958 Bill Haley and his Comets played the first rock ‘n’ roll concert in Germany; Mahalia Jackson, Al Casey, Bootsy Collins, Keith Hopwood & Keith Urban were all born; in 1966 Alma Cogan died.

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Wednesday 27 October 2021
Today’s featured artist was Bruuuuuuuuce! I had a very long-standing booking for a talk at Leicester Square Theatre; journalist & writer Sarfraz Manzoor was there to tell the true story behind the film Blinded by the Light, which itself was based on his bestselling memoir Greetings From Bury Park – the event was initially due to go ahead in March/April 2020 and has been postponed several times since, so I think there was a collective sigh of relief when audience members realised that it could finally get the go-ahead. Another day of work before that, however, which meant another 5am wake-up call and sleepy bus journeys – and we had two teaching sessions instead of the normal one, so I needed to stay at the office all day whether I wanted to or not! Probably a good thing, as it made the wait for my evening plans a bit more bearable, and it meant I had time to write about Bruce’s debut album Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. between the end of work and the time I had to leave. I was hoping to pop in to the David Bowie and Queen pop-up stores in the West End before the event, but I didn’t quite allow enough time to experience them properly – plus it looked like staff outnumbered customers at that time of day, which always makes me feel uncomfortable! But anyway, the talk was the main thing, and it was hugely enjoyable with a number of emotional moments as well. We also had the added bonus of a few words from Kulvinder Ghir, who played the father in the film. Then the Western Stars live soundtrack helped me on my way home! All I need now is for Bruce to announce some tour dates…

  • Album of the day: Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. – Bruce Springsteen
  • Track of the day: There Goes My Miracle – Bruce Springsteen
  • T-shirt of the day: The River – Bruce Springsteen

“We wouldn’t change this thing even if we could somehow
Cause the darkness of this house has got the best of us
There’s a darkness in this town that’s got us too.”
Bruce Springsteen – Independence Day

On this day in music history: In 1979 Elton John collapsed from exhaustion onstage at the Universal Amphitheatre in Hollywood; Garry Tallent, K.K. Downing, Peter Dodd, Simon Le Bon & Kelly Osbourne were all born; in 2013 Lou Reed died.

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Thursday 28 October 2021
Today’s featured artist was Blondie – well, as Parallel Lines was going to feature as the 1,000th #TimsTwitterListeningParty it seemed the right choice to make. But – you guessed it – I had a day in the office to get through first. I managed to be pretty productive, and worked straight through so I could get everything done & leave knowing I didn’t have to do anything else during the afternoon. So I took myself off to the cinema to see Dune! Obviously. Then straight off (through the horrible, busy crowds) to the Southbank Centre for the London Literature Festival! We all certainly got value for money with this event: £20 for a lengthy chat/interview section with multiple Listening Party alumni, a brief Zoom call with Chris Stein, and a TTLP supergroup banded together to perform a handful of songs right at the end, culminating in a Come On Eileen singalong.

I’d presumed that the event itself would be fairly short, allowing everyone the chance to get home in time for the listening party – but in actual fact, there was the opportunity to join people in real life to hear Parallel Lines! Had it been a Friday, or if I just didn’t have a 5am alarm set, I would have at least investigated staying (not sure I’d have crowded into a small venue just yet), but I made the sensible choice for once. Though the event ended about ten minutes too late for me to catch the 21:58 train, which would have got me home in time for probably the second half of the album, meaning I had to hurriedly prep some tweet templates while I waited for the 22:28 – and then blast it directly into my ears for my entire journey home. Just over half the album during my train journey, and the rest as I was walking home & then grabbing myself a drink from the kitchen. Not my usual listening party style! Very strange being out in public for it, though the benefit of masks is that you can still mouth along to songs without people really noticing… Hugely enjoyable, nonetheless – and I was still pretty productive with my tweets! Though the writing side of things hasn’t necessarily gone to plan, I couldn’t have populated my week in a better way.

  • Album of the day: Parallel Lines – Blondie
  • Track of the day: The Great Outdoors Bitches – Tim Burgess
  • T-shirt of the day: Blondie

“You got a big mouth, I’m happy to see
Your foot is firmly entrenched where a molar should be.”
Blondie – Just Go Away

On this day in music history: In 1997 REM drummer Bill Berry left the band to become a farmer; Cleo Laine, Graham Bond, Hank Marvin, Stephen Morris & Frank Ocean were all born; in 1970 Baby Huey died.

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