BBC Radio Merseyside with Spencer Leigh. January 31st 2015


..and, for those of you old enough to remember…I really, nearly said, ‘Oi’ll give it foive’.

I have met Spencer at many events in Liverpool and we have occasionally talked about various genres of music that we both of them being the ‘Chansons’ of the francophone world..mainly La Belle France. Having said that, probably the poet/singer that first springs to mind here in the U.K. is Jacques Brel, who is second only to Hercule Poirot, as a famous Belgian.  This show is pencilled in, at the moment, for Saturday May 9th, between 6pm and 8pm.

We have been emailing concerning how to  include a good cross-section of many different proponents of this art, ranging from well-known to lesser- known performers. Some barely sing their poetry,( think Leonard Cohen ) whilst others almost move into the pop word…a truly eclectic mix. In order to swap ideas and music, we met up, last night in Radio Merseyside in Liverpool, with a  French friend of mine. And whilst I was there, I joined in as one of Spencer’s four guest panellists on his ‘new release’ show, which airs known and unknown band and artists, local and distant.

Although he had invited me to be on the panel in advance..and sent me a  Sam Cooke cd to listen to, I didn’t know how the programme would run. When I met the other three panellists, it was obvious that they all took part on a regular basis. Spencer himself is a mine of detailed  information about music right across the board….. I had taken my homework seriously…. listening to the cd in the car all week,  (Black America sings Sam Cooke) and had then watched a fab youtube dvd  about his life/legacy/legend …and found it fascinating. It filled in much that I  hadn’t known before. It turned out that we had all receievd that cd and we all had a chance to review it…the whole programme was not to be the Sam Cooke Review!

We actually listened to a wonderful array of new music, ranging from Swing Jazz, to Pretty Things, to Billy J. Kramer, to …Paul McCartney’s latest releae, alongside Rihanna and Kanye West.    I think you will be able to listen again far a week…I catch many missed progs this way.

I enjoy ‘being on’  the radio….. far more than the box…none of that awful make-up that I’m wondering how to remove even as they are plastering it on. But I was a bit rubbish at it, making remarks about the record/cd sleeve, as if the listener could see it with me!!!! I  At one point, I even held one of the covers up to the microphone, to say  that this stylised artwork resembled Rory Gallaher…doesn’t it?!!!!!!! Ayeeee!!!!!! That’s the cover of the Pretty Things cd, by the way…they play an ab fab version of ‘Helter Skelter’…a sort of hypnotic drone..

…but it ain’t the rock wonder that Paul has created for his own with this number.  He gets on that helter Skelter and we all climb on behind him…and we GO. If you have hear Paul doing this live, you will know just wht I mean.  In his hands, its pure dynamite!

Had a late meal in town..and a lovely clear drive home.

I love being in Liverpool.