Archive for the ‘Everton’ Category

>Sunday Easter Sunday (T – 15)

5 April, 2010 Leave a comment

>Today’s soundtrack:  U2 – War

Busy day today, motor racing and football to watch, with a family get-together sandwiched in the middle.

It was a bit of a procession at the front of the Malaysian Grand Prix, with the two Red Bulls pulling away in the first two slots and staying there for the rest of the race.  Consequently the action was all towards the back of the field, with the McLarens and Ferraris trying to make amends for their abysmal performance in qualifying.  And for a while it was genuinely exciting, as Lewis Hamilton, in particular, carved his way through the back markers up into a respectable position.  Jenson Button also made progress, albeit less spectacularly, largely due to an early tyre change that gave him acres of free space to drive in for a large part of the race.

Ultimately though, the race fizzled out as a combination of tyre wear and a wall of slightly quicker cars halted the charge.  Oh for a thunderstorm in the last ten laps!

Then it was out for Easter lunch with the family – a carvery at the Village in Bromborough, and very enjoyable it was too, despite me making my usual schoolboy error of eating far too much (did I really need those last three profiteroles?) and feeling decidedly uncomfortable at the back end of the afternoon.  So rather than sit there feeling bloated, we beat an early retreat back home – where the Everton game was being Sky-plussed ready for viewing.

And I wished I hadn’t bothered, really.  A lethargic performance against a West Ham team that had more to play for, and who deserved their draw, even though the ever-erratic Howard Webb denied Everton a cast-iron penalty.  Sadly, it looks as though eighth is the best the club can aspire to this season – when a decent European slot was there for the taking.  We are definitely missing the guile and craft that Mikel Arteta brings to the team, and the game against Villa on Wednesday is really our last chance of pushing on for the final European place – a must-win game by any standards.

Sadly let down by Son No 2 today, who gleefully announced that the Pixies were playing Glastonbury this year, only to find he’d been April Fooled (and not for the first time this year!)  Still, with confirmations from The Gaslight Anthem and the likelihood of The Hold Steady and The Courteeners confirming soon, I don’t think we’ll be struggling for things to do and see.

U2 are, of course, already confirmed, and it is ‘War’ that has come up on the soundtrack today.  Their third album, released well before The Canonisation Of Saint Bono, it’s not their best work by a long stretch.  But it does include New Year’s Day and Sunday Bloody Sunday, and generally chunters along quite inoffensively.

Here’s a young-looking U2 performing ‘Two Hearts Beat as One’.  Nice mullett, Bono!

Categories: Easter, Everton, Formula 1, U2

>Diddle Diddle Dumpling

22 February, 2010 Leave a comment


Today’s soundtrack:  Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint – Hot as a Pistol, Keen as a Blade

Well, I’ve given it a couple of days, but I think I’m still in shock over the weekend’s football.  It’s not just the fact that we won, it’s the way in which we won – with style and passion, playing the better football and even coming from a goal down.  Three great goals from open play as well.  Oh, and coming off the back of a similar win against Chelsea.  So in the space of around ten days, we’ve beaten (well) two of the best teams in Europe, and certainly the best two teams in the country.

Typically, after some pretty genuine compliments from United fans, all the comments are about Rodwell’s impending move to ManYoo and how Moyes is being lined up as Fergie’s successor.  Won’t happen guys.  If we can keep this squad together – and keep the majority of them fit and playing(!) – then we’ll be challenging next season.

As we would have been this year, had we not had such a horrendous start.

The Waring culinary spectrum continues to broaden – stew and dumplings after the match, with homemade dumplings (equal amounts of suet and self-raising flour, with a dash of horseradish and sufficient water to bind).  The beef stew had a beef and ale base, using a few bottles of Poacher’s ale (most of which went to lubricating the chef’s throat, I have to admit).  Absolutely delicious, and sufficient left over for tonight’s tea as well.

Take a look at these puppies!

Homemade pizza again last night, although this time I added some semolina to the bases, Dominos-fashion, which added a pleasing degree of texture to the bases.

Costello and Toussaint on the soundtrack today – an audio rip of a DVD of the two in concert, produced on the back of their ‘River in Reverse’ collaboration of a few years back.  Elvis has always chosen his collaborators well – Burt Bacharach, Bill Frisell, Anne Sofie Von Otter – and his collaboration with Allen Toussaint, one of the great New Orleans jazzmen – is up there as well, with added poignancy coming from the Katrina disaster that happened around the same time and which is referenced in their work.

Here they are on Jools a few years ago – “Who’s Gonna Help Brother Get Further”.  Who indeed?

>No Words Necessary…

20 February, 2010 Leave a comment


Categories: Everton, Wayne Rooney

>Back on the Interview Trail

17 February, 2010 Leave a comment

>Today’s soundtrack:  Bruce Springsteen – The River

Back on the interview trail last night, up in Preston (again) – when did Preston become the epicentre of the internal audit universe?  Too early for proper feedback, but I managed to stretch my 30-45 minute interview into an hour and a quarter, which may or may not be a good sign.  If nothing else, the poor bloke following me was restricted to half an hour as the building had to close at seven!


All of which meant I had to sacrifice the Everton-Sporting game, which kicked off at the ludicrous time of 5:45.  Had to listen on Radio Merseyside on the way home.  And but for ten seconds of madness with four minutes to go, it was all looking pretty good.  A 2-0 lead, with no away goals, taken to the second leg would have been fine.  As it was, 2-1, late penalty, sending off and things don’t look so clear cut – making a victory feel a bit like a defeat.  Still, we do take a lead into the second leg and so (just) have the upper hand.  Just.  Coupled with the news that Fellaini is out for the rest of the season following the horror tackle in the Derby and the Everton glass is looking more half empty than full at the moment.

Still, ManYoo at the weekend to look forward to.  No pressure there then.

Speaking of ManYoo, they managed to pull off a slightly fortuitous away win at Milan last night – after being battered for the bulk of the first half, they went in at the interval level thanks to a goal that bounced of Paul Scholes’ standing leg.  Second half they did come out fighting, and thanks to the brilliance of The Boy, took a 3-1 lead before Milan clawed a late goal back.

Advantage United for the second leg then.  Or rather advantage Rooney.  Interesting to see that Siralex is claiming The Boy as one of United’s ‘homegrown’ stars now, in the week before the game against the club that nurtured him and brought him on from the age of 9, and turned him into an England international before selling him for the best part of £25 million quid.

Think again, Alex.

Bit of Springsteen on the soundtrack today, actually the second disc of The River, Bruce’s 1980 double album.  I find The River to be a bit of a mixed bag.  Most of the slower songs and ballads are amongst Bruce’s best and most moving.  Unfortunately they are accompanied by some of the most lumpen rockers he (or anyone) ever committed to vinyl.  Cadillac Ranch, I’m a Rocker and Ramrod – I’m looking at you.

But when the album is good, it is very, very good indeed.

Here’s one of the best – Stolen Car, filmed live in 1985.

>Where do the days go?

11 February, 2010 2 comments

>Today’s soundtrack:  Various Artists – Blaxploitation – The Sequel

Is it that long since I last posted?  It’s not even as if my days have been crammed with loads and load of activity either!  Still, I’m back now, with a cracking football match to report on.

After being booted off the park (quite literally) by the shower across the park at the weekend, and missing our two best players as a consequence – I didn’t hold out too much hope for last night’s game against Chelsea.

Actually, before we get to the Chelsea game, let’s vent for a bit.

How disappointing is it when a team of Liverpool’s (supposed) stature can take to the field with a single aim in mind – that being to nullify the threat of the opposition by deliberately setting out to injure your team’s two best players?  The tone was set in the first few seconds, when Carragher flattened Pienaar with a forearm smash after the ball had gone – which went completely unpunished by the referee.  Of course, Carragher ‘isn’t that kind of player’, is he?  If he’d walked – or at least been booked – as he should have, then the game might have been played in a decent spirit.  Unfortunately, the tone had been set.  Henceforth, Pienaar was either fouled – or fouling – for the rest of the game.  Threat nullified.  And whilst he could easily have walked for the tackle on Mascherano, the way in which Gerrard eventually got him sent off (falling to the ground, clutching his face after Pienaar jumped gently into his back) was again distasteful.

But Stevie G’s ‘not that kind of player’ either, is he?

And so to the Fellaini incident.  Having managed to avoid a crippling lunge from Mascherano, the big man was victim to a two-footed lunge by the big fat Greek lad, who got himself injured in the process.  Commentators seemed to make great play of the fact that Fellaini himself was guilty of lifting his foot and thereby going over the top into the Greek’s leg with his studs.  Well let’s be clear here – had he kept his foot on the ground, the likelihood is his ankle would have been snapped in two.  I’d have lifted my foot as well!

A shame that the FSW has reduced that team to a bunch of opportunistic cloggers.

Anyway, rant over.  On to more pleasing things.

With Arteta and Bilyaletdinov in for Pienaar and Fellaini, we had a very skilful, but worryingly lightweight midfield lining up against a strong Chelsea side.  And for the first twenty minutes or so, it looked like we’d suffer as a result.  They showed huge amounts of quality to pin us back in our half, and the goal when it came had a certain amount of inevitability about it.  Route one stuff, with Drogba flicking a header into the path of Malouda, who outmuscled and outran Philip Neville to push the ball into the far corner.

Oh dear.  At this point, it looked like it might end up four or five nil.

But the Blues rallied, and slowly managed to get a foothold in the game.  After a succession of corners, with interchanging corner takers, Donovan drilled a corner from the far side just over the despairing head of the hapless John Terry, onto the head of Louis Saha who buried the ball in the net.

1-1, and game on.  From this point on, the tide began to turn and we took a grip on the game, with Donovan visibly growing in confidence – a realisation, perhaps, that he was not out of his depth in this company.  On the stroke of half time, he was put through one on one with Carvalho, who  was fooled by his turn in the box sufficiently to bring the American down.  Penalty!  Up stepped Louis, having turned Arteta away, to see his shot saved by Cech to his left.  Not the best penalty in the world but still a good save.

Oh dear again.  What would this do to the players’ confidence?  1-1 at half time, which I’d have taken at kick-off, but a nagging feeling that you’ve got to take your chances against these teams.  Would we live to regret that penalty miss?

Well no, as it happens.  We kept up the pace, and the pressure, and with fifteen minutes to go, it paid off.  A long ball from Distin towards Saha.  Terry misjudged the flight of the ball which went over his head onto the chest of Saha.  Cute bit of control, left footed volley with pace past Cech.  Fantastic goal, and a deserved 2-1 lead.

Could we hold on?  As you would expect, this stung Chelsea into action, and we withstood some sustained pressure over the course of the last fifteen minutes, with Distin and the wonderful Johnny Heitinga majestic in the heart of the defence.  I am definitely beginning to feel a bit of man-love for our Johnny.  Yes, he’s a grock, but he’s our grock.

After a ludicrous five (five!) minutes of injury time, the whistle finally blew.  A stunning result in a high quality game,which went a long way to removing the nasty taste left in my mouth after the derby.

Soundtrack today is from the second of three (possibly more, actually) compilations of soul and funk music under the ‘Blaxploitation’ banner.  The compilations largely comprise extended mixes of ’70s sould tunes, loosely associated with the Blaxploitation film genre that was prevalent for a while in the decade.  Which means lots of tunes with the word ‘Ghetto’ in the title, lots of Curtis, Quincy, James and Sly.  And which of course means tons and tons of high quality tunes.

This is Bobby Womack, with the magnificent ‘Across 110th Street’ – from the soundtrack of the film of the same name, and also used by Tarantino over the opening credits of Jackie Brown, his own homage to the genre.

>I can’t watch this too many times…

17 January, 2010 1 comment


Absolutely sublime!

Categories: Everton, Marouane Fellaini

>The Big Chill

10 January, 2010 Leave a comment

>Today’s soundtrack:  TV On The Radio – Young Liars

By Christ, it’s cold.

Set off to Staines last Monday in sub-zero temperatures, but due to a combination of good fortune and good timing, I managed to avoid any road-related trauma and reached the office just after eight.  The road-related trauma was not long in coming though – although for Mrs W, rather than me.

Tuesday, and whilst it was a tad chilly in the South, the skies were clear.  Unlike the North, where it snowed like a bastard all day.  Mrs W had struggled into work – to the surprise of many – and later struggled as far as the local town – five miles from home – before having to ditch the car by the side of the road.  Rear wheel drive is not recommended in the snow!

Nothing I could do to help – I was miles away in the balmy south – and no way anyone could reach her.  But – left to her own devices – she struggled home a few hours later, not without some kind offers of help from complete strangers, which was good to see.

Anyway, the bleak weather turned its eye southwards, and heavy snowfall on Tuesday night led to the realisation, on Wednesday morning, that travelling down south with one pair of flimsy work shoes was a BAD IDEA.  So off to Millets, for wellies and a pair of those chunky items that cross walking boots with trainers.

Suitably shod, the snow wasn’t a problem for me any more, although it did prevent a lot of people getting into work that day.  With more snow falling, the office was closed at three pm (as it was for the rest of the week). Back up north, Mrs W managed to retrieve her car from the drifts, with the help of one of the neighbours, but it did mean a day off work.

Thursday, and I got into the office to find one meeting cancelled, another potential meeting scuppered by the meetee staying at home, and a lot of people suggesting I make a run for it while the roads were (relatively) clear and quiet.  Alarmed by the prospect of having to spend the weekend in Staines (lovely place though it is), I hit the road.  And again, was lucky enough to have a clear run all the way back.

A doddle, this snow-driving.

Well that was until I took Mrs W to work on Friday.  For some reason, her company did not think it worthwhile gritting the staff car parks, which were consequently ice rinks.  The 4×4 coped – just – but they are setting themselves up for a nasty incident if they don’t get their fingers out!  Despite the four wheel drive, I had a little wobble on the way back home, but thankfully no more than that.

And thankfully no other major problems, other than a bath that would not drain because the water from the previous bath had frozen in the pipes outside (which, I discovered, had a bit of a ‘bow’ in them).  After a bit of pipe-warming (involving hot water bottles and kettles) we managed to get the blockage melted and shifted.

Still, I can’t remember too many winters colder than this one.  There was the time in Sheffield when it was so cold the water froze in the toilets, and I was around for the Really Big Freeze in 1963 (although I don’t remember anything about it) but this is as cold as it has been for as long as I can remember.

Pussy cat loves it, at any rate.

The Big Freeze caused most of the footy to be postponed this weekend, although the Everton game went ahead as planned.  Now we normally go to Arsenal and get tonked, and the 6-1 at home on the first day of the season didn’t augur well – but the lads done good.  In the lead twice, pegged back by two wickedly deflected shots, the latter of which fell two minutes into injury time.  Chances to go 3-1 up as well.  Now I’d have snatched your hand off for 2-2 at Arsenal before the game, but to play so well and come so close to winning made the draw feel more like a defeat.

The signs are good for the rest of the season, though.

TV On The Radio today, an achingly trendy band from Brooklyn.  The ‘Young Liars’ EP was their first release, and it’s precociously good for a debut effort.  The group combine elements of jazz and soul with indie rock noises, that greates a musical stew that is – more often than not – better than it sounds.  Difficult to describe what they sound like – best listen for yourself!

This is Staring At The Sun, from the EP, performed live in 2004.  Excellent Afro/Beard/Glasses combination sir!

Categories: Everton, Snow, TV on the Radio

>Finally! Three points!

29 December, 2009 Leave a comment

>Today’s soundtrack:  Wailing Souls – Most Wanted: Classic Cuts 1978-1984

Back to football today, in celebration of an increasingly rare event – an Everton home win!  Yes, it was only Burnley, and a Burnley reduced to ten men with half an hour to go at that, but I’ll take that at the moment!

At the start of the day, I wondered whether the game would go ahead, if the fog blanketing Cheshire was at all widespread.  I’d have been sat in the Main Stand unable to see the near goal, never mind the Park End.  Happily the fog seemed to lift somewhere under the Mersey, and the ground was clear – if a touch crisp.  Happily the long johns had been called into service and my nether regions were reasonably snug for the duration.

The Bank Holiday brought about a capacity crowd, which was nice to see, although inevitably when the ground is full, the proportion of fuckwits in the crowd increases significantly – those who go to one or two games a year, get their football knowledge from Sky and have an opinion – usually wrong – on everything.  I don’t know why they go, if they hate the players, the manager and the style of play so much.  I on the other hand would never shout expletives at the players on the pitch (hem hem).

Admittedly, it wasn’t a day for the purist.  Burnley are a well organised spoiling team, and without particularly threatening themselves, were adept at restricting us to a) pretty passing moves that stopped short on the edge of the penalty area or b) long ball humps that came straight back to us.  Stalemate, and a first half that finished goalless, with very few chances.

And a very real chance that the second half would pan out exactly the same way.

Luckily, it didn’t.  The game turned on a couple of incidents, just enough for Everton to make the breakthrough they just about deserved.  Firstly, Burnley had a man sent off for a second bookable offence – a silly tug on Steven Pienaar’s shirt right in front of the referee.  Initially, Everton failed to capitalise on the extra man, persevering with the Yak up front by himself, supported by Tim Cahill and then Marouane Fellaini.  However as the game move into its final phase, Moyes brought James Vaughan on for Bily, and within a minute or two the lad had scored, a tap-in after the Yak had failed to convert.  Despite Yakubu looking suspiciously offside when the ball went in, the goal stood and – finally! – we had our noses in front.

The points were wrapped up in the final minute, when Pienaar squeezed a neat shot in at the near post following good support work from the Yak.  Three points, a nice climb up the table and a few more players coming back from injury.  Despite some tough games coming up, the future’s feeling a bit brighter than it was before the game.

Plus points – the return of Neville and Vaughan, some neat approach play and the continuing improvement of Fellaini in a deeper-lying midfield role.  However we need to find a bit of ruthlessness up front to start converting draws into wins.  In a very tight league, every point will be valuable this year.

Incongruously, I’m typing this in sub-zero temperatures with some hot reggae playing in the background.  The Wailing Souls have been around for decades, but their best period is covered by this album, a dubbed-up collection of 12″ mixes from the late seventies and early eighties.

Here’s ‘War’ for your delectation.  Ire Ridim!

Categories: Everton, reggae, Wailing Souls

>Travellin’ Blues

19 December, 2009 Leave a comment

>Today’s soundtrack:  Hindu Love Gods – Hindu Love Gods

Phew, what a week that was!  So much to talk about, we might have to split this blog over a couple of days.  I might even revert to daily postings over the Christmas break.  Or I might get a life instead – who can tell?

Firstly, the important stuff.

Matt was in hospital for six days in total, they let him out on Wednesday in the end.  After optimistic predictions of a Monday release were dashed (to his great disappointment) things moved on steadily until he was able to make good his escape.  I believe there is a half-dug tunnel behind one of the gent’s toilets, if any current inmates are interested…

I got to see him on Sunday, when he was still in some discomfort and the drains from his neck were still draining steadily – and a lack of sleep was making him probably feel even worse than he was anyway.  But by Tuesday, when I got over for my final visit, the ‘old’ Matt back was again, one of the drains was out and the other was likely to follow imminently.

The body is a marvellous thing – cut it up, take bits out – but give it a couple of days and it steadily makes itself better, re-routing fluids and joining ends of cut flesh back together again.  Let’s hope the self-healing process continues – with a bit of a nudge from the radiation in the New Year!

At the time of writing, Matt is back home, Facebooking and chilling.  Half the staples are out with the rest to follow on Monday.

Oh, and everyone who’s emailed or otherwise passed on their thoughts, prayers and best wishes for Matt – thank you all, it’s much appreciated and good to know that people – even complete strangers in some cases – have such generosity of spirit and goodwill.  You look for positives where you can at times like this, and this is certainly one of the biggest for me.

The stresses of the week were not confined to me – the car has been complaining more and more about the miles I have been subjecting it to, what with the weekly Staines run now augmented with a diversion or three to Bath.  Finally it spat its dummy out big time on the Tuesday night run to Bath and back.  An intermittent misfire now became permanent, preventing me getting above 2000 rpm and more pertinently – above 60 mph on the motorway (50 mph on any sort of uphill slope).  With my plans of nursing the car through the Staines project and getting it sorted in the New Year dashed, I had to get it fixed – and quick, otherwise I wasn’t coming home at the weekend!

So – Wednesday morning, and I’m trawling the internet for local Nissan garages.  The nearest was in Shepperton, about 15 minutes drive away (or half an hour, with the car limping along at its current pace).  My plan was to leave Staines the following lunchtime.  What were the chances of getting it booked in, diagnosed and fixed within 36 hours?  Slim to none, I assumed.

But no, thanks to the good people at West London Nissan (free plug, chaps) the car was booked in Thursday morning, checked and fixed by lunchtime and I was checked out of the hotel and on the road by two thirty.  The rapidly arriving snow, coupled with my nervousness that the ‘fix’ may prove to be temporary, caused me to change my plan to detour across and see Matt so I headed home.  And got back without incident, thankfully.

Stress levels still hovering around the ‘about to blow’ indicator, I got in to see that in my absence, two parcels had been delivered and left a) with the neighbour and b) behind the bin.  Went out to the bin.  Nothing.  Looked in the bin.  Nothing (well, a load of rubbish, but you know what I mean).  Mrs W arrives home, not to a lovely welcome, but a tirade about the potential loss of half my Christmas shopping.  Bless her, she could obviously see I was on the verge of complete and utter breakdown and resisted the temptation to punch my lights out.  Instead, she knocked on the neighbour’s door to find that not only did he have the parcel delivered directly to him, but had also taken in the parcel lurking behind the bin.  Panic over.

Mrs W then – sensibly – went out to another Christmas do, leaving me to slump in front of the telly, with drink and curry, to watch the Everton Under-11s take on the mighty BATE and slump to a creditable (but wholly irrelevant) 1-0 defeat.  It was nice to see the kids getting a runout, hopefully the experience will spur them on to fight for a regular position in the men’s team in due course.  Adam Forshaw, Shane Duffy and Jamie Bidwell caught the eye of the new starters, and the old man, Carlo Nash, looked comfortable in goal.  They might not – yet – have the stature of the Arsenal kids, but they did not disgrace themselves either.

Today’s soundtrack comes courtesy of the Hindu Love Gods, a one-off ‘supergroup’ comprising REM without Michael Stipe, but with Warren Zevon.  A drunken session of blues standards and other covers led to the album, which sounds like what it is – a group of mates relaxing (suitably refreshed) and having fun.  No classics, but ‘good time’ stuff  that brings a tap to the foot and a smile to the face.

Tell you what, you search for ‘Hindu Love Gods’ on YouTube and you get some funny stuff coming up.  What you don’t get is any drunken blues.  So let’s try something else!

Click on the DivShare player that should have mysteriously appeared below, and you’ll hear the HLG’s take on Prince’s ‘Raspberry Beret’, and very fine it is too!
Oh, Kev – I’ll get to the Depeche stuff over the weekend – I promise!

Categories: Car, Everton, Hindu Love Gods, Matt, rem

>Just when you think 2009 can’t get any worse…

22 November, 2009 Leave a comment

>Today’s soundtrack:  Dusty Springfield – Dusty in Memphis

…it does.*

Roll on 2010 – the sooner the better.

But since “a double dose of positive mental attitude” is the prescription, I’m not going to dwell on that topic, I’m going to stick to writing about the good, the positive.

Like Everton.

Oh wait…

Another trip to Old Trafford, another defeat.  You could argue that United’s first goal was a once-a-season special, that the third was a lucky deflection and that the scoreline didn’t reflect the play, but that would be to ignore the fact that, once again, Everton went to one of the Big Four with a game plan that put avoiding defeat ahead of anything else – a game plan that rapidly unravelled the minute Fletcher scored that goal.  It was only in the second half, when Moyes was forced to play 4-4-2, that we looked in any way threatening.

Again, roll on 2010.

A double dose of Memphis this week, with Dusty on the soundtrack (about which, more later) and with part of my hotel-based entertainment this week involving ‘The Road to Memphis’, one of the seven films making up ‘The Blues’, the Martin Scorsese-produced series about the real American folk music.  The Road To Memphis focuses on a number of performers coming together for a major performance in Memphis – long-established performers like BB King and Ike Turner, but also Bobby Rush, scratching out a living on the chitlin circuit, and the wonderful Rosco Gordon, who gave up the blues for twenty-odd years to work in a dry cleaners in Queens, and who sadly died just six weeks after his joy-filled performance on stage in Memphis with some of the greats.

How ‘Blues’ is that?

Here’s A Little Bit of Magic from Rosco.

Memphis just might be my favourite American city.  We spent a few days there a couple of years ago, courtesy of our good friend Elaine, and did the tour.

Graceland – which is as gloriously tacky as you’d expect, but also deeply moving as well.  I did have a barely controllable urge to sing a ‘ragga’ Heartbreak Hotel by Elvis’s grave (“Too much fackin’ perspective!”) but managed to resist the temptation.  I’d have probably had my lights punched out by Elaine if I’d been in any way disrespectful!

Sun Records – the place just oozes history.  The tiny studio, looking just as it must have fifty years ago, and still in use.

The Stax museum on McLemore Avenue – sadly the original Stax building was knocked down years ago, but has been lovingly rebuilt as a shrine to the home of Southern Soul.

The Peabody Hotel, Rendezvous Ribs (yummy!), the Lorraine Motel, Schwab’s department store, the Gibson guitar factory – all there and all fascinating.

And Beale Street – yes, it’s a tourist location now, and all the old bluesmen in the film bemoaned the loss of the ‘old’ Beale Street – but it’s still the best night out around.  Bands playing for change in the street and on the square – bands who would knock the socks off some of the biggest names around.  Playing for the joy of playing and for the love of the Blues.

And yes – Dusty recorded in Memphis – the incongruous blend of Soulsville and this slightly prim English rose managing to produce one of the best albums of the sixties.  Great songs, great musicians and a great soulful singer with a real feel for the music.  Apparently she was almost rendered incapable by nerves, and recorded most of her vocals one line at a time – but the end product was seamless.

*if you want to know what I’m talking about – have a read of this.