Sidetracks And Detours present PASS IT ON 41 Sunday Supplement 25 2 2024

Sidetracks And Detours



Sunday Supplement 25 2 2024

Hello, we have plenty of reading as always, carefully crafted by our excellent voluntary contributors. So we have an enticing book review from Michael Higgins, live Jazz previewed and reviewed by Trevor Bannister of Jazz In Reading, and we have found a place for poetry and we carry an invitation from Claudie, one of our favourite artists reminding us that ´home is where the art is´! Peter Pearson sets us off with a simple motion and then Norman Warwick ponders his presidential make-over. Enjoy your read.




A Place For Poetry?


Researching History

THE COBRA KING:: essay by Michael Higgins

Live Jazz At Progress

Friday 9 February

Jean Toussaint tenor saxophone

Peter Billington piano,

Paul Jefferies bass & bass guitar

Simon Price drums

review by Trevor Bannister

Live Jazz At Progress

Friday 22 March 2024

Arbenz + Hart + Pursglove

= Conversation

preview by Jazz in Reading

Jazz On Air

HOT BIUSCUITS presented by Steve Bewick

A Reader´s Perspective: All Points Forward

SIMPLE MOTION: review by Peter Pearson

Island Insights.

MAKE UP? YOU COULDN´T MAKE IT UP ! says Norman Warwick



by Claudie

Claudie, our favourite artist here on the island of Lanzarote, has either turned her home into her gallery or has turned her gallery into her home. Whichever way round that process was she has turned her premises into a venue that hosts her art work in ever room, in every nook and cranny, in every passageway and even in her garden. More importantly the place somehow conveys some truths about Claudie as a working artist and her relationship with the art processes that turn her found objects into exquisite pieces. A visitor will realise immediately that Claudie is an artist who is enthralled not only by High Art but also by popular art and the cultures in which they thrive.

She holds occasional open days and we have attended many of these over the past eighteen months and our own house is now a place we can wander around and find a piece of her work that we have purchased at these occasions and placed in all of our rooms.

Claudie is also a very welcoming host and first time visitors are immediately made welcome by Claudie herself and by her friends and neighbours like Victor.

Her gallery / home is open today, Sunday 25th February and we are hoping to get there this afternoon, and will report back to you over the next week or two.

A Place For Poetry


by The Poet In The Rain

Readers will be aware that under the pseudonym of The Poet In The Rain, we have an occasional contributor who identifies places where poetry is spoken.

This week he has sent us this flier for what sounds like a very interesting event.

If any of our readers who attend might like to send us a review to

we will be pleassed to publish and correctly attribute it.

Because we are a not for profit organisation we are unable to pay you other than in kind by providing a platform, carrying your publicity and being supportive when we can.

Researching History

THE COBRA KING by Oswell Blakeston

A Review by Michael Higgins

Oswell Blakeston

Oswell Blakeston (right) was the pseudonym of Henry Joseph Hasslaker (1907-1985), a neglected 20th century early English modernist in both literature and film.  Of Austrian descent, he re-styled himself after Oswell Sitwell’s forename and his mother’s maiden name, originally Blakiston.  The Austrian side of the family were wine merchants but Blakeston’s talents lay elsewhere after leaving his Catholic school and bourgeois home life. He edited cinema magazines and experimented in his own avante garde films, at one of which an irate viewer threw some books at the screen in formal protest. That was, in the words of Luis Bunuel when Blakeston became a real ‘cineaste’. But he was also a poet of many small crafted pieces, of which this volume, found in his papers at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, is finished product to a life lived partly in the demi monde and partly in the glittering world of art and artistry. In 1930 he met and afterwards lived with Max Chapman, post expressionist and later abstract painter. Blakeston also took to painting.

In a forward by Anglo-Canadian poet Ian Young, Blakeston is revealed as a man of many talents who impressed his unique personality on everything he did. He left home at sixteen, becoming in turns a conjurers assistant, a cinema organist, a book jacket designer, the voice of a chicken for a ventriloquist and a clapper-boy at the Gaumont film studios alongside the young David Lean. After he met the wealthy novelist Bryher (Winnifred Ellermann), patroness of many writers, in the 1930s he became a regular contributor to the film magazine Close Up and making his, and possibly the world’s, first abstract film Light Rhythms in co-operation with the American photographer, Francis Brugiere.  Blakeston soon spread his talents  in writing fiction, essays, food and literary book reviews and the visual arts.

The Welsh poet Dylan Thomas was a drinking companion, taking the name ‘Rat’ to Blakeston’s ‘Mouse’ and the magus and poet Aleister Crowley fell for him but failed in the dark art of trying to lure him to Paris. Blakeston deemed the master of the occult to be ‘mean and vicious’. He did venture to Paris without Crowley to meet Andre Gide and Jean Cocteau, however, first blotting his copy book by sitting down and squashing a waxed hand in the artist’s studio. Cocteau hereafter expressed his ire by refusing to speak, only communicating to Blakeston via chalk board.

In 1928 he published Behind the Yellow Glass, taking the reader into and behind the film studio.  His second novel was The Extra Passenger, followed by a hundred or more books and chapbooks on everything from more fiction, poetry, travel and food. Ian Young met Blakeston in the 1970s after persuading him to contribute to the poetry anthology The Male Muse (Catalyst 1973 in which I also contributed). Blakeston had seven short poems included, one of which, echoing the classical , homo-sensual, sexual and the mythological, is entitled Clovis:

Upon a distant beach

He’s dancing in the rain.

Upon a distant shore

His hoofprints in the sand.

His other poems mixed irony and comical notions in intertwined thoughts and words, all underpinned by male desire and lust. Ian Young went on to publish Blakeston’s last novel, Pass the Poison Separately (Catalyst 1976) and thankfully writes the foreword, running through Blakeston’s world of homosexuality, cinema and artworld gossip–keeping actress Mabel Poulton  away from the gin bottle and  accompanying German actress  Valeska Gert, the self styled ‘wickedest woman in Europe´, as she expounded the virtues of autoeroticism on stage and in dressing room and lamented the poor performance of London’s prostitutes, which she claimed was dire. But Blakeston’s charisma, Young points out, came from ‘an outflow of gentleness’ and not any desire to dominate. As Blakeston admitted, he preferred to keep company with Max instead of meeting the right people in the right places. ‘I wanted love, not art shows!’

The Cobra King is a finished manuscript found in Blakeston’s papers and reflects his amusing take on subversion, lust and wistful romance. Danger, disappointment and desire lurk in the lair of the Cobra who, in the title poem, awaits the little toad, dreaming of seeking out the pond where ‘serpents lift their heads’. In Dreamboat, the phantom fisher boy ‘sweet named poor me Blood Bait’, the imagery is simple, yet complex in all these verses of a few lines and words, as in Simple Song: ‘Today a summer song/it fills my mortgaged heart/it sings of hardcore love…’, or in  I Drain the Glass where ‘I dialled the future/got your voice…’ A Hospital Case poses the riddle of the rose left with a patient.  Honey of Youth toys with ‘armchair cricket’. Semi contrasts meet in Sticks in the Throat: ‘I Sam, I ching..’ And the picture of innocence addressing the mirror on the wall, which sees the ‘weals’ in blowing out the flame of ‘last night’s lusts’, is a haunting one. There is the half sadness of As it Was in the Beginning where the stars look down but our first loves ‘no longer look at us’. In Interval  there is ‘the piece before our rape of beds/where it is dangerous to die’.  The Gravy Train seeks the station of love, ‘a little place in this sleepy town’. And The Town Where the High Wind Blows recounts the theme:

‘A town of no importance, Sir?

dear God, our Tom lived there,

and where he lived must be for me

a name writ large in Scarlet letter.

I’d like to build a temple in his name

and give the town a patron saint

to love all creatures great and small,

although perhaps he did prefer them great.’

At three verses totalling 23 lines this is the longest poem in the 50 strong collection. Blakeston liked ‘em short and this collection mixes well the sacred, profane and sublime. And he smiles, for in the swamp of the Cobra life springs and surprises. The shortest poem in the book, Black Domino. Prepares the way:

‘His young eyes know

Their reputation.’

With Ian Young’s breezy forward and a snappy cover and layout, this book is a delight – even for fogeys and old traditionalists such as I. The Cobra world is one that can entrap or snare us all.


Live Jazz At Progress

Friday 9 February

Jean Toussaint tenor saxophone

Peter Billington piano,

Paul Jefferies bass & bass guitar

Simon Price drums

review by Trevor Bannister

From the moment a beaming Jean Toussaint (shown left, seated far right, credits Stepehn Foster)) took to the Progress stage on Friday 9th February to a rapturous reception from the sell-out audience it was clear that we were in for a very special evening of jazz. Toussaint’s tenor saxophone filled the auditorium with its soulful tones as he kicked-off the gig in the excellent company of Messrs Billington, Jefferies and Price with ’10 Bar Blues for Jimi’. This heartfelt dedication to Jimi Hendrix served as the prelude to the richly varied programme to come, an irresistible mix of jazz standards and Toussaint originals.

Paul Jefferies’ insistent bass paved the way (no pun intended) for a visit to ‘On Green Dolphin Street’, a swinging and often recorded standard, most famously by Miles Davis classic Sextet in 1958, which unleashed the full jaw-dropping power of Toussaint’s improvising skills.

In complete contrast, Toussaint drew on the inspiration of Billie Holiday for a sublime reworking of ‘These Foolish Things’. With the sensitive support of the rhythm section, he captured the full aching beauty of the timeless Eric Maschwitz/Jack Strachey composition.

The edgy groove of ‘Mood Mode’, from Toussaint’s 2014 album ‘Tate Song’, worked as a brilliant conversation piece between the wailing Toussaint and the sparklingly inventive piano of Peter Billington – on a splendid Yamaha instrument especially hired for the occasion from Hickies Music Store. The final word(s) fell to Simon Price egged on by Jean Toussaint. Pure magic!

Toussaint closed the first set and opened the second with two contrasting, but deeply felt tributes to members of the Toussaint family taken from the 2023 album, ‘Songs for Sisters, Brothers & Others’. One might describe ‘Blues for Sister Yve’ as a call to prayer, such was its emotional force and joyous expression of the human spirit. ‘Kalila’, on the other hand, portrayed a lady of more wistful and reflective qualities. As Toussaint declared, ‘Music is from the heart’. I would say ‘Amen’ to that.

Writing catchy blues themes is one aspect of Charlie Parker’s genius that is all too often overlooked. ‘Now’s the Time’ is one such tune, so catchy indeed, that R & B bandleader Paul Williams lifted it ‘lock, stock and barrel’ from Parker’s 1946 recording to create a hit for himself under the new title, ‘The Hucklebuck’, claiming the copyrights and copious royalties in the process! Toussaint resisted the temptation to take ‘Bird-like’ flight on the number. Instead he took the theme through a series of beguiling variations in time, rhythm and harmony.

He did, however, really stretch out on ‘Vera Cruz’, a gorgeous composition from the pen of Brazilian musician Milton Nascinmento, before paying tribute to his mother with a stunning performance of Billie Holiday’s ‘God Bless the Child’.

A reprise of ‘Blues for Sister Yve’, Toussaint’s signature tune, brought a magnificent evening of music to a fitting close.

Jean Toussaint is a true giant of jazz, a master of his instrument, a composer of rare quality and a source of inspiration whose generosity of spirit embraced everyone fortunate enough to be present at the Progress gig. He drew ‘out of this world’ performances from Peter Billington, Paul Jefferies and Simon Price of which they can be justly proud. Long gone are the days when the visiting ‘star’ would simply ‘call the numbers’, set the pace and ‘the devil takes the hindmost’. This was a quartet in the truest sense of the word. ‘That’s the happiest band I’ve ever seen at Progress,’ remarked one member of the audience as he made his way out of the auditorium … enough said!

Our thanks to Mark Werner of Hickies for the hire of the piano, to Stuart McCubbin and the Progress front of house team for looking after everybody so splendidly and Rich Saunders for the excellent sound and lighting, and to the audience whose consistent support keeps jazz alive at Progress.

editor´s note     Watch out for another review from Trevor Bannister next Sunday when he leads us down Under Milk Wood to a quite incredible piece of music that last week entered my playlists at number one with a bullet.

Live Jazz At Progress

Friday 22 March 2024

Arbenz + Hart + Pursglove

= Conversation

preview by Jazz in Reading

Jim Hart vibraphone, percussion

Florian Arbenz drums,  percussion

Percy Pursglove trumpet/flugelhorn

Perhaps best known for his work with trio VEIN, or with American greats Dave Liebman and Dave Osby, Swiss and internationally renowned drummer and percussionist Florian Arbenz is on a mission to release 12 albums with 12 different constellations of musicians – each carefully planned, delicately curated, but ultimately dependent on the inspiration and creativity that the players generate on the day.

From his custom-built Hammerstudio in Basel, he brings together both musicians he’s known for years and those that he’s only admired from afar.

He has created such an album with the UK’s Jim Hart- Convergence. Now Percy Pursglove joins them in this exciting European trio tour to launch the new album Conversation.(trio shown right)

An exploration of the realm between jazz and improvised music, the trio’s sophisticated and open-minded sound is equally comfortable in either world. Vast in texture and feeling, rapid shifts between tight, syncopated grooves, flurries of virtuosic trumpet, passages of melancholic openness, and powerfully dense harmonies.

Jim Hart hit the UK scene with immediate impact around 2006 with various groups of his own and is a fixture in the band of Danish sax genius, Marius Neset. Jim is much in demand in Europe and the UK and all this in addition to his own leadership of the trio Cloudmakers who have released several albums since 2012.

Percy Pursglove may not be well known on the jazz circuit, but he is immersed in the music as a multi-instrumentalist trumpeter, double bassist, educator, improviser and composer, working internationally across a broad spectrum of jazz, contemporary, classical and creative musical settings. A member of the famous German NDR Big Band and is working extensively throughout Europe. Having graced the boards at Progress in 2015 with Andy Sheppard in a memorable gig, we have used his image on one of our very own pop up banners!

Live Jazz


by Rob Adams

March sees the return of Aberdeen Jazz Festival and a new series of Red Door concerts in Linlithgow but first we have the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra’s ultra-ambitious Nu-Age Sounds to open the month. Nu-Age Sounds celebrates the exciting young jazz scene that has developed mainly – but not exclusively – in Glasgow, with many of the leading figures coming through the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland jazz course.

Eight musicians have been commissioned to provide new work, each of which will be accompanied by a video projected onto the stage backdrop. The three young women pictured right – singer kitti, trombonist Noushy and saxophonist Helena Kay – join pianists Fergus McCreadie and Peter Johnstone, saxophonist Matt Carmichael, bassist Ewan Hastie, corto.alto, and Tommy Smith’s KARMA plus the SNJO at Dundee Rep on Friday 1st, the Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow on Saturday 2nd and the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh on Sunday 3rd. Note: Fergus McCreadie appears on the first two concerts only; Peter Johnstone will perform Fergus’ commission in Edinburgh.

Jazz at the Merchants House in Glasgow moves to a Friday – temporarily – to take advantage of a European tour by the enterprising UK guitarist Tom Ollendorff’s trio with a very special guest, the fabulous American pianist Aaron Parks. Parks has the distinction of having recorded for both Blue Note Records and ECM – his Blue Note debut, Invisible Cinema was one of 2008’s outstanding releases – and his visit to the Merchants House’s Grand Hall on Friday 8th is quite the mouth-watering prospect.

The current edition of the Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra is winning enthusiastic responses on every outing. Skill, creativity and enthusiasm are in no short supply and the repertoire, drawn from the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra’s extensive catalogue, challenges, stimulates and inspires these young players. Look out also for the promising singer Laura Oghagbon, who is not afraid to take on a big song. They play Drygate, Glasgow on Saturday 9th and St Bride’s, Edinburgh on Sunday 10th.

Saxophonist Graham Walker brings a trio containing two of the young musicians who are making an impression on the Glasgow and wider scenes to St Peter’s Church in Linlithgow on Friday 15th. Graham is an experienced player who spent many years working on the Belgian jazz scene and he has a warm, lyrical style. He’s joined by guitarist Kevin Henderson and bassist Ali Watson in playing originals and standards in one of the great intimate venues.

Aberdeen Jazz Festival takes place in venues across the Granite City from Thursday 14th to Sunday 24th. The Blue Lamp hosts a busy programme, which includes the masterly saxophone-piano duo Tommy Smith & Peter Johnstone and pianists Brian Kellock and Britta Virves. The world-leading guitar master Martin Taylor plays a solo concert at the Lemon Tree. There’s lots more, so be sure to check out the programme.



Blue Lamp
Sun 3: Richard Bailey Trio + Oomph (2pm)
Thu 7: Graeme Stephen – Live soundtrack to The Penalty
Thu 14: Alex Hitchcock Dream Band
Fri 15: Brian Kellock/MacSwing
Sat 16: Susan McCathie/Graeme Stephen + Barry Middleton
Sun 17: Laird-Jarvie, Hong, Payne Trio
Wed 20: Ali Affleck
Thu 21: Britta Virves Trio
Fri 22: Michelle Willis + Tan Nicol/Azamiah
Sat 23: Tommy Smith & Peter Johnstone/SCuba + Melodie Fraser
Sun 24: Colin Steele Sextet

Cowdray Hall
Thu 14: Alan Benzie

Lemon Tree
Tue 19: kitti
Sun 24: Martin Taylor

Rep Theatre
Fri 1: Scottish National Jazz Orchestra Nu-Age Sounds

Jazz Bar
Live jazz nightly see here

Queen’s Hall
Sun 3: Scottish National Jazz Orchestra Nu-Age Sounds
Sun 10: Tim Kliphuis Trio

Don Gatto’s Speakeasy
Fri 15: Zoe Francis & Jim Mullen with Peter Johnstone

Thu 7: Anoushka Nanguy
Thu 21: Jon Green Sextet feat Phil Bancroft

St Bride’s
Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra (2pm)

Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra (2pm)

Glad Cafe
Tue 12: Laird-Jarvie, Hong, Payne Trio

Merchants House
Fri 8: Tom Ollendorff Trio & Aaron Parks 

Old Fruitmarket
Sat 2: Scottish National Jazz Orchestra Nu-Age Sounds

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Mon 4: Laura Macdonald
Wed 13: Alyn Cosker with the RCS Jazz Orchestra

St Peter’s Church
Fri 15: Walker Henderson Watson

606 Club
Fri 1; The Coalminers
Sat 2: Alex Garnett
Thu 7, Fri 8: Shez Raja feat Guthrie Govan
Sat 9: Tom Smith Qnt
Mon 18: Jim Mullen Organ Trio
Wed 20: Tara Minton
Thu 28: Antonio Forcione & Giorgio Serci
Sat 30: Alex Hitchcock
Sun 31: Liane Carroll

Ronnie Scott’s
Fri 1: Braxton Cook
Sat 2: Keyon Harrold
Sun 3: Marcin Wasilewski Trio
Mon 4: Scott Henderson
Tue 5: Emma Rawicz Jazz Orchestra
Mon 11, Tue 12: Dee Dee Bridgewater
Wed 13: Eddie Henderson Qnt
Thu 14, Fri  15: Terence Blanchard ‘Absence’
Tue 19: Danilo Perez, John Patitucci & Adam Cruz
Sat 16: Vincent Herring
Sar 23: Jeremy Pelt
Mon 25, Tue 26: John Scofield

Nairn Dunbar Golf Club
Sat 23: Quattro MacJazz

As always, this list is not intended to be comprehensive; other gigs are available.


On air sign background

Jazz On Air


presented by Steve Bewick

Hi all,

here is my podcast information for next week.

.Håkan Rydin´s piano style has been described as “lyrical and cooking” and next week my colleague and researcher,Gary Heywood-Everett, reviews his music.

The podcast also includes tracks from Ray Charles, Sue McCreeth live in Cardiff. We will play new singles from Eleni Anastasiou_Gkouma and GoGo Penguin (right) )and  we will reveal ´A Secret Bossa Nova` from Jeremy Platt and Richard Iles.

We will even leave you with some sound advice from Lyndon Owen about, `The Plague All Doctors Cure.` If this sounds good, please PASS IT ON and join me 24/07 at


A Reader´s Perspective: All Points Forward


review by Peter Pearson

Last May I went to see American duo Eric Brace and Thomm Jutz perform an intimate and excellent acoustic concert in a Church in Stafford in the UK, as part of their European tour.

The tour had originally been arranged as a trio tour with their longstanding third member of the trio, Peter Cooper. Tragically Peter suffered a fall the previous December, from which he died at the young age of 52. The trio had formed several years prior after Eric Brace and Peter Cooper had co-opted singer songwriter and producer of their albums,Thomm Jutz,  to join the duo.

Each member also had an ongoing solo career. Peter Cooper, as well as releasing albums such as the excellent Eric Taylor tribute, Depot Light, also had a day job both as a music journalist and as Senior Director of the Nashville Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Eric Brace, a former journalist, has his band – Last Train Home – which adds a brass flavour to his song-writing. He also has his own record label, Red Beet Records.

German native, Thomm Jutz, found his home and calling in Nashville. After studying classical guitar at a German Conservatory he was drawn to country, folk and bluegrass music, initially performing and touring across Europe and the States with the likes of Richard Dobson and Nanci Griffith before settling in Nashville. A prolific songwriter he has released a number of acclaimed solo bluegrass albums and collaborated with others, most recently with Martin Simpson the English guitarist and singer, with whom he has produced and performed on the critically acclaimed folk album, Nothing But Green Willow.

Whilst they normally performed as a trio it was not unusual for Eric and Thomm to perform as a duo, as Peter Cooper’s other commitments sometimes conflicted with the touring schedule. It was therefore much easier for them to continue with the European tour following Peter’s death and at the same time honour his memory. They both thought Peter would have wished for them to continue as a duo.

No mention was made of the projected album at the concert last May. I was therefore delighted to read about the project several months later. It was put together very quickly. In their own words this is how it happened:

“Working as a duo arose so naturally after performing in the UK together that it made perfect sense to continue by making an album together. Since Thomm has a studio, and we both live in Nashville, it was no big leap to finding time to work on and record these songs together. There is a continuum between the songwriting and recording that we did as a trio, and the process of making this new record. In many ways Simple Motion is the next album that the group would have made together regardless of such changed circumstances.”

For those unfamiliar with their music it does not need recourse to the mumbo jumbo of genre to explain it. Put simply, it is melodic harmony against an acoustic backdrop. The vocals are strong, containing no drawl, and follow strong storylines.

Instrumental backing is stellar featuring fiddle, bass, mandolin, banjo and percussion.

The title Simple Motion reflects the emphasis in the songs on time and travel, with trains featuring predominantly in the story lines.

So let’s go on the journey with them along the tracks:

1)     Frost on the South Side -Brace Jutz

With banjo to the fore the song rattles along the tracks following the harvest excursion trains which, between 1890-1930, brought workers to the Canadian plains to gather in the wheat, until the march of time made them redundant with the advent of the combine harvester. In explaining the songs origins Eric quips that AI might in time make us songwriters redundant.

2)     Burn-Finn Goodwin-Bain Jutz 

Finn Goodwin Bain is a young singer songwriter worth checking out. On this track Thomm takes lead vocal in a catchy song featuring the lyric: travelin to be travelling, unraveling around every turn, if you wanna light the way, burn.

3)     Simple Motion-Brace Jutz

The song mimics the rhythm of the train rolling down the tracks with strong harmony vocals and melody. Eric comments on the songs origins that the railroad tracks helped define the North American continent.

4)     Outside Views-Compton Jutz

After a guitar pickin intro Thomm’s voice is to the fore in a blues driven song commenting on the state of the weather and that you just have to sit and look out the window and let the weary blues wash over you.

5)     Just a Moment-Brace Jutz

One of my favourite songs that was premiered on Eric’s Last Train Home band album, Everything Will Be (2022), It featured in the gig I went to see and features in solo format by Eric on a youtube video. Eric comments “During the pandemic, some of my East Nashville neighbours held front yard talent shows for the local kids (socially distanced, of course). One youngster played a fine trumpet. To my ears it was the sound of hope.

6)     Can’t Change the Weather-Cooper Jutz

Eric says this is a true story. Eric does not say so but I suspect that Peter Cooper conceived this after he was prevented from flying to the UK by a Nasville storm. The trio had been booked to play dates in the UK in 2017. One of them being a Southport Grateful Freds´ House concert. On the video Eric and Thomm explain Peter’s absence. The song name checks their travel agent Lisa Timmons.

7)     Anywhere But Here-Eric Brace

Another song premiered on an early Last Train Home album – Last Good Kiss. Its a beautiful ballad featuring banjo, fiddle and gorgeous harmony vocals; a different arrangement from the original. The pair sang it in the current arrangement for a Bob Harris “Under The Apple Tree” session which is also on Youtube. It was also on the set list last May.

8)     When London Ruled the World-Brace Jutz

A swing number with Thomm on lead vocal. The pair conceived the song on their UK tour. Written from the perspective of the main character of the musical Cabaret, which was in turn based on Chris Isherwood’s book Goodbye to Berlin. The Emcee character in the story is someone who could charm and seduce anyone.

9)     Adam and Eve-Brace Jutz Van Mourik

A true story about the 2011 sinking of a fishing boat, the Tit Bonhomme in County Cork Ireland. The boat sank whilst trying to negotiate a path between the titular two rocky islands.Van Mourik recounted the tale to Eric.

10)   What You Get For Getting Older-Tammy Rogers Jutz

Eric’s vocals and banjos to the fore. A reminder that life is short.

11)   Ramble-Brace

Eric takes lead again on a tuneful little ditty about getting out in the fresh air. (Maybe not today though. Its been tippling down here in the UK for the last two weeks or more).

12)   Arkansas-Brace Jutz

An overheard conversation in a shopping centre. A woman asking “Are you on the way to Arkansas?” A slow ballad. A rail line east to west; a bridge across the Mississippi.

13)   Nashville in the Morning-Hensley Jutz

Another beautiful ballad with Thomm on lead vocal. A song about the changes in the Nashville city landscape. In reference to the song Thomm comments on the closing of Douglas Corner Cafe. (People like Norm and I will recognise this as being an iconic Nashville music venue and the venue at which Guy Clark’s live album – Keepers – was recorded. The album opens with the intro -Douglas Corner Cafe proudly presents Sugar Hill recording artist Guy Clark)

14)   Sea Fever-Eric Brace (adapted from a John Masefield Poem)

“And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow rover, and a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick is over…” A brand new ol time folk song. Eric’s distinctive vocals soar over Thomm’s graceful picking in a beautiful adaption of the famous poem.

And so our journey ends. The album, only just released, has received rave reviews in the music press. Simple Motion, maybe, but the album is a fitting and profound tribute to their great friend and colleague Peter Cooper.

editors note.  Peter mentioned in his piece some of the other positive and great reviews this album has received. He has placed himself in good company, then, alongside the likes of Great Depression. Whilst constantly adding to our information about the musicians in his review Peter captures the essence of the men, who contemplate the complicated imperfections of life in stoic fashion and who also sing of life´s simplistic perfection.: friendship, and stillness on a beautiful landscape. Check into our Sidetracks And Detours daily blog to tomorrow or check out our easy to navigate archives of 1,000 free to read articles and find another piece on this wonderful music.

Island Insights


by Norman Warwick

I worry about sharing with you the story below. The subject of the story, or at least its central character is Pedro Sanchez the President Of Spain (right) . Now, I know that Spain is a big country and that Shangrila Park where I live on Lanzarote is a community of 140 properties and I am currently The President Of Shangrila Park! And I´ve still got two more years to go before I can hang up my Presidential straw-hat. Spoiler Alert. The lifestyle of a community President bears no relation to the story you are about to read.

Lancelot Digital brought a story the other day all about a man and his make-up.

They wrote of Shadow here, shadow there, put on your makeup, put on your makeup… Up to 119 times  ‘this song will play’ in the Moncloa.  Pedro Sánchez, The President of Spain has hired the services of a makeup artist, Ana Renedo, to do makeup for him and his team of ministers. The total number of contracted sessions – although it may vary depending on the circumstances – is 119, as Vozpópuli has been able to verify in the contract specifications.

In total, the Ministry of the Presidency will dedicate 30,346.8 euros to pay for the services of this specialist for a one-year job. The contract provides for 106 makeup sessions in one year at 230 euros each. These would take place in the Community of Madrid, but aside from that, the Government plans to need 13 imaging sessions outside the capital. These beauty sessions will be paid at 460 euros each.

It is not the first time that the Sánchez Government uses these services. In 2021 he also hired the services of Ana Renedo to take care of the image of the Executive. However, that contract was cheaper and provided for fewer beauty sessions than the current one. This newspaper has accessed it and has verified that the Ministry of the Presidency paid 19,541.5 euros for the services of this professional. That is, it was 10,000 euros cheaper than the current one.

Not only that. In the specifications you can see that many fewer makeup sessions were planned. The contract calculated a total of  75 sessions in Madrid  and  5 outside the community. That is, 80 sessions compared to the current 119. It seems that the Presidency plans to need the services of the makeup artist 39 times more in 2024 than in 2021 .

In the supporting report of the project, the Presidency justifies that it is necessary to maintain a “correct public image in the interventions of those appearing (President, spokesperson and, where appropriate, other  members of the Government  or senior officials or authorities).”

This “requires that certain image services common in the audiovisual world be routinely performed. These services may also be offered by the  Secretary of State for Communication  to all those appearing at public events of informative interest organized by it.” On the other hand, as is usual in these contracts, “without prejudice to possible requests, the provision will include a weekly service, generally on Tuesdays, and other services when requested, in this case, without predetermined days and hours.”

In the previous contract, the Ministry of the Presidency specifies that these services were previously contracted through minor contracts. An instruction from the  Independent Office for Regulation and Supervision of Contracting of the Ministry of Finance  has required for a year that an open procedure be followed when contracting these services.

Ana Renedo competed in the last tender with  Look and Feel, Styling, Makeup and Hairdressing  and  Retök Studio. Both offered more expensive rates than her.

Starting tomorrow Monday 26th  February we set out on travels down sidetracks and detours once again.

We will stop to learn more about the music of Brace Jutz and Cooper and find the utterly profound in the supremely simple. We then have an appointment with an instrument that likes to stick its neck out. We then visit a real dive and talk to others in the Atlantic Underwater Museum. We then visit Grateful Dead just to let them know we´re dead grateful before a rock legend asks us Do You Feel Like I Do? So, there will be new free to read, arts related items posted on our blog every day of the week. I am confident you will enjoy what you read and that you might well like to share the link with your like-minded arts loving friends. Thanks a lot. See you round the corner.

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