Elsewhere by Graham Reid

music - travel - arts

Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

Absolute Elsewhere

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STEVE IGNORANT OF CRASS INTERVIEWED (2011): A working classy act

STEVE IGNORANT OF CRASS INTERVIEWED (2011): A working classy act

In Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip's pointed but very funny rap on Thou Shalt Kill four years back, Scroobius rolled out a catalogue of groups noting after each one they were were “just band”. And so it goes: “The Sex Pistols, just a band; the Clash, just a band; Crass, just a band; Minor Threat, just a band . . .” Hold up. What's the punk-era Crass doing in such... more >>

1 Jun 2011

TINY RUINS INTERVIEWED (2011): Some were meant for greatness

TINY RUINS INTERVIEWED (2011): Some were meant for greatness

Hollie Fullbrook – who performs as Tiny Ruins – laughs with slight embarrassment, tells of how she came to her stage name and asks I not mention it because it sounds pretentious. It doesn't actually – unless you think mentioning Jean Paul Sartre's Nausea and the forties singer/band leader Tiny Bradshaw in the same anecdote qualifies as pretension. But that is... more >>

Tiny Ruins: Adelphi Apartments

31 May 2011

HOWE GELB INTERVIEWED (2011): The price and pay-off of the path less traveled

HOWE GELB INTERVIEWED (2011): The price and pay-off of the path less traveled

Howe Gelb of Tucson, Arizona is one of the long distance runners. He's been in for the long haul with his band Giant Sand (two dozen albums since the mid Eighties) and diverse solo projects under his own name (around 18 which range from gospel in Canada to flamenco desert-rock in Cordoba, Spain on his new release Alegrias). And there are other albums as OP8, the Band of Blacky... more >>

Howe Gelb and A Band of Gypsies: Cowboy Boots on Cobble Stone (from the album Alegrias)

20 May 2011    1

STEVE WINWOOD PROFILED (2011): From teen-soul boy to mainstream man

STEVE WINWOOD PROFILED (2011): From teen-soul boy to mainstream man

When the salty bluesman Howlin' Wolf growled “the men don't know, but the little girls understand” on the 1961 Willie Dixon-penned Back Door Man we know he was talking about something more earthy and sexual than pop singers like Justin Bieber. But when Bieberfever arrived to what appeared to be the surprise of anyone over 16, there were many music writers bewailing his... more >>

19 May 2011

BEN WATERS INTERVIEWED (2011): One more time for the boogie woogie man Ian Stewart

BEN WATERS INTERVIEWED (2011): One more time for the boogie woogie man Ian Stewart

When he was just nine – 26 years ago – Ben Waters briefly saw something in a pub which changed his life. He was at his auntie and uncle's 25th wedding anniversary in the Wynyard Gap in Somerset, just across the border from his home county of Dorset, and the great pianist Ian Stewart was a family friend who sat down and played some boogie-woogie. “It was the first live... more >>

Ben Waters with PJ Harvey: Lonely Avenue

11 May 2011

RUTHIE FOSTER (2011): A Southern soul sister rises

RUTHIE FOSTER (2011): A Southern soul sister rises

When the once-great B.B. King recently played in Auckland it was my unhappy task to write the review of his sad, disappointing and uncomfortable performance. The man is clearly past it -- the singing but a spark of its old self, his guitar work now woeful, the "performance" mostly rambling and often distracted talk -- and you had to wonder why he was still doing this. I suggested... more >>

Ruthie Foster: Fruits of My Labor (from The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster)

3 May 2011

RAY CHARLES 1954-1960: A soul brother movin' on

RAY CHARLES 1954-1960: A soul brother movin' on

The word "genius" was used so often about Ray Charles that people probably ceased to believe it in this age where a minor sports figure is referred to as "an icon" and "awesome" has long since lost any meaning at all. But Charles was a genius -- "The only genius in our business," said Frank Sinatra -- because in the mid Fifties he started to reshape... more >>

Ray Charles: I Want a Little Girl (1958)

2 May 2011

ROY ORBISON 1960-65: The years of monumental pop

ROY ORBISON 1960-65: The years of monumental pop

Looked at one way, the great Roy Orbison (who died in late '88) had five separate careers, but he only ever changed musical direction once. "The Big O" -- or "the Caruso of Rock" -- as he was known, had long periods away from the spotlight and it would be fair to observe his defining work was done in an exceptional period of creativity which lasted just four years.... more >>

Roy Orbison: In Dreams

26 Apr 2011    1

JAYREM RECORDS (1975-2011): The independence movement

JAYREM RECORDS (1975-2011): The independence movement

Despite the decline in music sales, anyone starting a record company today has it relatively easy when considering what James Moss was up against when he launched his label in early 1975. CD technology -- cheaper to produce than vinyl -- was still more than five years in the future, labels were reliant on snail-mail postage, telephones were used rather than e-mails and all the possibilities... more >>

Ngahiwi Apanui: He Whakapapa

21 Apr 2011    1

BOB DYLAN OFF THE BARRICADES (2011): The China syndrome

BOB DYLAN OFF THE BARRICADES (2011): The China syndrome

In 1971 -- at the height of the war in Vietnam, the rise of Black Panther activity and the revolutionary spirit sweeping across the US and Europe -- Joan Baez stepped onto a stage in New York and sang a new song. It put her old lover Bob Dylan right in the cross-hairs for him abandoning the peace movement and any political activity. The song was To Bobby (just in case you didn't get it) and... more >>

Bob Dylan: Neighborhood Bully (from Infidels)

18 Apr 2011

JIMI HENDRIX; SOUTH SATURN DELTA (2011): The sun rises again

JIMI HENDRIX; SOUTH SATURN DELTA (2011): The sun rises again

As with Bob Marley's "catalogue", it seems only right that Jimi Hendrix's messy existence -- he seemed to a sign a contract at the drop of an offer, and would record with whomever when the mood took him -- should be reined in and given some coherence. So when the Hendrix family finally wrestled a measure of control after years of litigation we started to see "new"... more >>

Jimi Hendrix: Midnight Lightning

18 Apr 2011

BOB DYLAN IN THE 21st CENTURY: And the road shall not weary him

BOB DYLAN IN THE 21st CENTURY: And the road shall not weary him

In his recent collection of essays Listen to This, the New Yorker music critic Alex Ross has an interesting and provocative piece on Bob Dylan. It opens, “America is no country for old men. Pop culture is a pedophile's delight” then he ask what – in this world of manufactured teen pop – we are to do with “a well-worn, middle-aged songwriter who gravitates... more >>

18 Apr 2011

DROPKICK MURPHYS INTERVIEWED (2011): Putting the bagpipes into punk

DROPKICK MURPHYS INTERVIEWED (2011): Putting the bagpipes into punk

From the first enjoyably rowdy bars of the new Dropkick Murphys album Going Out in Style you can sense that here is a band whose time has come. With the rollicking outlaw roar of Hang 'Em High then the title track – an old Irishman considering a boozy wake and who he should invite – the sound of the band's Celtic-punk is roof-rattling and energetic. For the band –... more >>

Dropkick Murphys: Hang 'Em High

13 Apr 2011

LEON RUSSELL INTERVIEWED (2011): Ever the journeyman

LEON RUSSELL INTERVIEWED (2011): Ever the journeyman

When Leon Russell left his home in Tulsa for Los Angeles after having played in teenage rock bands, a career in music wasn't what he was expecting. But in a couple of months he will receive two major awards: he will be inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of Fame and the Songwriter's Hall of Fame. Russell – now 68 -- spent time as an anonymous session musician in the Sixties with... more >>

Leon Russell and Elton John: I Should Have Sent Roses (from The Union)

13 Apr 2011    1

ERIC CLAPTON, LAYLA 40 YEARS ON (2011): I don't want to fade away

ERIC CLAPTON, LAYLA 40 YEARS ON (2011): I don't want to fade away

By the time Eric Clapton flew to Miami in 1970 to record what would become the Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs double album, he had spent six years in an emotional wringer: he was the acclaimed guitarist in the Yardbirds before he abruptly quit over dissatisfaction with their pop direction; took time out; joined John Mayall in his Blues Breakers for one album and was hailed in... more >>

Derek and the Dominos: Have You Ever Loved a Woman?

28 Mar 2011    1

GUY GARVEY OF ELBOW INTERVIEWED (2011): A homecoming to the top

GUY GARVEY OF ELBOW INTERVIEWED (2011): A homecoming to the top

The very personable Guy Garvey – songwriter and singer for the award-grabbing British band Elbow – laughs when he describes himself as “a rock star”, in part because at 37 he's getting a bit old for that game, but mostly because he knows he looks more like the plump Ricky Gervais than the buffed Ricky Martin. Garvey – self-effacing, good humored,... more >>

Elbow: Neat Little Rows

26 Mar 2011

JEFFERSON AIRPLANE; THE SIDE PROJECTS 1970-74: The Baron and the Nun go it alone, together

JEFFERSON AIRPLANE; THE SIDE PROJECTS 1970-74: The Baron and the Nun go it alone, together

The New York garageband Blues Magoos' Psychedelic Lollipop of 1966 was one of the first albums to have the word “psychedelic” in the title, but it wasn't quite the spaced-out sweet thing the name suggested. 13th Floor Elevators out of Texas the same year with their debut The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators were more like the real thing: Psychedelic Sounds is... more >>

Grace Slick: Come Again? Toucan? (from Manhole)

25 Mar 2011

13th FLOOR ELEVATORS (1966-69): Shall we take a trip, or a Roky ride?

13th FLOOR ELEVATORS (1966-69): Shall we take a trip, or a Roky ride?

The description “psychedelic music” – much like “freedom” – can mean whatever you want. The first albums with “psychedelic” in the title were by 13th Floor Elevators out of Texas (The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators) and New York's Blues Magoos (Psychedelic Lollipop), both released in 1966. Psychedelic Lollipop –... more >>

13th Floor Elevators: Postures (from Easter Everywhere)

23 Mar 2011    1

BOB BROZMAN INTERVIEWED (2011) All the world's a stage, and he plays on it

BOB BROZMAN INTERVIEWED (2011) All the world's a stage, and he plays on it

American guitarist Bob Brozman must have an impressive passport. For the past two decades he has been almost itinerant as he has played across the planet from Hawaii to Mali, Okinawa to Papua New Guinea. And along the way he has collaborated with some exceptional musicians, among them Indian slide guitarist Debashish Battacharya for the album Mahima, Okinawa guitarist Takashi Hirayasu (on... more >>

Bob Brozman: Beer Belly Dancing (from Six Days in Down)

16 Mar 2011

PHIL MANZANERA OF ROXY MUSIC INTERVIEWED (2010): When work is play

PHIL MANZANERA OF ROXY MUSIC INTERVIEWED (2010): When work is play

Guitarist Phil Manzanera remembers very clearly how and when he first met the band that would give him his career, Roxy Music. “Yes, I failed the audition,” he says about that day in '71when he went to a house in Battersea and plugged in his Gibson ES-325 (“unfashionable for Roxy Music”) to play alongside singer Bryan Ferry, knob and tape twiddler Brian Eno,... more >>

N-Shift (from the album K-Scope, 1978)

6 Mar 2011