Song, by Toad

Posts tagged manfred mann’s earth band

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2000 Miles Worth of Fannying About

2014-03-09 09.31.59

Kaboom, fuck yeah music, etc etc etc… No, sorry. No music today. Alright, maybe some, but not much.

As you’ve probably guessed, this blog is going to be an erratic place to be for the next few weeks, until I have finished driving first myself, then Meursault and then myself and Mrs. Toad around America.

In theory, I was supposed to fly to Phoenix last Friday with half of Meursault to collect an RV to use as a tour van for SXSW and their subsequent US tour. In theory. One long series of utterly avoidable fuckups later, and I am here by myself while they are back in Edinburgh cancelling early shows and hoping they can get out in time for Thursday’s Aster Foundation day party, which it fortunately looks like they now can.

All of which leaves me in America with and RV and four days to kill.

(This is going to be long. Really long. If you’re of the TL;DR persuasion then it’s best avoided, I think. But then if you’ve ever actually used ‘TL;DR’, then seriously, fucking grow up you fucking imbecile. Seriously though, this is too long. Don’t read.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Car Journeys Just Aren’t the Same When You Get Big

When I say that car journeys aren’t the same when you get big, I quite specifically mean too big to lie down across the back seat and go to sleep.  When we were kids we lived in Vienna, and used to regularly drive back to Manchester, via the Dover ferry, to visit my mum’s family, who are all from there. In one of those turquoise things in the picture.  In the words of Princess Leia: “You came in that thing?  You’re braver than I thought.”

It was roughly a twenty-five to thirty-hour journey, I do believe, and something we never really questioned, as kids.  It was kind of exciting, honestly, although even as a child you know full well that boredom, frustration and irritability would inevitably kick in at some point and that exhasperated “I don’t bloody well CARE who started it!” would be wearily barked from the front seat.

Nevertheless, what interests me about long drives these days – the scenery, the tranquility (no, seriously), the chance to either turn things over in your brain for a while or chatter aimlessly to someone – didn’t figure at all back then.

I am not really sure what made these journeys exciting when we were kids, but there was definitely something mysterious about curling up to sleep on the back seat, when it was pitch black all around, with the hypnotic effects of the street lights and the subtle changes in engine noise depending on the surface we happened to be driving over at the time.

My parents had a couple of musical strategies for us on these journeys.  They copied albums onto C90s and took the chance to listen to stuff borrowed from friends and stuff like that, but when we really needed pacifying then the story tapes would have to go on, including the Kenneth Williams version of The Wind in the Willows which led to me giving this blog its name.

To this day I still really strongly associate Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s Live in Budapest, Alf by Alison Moyet and pretty much anything by Bronski Beat and even Willie Nelson’s Willie and Family Live with sitting in that turquoise tin can up there and slowly chugging our way across Europe.  At that age, even in that daft wee car, there was just something quite thrilling about it.  Even that grey, wan light which awaited us as we left the ferry and is so characteristic of England had a certain mystique.

Beats the shit out of Ryanair anyway.

Alison Moyet – Steal Me Blind

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Willie Nelson – Good Hearted Woman

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Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – Davey’s on the Road Again

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Toadcast #123 – The Drivecast

Having spent the week driving Loch Lomond around the country I figured that some sort of driving-themed nonsense would be in order for this week’s podcast.

Driving music (NOT in the Top Gear sense) tends to stick in your head, probably because when listening to it there is nothing else to do but sit and absorb the whole album.  I know most musicians would probably blanche somewhat at the idea of having their work enjoyed over the thrum of wind noise, tyre noise and a grumbling engine, but a long drive is still probably one of the best places to listen to music.

Oh, and the ‘character’is supplied by all the fuckers outside having fun while I DO FUCKING WORK FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT OF YOU UNGRATEFUL INTERNET BASTARDS.  Erm, sorry.  I’m tired.

Toadcast #123 – The Drivecast

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01. The Twilight Sad – The Wrong Car (01.53)
02. Bear Driver – A Thousand Samurais (09.12)
03. The National – Terrible Love (14.37)
04. Band of Horses – Infinite Arms (19.11)
05. The Wedding Present – Drive (25.07)
06. The French Wives – Me vs Me (28.54)
07. Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – Davy’s on the Road Again (Live) (35.01)
08. Foon Yap – Gabriel Moody (41.49)
09. The Goodnight Loving Supper Club – The Pan (50.14)
10. The Men They Couldn’t Hang – A Map of Morocco (54.27)