musicology #311

Live&Direct #7

(Ian Dury & The Blockheads – Blockheads)

Was intending on Slowing the tempo down for the next few cuts but then I came across this one from one of London’s favourite son’s Ian Dury featuring, of course, The Blockheads. So Influential were this group of Cats in themusicologist’s early life that I can’t overstate it. Not only that but in their earlier incarnation as Kilburn & the High Roads it was they, along with Doctor Feelgood and, for me, Steve Marriott that changed the trend, (at least on London’s scene) from listening to overhyped, overpaid and overrated so called supergroups of which I’ll mention no names to authentic, local, talent out of which sprung the attitude that became known as Punk. ‘The High Roads’ were vanguards and deserve recognition.

So without delay hold this, one of their classic cuts which brings memories flooding back..especially of my Uncle Phil who I can almost picture screaming the words…”BLOCK’EADS OI OI”…recorded live in 1990 showing that they had lost none of the energy and quality which saw them through from performing on the thriving ‘pub scene’, of the 70’s (which has now almost dissapeared), up to concert hall venues both here and ‘up and down a foreign’.

p.s after listening to this one at least four times ‘on the spin’ and rocking all round me ‘gates’ HAD to lay the lyrics down for yah…

“You must have seen parties of Blockheads,
With blotched and lagered skin,
Blockheads with food particles in their teeth,
What a horrible state they’re in,

They’ve got womanly breasts, pale mauve vests,
Shoes like dead pigs’ noses,
Cornflake packet jacket, catalogue trousers,
A mouth what never closes,

You must have seen Blockheads in raucous teams,
Dressed up after work,
Who screw their poor old Eileens,
Get sloshed and go berserk,

Rotary accessory watches,
Hire-purchase signet rings,
A beauty to the bully boys,
No lonely vestige clings,

Imagine one puffing and blowing in your ear’ole,
Thoughtful and kind with a well-stocked mind,
Blockheads can’t think very far,

Who wants tonight’s star prize?
Tonight’s star prize,
Is a solid gold Rolex watch,
It’s tonight’s star prize…..

Bigger brained Blockheads often acquire,
Black and orange cars,
Premature ejaculation drivers,
Soft-top’s got roll-bars,

‘Fill her up, they say the Blockheads,
Stick it where it fuckin’ well hurts,
Shapeless haircuts don’t enhance,
Their ghastly patterned shirts,

Why bother at all about Blockheads?
(Superior as you) are,
thoughtful and kind,
(with a), well stock, (mind),

Who want’s tonight’s star prize?
Imagine finding one in your laundrey basket,
banging nails in your big black dog,

Who wants tonight’s star prize?
Tonight’s, why bother at all about Blockheads?
Why should you care what they do
‘Cause after all is said and done,
You’re all blockheads too…ain’t cha,

Who wants tonight’s star prize?
A Rolex, original Rolex from Brixton market,
You can’t get any batteries,

Blockheads, who wants it?
Blockheads, who wants it?
Blockheads (oi oi)
Blockheads (oi oi)
Blockheads (oi oi)
Blockheads (oi oi)
Blockheads (oi oi)
Blockheads (oi oi)
(oi oi)

Taken from the Live! Warts ‘n’ Audience Set…What a performance…..


musicology #249

birthdaybashsoul&funk #4

(The Equals – Funky Like A Train)

you know what … life is sweet like sugar at the moment and I’m enjoying it to the max. I would even go so far as to say it’s all good. I’ve got my mind right and it’s time for action. Over the past few weeks things and time have been synchronising harmoniously and ‘opportunity’ has been knocking hard on my door.

Iv’e let the kid in, we have sat down and reasoned, allowed our’self’ to let go and moved on, together, to face the dawning of the new day…where the sun is shining.

Today’s cut is courtesy of another London based group, The Equals, whose original members came from as far afield as Jamaica and Guyana but also included two local kids from Holloway and Islington, (hence the name ‘Equals’) . Hooking up in 1965 they tasted success in 1968 with a pop tune ‘Baby Come Back’, (about as far away from today’s cut as could be imagined).

Another BIG tune on the Rare Groove scene that was, for a while, one of the most sought after pieces of the day changing hands for around £50 which was a lot of money 20 odd years ago. themusicologist unearthed a copy of the 7″ in a ‘Junk-Shop’ in London’s ‘salubrious’ New Cross for the princely sum of 10 pence !!! and rinsed it for the next couple of years. Can’t remember if it was ever on a LP and like I said this was LONG before the days of CD’s, Ebay and of course MP3’s so to find a copy was true to the genre’s name, RARE.

Can’t remember exactly but from memory I think that the year of release was 1976 maybe even 1974.

musicology #248

birthdaybashsoul&funk #3

(Cymande – The Message)

Today’s slice from the ‘birthdaybash’ pie was one of the ‘Rare Groove’ anthems that NEVER failed to shake London’s floors in the mid 80’s. If themusicologist was compiling a top ten of cuts that were the soundtrack to them days this would definately be one. HEAVY funk from a London based collective of West Indian players who blended all the musical flavours of the day to deliver an almost unique sound.

Apparently discovered rehearsing in a Soho club, (there’s that place again!!), by producer John Schroeder who obviously knew quality when he heard it and signed them immediately. This was their first recording, released on the Janus, (Chess), label in 1972.


Ray King – Vocals/Percussion
Joey Dee – Vocals/Percussion
Steve Scipio – Bass
Sam Kelly – Drums
Derek Gibbs – Soprano/Alto Sax
Pablo Gonsales – Congas
Peter Serreo – Tenor Sax
Mike Rose – Alto/Flute/Bongos
Patrick Patterson – Guitar

musicology #236

inmodwetrust #3

(The Miracles – Mickey’s Monkey)

another slice from the 1963 selection, the year that ‘Mod’ grew out of various shadows to establish it as more than a handful of ‘dressers’/stylists/modernists into a movement. Same year that the (New) Scene opened it’s doors in Ham Yard, (Soho), to become the premier London club and forum for all things ‘mod’ and hip in the capital.

The cut is delivered in fine style by legendary Detroit vocal group The Miracles with William ‘Smokey’ Robinson on lead supported by Bobby Rogers, Marv Tarplin, childhood friend and, (along with Smokey), former 5 Chimes member Ronald White and female vocalist Claudette Rogers. The Miracles paved the way for Motown’s success in the early sixties with cuts like ‘Shop Around’, ‘You Really Got A Hold On Me’ and this one apoun which the Berry Gordy empire was built.