Liverpool Sound City – Raleigh Ritchie

I continue to write up my review of Liverpool Sound City for eFestivals. I’ve made a great dent into the review this evening whilst watching the first semi final of the Eurovision. I am gutted that the Latvian entry about baking cakes didn’t proceed. 

There were 26 venues at Sound City and I tried to get to most of them over the few days of the festival.. I’m trying hard for my review not to simply be a long and drawn out list of the things I did…

And then I went here…

And then I went here….


I interviewed Raleigh Ritchie this weekend and a full transcript of that will appear in good time on eFestivals. But, I’m happy to say that he was a charming man. He openly admits that he’s something of a contradiction; that his album might well be difficult to pin down because it will cross styles. He’s a perfectionist spending hours getting a bass to sound exactly as he wants. I’m left wondering if his album will ever come out. 

We talked about Wireless as he’s been announced to perform alongside Kanye and the like – but he also said that there’s more festivals coming that he can’t announce as yet. My money’s on Glastonbury as one of them. Surprisingly, Raleigh/Jacob also revealed that his first ever mosh pit experience was at a Kasabian gig. 

He thinks – and I’m inclined to agree – that he’s only compared to the Trip Hop sound of Massive Attack, Tricky and all because of his Bristolian roots.

We touched on the distinction between acting and music. Raleigh’s focus for the foreseeable is on music though he wouldn’t be averse to another Game Of Thrones series if offered. I deduce from that that he doesn’t lose his head in series 3. I steered away from questions about genitals and lack of them (in Game of Thrones)… 

I wanted to post the tune ‘Bloodsport’ in full from Soundcloud but it’s been removed and replaced with a clip. Oh well, never mind – here’s clips from all of the tracks on Raleigh’s Black and Blue EP.


Glastonbury ticket balance day

A very slight diversion from writing about bands and songs today.

Yesterday, I paid the balance on my Glastonbury festival ticket. I’d been lucky to get one when they went on sale back last year. Today is the last day in the week long window you’re given to turn your deposit into a real ticket. 

I’ve been to Glastonbury every year it’s happened since 2003. I’m sure that 2014 will still provide a lovely time in a field but, for me, confirming my ticket holds much less excitement than it did back then. Yes, I’m older. Yes, there are smaller festivals such as the wonderful Shambala that I look forward to even more and yes, there’s less on the initial line up announcements that is a must-must see for me (though a Sunday afternoon with Dolly Parton promises to provide lifelong memories). 

Perhaps, this’ll be the year when I finally allow myself time to breathe at Glastonbury. Perhaps, I’ll no longer feel the need to rush from stage to stage to watch the next big thing who by the next year is a second album flop. Perhaps, I’ll come home again saying that it was ‘the best I’ve ever been to’. (My standard recourse save for 2007 when a flagpole thrust in my eye by a drunken teen just compounded the misery brought on by five days of rain).

This song by the fabulous Cosmic Rough Riders really does sum up what it used to be like. It’s my favourite song mentioning Glastonbury. I couldn’t find it on soundcloud so we’ll have to listen via youtube. Have a happy Monday all.

Romantic socialists are the best kinds of people

Strangely overwhelmed by the news that Tony Benn has passed away.

I remember drunken days in the Leftfield tent at Glastonbury where it became something of a ritual to hear him speak and shake his hand. When I went on student marches in the late 1980’s it was Tony who spoke, agitated and inspired. 

I learnt today that he proposed to his late wife after knowing her for nine days. That sounds impulsive but my sense is that he simply knew it was right. If only life was that simple…..

 Alan Bush is worth reading about. A quick internet search reveals that he was a ‘romantic socialist’. I think that might be what I am – maybe I’ll even change the name of this blog to reflect. His work is truly lovely, a precursor to Lionel Bart overtures and the stuff Dickens would have produced if he was a musician. Epic.