So it’s with a heavy heart I announce my slide or should that be decline into middle age. This week whilst looking for podcasts to listen to in work I decided to download “Desert Island Discs” from Radio 4. Desert Island Discs is the longest running factual radio programme in history. First broadcast in 1942 the basis of the programme is that I am to be cast away on a desert island and I have eight pieces of music together with the complete works of Shakespeare and the bible (At least that’s a bit of bogroll) So with my hair already balding and my middle age spread well and truly spread it’s onto middle age with a big wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee as I slide from my late thirties headlong into my forties. So bring on the M&S jumpers, baggy y-fronts and wearing white socks with shoes. Giant hairs out of your ears and nose (that box is ticked) and increased grumpiness. So here is a special blog which features my desert island discs if only Kirsty Young was interviewing me I could have my first middle-aged crush !
So song one in no particular order (I get to pick one track to take to the island later) it’s a Deacon Blue song. I first got into Deacon Blue very early when Raintown had just been released after listening to an interview with the band on Radio City by DJ Tony Snell. So I have all of the Deacon Blue back catalogue to go through but my choice is gonna be the obvious one “Dignity” This reminds me of my echo paper round listening to it on my walkman. 24 years later im still listening to it.
Song 2 and its somebody who I only came across on new years eve 2002 and he was on Jools Holland’s hootenanny. I was blown away by the performance. A Quick bit of research and I realised how important Solomon Burke was in the history of music. I was lucky enough to catch him. live twice before he died late last year. ‘Dont give up on me” from the album of the same name and well worth a listen.
Song 3 and we will go to my years as a cheesey quaver (raver) From my first night in the 051 in September 1994 onto Garlands and then Cream and ending up in Ibiza via a few creamfields and even clubbing in Amsterdam I will limit myself to just one dance track which is a tough choice. The one im going for is an early 051 track from 1994 by Ruby Turner called “Never ever gonna give you up” I can picture myself back in the 051 with Colin and Joel. Those were the days.
Song 4 is from my fave band The Christians. I got into The Christians as one of their brothers was my music teacher in Calderstones school. I remember going to Woolies on Allerton Road to buy their first single “Forgotten Town” on seven-inch vinyl. The song im gonna pick by them is “Words” Released in December 1989 it reminds me of the start of 1990 which was my fave year when I was younger. I finished school early due to my GCSE’s which linked in nicely with the Italia 90 world cup and I was just discovering booze. I didn’t have a care in the world that year. (Due to restrictions you will have to click the video and watch on YouTube)
Song 5 is going to take me back to one of the first bit of music I can remember buying/playing. It might have been my sisters but it was an ex juke box single bought from the local paper shop on Aigburth Road at the bottom of Woodlands Road (were we lived at the time) on the same block as the launderette, but the paper shop is long since gone. It’s a Boney M track ( these tracks don’t have to be cool do they ? ) Its “Rasputin” Oh those Russians eh. Must be were my love of a good cheesy pop song came from. Isnt that Boney M fella mad as well. Another video you will have click on to view.
Song 6 and back the new millennium. Another artist brought to my attention once again on Jools Holland’s hootenanny. This time Seasick Steve. I first watched Seasick live just after that appearance playing to about 150 people in Liverpool in a very intimate gig. Last time I seen him was with just a few more people at Glastonbury last year. Torn between two songs of his but I am going for “Doghouse boogie” as it shows off all his skills but please do check out “Walkin man” a nice mellow choon.
Song 7 is the most recent and stems from my fave band The Christians. This track is by Henry Priestman who played keyboards and was the main songwriter of The Christians. From his first solo album “Chronicles of a modern life” do check it out its one of the singles “Grey’s The New Blonde” I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Henry on a couple of occasions and I must admit was a bit worried as I had his picture on my bedroom wall in the late 80’s (That sounds very dodgy doesn’t it !! ) and when buying those early Christians singles never did I think I would end up going for a pint with him (Ok enough name dropping) The lyrics on this song are excellent. I could only find this version of it and when played live it always misses the strings in my opinion but the lyrics carry it on. I suppose with my slide into middle age grey is deffo the new blonde. (Edit video of the single here “Greys The New Blonde” )
So song 8 and my biggest vice The Pet Shop Boys. From “West End Girls” through to current day I have always been a massive Pet Shop Boys fan but kept this hidden during my raving days and early 00’s but im out and proud now and topped of with a magical performance I witnessed at the other stage at Glastonbury last year. So many songs to pick from but im going for an old one with a modern twist. “Left to my own devices” but a more modern live dancier version. I remember this from the “Introspective” album and reminds me of living in Mossley Hill Road and staying awake until the sun came up in my bedroom unable to sleep as I was in some strange teenage sleeping pattern. This version will forever make me smile and remind me of Mrs Fay and Helen who I went to Glasto with. (Note a new song “Did you see me coming” is tagged onto the end of this performance)
So that’s that and possibly my longest blog yet. Just a couple more desert island discs things to do. I am allowed one luxury item and im gonna pick a footy so I can act out like a kid being Jan Molby or John Barnes with nobody around to see me. Finally I have to pick just one song to come with me. I’m gonna go for an upbeat one and its The Pet Shop Boys “Left to my own devices” as it does both of reminding me of when I was of school age but combines it with a dance beat from my much loved clubbing days. Nearly forgot that I get to take a book and its gonna be “Best of readers wives” well i’m gonna be on my own on there arent I !
So that’s it from this weeks special edition of desert island discs with the unknown Neil George Fay.
Fay x x