Just a quick blog tonight as the idea is to get this 30 year old album back out there for 9pm. So it’s 1987 and a young me decided I was going to take an even younger Ian Wignell under my wing and I was to be a record producer just like the massive 80’s icon Jonathan King errrr better not use that one. So it’s 1987 and a young Ian Wignell sent a letter to the BBC “Dear Jim can you fix it …………..” errrrr better not use that one. So it’s 1987 and one of my best mates (John) younger brother decided to record an album and I ended up producing the album and released it on cassette only on the fledgling Faytape label. Little Ian as he was then known as or in true 1980’s style we had nicknamed him “Spaz” was ready to lay down some tracks. Anyway armed with my cassette recorder we put the tracks down and released the 8 track album. 30 years on I can recall the “In The Admiral” track was a parody of “In The Army” by Status Quo about a shite sunday league football team called The Admiral. “Bin Man” was a track taken from the tales of his dad who was a bin man for Liverpool City Council at the time. You remember those boss ones who took anything for a little dropsy and carried the bins from your house or middle terrace to the truck. Not like these modern ones who move a bin about 2 meters and thats assuming the lid isn’t an inch open and then don’t take it. “Johnny Ein’s Crap At Football” is a tale about how crap Ian’s older brother was at football and I am sure Ian took the title “Mini Ein” at one point. “Cauliflower” was a song about a lad who has curly hair and I can’t remember what all the other songs were about. Maybe Ian might fill us in on the comments section below. Anyways we released a few tracks remixed as singles. I say released we recorded them onto a shitty C-90 cassette tape we had won at Southport fair. Sadly these along with some missing episodes of Dr Who are never to be found again.
The album itself was most probably recorded one night as I stayed over in the Wignell’s house. Ma and Da Wignell would be up the Vale (Aigburth) having a bevy and the three of us would be in the house trying to get the Z X Spectrum to work and I would be a bystander as Ian and John ended up having some cracking fights with one epic fight involving the throwing of darts. Anyway I found the “Highway 64″ tape a few years back and threatened to re-release it on its 30th anniversary and no better day than today which is also Ian’s 40th birthday. Now a football manager himself and a budding poet the big man reaches a birthday milestone. I go to a few gigs a year with Ian and we often reminisce about those cracking days of the 1980’s as children who had a life opposed to my kids who need to get a life and off their i-gadgets. Those belter sunday spreads served up by Jackie. I mean who does not love jam butties, sausages rolls and some artic roll for afters.
Life races past. 30 years since this debut album from Ian. Little Ian ended up being fucking massive Ian and one can only rejoice at the young angelic voice of this 10 year old and who knows with a better agent and a lucky break might have ended up the scouse Aled Jones. So anyway above is ‘Highway 64” for your pleasure.
Since announcing the re-release of “Highway 64” the music industry and media is awash with rumours of a much anticipated follow up album. The NME claim to have an exclusive leaked picture of Ian recording the follow up (See above) The Merseymart claim that famed producer Neil Fay is just waiting on the phone call to get going with the project. Meanwhile the Sunday Sport go with the headline “Ian Wignell is The Child Of Hale”
Anyway enough jesting. Have a cracking birthday kidda and don’t stay in The Fullwood all weekend.
It’s February and that can mean only one thing and its time for another in the infamous series of blogs “A Cultural Review Of…….” Previous editions include RIGATALLINN WARSAWHAMBURGSTUTTGART KRAKOW WROCLAW This years winning city was Douglas on The Isle Of Man. Due to half term weeks being different in local authorities the more exotic location was out of reach and so with the added joy of getting a flight and different money it had somewhat more of a familiar feel of previous trips. So this is the tale of two head teachers, two teachers, a mild mannered janitor, a financial adviser, two retired people, a benefits officer and just a technician’s weekend away in Douglas.
First up and up at 5.30 to head to Liverpool Airport for the flight to Douglas. As it turned out the 25 mins I waited for a Village cab to turn up was three minutes longer than the flight time to Douglas. Man down number one news was broken to us in the airport with a Daniel Sturridge style cry off. It didnt put us off our airport pint. Before we knew it we were at our abode in Douglas aptly named The Adelphi (Cant forget that pissed) and we left our bags with out host for the weekend Eric and a walk down into Douglas city centre and after a quick bit of breakfast we were in The Nags Head for 10am and the big question was how sober would we be for when the second group of our lads land at 5pm. Now The Nags Head was a strange gaff somewhat similar to The Cantina Bar in Star Wars with one local (A scouser though) not too impressed that the pub opened later then the advertised 7am. Anyway about six pints later we headed out in the the gloomy and grey Isle Of Man afternoon to find some more pubs. Two of the lads had what can only be described as the shittest game of pool I have ever seen. Attentions soon focused on the racing channel and I had the last £3 in my account on the 16/1 shot Rear Admiral. After a few shouts of come on the Rear Admiral I was taking £50 out of my account. No matter where in the world we are the 10 pint arm wrestle challenge starts this time in one of the Isle Of Mans more posher venues. We then ended up in The Market Inn were we christened the bar man “Lofty” for his look of 1980’s Eastenders star and he was for some reason seemingly pretending to play a guitar in-between serving drinks. The night got hazier and my normally prolific note taking on my iPhone was not as good as previous years so many of the pub names we visited passed me by (Those early pints from The Nags Head were catching up on me) Time for survival mode and a switch to Desperados and the vodka and orange aided the cause. In any lulls I got the lads to answer some “Emergency questions” and the late plane comers had managed to catch up with us and were playing catch up but I managed to fall in post 12am after some chips on the way home as eating is cheating when out on the ale. I fell into bed with a hazy memory of a pirate playing pool but he wasn’t in fancy dress this was his normal attire.
So no kids, no wife waking me up going to work early and after a 14 hour plus session on the ale and being awake since 5.30am the next day I woke up at 7.20am and still a bit pissed. After trying to convince myself to get back to sleep I went downstairs for breakfast and Eric kindly rustled me up sausage on toast to get me back in the land of the living. It was time to introduce the lads to virtual reality and I had brought my Google Cardboard box and transformed my iPhone into a virtual reality 3d heaven of nature at its finest. Just adding to the issues of my previous days emergency questions it was time to head out to The Nags Head again and a slightly later 10:30am start. It was here I produced the soccer dice for the first round of league fixtures. Soccer dice is just five coloured dice of which your throw the red dice first and it simulates a footy match. There were a couple of raised eyebrows when the first games had to be played. But the league members soon got the list of it and as we went to a second pub to catch some FA Cup footy live not only was it the beers flowing but the inaugural Soccer Dice Premiership live from The Isle Of Man was in full swing.
Next heading onto an Irish Pub of some description a few of the lads had popped out to a pie shop (Eating is cheating) so I decided to see if they had any sausage rolls. It was OK one of the lads had a box of Rennie on him to fight of any heartburn and as the advert says “Don’t Drink & Sausage Roll” if you want to avoid heartburn. Sadly there were no bloody sausage rolls left and after looking at some iced buns I ended up having them for tea as the other lads waited for their pies to be warmed up by the Isle Of Mans slowest microwave. I got chatting to the lady owner (No I wasn’t after some extra marital sausage rolls) as I done this the lads with me got a sweet tooth just as I did looking at the goodies on display and such was my dialect with the shop owner she said go don’t worry lads have them cakes free. Not that it got to me but I walked out with no sausage rolls and had to pay for my two iced buns as they got the pies they wanted and a free cake each ! So leaving the Irish bar I got to see one of the famed TT Racers who had kindly parked up outside. What a thing of beauty his machine was.
Next up we headed off to The Rovers Return to watch more FA Cup football and finish by now the very popular soccer dice league. Side bets were bow being placed on league games and the two highlights of this session was the geriatric derby (130 years in total age for the two players) and the Fay derby as I played a fellow Fay (No relation) and lost the match along with a fiver as well. With Eddie needing a draw to claim the title he wont his last match to claim the title and soon soccer dice become betting dice as well.
We left The Rovers Return to hit The Old Market Inn again to see Lofty and a lad I knew from Twitter who had given us the steer on some pubs to go to tried to make contact but sadly we never got to meet up for a pint and a game of soccer dice. Speaking of which the whole back room of The Market Inn was playing soccer dice and we ended up with a champions league playoff with our league winner Eddie representing with his team Bristol Citties playing the pub champion we had christened Swinging Susie. Susie left with the title and Eddie left with some everlasting memories from his game. I had bought these soccer dice from E-Bay as I did own a set when I was about 10. Never in my wildest dreams did I think 33 years later I would be playing with them with a load of random people in a pub. If only I knew as a 10 year old the pulling power of soccer dice with the females my life would had taken a very different path ! So if your a spotty 15 year old virgin reading this. Get yourself some soccer dice and get out there. I can just about to recall the gang of people dressed as golfers coming in with their pub score card and with memories becoming hazier and iPhone notes becoming less we ended up in a bar until 1am closing and singing a few songs and there was only one place to end up and back to The Nags Head and rest it was still open. But after a drink in there I was full up and coming up to 15 hours on the grog. It was time for some more chips on the way home and back to sleep at The Adelphi dreaming of no sausage roll and paying for my iced buns not that it mattered at all.
Managing to lie in until 8am Sunday it was downstairs for Eric’s sausage on toast and the latecomers who missed yesterdays breakfast got to have a go and enter the world of virtual reality. The mini bus appeared and we headed off to the airport as opened by Nigel Mansell though we did end up breaking his sky box and thus no TV as we waited for the plane. How great after two marathon sessions to have just a 25 min flight home was amazing and before you knew it I was back lying on my bed thinking of how I didn’t make it to the pound bar where for a pound you get access to very cheap drinks. The soccer dice and virtual reality are packed away for another year with Tenerife being an early mention as host city for the second annual soccer dice premiership. Many thanks to the lads who came and the two new lads I got to meet. big ups to the organiser (Often a thankless task)
And not one mention of the Ed Sheeran lover who can’t get a ticket and the Ed Sheeran hater who has a ticket but doesn’t want to go !!
So back in 1988 and just starting my proper venture into music though this did start in the late 1970’s with some dodgy Boney M ex-jukebox singles I decided in my young teenage years and being slightly obsessed by what I then thought at the time were the cool Brit Awards I decided to scribble down in the back of a robbed english exercise book from Calderstones School my own version and the Faymondo Music Awards were born. Fast forward 29 years later and now saved digitally to be passed onto future generations I am still doing the same old boring nerdy shit. Indeed we have gone full circle and I am back playing vinyl. As you can see in the early years my fave bands and still my fave bands Deacon Blue or The Christians literally only had to release an album of nursery rhymes and they had album of the year boxed off. Now I am listening to more music than ever thanks to streaming services and every year I go to more gigs than ever as well. I don’t proclaim to have a cool taste in music (See some previous winners and maybe this year ha ha) but I like what I like and there is no bad music just music not to my taste, though there is some shit about now normally coming from my daughters bedrooms. So time to tell you what I have been listening to and below are the albums that I have been listening to. I had thought about adding a new category “Best EP/Single” as there are some great artists such as local talents Ali Ingle and Louis Berry who have released loads of stuff but never got around to banging an actual album out. But after much consideration by the Faymondo Music Awards committee and numerous double vodka’s and a few Colin The Caterpillar cakes the committee much like the English Football Association don’t like change and have decided to keep the format that has served so well over 29 years. It’s hard to get my head around that I am over 29 (43) now never mind been doing this award thing for that long. So without further delay I give you the albums that were being played on vinyl or streamed via Spotify in 2016.
The James Hunter Six
Wisdom, Laughter and Lines
Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbot
The Happiest Man In The World
Barbara Babara We Face A shining Future
Take Her Up To Monto
Keeping The Horse Between Me And The Ground
Pet Shop Boys
Where Have You Been All My Life
Empire Of The Sun
Je Dis Oui
The Dear One
Smooth & Turrell
The Lucid Dream
Live At Brixton
Public Service Broadcasting
Soul II Soul
Any Colour You Like Vol II
So there you go something for you to listen to. Next year will be the 30th anniversary of the awards and I have nothing special lined up. Maybe I should book The Aigburth Peoples Hall and put a free spread on and like The Brit Awards come up with some magical collaborations such as Underworld featuring Charles Bradley or Soul II Soul featuring Seasick Steve. Anyway I know you all want to know who wins so the golden envelopes are ready and your host for the evening Geoffrey Hayes yes he of Rainbow fame will now announce the winner of the prestigious 2016 Faymondo Music Awards sponsored by Sayers The Bakers and below are also the previous winners for you to get a sense of the great history that goes with these awards.
BEST ALBUM WINNER
BEST ALBUM RUNNER UP
The christians-THE CHRISTIANS
When the world knows your name-DEACON BLUE
In the blood-LONDONBEAT
Fellow hoodlems-DEACON BLUE
Happy in hell-THE CHRISTIANS
Volume 3 just right-SOUL II SOUL
Whatever you say,say nothing-DEACON BLUE
Happy in hell-THE CHRISTIANS
Our town-DEACON BLUE
Very-PET SHOP BOYS
Tuesday night music club-SHERYL CROW
Seal (2) – SEAL
Sheryl crow-SHERYL CROW
Whats the story morning glory-OASIS
Time for change-SOUL II SOUL
Your cool mystery-GARRY CHRISTIAN
The globe sessions-SHERYL CROW
On how life is-MACY GRAY
Sunset over london-JOOLS HOLLAND R/B’S ORCHESTRA
The marshall mathers lp-EMINEM
Homesick- DEACON BLUE
Loco-FUN LOVIN’ CRIMINALS
The Eminem Show-EMINEM
Roland Gift-ROLAND GIFT
Don’t give up on me-SOLOMON BURKE
Prodigal Sons-THE CHRISTIANS
How does it feel-GARRY CHRISTIAN
Feels like Home-NORAH JONES
Make do with what you got-SOLOMON BURKE
Fundamental-PET SHOP BOYS
Dog House Music-SEASICK STEVE
Chronicles Of A Modern Life-HENRY PRIESTMAN
I Started Out With Nothing And Still Got Most Of It Left-SEASICK STEVE
Yes – PET SHOP BOYS
All Night Cinema – JUST JACK
Bittersweet Batch- JESSE DEE
Tell Em What Your Name Is- BLACK JOE LEWIS AND THE HONEYBEARS
So the fight of the year so far and in the blue corner is Colin The Caterpillar the well known chocolate cake from Marks and Spencer’s. In the red corner is the Human Centipede film from 2009 about errrr a human centipede. More about this later. But first the tale of the tape.
So Colin The Caterpillar and a yummy tasty chocolate cake (Even tastier after six Desperados) that come in mini sizes the size of a Cadburys mini roll and also a larger version for a birthday treat and yes I do have one each birthday. With the added bonus of a white chocolate face and ickle feet Colin should be able to take some punches on his solid chocolate face and the smattering of smarties on his back will help deflect punches. Not sure Colin’s training has been 100% as M&S recently announced he was getting married !! In news that will warm your heart, Colin The Caterpillar is getting married. Marks & Spencer have finally cottoned on to the fact that everyone who’s anyone wants a Colin The Caterpillar cake at: their birthday, office celebration, anniversary party and any other kind of celebration and have made the wedding cake(s) of our dreams. You can now buy getting married Colin the Caterpillar – who comes with a cute hat and smart boots – for your big day. Or, you know, just because. Rock ‘N Roll Bride posted a snap of the new wedding cakes from M&S and yes, Colin’s lady friend Connie who will also be available to buy, too. These are £50 a pop !! Though how tasty will they be. Almost worth getting divorced and married again just to have Mr & Mrs Caterpillar as a cake for my big day mark II. But beware of imitations as Tesco do a Curly The Caterpillar which believe me is jarg. So congratulations to Colin and his missus and good luck in the fight. For the record Colin was born in 1990. In August 2015, Marks and Spencer marked the 25th anniversary of the dessert with a limited edition “Colin the Caterpillar” featuring a party hat and multicoloured feet, and additional candy spots.According to Marks and Spencer, it takes 38 people to assemble each cake from start to finish, and 8.4 tonnes (7,600+ kg) of sugar coating are used each year for the decorative spots. You don’t know how hungry I am now doing the research on this !!
Colin’s worthy opponent is The Human Centipede. Only made in 2009 so at the tender age of 8 is much younger than the caterpillar. So where do we start with the centipede !! In case you don’t know The Human Centipede (First Sequence) is a 2009 Dutch film written, directed, and co-produced by Tom Six. The film tells the story of a German surgeon who kidnaps three tourists and joins them surgically, mouth to anus, forming a “human centipede”, a conjoined triplet. It was brought to my attention in a Richard Herring podcast where he asks his guests if you were the middle of a human centipede who would you have in front and who would you have behind. Having thought about this I decided that I would have Kylie Minogue in front of me (tasty) and my mate Joel behind me (humiliation) I watched this film this week stunned at what I was seeing and even more stunned that there is a Human Centipede 2 & 3 !! So The Human Centipede would have the power of three people all be it with limited movement due to the stitching of the three people together and speed wise they would have to be skilled to move forward in sync but they did manage this in the film. No more spoilers but it is on Netflix if you can put yourself through it.
So its fight time and there is only one result and despite the centipede having limited movement it would still beat a chocolate cake any day of the week. The thing is though the front of the centipede could not resist the chocolatty goodness of Colin The Caterpillar once beaten. Or in my case Kylie Minogue would have to consume some Colin. That would mean only one thing though and I would end up getting a second hand Colin fed to me. But on the bright side it was from Kylie and things could be worse as my mate Joel would get a third hand Colin from me. On that bombshell its been enough to put me eating a Colin The Caterpillar for at least an hour so I might as well have another Desperados and all hail the new champion of the world The Human Centipede and best wishes to Colin and Connie The Caterpillar on their wedding day.