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Something Changed 34: Sorted for E’s and Wizz/Mis-Shapes

A two-for-one offer today as these songs were released as a double A-side to become Pulp’s second number two hit in a row (after Common People.)

This first song caused a rumpus, with press comment claiming it was pro-drugs, which lead singer Jarvis Cocker said was a misinterpretation. I must say I agree with him. Even on first hearing the song the claim seemed to me to be ludicrous.

Pulp: Sorted for E’s and Wizz

Mis-Shapes wasn’t so controversial. There’s a James Bond film chord sequence in the refrain though.

Pulp: Mis-Shapes

Friday on my Mind 190: RIP Phil May

The Pretty Things (whose member Phil May died last week) were a presence in and around my consciousness in the 1960s. I caught them on TV once and my father of course remarked they were far from pretty. Chart success mostly eluded them, though. However, I do recall vaguely that they were the first British band to sign to Tamla Motown in the US.

Like most early 1960s bands they started out playing the blues but they soon evolved. The were the first to produce a rock opera in the concept album (one of the first of those) S. F. Sorrow where they indulged psychedelic tendencies, but its release was messed up and it therefore appeared after The Who’s Tommy.

Below is an appearance from French TV in which they play a song from S. F. Sorrow. The introduction to this has pre-echoes of Greg Lake’s I Believe in Father Christmas and the visual styling and antics of the guy in the tricorne hat could have inspired The Alex Harvey Band.

The Pretty Things: Private Sorrow

Philip Dennis Arthur Wadey/Kattner (Phil May:) 9 /11/1944 – 15/5/2020. So it goes.

Sibelius Monument, Helsinki

It was a longish walk out from Helsinki city centre to this. Unfortunately we arrived just after three tour buses had disgorged loads of Chinese tourists, each of whom wanted a selfie in front of it. It took ages before I could get a people-free shot.

Sibelius, Helsinki

Sibelius Monument, Helsinki

Sibelius Monument, Helsinki

Sibelius, Helsinki, Finland

I must say that face reminded me of weel kent Scottish literary figure Hugh MacDiarmid.

From reverse:-

Sibelius Monument, Helsinki

Sibelius Monument, Helsinki

Some of the other tourists:-

People at Sibelius Monument, Helsinki

So here’s a bit of Sibelius for you. Finlandia, Op 26:-

Little Richard

By the time I started listening to popular music Little Richard had passed his heyday. It was still obvious though that he had been important in the development of rock’n’roll – an influence on so many popular musicians of the 1960s and later. Sadly he joined the roll call of the departed this week.

There is really only one phrase with which to sign him off.

Awopbopaloobop alopbambom!

Little Richard: Tutti Frutti

Richard Wayne Penniman (Little Richard) 5/12/1932 – 9/5/2020. So it goes.

Live It Up 67: Tour de France – RIP Florian Schneider

It’s not given to many musicians to change the course of popular music, but Kraftwerk certainly did. While not inventing electronic music (Delia Derbyshire and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop did that) they were the first to consider it as a new form of popular music. Sadly, founding member Florian Schneider died late last month.

I first heard of Kraftwerk in that famous Tomorrow’s World piece. At the time I thought their sound was a little soulless and wouldn’t catch on. It did.

Kraftwerk: Tour de France

Florian Schneider (Florian Schneider-Esleben:) 7/4/1947 – 21/3/2020. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 189: My Boy Lollipop (RIP Millie Small)

Millie, as Millie Small was known on her records, who has died this week, had one of the most distinctive hits of the early 1960s. My Boy Lollipop was the first bluebeat/ska song to be a hit but it was Millie’s delivery that really caught the ear. She just sounded so joyous.

Sadly that hit was more or less her only one and she did not gain much benefit from it.

Millie: My Boy Lollipop

Millicent Dolly May (Millie) Small: 6/10/1947 – 5/5/2020. So it goes.

Live It Up 66: Golden Brown – RIP Dave Greenfield

I wasn’t really much into the Stranglers. They were/are however my brother-in-law’s favourite band.

It was nevertheless sad to hear of Dave Greenfield’s death, especially since he contracted coronavirus while in hospital with a heart problem.

Golden Brown however I found very much to my taste.

The Stranglers: Golden Brown

David Paul (Dave) Greenfield: 29/3/1949 – 3/5/2020. So it goes.

Something Changed 33: Babylon

The one that broke Gray in the UK as far as singles were concerned. I remember watching him playing his set (I think at Glastonbury) that year and introducing this by saying, “I suppose it’s time we played our hit.”

David Gray: Babylon

Reelin’ in the Years 172: Wuthering Heights

This was the song that introduced Kate Bush to the world.

And over forty years later I finally got round to reading the book which inspired it.

Kate Bush: Wuthering Heights

The Cruiser Aurora, St Petersburg

The Cruiser Aurora is now the Russian Navy’s Ship No 1. It’s anchored by the Petrogradskaya Naberezhnaya (Petrograd Embankment) on the Bolshaya Nevka River, an offshoot of the River Neva, in St Petersburg. (The embankment link has a cracking aerial photo.)

The cruiser fired the blank shot which signalled the start of the October Revolution in 1917. It was also one of only three Russian ships to survive the Battle of Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese War.

I was really looking forward to seeing it again. I don’t remember the green paint at the waterline from when I visited in the 1960s, but we did hear someone say it had recently been repainted. It’s looking in very good nick.

Stern of Aurora:-

The Cruiser Aurora

Saltire:-

Saltire flown on the Cruiser Aurora

Gangplank and public access. There was a big queue at the ticket gate but we had only a short time at the quay anyway before we had to reboard the coach:-

Gangplank and Cruiser Aurora

Looking towards bow:-

The Cruiser Aurora Looking Sternwards.

View showing bow:-

Aurora

Flag at prow. It looks like a bit like a reconfigured Union Jack. It’s the Jack and fortress flag of the Russian Navy:-

Aurora flag

Aurora memorial stone on the quayside:-

Cruiser Aurora Memorial Stone

The St Petersburg Naval Academy is also on the embankment opposite the Aurora. This statue outside the St Petersburg Naval Academy is of the famous (in Russia) Admiral Pavel Stepanovich Nakhimov, for a further picture on the net see here:-

Statue of Admiral, St Petersburg Naval Academy

Just round the corner on the the Petrovskaya Embankment was this monument to the three-hundredth Anniversary of the Russian Navy. Cruiser Aurora to right and Naval Academy in background in first picture:-

Russian Navy Three-Hundredth Anniversary Monument, St Petersburg

St Petersburg, Russian Navy's Three-Hundredth Anniversary Monument,

THe plaza between it and the Naval Academy had a nice fountain. The lamp standards are a good design too:-

A Fountain, St Petersburg,

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