Soho Radio / Music / John Howard & The Night Mail

I’ve been having a lot of fun playing records and chatting on Soho Radio. Due to a gap in my work schedule I’ve been their “Super Sub”, covering a number of gaps in theirs. I’ve enjoyed the chance to play records I’d never usually get the chance to play during my usual sort of DJ set, especially some of the recent releases from bands like The Left Outsides, Papernut Cambridge, Sleaford Mods, Toro Y Moi and The Go! Team.

My favourite of the shows is the one I did with Lucienne Cole. She bought some great records along, many of which I didn’t know. You ought to go along to one of the nights she DJs at, especially Crawdaddy at the Fiddlers Elbow in Camden Town, London.

If you’ve missed the shows going out live, there’s a chance to catch up with the most recent of them via the following links…

https://m.mixcloud.com/sohoradio/the-andy-lewis-takeover-19082015/

https://m.mixcloud.com/sohoradio/super-sub-andy-lewis-18082015/

https://m.mixcloud.com/sohoradio/the-andy-lewis-takeover-110815/

Hopefully I’ll be back on there again in the near future.

Acid Jazz records have found a small stash of “physical product” that contains my “intellectual property”, and this is now for sale via their online shop. It includes the lovely album by The Red Inspectors, some repressed 7″ singles of “Are You Trying To Be Lonely?”, the last few copies of “The Best Of Days” single and a couple of vinyl LPs of “You Should Be Hearing Something Now”. You can find all these, and more, by looking at http://acidjazz.bigcartel.com/category/andy-lewis

Over on Bandcamp, things got quite busy the other week when some amateur radio enthusiasts discovered my song “The Slow Train” which samples transmissions from the Chiltern Non-Directional Radio Beacon, leading to a flurry of downloads of “Songs For A South Herts Symphony”. This and other recordings can be found by looking at https://andylewisuk.bandcamp.com/music .

But the record I’m proudest to have had something to do with in recent months is the new album by John Howard And The Night Mail. It’s had some great reviews, and there’s a nice interview with John here that talks about how the album came about. It is finally available in your local record shop or by mail order direct from Tapete records. Or you can download it from iTunes if that’s your bag. To celebrate the release, John Howard And The Night Mail will be performing a special show at the Phoenix Artists Club in London. Full details and tickets can be found here. Hope to see you there!

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July

Many years ago when the Internet was in black and white and hardly anybody had broadband I was part of something called Soul24-7.com, a very early Internet radio station specialising in soul music of all flavours. I used to do a show on a Thursday morning, often listened to only by a black cat called Curtis who would wander in off the street and sit in a corner of the studio, purring noisily. In spite of this, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and I’d look forward to my weekly trip to their studios in what was then still a fairly run down part of East London, stopping for a bacon sandwich and a cup of coffee from the caff across the road on the way. Turning up and playing records that nobody but a cat was listening to turned out not to have been a profitable thing to do, even in the halcyon days of the dotcom boom. After twelve enjoyable months Soul24-7.com was off the virtual airwaves for lack of money. The premises it once occupied is now an exclusive housing development. What became of Curtis the cat is anyone’s guess.

Had it managed to hang on, it’s likely Soul24-7 could’ve evolved into the kind of thing Soho Radio has become. A roster of interesting DJs and presenters of varying tastes and backgrounds broadcast from the back of a coffee shop in Great Windmill Street. It’s a creative drop-in centre that’s putting a bit of soul back into the overgentrified heart of the West End. In today’s wired world, a global network of listeners log on and interact in ways we could only imagine back in the early Noughties, and the station is attracting some seriously heavyweight guests and presenters.

They’ve also found room in the schedules for me. I’ve been covering occasional shows for Eddie Piller and have just done a show of my own, the Andy Lewis Takeover, which is going to be a semi regular floating fixture. The first show went out on Tuesday 21st July, and you can listen to it via this link https://m.mixcloud.com/sohoradio/andy-lewis-takeover-21072015/

Hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed broadcasting!

Andy Lewis update…

Yesterday, April 30th, I sat in again for Eddie Piller on Soho Radio’s Eclectic Soul Show. You can hear the show via https://www.mixcloud.com/sohoradio/eddie-pillers-eclectic-soul-show-with-andy-lewis-300415/ if you missed it yesterday.

Once again the tracklisting is out of whack with what I actually played. I am guessing that my Title/Artist listing confused the system, and also a number of the tracks I played aren’t on Sp*tify or iTu*es. Hell, some of them weren’t even on the Internet in a way you could listen to them, until now! So here’s a list, in the order they appear on the show…

Wake Up Everybody- Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes
These City Streets- Paul Weller
Are You Man Enough? – The Four Tops
Soul Thing – Tony Newman
No Answer- Cherry B and the Sound Makers
What Can I Do? – George Kirby
Collage- The Three Degrees
Catwalk- The Pete Moore Orchestra
Music Talk- Beryl Marsden
All We Need Is Understanding- Chairmen Of The Board
Steppin’ Out- Lionel Robinson
The Loner- Nick Harrison
If Not By Fire- Mandy More
The Man In The Glass- James Brown
To Be Or Not To Be- Shirley Ellis
Day Starter- Meatball
Come On And See Me- Tammi Terrell
Only A Fool- Clyde McPhatter
A Man Without A Face- The Chants
Don’t Mind If I Cry- Craig Douglas
Mae West- Ken Moule’s London Jazz Chamber Group
Chain Of Fools- The Flamingo Group Featuring Maria Rottrova
Igor The Dog – Tommy Korberg
Happy Morning- The Cindys
Lonely But Free- The Gentry Show Band
La Mouche- Michel Polnareff
Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)- The Free
Soul Condor- Peter Herbolzheimer
Chained- Paul Petersen
Sunshine Of Your Love- Spanky Wilson
I Feel Free- Virginia Vee
Come One Come All- Brass Incorporated
This Is The House Where Love Died- First Choice
The Victim- Guy Apollo
It’s For You- Harmony Village
Love Is A Four Letter Word- Roy Budd
Land Of 1000 Dances- Mr Bloe
Let’s Talk- The Ray Alexander Technique
I’m The Sky- Norma Tanega
Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? – Chicago 

On the subject of music you can’t hear anywhere else, I have recently uploaded another selection of my own tunes to Bandcamp. Have a listen at https://andylewisuk.bandcamp.com/music

I make no apologies for the political nature of some of the tunes. In the UK we are approaching the most important general election in a generation. I sincerely believe that another five years of Conservative-led government would destroy much of what I hold dear; the NHS, our links with Europe, even the union with Scotland. The prospect of another five years of the rich getting substantially richer at the expense of the poorest in society, another five years of misinformation about the nature of national debt (it’s virtually impossible for a country to “go bankrupt” if it has a central bank that can literally print money, and at a time when the economic reality of extremely cheap credit meets the political impossibility of raising direct taxation, it’s obvious that the government will borrow the money it needs to spend on public services), another five years of blaming immigrants for the changing nature of British life when actually all that has happened is that we’ve got older and times have changed and we no longer recognize the things that used to make us feel comfortable and safe, another five years of blaming the Blair/Brown government for overspending when it was the financial services industry that set the agenda they followed to the extent that there was no alternative but to bail out the banks when they broke the system they’d created… I could go on. Suffice to say, I will not be voting for the Tories!

Whatever your political beliefs, it’s vitally important that you do get out an vote. In spite of Slebs telling us that it isn’t fashionable any more, or it’s the action of a different generation, or that it doesn’t matter because the government always gets in, or that if it changes anything it’d be illegal, it’s the only chance you really have to directly influence the makeup of the next government. Whether you agree with me that another five years of Cameron and Co would be a disaster or not, if you don’t vote you’re not really joining in the debate, you’re just moaning. So whatever your political philosophy, whoever you think you trust with the country’s future… GO OUT AND VOTE on May 7th. The more people who vote, the more whoever wins will have to think about the impact of their policies on all of us.

Eclectic Soul Show on Soho Radio

Many thanks to everyone who listened in live yesterday as myself and Pete Twyman attempted to fill the shoes of Eddie Piller on the Soho Radio Eclectic Soul Show.

If you missed the broadcast, then here it is http://www.mixcloud.com/sohoradio/the-eclectic-soul-show-14th-august/ I’m loving Mixcloud’s efforts at trying to work out what the tunes are I played. For the avoidance of doubt- and there appears to be a hell of a lot of it- this is the list of what I played…

Zone- The Rhythm Makers

I’ve Been Working- Van Morrison

How Can I Forget?- Marvin Gaye

The Groupie- Syd Dale

Sinner Man- Valerie Simpson

Rodrigo Bay- Working Week

Maria- Dave Brubeck

Wade In The Water- John Ylvisaker

Jane Jane- Grand Union

No Preacher Blues- Davey Graham

Chowdown- Corduroy

Taxman- Fab Guiro

Go Down Gamblin’- Blood Sweat And Tears

Times Are Tight- Jimmy Young

Love Pain(s)- Willie Clayton

The Kardomah- The Red Inspectors

If Love Was Money- Dan Penn

The Letter- Salena Jones

Search For The Inner Self- John Lucien

Song For Suzie- The Dudley Moore Trio

Sombre Guitar- Dansers Inferno

Living In The Past- Billie Davis

Leapfrog- Sandy Nelson

Got Hung Up Along The Way- Jay & The Americans

So Is The Sun- The World Column

Stop What You’re Doing- The Playthings

Paris Blues- Tony Middleton

Be My Girl- The James Taylor Quartet

Nutflake Social- Papernut Cambridge

Grandstand Supreme- Go Home Productions

Punky Reggae- Tony Ellis

Feelin’ Good- Ray Merrell

Going Back To My Roots- Richie Havens

I’ve Been Trying- The Chants

Things We Said Today- The London Jazz Four

It Ain’t Necessarily Byrd Avenue- Harmony Grass

Stop Thief- Keith Field

The Stars- Barbara Lewis

Twinkle Little Star- The Parisians

The Funky March- Pound Of Flesh

All The Time In The World- The Paper Dolls

August News

Much has happened since I last posted anything in May. A quarter of a year for a start. Time flies by when you’re driving about the UK and Europe on a tour bus, or catching flights to the Isle of Man and other overseas destinations…

However, a great deal of thanks is due to everyone who came along to see Paul Weller over the last few months. There were some great moments, the weather was mostly kind to us and the memory of playing “I Can’t Explain” and “Substitute” with Roger Daltrey at Bedgebury will stay with me for ever.

The Paul Weller band hits the US and Canada for a short tour in September. Before then, I will be sitting in for Eddie Piller on his Eclectic Soul Show for Soho Radio at 1600 on Thursday, August 14th. It will be a daunting task to try and fill his shoes, but I’ll give it a go! Soho Radio can be found here and if you’re in London, you can come and sit in their coffee shop on Great Windmill Street and have a listen as the show goes out. If you miss it, the show will be available to have a listen to on Mixcloud.

There’s been a lot of love for my releases on Bandcamp over the last few months too. If you haven’t already checked them out, you can investigate them here. I’m hoping to add to them before I head off again in September- more news as it happens.

Not Bad Records have a new compilation CD coming out with one or two tunes I’m involved with on it. Information exists here though please feel free to order it from anywhere other than Ama*on! The best place to get it would be from your local record shop. The same goes for my back catalogue, although the Acid Jazz online shop and eBay store may prove more convenient if you live outside the UK.

Don’t forget, you can follow me on Twitter for the latest thoughts as they tumble from my head.

More May news…

Yesterday, the “Get Ready!” mini-LP by Lewis, Doyle & Twyman was released on Bandcamp. You can read all about it here . 

I can’t thank enough the people who’ve already had a listen to and downloaded my other Bandcamp releases. There have been a few enquiries about whether they will ever be available in physical formats, preferably vinyl. All I can say is that at the moment, no. It wasn’t my intention to make these recordings available anywhere else; they were intended to be a bonus alongside my existing catalogue and a teaser for projects to come. However, I have had a few offers from interested parties regarding these Bandcamp releases,  some of them tempting. It isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that some of the songs might end up getting issued on vinyl at some point in the future. However for the moment the only place you can get them is on Bandcamp. If you download them, you can always burn them onto a CD, or get an acetate cut (as one enterprising soul has already told me he’s done with “Standing In The Need Of Love” !)

Another round of thanks, this time to all the people who turned up to the Boom Boom Room in Bideford and the Stockholm Soul party in Brixton over the weekend. Both nights were full of friends old and new, and it was lovely to see so many people enjoying themselves wholeheartedly to some of the best music ever made.

This coming Friday, May 9th, I’m back DJing at The Good Foot in the sumptuous surroundings of legendary London nightspot Madame JoJo’s. There will be a limited number of guest list places available to people who respond to me via Twitter of Facebook. It’s always a fun night, and it would be great to see you there.

On Saturday May 17th I will be joining my good friend Dan Thompson begind the decks at a night called Face Up! at the Black Cat Club, Fort Hill, Margate, Kent CT9 1HD. There’s a Facebook event page here with more information.

Hope to see you out on the floor…

 

Get Ready!

In the spring of 2012, during some down time from touring “Sonik
Kicks” with Paul Weller, I began knocking together some ideas for some
new material. My parents had gone away for a fortnight so their empty
house became a base for some noisy music making.

As usual, I was joined by Pete Twyman. Between us we had a selection
of things to bang, pluck, press and scrape, and it wasn’t long before
some interesting ideas had begun to take shape.

It so happened that Pimlico’s singer, Wesley Doyle, also had a bit of
time free around then. Once the ideas Pete and I had recorded had been
hammered into some kind of shape, Wesley made the journey up from
south London to help turn them into songs.

It wasn’t long before there were almost enough tunes to think about an
album. As we were three quarters of Pimlico, the idea was mooted that
it could become a Pimlico project. I felt that a Pimlico album ought
to have the full line-up (Miles Chapman on drums), and also Pete
Twyman’s songs had traditionally formed the backbone of Pimlico’s
releases. Also, “The Best Of Days” had been released the previous year
as Andy Lewis & Wesley Doyle. This had been a song destined for “A
South Herts Symphony” but had ended up a standalone single. It had
failed to generate much interest but was already pressed up in
quantity and thus ripe for re-releasing to trail a album by Andy
Lewis, Wesley Doyle and Pete Twyman.

A tentative track listing was compiled, and a demo CD was produced to
play to interested parties. The general consensus was that with a bit
of a lick and a polish, this could be a pretty good album.

At this point, the fates conspired against the whole project in the
shape of a catastrophic computer failure. All the multi-track master
recordings were lost, and annoyingly the backup drive had become
corrupted. Hardly any of the project had survived in useable form,
apart from the versions of the songs on the demo CD.

It was deemed too expensive to pay to have the dead hard-drive mined
for it’s data. Licking and polishing were no longer an option. So for
the second time in almost as many years I had to abandon a project
that a good deal of work had been expended on.

It hadn’t been a total waste of time though. A number of songs had
been written which had the potential to be taken on to bigger and
better things. And a lot of fun had been had, blundering about with
junkshop drums and borrowed keyboards; sitting on plastic chairs in
the garden, drinking cider in the spring sunshine scribbling lyrics.
As it turned out, this would almost be the final time that I’d be able
to record in my parents’ house; on their return from their trip my
father announced that he was retiring and that he and my mum were
going to move to Nottinghamshire to be nearer my sister. Living Room
Studios in Watford would be no more.

It’s now almost two years since those sessions, since that computer
threw a seven, since my folks upped sticks and moved. A few weeks ago,
Wesley announced he’d found a copy of the demo CD we’d made and had a
listen. Some of the songs were better than he remembered. Pete too
uncovered a copy of the CD and he and I had a listen back. We had to
agree. They weren’t bad at all.

Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been releasing material on
Bandcamp that won’t be available anywhere else for the forseeable
future. Some of you will have had a listen; some of you may also have
bought the downloads. Here then is another selection of songs for you
to sample. I give you “Get Ready!” by Lewis, Doyle & Twyman. I hope
you enjoy it.