Archive for December, 2008

Funky Friday – The Ghost Of Christmas Past

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 12, 2008 by planetmondo
This fantastico bespoke hand-made illustration was kindly created by Paul McDonald of Odd Sock Illustration

I don’t know about you, but while I was sprouting up during the seventies, Christmas in our house was a typically traditional ritual that followed a similar tinsel-plated template from year to year.

The same medley of decorations were randomly scattered about the tree mixing classic seventies pieces – felt baubles in orange or pink, super-modern amber plastic hoops filled with some sort of shiny sci-fi tape loops that dangled alongside retro-deco’s from the fifties – cough-candy style twisted aluminium strips (purple or red on one side, silver on the other), real glass baubles and Japanese lanterns. All finished of with Woolworths candyfloss-type-fibreglass to add some soft-focus embellishment to the lights.

The Martini (red) and the drinks cabinet would be cracked open on Nan’s arrival, and when it came to lunch, stalagmite style red candles, the candlebra and  ‘special cutlery’ from an embossed box had their annual day trip to the table. Which, was typically centred around a Christmas cake wrapped in fancy band of gold foil and frilled red paper, with, perhaps a snow scene on the icing.

If you’re wondering what in the name of Jacob Marley is the point of this winterland ramble? Well, it’s that, the cosy essence of Christmas was the familiar similarity of the occasion. And, in much the same that way we’d fire up this Frank album while Martini’s were a’pouring – I feel it could become,perhaps a seasonal tradition, to repost my homemade winter mixture created for Christmas last year….

A Mondo Funky Mixmas

Marc Bolan – Christmas Message
Clarence Carter – Back Door Santa
Keith Mansfield – Snowman Stomp
Jingle Bells – Booker T and the MG’s
Ramsey Lewis Trio – Here Comes Santa Claus
Oscar Peterson – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Stu Hamm – Sleigh Ride
Up With the People – Jingle Bell Beat
Anita Kerr Singers – Jingle bell rock
Soulfoul singers – Santa Claus is coming to town
Soulful Strings – Sleigh Ride
Edwin Starr – Snowflake Boogie
The Rhodes Kids – Winter Wonderland

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Countdown To Christmas – Never Mind The Baubles

Posted in 70, christmas, countdown to christmas, Punk, Sex Pistols on December 10, 2008 by planetmondo
(Or ‘Oi To The World’ to borrow a Five Centres phrase)

Given punk’s sloganeering and songbook of No Future, Boredom and Blank Generations there’s possibly more punky seasonal sing-a-longs than you’d expect…

The Damned’s ‘There Ain’t No Sanity Clause’
XTC’s ‘Thanks For Christmas’
Stiff Little Fingers ‘White Christmas’
The Stranglers Christmas EP

And of course the Sex Pistols played their final UK date, before hitting then splitting in the US, at a Huddersfield charity gig on December the 25th 1977

So good to see then that the tradition of Advent, Anarchy and God Save The Queen’s Speech is being kept alive by the good people at Punk Christmas with an online advent calender that pops out one Christmas-chestnut-newly-reworked-as-punky-nugget per day (all for free too) – where you can grab crackers like these…

Bonus points are available if you can spot which punk/new wave classic has been adapted as the template for each tune

Another Rock And Roll Christmas

Stop The Cavalry

Little Drummer Boy

A special Santa salute to Agent Cooper for the tip off about this treat.

And if you know someone who’s any sort of a Ramones (or punk) fan – here’s just the thing to drop in their bovver boots for Christmas..Jenny Lens’s photo-based eBook covering The Ramones first west coast tour of ’76 – loaded with over 100 exclusive hi-res photo’s sent straight to your inbox for just $15!!! (or 8 of your Queen’s pounds)

Get your Gabba Gabbas on it right here


Jenny Lens is the California ‘punk scene’ photographer, with a role call of spiky icons and heavy-hitters in her archives – Blondie, The Ramones, the Sex Pistols and The Clash were all caught on film by Jenny during the seventies punk explosion. Her last book ‘Punk Pioneers’ is a must have if you’re a nutter for punk like me – and at literally pocket money prices for this gallery of goodies, you really can’t pass up the Ramones digi-book.

Did you know? – A major influence on The Ramones non-stop power punk (and haircuts) are the glam-anthems of our very own Christmas stompers Slade!

Countdown To Christmas – Here Come Sandy Claws

Posted in christmas, countdown to christmas, mondo international on December 8, 2008 by planetmondo


By gumbo it’s getting close to Christmas, and in celebration of the international spirit of this festivo cajun* – O Tannenbaum (Oh Christmas Tree), Feliz Navidad (seen it for years, but not a clue what it means) – it’s time to fire up the yule blog with a fistful of creole flavoured critters. So, Kick off your boots, put down that alligator, light your clay pipe, give your cousin a squeeze and your squeeze box a kiss (or is it the other way around?) and shake a festive leg to this fistful of swamp dweller stompers..

Hadley Castille the ‘cajun swamp fiddler’ (his phrase not mine), has a name uncannily close to one of my childhood haunts, and a sight still seen daily on my shuntings to London – Hadleigh Castle

Hadley Castille – Up on a Housetop


Hadley Castille – Blue Christmas

Justin Wilson (who he?) has the loose boozy bumble of a chap that’s been necking the nog like a champ – zshingle bellsh indeed!

Justin Wilson – Jingle Bells

Justin Wilson – Here Comes Santa Claus

It Caimen ‘pon a midnight clear

*Yes I’m aware I’m really pushing my luck with this, but please – take it with a pinch of ‘Carry On Christmas’

Funky Friday – We Three Kings

Posted in 60's, Funky Friday, guitar, rockadoodledoo, Soul on December 5, 2008 by planetmondo

It’s just a touch too early to start dishing out the tinsel tunes (we’ll save that for next week), but as a winter warm-up, how about a visit from three six string Kings that put some fatback on the fretboard and bring us Cold, Funking-sense and much, much more*


Albert King – Cold Sweat


Freddie King – Funky

Freddie King – ‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag’


B.B King – Long Gone Baby

*Yes I’m aware this is a stretch so tenuous it’s almost transparent, but please – take it with a pinch of panto’

Glam Rocks – No Sleep Til Chelmsford

Posted in 80's, gigs, glam, new wave, Punk, retromania, rock on December 2, 2008 by planetmondo
Me in my Mad Max Factor/Southend R.O.C.K period

(note tasteful band logo on left arm – and missing tuner on guitar head)

In a past life I was once the guitarist for a glammy band called The Ladykillers (dreadful name, not my idea). I say glam, it was more of a post-goth, pre-grebo garagey rock ‘n’ racket affair really (a local paper once did a piece on us claiming ‘They’re Glam, They’re pop, They’re Punk’ – which sort of nails it I suppose). Based in Southend and on the scene at the same time as, and crossing paths with an early era My Life Story – we seemed to get the support slots for any visiting rocky horrors and lower league goth monsters that put a buckle booted foot into the Essex area – a few incidents from my rock date diaries include…..

Two encounters with Zodiac Mindwarp (which you can read about on page 43 of this month’s The Word)

Our second only live date, (with Mal from My Life Story helping out on bass), supporting Flesh For Lulu to a pre-health and safety elastic capacity Pink Toothbrush, where the icy tinkles and cinematic style keyboard intro was blitzed by the drum machine’s improv’ Drum and Bass meltdown.

The third gig at a local youth club on the night it was populated by German exchange students – the only ones that danced. In a moment of randomness we’d hired a dry ice machine for this gig, not a popular move with the Middle-Aged-Ladies that ran the club – the amount of puff pumped from this rent-a-gadget gave the effect of being smothered by a creeping indoor fog. Cue a stage invasion from the M-A-L’s with damp dishcloths to smother the smoke “it’s no good they can’t see a thing in the ping-pong room” or some such was the cry.

Having a gun pulled on us at Harlow. Someone fainting in Romford.
And the gig where the above pic’ was taken – supporting Ghostdance in Chelmsford (which must qualify as the least rock ‘n’ roll phrase in human history) an experience not dissimilar to playing to an audience of Autons, until the drums turned to shrapnel and went a’rolling around the stage mid-set. These were patched up gaffer tape and Meccano style, we carried on with the set and the crowd literally went wild – I’ve got a video of this gig and the audience go from musical statues to wild things in the space of two songs..

It just took a collapsing drum kit and couple of covers to defrost the good people of Chelmsford, two tunes that were regulars in our set and fairly reflective of our ‘angle’…

Iggy Pop – Funtime

Adam and The Ants – Fall In

And of course this – a show closer from the first gig to the last..

The Where Are They Now Epilogue….
(Well, the ones I know about anyway)

The Singer works in the entertainment industry

The Keyboard player is a Professor at Leicester University

Bass player number 4 – is a soundman and plays in Cult tribute band Pure Cult

Drummer number 2 – is a professional drummmer and in a T Rex tribute band Too Rex

Mark Ellen – reads part of my Zodiac Mindwarp Experience – right here at 6 mins 30 secs