Music Matters - with John Murray

John Murray
John Murray

A SEEMINGLY endless stream of pre-Beatles pop has already spawned a stage musical and a series of hit albums and now Dreamboats & Petticoats: Three Steps To Heaven (Universal), has 50 more songs from that era.

Sadly so many of the stars featured have taken that step to heaven and many like Buddy Holly, Gene Vincent, Roy Orbison, Adam Faith, Billy Fury, Bobby Darin, Elvis Presley, Del Shannon and, of course, Eddie Cochran whose song inspires this album, are still admired today for their lasting musical contributions. Many are still treading the boards though like Jess Conrad, Tommy Steele, Cliff Richard, Neil Sedaka and the ever youthful Joe Brown.

From the innovative rock pioneers singing ‘Move It’, ‘Be-Bop-A- Lula’, ‘Sweet Little Sixteen’ or ‘Shakin’ All Over’ to Chubby Checker’s lasting dance hits ‘The Twist’ and ‘Let’s Twist Again’ even those born out with this decade will find familiar evergreen songs.

Having gate crashed T in the Park at the weekend under a pseudonym The View showed they have lost none of their impish image. Indeed they have returned with more energy and vigour than ever with the new album out this week called Cheeky For A Reason (Cooking Vinyl). The first single is the storming ‘How Long’ and other highlights include ‘Anfield Row’ about leaving Dundee and a song comparing a relationship with milk that goes sour when left on the bunker (okay worktop) for days (‘Bunker Solid Ground’). They have lost none of the charm we loved them for four albums ago and nice to see cover artwork like a Nazareth print from decades ago.

The debut album from The Halton Quartet is the result of two groups meeting at the Orkney Folk Festival and blending completely. Based On True Events (self release), has accordion, fiddle, mandolin and guitar in various new compositions. Traditional instruments with accomplished musicians enjoying new forms always melodic and jazz influenced at times but very enjoyable. Rather than reels and jigs for dancing they have achieved atmospheric long form pieces that still can capture the traditions but with a free form seldom heard anywhere.