Sunday, 10 July 2016

Taste (album, 1969)

Taste was a blues/rock power trio from Ireland in the late 1960s. It was lead by singer/songwriter/guitarist Rory Gallagher who later went on to a long solo career doing his own thing. Taste only managed to record two studio albums in its short career, they being Taste (1969) and On The Boards (1970). The band had two distinct incarnations. First 1966-68 where the members joining Rory Gallagher were Eric Kitteringham on bass and Norman Damery on drums. From 1968-71, Richard (aka: Charlie) McCracken (bass) and John Wilson (drums) joined Rory and were with him for the recording of the studio albums.These guys are easily up there with the likes of Led Zep, Rush and Cream but never seem to get the biscuit. It’s a rock n roll tragedy. But a kinda good one too.

In a 1977 interview with ZZ Magazine (issue 23), Gallagher said of the early years “It was very much a case of sleeping in the van, and long hard grinds around the various clubs, but it was pretty enjoyable even so... and then we just broke up — Eric wanted to start his own band and Norman wanted to get off the road for a while, and so we packed it in. In Hamburg we'd play 45 minutes in each hour, and we'd go on stage about four or five times a night — that's weekdays… on Saturdays we had to do seven sets. I was never there for months on end, like the Beatles, but it was good hard labour all the same. I wasn't complaining though, because in the showband it wasn't unusual to do five hours on your feet without a break... you'd get off the stage and your fingers would be mashed to pieces. I enjoyed every minute of Hamburg though. .. . it was fun unlimited really, because you often shared the bill with another band, and we used to have a lot of good times.”

A 1969 ZigZag cover featuring Frank Zappa

Gallagher moved into blues from a Chuck Berry style of playing: “ I began to hear people like Buddy Guy, and some of the older acoustic players... it was just a gradual move; for instance I found out about Willie Dixon from Chuck Berry records, and then discovered he also wrote songs that were recorded by Muddy Waters.. . . and so I got into his music. You know how you get interested in something and try to find out more it was like that really."

Touring with Blind Faith in 1969, taste passed up the option of gigging Woodstock. “I remember the agent coming on board the bus in New York and asking if the package, which was Blind Faith, Delaney and Bonnie and Friends and Taste, would be interested in going up to Woodstock.Clapton was at the top of the bus and he turned around and asked for a show of hands and it got voted down and voted down by quite a bit. The guys in Taste, Rory included, kept their hands down - they felt they weren’t important enough to be given a shout. Eric wanted to do it and I remember whispering to him that, with all due respect to democracy, it was his shout basically but it went to a vote and Woodstock went on without us.” Although Rory and Taste missed out on the chance to play to 400,000 fans at Woodstock, just a year later, the band performed before an estimated 600,000 at the Isle of Wight. The band’s performance was captured on film and has been released on DVD.

Taste (1969) Track listing:
"Blister on the Moon" - 3:26
"Leavin' Blues" (Huddie Ledbetter, Rory Gallagher) - 4:15
"Sugar Mama" (trad. arr. Gallagher)- 7:14
"Hail" - 2:35
"Born on the Wrong Side of Time" - 4:00
"Dual Carriageway Pain" - 3:13
"Same Old Story" - 3:32
"Catfish" (trad. arr. Gallagher) - 8:04
"I'm Moving On" (Hank Snow) - 2:29

All tracks were composed by Rory Gallagher except where stated, and produced by Tony Cotton. It was released on the Polydor label in Europe and Atco in North America.

North Utsire

Genuine GCSE Exam Answer

Marking an ocean of banal exam papers last week, I came across this desperate plea for help. I have changed the name of the student, and the school to protect his identity, but you get the idea.

12(c) Describe the changes that happen when DNA replicates.

I don’t blame you. I don’t blame the exam board. I blame the school for handling my personal circumstances so badly. I would blame myself but I cannot control what I cannot control. I’ve flopped this exam, that’s clear, but at the time of writing it is 2:41 in the afternoon; I am sat in my school uniform surrounded by an army of people I dislike and my hands are sweating. I can’t change this, nobody can, but we all know that this is bullshit. It’s all bullshit. Fuck you C----- School. Fuck you CAMHS*. This is a love letter from your dearest, C----- x

*Note: CAMHS = Child and Adult Mental Health Services

North Utsire

Daily Schedules of Darwin, Freud, etc.

I saw this a while back on a blog called Truth Theory. It said (quote):

"The one thing that every person in the world has in common is time. We all have a day which consists of 24 hours, in which we can do with as we please. Even so, person A can fail to achieve anything significant within an entire lifetime, while person B is able to crank out success story after success story. What is the difference between person A and person B? It is definitely not down to a lack of time, because if one person can schedule their time for success, so can another. The truth is people succeed or don’t succeed, because of what they do with their time and the habits they form.

This info graphic shows the daily routine of 16 high achieving people throughout history, what is really interesting about this, is the fact that all the routines are very different. Which goes to show that there is no set way to do things, but only a way which is unique to you and can be reached through trial and error."

What really gets on my tits about this bourgeois crap is the universal assumption that everybody is gifted with the “same” amount of time per day, therefore this imparts some kind of equality on everyone and therefore its your own lack of moral fibre or intellectual fortitude that accounts for your miserable failures in life. If you look at these graphics you will see that nearly all of these “intellectual giants” have one thing in common: they are all freed from the misery of drudgery and toil to make ends meet, and therefore have the luxury of indulging their creative fantasies. Presumably behind the “genius” of Freud was a pathetic number of servants (those lesser intellects who couldn’t manage their time any better) who had committed the stupidity of having children, or sick relatives, or of putting their empty howling bellies before going for a restorative walk or reading an edifying book. That is, if they could read at all. I wonder what epic novels we could have expected from Dickens if he was forced to clean toilets on minimum wage for survival. Not much. No, not very much.

North Utsire

Dean Black Brook (The Gorge)

North Utsire

Cucumber, Tomato & Beetroot Raita

This really is a great, cooling raita which goes alongside curries, salads, grilled fish, meats, bean dishes and just about anything else you can think of. It keeps well and I make up a big batch of it in two mixing bowls and work my way through it over a few days alongside different dishes. I find it cool and pleasantly moistening to the mucous membranes, so it can be used in your kitchen pharmacy to rebalance your gut after periods of excess or in hot weather for example. The asafoetida adds a really interesting dimension to the raita, so don’t try to skip using it. Many brands of asafoetida contain some kind of wheat flour so be careful if you are on a gluten free diet; the best asafoetida in my opinion is mixed with fenugreek powder instead, which compliments the earthy flavour very well. 

2 medium boiled, peeled and chopped beetroot
1 medium chopped cucumber
4 chopped vine tomatoes
1 cup thick yoghurt or coconut cream
Salt to taste
2 tsp demerara sugar
2 tsp finely chopped green chillies
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
Pinch of asafoetida (hing)
Handful of  roasted cashew nuts
1/4 cup freshly grated coconut
(alternatively 2Tbsp dried coconut)
Bunch of finely chopped coriander (dhania)
Mixed seeds

  1. Combine the beetroot, cucumber, tomatoes, yoghurt, salt, sugar and green chilies in a deep bowl, mix well and keep aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a small non-stick pan and add the cumin seeds.
  3. When the seeds crackle, add the asafoetida and sauté on a medium flame for 15 seconds.
  4. Pour this tempering over the raita and mix well.
  5. Add the cashews, coconut and coriander and mix well.
  6. If using dessicated coconut, cover with boiling water & soak for 30 mins- 1 hour before adding to raita
  7. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
  8. Serve chilled, with sprinkled seeds on top

North Utsire