Dave Greenfield – 29th March 1949 – 3rd May 2020

Dave Greenfield RIP. I guess I knew one day I’d be writing this. I think it’s fair to say though I thought that day would be a fair few years from now. Not a great week it has to be said, certainly not a great one for synth, keyboard, piano players. Dave Greenfield, Florian Schneider and Little Richard all gone within a week of each other. read more

Top 10 Guitar Solos (as of September 2017)

Subject to change at any moment a dose of manflu allows me to indulge in the following during a fit of boredom. Which brings us nicely onto the first entry…

Buzzcocks – Boredom

A real punk two fingered salute to the prog rock guitar noodling before it. Shelley’s two note solo leads the way. B’dum b’dum!

XTC – Books Are Burning (Late Show Version)

XTC’s Andy Partridge called a halt to live performances following an unfortunate bout of anxiety whilst performing a gig in 1982 (captured on video below)

So he must’ve dug deep to perform on TV 10 years later to promote their fantastic Nonsuch album. Andy’s guitar solo has to be up there with the greatest.

David Bowie – Scary Monsters

Robert Fripp’s guitar work throughout this track is pretty nuts. The guitar work towards the end is quite something.

When Bowie toured in the 90s this was a regular in the setlist. Reeves Gabrels gives it some welly.
Incidentally Reeves throws a wonderful solo into Tin Machine’s Roxy Music cover of If There Is Something

Big Country – Wonderland

I have to throw Big Country into here. The band’s “bagpipe guitar” style and their output is worthy of a mention. Here we have Stuart Adamson and co extending the middle section in a live performance of Wonderland. They were always great live.

The Damned – Noise Noise Noise

I could’ve chosen just about any Sensible era Damned track for inclusion here. Captain Sensible is such an underrated guitarist.

The Stranglers – Goodbye Toulouse

Taken from their first album this track paves the way forward for Hugh’s signature guitar sound (Telecaster, no pedals, “angular”). A unique guitar sound which would see The Stranglers as the most successful punk band and gave them hit after hit from 1977 to Hugh’s departure in 1990.

Ultravox – All Stood Still

Losing serious cool points here I know (not that I had any to lose). So Midge Ure makes it into my Top 10 guitar solos?! Yeah get over it. Another underrated guitarist. Legend has it that Midge was called up to play for Thin Lizzy when Gary Moore left. Midge didn’t have time to prepare and only had the Concorde flight from UK to US to learn the tracks by ear that he was about to perform. Not a massive fan of Ultravox or Midge but this deserves a nod.

Frank Black – Bad Wicked World

Frank’s Teenager Of The Year album is a humdinger from start to finish. So many great tracks and a natural progression from his time in the Pixies. And Pixies guitarist provides us with this quirky solo that made me LOL when I first heard it.

Velvet Underground – Heard Her Call My Name

The steam train progression and feedback all over this solo make it something to behold. The live version of this track is also worth a listen on their reformed 1993 Live album.

Julian Cope – Charlotte Anne

Donald Ross Skinner laid down some fantastic guitar which was always buried in 80s production treacle. A great example is on Cope’s Charlotte Anne single from 88.

Mojo Magazine March 2010

Was going through some old magazines in the garage and found an old Mojo magazine. Forgot I got a mention

The Stranglers – Bradford St Georges Hall 2nd March 1990

This is where I check in.   My first gig of many.  14 years old. I had no fecking idea what I was getting myself into.

Even then I’d been a Stranglers fan for a few years – They were due to play this in Oct 1989 but they pushed back due to recording issues.  Bradford was part of the UK 10 Tour and it was pretty serious.  By today’s standards this was a mammoth UK tour which saw bomb scares and mass stage invasions (just fan love really).

It was winter.  I had to go with my mother. I was 14. Here’s what I wrote for Robert Endecott’s excellent Peaches book.

Setlist:  Shah Shah a Go Go, I Feel Like a Wog, Straighten Out, Shakin’ Like a Leaf, 96 Tears, Someone Like You, Sweet Smell of Success, Always the Sun, Ships That Pass in the Night, Peaches, Where I Live, School Mam, Let’s Celebrate, Tank, Uptown, Was It You?/Down in the Sewer

Although I would see many more gigs in my lifetime this one will always resonate.  Not just because it was my first but because a Hugh Cornwell fronted Stranglers was quite simply the best live band in the world.

The Stranglers – Leeds 25th March 2016

I was at this gig – Don’t remember much about it thanks to my good friend alcohol!

It was good- they played Black and White for the first half of the gig then followed it up with hits and bits.