River Stone

This muddy stream is in the woods in Sale, a dirty tributary that I’m guessing ends up in the Mersey. Musically, today I offer you a delightfully strange song and its dub, both from the magic hands of Lee Perry and Zap Pow, recorded at Perry’s Black Ark at some point in the 1970s (1977 I think). The original track is slowly wonky, vocal harmonies and horns and a lilting rhythm. The dub, River Stone, is dubbier and less strange, strangely. A river that smells of sweet herbs and drifts towards the sea.

All The Peacemakers

I heard this out over the weekend, played over a decent sized PA, and it sounded even better than it usually does- what’s more after checking I’m amazed that in the last five years and eight months I’ve been doing this thing I’ve never posted it. Junior Murvin’s Police And Thieves, released in 1977 and produced by Lee Scratch Perry with The Upsetters providing the music, is one of reggae’s truly great tunes. Scratch produced it along with The Heptones’ Party Time and Max Romeo’s War Ina Babylon in a burst of Back Ark inspired creativity. The guitar is lighter than air, the rhythm perfect and Murvin’s falsetto vocal floats over the top while burying its way into your head.

Police And Thieves

Echo And Delay

A short film for Father’s Day with our patron Andrew Weatherall talking about record collecting, rockabilly and dub, echo, delay, space and transcendence.

And here’s a Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry production from the heart of the 1970s, The Black Notes.

African Style

In Granada

Joe Strummer fell in love with Granada in Spain, visiting first with girlfriend Palmolive, drummer of the Slits. He returned there often including spending time there in 1984, sheltering from the fall out of sacking Mick Jones and taking The Clash Mk II on the road, when these pictures were taken. He continued to visit for the rest of his life. In May last year he had a square named after him- Plaza de Joe Strummer. He also produced local local punk band 091, who he first heard on a jukebox in a bar. Like Joe’s hi-tops I’m not sure they’ve dated very well.

Complete Control was released 37 years ago yesterday. Complete Control, written to complain about the record company and Bernard Rhodes (who told the band he wanted ‘complete control’, who then pissed themselves laughing). Complete Control vies with (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais and Bankrobber as the greatest non-album single The Clash made. The original version was produced by Lee Scratch Perry and then remixed by Mick Jones.

This live version is one of the most exciting things you will ever see or hear.

‘I don’t trust you, so do you trust me?’
‘You’re my guitar hero’

Thor’s Stone

One of last year’s most adventurous and dark albums came from Forest Swords, a resident of deepest Wirral. This Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry remix doesn’t make things any less dark or less weird than what you can find on the Engravings lp but it adds a certain something and dubs it up fine style. ‘I hate evil energy’ says Lee at the start. Thirty seconds later the bass kicks in and Lee’s still chuntering over the digital rhythms, ghostly backing vocals and bubbling synths. Very, very good. Addictive. The Soundcloud player won’t embed, listen to it here.

The original sounds like this…

Thor’s Stone

Thor’s Stone, picture at the top, is a rocky sandstone outcrop on Thurstaston Common, in the Wirral- supposedly with links back to Viking ceremonies.


70s dub is really hitting the spot right now- like this Lee Perry production of Leo Graham from Black Ark. Perfect for Sunday mornings.


Playground Mix

Back to the playground (and the classroom) for me today. Let’s start the week with a smashing mix from The Orb, featuring mainly The Orb but also Lee Perry, Madlib, Cypress Hill and Vangelis (from the Bladerunner soundtrack …’I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t imagine…attack ships on fire off the Shoulder of Orion, C-Beams at the Tannhauser gate…’). A pretty relaxed mix all round.

Baghdad Batteries – THE ORB
Interlude – MADLIB
Outland’s (Fountains Of Elisha Mix ) – THE ORB 
Legalise It – CYPRESS HILL
Fussball (Instrumental) – THE ORB 
You’re Heard – DAEDELUS & TEEBS 
Frogtime – SCREEN 
Moon Building Part 3 Ambient – THE ORB UNRELEASED 
Jahara – TEEBS 
Tears In The Rain – VANGELIS