Archives for June 2010

Just a small one please barman

Simon Mayo | 08:50 UK time, Wednesday, 30 June 2010

An early morning trip to the airport to pick our eldest who is returning from teaching in Uganda. My gift is a bottle of the local fire water called Waragi. 'Anyone who was mad', he says, 'was drinking this'. Well that's a recommendation. Anyone tasted it? Will it mix with say, bitter lemon? Advice welcome.

If it hasn't rotted my brain completely we'll be live at 5 with the Scissor Sisters. Their new album is Night Work and features the most extraordinary bottom on the cover. Fire With Fire is a great pop single and you can hear Jake and Babydaddy (yes I know) here after 6.

And Ken Clarke the Justice Secretary is talking prisons today so we shall too. Loads of great songs about jail, please leave your thoughts below.

Got to go, I hear the sound of drinks being poured...

It's been fun.

Quo pro umquam

Simon Mayo | 08:47 UK time, Tuesday, 29 June 2010

A little precipitation greets the morn here which means a wardrobe rethink methinks. This morning's musical selection includes Tired Pony (again) as they are on the show very soon and the album really repays regular listens. And then the new Robert Plant CD looks mighty tempting...

Loved having Judy Collins on yesterday, she still has the voice which has made her such an institution. And then the text from listener Tim suggesting I had borrowed his copy of Amazing Grace 40 years ago for an assembly my Dad (who was a Headmaster) was planning! I don't think I ever gave it back either. How many records in your possession don't actually belong to you? Maybe it is time for an amnesty. Whose records do you have?

After 6 today Quo man Francis Rossi. I shall dedicate Rossi songs to my old form tutor Mr Batstone who lent me his copy of Piledriver. It must have been 1973 and I have no idea why he lent it to me, he just did. And that early Status Quo has always sounded great to me (for the curious, I think the Latin above means Quo for ever but I might be wrong about that).

And with a Russian spy ring being broken in the USA, let's do spying please on the oldies. We are back to encrypted messages, nuclear secrets and agents on 'deep-cover' missions. Is it 1962 Simon?

Enjoy your Tuesday but check no one's following.

Moving on then....

Simon Mayo | 08:30 UK time, Monday, 28 June 2010

Morning all. Another summer's day starts the week with Andy Murray in cracking form and the England cricket team becoming the first team of any nationality to beat Australia in their recent test series, one-day tournament and 20-20 match.

So that's all right then.

Give us 24 hours and we'll be fine. But permit us at least one day of angst, breast beating and hair pulling. You remember your losing oldies? We kept hold of them, just in case. New ones might have occurred recently of course, so leave all suggestions below and take it all on the collective chin later.

Meanwhile we can look forward to the appearance of the legendary Judy Collins playing and singing live today. She played Glastonbury yesterday and has a new album out called Paradise. She duets with Joan Baez on Diamonds and Rust and Stephen Stills on Tom Paxton's The Last Thing On My Mind. She also sings songs by Tim Hardin and Jimmy Webb. Welcome back Judy!

Be of good cheer! Heads up! Staomachs in! What else could go wrong?

The party continues...

Simon Mayo | 08:53 UK time, Friday, 25 June 2010 least till Sunday. And then maybe Wednesday. And then? Maybe leave it there. But a beautiful weekend in prospect and a climactic Sunday afternoon in prospect. And just a thought for everyone who decided this Sunday at 3 was a perfect time for a church/school/local fete. Ho hum.

Last night went to see The Avett Brothers, a band Bob Harris has been playing for years. You may well have heard their current album and single 'I and Love and You' on Radio 2 quite a bit recently. Its punky bluegrass really, somewhere between the Pogues and Mumford and Sons and it was one of those gigs where you realise that although you have just the current album, everyone else around you has their entire back catalogue. And applauds every song like a long lost and much loved brother. Anyway they were great fun and the Glastonbury campers will have a treat this weekend.

So another sun-drenched all request Friday beckons. That unbeatable, standard setting opening tune is down to you of course. Choose wisely.

See you at 5.05!

Forget the Germans, just remember the poles

Simon Mayo | 09:08 UK time, Thursday, 24 June 2010

Well it seems a morning to think of tent erecting. You'll be lost without them. Beautiful day, Glastonbury throng assembling (including Sally Traffic with her teepee already erected by some muscled son of the soil. And maybe a Pole?) and a summer of live music all ready to go. Personally I'd rather go for a quiet room in the local hostelry ("another bottle of Chablis Mr Mayo?") but I have served my time under canvass. And the last 2 occasions appeared to be sub-zero nights so resolved never to do it again. Until August at least when I will be forced to do it all again. So let's do Glastonbury/festival going oldies please if you wouldn't mind. I'll start with "Mud Mud Glorious Mud" even if it looks as though there won't be any.

Nigel appears to be going for Goulash tonight to mark the fact that Hungary er, didn't qualify for the World Cup but you might be, you know, well, a little hungry by then. It has always been too soupy for my taste but I'm sure Nigel can tart it up nicely. Personally I'd have rather had a bit of German sausage (titter yee not) and a stein of frothing Bavarian beer. But maybe we'll save that for Sunday.

Enjoy your day! By your radio for 5 if you wouldn't mind...

Not distracted at all. Oh no.

Simon Mayo | 09:09 UK time, Wednesday, 23 June 2010

I'm writing this in the garden with a background of Chris and his uplifting tunes, birdsong and binmen. And if you listen very carefully the sound of the English amongst us holding our breath. Work is being completed early, schools arranging for some post exam TV viewing (with apologies to German GCSE sufferers who haven't quite finished) and even the gloomiest have a quiet moment of hope. Until 3 anyway.

So who knows what today's show will feel like? The oldies needed therefore could go 2 ways. I need 2 from each of you. A 'relief/that's ok then' song and a 'what a shambles' song. We'll programme in a either/or frame of mind and adjust to suit.

I can tell you that Leo Sayer is on the show after 6 but the Shoreham boy says he's Australian now and so that's no use really. He's part of a 70s tour with The Osmonds and others and will explain more on today's show.

Meantime someone has arranged for me to record an interview with the Scissor Sisters at 4. I might have just leave the TV on and explain my rudeness. My guess is they haven't been following this one.

See you at 5 and come on England *waves flag in enthusiastic not ironic way*

Buddy can you spare a dime?

Simon Mayo | 09:16 UK time, Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Greetings to all Drivetimers (I have decided after much procastination to give Drivetime a capital D if that's ok with you). It's the last GCSE this morning here, concluding with Drama, and what a relief that is. Parents working just as hard as students and somehow still watching less tv. How does that happen?

Anyway by the time we are on today that emergency budget will have been pronounced and we will all be poorer. But the good news is that there are many fine tunes that have been written about a pretty fundamental lack of cash. We will pick some to play today if you fancy choosing one...

And today we look forward to having Chris Difford on the show. He came in last year with Glenn Tillbrook and sang a couple of great Squeeze oldies which was terrific stuff but he has a new solo album now. It's called "Cashmere If You Can" and is stuffed full of great tunes. A Squeeze album shouldn't be far off either, but more later with Mr Difford.

See you at 5.05!

South London meets South America

Simon Mayo | 08:39 UK time, Monday, 21 June 2010

So it's a sunny day above Radio 2 central and welcome to another week on Drivetime. Wimbledon starts today of course and I'm still half expecting to spend the next 2 weeks on Centre Court. Covering the all-England finals on 5 Live was one of the extraordinary gigs I was asked to do and I can tell you that team led by our tennis correspondent Jonathan Overend is one of the finest anywhere. Hopefully they will be part of the Drivetime mix over the next 2 weeks. Matt will sneak off there at every opportunity of course.

Father's day brought a text from son 1 in Uganda and 2 homemade cards from daughter 1 and son 2 at home, and a crate of a Diet drink in bottles. Classy huh? Apart from that, we were toasting the Kiwis after their terrific result against the Italians and texting our friends in Auckland to check they had removed and twirled their shirts too.

And today we bring you a touch of Brazilian magic in the shape of producer/composer/bandleader/friend of Pele, Sergio Mendez (his album "Bom Tempo" is this morning's blog music). A bit of South American style after 6 and all the rest is pretty Anglo/Saxon/Celt really.

And those oldies? Back to Wimbledon! Tennis and All England Club-related tunes please...

See you at 5.05

Warming up for the Ing-er-land

Simon Mayo | 09:24 UK time, Friday, 18 June 2010

Morning all. Today's musical accompaniment is Chris Difford's new album "Cashmere If You Can" which you can only get in weekly installments at the moment. Its a new online idea from the Squeeze man and you find out more on Tuesday's programme. Needless to say, many fine tunes on the cd which will come out eventually.

Because of the football on 5Live, just the one show today (movie wittertainment to be found tomorrow at 11). But an all request Friday ahead of an England match is going to be great fun I think. I have always loved Simon Barnes the Times' chief sports writer and today he says this:
"You don't have to believe in football to be part of the World Cup, you don't even have to like the stuff. You certainly don't have to believe that England will win it. You just have to think it would be quite nice if they did-and once that thought gets through, you're a goner."

So welcome all to the 'community of anguish'. Let's have a party and let it begin at 5.05 with something special. And that, of course, is where you come in...

A quick p.s.

Simon Mayo | 09:47 UK time, Thursday, 17 June 2010

And for those oldies? Well it is that extraordinary occasion that is Ladies Day at Ascot today. So lets do hats, fillies, high heels and all-manner of dressing up for today from 5. That should keep you busy for a while.

Bhota! Goeie More!

Simon Mayo | 09:06 UK time, Thursday, 17 June 2010

This morning's musical accompaniment for blog writing is Johnny Flynn's Been Listening album. Great stuff out of the same part of the musical spectrum as Mumford and Sons and Laura Marling. In fact there's a track here called "The Water" which is a duet with Ms Marling and is one of the most beautiful tacks I've heard this year. Must try to play today...

It is South African food today as Nige goes for a classic dish called Bobotie. Now anyone who has gone to S Africa will testify to how meaty the whole place is. It's a tough time for a vegetarian there and dead easy for all carnivores. There is a terrific mix of traditions and flavours as you would imagine and this dish has some history to it. It is usually a beef or pork based mince dish with an eggy topping and fruit and curry powder. You get the general idea. The perfect dish to impress your friends when they pop round for a bit of football tomorrow at 7.30.

And in case you were wondering, Bhota! and Goeie More! is good morning in Xhosa and Afrikaans. But you almost certainly knew that already.

In the presence of greatness volume 3

Simon Mayo | 09:21 UK time, Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Let's face it, every Tom Dick and Harry has a greatest hits collection. Or maybe every Beaky, Mick and Titch. You certainly don't need a collection. One or maybe two smallish hits and you're in. So the arrival of most compilations should be treated with caution. Not this one however. Today we welcome one of the greats to Drivetime as Steve Winwood is our guest. His new 'The Very Best of..' is a treat and as I write this I'm listening to the extended 4 disc version: Traffic, Spencer Davies, Blind Faith and his solo work is all here.

Finding out stuff you never knew is one of life's constant excitements and I must confess to not having heard some of these Traffic songs until now. I loved "Hole In My Shoe" and had the single with a picture cover, a gift from my parents as I remember. If they had really understood psychedelic rock they might have bought Esther and Abi Ofarim instead. Now I learn that Steve never really liked the song (that's "Hole..." not anything by the Ofarims)hence it doesn't appear here. Anyway, it's Steve Winwood after 6.

Also today to mark the arrival of Spain at the World Cup, let's play loads of Spanish stuff. Tapas, castanets, matadors and sangria-you know how it works.

Enjoy Wednesday and see you at 5.05

Hello, Good Evening etc

Simon Mayo | 09:22 UK time, Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Post Wiggles, obviously the week calms down somewhat. So many people saying they had distraught children who couldn't speak to their Aussie heroes! Too many raised hopes and expectations. The thing they get right is that they appear to love what they do and there isn't an ounce of cynicism in their act. And you don't want to punch them in the way, say, you might with the pink dinosaur...

Today we welcome the one and only David Frost to Drivetime. He has a fascinating show on satire on the BBC this week. Everybody talks to David so the show is packed with top stars and great moments and in his honour, lets get some oldies that reference comedy in some way. NOT comedy records please but stuff like Ha! Ha! Said the Clown would be lovely.

Must dash, have to spend the next 2 hours trying to wake a teenager. Toughest part of the day coming up.

Toot toot, wiggle wiggle etc

Simon Mayo | 09:12 UK time, Monday, 14 June 2010

Hello to all Drivetimers! Hope your weekend was everything you wanted on Friday. I attended a lovely wedding in Devon, notable for having lovely weather a beautiful couple and no TV. Who would have thought it? We all survived somehow and probably emerged into Sunday more chilled and less stressed than everyone else. Maybe I'm onto something here...

So today's show features "The Wiggles". Now that might mean nothing to you but if you have kids aged 3-8 or have had kids that age in the last 10 years you may well know about this bunch of ex-teachers from Australia. They were for 5 years the biggest entertainment earners down under only recently pipped by AC/DC. They do kid's songs and shows that to us had the huge advantage of not being "Barney the Dinosaur". Anyway they are in the UK for shows so they make their Drivetime debut today. The Toot Toot reference above is a line from one of their songs by the way. In case you thought I'd lost it.

And for those lovely oldies, well how about songs to mark the glories of High Definition TV? What a great idea that new tv must have seemed when you had it delivered. You know what to do and where to do it I feel.

Vuvuzelas out! ARF ahoy!

Simon Mayo | 08:57 UK time, Friday, 11 June 2010

Well after yesterdays revelation that flags on your car van lose you 3-6 miles per gallon, I see no one is taking any notice and they are all flying high today. I really enjoy these early days of a tournament when everyone is happy and excited and there is that 'anything can happen' feeling. I know some people can't be bothered but it is some spectacle going on in South Africa. And most of the fun can be had in being surprised by teams and players you know next to nothing about but suddenly they are heroes/villains/cheats/genius and so on. I blew my vuvuzela at the family this morning. As you can imagine, it went down really well.

Off first to 5Live for movies with Mark Kermode today at 12 as the opening ceremony starts around 1pm and then our joyous offering of an "All request Friday" for you from 5. What can we delight you with? Go on, set the pulses racing.

Have a great Friday and toot that horn if you get a moment...

Feeling chilli?

Simon Mayo | 09:16 UK time, Thursday, 10 June 2010

Well thanks to everyone who got involved with our World Cup wallchart yesterday, we got a fantastic response. Our lovely online people will get on the case and turn it all into something pretty (although they don't know it yet). I ended up with Portugal which isn't too bad, Matt has Ivory Coast and Pauline ended up with South Korea. All adds to the spice of the next month.
Speaking of which, Nige is back and it's a chilli con carne special tonight. It is, he says, an England/USA dish. A British friend of mine in Nashville is having a cheese and pickle vs hot dogs occasion, so Nigel is making a Texan meal but with English ingredients. Hungry already? Nigel after 6 as ever.
And it being world cup eve of course, let's have your internationally themed oldies please, with a hint of South Africa? That would be a lovely thing...
See you at 5.05...

Hello, good evening, oh, er...

Simon Mayo | 09:06 UK time, Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Really enjoyed yesterday's show, full of good stuff I thought. And only Radio 2 will bring you Kevin Whately talking about Northumbrian pipes and singing a version of "Four Strong Winds". Very unassuming chap but always got lots to say.

Well yesterday on the show I confidently proclaimed that David Frost was my guest today. That appeared to be right last night but appears less so this morning. To be honest, I'm not sure what's happening after 6 so had better wait for clarity. I will update you.

I can with certainty promise you Matt's middle aged mid-week mosh and our oldies themed loosely around the imminent Le Mans 24 race which is this weekend. Petrol headed frenzy!

Once I know more about today I'll blog again...

(shouts) "Lewis!"

Simon Mayo | 09:43 UK time, Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Well I know that's the old series but I still think of Lewis being hailed heartily by Morse as they go off on another crime-solving adventure together. He's now the boss of course and DS Hathaway the junior partner in crime-solving. Inspector Lewis is a hit for ITV and Kevin Whately is in today after 6. Morse started when I was on breakfast on Radio 1 and I loved the weekly murder mystery as I could see the whole thing - case solved n'all! - and still be in bed on time. It was bliss. Loved Morse, love Lewis and looking forward to Kevin on Drive today.

Also today as part of our Student Essentials campaign, more top coping advice for families stuck in revision hell. Never mind the students, it's the families that suffer. If there's something for parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts to do that will help, we'll find it!

Now for the oldies today, you need to think water. It's World Oceans Day as I'm sure you know and will be marking in your own way. So let's talk seas, lakes, ponds and H2O wherever it is found. As it threw it down this morning, I'll open with World of Water and leave the rest to you. In that box there. Thank you for your co-operation. See you at 5.05.

Taking it easy

Simon Mayo | 09:07 UK time, Monday, 7 June 2010

Hello all, hope the weekend was all you wanted it to be. I went to see a few songs by the great Laura Marling last night. She was playing in one of these private London clubs where you know everyone is young, achingly trendy AND KNOW NOTHING ABOUT MUSIC. I know this because for the most part, they talked all the way through Laura's songs. Which, considering she's going to be a big star, was a pretty dumb thing to do. And one day when she's world famous they'll be able to tell their children 'Oh yeah Laura Marling. I talked all the way through one of her sets once. Aren't I the fool?' and the answer will be yes.

So with that in mind, no talking allowed during Jackson Browne today. He has a new live album out called "Love Is Strange" and will be at Radio 2 after 6. Like Don MacLean, I've grown up listening to his songs and it'll be a real treat to have him on the show. We started the show on Friday with his song "Take it Easy" co-written with Glenn Frey and we should play his version tonight I feel.

And to mark Tom Jones' 70th birthday (yes really) let's have some songs for the great man in the box below. Not songs by Tom (we'll do that anyway) but for him. What do you fancy?

50s 60s 70s 80s 90s Go!

Simon Mayo | 22:57 UK time, Thursday, 3 June 2010

Sometimes you have a meal that stays with you for a while. Yesterday's slow cooked pork was one such meal. Pictures are available elsewhere on these pages. Not only was it delicious but it was the largest piece of pork I have ever been served. I'm still not hungry and won't need to eat till Sunday. I'm like a snake digesting a gazelle. And that Bramley apple sauce was something else too. Nice one Lawrence!

So here we are with a glorious Friday on the way and (unlike yesterday) a weekend of decent weather to follow. We offer you an all request Friday back to normal after the 60's show last week. Whatever you want, get in touch after 5 or choose that belter of an opening tune below - 5 decades of hits to chose from, over to you.

Already looking forward to Jackson Browne on Monday and Kevin Whately on Tuesday but a weekend of stressed exam revision in the Mayo house first. Its the big week of exams coming up and parents/grandparents/uncles/aunties inevitably feel the strain. A nice little message board is up and running if you need some solidarity. Look for the student essentials pages just under Katie Melua's nose on my pages. Which you might have seen already.

In the meantime, enjoy your Friday and see you at 5.05.

Still warming up

Simon Mayo | 07:32 UK time, Thursday, 3 June 2010

Out 2 nights in a row? Good grief what age do you think you are? One night it's Mark Knopfler, then it's some open air theatre. Think I'll slow down a bit for the rest of the week in preparation for the weekend. After the show yesterday, I went hot foot to Regents Park where the open air theatre there was putting on "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller. Tuesday would have been a disaster as it didn't stop raining but last night was stunning. A great cast, a classic play and an audience of 600 or so. What I hadn't realised was that everyone takes very elaborate munchies with them. I managed a sandwich and crisps but everyone else had wine, champagne, salads, hog roasts and assorted dips. Oh yes and coats and hats. A beautiful evening that just got colder and colder as nights tend to do. By the time of the climactic final scene between John and Elizabeth Proctor I was in need of thermals and a cup-a-soup. But a great evening nonetheless.
So today ladies and gentlemen of the drive time collective, we offer you some pork belly in the company of Lawrence Keogh, head chef at London's "Roast" restaurant. Nigel is off for some compulsory family time and so Lawrence is your man to get the juices flowing after 6.
And of course your oldie selection should be thinking about the demise of "Last of the Summer Wine". After 37 years and 30 series it has reached the end. Let's hear it for Compo Clegg et all in the box below.
Have a great Thursday and see you at 5.05.

Salute the Knopf!

Simon Mayo | 08:14 UK time, Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Last night to see Mark Knopfler and his band at the Royal Albert Hall. I've seen Mark close up at Maida Vale and he has come in the studio and played but I've never seen the whole band thing. What is obvious is that he only plays with the most accomplished musicians, many of whom he has been playing with for a while. I'll mention two. Firstly John McCusker who is simply the man you want on fiddle (and many other instruments) and Mike McGoldrick on pipes (and many other instruments). Stunning to watch and a masterclass on its own, without even looking at the Knopf. We got loads of Mark's solo stuff along with Sultans of Swing, Telegraph Road, Brothers in Arms and Romeo and Juliet. Band members of Dire Straits waiting for the renunion might have to wait a while longer I think.
Oh yes, and Mark was sitting down for the gig due a bad back. Along with at least half of his audience.

So today Drivetimers we offer you writer Tony Parsons who has another sequel to "Man And Boy" out called "Men From The Boys", he's on after 6.

And at the risk of antagonising the good Dr Kermode, I think we should be choosing songs to mark "Sex and the City 2" being the UK and Ireland's number 1 film, taking 6 million pounds in 3 days. You might love it. You might agree with Mark ("its vile and putrid"). Either way, your song choices below, thank you!

Radio 2 Slash Drive

Simon Mayo | 09:49 UK time, Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Post bank holiday greetings. Personally, one day was enough. 4 lots of of chips in 6 meals, lemon drizzle cake for one of the others, torrential rain and the heating back on for a few hours. And I haven't made it back yet. If you could all just keep the A12 clear that would be lovely.

Did manage rain induced viewing of Prince of Persia which was terrific fun. Sand sandals and whinging princesses always good fun and it was the classic wet bank holiday fare.

Today sees Drive back to normal. We start at 5 and my guest is the man Time magazine ranked no.2 in the top 10 electric guitarists of all time. He is Slash and he has a solo album out with a a series of guest vocalists like Lemmy and Ozzy. It's good stuff too so don't miss him after 6.

Also today, let's have songs to mark 30 years of rolling news. CNN started on this day in 1980 and 24 hour news was born, transforming politics and pretty much everything it touches. Suggestion box below.

See you at 5 (A12 permitting).

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