Audrey Hall – One Dance Won’t Do

Music Monday

This was one of may favourite Lovers’ Rock Reggae hits of the 80s. Honey-voiced Audrey Hall first came to my attention when she performed with legendary Jimmy Cliff on “Give the People What They Want”.

She went it alone with “One Dance Won’t Do” which she recorded in reply to Bere Hammond’s “What One Dance Can Do”

Following another song “Smile” that didn’t get very far, she dropped out of our lives. Never knew what happened to her – that voice was golden treasure.

Listening back now I can hear the popular whip-lashes that were also popular in New Romantic records of the time – giving it that real 80s feel. Here is she is in 1985 on Top Of The Pops.

Punk Wedding: The Rocker Covers

One of the wedding cakes – I daren’t publish the photo of the other…

My husband’s Nephew/Godson got married and we went to his wedding reception at the weekend. Johnny, in his early 50s, has been a punk-rocker since I could remember and we wondered what sort of entertainment could be provided for his extended family of roman catholics of Irish extraction. With it looking more like a Halloween party – complete with skull decorations, black and red themed balloons and two wedding cakes – one black, the other white with iced with expletives – we held our breath.

Their friends The Rocker Covers provided the answer. A talented trio who perform rock-a-billy-style covers of popular songs from the 50s to the present day. They are a serious band with albums and a contract with Greystone Records.

The Rocker Covers are a great band to dance to

So for my Music Monday this week: click on The Rocker Covers’ track ‘American Idiot’ (revved-up) to hear some cool sounds.

My husband who is 80, outdid all the youngsters with The Twist – his era was rock’n’roll. I was brought up on music from the 60s to the 80s, where you shuffled next to someone and did your thing rather than hold on to your partner. So we have invented our own way of dancing with each other – a sort of rock’n’roll / reggae, with a bit of lambada and salsa thrown in from having mixed with Brazilians and Spanish when we lived abroad. He circles me around while I pogo and wiggle my back-side. People think we are professional dancers – but when I am asked to dance by anyone else – they realise that I don’t know any of the formal dance steps.

So we had a great time – and I noticed that the over 50s tended to dance while the younger ones headed towards the room with the bar.

Those Were The Days-

Now a Nightclub called Lennon’s, this place in Onslow Road Southampton used to be The Onslow Pub. As a child I played with Susan the daughter of the landlord in the flat above. Then when I went to Art College I used to go along with friends to listen to the Bob Pearce Blues Band – Bob used to do his duckwalk along the bar and knock people’s drinks over. It was popular with students and throughout the punk era we used to discuss politics and think we were sorting out the world. Those were the days!


Whenever I pass by Lennon’s Bar in Onslow Road in Southampton, I think of the song “Those Were the Days”.  So for my Music Monday today, I present 5 different versions, so click on any of the underlined blue names to hear a YouTube track with video:

I first heard the song sung by Mary Hopkin when it went to No1 in the UK Charts in 1968. The Welsh folk-singer was one of the first to record on The BeatlesApple label and it was produced by Paul McCartney. The words on this version are credited to Gene Raskin.

However the tune was originally from an old Russian folk song called “By the Long Road” (Dorogoi Dlinnoyu). Composed by Boris Fomin with words by the poet Konstantin Podrevsky. It deals with reminiscence upon youth and romantic idealism. So more-or less about the same thing and why it haunts me. The most popular version sung in Russian, is by Sergey Lazarev.  The first recording of the song was made by Alexander Vertinsky in 1926.

After the Berlin wall came down in November 1989, I went to visit some British and American friends of mine working in Berlin. We went to a nightclub in East Berlin and Those were the Days by Mary Hopkin was played repeatedly after every few records.

Later in 1992, while I was working on the Algarve in Portugal, I went to a festival in Portimão and saw The Leningrad Cowboys, a Finnish rock band, perform their version in English. If you click on their name the short video that accompanies it is a real treat.

I think my favourite version has to be by The Paganini Duo, a gypsy band in Australia who play the traditional folk version with a violin.

A more recent cover, is sung movingly by  Cynthia Lennon  with a backdrop of Beatles photos. So, we have come full circle now to Lennon‘s – I doubt if you will find me in the club now, but “those were the days”.


Talent is talent

Teatro Cervantes de Malaga, Spain. Here for Donizetti's opera Elisir D'Amore © Southampton Old Lady
Teatro Cervantes de Malaga, Spain. Here for Donizetti’s opera Elisir D’Amore © Southampton Old Lady


Talent is talent whatever form it takes, I often tell people.

I am often met with surprise at my eclectic taste in art and music. How can I like classical artists such as Velasquez and also like Banksy?

How can I go and listen to a Mozart opera then go and listen to Johnny Rotten at a punk rock concert (they want to add “at your age”). In fact it was Public Image Limited (PIL)John Lydon (Rotten’s real name) moved on from punk in the 80s.

I tell them things like: “John Lydon uses his voice like an instrument which is what an opera singer does” (or a beat box singer for that matter) and that Mozart was a punk in his day who happened to be a creative genius.

My friend who is an opera singer is married to a lead singer in a rock band. They sent me this YouTube clip of Cristina Ramos, a contestant in Spain’s Got Talent 2016 who can sing a beautiful aria just well as a heavy rock number. It really is worth watching until the end…

Cristina Ramos on Spain's Got Talent 2016
Cristina Ramos on Spain’s Got Talent 2016