2007 - 2020

Friday Night Howff

howff /haʊf/. A favourite meeting place or haunt, especially a pub.

Welcome to the Howff, Bella’s boozer for the cultural void and your lounge for the lockdown. We are featuring and promoting artists and musicians who are now gigless cos of da virus. As everyone tries to move live events online and survive the domestic incarceration. Each night we feature a different artist and put up a bunch of other stuff.

DOCMA Is an international project uniting short film makers reflecting the coronavirus experience. We post a series of these short films every day as part of the Howff: “5 minutes, 5 filmmakers, 5 films, 5 doc styles, 1 theme, 1 film.”

DOCMA #73 – the theme is BED.

Made as part of the DOCMA Lockdown Challenge – May 2020

1 – Eugenia Kamozinova – Interview
2 – Jamie Wardrop – Observational
3 – Daniel Manastireanu – Single Shot
4 – Lewis Wardrop – Archive
5 – Frances McMillan – Stills & Sound

DOCMA#073 BED from D O C M A on Vimeo.

We also bring you No 21 of Stewart Bremner’s epic lockdown playlist, Groove On.

This is an hour and a half of great music for your weekend – and you can listen to the entire back-catalogue for free right here.


Stewart’s sleave notes …

“And we’re back with Episode 21, which is entirely composed of songs that have been more famously covered and lesser known covers of famous songs. It begins with Carl Perkins original of ‘Blue Suede Shoes’, as famously covered very soon after by Elvis Presely. Then it’s Them doing James Brown’s ‘Out Of Sight’ in 1965, one year after his version.

In 1981 Billy Idol had a hit with ‘Mony Mony’, but it was not as big a hit as Tommy James & The Shondells had in 1968, although these days it’s less well known.

By 1969, Ella Fitzgerald was singing her take on soul and rock songs, including the Smokey Robinson-penned hit for the The Temptations, ‘Get Ready’. Sticking with soul for a few more songs, we have ‘Tainted Love’, a mostly-forgotten gem by Gloria Jones that became a huge hit for Soft Cell. Then it’s The Supreme’s take on the Barrett Strong hit ‘Money (That’s What I Want)’, which like many Tamla/Motown songs was recorded by many in-house artists.

Two-tone nutters Madness took their name from a song of the same name by ska legend Prince Buster, and in fact covered the song on the debut b-side of their debut single.

In 1968 Otis Redding had a huge hit with ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay’, however few people have heard Roberto Roena Y Su Apollo Sound’s 1969 groovy Latin jazz take, titled ‘El Pato De La Bahia’. Conversely, everyone knows Peggy Lee’s take on ‘Fever’, but few know the version by Little Willie John recorded a year earlier 1956.

Another song that is something of a standard is ‘You Are My Sunshine’. While there is not really a definitive version, its doubtful you’ve heard Dyke & The Blazers’s funky as hell take, recorded in 1969.

In Episode 16 we had The Coasters’ take on ‘Love Potion No.9’, this time it’s the 1959 original by The Clovers. ‘Peacemaker’ by Rosko is a 1973 reworking of ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’, which was composed by Richard Strauss in 1896, and featured prominently in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Oddessey.

Next is a lesser-known original, ’Hey Joe’ by The Leaves, and a lesser-known cover, ‘I Can See For Miles’ by Lord Sitar. Then it’s the scandalously overlooked original version of ‘Shake, Rattle And Roll’ by Big Joe Turner, which could only be a hit in 1954 when some white guys did a version of it a few months later.

Count Basie and His Orchestra now, with a swinging take on ‘From Russia With Love’ from a delightful album of James Bond music called Basie Meets Bond. That’s followed by Dawn Penn’s original rocksteady version of ‘No, No, No’ from 1967, which she revisited in 1994 and had a minor international hit.

‘For What It’s Worth’ by Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66, is a fabulously funky and downtempo version of the Buffalo Springfield hit. ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes is the first and fabulously disco take that both Thelma Houston and the Communards had bigger hits.

Some more Latin jazz now, with a funky jazz reworking of the Rolling Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter’ by vibraphonist Cal Tjader, recorded in 1973. Then we get ‘He’s Gonna Step On You Again’, a UK top ten hit for South African singer John Kongos in 1971 that was covered by the Happy Mondays in 1990.

‘Darker Shade Of Black’ was recorded in 1966 by Jamaican keyboard legend Jackie Mittoo and is a version of the Beatles’ ‘Norwegian Wood’. In 1983, Bananarama had a hit with ‘Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye’, however here we have Steam’s original version that is far more soulful.

The episode ends with jazz organ legend The Incredible Jimmy Smith, on a rare vocal outing covering ‘Got My Mojo Working’, a song mostly associated with Muddy Waters. Listen out for the fabulous organ solo, that just keeps on building. It’s a rare treat.”

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