Underworld’s ‘Eight Ball’ (Leaping Ahead #31)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #31: 160131

[A song that calms you down]

Actually, a more accurate theme descriptor for today’s song would be one that relaxes. And I don’t know what it is about ‘Eight Ball, but it never fails. There are lots of relaxing songs – tunes I can close my eyes and drift away to another place with. But this one rules. And it’s long enough to do by itself what other need albums for.

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Paolo Nutini’s ‘Pencil full of lead’ (Leaping Ahead #30)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #30: 160130

[A song that makes you smile]

I’ve never tired of this song. It makes me think of summer and vitality and long days in the sun and smiles and sharing life with good friends and just being. It’s a song of hope and laughter and contentment and joy all wrapped up into one. And when you see the zest of life portrayed in its creator performing it – you just know you’re on to a good thing.

Royal Blood – Come on over (Leaping Ahead #28)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #28: 160128

[A song from a band seen in 2014]

By far the most exciting band to invade the rock music genre in recent years, 2014 was absolutely Royal Blood’s year one! Formed in 2012 and catapulted to virtual overnight worldwide acclaim over a period of little over year, one of my first encounters was just a little while after the Worthing-based duo had used my daughter’s band’s studio for a practice session and had released a couple of radio-play singles from their unbelievably successful self-titled debut album.Don’t believe any of the type that they’re from Brighton; they’re not – but it sounds a lot sexier than Worthing and is close enough geographically I guess.

Anyway, cutting to the chase, a gig on their adopted home turf of Brighton was always going to be a hot potato. Tickets went on sale at 9:00 and were totally sold out 45 seconds later. I picked up the thread on my mobile and wistfully thought it would have been nice. So imagine my elation when my daughter’s phone call came to say that she’d been successful on the phone sales and there were two coming my way!

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The gig – on 20 December 2014 – was one of the best Christmas presents I could have hoped for. It was one of those subliminal experiences of a gig when you quite literally find nirvana for a couple of hours. Nothing else was important – just a drummer, a bassist and two hours of joy.

Joanne Shaw Taylor – Watch em burn (Leaping Ahead #27)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #27: 160127

[Song from a band seen live in 2015]

I have long wanted to catch Joanne Shaw Taylor live. So, when the opportunity came in October last year in a local venue called ‘The Ropetackle Centre’ I willingly grabbed it. Not a lot can beat that – a brilliant blues band at a venue on my doorstep and within walking distance of my favourite pub. No brainer. She was brilliant!

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Van Halen’s ‘Eruption’ (Leaping Ahead #26)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #26: 160126

[Favourite guitar riff (1)]

Although the original 1978 studio album version is only just shy of two minutes long, when I had the good fortune of seeing Eddie Van Halen do ‘Eruption’ live back in the early 80’s, the solo came as a thirty-five minute encore to a 90-minute set. It’s now widely regarded as one of the greatest guitar solos of all time; I certainly have no argument with that although there will be others as the Leaping Ahead Project continues throughout 2016.

J S Bach – Air on a G String (Leaping Ahead #25)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #25 (160125)

[A favourite classical piece]

The second movement from Bach’s orchestral suite No.3 in D major is most famously associated in the jazz arrangement of it played by the Jacques Loussier Trio as the accompaniment to the ‘Happiness is a cigar called Hamlet’ tobacco adverts. These ran on British TV from 1966 through 1991 when they were finally banned.