Tuesday Tunes 20: Lockdown Music – Part 2

Last week I went themeless in this series for the first time, by sharing some songs that had come out of lockdown, and I promised you some more. So here we go again: another selection of great tunes to amuse and entertain you and, in one case at least, to tug at your heart strings a little.

I began last week’s selection with Kate Rusby’s version of Manic Monday, by The Bangles. That was a track from her new album of covers – Hand Me Down – which will be released on 14 August. Several of you remarked how much you had liked it so I was planning to share the second video Kate has released from the album – well, I was, until Sunday. Throughout lockdown Kate has also been sharing a video from home each week in what she calls her ‘Singy Songy Sessions,’ SSS for short. On Sunday she gave us SSS#20, which was my favourite of all of her songs. This is Underneath The Stars, which is the title track from her 4th studio album (5th if you count her retrospective album, 10), and was released in 2004. I have no idea why, but when the horn section makes its entrance into the song I always shed a tear – I’ve even done it when seeing her play the song live in concert. I thought I’d at least manage to get through it alright this time, as she couldn’t fit the horn players into her home studio. What could possibly go wrong? See for yourself:

Yes, it happened again, but this time I wasn’t alone! That is such a beautiful song, and I hope you like it too: the effect it has on me is testament to the power of music to move us. And do you think, if I asked them nicely, that Kate and Damien would high five me for also reaching twenty posts: our schedules have been closely aligned!

This week’s second tune is one of those that entertains us. Until they disbanded four years ago, Bellowhead were the biggest folk band in the UK – and they were popular in many other countries too. They were big in size – all eleven of them – and had taken the UK folk scene by storm, winning a number of awards including several for ‘Best Live Act.’ They were the band I had seen most often, comprising multi-talented musicians with an enormous sense of fun, both in their live shows and their occasional videos. They have been much missed and not just by me. But, a few weeks ago, they popped up on Facebook with a video of a kind of reunion. Thanks to technology, they had created a new version of one of their best known songs, which became a regular part of their live shows after it featured on their third album, Hedonism, which was released in 2010. Be prepared for an invasion of fun in your life:

I love the running gag of trumpeter Andy Mellon’s daughter appearing gradually until the sheer glee on her face when she leaps into shot with her poster – in case you hadn’t picked up that word! And Rachael appears to have learned a few dance moves from Bellamy Clark (see last week’s post).

The next tune is another happy, jaunty one too. You may have heard of Colbie Caillat, who has sold millions of records over the past dozen years or so, but you may not know her latest project: a band called Gone West. They have been together for a couple of years, though they knew each other from the days when the others were part of her touring band, and were co-songwriters. Their debut album, Canyons, was released in June, and they celebrated with an outdoor album launch among some stunning scenery. Recently, they have released a lockdown split screen version of their ‘theme tune,’ which is the opening track on the album. I do like a bit of country music, so this was a natural choice for me:

In rather different vein are another band who are superb live performers. I’d hazard a bet, though I’m not a gambler, that few of you will know of the Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain (UOGB). Am I right? They have also been releasing a series of videos from their homes during lockdown, all skilfully edited together. As with Bellowhead, there is a large element of fun about the UOGB, as you can see from many of their older YouTube videos: their versions of Theme From Shaft and Wuthering Heights are among my favourites. I doubt you’ll have seen a Lady Gaga song performed like this before, though:

They have been going since 1985, with several band changes along the way. They haven’t, as far as I know, made even the slightest dent on the albums chart, though they have released a dozen or so studio albums, plus some live ones and DVDs of their shows. To be honest, I think they are best as a live act – you get the full force of their musical skills that way, plus their wonderful collective sense of humour. Any band which can perform at the annual Proms series, play Beethoven’s Ode To Joy on ukuleles, and get around 1,000 audience members to bring their instruments and play along with them must have something going for them! If this has piqued your interest do check them out on YouTube – you won’t be disappointed.

Having stretched this series from two to, on occasion, three songs, I shared four last week and have now done so this week too. I’m kind of assuming that I might not do another lockdown tunes post – unless musicians keep feeding me new material – and I’m feeling slightly guilty that I teased you with another Kate Rusby song earlier. In my world, there is no such concept as a surfeit of Kate Rusby, so I’m begging your forbearance one more time. As an extra special bonus fifth tune for this week, here is that second video for a song on Kate’s new album:

Utterly charming! How can anyone not like that? I’m really looking forward to the album, and hopefully there might be more videos to support it. At this rate, I’d have a post of nothing but Kate, but even I can see that might be overdoing things a little. By the way, if you type ‘shake it off’ into the search box at the top of the page you’ll find a previous post about this song, in which I shared the Taylor Swift original and a cover by Walk Off The Earth. Three different treatments of the song, and they’re all great!

I hope you’re keeping well and that your brain hasn’t exploded with the effort of understanding all the changes to the UK lockdown rules. I’m just staying indoors unless I really have to go out: much easier that way! Take care, be safe, and I’ll see you again next Tuesday.

29 thoughts on “Tuesday Tunes 20: Lockdown Music – Part 2

  1. Pingback: Lens-Artist Photo Challenge: Geranium Inspiration & Corona’s The Rhythm of the Night song – priorhouse blog

  2. Music was my business for 40 some years, so I’m no snob until I start hearing the new wave of “Americana”. Even then, if they can pick, okay. But Mandolins fall under the same joke category as banjos and accordions.
    Like the definition of perfect pitch. A banjo, from thirty feet, into a dumpster without hitting the sides.The definition of a musical gentleman? Someone who knows how to play banjo, but won’t.
    Thanks for the lockdown videos. I like it when it’s down to the music sans the slick factor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It probably won’t surprise you to learn that I totally disagree with you on all three of those instruments! Vivaldi’s concerto for two mandolins? Plenty of good use of all of them in folk music around the world – they don’t need to be plugged into the power supply, in their natural state. But it would be boring if we all liked the same music, wouldn’t it?

      Glad you liked the videos, and thanks for reading – a lot of talent on display there. Now let me introduce you to Molly Tuttle and Sierra Hull…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I’m a fan of some country. And Kate Rusby who is simply magic. I knocked on Vivaldi’s door in Venice, just to say I had. All of those jokes are easily interchangeable with anything from trombones to synthesizers. Just like how many music critics does it take to change a light bulb? One. They stand and hold it expecting the world to spin around them. Which is why I’ll listen to anything. Once!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I give a try to some pretty strange stuff from YouTube recommendations, but often end up hitting the ‘don’t recommend’ option after one listen, or a part listen if it’s that bad! Yes, that joke is fairly universal, there’s a Trump version doing the rounds at present…


      • Kate’s lockdown videos have been fantastic, both the Singy Songy Sessions and the new ones for tracks from Hand Me Down. I’ll try and find your post. Manic Monday was in part one of my lockdown music posts – it’s one of the loveliest things I’ve watched in ages. Stage musicals aren’t my thing – so I’d guess that she’s too good for them 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kate’s song was great – and I’m glad she managed to get those horns in there. The song by Bellowhead was outstanding; I have never heard of them, but that is the best song I’ve heard in quite a while! And I like Colbie, so thanks for sharing that. And the UOGB video was a lot of fun…

        Liked by 1 person

      • So was I – I really wasn’t expecting that! It’s a beautiful song and this performance was lovely.

        I’m so pleased you enjoyed Bellowhead and the UOGB, both of whom I’ve seen live and have been thoroughly entertained. I’d imagine they can be found on Spotify, if you use that and want to hear more. UOGB put their own unique slant on cover versions, and Bellowhead take English folk songs as their starting point and turn them into something different. Their live shows were masterpieces of organised chaos!

        I first heard the song New York Girls on an album by English folk-rock pioneers Steeleye Span. Their version is driven by a ukulele played by…Peter Sellers, who adds his own brief comment at the end. There’s also a very good version and video by another English folk-rock band – Oysterband.

        A couple of people have mentioned to me that they first heard of Colbie through your blog – it must have been before I started following you. Great minds, eh…

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m so glad you like them. You’ll find quite a lot of them on YouTube and I think their albums are on the streaming services. Thanks for the tip about Ingrid – not heard of her but I’ll look her up.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. While it’s nice to hear songs from groups or singers that I’m familiar with, part of the joy of Tuesday Tunes for me is that you always introduce me to new performers whose work I’m unfamiliar with. I can see why you’re such a fan of Kate Rusby. My wife is the big country music fan in the family, and she had heard of Gone West. I think, like Robbie, I may have seen Colbie Calliet on Jim’s blog. Excellent choices today.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Janet – I have a lot of time to play with YouTube! I’ve seen them 5 or 6 times, always excellent. The other one you saw was probably John Spiers, the accordion player – they were a duo before they formed Bellowhead. I saw the duo as support for Steeleye Span at the Festival Hall, and they also played a couple of songs with Steeleye too. Had a front row seat for that – a great evening!

      Liked by 1 person

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