Brass Band Music Appreciation for Beginners #1: Types of Music

Recommended hymns, marches, overtures, and the like for new listeners Realised the joys of listening to brass band music? Yet to see your first brass band concert? This piece includes a selection of essential brass band pieces for the absolute beginner. For almost two years, the creator of East of the M60 has reviewed the brass…

Whatever Happened to The World Disco Dancin’ Championships?

“From the Empire Ballroom, Leicester Square, London…” In the last week, ITV have announced the arrival of Dance Dance Dance, a new big budget dancing themed programme. Due to be aired next year, it is a Dutch format from Talpa Media, producers of the newly defected reality TV show, The Voice.

The Greatest Cover Versions by The Toy Dolls: The Not So Perfect Ten

Ten “must-listen to” cover versions by Sunderland’s finest musical export Hagiographies of punk and new wave music in Northern England seldom breach the Standedge Tunnel’s Diggle end. Lazily, history tells us about the Buzzcocks, Joy Division, Slaughter and the Dogs, and the Sex Pistols’ gig at the Lesser Free Trade Hall. Fewer column inches are devoted…

The Essential Electric Light Orchestra: The Not So Perfect Twenty

In celebration of Jeff Lynne and ELO: a super sized Not So Perfect Ten What a difference three years makes. Especially if your name is Jeff Lynne (and you realise how popular you are with your audience after a lengthy hiatus). In the last three weeks I have become the proud owner of his latest work,…

Great Tunes With Electronic Tom-Toms: The Not So Perfect Ten

“A drum. That’s right, a drum (shabba)” Nothing epitomises late 1970s and early 1980s music better than early electronic instruments. At one extreme you had multifarious synthesizers from the Mini Moog to the Prophet 5 and the Yamaha DX-7. Then drum machines, sequencers and – 1981 onwards – the Fairlight CMI.

Forgotten Local Bands of the Noughties: When Animals Attack

East of the M60 looks at a local unsigned group from the early noughties Thursday 30 August 2001, The Witchwood, Ashton-under-Lyne. The writer of this piece, then a young 22 year old wannabe Lester Bangs type (powered by real ale and Hollands Meat Pies of course), went to see a friend’s group. Topping the bill that night was…

East of the M60’s Summer Mix – Rebellious Mixtape #9

A special summertime jam for East of the M60 The schools have broken up for the summer holidays, and the sunshine has inspired this playlist. For once, I shall break with the usual Rebellious Mixtape rules and consider a possible continuous playlist. Let’s have it! Oh, and I know there’s also Spotify, but I am also enabling…

Whit Week 2014: The Greatest Free Show on Earth

Stand by for The Week of Weeks It has survived depressions, two World Wars, Thatcherism, industrial unrest, torrid weather conditions and bus deregulation. Hopefully it’ll survive any attempts to get the Delph, Denshaw and Diggle contests finishing too early, or prospective Late Night Levies. Tomorrow sees the start of The Week of Weeks. The greatest week, bar none.

More Forgotten Great Songs of the 1980s: The Not So Perfect Ten

More underrated gems from the decade often associated with Duran Duran, Margaret Thatcher and Sinclair C5s. The 1980s: a pretty pants decade for the working class at the very least, but one of our greatest decades musically. Eclectic to say the least, a decade which started out with The Pretenders and ended with Live Aid…

Classic 1970s Christmas Tunes: The Not So Perfect Ten

East of the M60’s countdown of favourite 1970s Christmas songs I make no apologies for jumping on the Christmas bandwagon for this month’s Not So Perfect Ten. For many people, the 1970s was a decade punctuated by strikes, the Three Day Week and the Silver Jubilee. For many more, a happier time compared with the more…

The Duffers’ Guide to Watching Tribute Acts

East of the M60’s cut-out-and-keep guide on how to watch your favourite group or singer immortalised by another one. Saturday 21st July 1990, in the living room of East of the M60 Towers (well it would have been East of the A627 back then as the M60 wasn’t finished till October 2000), one of Granada…