Danny Baker… a Helps fan?

 

 

Tweet by Danny Baker re the first Help Yourself album cover.

Spotted on Twitter by Blair Finlay… a tweet from Danny Baker!

 

 

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Saturday 30th September 2017

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Great to see so many of you at the Betsey Trotwood. If everyone is in agreement, shall we try and do it again before Christmas? Thanks again to Jari and Begum… you were both fabulous! Malc

 

 

 

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Barry ‘The Fish’ Melton… plus The Green Ray!

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On Friday 22nd September – the week before Malc’s gig on Saturday 30th – The Green Ray will be supporting Barry Melton at The Stag’s Head in Hoxton (London N1 5RA).

With a fantastic new Green Ray album out, this should be a memorable night. It’ll also be a chance to buy a CD of the album!

Barry ‘The Fish’ Melton, who is headlining, is of course the co-founder and original lead guitarist of the legendary Country Joe and The Fish. Barry will be playing the gig as a duo with French singer Stephane Missri. They also have an album out, entitled ‘Revolution Down The Road’.

 

 

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Sam Apple Pie?

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Malcolm has just done an interview with an Italian magazine. As he says, “It is great to be asked to do these things but I seem to frequently be asked, how did I start Sam Apple Pie? The answer of course, is that I didn’t. I was never in Sam Apple Pie!”

The question, which over the years has seemingly built into a myth, probably stems for the session Malcolm did for Sam Apple Pie for their first album. As the album notes correctly state, he played piano on ‘Annabelle’ and electric harpsichord on ‘Stranger’.

And of course, one member of the Helps who WAS in Sam Apple Pie was Dave Charles! Dave played drums for them before leaving to joining up with Malc to form Help Yourself.

Requests for Sam Apple Pie songs at the upcoming gig will probably be met with a stern stare and a lifetime ban from all future gigs! Not that Sam Apple Pie songs weren’t any good of course… 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Gig update

Things have moved along a bit since the last message, so here’s an update…

For Malcolm’s gig on September 30, Jari from Jariland will be accompanying him on keyboard and accordion. For the first time, Gina Price will play drums, and a great singer called Begum Ocakci ~ who will be making her UK debut ~ will bejoining infor two or three songs.

Because of these additions to the bill, entrance on the night will now be£10. This will allow Malcolmto give the other musicianssome of the takings. There won’t be any tickets in advance, entrance will simply be on the door.

As Malc says “me and an all girl band… who’d have thought that eh? I can’t believe my luck!”.

Sounds as if this is a gig not to miss. Hope to see you there!

 

 

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The Green Ray album launch

In case anyone has missed this, The Green Ray are having an album launch gig in cahoots with The Brainiac 5. Both bands have new albums out… and both are FANTASTIC. If you can’t get to the gig, go buy the albums! And for vinyl fans, I hear that Half Sentences will be out as a lovely 12-incher soon…

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Half Sentences

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If you hadn’t noticed, The Green Ray have a new album out. And it is rather fantastic. So be good to yourself and go grab a copy asap!!! What’s more, it features the much-missed Richard Treece – his last foray into a recording studio before his sad and untimely passing. The instant you hear his unique and memorable guitar sound, you’re transported a better place… a true mark of musical genius.

More info and buying details from The Green Ray Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/fragile.world1/

 

 

 

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Saturday Sept 30th – see you at the Betsy Trotwood in London?

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A date for your diary… on Saturday Sept 30th, Malcolm has a gig at the Betsy Trotwood. Malcolm will be joined by the wonderful Jari, on accordion, for several songs. If you’ve been to one of Malc’s more recent gigs, you’ll already have seen and heard Jari and know what a treat this is!

Entry is £10 on the door. Hope to see you there!

 

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Guitar for sale!

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Malcolm’s love affair with the guitar continues unabated. Those who have been to his gigs in the last few years, will know that Malcolm has been playing some rather tasty Spanish nylon strung guitars in an impressive improvisational gypsy/folk style. However, more recently he has also been playing steel string acoustics. And not just any old guitars either, beautiful hand-built Lowden acoustics from Northern Ireland.

One of these, the more expensive (and lavishly built) of the two that Malc owns – a 2016 S35M – is currently for sale at No.Tom Vintage & Classic Guitars in Denmark Street, London. Yep, that’s the famous ‘Tin Pan Alley’.

No.Tom Guitars are at number 6 Denmark Street – the so-called ‘home’ of the Sex Pistols. The walls in the building upstairs are covered with Jonny Rotten-penned caricatures of Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious, his girlfriend Nancy Spungen and their manager Malcolm McLaren. Incredibly, this graffiti has been awarded Grade II Listed status!

So there’s a very tenuous Sex Pistols / Malcolm Morley link right there. Actually, there are probably some less tenuous links… but we’ll leave that for another time.

 

 

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The Malcolm Morley Sessions

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Thanks for all your positive comments on the Malcolm Morley Facebook page with regard the new recording project. ‘Project’ is very much the word for it. At the moment, it is a series of songs that are ‘sessions’ rather than a single cohesive ‘album’.

The luxury of having a small recording set up at home means that tracks can be recorded when the muse strikes. Some are partly improvised, whilst others are more considered in terms of their construction. Currently, a few tracks are in a state of ‘gestation’… being left to settle for a few days before being reevaluated and considered for release. One is ready for release now ~ which, oddly, is one of the more ‘spur of the moment’ things.

The favoured approach at the moment is to release these songs as ‘sessions’… one, two or three tracks at a time, depending on how they fit together.

Initially, they will be made available as downloads, simply because that’s the most cost effective way to do it. However, should two or more songs fit together, then they’ll be pressed in very limited one-shot editions on CD. Once they’re gone, no more will be pressed.

More details will be posted here, and on the Facebook page, in the coming weeks.

 

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The return of… that sound!

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This pedal is one of Malc’s ‘secret weapons’ in the creation of his upcoming project… and sounding pretty damn good. This is a return to a full band sound, not a million miles away from the original Help Yourself vibe, rather than the more recent acoustic-based material. Lots of tasty electric guitar currently in evidence!

Malc is playing all instruments… but the project is very much an organic one, so it could go anywhere from here. Some snippets of the demos already recorded will be uploaded here in due course!

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Down Home Productions

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Here’s a sticker from the archive – which was posted by John Eichler on Brinsley Schwartz’s Facebook page (although its origins may be elsewhere). As ever, if anyone has any further information – or indeed other ephemera, let us know!

For those that don’t know, Down Home Productions were set up by John Eichler and Dave Robinson as a ‘loose family of artists and creative people’… which included Help Yourself. More info here.

 

 

 

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Deke’s Memorial Concert

The evening of Saturday 10th June is the date of Deke’s Memorial Concert. Buying a ticket in advance is strongly recommended… if they haven’t sold out already!

Tickets from Derricks Music in Swansea (01792 654226) or online at www.derricksmusic.co.uk. Also available from The Princess Royal Theatre booking office (01639 763214).

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Deke RIP

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With Deke’s passing still very raw for all of us, it was lovely to read this obituary in The Guardian ~ penned by none other than Michael Heatley.

 

 

 

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Betsey Trotter gig on 11th Feb cancelled.

It is with regret that Malcolm has decided to cancel his gig on 11 February at the Betsey Trotwood in Clerkenwell, London. The gig will however be rescheduled soon.

Not only has Malc succumbed to the nasty flu bug that is doing the rounds, but also he feels that in light of Deke’s passing, postponing the gig will “give people a chance to process their feelings of loss”. It just didn’t seem right to be playing a gig when the news of Deke’s death is so fresh with us all.

Detail of the rescheduled gig will be posted on here soon.

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United Artists

Nice article on United Artists in issue #60 of Shindig! In a side column, Andrew Lauder picks his favourite UA albums… which includes ‘Beware the Shadow’. Man’s ‘Live at the Padget Rooms’ also gets a look in.

Help Yourself / Strange Affair (1972)
“Their second album was a superb blend of fragile acoustic balladry and epic acid-rock guitar workouts… they are better known now than they were then and it’s nice that people remember them.”

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The Betsey Trotwood, Saturday 29th October

Malcolm has a gig on Saturday 29th October at The Betsey Trotwood – in the upstairs room.
Just £5 on the door, Malc with be supported by Martin from the Green Ray. Accompanying Malcolm, on accordion, will be Jari from Jariland. And of course, Malc will be regaling all with tales from his days with Man and Help Yourself. Should be a great evening, hope to see you there! Proceedings start at 8.30pm.

 

 

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Son of Man… and Deke!

Put 10th December in your diary… Son of Man are back in London, with Deke in tow! Make sure you get your tickets in advance, as these gigs often sell out. Should be a great gig, with George Jones & co playing songs from their much anticipated debute album.

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Here’s a rarity!

Who says that graphic design was better in the days before computers?

This is a poster for a Help Yourself gig (a rare event in itself)… with an ‘unusual’ theme! As super-collector (and owner of said poster), John Bannon, says… “that’s students for you”.

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Micky’s 5th Annual Jam

The fifth annual gig in celebration of Micky Jones has just been announced… set for Saturday 12th December at The Garage in Uplands, Swansea. On the bill are The Green Ray, who will be performing in honour of Richard Treece. It sounds like another must-attend gig for all Helps and Man fans! Tickets are available from Derricks Music.

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RICHARD TREECE’S MEMORIAL GIG

For those that couldn't make it to the memorial gig for Richard Treece – and indeed, for those that wish to re-live what was a tremendous occasion – some soundfiles have been uploaded of the (fantastic) performances of Son of Man, The Jack Bentley Blues Band and The Green Ray.

DEKE LEONARD RIP

"We have lost somebody who was the real deal. A man with the true Bardic gift. He was funny, with a savage wit which he practiced freely. He was great company and a fine musician too – even if he would not admit it. Deke supported and encouraged my early life in the music world, pressed the other lads to get me into Man, and stood in for me in the Help when I was sick with depression. Richard Treece's memorial gig in Walthamstow was the last time I saw the old devil and we talked about this and that... and cricket, which we both love. Deke's passing is a sad loss to the world at large – and heaven knows we need every spark we can get these days."

Malcolm Morley

SOCIAL MEDIA?

Putting together this website has been a (wait for it, cliché is coming) 'learning curve' - but I think we're getting there slowly. Also being tackled are the various social media 'channels'. So far, there's a Malcolm Morley Facebook page and a fledgling Twitter account (@bewaretheshadow), to be followed soon by an Instagram account. More news on the latter to follow. And if all goes well, who knows, maybe even a YouTube channel. Steady! Please help support all this by following, friending etc. Thanks... Malc