blogging, food, friends, Music, The Bell Inn, Uncategorized

The Bell Inn Rings out again

When the Bell Inn in Minster closed back in January, a little bit of the village closed as well. Many friendships were made in that pub and many Friday nights enjoyed with friends and great music. The World didn’t end of course but it was not the same. We all went to different establishments wondering when and hoping it would reopen.

The weeks went past and people asked, but no one knew anything, that is apart from various rumours that flew around. As time progressed, a certain two people decided to take the plunge, with support they went for it and after various meetings , business plans back and forth their offer was accepted. The Bell Inn would be back and reopening.

The couple would be none other than our good friends and neighbours Mark and Sarah. Bell Inn regulars would often see Sarah behind the bar and Mark on the other side organising the music on a weekly basis. Now though friends and customers old and new, will see them both behind the bar, with support from a fab little team. It was kept a secret for various reasons as mostly there would be no point getting people’s hopes up, only to see them crushed if things didn’t go to plan.

It has been a pleasure to help in getting things ready along with others and now spreading the word to friends, regulars and those who haven’t been before. Not much will change as the food will continue to come out and I believe the famous Bell Burger will be on the menu. SO close to finishing but always beaten. There will though no doubt be some brand new additions but those that will highly compliment the menu.

There will be music once more and again organised by Mark. With word getting around days after Mark’s announcement, familiar old names have got in touch so expect to see some fine old Friday evenings full of beer and frivolity along with some new bands and singers.

Whilst the sun is out there will of course be the beautiful garden to enjoy whether it’s in the day time or the evening just before it gets dark. There will no doubt be other things that Mark and Sarah will introduce, but it’s all looking exciting.

There is no date announced as yet, but stay tuned and look out for a big announcement in the next few weeks.


Album Review, blogging, Music, Musings of Matt Doy, Uncategorized

Beginnings – Hannah’s Yard album review

Beginnings, the debut album from Hannah’s Yard came out last year but it’s only now that Ive actually managed to sit down and listen to this album and I have to say it’s a great album from a talented young artist. Beginnings is a great way to start a career and young Hannah Layton Turner,who is 21, yes 21 has had a busy but amazing couple of years. With the support and guidance from her fellow musicians and writer and I can only imagine that Hannah a will continue to have more success.

When you read that Hannah’s Yard has featured on various BBC regional radio stations whilst getting high praise from well known stars such as Paul Carrack,  you know this artist and  her supporting musicians are certainly going to do very well under the Yard Name .Not only that they have been asked to record a video session for the radio and tv legend that is ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris and that is something to be proud of.

The album  covers more than one genre, but don’t let that make you think that Hannah is trying to find her way, far from it. Hannah has a voice that easily carries over well.  The track Make Your Mind Up features Hannah’s vocals from when she was 15, yes only 15, a remarkably talented young lady. Closing the album with the classic hymn Amazing Grace that  is one that is  a great way to finish. The her take is simple with no big effects or bagpipes to accompany her, just her voice backing from her fellow musicians. It beautiful and gentle and can be taken with great credit.

The rest of her album consists of some really fine songs, where you find yourself either singing along or just chilling to her tracks. The tracks Baby I’m There, Dream With Me and Dance Our Way back Home are three tracks that definitely give you a happy and chilled vibe. Hannah along with the Yard, is a young woman who has fab voice and has a long career ahead of her and one that is heading only upwards. You might not have heard of her before, but you have now and will definitely in the years to come.


blogging, Flashback 40, Music, Musings of Matt Doy, Uncategorized

Happy Birthday Out of The Blue – ELO Flashback 40

It’s a Happy Birthday to me and a Happy Birthday to Out of The Blue as I share a special Flashback 40. It’s a big 40 for Out of the Blue by Electric Light Orchestra. This peach of an album was released on same day I was born. It sadly wasn’t released in honour of me, but Im quite happy to share my my entry into the world with its release.

Out of The Blue was released as a double album and is home to a number of it’s well known tracks that we still love and play 40 years on, the likes of Sweet Talkin’ Woman, Turn To Stone and the absolutely epic mood lifter Mr Blue Sky. This track has to be one of my favourite songs of all time. They had released another two singles from the album, those being Wild West Hero and the track It’s Over. As well as the album being fantastic, their album cover has to be one of the most familiar and recognised covers over period it’s been released. The registration number on the side of the docking space craft, is the original catalogue number for the album.

Jeff Lynne wrote the album in three weeks over in a Swiss chalet, influenced by the rain lashing on the door. It is I have to say the testament to fantastic writing, to create a piece of musical joy. An album which would appear to feature some musical influences from the great names of the 20th Century ranging from the Beatles to the Bee Gees.

This album the last of the progressive/Symphonic outing created by Jeff Lynne, is certainly a fine way to end one musical direction, Im not sure there could be a finer way in doing so without doing it cheaply and of course that would not be Jeff Lynne’s manner or style.

The album sold 10 million copies and was the first double album in UK char history to produce 4 top twenty singles a hardly suprising fact given the releases from the album. The album itself was one that simply didn’t really want to leave the chart, top ten in ten different countries and in the UK and US album chart it peaked at number 4. Come the end of 1977 it was outside the top 40, only to speed up the chart come the end of 1978 to the position of number 7. The thirtieth anniversary reissue even charted in at number 18. Can’t imagine many albums charting a top 20 on an anniversary release.

Out of The Blue had six single releases of which the first single released was Turn To Stone a romantically themed song of someone struggling when their love has left them but with the hope that they will return some day. It was the lowest charting release from the album reaching only number 18 even though it is quite a catchy tune. It reached top ten in both Sweden and Canada, whilst pitching up in at number 13 on the US Billboard chart. It is another one that is still a popular play and back in 2008, Lynne was awarded a certificate by the BMI for the track reaching one million airplays.

Mr Blue Sky was the second single and  there is nothing much that needs to be said about this glorious track of foot tapping joy. It is surely hard not to enjoy this timeless track. Perfect for any moment. when the mood needs lifting or indeed you just want to play it. I guess though we should thank the change in weather for this. In a BBC interview Lynne had said that in the preceeding two weeks there was gloom and mist but when the sun finally appeared it was a case of wow at the beautiful alps. This track made it to number six in the UK charts and despite being released in the January, by the end of the year it had only just left the top 40 finishing 1978 with a position of 43.

Mr Blue Sky is for those that don’t know,  the finale of the third side of the Double Album which consists of the Concerto For A Rainy Day. It was the only track from that to be released. The opening track titled Standing In The Rain includes recordings of actual rain. The idea of wet gloomy weather continues up until of course Mr Blue Sky, but it is indeed a good piece of music to listen to all the way through.

The song has featured in many tv programmes and films including Dr Who, CSI, Waterloo Road and most recently Guardians of The Galaxy Vol.2 as well as being used in the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. I very much doubt it will ever stop being used given how joyful and cheery it is.

Sweet Talkin’ Woman was another top ten hit for the band as it hit a high of number six in the UK chart, it wasn’t as popular as the other notable releases in the other charts although it did mostly chart in the top 30.

So wrapping up, for me ELO and this album was my earliest introduction to the band and in my own opinion, it should be an album that every music lover has in their collection regardless of the music genre you like.

So happy 40th birthday to this fine album that ages so well and long may it be listened to.

blogging, Flashback 40, Music, Musings of Matt Doy, Uncategorized

Fleetwood Mac – Rumours Flashback 40

Here is the first album look back in my Flashback 40 series. Kicking off is Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album. The 11th studio album of their career, it was one that was to be, despite everything that was going on outside the recording studios. To be honest it was an album that was even lucky to be written and completed given the situation of a number of the band members, it in a way though it probably existed purely down to the external factors and quite possibly with its title.

It was released on 4th February 1977 and was a huge success as they achieve number ones in five different countries throught out the coming months. In the US, it had spent 31 weeks non consecutively at the top of the Billboard 200. Come March 1978 ,Rumours alone had sold 8 million copies in the US and ten million around the world. In the UK it entered in at number at number 7 before hitting the top early in 1978  giving the band their first UK number one album.

To this day the album is still selling and as recent as 2009 it had shipped 30 million album sales. That is pretty darn good for one album. There are bands who wish they could sell 30 million albums in a career let alone for one album. As at July 2016 it was the 11th best selling album in UK history.

Rumours gives us some of the bands most notable releases such as Dreams, Don’t Stop, Go Your Own Way and of course The Chain. The Chain is famous for the use of the Bass line for the BBC’s Formula One theme tune up until they lost tv rights. Upon its return to the BBC, the  track entered the charts in 2009 through downloads where it reached 94 in th charts. It did so again in 2011 reaching 89, after a facebook campaign to get it number one for the start of the 2011 season.

The album looks like it reflects the break up of Buckingham and Nicks’ relationship with each of them taking a different perspective of the break up. With Stevie Nicks it seems to be reflective, but with Buckingham there seems to be some anger and bitterness. It would seem strange that the songs written could have some great music but yet be about break ups from two sides. For example Go Your Own Way sees a bitter line, but the music to the song is catchy and seemingly more light as it were.

Whilst there are the songs we all come to know, Rumours has tracks that make this album complete. Songbird written and sung by Christine McVie is a beautiful acoustic track that has a relaxing feel to it and one that is still sounds fresh even though it’s forty years old. A song with an appeal, that it was covered by the late Eva Cassidy and featured in her posthumously released album titled Songbird. It reached number one back in 2001. Willie Nelson also covered it on his album, also titled Songbird. The song itself found its way into the charts back in 2009 when it reached 56. This was down to an X Factor contestant singing it in her audition.

The album takes a brief country feel with the track, it was a track actually written by Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham pre Rumours and is a look at a romantic break up although it was way before   their very own break up. It’s hard not to like this track with it’s uplifting beat.

Oh Daddy is one of the few tracks not about break up. There is a seeming split about who it is about. Christine McVie claimed that it was about Mick Fleetwood, who was the only father around the band at the time, although others claimed it was about the bands lighting director, who McVie was dating at the time. Regardless of who it’s about, it’s a good track to listen to.

So there we have it (at last) the first of a number of Flashback 40 album reviews.