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colin randall
I'm a journalist and lifelong Sunderland supporter, based in France and London, from where I write about most things under the sun and the rain
Interests: film, football, france, badminton, folk music
Recent Activity
Can, for once, a draw be called? I have already said Cover Story is not intended as a series of duels. It is merely a vehicle for alerting Salut! Live readers to - or, more likely - reminding them of... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Salut! Live
Way, way back - well, all the way to 2000 - I was able to visit Newcastle University to write about its folk music course. The key contact was Richard Middleton, listed to this day as emeritus professor of music.... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Salut! Live
Do essaytypers ask for evidence of writing ability before you're allowed to spam? I may have missed something in your witty, incisive comment ...
Here is one more entry to the growing body of work that is Salut! Live's Cover Story series, comparing and inviting comment on different versions of different songs ... I am open to suggestions for, and contributions to, the series... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2017 at Salut! Live
Bill Taylor's latest contribution is a break from our Cover Story series, charting instead the astonishing range of collaborations between the Chieftains and singers and musicians from most genres. Bill mentions Irish Heartbeat, an outstanding album made with Van Morrison... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2017 at Salut! Live
Mick Goulding responded quickly to an invitation to contribute to the series. Mick, like me (and another contributor, Bill Taylor), happens to support Sunderland AFC and writes occasionally for Salut! Sunderland. He classes himself as less of a folkie than... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2017 at Salut! Live
It is hard to believe that 68 years have passed since Ewan MacColl wrote perhaps his second best known song, Dirty Old Town. MacColl composed compellingly on many subjects, from the challenges of modern society to travelling people and the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2017 at Salut! Live
First, a spot of housekeeping for the Cover Story series. As sharp observers will already have noticed, "or" replaces "vs" in the headline. I shall get round to changing the previous 10 posts in the series since the purpose of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2017 at Salut! Live
Does the fact that Sunderland supporters adapted the first big Herman's Hermit hit, I'm Into Something Good, make it - and the band - part of the folk tradition? You're right, it does not. Bill Taylor - I must be... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2017 at Salut! Live
Not the Joan Baez we usually see - but this was from the 1965 Newport FF From my old friend Claire Horton, a steadfast folk and roots publicist, comes news of an exercise in town twinning that may well outstrip... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2017 at Salut! Live
Who said folk music has to be cheerful? Some of the best songs from the tradition, and also from the pens of contemporary writers, tackle bleak subjects. Has a better song been written on premature death from drug addiction than... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2017 at Salut! Live

 Cover Story - see all items in the series here - goes from strength to strength. My second guest contributor, Sue Nicholson, is - like Bill Taylor - someone I worked with decades ago in the little district offices... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2017 at Salut! Live
London has Ain't Nothing But ..., an unmissable, jam-packed blues bar tucked behind the Hamleys toy store in the West End. And in Le Lavandou, there's Gecko where, night after night in the summer and at odd times earlier and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2017 at Salut! Live
This is the first guest instalment of the Salut! Live series Cover Story, which looks at different versions of the same songs. Bill Taylor, who has graced the pages of three other sites* within the Salut! group, bases his contribution... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2017 at Salut! Live
It's my site and I'll write what I want to. You would do too if it happened to be yours. Almost no fellow-folkie of my acquaintance would reject other forms of music. Most like rock or jazz or classical and,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2017 at Salut! Live
Just gave it time and all became friendlier! I have found badminton clubs. Joelle has her gym. We invited. got invited ... and we're now pretty good friend with several people here including two musicians and their wives who live just a few doors away. A bas la sauvagerie!
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2017 on Flossie's French gloss on northern ways at Salut!
APOLOGIES TO those who came here earlier and could find no trace of the clip of Flossie singing Amsterdam. It has now been restored ... As Flossie Malavialle introduces it at a friend's house five years ago (see the clip... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2017 at Salut! Live
Which 10 tracks would you take, given the chance, if cast away to some desert island, whether for the entertainment of BBC radio listeners or because your ship had sunk? If you are one of the exclusive band of people... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2017 at Salut! Live
It could take over my life but I am really enjoying doing the series.
Buy this early Dylan masterpiece at Cover Story is one of the most interesting series Salut! Live has run. Yes, I would say that, wouldn't I? It has plenty of steam left in it - Joan Dawson, who suggested... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2017 at Salut! Live
I have heard the quality of McTell's guitar playing questioned in the past but not the excellence of his songwriting. At least one friend has urged me never to sing Streets of London but, as written without the strings, it's a decent song with a good melody (I've added a verse post-Grenfell but that doesn't help it any). All I can say is I have seen him several times. I am not an expert judge of anything musical but find him a compelling performer who masters what he does on his chosen instrument and writes some good, maybe not always great, songs. The rest of it comes down to individual taste.
NB: a lot of recent visits to Salut! Live have been to this posting via Facebook. Can anyone tell me which Facebook item is producing such interest? Thanks ... In the fifth article in my series Cover Story, looking at... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2017 at Salut! Live
What a joy to come once again across Loudon Wainwright III's daughters Martha - her mum was the excellent but, sadly, departed Kate McGarrigle - and Lucy, whose mother is Suzzy Roche, one of the Irish-American Roche sisters whose music... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2017 at Salut! Live
Click anywhere on this caption to buy this outstanding Iris DeMent album from Salut! Live's Amazon record shelf Confession time. I once wrote that Iris DeMent had "unusual, wailing vocals" that initially brought to mind an animal in distress. But... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2017 at Salut! Live
Driving in stifling Mediterranean heat of 33 degrees, the steering wheel and seat burning because the car had been left outside, is perhaps not the best way to listen to any music. But that is when I put on one... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2017 at Salut! Live