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Shirk, rest & play. "Top 50 Podcasts to Listen to in Lockdown." (Sunday Times) "7th Most Essential podcast in the world." (Esquire magazine) "Genial babble... about nothing." (David Hepworth, The Guardian) "It'll never catch on." (Half-life) Living and loafing in South London with Dulwich Raider and Dirty South from leading slacker website, Deserter. It's only once a month, so don't get your hopes up.
 
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Word In Your Ear

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Word In Your Ear

Mark Ellen, David Hepworth and Alex Gold

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Mark Ellen and David Hepworth have been talking about and writing about music together and individually for a collective eighty years in magazines like Smash Hits, Mojo and The Word and on radio and TV programmes like "Rock On", "Whistle Test" and VH-1. Over thirteen years ago, when working on the late magazine The Word, they began producing podcasts. Some listeners have been kind enough to say these have been very special to them. When the magazine folded in 2012 they kept the spirit of tho ...
 
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show series
 
In bold and vigorous pursuit of entertainment we steer via the following topics … … Thora Hird with a rifle. … acts who wrote rejected songs for Bond movies. … the legend of Van Duren. … hilariously awful revelations about the private plane use of Taylor Swift, Tom Cruise, Steven Spielberg etc on @CelebJets. … is pop music now largely about an old …
 
Our weekly stroll through the sunlit uplands of rock and roll visits the following topics … … Bob Dylan’s worst lyrics … musicians in movies, actors who made albums (Judi Dench?) and the slight return of the Stackwaddy game … why Hole in The Ground is the greatest comedy record ever made, plus the staggering versatility of Bernard Cribbins … the co…
 
While Mark Ellen is away in his French chateau, David Hepworth goes off on one about Bruce Springsteen tours and why you can't use "dynamic pricing" in the world of live music and why the concert-going audience can always be divided into the bringer and the brung. Plus Alex Gold explains why he chose to go to southern Italy in the middle of an unpr…
 
Charles and Graham host York-based former Guardian culture guide journalist Liz Ryan to examine her role in establishing a new form of local news as she discusses the rise of the Sheffield Tribune, her collaboration with Dan Hayes. Graham talks up 122 Love Stories, a new play full of theatre ghosts by Rachel Halliwell at Harrogate Theatre, and his …
 
Charles is reminiscing as his house move up the hill takes shape. This week he reflects on a night listening to writer Fran Lebowitz, who has become a star via Netflix after a life being the ultimate sardonic commentator on America's East Coast. Her York show reveals she doesn't think much of Andy Warhol's art. A modern-day Dorothy Parker perhaps. …
 
In which we paddle our conversational canoe through the rock and roll backwaters, stopping off this week at … … the closure of Word magazine ten years ago and what we miss – and don’t miss - about it. … who in their right mind in this day and age would possibly want to be famous? … Bruce Findlay, the country’s only famous record store owner. … the …
 
High in the conversational mix this week … … the return the Stackwaddy game! - do Ben & Jerry’s do a Bohemian Raspberry? Are there really Apple Music genres called Pillow Talk and Countrypolitan? … Errol Flynn and his dachshund water-skiing. … James Caan’s opening scene in Misery. … is Nick Kyrgios the first ‘rap’ tennis star? … why ‘Indie’ doesn’t…
 
Nearly every Island act seemed impossibly hip, characterful and charismatic and much of that was down to the vision and long-term belief of the man who founded the label and ran it for 30 years. Chris Blackwell beams in from Goldeneye, the Ian Fleming estate he bought in Jamaica, to remember Errol Flynn and his dachshund waterskiing, the wit and ch…
 
On June 18, along with four guests, we held a party for Paul McCartney on his 80th in front of a big crowd in the magical tented arena at Opera Holland Park in West London. This was a lot of fun from start to finish, fond memories, forgotten songs, new angles, personal meetings, fresh theories and fascinating unknown tales. In this second part of t…
 
Graham encounters Radiohead offshoot The Smile's debut album with Sons Of Kemet jazz drummer Tom Skinner, then discusses his Danish and Russian journalistic encounters. Is Q magazine co-founder David Hepworth's book Uncommon People: The Rise And Fall Of The Rock Stars 1955-1994 just too negative? Charles tests Graham's knowledge of the York Mystery…
 
On June 18 we laid on a celebration of all things McCartney on his 80th in the magical tented arena at Opera Holland Park in West London. People came from all corners of the globe. It turned out to be a feast of fond memories, forgotten songs, fresh perspectives, personal encounters, original theories and fascinating unknown tales. In this first ha…
 
Appetising items on our lavish tray of conversational hors d'oeuvres this week include:- Billie Eilish, 20, (“the youngest at headliner at Glastonbury”) and pop stars who started even younger – “Little” Stevie Winwood, Stevie Wonder, Ranking Roger, Annabella Lwin, Alex Chilton and Peter Frampton. “The poison of criminal violence and gang warfare” (…
 
In this episode:The Shirker's Rest opens its doorsA Dirty Wedding in the USAWide Awake FestivalVelofete in Herne HillCricket at Lord'sDeserter Summer SocialPub and Beer NewsCrisp NewsOther NewsSurrey vs Kent in the Deserter DerbyReader's LettersBum DosserThe Scene, The Social Media SceneBy Deserter
 
Hitting their stride as summer entertainment begins, Charles and Graham discuss the latest gigs just announced at Temple Newsam, including such 1980s' stalwarts as Simple Minds and Bananarama. Graham reveals his latest diplomatic incident - this time involving Scandi-noir-tastic Denmark. At last - sigh- Graham has finally finished the biography of …
 
Among the things of great import we ran up the flagpole this week:- Why Baz Lurhmann’s new movie will do for Elvis what Get Back’s done for the Beatles. Highlights of our Word In Your Park show – what happened on Geoff Lloyd’s McCartney radio special involving a flugelhorn? What was Andy Miller wearing and why? What obscure McCartney track did Dann…
 
Topics off the leash this week include … The Talent v Charisma pie chart you can apply to any act. “Double-concentrated Liam” versus “diluted Noel”, an update on the Oasis land-grab. A second helping of the “Pete Doherty swaps crack for Camembert” story. Liverpool taxi-driver, 25, claims to have never heard of the Rolling Stones: could this be poss…
 
Graham draws on the lyrics from the Sex Pistols' once-banned God Save The Queen to reflect on the Platinum Jubilee and Charles questions Danny Boyle's new Disney+ series Pistol. The duo discuss the upcoming release from Baz Luhrmann, Elvis, and Charles celebrates Bradford's victory as the next UK City of Culture. Graham reviews the latest incarnati…
 
We give the week a spirited shakedown to see what falls out of its pockets. And this includes … The late Ronnie Hawkins – road hog, stunt diver, bootleg liquor smuggler! Who’s the only original rock and roller now still alive? If you went to see Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp lumbered on to “jam”, how monumentally hacked off would you be? Kiss have hand…
 
The duo begin with the adrenaline rush of Tom Cruise's new action movie, Top Gun: Maverick and a look in the mirror at Cruise's stellar career. Barely pausing for breath, they move from one Hollywood icon to another, Ray Liotta, who sadly passed away earlier in the week. Charles basks in the summer seasons at Scarborough Open Air Theatre and Luna's…
 
Framed in the piercing super-trouper of perusal this week … The highs and lows of Danny Boyle’s new Sex Pistols biopic. The best in-car music for road trips (Paul Simon, Steely Dan, Rufus Wainwright …). How do Thom Yorke’s children feel about their father’s brilliant new album (the Smile) still sounding like the work of a bleating teenager? The lat…
 
Once Charles recovers from the desperate last-gasp action for Leeds United, Graham explores the somewhat confusing world of Yes as the Steve Howe-led prog rock band play York Barbican on June 22. After a hasty reassessment of Fontaines DC's third album, Skinty Fia, he takes a look afresh at Francis Ford Coppola's hugely influential 1983 teen movie …
 
This week we've been mainly talking about.... Could The Smile be the first side-project to eclipse the mothership? Is the kitchen the place we mainly listen to music these days? Bob Neuwirth - the man who helped Dylan become Dylan Vangelis - the man whose music was more famous than the film Why do American newspapers make pop records sound as dull …
 
Graham reviews the compelling new album A Bit Of Previous, after 26 years of previous by Scottish indie titans Belle and Sebastian. As Charles becomes exasperated by the not-so-Marvellous current choice of films to watch at the cinema, he and Graham take a look at what the future might hold and Graham interrupts with a look at the ever-longer shado…
 
Entertainments, thrills and diversions at the end of the rock and roll seaside pier this week include … Things we want to see in a Bob Dylan museum. Why the upcoming Spinal Tap sequel fills us with excitement and dread in equal measure. The pub in Cornwall that Vogue magazine tried to sue. Is ‘Exile’ the best Stones album or just their most fashion…
 
After a weather sabotaged attempt to record this podcast, Charles and Graham regroup in time to discuss the underground appearance of U2's Bono and The Edge in Kyiv as a show of rock solidarity. Graham previews his forthcoming Charm Gig in support of Harrogate Theatre's restoration fund featuring the Harrogate return of singer songwriter, Karl Cull…
 
The dazzling super trouper of gentle enquiry is trained this week upon:- Our recent encounter with John Lydon – his high viz shirt, his smoking habit and his usefully commercial righteous indignation about the upcoming Danny Boyle-directed ‘Pistol’ TV series. Why Spinal Tap was a blessing and a curse for their real-life drummer Ric Parnell (RIP). T…
 
Folk deity, songwriter and festival figurehead, Kate Rusby was raised on Planxty and De Dannan but staged a rebellion with Smash Hits and “storytelling songs” by A-ha. High in the mix in this splendid pod are “people who sing like a bird”, Nanci Griffith, Nic Jones’ Penguin Eggs, being on Top Of The Pops with Ronan Keating, “2p bus rides anywhere i…
 
Straight in with an interruption, Graham updates on the Sheffield Leadmill closure threat. Charles welcomes Gary Barlow's new show with a difference. Graham and Charles feel emotional about the threat to the licence fee and what it could mean for the BBC's future. Graham is underwhelmed by the new Fontaines DC album, Skinty Fia. Charles falls under…
 
… which may or may not feature Noel Coward, Slade, the KLF and the Spice Girls. Other key items in pursuit of entertainment this week include:- When did British pop turn female? The glorious notion that boyfriends who don’t work out are “Near Mrs”. The best band this decade! (clue: it’s Wet Leg). The endlessly rewatchable qualities of Moneyball and…
 
Charles reviews Grayson Perry's live gig A Show for Normal People in Harrogate as the artist/presenter/documentary maker/social observer asks who and what is normal? Graham sheds light on the slightly blurred state of affairs regarding National Record Store Day, or is it days? Graham ponders why Father John Misty (aka Josh Tillman) attracts hatred …
 
White-hot topics examined this week include:- The sweeping return of Britpop (Shed Seven, Reverend and the Makers, how did they get so huge?) Has Nick Mason won Pink Floyd? Has Liam Gallagher won Oasis? Record shops that shaped our lives like the Record Bar in Wakefield. The amazing Nick Cave merchandise range (now encompassing tea-sets, crockery, …
 
Among the key questions being booted round the block this week in hot pursuit of entertainment:- Why is the billing of the Rolling Stones as just “Stones” on the current tour posters a monstrous affront to human decency? Why are Mozart and PG Wodehouse “like two peas in a pod”? Is there a better literary simile than “the drowsy stillness of the aft…
 
Graham has been away for the weekend, visiting Kettle's Yard, a Cambridge contemporary art gallery, to view the latest retrospective by Chinese artist, Ai WeiWei - and unexpectedly meet him too. Back north, he revelled in revisiting the live glories of Echo & The Bunnymen and Groove Armada in Leeds. Charles, meanwhile, has attended the unmasking of…
 
In this episode:Cider festivalDrinking for UkraineLast will and testamentThe Shirker's RestAll beer dietA paralysed man's first wordsCrisp News (feat. Pulitzer Prize nominated work from Goose & Ned)Other NewsA Deptford round-upReader's LettersBum DosserThe Scene, the Social Media SceneBy Deserter
 
Among the delights this week:- Pink Floyd’s single for Ukraine (the best peace anthem ever?) and the song Bruce Springsteen played the night Saddam Hussein’s statue came down in Baghdad. A man who has 227 Kiss albums. Warners’ talent scout Andy Wickham (RIP), the house hippy who opened the door for Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Gram Pars…
 
Graham and Charles interview music writer, Martin Hutchinson about his new book on The Kinks. Graham reports on the outcome of the Ed Sheeran Shape of You copyright trial and what it was like seeing Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange on the big screen again.By Graham Chalmers and Charles Hutchinson
 
In this week's episode, Charles celebrates York Open Studios but ponders what's happening to Staithes Festival, then joins Graham in dissecting the fallout on Oscars night. The duo discuss the latest music venue to come under threat, the legendary Leadmill in Sheffield. Graham argues that the Oscars missed an opportunity with the latest Michael Bay…
 
Will Smith did something at the Academy Awards which showed what he cared about most - did you notice it too? Our blow-by-blow account of the moment everyone missed. * Plus … a man who has 25 Big Country albums (and other unlikey acts whose records we obsessively collect). * Is there any band still going after 50 years with more original members th…
 
Charles and Graham ponder if the Oscars have lost the plot and look forward to Live at Leeds embracing the open air. Graham can't let go of Ed Sheeran and the concept of pop plagiarism, which sends him back to a certain Moody Blues song. The duo reflect on the untimely demise of Foo Fighters' drummer, Taylor Hawkins. Charles wonders if Paul McCartn…
 
In which we salute the charismatic Taylor Hawkins – and the magnetic appeal of brothers in arms (Taylor & Dave, Pete and Carl, Bruce and Clarence, John and Paul) - invent some rock and roll retirement homes (Itchycoo Park, Barrytown, In The Land Of Grey And Pink), stage an album sleeve style-off and wonder if ‘80s hair will ever make a comeback. Ot…
 
Entertaining things subjected to wry and rigorous scrutiny this week include:- * The most bizarre and tenuous rock autobiographies – eg the tell-all revelations of Elvis Presley’s nurse, Primal Scream’s tambourine player, Sinatra’s valet and the girl who made John Lennon a cheese sandwich. * How Roger Daltrey wound up living in a van. * Aimee Mann …
 
With Covid still causing cancellations and postponements in the performance world, Graham and Charles contest the rights and wrongs of current government policy for live shows. Graham reports on his interview with Bobby Elliot, veteran drummer with The Hollies as they embark on their 60th anniversary tour. Graham also takes a look at Souvenir, Mich…
 
As sanctions against Russia take hold, Charles and Graham discuss the implications for Russian culture in the UK. Graham feeds back on his revealing interview with Barenaked Ladies frontman Ed Robertson and updates us on his progress through Harry Sword's book on drone-based music, Monolithic Undertow. Charles reviews Richard Bean's new play, 71 Co…
 
Have you ever heard a band but couldn’t work out where their sound came from? We’re saying: only once. What connects the Sweet’s Blockbuster! to Willie Dixon’s Hoochie Coochie Man? How can Noel Gallagher complain that musicians can’t afford instruments when instruments have never been cheaper? Why is songwriting now like VAR? Has anyone had more pr…
 
The duo start by interviewing comedic storyteller Sam Freeman about his new show about love, Every Little Hope You Ever Dreamed (But Didn’t Want to Mention), bound for Harrogate and York on an extensive tour. Graham takes a look at Joseph Mount's undervalued British electronic music group, Metronomy, who have just released their seventh album, Smal…
 
There’s “pop star good looks” - as opposed to “film star good looks” - and there’s “indie good looks” ... but which acts were a hundred per cent hot? Plus … is there any such thing as an original pop song? How did the Linn Drum make us accept the mechanical? What’s the source of a lot of canned laughter? What was Springsteen’s great act of betrayal…
 
Reeling from the shock of Marcelo Bielsa parting company with Leeds United and the continuing atrocities in Ukraine, Charles and Graham then discuss the latest attempt to jolt some life back into cinema audiences. Graham celebrates the new album, If Words Were Flowers by soul singer Curtis Harding and Charles reports on the powerful new documentary…
 
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