Monday, December 31, 2012

Best of the Free Music Archive 2012

The Free Music Archive is rich source of music that I regularly turn to to keep the variety of music on Headstand fresh and interesting. Here is a mix of tracks featured on the show over the last year for you to stream and download for free.

'As another year comes to a close it's great to look back at all the music that's made it from the Free Music Archive onto my fortnightly show on Cambridge 105 ( Starting with Auld Lang Syne played in traditional fashion on new year's day the mix takes a twisting route to the far reaches of the archive's diverse selection of music concluding with The Decapitated Hed beheading Christmas carols (according to Google Translate.)
FMA has been a constant source of inspiration during 2012 and this mix doesn't even include the music played in the FMA Special show in January. That music is available in a separate mix. I hope you enjoy this mix and listen to the show at
I look forward to sharing more music from the archive in 2013. Happy New Year to everyone at FMA!'

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Smell of Cubes

I have an album of poetry and experimental music available on Band Camp. It's kind of my Christmas present to everyone this year. It's pay what you want so you can give me a Christmas present back if you like.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Poem: Jerry Gordon Reflects on the End of the World

As the end of the world allegedly draws nigh, Headstand contributor Jerry Gordon shares this poem:

If I took this
seriously, I would
write or call to each of
you, saying: After tomorrow
I don't know
if I will ever see you
or myself again. So,
while we are still sharing
existence with this chance
to exchange,
I want you to know I am
glad to have known you,
glad to have had you
turn my mind, eye and arm
towards where I could not
imagine alone, that I know
I could not have known
anything alone. You are
an extender of me,
an unfathomable
set of senses beyond
my self-serving 5.
I am alive through
the world I know through
you, saturated in our
mutual saturation.
thanks for everything.

A bird flies up as
the train comes in.
The rails are bare
for this moment before
the wheels make them

jerry gordon

Patrick Widdess & Tom Adams Live Recording

A recording of a recent set I did with Tom Adams is now available for free streaming and download courtesy of Only Shallow Records.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Show: 16.12.12 with Grahame Johnson and Suzi Shimwell

I was joined on this show by poets Grahame Johnson and Suzi Shimwell from the writing group Free Inkers. They shared a terrific selection of poems. We got into the Christmas mood with some festive tunes including some tracks from the excellent new compilation All Ready for the 25th? An amazing selection of Christmas music and spoken word including David Coulter on musical saw, Robyn Hitchcock covering Captain Beefheart and a jazzed up We Three Kings. The show also featured a track from the new live album by Cambridge band The Scissors. You can listen to and download it here. Name your price.

Enjoy the show and please vote for Headstand on Mixcloud's best of 2012 by going to and click the vote button.

David Coulter - Silent Night
Mr.b The Gentleman Rhymer - Mr.b’s Christmas Song
The Scissors - HC Ecstatic (Live at MOTM)
Malty Media - Man vs Enema
Rue Royale - Snow on Snow ( In the Bleak Midwinter)
Bob Dylan - Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
Charly “the City Mouse” Fasano - Gasoline Fumes
Robyn Hitchcock - There ain’t no Santa Claus on The Evening Stage
Pipo Pegoraro - Samambia
Wire - The Outdoor Miner
Staygold - Staygold Theme
A Collection of Notes - Forsake Me

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Poem: Tomorrow by Suzi Shimwell

Tomorrow I will be good.
I will not smoke or drink
but instead floss regularly
in-between yoga sessions.
I will work harder,
write that article,
paint that wall.
I will concentrate on succeeding.
Eschewing all cakes
and trash TV,
I will sleep at ten
and rise at six.
I will walk 3 miles before having fruit for breakfast.
I won’t need breakfast.
I’ll be a machine.
Tomorrow I will be better;
the rest of today
does not count.

Suzi Shimwell

Suzi will be my guest on the show on 16th December.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Single from Malty Media

The New Zealand duo return with the best enema you'll ever receive.

The music of Malty Media aka Stuart McDonald and Michael Upton could have been made for Headstand. Audio clips drawn from movies, adverts and TV programmes are mixed with experimental electronic compositions  in original and memorable music and spoken word compositions. The duo also do occasional radio shows on Radio Active FM. Each one is a seamless journey through an eclectic selection of music and sound. You can listen to their shows here.

Man vs Enema / No Sparky is the first release from the duo in two years. Man vs Enema is built around a snippet of Bear Grylls explaining how an enema can be used for survival. The juxtaposition of Bear's macho commentary and laid-back dub track is a pleasing bit of musical comedy. The absurd and lurid images it conjures up leave an indelible mark on the listener's mind. The subtly comical track is followed by funky chill out piece No Sparky with a wobbly beat and sparkly synths. Grab the free download to be entertained and slightly increase your chances of survival if you find yourself stranded out at sea.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Poem: Lost Song by Grahame Johnson

Next Sunday I'll be joined by poets Grahame Johnson and Suzi Shimwell who will be sharing their poetry and talking about the writing group Free Inkers. Here's a poem by Grahame. Check back later this week for one of Suzi's.

Lost Song

You stir in velvet light
Shimmering moments re-emerge
Without tether to time or place
Fragments from a lost song
A song of hope and happiness

But the cuckoo’s call
Breaks the spell
And you remember
What you have become
You try to cling
To that beautiful moment
Postpone reality
But it slips away
Beyond the cusp
Where memory blurs
And dreams fade to nothing

Grahame Johnson

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bad Timing 11th Anniversary with Heatsick - 6th December

Read my review at:

Get down to the Cow for some live techno from Heatsick headlining Bad-Timing's 11th anniversary downstairs at the Cow.

"Heatsick batters a solitary Casio through a myriad of effects, looping up a coarse, crisp and twinkling out-house music into a wonderfully queasy eternity, teasing out melodic and rhythmic mantras to an off-kilter, Burroughsian effect that wins on the floor and never forgets to be lo-fi fun/funk. Combining a palette of sources from early Chicago house mixtapes (in sound, texture and mixing technique) through to musique concrète and psychedelia, Heatsick proposes a live dance music that expands and unlocks the senses."
Steven Warwick (also known as half of duo Birds of Delay) is active in the music, visual arts and club scenes. Recent releases include the acclaimed debut LP 'Intersex' and EP 'Déviation' on Bill Kouligas's PAN label, where labelmates include the likes of recent Bad Timing visitor NHK yx KOYXEN, Aaron Dilloway and Lee Gamble (recently seen at Reworks' closing party in Cambridge). Recent and upcoming activities include Unsound festival and visual arts shows in Berlin and Glasgow.
"This is dance music through and through, albeit probably unlike any you've heard before" - The Quietus

"There's something about the sense of containment (all the sounds come from one box), the character of the sound (circuits which sound like they're operating at close to overload and the sense of play within these constraints that makes this as overwhelming as any dancefloor experience you can imagine" - The Wire 

For full details and tickets go to:

Heatsick Paris Olympic Café 26nov2011 -2 from NO MORE RETURN on Vimeo.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Events this week

Another action-packed week in Cambridge after another terrific Mill Road Winter Fair last Saturday. On Wednesday Malcolm Guite is launching his new book Sounding the Seasons at St Edward's Church from 7:30 details here. On the same night you can hear experimental electronic music at CB1 including Headstand favourite Tom Adams.
The following evening I look forward to doing at turn at the new open mic night at my favourite local cafe Hot Numbers. On Friday there is live music at the Cornerhouse headlined by The Scissors. Details here. The Scissors have just released a live album which you can stream and download here and get a taste of what's on offer on Friday.
Finally on Saturday it's Shindig at the Leper Chapel. The venue offers a wonderful atmosphere for concerts but wrap up warm.

Have a good week!

Show: 2.12.12 with Geoffrey Heptonstall

This show featured special guest Geoffrey Heptonstall making a return to the show. I don't see Geoffrey out as much as some poets and it was great to be reminded not only what a great poet he is but also a very fine reader as you'll hear in the show.
The programme also featured a poem by Wayne Holloway Smith and we launched the Christmas season with a beautiful rendition of Deck The Halls by Rue Royale from their Christmas EP which you can listen to and download here.
The programme finished with some laid back electronica from Cambridge-based Tom Adams and Ian Handsley, a DJ I used to see out and about in Osaka. He now makes lush ambient music under the name enh. You can find more of his music here.

Elbow - High Ideals
Prince Rama - Those Who Live For Love Will Live For Ever
DJ Incidental - Uh La Lai
Louis Armstrong & The Hot Five - Struttin’ With Some Barbecue
Wayne Holloway Smith - Cutting a Figure (1.30)
Lester J. Allen - Good Old Luton Town
Rue Royale - Deck The Halls
Anna Silvera - Snow Queen
Billy Bragg - She Smiled Sweetly
Charly “The City Mouse” Fasano - Laundry Day
Tom Adams - Through the lens I see the great cliffs, we are close now.
enh - Within You

Sunday, December 2, 2012

3 Short Poetry Films

As a radio show, visual art is rather overlooked on Headstand. In this guest post Cambridge-based film maker Simon Mullen presents three of his short films featuring his poems.

These short films are at the end of two threads. One is an exploration of the highly textured and awesomely imperfect medium of Super 8. The other is an epic quest for audience engagement. The films exist because I love Super 8, and their narration exists because I need the films to engage the audience. If you don't make films to engage an audience, why make them at all. The films originally had no narration, although they did have a sound track. I found that the general reaction to them was flat. When I attached a narration to the films, everything changes, people liked them! I present here three one-minute films I made in just the last few months. There are more to come, check my website for updates.

 The first film is FIRE 150: This film is about an empty house on the Buckden roundabout of the A1. Its a hugely busy roundabout and Ive driven past this boarded up property many times. And from the first moment I saw it, I knew it must be haunted! Because if any house should be haunted, it's this one. The roundabout is a modern crossroad and crossroads are rich in mythological tradition across the world. I found this really nice Radiolab podcast, where the reporter goes looking for the devil at a crossroad as part of an investigation of American blues singer and musician Robert Leroy Johnson. So who knows what the denizens of an empty boarded up house on the crossroad would be like? I know . . .
FIRE 150 from Simon Mullen on Vimeo.


Film by Simon Mullen Sound Effects: all sound effects hosted by freesound "very noisy traffic heavy", "motorbike around 1", "passing truck 9" by Robinhood76 "ufo pass", "jetbike flypast" by tigersound "swosh" by man "passingcar01", "passingcar02" , "passingcar03" by Pingel "woosh5" by damco "woosh 02" by Glaneur de sons

The second film is WATER: Life is complicated. Sometimes its a battle just to locate your towel!

WATER from Simon Mullen on Vimeo.


Film by Simon Mullen Camera Operator Lucy Evens Sound Effects Waves at New York Point by Rob House Hosted by The Internet Archive Length: 1:00 Produced: 2012

And the third and final film is My Friends Are Always In The Woods: Everyone has one or two special friends. Unusual people with unusual habits and habitats. But the strange thing with me is, all my friends are that special. And I don't remember when that happened.
My Friends Are Always In The Woods from Simon Mullen on Vimeo.


Film by Simon Mullen Sound Effects Wind Storm in Los Ranchos by dhattman Hosted by The Internet Archive Length: 1:00 Produced: 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Poem by Geoffrey Heptonstall

This Sunday I'll be joined in the studio by poet Geoffrey Heptonstall. Here's one of his poems about New Orleans.


And only to wear blue.
When you talk about love.
When there is no-one
These days are out of time.

That we may begin
To see love’s changing.
I hear alone what you say,
How a sense of indigo falls
In base resonance
Almost motionless.

Scent of jasmine, wild
In the derelict square,
At once we name
Invisible moonlight.
The rhythm of water
Sighs false innocence,
The way a cymbal sound spins.

In the cool of first light
The river scenes shimmer.
What seems a city
Is distant sunrise.
Contraries of night pale
Into harmonies
As morning moves:
Every day a truth revealed.

How you catch the essential
The stair well chorus,
Impromptu sensations
Of the world at work
Soon we see our masters
In seasons they cannot control.
Count the beat before they speak:
How many lies to Babylon?                                                      

And after music, silence
Days like these are uneasy
With desire all the way down,
Walking out from here
As the mood changes
With phases of love.
This way the waters
Can come no more
Once the heat burns
Every ocean dry.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Spaghetti Faction and John Guy podcasts

You can listen to and download podcasts of The Spaghetti Faction and John Guy as heard on the show last Sunday. The Spaghetti Faction recording includes a couple of extra pieces there wasn't time to broadcast. Check it out!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Review: Show and Tell at the Portland. 20.11.12

As a veteran of the old Portland visiting the new venue for the first time was a bit like stumbling on Narnia. Where there was once a door leading into a small, dark room there is now a long white corridor. Entering a door to the left you find yourself in a bright, spacious room, predominantly white. All that’s missing is a lamp post in the middle.

I was performing at Show and Tell a cabaret night organised by the Twisted Willow Theatre group. It was their first event in Cambridge and was extremely well organised. Sound checks started in good time and when I arrived half an hour early there was a table set out selling items for the performers and well-produced colour programmes.

The event was open to any performers in the area and they attracted quality and variety. There was theatre, music, comedy, poetry even martial arts. Organiser and compare, Richard, started the show dead on time. The first act was Kate Vowles from Colorado who played flawless and mesmerising folk songs. She was followed by teenage improv comedy group The Youthful Exuberants. After a tentative start they delivered some great comedy moments including a hilarious sketch at a vet’s setting the bar high for the university improv group who performed later.

It was great to hear poetry from friends of the show Leanne Moden and JS Watts but it was also special to see so many performers I’d never heard of before. There was more poetry of a Buddhist nature by John Drew, who remarkably managed to get Margaret Thatcher to fund a poetry group in the 80s. Clarise Mbombo filled the room with her powerful singing and Rani Drew presented a performance of her short play set in the London riots of 2011. There was an appearance by Matha Dench Mirren, the comedy alter-ego of Simon Jones and university student Harry Wright scored a hit with his stand-up comedy. Finally it was a pleasure to perform myself to a sizeable crowd. Once again, I was performing with Tom Adams a remarkable musician who it is always a pleasure to work with.

Twisted Willow Theatre’s next big project is a production of Midsummer Night’s Dream. There is an open call for actors and backstage help. For more information email:

Monday, November 19, 2012

Show: 18.11.12 with The Spaghetti Faction and John Guy

This show features the last of the performances recorded for the show's fifth anniversary along with music including net tracks by Buke and Gase, Nick Mulvey and Memory Tapes.

The Ruts - Babylon’s Burning
Buke and Gase - Hard Times
Nick Mulvey - The Trellis
The Spaghetti Faction - Acoustic Set
Public Sector - M.U.S.I.C
Memory Tapes - Thru The Field
Ivor Cutler - The Market Place
Nico - Little Sister
John Guy - Poetry
Blind Willie McTell - Statesboro Blues
deeB - Blik

The Ruts - Babylon’s Burning
Buke and Gase - Hard Times
Nick Mulvey - The Trellis
The Spaghetti Faction - Acoustic Set
Public Sector - M.U.S.I.C
Memory Tapes - Thru The Field
Ivor Cutler - The Market Place
Nico - Little Sister
John Guy - Poetry
Blind Willie McTell - Statesboro Blues
deeB - Blik

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Events this week

John Hegley
This week I'm looking forward to joining Show and Tell at The Portland. This eclectic cabaret features music, poetry, comedy theatre and more and is in aid of Arts and Minds, a Cambridge based charity that aims to include people of all ages, with all forms of mental illness and learning disabilities, in therapeutic arts-related activities. Their website can be found here:

I will be performing with musician Tom Adams. You can hear our last performance here:

On Wednesday I'll miss for the second time in as many weeks poet Richard Tyronne Jones. This time he brings his show Richard Tyronne Jones's big heart to Allographic at the Fountain along with
Hollie McNish, Hisham Ziauddeen, and host Fay Roberts. I'll be sorry to miss to it. If you're in Cambridge make sure you get along. Details here.

Next weekend it's Winter Wordfest with writers including Kate Moss, Tony and Melissa Benn and Jack Straw. I'm looking forward to catching John Hegley who I interviewed for Local Secrets. That's on Saturday when there's too much happening frankly. Shindig is at the Round Church and bands including the Scissors are at the Portland launching 'Rocket to Romsey,' a compilation album of local bands released by Repeat Records in aid of Love Music, Hate Racism. Staying in would be a waste of a good night.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Spaghetti Faction and John Guy on the show this Sunday

This week's show features the last of the material recorded for the show's fifth anniversary celebrations. There's an acoustic set from the Spaghetti Faction. You can hear some of their music by going to this post. There will also be poetry from John Guy who was unable to attend the Fountain but recorded some of his poems at home. This show features a reading John did a couple of years ago. Scroll down for a poem by The Spaghetti Faction's Phil Doran.



- Everything starts with a big bang,
said the cosmologist.

- Everything starts with a little push,
said the midwife.

- Everything starts with a business plan,
said the businessman.
- Iverything estart wiv begining,
said the beginner.

- 'Everything' starts with an 'E',
said the teacher.

Phil Doran

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Show: 4.11.12 WIth Leanne Moden & Malcolm Guite

In addition to poetry and music from Malcolm and Leanne there is a track recorded live at Shindig in September by Dave Gerard & The Watchmen and a track from one of the acts at the next Shindig night Inigo which you can download at There is also a song by Bat For Lashes from the new album The Haunted Man. Read my review here.

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Next
Dizraeli - Never Mind
Bat For Lashes - Laura
Leanne Moden- Poetry Reading
Dent May - Rent Money
Spiritualized - Electricity
Malcolm Guite - Poetry
Dave Gerard & The Watchmen - Glory Box
Inigo - Coco Lico
Furtherset - I know

New Single from Nick Mulvey

 I first heard Cambridge-born singer songwriter Nick Mulvey perform in 2007. He spent most of the next four years playing with Portico Quartet before going solo last year. I reported on one of his first performances, following his split with Portico, at CB2. Trading the hang for acoustic guitar Nick's soulful voice and wide ranging influences including English Folk and African rhythms make for a moving and original sound. The Trellis EP is out now on Mercury. A free track is available from his website:

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Poetry podcasts of Leanne Moden & Malcolm Guite

The poetry readings by Leanne Moden and Malcolm Guite from the show on 4th November are now available as podcasts. You can also get recordings of other performances broadcast on recent shows.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Leanne Moden

You can hear Leanne Moden on the show this Sunday recorded for the fifth anniversary party. Leanne's poems include a modern take on the character Miss Havisham and she sent another Miss Havisham poem for the blog:

The Ballad of Miss Havisham

A widow, though she never wed.
All hopes of freedom now lie dead.
And, haunted by lives unfulfilled,
Her beating heart is beating still.
Each day arrives without desire;
Still bitterness will stoke life's fire.
A love, once hopeful, now despised;
No brightness left but in her eyes.
A parody, a twisted crone,
The darkness came and bleached her bones.
Her parchment skin has withered down,
The bride has faded with the gown.
And, wreathed in cobwebs, she will be
From now until eternity.
For the darkest prisons and deepest hells
Are those we fashion for ourselves.

You can read more of Leanne's poetry on her blog and hear her guest appearance on the show in September here:

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Malcolm Guite

This week's show will feature Malcolm Guite's performance at the Headstand 5th Anniversary gig in September. Malcolm performed songs and poems including this one written during a walking tour round Ireland in the 70s:

In Bewley's

I look up, hands around my coffee cup,
On Grafton street in Bewley's coffee shop,
Blue Mountain, Java and Colombian,
The labels are a journey on their own.
Then the aroma as they're ground by hand,
Beans broken open out of every land,
Separate savours float across this room
Of dark mahogany, to a softer bloom
Of stained glass windows, where I sit apart
Warming my hands, and waiting on my heart
To call me to adventure. I have found my voice,
Yeats in my pocket, backpack full of Joyce.
I'm nineteen. It is nineteen seventy-seven,
And Dublin is the very gate of heaven.

Monday, October 29, 2012

New Single from Dizraeli

I saw Dizraeli earlier this year at a music festival in Wroclaw. I blagged my entry by participating in a poetry slam as the only English speaking competitor. You can read about that here.

Dizraeli has a new single out this week. Never Mind draws on Dizraeli's diverse musical pallette blending folk and rap with some infectious beats and witty lyrics. I look forward to playing it on my next show.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Events this Week


Get down to The Fountain on Sunday 28th October for a diverse night of spoken word from rapper Inja and American writer and poet Zakia Carpenter-Hall. Inja's performances are mind-blowing whether you're into rap or not and I look forward to hearing Zakia who I'm told is completely different but equally brilliant. Round this off with apen mic, which knowing the Allographic regulars, will be of a very high standard and you've got a great night for £3.50 full price / £2 concessions and performers.

More details on Facebook

On Tuesday there's a Strawberry fair benefit gig with The Spaghetti Faction and the Binewski Murder. Have a listen below and catch them live in the brand new gig room at the Portland Arms.


On Friday there's a chance to see a monumental band in an intimate venue when Spiritualized return to the Junction. Frontman J Spaceman has survived double pneumonia and a couple of decades in the music industry and is still producing music that is delicate and sublime. Tickets from the Junction website.

The following Sunday I'll be back on air with, among other things, poetry from Malcolm Guite and Leanne Modern.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Show: 21.10.12 with Fay Roberts and Patrick Sheil

This show featured a couple more sets from the fifth anniversary show at the Fountain last month. You can hear poetry from Fay Roberts and music from Patrick Sheil, the frontman of Moth Conspiracy
Other material included John Cooper Clarke who has a sellout gig at the Junction this month and Rob Auton following his triumphant show at the first Hammer and Tongue slam of the 2012/13 season.
Another local writer Richard Harding invites you to recharge your soul and swim with spiritual dolphins. Check out his object writing group if you're a writer in Cambridge looking for some regular inspiration. Tune into the next show on 4th November.

New Order - Blue Monday 
Clinton - Hip Hop Bricks
People Like Us - Clippety Cart Horse
Eccentronic Research Council - Her Kind Wicked sisters
Fay Roberts - Poetry
Proviant Audio - Jazzexy
Richard Harding - The Lake of Healing
Bob Purse - It’s Not A Regular Day
Patrick Sheil - Live
Rob Auton - Maroon
John Cooper Clarke - I Wrote The Songs
Behold! The Living Corpse - Deadly Swarm
Graphiqs Groove - Deep Sky Blue 


Welcome to the new blog for Cambridge 105's eclectic music and spoken word show. The aim of this blog is to not only keep you up to date on shows as they're broadcast but to bring other regular content relating to the show. This will include news about the music and spoken word scene in Cambridge, poems from guests on the show and other news and features on artists featured on it.
If you have an idea for an article, review or news item please contact me. In the meantime please share and follow this blog and have a listen to some shows.