Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Trafigura: “The Stinking Ship” Again

During September I embedded a video of a trailer for a short documentary – The Stinking Ship”.  This trailer is no longer available on the film’s website -  www.thestinkingship.com -but a slightly shorter 2m 56s trailer can be viewed there.

The documentary was the winner in the short documentary category at the 13th United nations Associated Film Festival.

However, both versions are still listed on Vimeo. For those who may have missed this first time around I embed the original trailer below.


For those who are mad I now embed the slightly shorter version.


Finally, I must also mention that the opinions expressed in the trailer and film are entirely those of the film-maker and contributors.

Music in the Morning - Tuesday

Kate Rusby returns for a third time to sing for you.

Annan Waters                                                      Kate Rusby

Oh Annan Water's wondrous deep
And my love Ann is wondrous bonnie
I'm loathe that she should wet her feet
Because I love her best of any.
Go saddle for me the bonny grey mare
Go saddle her and make her ready.
For I must cross the stream tonight,
Or never more I'll see my lady.

He's ridden over field and fen.
O'er moor and moss and many's the mire,
But the spurs of steel were sore to bite.
Sparks from the mare's hoofs flew like fire.
The mare flew over moor and moss,
And when she's reached the Annan Water
She couldn't have ridden a furlong more
Had a thousand whips been laid upon her.

And woe betide you Annan Waters
By night you are a gloomy river,
And over you I'll build a bridge
That never more true love can sever.

Oh Boatman put off your boat,
Put off your boat for gold and money.
For I must cross the stream tonight,
Or never more I'll see my lady
Oh the sides are steep, the waters deep.
From bank to brae the water's pouring
And the bonny grey mare she sweats for fear.
She stands to hear the water roaring

And he has tried to swim the stream,
And he swam on both strong and steady,
But the river was deep and strength did fail,
And never more he'll see his lady.
Oh woe betide the willow wand,
And woe betide the bush and briar,
For you broke beneath my true love's hand
When strength did fail and limbs did tire

That never more true love may sever.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Snow Fair

It’s not fair. 

It has been snowing lots.

All Edinburgh schools were closed today

All Edinburgh schools will be closed tomorrow (Tuesday)

It’s snowing again.

Edinburgh has had its heaviest falls since we moved here almost 20 years ago.  We have about 10 inches lying but others even higher have seen bigger falls..

A friend sent this pic.  Fourteen inches on the car!!



Music in the Morning - Monday

We continue from Saturday with the final two movements

Leo:  Concerto for four violins in D major  
Mvmts 3 & 4 of 4:   3. Moderato ; 4. Allegro

Performed by Musica Antiqua Koln; Conducted by Reinhard Goebel

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Calum’s Voice Is Heard

The dulcet? tones of Calum penetrate the ether just for you.

Is this a treat for you?  I doubt it!

Have a listen and let me know what you think.


Sunday Morning Coffee with Tommy Emmanuel

Welcome again to another Sunday morning show but, unfortunately, another show devoid of most words.  Life has intervened and left me unable to bring in biographical detail or my comments on each piece.

If you want to read about Tommy try these two sites (1 and 2).

Tommy is one of the world’s best – some say the best – guitarist.  Watch, listen and be amazed!

 Classical Gas




Those Who Wait


Tall Fiddler




Sanitarium Shuffle


The Robin


Endless Road


 The Hunt


 Guitar Boogie


Thank you for bearing with these last couple of weeks when I have not provided a service of the standard I expect.

See you next week.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Trying to Find My Voice

Keep listening. 

May happen.

Possibly not.

Music in the Morning - Saturday

Slightly late – sorry – but here is beautiful music.

Leo: Concerto for four violins in D major  Mvts 1 & 2 of 4
1. Maestoso; 2. Fuga - Allegro moderato

Performed by Musica Antiqua Koln
Conducted by Reinhard Goebe

Friday, 26 November 2010

Music in the Morning - Friday

The music was chosen, the post pre-published but I HAD to change.  I came across this wondrous song sung wondrously.

Reconciliation                                           John Wright Band

When summer time has gone
And autumn winds are threatening
To blow our love away 
Tis then love will be tested.
Arm in arm we'll stand,
Side by side together
To face the common foe
That would tear our love asunder.

Tura lura lie
Tura lura laddie
Tura lura lie
Tura lura lay

You fair weathered friends
Where are you now I need you
Unlike the autumn winds 
On cold December mornings
When hard times come around 
Like cold and stormy weather
There's only you and I, my love
To shelter one another

Tura lura lie
Tura lura laddie
Tura lura lie
Tura lura lay

Now there's a time to flight,
And there's a time for leaving
As the sun melts the snow
On warm, bright April mornings.
Our fight has run its course
Now’s the time for healing
So let us all embrace
Sweet reconciliation

Tura lura lie
Tura lura laddie
Tura lura lie
Tura lura lay

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Music in the Morning - Thursday

Ben Webster with a George and Ira Gershwin tune.

How Long Has This Been Going On?             Ben Webster

Also with Kenny Drew - Piano, Nils Henning Orsted Pederson - Bass, Alex Riel - Drums

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Music in the Morning - Wednesday

A return visit for Johann Georg Pisendel.

Concerto for violin, orchestra, and basso continuo in D major  Mvt 1 of 3 Vivace

Performed by Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
Directed by Gottfried von der Goltz

Movements 2 and 3 can be heard here.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Music in the Morning - Tuesday

A whole pub in your room this morning.

Great Eastern, Lucy Campbell, That's Right Too!

Cathal Hayden (fiddle), Stevie Hayden (fiddle), Seamus O'Kane (bodhrán), Mark Mohan (banjo) and friends with "The Session Band"

Monday, 22 November 2010


We borrow £7billion to help bail out Ireland but here at home we must cut, cut, cut to reduce borrowing.



UPDATE @ 22 November 09.10:  Initially the title was “Morally Corrupt”.  The first word is redundant and so the title was shortened.

Music in the Morning - Monday

A choral call comes to cherish you.

Vivaldi: Gloria
                       musica intima & Pacific Baroque Orchestra

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Sunday Morning Coffee with Bob Marley

Welcome again but, firstly, I must apologise because today’s show is incomplete.  The music is here but not the comment or the biographical details.  I’m not sure what happened: the music was organised about a week ago but, somehow, the words never reached my fingertips and, so, we have music only.  perhaps it has been mild illness in the family, my being choked with the cold and also rehearsing my poetry-reading.  Such excuses will not be accepted again.

Remember the sequence: coffee, comfy seat, sit, relax and listen to the wondrous music of the late Bob Marley.


Three Little Birds


Redemption Song


Is This Love


Buffalo Soldier


No Woman No Cry


One Love


I Shot the Sheriff


Could You be Loved




Stir It Up


Hopefully all will be back to normal next week and I look forward to your visit then.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Music in the Morning - Saturday

A beautiful listen – if I may use “listen” as a noun.

Marin Marais:               Chaconne for Solo Viola da Gamba

Performed by John Dornenburg

Friday, 19 November 2010

Virgin No More

It’s gone!

It’s done!

No more need I be embarrassed.

I can do it again whenever I want – within reason.

I will do it again whenever I want – within some reason.


I read my poetry in public tonight and I loved performing.


I think others enjoyed me too.

I can’t wait until the next time.

Trafigura: Come back, Dr Busch !

Dr Gary K Busch (or Ocnus as he sometimes appears) and I have had many exchanges throughout the year, taking different sides on the Trafigura affair.  Dr Busch has been supportive of Trafigura and negative about the understanding and effects of greens and environmentalists.  I have tried to give a balanced picture although it is clear where my views lie.

I’ve had no contact with Dr Busch for about 2 months until yesterday when he said this in response to the embedded video in this post.  Ach, it’s easier just to embed it again.

Nova - Trafigura 17 Mei 2010 from Reform UK Libel Law on Vimeo.

Dr Busch said this as a comment:

“The same chap who is saying he was lying in his testimony had already published an article in an Ivoirian newspaper, well before meeting anyone from Trafigura, that he and the other drivers were unaffected by their contact with the liquids they were transporting. In which of his lies and retractions are we to find truth? Perhaps his motives are not to tell the truth but to live as a parasite on the misguided NGOs who seek an anchor for their flights of fancy.Perjury compounded by further perjury does not make truth.
18 November 2010 09:25


I replied thus,

I know of the interview to which you refer: in May this year Macfarlane's gave me a translation which I put online here.

Who knows if they told the truth in the interview and lie now or if they lied in the interview and tell the truth now?

I certainly don't know where the truth lies and nor can you unless you were much closer to Trafigura than you have let on.

Still I keep an open mind on the subject.

Is your mind still open?
18 November 2010 12:07

Dr Busch hasn’t replied.  I wish he wouldn’t run away from a simple question. 

Why would he run away?

I take his not having answered so far as “running away” but  perhaps I am being unfair.  There may well be a perfectly valid reason for his inaction.

But he does have form on this.  I’ll post about that later.

Music in the Morning - Friday

One of my favourites of all–time.

Whiter Shade of Pale                                       Procul Harum

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Music in the Morning - Thursday

Mychael and Jeff Danna return after 7 months with a beautiful lament.

Mychael and Jeff Danna:  The Lament         Krysia Kocjan

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Trafigura: Bribery Allegations Video

During May this year allegations were made by the Dutch newspaper, de Volkskrant, and by Greenpeace that Trafigura/Macfarlanes had paid Ivorian waste truck drivers to say none suffered ill-effects as a result of transporting and dumping the Probo Koala’s waste.  Clearly this is a very serious allegation.

Trafigura and Macfarlanes refuted the allegations in very, very strong terms.  Their rebuttal is here.

These two posts of mine (1 and 2 and the links within) give you the background to the case.

Now a good quality video of the work carried out by Greenpeace is available on Vimeo.  YouTube has carried copies for months but the quality was so poor that the subtitles were not legible.

Below you can now view the video which is worth watching as part of the Trafigura story.  If you’d prefer the video is online here.

I myself make no allegations.  I do not know where the truth lies.

Many thanks are due to those who have made this video available.

Music in the Morning - Wednesday

This music is a Far Cry from where my blog started.

Geminiani: Concerto Grosso no.3 in C major,
Mvmts I. Adagio & II. Allegro

[played beautifully  by A Far Cry]

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Dorries on Abortion: One-Side View of Informed Consent

On Saturday, Dorries posted as follows:

Informed Consent

Further information regarding the reasons why we need informed consent.
We can no longer continue to harm women by witholding the facts. They have a right to know and a right to choose.

Women do have the right to know but that right extends to both sides of the debate. 

The paper to which Dorries links is a critical response to an  earlier article, the author [of the critical response] of which is a pro-life advocate.  Dorries doesn’t mention this.

In her speech in the Commons, Dorries says, “it is vital for women to receive information that is absolutely accurate”.  It is disappointing that Dorries doesn’t follow her own advice but gives only the pro-life view.

By the way I haven’t received a reply to my email to Dorries about errors in her speech to the Commons.

The original paper by Brenda Major  - she may be pro-choice: I don’t know - can be read here.

The critical paper by Priscilla Coleman – she is pro-life – can be read here.

Update @ 20 Nov 2010 16.35:  The link to Priscilla Coleman now works.  Thanks E.

Music in the Morning - Tuesday

Music and words merge – after 2m 37s – to give  … heaven!

Norland Wind  to the tune   Magheracloone
                                                                        Battlefield Band


Oh tell me fit was on yer road ye roarin Norland wind?
As ye come blawin frae the land that's never frae ma mind.
Ma feet they traivel England but I'm deein for the North."
"Ma man, I saw the siller tides rin up the Firth o Forth."

"Aye wind, I ken them weel eneuch an fine they fa and rise,
And fain I'd feel the creepin mist on yonder shore that lies.
But tell me as ye pass them by fit saw ye on the way?"
"Ma man, I rocked the rovin gulls that sail abin the Tay."

"Bit saw ye naethin leein wind afore ye come tae Fife?
For there's muckle lyin 'yont the Tay that's mair tae me nor life."
"Ma man, I swept the Angus braes that ye hivna trod for years."
"Oh wind, forgie a hameless loon that canna see for tears."

"And far abin the Angus straths I saw the wild geese flee,
A lang, lang skein o beatin wings wi their heids toward the sea,
And aye their cryin voices trailed ahint them on the air."
"Oh wind, hae mercy, haud your wheesht for I daurna listen mair."

Start of a New “Career” or the End of a Dream

I take my first step into poetry in public this Friday evening at an open mic session.  I’m third on.  God, I’m nervous but looking forward to my short session. 

Through a friend I’ve had an experienced performance poet look at my poems and his comments have given me great advice and confidence.

Now, if only I can make arrangements for my kids to be looked after, then I’ll be there!

I’ll update you …… provided I survive.

Survive?  I’m going to bloody thrive there! …………………………

……………. I hope.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Music in the Morning - Monday

A chick plays piano today.

Waltz for Debby                   Chick Corea and Gary Burton

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Sunday Morning Coffee with Richard Thompson

The weeks race round and another show is ready for you and I am ready whenever you are.  Today your visitor is Richard Thompson, a brilliant singer / songwriter / guitarist, whose talents far exceed his fame.  A snippet from a review of a biography said, “Hugely respected by critics and fellow musicians …”

How unfair is life but I know you will love him.

Now the normal routine: coffee, comfy seat, sit back and relax and I’ll get the show started.

Wall of Death                                  with Christine Collister

Originally this song was on an album with his then wife, Linda, who shared the vocals.  Her place in this version is taken by Christine Collister who has a fabulous voice.

To me this seems to be a song about risk: the risk of being free versus the boredom and certainty of the safe, the routine, the familiar. 


A bit older than I – not much though – Richard John Thompson was born in London in April 1949, his father being Scottish and a Scotland Yard detective.   Music was, though, important within his family and he was exposed to the influence of Scottish music  …. among others.

Joe Boyd, the record producer said,

“In his playing you can hear the evocation of the Scottish piper's drone and the melody of the chanter as well as echoes of Barney Kessell's and James Burton's guitars and Jerry Lee Lewis's piano.”

I can’t hear this but I’ll believe him.



Our second song is a song of love, of yearning. 

Dimming of the Day

This old house is falling down around my ears
I'm drowning in a river of my tears
When all my will is gone you hold me sway
I need you at the dimming of the day

You pull me like the moon pulls on the tide
You know just where I keep my better side

What days have come to keep us far apart
A broken promise or a broken heart
Now all the bonnie birds have wheeled away
I need you at the dimming of the day

Come the night you're only what I want
Come the night you could be my confidant

I see you on the street in company
Why don't you come and ease your mind with me
I'm living for the night we steal away
I need you at the dimming of the day
I need you at the dimming of the day

This is a magical song with lyrics of poetic quality. 

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.  Over and over have I played this and over and over am I touched to the core.


That Fairport Convention was signed to a record label was down to Thompson’s skills.  Wikipedia has this,

By the age of 18 Thompson was playing with the newly formed Fairport Convention. It was Thompson’s guitar playing that caught the ear of American producer Joe Boyd. Largely on the strength of Thompson’s playing Boyd took them under his wing and signed them to his Witchseason production and management company.

Boyd: "And there was this group of very nice Muswell Hill grammar school boys and a girl playing American music. Leonard Cohen songs, and Richard Farina songs, and Bob Dylan songs, all being done in a kind of West-Coasty rock style. And then came the guitar solo, and Richard just played the most amazing solo. He played a solo which quotes from Django, from Charlie Christian, you know, an incredibly sophisticated little solo. And that really amazed me, the breadth of his sophistication... and so, you know, at the end of the gig I was in the dressing room saying 'would you guys like to make a record?'"


We have a song now which was released in 1969 by Fairport Convention as their second single. Of course, the song was Thompson’s.

Meet on the Ledge

I have no idea what this is about but it gives me a feeling of great depth and seriousness. 


Thompson stayed only three years with Fairport before going solo in 1971.  He married Linda Peters, a folk-singer, in 1972 and they recorded several albums as, unsurprisingly, Richard and Linda Thompson.   One of their tracks, the gorgeous “A Heart needs a Home” was included in my  “Old Grey Whistle Test” show.  They converted to Islam and largely disappeared from music for a few years.



Next is one of the first Richard Thompson songs I heard.  My brother bought this album – “I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight” and the follow-up album  - “Hokey Pokey” - which he (Richard and not my brother) recorded with Linda.  The chosen song, the last on the album, is heavy, filled with self-pity and takes a bit of listening to but keep going and I think you’ll be glad that you did.

The Great Valerio                              with Linda Thompson

Did you hear it through?  I hope so.  This entire album is recognised as a classic with no weaknesses.


The Thompsons had three children, one of whom, Teddy is a professional musician.  The last track in this show is a father and son duet.

Unfortunately the Thompsons had marriage problems but they continued to perform together with some difficulty: Richard would write songs loaded with emotional baggage and his “departing” wife would sing his words.

I’ve read over the years of how, at times, their troubles spilt over into their shows: Linda hitting Richard or tripping him up as he entered the stage.



After “The Great Valerio”  we reach the half-time break with Richard having a bit of fun.  Enjoy.

Hots for the Smarts



This is your chance to get a refill and stretch your legs.  I have just made my coffee and a couple of cheese rolls but there’s no need for you to stuff your face too. 

I’ll start again once I have sated myself but I’ll still be ready before you!

Right!  That didn’t take long for the rolls to disappear – a couple of bites for each.  Sorry, am I giving you too many personal details?


Richard kicks off again with another song of loss but a very recent video – earlier this year, 2010.

Brother Slips Away

One commenter makes the very perceptive point, “Brilliant but that's what we expect from a master.”   Oh, that was me! 


We move straight on now to a strangely name song.

1952 Vincent Black Lightning

Vincent Black Lightning

This is a song of love, a girl, death and a motorbike but not just any motorbike not just any girl.

Wikipedia has this to say,

“The Vincent Black Lightning was a British motorcycle designed and built in September 1948 at the Vincent works in Great North Road, Stevenage, Hertfordshire UK between 1948 and 1952. At the time the Black Lightning was the fastest production motorcycle in the world.

Vincent Motorcycles began motorcycle production in 1928 and were well established after World War II when they launched the 1000 cc Black Lightning. This was a production version of the Black Lightning which held the world land speed record, with a similar engine specification.”


Thompson writes in the last verse,

“…. there's nothing in this world beats a 52 Vincent and a red headed girl”

A man can love more than one being!



In 1985, I think it was, Thompson remarried and moved to the States but little changed in terms of his career: great records loved by critics, fans and other musicians but his major breakthrough never came.



Now you get a BOGOF offer: two songs in the one video from one of Thompson’s appearance on “Later with Jools Holland”.

Between the two songs Thompson tells us what each is about.

King of Bohemia / I Can’t Wake up to Save My Life

Jools called it right when he described the first song as “very beautiful” and the second is much harsher but shows off some of Richard’s guitar skills.  Magic!


For the last twenty years or so Thompson has toured with another Thompson, the fabulous bass player – Danny.  You’ll see Danny in quite a few of today’s videos as well as in many of the “Transatlantic Sessions” videos.  My Transatlantic Sessions show can be seen here.



Cooksferry Queen

Another performance on Jools’ show and with Danny where he is so often.

This song is from an album, “Mock Tudor”, which Wikipedia says was acclaimed by critics and fans but, as usual, didn’t disturb the public.  I’m a fan and so you know what I think.

Great guitar work  ….. as usual


This week I’ve had an incredibly difficult task cutting the videos down to the normal ten.  My first cull reduced the numbers to 43 possibles and subsequent culls to 23, 19 and 13 before I reached the necessary 10.  The difficulty, however, gave me a bonus in that I had to listen over and over to Richard’s brilliance.



Here we have reached the end – I can’t believe it – with a gorgeous song, a duet between Richard and his son, Teddy.  The video is not of a great quality but the audio is fine.

Persuasion                                          with Teddy Thompson

Perfect Persuasion.


Thompson is such a great writer and guitarist:

For years, Richard Thompson resided in relative obscurity, while at the same time garnering vast critical praise for his magnificent guitar work and the dark wit and richness of his extraordinary songwriting.

that I have always wondered why he never had greater commercial success but, by putting this show together, I think the reason is clear: the songs just aren’t geared for a mainstream audience.  Fans may know they’re brilliant but unless there is a hook for mainstream audiences the songs limp by barely noticed despite their many qualities.  It’s as though he has wanted that success but could never compromise on his principles to find it.

For that I’m delighted.  I’d much rather have the full strength Thompson.

Thank you so much, Richard.


Another week – this is my 46th show – has passed, the show has gone for the moment but you can listen to the music on my YouTube channel here or at the playlist for this show here.

Have a great week and I’ll be ready and waiting next Sunday with another show.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Music in the Morning - Saturday

Vivaldi returns again to give you pleasure this Saturday morning.

Vivaldi  Cello Sonata in A Minor RV44 
                     Movements 1 (Largo) and 2 (Allegro pocco)

I normally make no comment about Morning music but today I must.  The second movement sounds so utterly modern it’s amazing that it is more than 270 years old.

[Performed by Pulcinella featuring Ophelie Gaillard, cello]

Friday, 12 November 2010

Music in the Morning - Friday

Classical music with a difference.

Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2          Victor Borge et al

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Music in the Morning - Thursday

A newcomer sings beautifully for you.

The Gathering of Spirits                           Carrie Newcomer

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Sunday Morning Coffee: Music Playlists

YouTube playlists are now available for most – not all – of my Sunday Morning Coffee shows – click HERE.

YouTube Channel

More playlists than are available in this screenshot are available -   http://www.youtube.com/user/calumcarr1#g/p

These are ideal if you want to play the music continuously or listen without the interruption of my ramblings.

Music in the Morning - Wednesday

Something a little bit different!

Swinging Bach: From Concerto for Two Violins
                                              Taro Hakase & Iwao Furusawa

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Is Nadine Dorries the Next Trafigura?

I leave you to ponder this.

Am I a Music Blog?

Looks like it, doesn’t it.  Music, more music and yet more music with nothing in between.  This is how I suspected the blog would go for a while ….. but ….. I feel somehow that this isn’t right, that I should have other posts.  It’s my guilty Calum mode.

And so here is a post as the exception to the all music “rule”. Not much of a post, it must be said, but the typewriter has felt the pressure of fingers and my brain has had to kick into a very low gear after months of rusting idleness.

One other bit of news is that I might be following Liz into publicly reciting some poems.  I’ve found an open mic poetry session in about 10 days and I’m thinking about going along and exposing myself – at least that would get a laugh – to public ridicule.

Do I have the balls for this?

Music in the Morning - Tuesday

Catriona MacKay brings her harp.

Swan LK 243                                                Catriona MacKay

with Aly Bain - fiddle; Jerry Douglas - dobro; Donald Shaw - piano; Russ Barenberg - guitar

Monday, 8 November 2010

Music in the Morning - Monday

This video has been watched more than 3 million times.

You and I                       Ingrid Michaelson with Dan Romer