Gene Tierney


Decided to try doing something non-digital for a change, just pencils, pens, markers and a layout pad.

I’ve been watching a lot of Gene Tierney films of late (Laura, Leave Her To Heaven, Whirlpool, The Ghost & Mrs Muir, Thunderbirds etc) and also reading her auto-bio. This was quicker to do than I’d expected, I had to leave the imperfections and mistakes in and just get on with it.


Drawing time recently has been limited, but the idea for a Jessie Matthews biography zine is still moving forward. First two pages, the copy isn’t right yet but it’s heading in the right direction.

Jessie Matthews

Where I’ve got to with the Jessie Matthews bio zine


First draft Intro cover page.

First draft Intro cover page.

Blue Blue Blue Christmas

1) Roland WoodmanBlue Blue Blue Christmas

This is an Elvis Sandwich and it’s a good concept. Mostly because this is an appropriate use for the man who infamously chartered a plane to go buy a Sandwich (Fools Gold loaf for those that are interested in insanely calorific snack food).

The filling in the sanwich however is blue. Both ‘blue’ in tone and blue in a bluesy sort of way. Canned Heat is a great Blue’s Christmas track and move perfectly onto Jools Holland with Edwin Starr, which also has very good horns. First appearance for some Bluegrass too – and it’s all hick’s and hoe-down’s soundin’. Then it’s Joni Mitchell and River (from the album Blue) – a very good choice as it’s a non standard, non typical song that qualifies as it references seasonal activities. It’s prime Joni Mitchell

Up next is Gary Jules and his version of Tears for Fears ‘Mad World’ (note, this needs to be added to the Spotify list). It’s a song I used to love from ‘The Hurting’, but this version got so much airplay I eventually got sick to death of it, still it comes from Donnie Darko which is a good thing.

Christmas Time is Here is a lovely brushed drum and dolefull piano Jazz track which is – it’s part of the soundtrack to ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ which was the first animated appearance of the Peanut’s comic strip gang. For referecning both comic book and animation history this get’s something approaching a gazzillion points.

Next up is the Coventry Carol – sung beautifully by Hayley Westenra. Score’s well on the ‘proximity to Roy Wood rule’ because I used to live very close to Coventry. Alison Crowe with ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’ fit’s perfectly next to this and this playlist is already crying out for a roaring fire and some time for quiet reflection.

Elvis Blue Christmas rounds this out – he’s the Alpha and the Omega, he IS the king and this is his season. I got married on the 23rd December and I played Elvis before going to the registry office – so this works for me.  Overall another very very good list and one that is going to give me trouble deciding who’s going to win the ‘single minded playlist’ prize !

A concept album arrives – and it brings it's own rules…..

1) Jeremy Potter12 Days Of Christmas

This is an immaculately conceived concept – it uses 12 song that reference each of the days of Christmas. It starts with a Partridge and ends with twelve drummers and it also remembers the importance of FIVE GOLD RINGS. If Rick Wakeman had concieved a Christmas playlist this is what he’d have devisied – it’s a concept playlist.

But is it any good ?

Well, actually, yes  it is.

Does it break the rules – yes it does, and in a number of ways (it’s not 10 songs, there not all ‘Christmas’ songs as previously, but loosely defined). Does it matter ? Well…. it’s clever, not only do the songs match their slot but the artists have been carefully selected – ‘Snowy White’ , ‘The Jesus Lizard’. That’s a level of detail that playlist nerds like!

Also, I’m sitting in bed wearing a T-Shirt with Carl Sagan’s face and a quote encouraging the challenging of ‘argument’s from authority’ so I’m going to run with it. It’s by no means a conventional Christmas playlist but it’s been so well curated it would be plain daft to discount.

Any use of Alan Partridge is a good thing, any use of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers is generally a bad thing. ‘Chuckling Hens’ is one of the odder Christmas tracks turned up this year ‘oh the Cock sat up in the Yew tree…. we wish the cock would drop the turd and drop it in your eye’ is a line not easily forgotten. And then on to Snowy White – as befits his background it’s all Floyd and Thin Lizzy fret work and examplary guitar work it is too, a surprisingly good inclusion!

To follow it with Roy Orbison is also a very good move – I could listen to Roy Orbison sing a telephone directory and be enchanted. Then Joan Armatrading, it’s not a Christmas Song but it’s brilliant, properly brilliant (and it also hits big marks on the ‘proximity to Roy Wood’ rule, on the principle that Joan Armatrading lived in Handsworth, and so did I). When Lisa Gerrard arrives I started wondering if Jeremy has found a way of sneeking a peek at my vinyl collection… This Mortal Coil and Dead Can Dance are there.

The Dubliners remind me of my nan and this is also a very good thing, it does also sound somewhat festive. The Jesus Lizard impart a seedy air with ‘Dancing Naked Ladies’ and the variety of the list is helped by it’s inlusion. Silence at Sea is a very nice inclusion and it references the whole concept.

Jeremy has spent WEEKS trying to work out how to include AC/DC in a list and he TOTALLY Triumphs with the ‘Red Hot Chilli Pipers’ notably their use of ‘Thunderstruck’ – firstly it’s festive, it’s the best use I’ve ever heard for bag-pipes and it’s better than the real Chilli Peppers track earlier, which I now see as a deliberate inclusion to highlight their inadequacies. Some loud drumming and hitting things to end with, is a good end.

A cat has been set amongst the pigeons. It’s not even the right sort of cat, or the right sort of pigeons but it’s here and now we have to contemplate is this really a work of genius ?