Author of the Song by Song book series, TV journalist & producer, video PR executive
Nigel Planer and Neil Avery
Comedy and acting legend Nigel Planer has enjoyed an illustrious career over four decades. Enjoying No. 1 and No. 2 chart hits, in character as Neil from The Young Ones, Planer is no stranger to the music business. He's teamed up with songwriter Neil Avery to record an album of new songs, which the pair discuss here. Planer also talks about his music career, including dodging bottles of urine at The Monsters of Rock Festival and messing about outside the gents' toilets with Status Quo at the Band Aid recordings.
Fistful of Chords - Shingai
Ahead of the release of solo album 'Too Bold', Shingai tells Jim Drury about the new record and the many highlights of her career, both in The Noisettes and as a lone artist. Shingai also reveals how the exploitation of black female singers by the music industry riles her, how she performed weekly online concerts with her family during lockdown, and why she is optimistic about the future for entertainment, despite its current travails.
Fistful of Chords - Mike Stock Part 2
Mike Stock, creative genius at the heart of Stock Aitken and Waterman's 'Hit Factory', says a concerted attempt by the record industry to derail SAW's success ended the songwriting-production team's chart domination. In part 2 of this podcast, Stock also reflects on how the music business ignored his warning that the advent of the internet threatened their entire business model.
Fistful of Chords - Erik Stein (Cult with No Name)
Cult with No Name frontman Erik Stein tells Jim Drury about recording 10 albums in 14 years, writing the music for the movie Blue Velvet Revisited, and how his early teenage gigs involved using an ironing board as part of his stage equipment!
Fistful of Chords - Mike Stock (Stock Aitken Waterman) Part 1
As arguably the most vital member of the songwriting machine that was Stock Aitken Waterman, Mike Stock is one of the most successful songwriters of all time, holding the record for the most No. 1 records with different acts. In Part 1 of his interview, Stock tells Jim Drury how he started in the business, how some of the biggest SAW hits were created, and how Donna Summer could sing the phone directory and make it sound great....while other SAW artists couldn't.
Fistful of Chords - Simon Hanson (Squeeze)
Squeeze's powerhouse drummer Simon Hanson gives the lowdown on life in the industry, how joining Death in Vegas propelled him into the big time, and the way that personal tragedy at the age of 19 made him feel immortal. He also tells Jim Drury about his joy at working with Squeeze songwriting icons Glenn Tilbrook & Chris Difford. (Photo copyright - Clare Davis)
Really love this series. There is a genuine warmth and affection between Jim and his guests. You can tell that Jim knows a huge amount about the backstory of the performers but leaves them the space to tell their stories.