September 22, 2023

By Richard Beale……

“If music be the food of love, play on, give me excess of it” so said William Shakespeare, how true this is when you are in a ‘lockdown’.

With my wife stranded in the UK, no sport to watch or write about, no DIY (Yapi) Markets open (thankfully!) then my “isolation challenge” is partially fulfilled by music.

When we moved over here many years ago I rediscovered Radio Caroline, yes it is still going, the ex pirate radio station. Caroline is legally now broadcasting and plays my type of music, which is not mainstream. Every day they have a “My top 15” show, where listeners are invited to send in their favourite 15 songs, luckily my “top 15” were broadcast a few years ago, though it was very difficult to reduce it down down to just 15 choices, 100 would have been better!

Music has played a big part in my life, with work I was “on the road” so to speak as a sales representative and then truck driver, where the radio was my only companion. Prior to that I grew up around the Bristol music pub and club scene, where a friend of mine was in a group. I was an unpaid “roadie”, well I was paid in beer! My friend’s group were good doing rock standards and writing their own material, they tried for a recording contract but alas it never happened.

SEND IN YOUR SELECTION and we will publish it, maybe you can give a brief description of why you like that record or just simply say it’s one of my favourites. Email me on

Music is personal, private and yes a little self indulgent, here is my choice, which of course is available on youtube.


15 THE POACHER by the late RONNIE LANE click here , a quiet unassuming song about life in the English countryside, which got to number 36 in the UK charts in 1974.

14 – THE BIG ONES GOT AWAY by BUFFY SAINTE MARIE click here a passionate song by the indigenous Canadian/ USA singer basically about how the big Corporations and Companies seem to get away with it. Reached number 39 in the UK charts in 1974.

13SHIPYARDS – by THE LAKE POETS click here, the theme music from the Netflix series “Sunderland Till I Die” a beautiful song about the past shipyards and ship building on the River Wear.

12- BIG RIVER -by JIMMY NAIL click here yes Oz from Auf Wiedersehen Pet, who had a quite successful music career in the 90’s, this is again a beautifully written song and sung by the big man about the decline of shipbuilding on the River Tyne, which got to number 18 in 1995.

11 SOUND OF SILENCE – by THE DISTURBED click here a cover of the old Simon and Garfunkel number when this song gets going, the power of the singer’s voice is very disturbing !

10ME, MY GUITAR AND THE BLUES – by WALTER TROUT click here from his 2019 Survivor album, I only recently discovered this seasonal blues guitarist but boy can he play a mean guitar !

9 I’LL PLAY THE BLUES FOR YOU -by JOE BONAMASSA click here, American rock and blues guitarist who has broken through on the music scene in the last couple of years, again this guy can sing the blues and play a mean guitar as well.

8 FIRE ON THE FLOOR – By BETH HART click here another bluesy record recorded in 2016. She puts all of her passion and emotions into this song with her powerful voice.

7- FIRE IT UP by the great late JOE COCKER click here  a 2012 release by the ‘gasman’ from Sheffield that reached number 64 in the UK charts. This record shows that even 2 years before his death this legend’s voice remained powerful and distinctive.

6- HURRICANE by BOB DYLAN click here, I suppose you cannot have a selection without a Bob Dylan record, this song was released in 1976 and later made into a film starring Denzil Washington about the false imprisonment of American boxer Reubin Carter, great film, great song.

5- DIGNITY – by DEACON BLUE click here any songwriter that writes about  “And I am telling this story, in a faraway sea, sipping Raki and reading Maynard Keynes” rocks my boat! I may not know who Maynard Keynes is but I am certainly sipping the Rakı!  Ricky Ross song captures Cyprus for me. 

4- HOUSE OF MERCY BEX MARSHALL click here our very own TRNC blues/rock sister, Bex, owns a house here and frequently gives concerts in the area, we are very fortunate to have a class act on our doorstep. With her deep gravelly blues voice she is also a very fine guitarist as well. House of Mercy is the title track taken from her 2012 album of the same name. If you get a chance to see her over here in concert you will not be disappointed.

3- YOU’RE THE BEST THING by THE STYLE COUNCIL. click here Back in the early 2000s we always rented the same Villa “down south” near Posmos for our holidays. Posmos in those days just had a few fish restaurants on the small harbour, idyllic and peaceful this is where we really fell in love with Cyprus. The villa was secluded and private, we had only 2 CDS to play! one was Tom Jones RELOAD, the other was Style Council Greatest Hits hence the love for this record.

2SIERRA – by BOZ SCAGGS click here   a track from his 1996 album “Fade into the Light” a heart wrenching song of a spurned lover retreating to the mountains, imagery of cold icy air, blue sky and hawks swirling and swooping in the sky. I am not a spurned lover, well I don’t think I am! a record to sip Rakı and watch the mountains and the sea.

MY FAVOURITE RECORD (is somebody you probably never heard of!)

1 – GREY BROKEN MORNING  by MILLER ANDERSON the ex Keef Hartley Band blues and rock guitarist from his first solo album 1971 “Bright City”. As soon as I hear that  flugelhorn and electric piano intro, wow it just knocks me out. Again sun, mountains, sea, Cyprus and drinking Rakı are conjured up. You look around see what you achieved in life, despite this horrible virus life isn’t so bad. Lockdown or no lockdown they can’t take away your music.

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