3 Chords & the Truth: You Love us… You REALLLY Love Us!

July 10th, 2015

Monday, 6 July 2015
A – Z of Maverick Festival – Easton Farm Park, Suffolk. Friday 3rd July to Saturday July 2015

Mavericks of Maverick - BC & thee Welfare Mothers

Mavericks of Maverick – BC & thee Welfare Mothers


My mean tambourine

My mean tambourine

W is for the splendidly named Welfare Mothers and their top rate frontman Bob Collum. Having reviewed Bob’s latest album at the start of the year and thoroughly enjoying it on many repeat plays, listening to the songs live proved to be the icing on the cake. His duet with Marianne Hyatt on ‘It’s a Good Thing We’re in Love’ is one of the songs of the year and the live rendition on the Sweet Home Alabama stage on the most perfect summer’s afternoon was a joy to behold. At this point the resistance to quote the glorious line ‘I do the jumping when you holler frog’ is withered away and hearing it live brought out an extra smile.



Smilin Bob Full band Me dancin w tambourine


#LittleRockLP on SHERIFF’S ROCK & BLUES SHOW – Scotland69am – Friday 16 January

January 14th, 2015

Just days from its imminent release, #LittleRockLP, will be featured on SHERIFF’s ROCK&BLUES show this Friday 16th January 2015, 11.30pm


A really great vehicle for us – eclectic musical curation – & with no ads or traffic reports …..

DJ Sheriff Ron Lancs is a passionate and enduring lover of music, so we are just thrilled we made the cut.

Bob will give listeners the stories behind the music, between radio play of #LittleRockLP selections

Mick Denny designed

Mick Denny designed

Hell, even I get a word in edgewise, since my track on #LittleRockLP – SUPERDOME – was blessed enough by the Sheriff’s consummate taste in music to get some broadcast play, too.

Riot at the Superdome - photo c/o the mighty Mick Denny

Riot at the Superdome – photo c/o the mighty Mick Denny

Can’t wait to hear it all on the radio this Friday!



#LittleRockLP – https://twitter.com/hashtag/LittleRockLP?src=hash

Out on Harbour Song Records 19 January 2015 – pre-order http://www.harboursong.co.uk

… or from Lea Valley Records http://www.leavalleyrecords.com (#LittleRockLP official flavour of the month, tipped for early album of the year, 2015)

We’re big in Belgium, Buster – ROOTSTIME.BE has spoken

January 11th, 2015

When this stellar review of Bob Collum’s #LittleRockLP came out in ROOTSTIME.BE, I had a pretty good inkling that they liked us.  However, I couldn’t be sure til my great multi-lingual, cosmopolitan buddy, Justine Harcourt de Tourville gave me the skinny, via a smooth translation from Belgian to Texan.  A lone star salute to you Ms Justini, first your mother introduces my parents to one another, and now this.  The IOU is infinite, my dear friend! xxxxxxx


Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but living in Essex county, near London, singer and songwriter Bob Collum has crafted an impressive musical career during the past years. He started as a solo artist in 1997 with the debut album More Tragic Songs Of Life followed by the album Low Rent Romeo in 2001 and a number of solo EPs.

The first recorded album, The Boy Most Likely To… , with his group “The Welfare Mothers,” in 2004 and its successor, Set The Stupid Set Free, in 2007 received rave reviews in Roots Time. They were followed by Twisted Rhymes & Mixed Up Lines in 2009, and The New Old Thing and The Ungrateful Depression, two EPs, so there was a wait until now for Bob Collum & The Welfare Mothers’ full second studio album to appear.

The Welfare Mothers is comprised of Bob’s muse, singer Marianne Hyatt, steel guitarist Allan Kelly, bassist Gareth Davies and drummer Paul Quarry. Along with the singer and guitarist, Bob Collum, they put ten songs on this new album Little Rock, the link to the video below will serve as an introduction.

With alternating rock songs and alt-country or Americana tunes, we are talking about a very successful record. With the exception of the beautiful song, “Superdome,” written and sung by Marianne Hyatt, all other songs flowed from Bob Collum’s composer pen.

Our favorite tracks from this album are the country-rock song “Wasted Wonderland,” the clever country ballad “Broken Down,” the rocking “Seven Kinds Of Sorrow,” the Nick Lowe-esque “Good Thing We’re In Love” that Bob and Marianne perform in duet form and the catchy closing song “Empty Hands Of Love” with strong steel guitar work by Allan Kelly.

As for us, we believe Bob Collum should not wait another seven years to release a new album, because if the quality of that future record would be similar to this Little Rock cd, then a follow-up can’t come soon enough.



For any & all things #LittleRockLP – https://twitter.com/hashtag/LittleRockLP?src=hash

GOOD THING WE’RE IN LOVE got AmazingRadio play on DJ Baylen Leonard’s FRONT PORCH

January 11th, 2015

First show of the year on THE FRONT PORCH at Amazing Radio, & DJ Baylen Leonard’s gotta have the best radio theme song ever…. just bloggin.  So thrilled BOB COLLUM & THE WELFARE MOTHERS – http://www.bobcollum.com – made it to the playlist again!…. Saturday 10th January, but this time with a different song than before – GOOD THING WE’RE IN LOVE – from our big, up&comin #LittleRockLP.  It’s a little duet I co-wrote with superb Mr Bob.  So thrilled it’s on the album.

Poster child, Bob Collum, down Southend.  Release date 19 January 2015

Poster child, Bob Collum, down Southend. Release date 19 January 2015













Here’s a 4 track selection from BC & the WMs #LittleRockLP on Amazing Radio, 3 of which have made it to DJ Baylen Leonard’s impeccably tasteful playlist!


THE FRONT PORCH is just chock full of fabulous music, can’t believe we’re on Saturday’s show with Foghorn Leghorn’s grabass bluegrass ‘Petersburg Gal’ and Hank Wangford’s ‘Sunk without Trace’ – put your boots in the stirrups & waltz, Cowgirl! Immediately following us, Carleton Stone’s ‘Blood is Thicker than Water’ and Sons of Bill’s ‘Big Unknown’ are just dazzling to the ear.  Run Boy Run’s ‘Spin a Golden Thread’ is particularly swoon worthy.  Check out the whole show – ex post facto – right here.


DJ Mr Leonard mentioned that most releases for the new year happen on 26th January, but Alt C&W fans, BOB COLLUM & THE WELFARE MOTHERS are beatin em all to the punch one week early!  That’s right, #LittleRockLP is out 19th January on Harbour Song Records, but you can pre-order it c/o their site http://www.harboursong.co.uk

Apparently you can get it here too, seeing as how Lea Valley Records have made #LittleRockLP ALBUM OF THE MONTH whew!


For any and all things #LittleRockLP – https://twitter.com/hashtag/LittleRockLP?src=hash

#LittleRockLP is Lea Valley Records’ ALBUM OF THE MONTH

January 9th, 2015

In fact it’s an “early contender for ALBUM OF THE YEAR”, according to Lea Valley Records, an online record store specialising in UK americana / alt-country and alternative music.

#LittleRockLP is out 19 January 2015 – 10 days away –  but now there are two places you may pre-order.  Set out below for your consumption and pleasure



Poster child, Bob Collum, down Southend.  Release date 19 January 2015

Poster child, Bob Collum, down Southend. Release date 19 January 2015

I’m thrilled to get some very honourable mention, including a co-writing credit with Mr Bob Collum, in our duet – ‘GOOD THING WE’RE IN LOVE.

“Good Thing We’re In Love … was co-authored with Marianne Hyatt (and could have been sung by Kenny & Dolly)…. Collum & Hyatt compliment each other so well, their harmonies are one of the best features of the album.”

It’s due for some radio play tomorrow, this Saturday 6pm, on AMAZING RADIO c/o Baylen Leonard’s Front Porch:


Mr Leonard is a true champ of #LittleRockLP and has played a few different tracks from Bob’s big up & comer, including ‘SUPERDOME’, which also gets mentioned in Lea Valley Records review:  “… a Hyatt composition in which her wonderful ‘southern’ vocals come into their own. It also features some lovely pedal steel guitar by Allan Kelly.”


Riot at the Superdome - photo c/o the mighty Mick Denny

Riot at the Superdome – photo c/o the mighty Mick Denny





3 CHORDS & THE TRUTH give Bob another stunning Review

January 1st, 2015

I’m not gonna hold back:  I got some winning attention here – thrilled speechless.


Still, I can copy & paste….

“Any further micro analysis of this record cannot go past a country duet of magnificent magnitude. Bob has worked with Marianne Hyatt on previous releases and together they have produced an ear catching number sparking marital chords around the land. ‘Good Thing We’re In Love’ is the only co-write on the record and rattles along in biting and cutting disunity, though forever thankful of the sanctity of the title. Positioning itself alongside the lofty perch of My Darling Clementine duets, this stand out song possess easily the best lyric for this and many a year ‘I do the jumping when you holler frog’. Another MDC link is the addition of Martin Belmont to the lengthy list of players joining the core of Bob’s band, wonderfully named The Welfare Mothers.”

Poster child, Bob Collum, down Southend.  Release date 19 January 2015

Poster child, Bob Collum, down Southend. Release date 19 January 2015

&…. “Presently Bob is tied up with Harbour Song Records and it would be great if the album got promoted live around the country. Obviously integral to this would be Marianne who wrote and performed the track ‘Superdome’, a number wrapped in alt-indie sensibilities and is believed to be based on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.”   Spot on, David!  Bob got third billing on the whole of the site, just after Ryan Bingham’s new one, and Annie Keating.

Riot at the Superdome - photo c/o the mighty Mick Denny

Riot at the Superdome – photo c/o the mighty Mick Denny

Awwww check the parting gesture here:

“Making a New Year resolution to check out the work of Bob Collum and the Welfare Mothers is one of your easier January commitments and will definitely be a rewarding one. LITTLE ROCK is an album which won’t disappoint and that duet has got to be the final parting shot. Make sure by hook or by crook you check out ‘Good Thing We’re In Love’.”

Whew I need to smoke a fat one now!  Again, you can preorder your HNY copy b4 release 19th January 2015 c/o Harbour Song Records


Hashtag #LittleRockLP for mo:  https://twitter.com/hashtag/littlerocklp?src=hash

Honourable Mention in UNCUT MAG (Feb ’15) for Bob Collum’s ‘Little Rock’ LP

January 1st, 2015

Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, BOB COLLUM & THE WELFARE MOTHERS’ new album – #LittleRockLP – is out 19th January, this year 2015.

uncut2015 copy

Already we’ve been getting all kind of radio play, including the BBC!  We’ve just got our first big review for the year from Uncut Magazine (February 2015 issue), and I’ve got some mention for a song I wrote with Bob:  ‘It’s a Good Thing We’re in Love’

You can still pre-order your copy at Harbour Song Records – http://www.harboursong.co.uk

Bowie cover

SUPERDOME on Amazing Radio’s ‘The Front Porch’ – Saturday 22 Nov 6pm

November 22nd, 2014

Tune in 2morrow ’bout 6pm : My song, SUPERDOME, is on Amazing Radio’s ‘The Front Porch’

Riot at the Superdome - photo c/o the mighty Mick Denny

Riot at the Superdome – photo c/o the mighty Mick Denny













It’s one of many mighty tracks on Bob Collum & the Welfare Mothers’ up&comin #LittleRockLP


Release Poster for Jan '15

Release 19 January 2015 on Harbour Song Records

More foreplay here on

Album cover & photo designs by the formidable Mick Denny

Marianne Hyatt

Certified & Set Aside

September 19th, 2014

Flat out exhausted.  Second full week back at work …. and with extra hours thrown in for good measure.  I’ll try not to spend it all in one place.  To raise the stakes that much higher, I just got back from some work related, Team-Teach training which did my head in.  I felt dizzy from the first 30 minutes, as the penny dropped I was in the in the presence of someone I’d been psychically stalking – inadvertently, mind.  It was as if newspaper articles I’d read, interviews I’d conducted, hours I’d spent in libraries, children I’d observed as case studies …. had summoned this person into my life, whilst I wasn’t looking.  In return, I am haunted by her.

One of the things that changed the entire course of my MA at Goldsmiths, originally an attempt to cash convert my music, was meeting my partner’s son, Jack.  He is a young teen with ASD, who is privileged enough to go to a SEN school which has helped him progress way beyond what I thought would have been possible for someone with his difficulties.  I am of the firm opinion that one of the major contributions to his accomplishment is in finding his talent as a visual artist.  He was enabled to do so by his school, but more specifically by a program the school drafted in under the Labour government.  Creative Partnerships (CP) introduced him to his talent via a 360 degree collaboration between pupils, their parents, teaching team, therapists and a CP practitioner loaded up with multi-media provisions.  Together they forged a collective, autobiographical piece of animation, the DVD of which is in pride of place on our living room shelf – it gets a private viewing from time to time, lest we take anything for granted.  This DVD is about 5 years old, but Jack seems to still be in that workshop somehow.  Sketching storyboards for hours at a time, hybridising his favourite mediated forms, which get more 3-dimensional, more detailed, more vibrant, he has been inspired way beyond the duration of that programme.  How many other neurotypicals are this focused on their work?  Positively hyper productive, he is a one-young-man-mass-production-factory of textile design …. or comic strip art.  I am absolutely certain that it has contributed to his enthusiasm for school, if not to actual literacy and numeracy skills, through symbol and pattern recognition.  He was transformed from boy firmly on the spectrum to a high achieving dynamo, all under the regime of his, now former Headteacher.  The same woman who was conducting today’s Team Teach workshop.

This retired Headteacher is banned from teaching in schools for life, with an option to re-apply to teach in two years.  She was charged with bad financial management but was also in severe violation of child safeguarding procedures, both due to the favouritism she bestowed on family members in tendering and issuing contracts.  When I tried to explore possibilities to pick up where CP left off at that school, I discovered the computers and cameras used had been sucked up into the  blureaucracy.  However her last Ofsted report at Jack’s SEN school noted the energy and skill she demonstrated in moving that school forward considerably.   This woman is one fascinating creature

Technically she is not supposed to be teaching in schools right now.  The Professional Conduct Panel Outcome decision was specific enough in issuing her lifetime teaching ban, with option to appeal after 2 years, but did not clarify whether teaching adults in schools qualified as “teaching in schools”.  It seems she skims dangerously close to crossing the line even now, as she conducts her workshop in a local school.  At one point today, she qualified that in order for the course to be accredited, she would need to teach us for a full 6 hours.  She didn’t mention her past at this workshop, and did shamelessly flaunt the logo of her therapy based consultancy, almost product placing her brand at a Team-Teach function.  And yet, the workshop was really good, very helpful, lots of fun – exciting actually.  It was certainly not typical of any professional training I’ve been to – stabbing my leg under the table to stay awake.  I’m not really sure she’ll ever return to teaching.  Why should she?  She was that good today.  I was introduced to elegant and economic ‘Positive Handling’ techniques.  She effortlessly modelled planning and follow up methods.  I was updated on some outmoded forms of control that I’ve been using, and given easier, more effective alternatives.  She made me aware of legal requirements which are not quite being met where I work, and gave me access to recent white papers for back up at that workshop.   I was able to fraternise, brainstorm and drill manoeuvres with people who are appallingly above my station in the academic hierarchy.  She gave me fresh breath to do the merry dance I must do with institutional inflexibility in order to instigate change, to reform if not radicalise education.

I’m a little confused about how to broach this subject with my SENCO.  I’m willing to bet that legal requirements, for schools to have positive handling plans in place, are driving our attendance at this workshop today. Did my school’s management know that we are doing something a little close to the wire here by furthering the success of a woman who bends rules to breaking point …. or are we involved in something more covert?  I so want to believe the latter – that there’s an underground matriarchy rallying to buoy up this woman for the same reason that Ken Robinson howls into a blob shaped universe.


We’re in a crisis of Capitalism and climate.  Scientists are screaming out that we are careening helplessly into an environmental cul de sac.  The people who will save us are the ones who are oriented to think and operate outside the box.   Enter special needs schools.   Perhaps it’s going to require rewriting the rule book.  Who better to facilitate than those who have their hearts in the right place and plenty of experience in bucking the system to match?  Only someone quite accustomed to testing its parameters, without somehow disappearing into high security containment at the bottom of a dried lake somewhere, has a chance to invoke the ideological shift necessary to do this.  I want her to win.  The odds are so stacked against women, and we need to be a little bit wily just to progress even just a little.



I Love ‘Lucy’

September 2nd, 2014

Finally another film from Luc Besson!  Where’s he been? I’ve missed him.  Admittedly, his work is not always easy viewing.  Sometimes I feel Besson is killing me softly with his films, having “found my letters and read each one out loud”. It seems a rarity to watch films where female characters are so deeply integral to the plot line as those of Mr Besson.  Consider his biggest hits: ‘Leon, ‘La Femme Nikita’, ‘The Fifth Element’.  Besson doesn’t treat the female as just eye candy, love interest or quirky goofball in his films, she is most often central to their intense meaning, usually addressing epic existential themes.  In short he is a valiant and properly aspiring feminist.  Not perfect no, but passionate yes.  I do love ‘Lucy’ and see his latest film as a continuum to his great reverence for the female of the species.

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