Sunday, July 30, 2006

Top of the Pops

So, in the end TOTP bowed out with a whimper rather than a bang. Where was all the stuff I remember, Shakin' Stevens falling over drunk, Status Quo, er, falling over drunk? The Jesus and Mary Chain causing chaos?

Well, at least they had that bit of Nirvana with Kurt Cobain singing about 3 octaves lower than the record. And nice of Tony Blackburn and DLT to remind us just why it was a blessed relief when the Beeb gave them the boot.

It's a sad day for those of us who grew up during that time when the charts still mattered, but I suppose the kids of today were too busy stalking people on MySpace or playing Grand Theft Auto to notice.

My god... I'm watching the documentary about it now... they just showed Legs & Co. dancing to "Pretty Vacant". Words fail me.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Been a busy week...

First off, I've finally gotten around to sorting out a website. It's fairly basic at the moment, but it'll develop over the coming months, I hope.

On Monday I met up with Rachel, who works at the publisher where I used to work (funnily, when we got in touch it was a while before we remembered this) and who makes excellent music both under her own name and as ninki v. She plays the theremin, which makes her both a source of admiration and envy for me. Anyway, have a look/listen, 'cos it's good stuff.

Tuesday I went with my friend Seaton to an spnm gig at Cargo, which was great and made us determined to go to more of that kind of stuff. Wednesday it was off to Koko to see Low perform their excellent record "things we lost in the fire", certainly the second best Mormon rock record ever made. It did feel strange though, hearing music which seems so perfectly designed for solitary listening in the company of many strangers in a sweaty hall.

Support came from Bat for Lashes, a female trio who came over like Bjork's little sisters. We thought their material didn't quite stretch to the time they played, but we were won over by their charm anyway and will be watching out for their debut album, which I believe is out soon.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Laurence Page R.I.P.

Laurence was an ordinary person. He worked in the BBC gramophone library, some of my colleagues had known him for 17 years. I didn't know him before the cancer got into him, but you never felt this made any difference. Through all the pain, the operations and the long, slow, painful decline, he always seemed to maintain himself despite everything. The cancer ate away at his flesh, but it never touched his soul, and he was inspiring because of it, because if he could maintain his dignity and humour going through all that, what excuse do any of us have to do otherwise through our infinitely lesser woes? It's a relief for him that he's not suffering anymore, and a terrible loss to the rest of us that he's no longer here.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The paucity of promming

So, the Proms have started, and what a disappointing programme stretches out over the next couple of months like a sonic desert. Only 6 commissions? Just about the most ordinary, box-ticking first night imaginable? High time there was a change of guard, methinks, the current lot have clearly run out of ideas.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

patterns diverging

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

RIP Syd Barrett

Always had a soft spot for Syd, that English delivery so different from all the transatlantic drawls that surrounded him. I once lived in Terrapin Road in Tooting, where Syd's sister once lived, and the inspiration for his song "Terrapin". So here's a little thing based on a musical approximation of that word. Hope you're at peace, Syd.

Friday, July 07, 2006

one year on...

It seems hardly real now... looking outside at the sun, traveling into town earlier today everything seemed as it always did. A heavier than usual police presence, a few headlines declaring that Londoners are "defying bombers" by traveling around as usual - as if we really had any choice in the matter. Of course, thinking about it, the visible presence of police on the underground as routine is something that's very different to a year ago, part of the general slide into a quasi-police state that this government has seemed so keen to push headlong towards since the bombs went off, if not before. The degree to which they have been able to insinuate unaccountable powers for themselves over our everyday existence worries me greatly, as does the ease with which they seem to be doing it. One day we'll wake up to find that typing a sentence like that is enough to get us arrested - if that's not already the case.

Anyway, as it's now a year since the idea for this came to me, I thought I'd re-post the piece I wrote last July that started it, along with an echo of it a year later. Also a couple of other recent entries.

After a year, I still seem no closer to figuring out exactly what the purpose of this blog is, so I guess all I can do is keep on keeping on.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

notes on a summer day

A glorious day, good to get some time to relax after a hectic time. And catch up on a few of these: