Thursday, 29 January 2009
I for one will be cranking out Solid Air tonight. Good obituary here. There's something beautiful about Martyn's voice, guitar playing and his bohemian troubadouring. Ever since I first heard Stormbringer and Over The Hill 'I'm going away to leave you, I'm gonna leave you in disgrace, got nothing in my favour, wind in my face...". Fellow blogger Landcroft House puts it like this...
Meeting John Martyn - never mind going to his local pub with him, then retiring to his house for rum and orange juice - was one of the great pleasures - honours even - of my life. John was a heroic person in every sense, not all of them good. He drank and drugged and fought and swore to the limits of anyone's capabilities, but, Jesus Christ, he could really play. And really sing. And really write. He was as alive as it's possible to be when the weight of illness and the discomfort is upon you. He didn't slow up - he still, as I said in WORD's cover feature - stared people out in the pub, and he could still roar with anger when needs be. But he was excellent, hilarious company ...
Friday, 23 January 2009
While on a training course in Grimsby's slightly notorious Nunsthorpe estate, I was delighted to see that some families really do stick together. Hanging out the passenger window of a moving car, I see a 20-something tracksuit clad deviant, on a bike, getting a "lift". The driver, it would appear, is his dad, moving slowly while his lad hangs on for dearlife. And in the passenger seat? A woman in her 80s. Like I said - takes hanging out with the family to a whole new level.
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
Saturday, 17 January 2009
Anyone else started listening to sledgehammer post punk and 80s drums as a soundtrack to increasingly weird recessiony times? Or is it just me? It all feels so early 80s at the moment, so my tunes appear to be doing the same. Not that I really need an excuse to play Orange Juice, The Smiths, Vic Godard, Echo and The Bunnymen and Felt, of course. Vic Godard, of course, knew there was no future in rock n' roll by becoming a postie. He must be nearing retirement now, if his role hasn't been downsized or his hours reduced.
Two films into the new year, not counting Persepolis on DVD, with Mickey Rourke's superb performance as Randy The Ram in The Wrestler. Watched in the far better than it sounds surrounds of Scunthorpe Vue, The Wrestler is an amazing film, turning the camera on the seedy malls, strip joints and shopping marts of everytown America. With barb wire, staple guns, tattoos, 80s rock from the Crue and the Lep, a nasty hand slicing episode on the deli counter, trailer park trash and wrestlers with names like the Ayatollah. It's a wonderful, blody, comedic masterpiece.
Friday, 16 January 2009
I'm a Wire junkie these days. It has ruined television for me. Since the end of the fifth season on FX last year, I've been unable to watch other crime-based dramas cos' nothing else is realistic enough. I've taken to watching Project Catwalk cos it's just so other-end-of-the-scale. Being a junkie. Sometimes pitiful. So I'm delighted that The Corner, David Simon's initial six-part mini series about life on the Baltimore projects is getting an airing. It's not exactly light viewing, and it doesn't quite swing with the same conviction and scat as The Wire, but it's still grimly compelling. And totally bizarre to see the likes of Lester Freamon (Clarke Peters) and Norman Wilson (Reg E Cathey) shaking down as pimps and players. Peters in particular, is a great, grizzled drug dealer, complete with walking stick. And Delaney Williams, who plays sardonic cop Jay, is a good few pounds thinner as Scale Guy. In fact, watching The Wire guys is the only light relief about the show before the show that ruined and saved television at the same time.
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
Went to our first film of the year at Cineworld Hull - not the nicest location with its bleachy smells and wonky projector. But the film Slumdog Millionaire was awesome, bringing back chaotic memories of Mumbai trains and slums, with Bollywood hero Anil Kapoor as a demented Hindu Chris Tarrant. Even the overbearing bhangra soundtrack was useful in drowning out the cinema goers. Not sure if its done anything for my ongoing battle to convince Dee we really should book that city break!
You just don't get writers' rooms like this anymore. This picture of our biography subject Mr Lewis comes courtesy of the local paper. Note the ink pots and copy of the latest Len Deighton.
There should be an update on such literary capers soon, thanks for bearing with me!
Friday, 2 January 2009
Despite the nasty bankers at halifucks, we managed to have a lovely new year. Let's hope 2009 brings us all some fab times, short movies and decent tunes. On which note, it doesn't look like the credit crunch has affected musicians. Have you seen just how many of them there are in various backing bands? I mean on the hardly new at all even down to the awful theme music TOTP, I counted about 15 on stage with Girls Aloud, while Leona Lewis and Al-X-andra just wanted to outchoir each other. That must have been some green room. Later with Toss Holland wasn't much better. I counted 12 with Duffy before I fell asleep. Mercy? It seems just enough leg room on the tourbus would be enough for these fellows. I predict far more Ting Tings and White Stripes in 09, just to offset such excessiveness.