Friday, November 20, 2015
Friday, December 12, 2014
There was a rumble on last night's Question Time, as populist right wing character - and QT regular - Nigel Farage, was a guest alongside popular comedian/activist/florid purveyor of lexicon Russell Brand.
The main thing anyone seemingly will remember from the set-to is Brand denouncing Farage as a "pound shop Enoch Powell." On the face of it, some zinger. Until you think about UKIP more closely.
The main financial backers of UKIP are lapsed Tories, worshippers at the font of Thatcher, who you suspect would be in the "Enoch was right" camp.
The target audience of UKIP, being bombarded with propaganda that all Britain's ills are due to foreigners - either politicians, bureaucrats or immigrants - are, due to the current economic mess, worsened by ideological austerity, people can only afford the pound shop, if they can afford anything at all. UKIP pretend that they are the answer to their problems, not bothering to say that their solution is basically the Tory party with absolutely no compassion.
Forty years of relentless lies and distortion, coupled with politicians too cowardly to confront these lies, and Britain ends up with a political party leader who could have been the antagonist in a George Formby film? Turned out shite again.
Sunday, June 8, 2014
Last night was a reunion of sorts, twenty years on and 200 miles west, in a different country.
Since that first gig, I've seen Paul Heaton numerous times, either with The Beautiful South or solo. Various small and large venues across the UK and Ireland, football stadia, fields in Somerset, even a café in Manhattan.
But this promised something different, albeit familiar. No longer solo, Jacqui Abbott would be back on stage alongside him. And they had a fantastic new album to show off, which they did from the start.
The crashing opening of "Some Dancing To Do" brought the band on stage, followed by Paul and Jacqui. And then Jacqui sang and I was suddenly years younger. One of the best female voices of recent pop has lost nothing in it's absence. I once read a review about Eddi Reader saying she could sing the telephone directory and it would still sound fantastic - the same applies to Jacqui.
But there was Heaton's back catalogue to be plundered, and each song brought a flood of memories.
"Old Red Eyes Is Back" triggered the memory of being tossed around the floor at that first gig like flotsam in a human sea.
I had forgotten just how good "Prettiest Eyes" was - I don't recall ever hearing it live. (Maybe one in a big shed somewhere?) It also resonated with me much more than it did in my single days.
"Rotterdam" - I was still word perfect after all these years. Naturally "Irish stout" got a huge cheer. (This also brought to mind the single's B-side "Pollard". Do look for it online.)
"Dream A Little Dream" (yes, not a Heaton original) - Christ, I spent seven quid of my student loan on an import CD of that!
"I'll Sail This Ship Alone" was my highlight of "Welcome To The Beautiful South" - and here it was being sung in front of me.
And from further back in time, gems from The Housemartins' brief burst of glory - including my first sight of P.D.Heaton on noisy guitar for a splendid "Me And The Farmer".
As usual, Paul had plenty of entertainment between songs: the dichotomy of Tayto crisps in the thirty two counties, a tale of a Battle of the Bands competition that involved Gary Glitter, an art competition...
One of the best gigs I've been to in ages. New songs fitting perfectly alongside old songs - some of which I'd never heard live or never thought I'd hear again.
All in all, brilliant.
And welcome back Jacqui! (The blokes stood behind me were certainly happy to see you.)
Some Dancing To Do
Old Red Eyes Is Back
Costa Del Sombre
Moulding Of A Fool
We're Not Deep
When It Was Ours
Dream A Little Dream
Don't Marry Her
The Right In Me
Good As Gold
I'll Sail This Ship Alone
Me And The Farmer
Caravan Of Love
Saturday, May 24, 2014
1) The things you are saying are perfectly sayable - obviously so as they are spewing out of your mouth.
2) People who want to say those things, already say those things. They don't need somebody to claim to speak on behalf of them - everyone in earshot has already heard them and already made up their mind.
3) The people who choose not to say those things may have conciously done so as those things are either:
c) some form of "-ism"
d) patently untrue based on personal experience, research or that commonly missing human value of "not being a dick"