Monday, 10 December 2018
Thursday, 6 December 2018
Tuesday, 27 November 2018
Of course that's perpetuated when so many use artificial hair colour. Imagine if everyone who covers up their grey hair stopped doing so, then this ‘six years older’ thing would be meaningless. It’d be no big deal as, by the time we reach our mid-fifties, most people have gone at least 50% grey anyway.
For example, you rarely see a middle-aged female TV presenter with grey/white hair, compared to their many male counterparts for whom it doesn't seem to be a problem. (Gets me all feminist, this...) The pressure on women in the media to stay looking younger is colossal and, ridiculously, it seems their jobs can depend on it - but that's a whole topic for another time and place.
Although, seeing as I've brought it up...
Anyway, in the meantime, I'm taking a stand.
White hair is nothing new to me; since late childhood I’ve had one small patch of it – a ‘Mallen Streak'.*
and more naturally by the Millibands
For now, though, I'm finding it oddly liberating and have decided, in defiance of both sexism and ageism, to embrace it. So there!
Sunday, 18 November 2018
You like your music edgy, raucous, fast and pounding, verging on the anarchic? With crashing percussion, some reverb, overloaded and slightly off-key guitars? A freshness and rawness to it with a screaming vocal that stretches almost to ripping point at times, the music’s driving, chaotic energy taking you with it before ending in the glorious sound of feedback?
I can't embed through Blogger so here's the youtube link:
Helter Skelter (second version, take 17)
(Available as part of the 50th anniversary super-deluxe 6CD/blu-ray box set thingy that's just been released this month)
Wednesday, 14 November 2018
The sunlight was so bright yesterday morning that I had to pull the blind down to be able to work. But I was unexpectedly distracted and mesmerised by the scene it created - the flying and flitting silhouettes of sparrows (there's a birdfeeder on the other side of the window.) It's often the simplest things that I find the most charming - couldn't resist a clumsy attempt to capture their movements in a video.
Friday, 9 November 2018
The thing is, I was absolutely shit at History in school. Bored out of my mind I would concentrate on trying different handwriting styles and experiment with coloured inks as Miss Jones drearily dictated facts about Acts and... well, stuff I simply can't remember for that very reason. It's the human relatability that makes it come alive for me and when that comes via two of my favourite subjects, art and language, as it did in this exhibition - I'm in. And seeing that Anglo-Saxon gold, well, to paraphrase Lance, it's surely "... the closest you'll get to time travel". Definitely worth a trip to a very rainy London.
'Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War' at the British Library, until 19 February 2019
Saturday, 27 October 2018
Anyway, this is another one of those songs which sounds absolutely brilliant every single time I hear it and never loses its status or appeal (which is the point of this series!) but in particular it takes me back to an exciting period when I was discovering new old music. As I was working in the record shop it was easier to order all sorts of obscure items from all sorts of obscure labels, plus get a staff discount - suffice to say it seemed I was bringing home a new album just about every week.
Up until that point I'd always most enjoyed music that was current at the time of listening, so it was quite an adventure to explore an unfamiliar genre from the past. I first heard this particular song around 1985 I think, by which time it was nearly 20 years old. To my 22-year old self, that meant it was bloody ancient. Now, of course if I spool back 20 years, a mere blink of an eyelid ago, I realise it's me who's bloody ancient.
But never mind all that, because this is timeless. My first awareness of its existence in the '80s was thanks to a brilliant compilation album: 'Perfumed Garden Vol 1' , put out by the Psycho label. It grabbed me right from the off with its dirty, grungy, overdriven guitar intro. The vocals are nicely rough too, and that insistent riff just keeps on going. I had no idea until then that anything in the sixties could sound quite this punk; I thought the Stones and the Kinks were about as hard as it gets, so it came as a revelation.
'You're Too Much' was originally put out as a B-side in May 1966 (the A-side, 'Man With Money' still sounds fine to my ears but is not a patch on this).
As for the band - I wrote a piece about them in a fanzine in 1986 (shocking to think that is now longer ago than the original gap between the record's release and my hearing it). So my research has already been done and I'll just reproduce it here...
The Eyes were a young band from Ealing who picked up a culty mod following in the mid sixties. They supported such bands as The Action, The Kinks and The Move. Their 'gimmick' was to wear colourful, amusing clothes - stripey Rugby shirts, bleached jeans, pink parkas with tyre tracks inked on the backs and red or yellow boots. (Also for added decoration - big eyes sewn onto their tops!)
After 4 singles (the last one of which was a flop), an EP, and a disguised album, the band split up, and vocalist Terry was the only member to pursue a serious musical career. He joined 'Andromeda' for a while but never recorded with them, then became vocalist for 'The Entire Sioux Nation' with Larry Wallis (who later became a Pink Fairy), Jim Taylor and Paul Nichols.
Anyway - onto the song. It would be an understatement to say I just fucking love it.
Wednesday, 24 October 2018
It’s official. Everyone else is better at everything else than I am. I know this because I’ve just been looking at some random Pinterest and Instagram pages in the course of some research and all my fears were confirmed. Everyone has beautiful homes, beautiful children, beautiful gardens, makes beautiful things, has beautiful pets, beautiful clothes, beautiful hobbies, bakes beautiful cakes and, although there’s no visual confirmation, I think we can safely say they probably have beautiful bowels capable of excreting the most perfectly formed faeces.