A very good read for those of us with fond memories of 70s pub rock. Brinsley Schwarz got to knock around with the best of them.
I’m wondering what are the feelings here about patriotism?
I’ve become increasingly sceptical on the subject in recent years. I’ve never been a tub thumper but used to be patriotic in a low key way, to the extent of placing a small Union Jack in the hanging basket by our front door for the Queen’s diamond jubilee. But these days I’d never dream of displaying the flag, and if someone tried to give me one I’d refuse to take it.
Yes, Brexit had a lot to do with this. I thought it marked a shift into a regressive, mean minded set of attitudes that have begun to define the UK. And I can see that being intensified, now that the government is making a fuss over flying the Union Jack over public buildings, along with its attempts to downplay the less savoury features of our national history and portray all of our dealings with Europe as ‘us versus them’. I think it has deliberately mixed up patriotism with a belligerent nationalism, that a lot of people are happy to go along with it, but this will gradually isolate the UK and make it a less attractive place to live.
I’ll » Continue Reading.
Just bought a couple of CDs from the tax dodgers, received an email telling me I could download as auto-rips, but the interface on the music library has been changed and there’s no apparent way to download them. Customer support has been no help so far; can’t seem to wrap their heads around the fact that the download function seems to have disappeared.
Anyone else had this problem? Or am I missing something?
Just passed away, another victim of Covid-19.
I didn’t follow him over the years but he provided one of my earliest musical memories. My dad bought his ‘Live at PJs’ album and it was on the turntable regularly when I was growing up. I’m wondering if I should root it out of his cupboard.
And he was in ‘The Dirty Dozen’.
Under the Bridge, London
Never experienced a build-up to a gig like this. It was the night that England played Colombia, the venue management put the game up on big screens arranged for the set to begin at the end of regular time. Anticipation of joy, a late equaliser, a massive groan, but the prospect of the gig was more inviting than the tension of extra time, and a big cheer when Hiatt hit the stage. No surprises with John Hiatt, but a brilliant purveyor of country/blues/rock of the more grisly, careworn variety. In the early numbers his voice seemed a bit lost in the mix and the bass was heavy, but this was ironed out a few songs in and the band were up to rock the place. The show was based around his ‘Slow Turning’ album – celebrating its 30th anniversary – but he split it at halfway to throw in some other songs and added more at the end. What stood out from the previous times I’ve seen him is that he allowed Sonny Landreth to stretch out more on slide guitar, and that Hiatt seemed to be letting rip more with the » Continue Reading.
Well worth a listen through BBC iPlayer – a Radio 4 documentary on the art of interviewing rock stars. Interesting contributions from a number of writers including Caitlin Moran, Barney Hoskyns, Dawn Slough …. and Julie Birchell sounding all of seven years-old. Includes entertaining reminiscences of John Lennon and Courtney Love.
Sad to hear that writer Philip Kerr has passed away at the relatively young age of 62. I know from previous threads that I’m not the only fan here of his Bernie Gunther books; best described to the uninitiated as Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe dropped into Nazi Germany then dangled into various scenes of noir into the 1950s. They’re up there with the best crime novels of recent decades. Apparently we’ve got one more to look forward to – Greeks Bearing Gifts – set for publication next month. But after that no more of one of my annual reading treats. I suppose this is the point where I reread all of them.
Interesting long read in The Guardian about how so many singers are buggering their own voices by continually stretching themselves too far. Apparently it’s as big a problem in opera as in popular music – the article points the finger at Wagner, Verdi, Puccini – and there’s a controversy over whether it’s best to prevent or cure (ie surgery). Made me think there’s another negative in a trend, promoted by TV talent shows, that says good singing is all about belting out loud, long, high notes. It doesn’t just make for boring music, but damages the singers while they’re still relatively young.
Sad news that he’s died – suddenly it seems.
I remember he was terrific in Jewel in the Crown, and one of those actors who always seemed to lift a TV drama by a notch or two.
A great shame. He’s one of the UK’s greatest ever sportsmen, but he just happens to be around at the same time as the tennis equivalent of the Terminator.
The BBC has announced he’s taking over as chair of The News Quiz, ending weeks of speculation over who should follow Sandi Toksveig.
To be honest, I don’t know what to make of it. He hasn’t made that strong an impression either way on me, and feel no different after just listening to him chair It’s Not What You Know.
Sad to hear one of our finest screen villains has shuffled off his mortal coil. I think these goodies provide a handy tribute. Fangs for the memories.
I’m sure that some of you out there have experience of building your own websites and I can do with a few wise words. I currently have a couple of sites hosted by a small firm and using its own CMS and design template, but it’s proving too limited in what I can do visually and not sufficiently flexible, even for my limited amibitions. I’ve been scouring the various options of hosting firms and templates and feel completely baffled. What I’m looking for is a hoster who provides a decent deal and level of support for two sites, for which I already own the domains, along with the means to build it simply, preferably with a template that is easy to use but provides some flexibility in the use of images. It needs to incorporate a blog but doesn’t need to handle any transactions. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.