Friday, April 07, 2006

They smelt of pubs and Wormwood Scrubs and too many right wing meetings

Although I’m holiday, I am looking forward to the weekend. Tonight the three eldest Coles are a-roving to the Guildhall for the latest Acoustica evening and having missed the last couple because of ill-health and some other reason that escapes me, I am keen to enjoy the charms and talents of tonight’s musicians. Of course the next Acoustica is the one I’m most excited about: Martin Stephenson.

Tomorrow shall be a gentle day but I would hope to watch the Gloucester against Sale match on a television set somewhere. The city will be fielding the same 22 that defeated Brive last weekend but I fear the Stockport based collective will prove doughtier opponents than the French. Our forward pack appears lightweight; Jonathan Pendlebury is not the bruiser that the aesthete Brown needs to keep him company while the back row lacks sufficient brawn and bruising gainline-breaking nastiness. Still, I am glad that the nippers Allen, Lamb and Morgan are given further chances to develop their outrageous skills in exalted company. Sadly I feel Sale will prove too strong by half but Gloucester, as ever, possess the ability to surprise so I should not write them off too early.

I spotted Quinton Davids this morning. He was ambling into Gloucester via the Northgate Street point of entry and when I clocked him was heading past the old Golden Dragon at a sluggish pace. I really hoped it would work out for this player but it seems his Gloucester career will be recalled unenthusiastically in years to come. What is it with the city club and its South African signings? They either turn out to be much-loved, magnificent servants or complete embarrassments. The jury is out regarding Rudi Keil but I’m not raising my hopes.

I downloaded The Jam’s All Mod Cons this morning. This album was one of my great favourites in my teenage years when I absolutely adored The Jam and their passionate and unpatronising evocation of English themes. All Mod Cons was such an ambitious album and represented a tangible leap forward for the band after their lacklustre and lazy second album, This Is The Modern World. Numbers like Down in the Tube Station at Midnight and To Be Someone (Didn't We Have a Nice Time) are refreshingly complex and utterly rewarding as a result. Fly and English Rose are slightly cack-handed and over-wordy love songs but work, really work, because of, not despite, their earnest clumsiness and engaging honesty. And in the spat out ‘A’ Bomb in Wardour Street and Billy Hunt, Weller’s snarling anger and punkish disrespect are expressed brusquely and without a hint of compromise: 'If it’s not you moaning, then it’s someone else/Jumping down my throat, every chance you get.' This remains a wonderful, essentially English album; nice to touch base with it again.

1 comment:

Sweeny said...

I shall be at Acoustica myself, Martin, though I'm not sure what to expect. Thanks for the link, I'll put you on mine.