Sunday, September 10, 2006

Fitter, Happier, Skankier

I won’t bore readers with the details (which involve misplaced battery chargers, eBay, newly purchased battery chargers, miraculously found old battery chargers, the sullen juxtaposition of old and new battery chargers, the expression ‘what was it doing in there?’ and a heavy sigh or two) but I had, until this week, been unable to use my gorgeous Creative MP3 player for a while. It was like missing my right arm especially as a good deal of my music exists only in downloaded format. It is back in use now and I am whole. The universe is aligned.

I love reggae and I love Radiohead so it makes sense that I should admire deeply the new album by a host of classic reggae artists (Horace Andy, Sugar Minott etc.) recording under the banner Easy Star All-Stars. They have come up with a reggae version of OK Computer called Radiodread (what else?!) and, despite reservations as I usually dislike such ‘novelties’, I reckon it’s a cracking listen. The production is superb and it is obvious that a lot of work and thought and , importantly, affection went into making it. The singing and playing are tight and uplifting throughout and all the re-examined and revamped songs benefit from such an unusual approach. The little touches render it a delight. The Augustus Pabloesque melodica that introduces Subterranean Homesick Alien is a lilting joy while the dub effects that permeate the bass-heavy Exit Music (For a Film) are reminiscent of Lee Perry or Mikey Dread. And I love the lyric towards the end of Paranoid Android where ‘Jah loves his children’ instead of God. This could become one of the surprise hits of the year in Cole-world.

I thank D for his texted updates as Gloucester soared to victory away to NEC Harlequins. His half-time reassurances did the trick and, indeed, as predicted by the fellow, Gloucester had more than enough in the locker to drag themselves back from 16-6 to vanquish comfortably. Alas, it appears that the noble – and some would say aristocratic – Alexander Brown appears to have fractured his arm and may be out until the new year. The strength in depth that was so happily lauded pre-season will now certainly be required. It is time for Will James to show what he is made of methinks.

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