Tuesday, February 06, 2007

And a bicycle on the boy's birthday...

The first two headliners for Green Man were announced last Thursday and, while I’m not exactly delirious with happiness, I’m pleased that Joanna Newsom will be playing on the Friday (Ys is a fabulous album and getting more fabulous with every play) and intrigued that Robert Plant will be the main act for the Saturday. I note from an unofficial Plant site that the fellow tends to play a few old Led Zep crowd-pleasers at festivals. I’m trying to convince myself that this is a good thing. Perhaps after two full days of esoteric and obscure folksy rambling I’ll be crying out for a Black Dog or a Whole Lotta Love.

Can I refer the honourable gentleman/gentlewoman back to my cover version musings of a week or so ago? I missed out an absolute belter that would certainly have made my Top Three had I engaged my brain a bit more. Robert Wyatt’s rendition of Elvis Costello’s Shipbuilding is a mesmeric masterpiece that never fails to make the old hairs stand on end. As a considered response to the needlessness and folly of war (in this case the Falklands War), it has rarely been bettered. I thought of quoting a line or two from its lyrics but decided not to: every last word is evocative and incisive so choosing just a highlight or two would be foolish. Shipbuilding remains an extraordinary experience and Wyatt’s spare and considered rendition allows the astonishing content to fully hit home. There’s a clip on YouTube that is truly spellbinding.

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