Saturday, February 03, 2007

Warehouse: Songs and Stories

I don’t (and can’t really, living as we do in one of those semi-detached dwellings) play my music too loud, but in the Oxfam warehouse, which is a stand alone erection and effectively soundproof, I can crank up the volume to full whack and really rock. This morning I took in one of my own CDs, Tones of Town by Field Music and gave it a huge blast as I sorted out the bookshelves. It sounded fabulous. This is probably my favourite long player at the moment and, potentially, an early favourite for the Uprock Narratives and Unknown Pleasures album of the year award. Eleven polished pop gems come racing at you, one after the other, like earnest pups bounding up for attention. All are quirky, melodic, challenging and possess the engaging English whimsy that proved a highlight of the Sunderland band’s first album. This is a cool group. This is a cool group.

Working at Oxfam allows one first crack at anything decent that arrives in. This morning I bought a couple of CDs that were ‘out the back’ ready to be sorted. One was a single CD that contained both of Gram Parsons’ albums, GP (now does that count as an eponymous debut?) and Grievous Angel. I knew a fair bit of his work already as S did a tape for me years ago but I’m glad to own these recordings. Continuing the Gram Parsons theme, I also got Sin City – The Very Best of the Flying Burrito Brothers. I tend to shy away from ‘Greatest Hits’ packages but this CD contains every song from both The Gilded Palace of Sin and Burrito Deluxe as well as a couple of other well known tracks. I haven’t played the latter yet but I had the Gram Parsons solo stuff on earlier while I watched France defeat the noble Italians in the first Six Nations fixture of the season.

Talking of the rugby football, I felt real pride watching young Oliver 'Olly' Morgan (of my favoured Gloucester club) make such an accomplished and steady debut for England against Scotland this afternoon. I’m not usually one to get too thrilled about England but the thoroughbred Morgan’s elegant presence at the back, Michael ‘Mike’ Tindell’s no-nonsense midfield thrust, and, I confess, the old warhorse Vickery's leadership of the fifteen led to me cheering the white-shirted fellows on. It was good to see Wilkinson return too; he had a stormer. Harry Ellis, the Tigers scrummie, was superb and made yard after yard with some elegiac and purposeful sprinting. I don’t really like him though.

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