Sunday, July 29, 2007

Europe Endless

We picked a fine time to be in Paris with the mighty floods causing power and water cuts in merry Gloucester. It is pleasing to be home although our taps are still empty of liquid. I am thankful we have escaped any flooding; nearish neighbours have not been so lucky.

The week before Paris was quite busy. One day was spent in London, shopping for chess items and a few CDs. One of my purchases is gently providing the backdrop for my writing now; Spirit of Love by Clive’s Original Band (C.O.B.) is an ethereal folk trip from the early 1970s and I’m digging its tender tones and blessed-out atmospherics. C.O.B.’s second album, the quaintly named Moyshe McStiff and the Tartan Lancers of the Sacred Heart remains a favourite in this house and, much as I am enjoying Spirit of Love, is still the one I would recommend. I also bought another folk classic from that period, On The Shore by Trees which is a beautiful and delicate recording from 1970. If I had the money I’d fund a Trees reunion and get them to play On The Shore in its entirety on a concert tour starting at the Gloucester Guildhall. I’d be hailed a hero and saviour in the folk community and be toasted wherever people gather to listen to fine sounds. This shall have to remain a mere pipedream alas; I have insufficient resources to tempt ageing folksters out of retirement but shall continue to be keen on the album. It is marvellous. Before adjourning to Notting Hill’s Windsor Castle hostelry to meet D and A for a drink, I also bought The Magnetic Fields’ 69 Love Songs which I have dipped into and look forward to hearing more of.

On the Monday of last week, I ventured with A and J to the nearby spa town’s Slak Bar for another night of musical mayhem and a bill of varied delights and delirium. A has written sagely on the evening here and I echo most of his sentiments and acknowledge that, regarding the main act, Cheese on Bread, I am part of the ‘some’ in this sentence: I know that for some the unrelenting tweeness began to grate by the end of the evening, but I have to say I was not one of them. Once again, I found the intense musings and emotional lo-fi leanings of Men Diamler the most rewarding element of the night although the cute and warm indie musical peardrops bashfully offered by The Limechalks also found favour with this scribe. The hip-hop duo of Puppybucket and Danny Choonara was embarrassing; the only thing worse than smug self-satisfaction is smug self-satisfaction when inadequate art is being proffered and, verily, this was the case with this pair of grinnin’ chancers. Cheese on Bread were alright; they were well-rehearsed, portrayed their kitsch bobby-sox pop songs with verve and energy and were mildly entertaining for about a quarter of an hour when the joke began to wear thin. They were just a bit silly.

I shall write a bit more about Paris soon but here is a pair of photographs (I know the date is wrong on the second picture) that represent the week stirringly. Look above, readers. By Jupiter, I shall be heading to Amsterdam in two days time.

No comments: