Friday, August 03, 2007

Film and Music

I’m a critter of habit when it comes to reading about music. Twice a month, the doormat is raucously clattered by magazines arriving via Royal Mail. My favourite remains Word Magazine, an erudite pot pourri of stuff I like and, importantly, will like while Uncut features much of the same but written and edited, methinks, with less warmth and sophistication. I always reckon that Word Magazine understands me more. I buy The Observer when its Music Monthly is attached; it’s a decent publication but slightly hit and miss and, in recent months, in my opinion, more miss than hit. I suppose Observer Music Monthly has a wider demographic to cater for so one shouldn’t moan if it caresses the mainstream a little too often.

My weekly ‘fix’ comes with Friday’s Guardian. Its weekly ‘Film and Music’ supplement is a treasure and today’s, a classic, is what prompted me to pen these words. My favourite music journalist, the pithy and intelligent Alexis Petridis, travels to the backwaters of Scotland to interview lost Folk legend Ann Briggs, there’s a charming piece about the making of Fairport Convention’s Liege and Lief and a witty and affectionate chat between Sheffield’s troubadour par excellence, Richard Hawley and young pop monkey Alex Turner. The CD reviews are thoughtful and entertaining and certainly sort the wheat from the chaff: Petridis uses a slightly cynical appraisal of a new long playing offering by someone called Kate Nash to consider the new pop scene and how its fast moving nature ain’t necessarily a good thing.

I have been in Amsterdam for a couple of days. I took my eldest two children mainly because I found dirt cheap flights there and neither had flown anywhere before. It’s a great city. I bought Blackheart Man by Bunny Wailer and Tribute to the Martyrs by Steel Pulse in the Waterlooplein market. It is great to be home though and I am keen to relax for a while now.

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