Saturday, June 21, 2008


In a way, it proved a rehearsal for the festival season. I stood towards the rear of a throng digging some challenging music, it seemed a touch chilly (I had wantonly situated myself by an open door) and the summer’s day was changing slowly but surely into the noir o’ nightfall. I speak of last evening and I speak not of a gig nor concert recital. The Coles trotted to the bohemian Stroud Valley Artspace to behold a feature film, a documentary called Heima, that highlighted Icelandic post-rockers Sigur Ros, their return to a beloved homeland after many moons of travelling, and a determination to provide countrymen and women wi’ a series of free performances. This was a beautiful piece of work. The atmospheric, mesmerising, haunting and, at times, minimalist songs were proffered before a range of sublimely chosen backdrops. The band played in disused fishing complexes, old country cottages, vast and controversial dams, pubs, clubs, caves and huge outdoor arenas. The Icelandic public were photographed splendidly, all cheekbone and retro knitwear, bewitched by the bewitching bewitchery. The four members of the group were interviewed and came across nicely, unspoilt by worldwide acclaim, affable and normal unless gathered together a-singin’ and a-playin’ when they metamorphosed into intense and talented giants capable of weaving the simplest of instruments into aural magnificence.

I’ve started to read Andrew Marr’s A Modern History of Britain, a brick of a book that should keep me going for a few weeks. I’m still on the first chapter, an appraisal of the Attlee Government, and the coherent, good-humoured yet scholarly tone is bringing that austere yet pivotal period alive with rare intelligence. I’m rather chuffed that I still have over five hundred pages to plough through. I’m looking forward to a treat, a captivating history lesson from the perfect tutor.

I head to Glastonbury on Wednesday and am avidly poring over weather reports. Everything is crossed hoping for sunny sessions.

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