The Queen of Glastonbury

I saw a fair bit of Glastonbury on the telly in England last week (when did the wall-to-wall media coverage start? I remember when it was a, you know, alternative rock festival) and have to say that, controversial choice to headline she might have been but Beyoncé wiped the floor with both U2 and Coldplay. This is just staggeringly fantastic.


Back to the grind

I’m back now, refreshed by the lovely air of Dorset (and the wind, the rain, the fog) but also a bit cream-crackered because of jetlag so I’m not sure what I’ll have for you this week unless you want me to bore you with my holiday snaps. Didn’t think so.

In the meantime here’s a storming tune by Elvis, the title of which is in no way indicative of how I felt in London (despite how much it changes) but I’ve loved this record for years and have always wanted to post it here.

Download: Stranger In My Own Home Town – Elvis Presley (mp3)

Homeward Bound

Off to England for a holiday tomorrow. We’re doing something a bit different this time, just spending three days in London and then heading down to Lyme Regis for a week in a cottage by the sea. Being a Londoner there are large chunks of England I’ve never been to before (I mean, why go anywhere else? I’m in London) including Dorset so I’m looking forward to it a lot, I hear it’s lovely. But do they have computers down there yet?

So I’ll be seeing you a week and a half from now. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.

Download: At Home He’s A Tourist – Gang of Four (mp3)

And another one gone…

Christ, they’re dropping like flies at the moment, now it’s producer Martin Rushent who’s popped his clogs. In case you’re thinking “Martin who?” and wondering why the hell is a producer so important. Well, he produced all these brilliant gems.

But his biggest claim to immortality was producing The Human League’s classic album Dare and changing the sound of pop music as we knew it.

Not a bad portfolio of work at all.

My Mother’s Records

I should probably call this post Everybody’s Mother’s Records because I think Simon & Garfunkel’s final album was bought by every single one of them when it came out, in the UK it spent 41 weeks at number one and was the best-selling album of both 1970 and 1971. It was part of the furniture when I was growing up, not just in our house but there must have been a copy of it sitting on a shelf in every other one we visited too, that sleeve as ubiquitous in early 70s homes as a spider plant and a G-Plan sofa.

Though Paul and Art rode to success on the back of the 1960s folk boom and the younger-generation angst of The Graduate they were never angry or confrontational and came across more as nice, quiet boys sitting in a coffee shop reading The New Yorker instead of throwing rocks at riot police on the streets of Paris. Maybe I’m just looking at them through the lens of my own memories but I never thought of them as being part of the great Youthquake of that decade like The Beatles and Dylan because, well, my mum liked them. Not that there’s anything wrong with that of course, especially when the songs are as good as Paul Simon’s.

It’s always good to go out with a bang and Bridge Over Troubled Water is easily their best album in my ‘umble opinion, it’s also their slickest and prettiest so no wonder it sold by the lorry-load. The epic title track is so well-known and played that it has become sort of aural wallpaper that I don’t listen to much anymore and when I was a kid I preferred perky numbers like this anyway, and still do today.

Download: Keep The Customer Satisfied – Simon & Garfunkel (mp3)
Buy: Bridge Over Troubled Water (40th Anniversary Edition) (album)