Subscribe to my feed...

Monday, 30 September 2013

Paul Davis

I actually went to school with this guy and he's finally made it!

Which is a good job, because he owes me some moolah.

Check him out by clicking on the words that comprise his name.

It's a Coooooool site!

Love on y'all,


Sir Harrison Birtwistle's Indespensable Guide To Contemporary Music...

This week: Drum 'n' bass

How do,

As ye know, I'm a plain speakin', Accrington born laddie me and I doesn't care to mince uz words. Ye'll get none o' the sort o' fancy Dan fripperies ye would from yon poncy Southern Music critics from this un. (Most of 'em are right bloody pooves an' all, like as not). No, I speak as I find me, call a spade a spade and if ye don't like it, happen as like ye'll know where tha's can shove it!

Anyroad, this week I've listened to yon Drum 'n' bass music and quite frankly, if ye want t'truth, I'll give it ee straight: I've never heard such a flamin' racket in all uz born days. It's bloody murder on tha' eardrums - worse than bloody Peter Maxwell Davis (if ye can believe that!) I was fair near tearin' uz ears off after the first couple or three bars, it were such a cacophony. Tuneless bloody racket it is, I'm not kiddin' ye. Happen as like yon young uns'll go doolally o'er it but if y'ask me, it's nowt but a bollockin' pile of old shite.

Let's be havin ye,

This week: Franz Ferdinand

How do,

As thee know, I'm not one t'shy away from plain speakin', me. I'm an Accrington born laddie and proud o't and uz doesn't care t'mince uz words. I like t'shoot from t'hip, does I. Thee'll get none o' yon meally mouthed blatherin' and a-mitherin' from this un. None o't'pompous peregrinations and regurgitated bourgeoise platitudes of yon poncy, la-di-da NME journalists from this un, thee can count on't. No, I speaks as I find me, calls a spade a spade and if tha doesn't like it, tha's can take a flamin' hike and take tha beggarin' wife with 'ee!

Anyroad, this week I've listened to yon Franz Ferdinand and, if thee wants t'truth, I'll give it thee straight, no beatin' round t'bush: thez are a shower o' feckin' shite if ever I did hear't. What a flamin' racket! Never heard such a pathetic heap of codswallop since uz did t'first run through of t'Orestia at t'flamin' Festival Hall with yon twatting one-armed conductor. Cacophony? I'll give thee bloody cacophony. I've heard more sense comin' out me own arse after one of t'wife's stout and mushy pea pies than out of yon singer's bloody gob. Thez make t'bleedin' Gang o' Four sound like t'Nolans and no mistake. By heck, I'm not kiddin' ye - I'd rather eat uz own shite than have t'put up wi' yon caterwaulin' again. And jest t'put t'bloody silk cap on't, yon singer's one o' them fancy Dan bleedin' Southerner Guardian columnists an' all. Bunch of pooves thez are, and no mistake. Tha'll not get this un wi' uz back to 'em for a kick off, I can tell thee.

Happen as like yon young uns'll go doolally o'er it but if tha asks me, Franz Ferdinand? Thez nowt but a bollockin' pile of old shite.

Now, get away with thee before I teks uz bloody belt to thee,


Sunday, 29 September 2013

The boy with the hole in his heart...

The scar was a zipped up fly of blistered skin. It ran for about six inches down the middle of his chest. It was as if someone had taken an iron to some worms and a passion flower and then a translucent skin had been allowed to form over the resulting mess. Most of our scars were visible back then, his was just the most apparent and the most extreme. There was a spina bifida boy with crutches and a calliper in the year below and another sturdy girl with a stiffening fixture on one leg, but their manmade buttressing somehow seemed to make them less, not more fragile. We were all always getting cuts and grazes, but they mostly came from falling over. The knees of Ian Davis and Brian Nederhoff in particular seemed to be perpetually scabbed or bleeding, bleeding or scabbed. Tall and gangly Big Birds, they both seemed especially prone to going down. A strange mustard coloured ointment would be daubed on to the blackcurrant jam of their wounds and somehow, soon, everything would be alright, their tears become smiles once more. But nothing as extreme had befallen us as had the boy with the hole in his heart. You didn't get a scar like that just from falling over.

We didn't call him the boy with the hole in his heart back then, of course, but Pharoah Kid was Pharoah Kid even then, only rarely to his face. It was just the way our minds worked, I suppose. His unruly shanks of growing out ruffian crop hair were abstracted into a crude, linear, side-on Egyptian caricature. In much the same way, the boy with the hole in his heart was The Milky Bar Kid owing to a passing similarity to the kid from the TV advert which, now I think about it, didn't extend too far beyond them wearing similar round framed, high magnification spectacles and both being kids. But it seems right to call him this new name now, to turn that lifelong reminder of a childhood hole in the heart operation into the stuff of metaphor. Because now we too know a little of what he went through. Our hearts have all been yanked out, pummelled, probed and prodded, put back in and the wounds, however poorly, however ineptly they disguise the trauma undergone, have been stitched up. There were no surgical gloves, there was no anaesthetic for us though.

And then there was Harry. That strange meeting at Kefalinnia Airport. The odd rightness of that Greek setting; him returning from the Island of Odysseus which we'd observed for the previous two weeks from our lazy poolside, unaware that he had been secluded there somewhere on one of Ithaca's rugged boobs. Harry, still the quiet centre of it all, his fame and renown even greater than when I could claim to know him. Those Ustinov locks hoary now but deserving of the laurel leaves they always seemed to be requiring then. But so sad now, and lost looking, with Sheila gone. And me, my Mother living on through me, perhaps, inhabiting me, something anyway making me become the compassionate, concerned 'good with people' son - perhaps the man she'd hoped one day I would become. The past healed, then, in a moment, with that firm and more meant than was ever said hand clasp and his straight in the eye, sincere entreaty to 'take care of yourself'.

The past is healed. It can be written now, with love. Because I tried before to write it but there was still anger in my heart. But now there is no room for that. Not with so many gone. First Bill, my Mum, then Dad and now Sheila. Only Harry and Jo-Jo remaining now of all our parents. How can there be room for anger? What is it Larkin says? 'All that survives of us  - remains of us? - is love'. And whichever it is, that's true. 

All that is left is love. Love, love, love.