No getting away from it, Scot is fast approaching middle age . . . today I once again found myself in HMV, loitering with neither means or intent in IndieWorldJazzBlues’n’Soul all the while throwing covetous little bitch glances at the middle aged guys in Rock/Pop. Pastel sweatered, nonchalantly flicking through the back catalogues of Dire Straits, Eagles, E.L.O and Queen how I envied their insouciance, their easy manner and how they appeared to have given up trying to make their trousers fit around their waists. I imagined their conversations; moob maintenance and reduction, how to tell if a Blue Nun has corked and their delight in discovering M&S’s Blue Harbour range of elasticated waist banded slacks. I thought of them meeting up on Sundays to scour car boots for Haynes manuals; Allegros, Viva’s, Marina’s and Cortina’s and afterwards taking their blonde, salon tanned, hair straightened, big boned wives and sullen only child ‘dahn the Dog’ for a carvary. And all the while I’m fingering Caro Emerald’s admittedly fine new CD and wondering what the ‘dahn’ payment on a Norton might be.
Except it’s not really like that anymore. The guys who once drove Vauxhall Viva’s and Capri’s (did all car names end in vowels?) are now late middle aged, getting a second wind on the golf course before pushing on through into retirement, avoiding, like their Grand Fathers, the bunkers and the trenches and aiming, like their fathers before them to go a round in par.
These guys are no aural explorers. What do they play when they have guests; Hotel California, Queens Greatest Hits (Volume 2) or Brothers in Arms. Brothers in indifference and yet here I am envying them. Music, once a notch on the bed post of cool but since revered as a tool with which to engineer birdies into the sack. Music, once essential but now an albatross to be filed away below stairs along with the children’s car seat and the still boxed boules set. In the same way that a newly married chap can relax into his new surroundings, put on a few pounds and hey, if you’re going to lose a few hairs then why not go hog wild. So the next time you overtake a fat bottomed girl whilst cruising dahn the A38 with the window open and the breeze rustling the last remnants of a half forgotten mullet remember the golden Boticelli youth and his summer soundtrack; James Dean, The Sultans of Swing, Mr Blue Sky and The Boys of Summer. Turn it up a notch and drink a toast to me stuck indoors somewhere cultivating a studio tan and getting lowdown and dirty with the latest Joy Division reissue.
And to be honest, I’m really not that cool. Various might be and even Pit has his moments but I, most certainly and sadly am not.
The reason I relate all this to you is because Various has been asked to contribute an LP cover for a show in Antwerp later next year. He couldn’t remember the name of the band, obscure of course, or at least they are outside of Antwerp. Anyway, he’s excited and I am excited for him. And if you want to discover more check out Leo's excellent Cloudknitters website. Unable to provide the whole address but there can't be too many Coudknitters out there in the er, cloud. He (Various) has also been asked by J.R via Pit to co curate ‘Albrecht’s Birthday’, the formers show in Madrid this autumn. Exciting?
“YAY” yelped Darling Number 1.
PS After writng this I went for a soul cleansing meander on youtube. As I wandered from Mary Love to Ronnie Spector singing You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory via Springsteen and Gary U.S Bonds duetting on Jole Blon and ontoThe Chiffons before Rockin' Dopsie and some wonderful cajun and Zydeco music made by people whose names I'd love to bring to you except that they all appeared to be in French.