Archive for the 'Music' Category

Burning Powder

Thought this was worth your perusal. Great EP too.

[Sorry if it didn’t embed right…]

http://player.vimeo.com/video/15887942

Lowly Knights – Burning Powder from Phil Harrison on Vimeo.

Bands with managers

Thursday 27th May

7:30-11pm

Exodus – Lisburn

29 Railway St, Lisburn

This is something you should all go to cause it’ll be beezer.

I’ll be there which will make it even better. I’ll even have a band to make pretty music to make up for my lack of ability.

The Turf Brothers will be there in their first live performance since the last one.

I need to go practice singing in tune.

I’ve been to a marvellous party

Friday night was my chance to see Divine Comedy as close up and personal as I ever likely will.

I am, it could be said a big fan. The man knows how to write  lyric and a melody and a chord sequence. The man is a living legend.

I kept leaning over to Transfarmer and recounting tales of when we used to play that song or this song in the wedding band or some school concert.

I fondly remember busting a string on the second note of the guitar solo in National Express in the civic centre in Craigavon during  school concert.

It is odd that Neil Hannon seems like one of ours, an Irishman, a much beloved Irishman. It’s odd because the whole persona he has created is intensely English. This is the man (who with another Irishman) made an entire (and wonderful) album about cricket. Yes of course there’s satire, and parody but then we Irish can’t pretend that we’re not just a little bit English at heart…

The Sugar Club is a wonderful place for a gig. Despite missing the early rush to grab a seat we managed to get a seat that some lovely young folk were willing to share. Rarely have I been more happy to get a seat a gig.

This was a civilised gig. He came in a suit and bowler hat and there was even an interlude. He rattled through some really high quality new stuff (can’t wait to hear the full version of the Complete Banker – the man knows how to capture the mood of a nation) and some old classics too. I’d be happy if he’s just stopped at Tonight we Fly (the second song).

The thing that everyone will remember is the mistakes. Firstly that they happened at all – I was a little bit surprised at the frequency of the cock ups of the lyrics and chords. And secondly – the mistakes were half the banter of the night, it became like a little bit of stand up mixed with pop.

Bring on the album.

Free Coffee

Since I met Transfarmer I have writen one song.

Most rejoice at that.

Simy would say that I’m no longer miserable and therefore can’t write the sad bastard music any more. I’m still miserable, she has that effect on people, it’s just I seem to have spent all my time driving or training (should really be a verb…) up and down from Maynooth.

Though I do drive an automatic it is still hard to master the corners while singing and playing guitar.

I still like some of the old songs. Well 5 of them at least. And I like the idea of playing them more often. However singing in front of people gives me the willies like nothing else. I get nervous about very little (if anything) but singing is one of them.

On Tuesday I got to play in a Starbucks where I live (some guys I know had got the use of the place for the evening and I got a chance to sing a bit).

Transfarmer even took some video. Some better than others it must be said. If you stick the video to the end then there’s another guy doing something really cool.

It went remarkably well, in that I enjoyed it and even occasionally hit the right notes.

Will be good practice for a gig I’m playing here (with the legendary Turf Brothers) at the end of May. We have our first practice on Saturday morning in our living room. Hope the neighbours won’t mind…

Pay for what you get

My brother had a friend in 1997 who came back from America brandishing a copy of Crash and a few weeks later I was printing tabs off the internet and furiously trying to play the fiendishly impossible slides and hammer ons of So Much to Say. Me and Woodsy invented the word nequethiel to describe the mood of Two step. I played Crush very loudly the day I passed my driving test

I was a big Dave Matthews Band fan. Till Everyday and I kind of lost interest.

I am still not sure why they are so damn popular. Who would want to listen to obscure drum viruoso rhythms accompanied by violin and sax with a lead singer who looks like an Accountant (direct quote from wee Liz). It’s hardly “what the kids are listening to.”

So finally I got to see them last night. In the very neat and tidy but horribly sterile and commercialised O2 Arena. Incidentally I like the way they still call it The Point on the LUAS.

And they are as brilliant as they sound. The quality of the songs they’ve produced in recent years is far below the old days in my opinion but my those boys can play. Though maybe not dance.

Leroi Moore (the sax guy) died a couple of years ago and this coupled with the arrangements of the new songs appears to have left the wonderful Boyd Tinsley (violin) some what out in the cold. He spent most of the first half of the gig standing at the side of the stage holding his violin while being drowned out by an overly loud Tim Reynolds on electric.

Dave – I say this for your own good, Tim is great and all that but you don’t need him. Stick to the brass and violin, it kind of made you more interesting and less like a band led by an accountant. I’m just saying.

We left before the encore (just after All along the watchtower of course) so we didn’t get locked out of our car park. We missed two songs I’d never heard of. I’m not bothered.

So I’ve had my old Dave Matthews Band on repeat all morning. I’m not sold on the new stuff. If Dave goes back to writing Two Step again and I go back to being 16 then we’ll both be happier.

Kid go get it

Been a while since I’ve had any new music worth talking about.

Inevitably when it comes it’s all Northern Irish indie bands

Just before Christmas SixStarHotel released their new album. These guys have been about fro years and their musicianship goes from strength. With Tides and Tides I think they’ve perfected it.

Two Door Cinema Club are annoyingly young and talented and make me wish I’d dedicated my youth to floppy hair and playing crappy indie venues instead of wasting my time in education…

They’ve received a lot of press and have been on tour since some time before they were actually born it seems. They finally have a deal and an album and it rocks.

And last and of course best we have the Lowly Knights. It has been a pleasure seeing these songs develop live and  become the wonderful creations they are on the Hollows EP. In an ideal world I’d love my music to sound like Mumford & Sons, but it would have to be with a hefty does of the Lowly Knights. Sharing a house with the pianist probably makes me a bit biased but hey.

August and everything after

So as summer comes to an end with a cold, damp, miserable thump (what a surprise) it’s time to review some of what i’ve been up to over august.

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I was at a wedding in a castle in Edinburgh (though not edinburgh castle) where they had the most wonderful humanist wedding ceremony. (I think we need more humanist wedding ceremonies, but that’s another blog.)

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There was great food, good wine and even some dancing – of which i did not partake i must confess. Even the Bon Jovi.

I picked up the guitar and grew some balls and played my songs in a wee cafe in Portadown. And after the first 4 songs i even started enjoying it.

And in a fit of musical enthusiasm I picked up the old electric again and played with the old band in church. Lamenting my dying guitar amp and how rusty I’ve got at playing the electric guitar.

I await my new valves in earnest in the hope i can resurrect the Hot Rod deluxe to do another 10 years of loyal service.

On a more positive not the new Pod X3 rocks. While a little on the complicated side to set up and run it does sound pretty sweet. These are the days i wish i hadn’t sold my strat to Woodsy.

In between I have actually enjoyed my work. Which is kind of new for me. I have found myself too often pisssed off and frustrated in work so it’s nice to have a wee bit more enthusiasm and positivity about the whole thing. being there less helps. Which i know sounds weird – “I love my job as long as I’m not there…” – but when I do less hours I sleep better and am more sane than usual. This has got to be a good thing.

I look forward to dropping a day a week in the middle of september and going back to cutting up dead bodies with the students.

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And then most recently was Jonny and Lynne’s wedding. Dear Jonny, whom I’ve known since I was 6 when he arrived in P2 and stole my lego. Not that I’m bitter. Dear Jonny, who I shard houses with and tears and joy with and made 9 platiunum selling albums with in the Turf Brothers. Good times.

Great wedding, though running around doing musical stuff all day. Including the first ever live turf brother’s performance.

And it was mighty craic playing in Nice Guy Eddie again (my old wedding band) and even nicer to move from dance floor to band and back to dance floor again getting to play just the songs that i remembered.

There was dancing. There was me dancing. There was me enjoying dancing.  But i blame Transfarmer for that. I blame her for everything really.

But above all else what made the wedding was the fact that we didn’t have to drive the 1 1/2 hours back from the Killyhevlin at midnight. Instead we sat about the hotel till 0130 and then dandered back to our little chalets at the riverside for a cup of tea and a nice kip.

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And so began our little two day holiday in damp fermanagh. Like the donegal trip simply transplanted to a pre-fab chalet on the bank of the river.

I took the good ship pudge out on my own for the first time but was slightly annoyed that the brisk wind meant that i couldn’t get the thing turned and embarassingly had to reverse the canoe to shore just to turn it.

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Everyone else seemed to enjoy their trip too. No one got wet anyhow.

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We visited an ice-cream shop, just for the adventure of getting lost in the Fermanagh countryside. Sat-Nav is great and all that but only if you tell it to go to the right place.

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Extended weekends rock. And it’s still only sunday morning.

If only you could see yourself like I see you

Foy Vance attracts a certain kind of crowd. Mostly people i know it seems. The Lowly Knights do the same. Not that i’m complaining – it at least gives me an active social life that extends beyond facebook.

First off the – Spring and Airbrake has some serious structural issues with what looks like some fairly major supporting pillars right in front of the stage. If you’ve been there you’ll know you have to adopt the position leaning slightly to one side to to see either the lead singer or the drummer. Not that the rest of the band aren’t important – i love you all really, i just like a decent view.

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Second – as handy as the iPhone is, it takes pretty crappy photos.

The Knights still pull off a fairly impressive show. I’m waiting hopefully for some new material if they ever get round to recording it.

Foy Vance gets all the applause simply for the quality of his musicianship. Not wanting to be offensive as I love the music scene in Belfast, but Foy Vance is on a whole different level when it comes to sheer talent. Though every time I see him he seems to have collected a few more DD3s to fill out the sound.

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Top moment was Foy slagging off Skeeno’s piano. Not Skeeno, just his piano.

Makes me want to go into negotiations with Simy to buy his Lowden off him.

PS And a pleasure chatting with song of soul and FF amongst others when I was there.

PPS And have recorded the basis of a new song for those interested. Which may only be Transfarmer and Skeeno but hey…

Music for a found harmonium

Not owning a TV i’ve managed to keep myself free from the need of buying a TV license. Though I still try my best to enjoy everythig the BBC has to offer.

Most recently that was an invitation concert with the Ulster Orchestra that the BBC kindly give free tickets for (which I sponged off the Office).

So on wednesday evening I sat in the balcony in the ulster hall watching men and women in black suits pull off some pretty remarkable music. Classical music is really only any fun watched live – listening to it on the hi-fi just isn’t quite the same really.

Watching 4 guys in an indie band manage to play the same notes in the same time with the same energy is pretty impressive but watching 40 people hit the same notes at the same time is so much more impressive.

(NB – the Office’s hand makes a rare appearance in the photo below – and he actually appears to be trying to push over that tuba player, such violence…)

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His band and the street choir

Seeing as everyone had an Ulster Hall story I figure I have mine too.

Listening to Bloc Party with Simy open with “So here we are”, one of their “quiet ones’ yet still probably the loudest gig I’ve ever been to.

So anyhow it’s reopened, the Northern Irish music scene wanted to celebrate the fact. Though to call it the Northern Irish music scene is a tad exclusive as it’s nearly all young, skinny guys with guitars and messy hair. Perhaps hardly representative of the music made in this place.

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The idea was to get 14 Northern Irish bands and let them play 2 songs each. One of their own and one cover of a band that they’d seen in the Ulster Hall previously.

Pretty impressive to get 14 bands and near 4 hours of music for a fiver.

The Knights pulled the luck of the draw and ended up first on, some time, it seems, before the sound engineer turned his ears and brain on so the sound was terrible, though the guys completely nailed DC‘s “Something for the Weekend”.

Being first on is never easy, the venue’s only half full, no one is drunk, no is warmed up.

There was Kowalski and Cashier No 9, both of whom passed me by as dare I say it decidedly average. Though at least the sound guy had it sorted by then. Decent version of “this modern love” – mainly notable for the drummer nailing the drum roll near the end.

I love the Panama Kings. Though it’s still killing me that I’m singing their cover in my head but I can’t name the flippin band (Skeeno arrived home and told me it was Ash – most dissapointed in myself)

Foy Vance caused a wee bit of a moment. After opening with “afternoons and coffee spoons” (anyone remember the Crash Test Dummies) in a new hat he played a new one that got so quiet and moving that you could have heard a pin drop in the place. Pretty stunning stuff. By far biggest cheer of the night.

I’ve never heard of Lafaro before now. I’ll never buy any of their music, but live those guys kick ass. I could listen to loud rock and watch drummers all day as long as its live, I just wouldn’t listen to it in the house. They swaggered with more stage presence than anyone had pulled off so far. They looked like a proper rock band.

Iain Archer had the unfortunate task of following the loudest act of the night with one of the quietest. Him and the pilots playing “songbird” while again the sound guy falls asleep and forgets to turn up the drums. I despair sometimes. The new Iain Archer album is the best thing since sliced bread so I think this didn’t do him justice.

He then had the unfortunate task of introducing Barry Gary Lightbody as one of the special guests of the night. Being actually kind of famous this overshadowed the rest of what Iain Archer did. They played a hugely dodgy version of The Frames “lay me down” which no one on stage seemed to know how to play apart from Phil Wilkinson drumming. Not particularly impressive I must say.

Recovered slightly with a decent version of “chocolate” which is a pretty damn strong song no matter what you do with it. Unfortunately followed by that horrible “chasing cars” song which was always on repeat on the radio in the ICU in NZ so I have horrible associations with it. Plus as a song its a bit shit which doesn’t help.

Somewhere around here I get a bit lost in the order but Neil Hannon turned up with an old battered piano and made my day by not only playing the best Divine Comedy song ever (and that’s saying something) “tonight we fly” but also playing a Pixies song. Both purely on the piano and both purely wonderful. And he got away with a nice Pop Idol joke while he was at it.

Fighting with wire and jet plane landing are both bands I’ve only heard of. There’s certain degree of Belfast-centrism going on in the music scene, so perhaps Derry bands get overlooked a bit.

They did manage to be fairly impressive. Good cover of “you really got me”, and a really good cover of Rage’s “know your enemy” though the slightly chubby, dull looking guy doing the rap was all a bit odd. Never mind the two chaps on stage wearing masks.

Duke Special had a lovely sound though he did manage some ill advised crowd surfing at the end. What was most disappointing was the fact that a fully packed Ulster Hall could keep neither Duke Special nor Foy Vance in the air for longer than 5 seconds. I think crowds are out of practice when it comes to their role in crowd surfing.

Ash were a bizzare almost country trio for the night, with the drummer acting as second guitarist.

I remember Therapy as a band that was sort of famous in Northern Irish circles back when I was first getting interested in music at all. They weren’t my cup of tea then and they certainly aren’t now. Though they certainly have a bit of life about them that’s for sure. And a fruity choice of expletives. I’m sure the BBC will thank them for that.

Simy apparently works with (or did work with I’m not sure) the bassist from Therapy. Apparently he works with computers. How rock and roll. Fame loses all its shine when you’ve been to school with them, or you live with them or they work in Tescos.

There was a huge finale were they got everyone on stage and they all sang “Teenage Kicks” (which had to be sung at some point) and there were even fireworks at the end. It was like a Bon Jovi concert in that respect.

At least they didn’t sing some awful charity song and put their arms round each other and sway.

Whole night was great. Perched on the rails at the sound desk at the back where you’ll always find me. Makes me glad to live in this place.

Came home and heard that a policeman was shot and killed near the hospital. Completely threw me. One episode is something, you have two and you’ll soon have a series of murders. Bastards. And the whole effing show kicks off again. We can’t go back down that road. We simply can’t.

GOD have mercy on us all.

Makes me want to pack up and leave this place.

You were still here

Right, time for more sad bastard music.

This is a very early demo – recorded using only the built in mic on the MacBook –  still amazes me how good a job it does.

img_0027img_0028My extensive studio consists of what’s pictured. My favorite bit being the deformed, battered, 20 year old SM 58 that I found in my Dad’s office that he’d obtained from closing down some illegal radio station in the late 90s.

Much as such old battered items appeal to me I think I’m ready to just go and buy a decent recording microphone. I’m just worried that perhaps that’ll mean I’ll be expected to record stuff that actually sounds good…

… [and] this is [not] a song…

OK so I’ve been locked in the house recording sad bastard music again. For those interested can be found here.

This is a song

When I write songs, I really want to write songs like these. Almost in danger of toppling Astral Weeks off the top of the top 5. Maybe Bruce just wants to be an Irishman at heart.

Sweet soul music

I was never into classical music. It was all dead guys and bow ties and harpsichords. In my ignorance I claimed that classical music, while technically proficient lacked soul. As if somehow skinny guys with guitars had the market sewn up on that one.

Sigh.

I was raised on Simon & Garfunkel, though mainly Simon with a bit of Bright Eyes (no not that one…) thrown in for good measure, long with Abba, Neil Diamond, The Beatles and Buddy Holly. I figure that’s not bad for growing up in the eighties. I give thanks for my parents music taste.

My lasting memory of classical music is off the old Hamlet ads. That and a brief flirtation with some complication album that had some Elgar in it that taught me all new levels of melancholy – I was 16 that was what I lived for at the time it seemed.

I think the main problem I had with classical music is my ignorance. I mean you can’t just look at the titles cause they’re all numbered numerically. You’ve no idea what they’re about really except what number they are and what key they’re in.

And I miss lyrics. I miss lovely little self-deprecating bridges and resolving choruses and shouty backing vocals. I have no point of reference with classical music.

Though I am perhaps learning.

Thanks to the wonders of Spotify (via the office) I can now get any music I want streamed online – I can hook you up with an invite if you’re interested… With my level of ignorance I can simply type Classical music and be presented with reams of the stuff in all it’s “western European dead guy in a wig” glory.

Now there are strict rules for when you play it. The house will be empty, and tidied, and I will have a clear agenda ahead of me, largely involving coffee and books. It is also good to revise to. It is even good for lying down on the sofa and simply plain listening to. Which is something I do far too rarely and too often use music as a literal soundtrack to whatever else I’m doing with my life.

Anyhow the dead guys rock. Someone get me my harpsichord.

Little drummer boy

I am not a drummer. Not really anyhow. I was best defined by Skeeno‘s Da – whether i like it or not – as a frustrated country guitarist.

But I’ll have a go. I started drumming in my church cause they’re didn’t seem to be anyone else to do it and i really quite fancied having a go. There was somehwhat of a steep learning curve to that approach.

I used to get nervous drumming – I never got nervous playing guitar or singing (though I should be with the singing) – but with the drumming I was so totally aware of how loud and significant all the mistakes were. With the guiatar you could fluff a note or simply not play the bits you didn’t know. With drumming you have no such options.

People say if you hit one or two wrong notes then you’re crap but if you hit three wrong notes then it’s jazz. I’m prett sure that doesn’t apply to drumming.

I’m getting better and realising that it’s probably the most fun instrument in a band. Well it is for me, if not the most fun for the rest of the band who have to listen.

End Any Ill

2 months of too much time shut up in the house with the computer and a guitar can’t be good for you. Anyhow it’s done now.

End Any Ill

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So this is Frolics

And yes the time has come again. When those of us who had the privilege of spending time in university together (mostly lying around drinking tea and putting the world to rights or playing mario-kart) get back together for an evening of food and light entertainment.

Festive Fun & Frolics (in fact whoever came up with the name please let me know…) has become something of an institution, progressing and evolving year by year. Gone of the days of a take-away Chinese and everyone crammed into my bedroom in Tate’s Avenue for a rendition of Temptation Dinghy. It’s all “smart casual” and restaurants and we even have an organising committee (too many presby’s you see…) even if it is just Jose with too much time on his hands.

It has also become strangely evangelistic, with more and more what could be seen as random punters being brought on board. Which is cool, cause something like this will inevitably be cliquey (!) and full of “in jokes”.  Some of the “blow ins” (I don’t mean that honestly, we love you really, apart from Skeeno…) are WAGs (wives and girlfriends) or HABs (husbands and boyfriends) but most are just guys we know who seem happy enough to be involved in such silliness.

The interesting bit – to us at least – is the entertainment, with each former student house providing an item – mainly songs. I thought I’d include some of the videos below so that all the silliness may be recorded for all eternity. Some day some of you will get married and the best man will have such good material to choose from…

First up was Pete and Fred’s Megamix danceathon. It went on for about 20 minutes. I was tired just watching them. Edited highlights below. Sorry about the lighting. Watch out for Gilpy’s 80s power grabs. Priceless.

This year provided the pleasant surprise of Windsor Avenue actually pulling out something pretty decent for once, compared with the bizzare after eight games of recent years.

Edinburgh St tend to be the industry favourites each year though the public vote let them down somewhat this year. Every one was upset Jonny’s Aunty Mary didn’t make an appearance this year.

And then there was Tates. After a brief confusion when I thought Sparky meant us to sing a Christmas Carol and then realising he meant A Christmas Carol we were off and running. Though this borrowed sightly more from the muppets than Dickens. It’s a bit long but worth it. Well not really but there is nakeness at one point and that always improves the blog stats.

Can’t help who you love

One of the big things (amongst many) i missed while living in NZ was decent live music, in fact any live music. My only experiences of live music in NZ were the Datsun’s being very loud in a pub across the marina and making it into the Hawke’s Bay Herald for being too loud. That and a BYOB night at the church i was a part of where even i played and sang so that shows how desperate they must have been.

Not that NZ hasn’t produced a few musical geniuses – namely flight of the conchords – one of whom used to be in the hugely wonderful Black Seeds…

[yes of course there was crowded house and kiri te kanawa but let’s try and forget…]

Anyhow.

As far as Norn Iron goes, we rock. We have a pretty decent bunch of musos putting out some pretty fine stuff. I could (almost) happily wean my music collection down to contain mostly Irish folk. We seem to pretty good at this. More good reasons to be Irish.

I have numerous tenuous links to vaious people involved in music in NI – I always joke to Skeeno that I live with someone who knows someone who is almost famous – and I feel cool because of that…

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As a result i feel some odd kind of community with the music that we put out in this place. Not that I add that much i just turn up and cheer at the gigs.

Tonight was The mighty Lowly Knights in McHugh’s (holding claim to the title of oldest pub in Belfast) shoved in the basement out of the way in one of the cosiest gigs I’ve been in in a long time.

Gigs in Belfast are always cool, cause there’s nearly always the same people at all the gigs, and so it’s a good way to catch up with people who you don’t see so much of any more. Though with advancing age I realise that there are now more and more students I don’t know and fewer and fewer people with jobs and lives and babies who I do know. Yet I still can’t grow a beard. So it goes.

The Knights have an exceptional quirkiness which I suppose is part of their charm. not many bands have a choir, wear braces and print song sheets for the crowd. Most impressive.

Gigs always make me want to write songs and be in a band and grow my hair. I try to narrow the distance between the life I live and the life I think I live, though I’m not sure it always works that neatly…

When will i be famous

Almost makes the X-Factor worthwhile. Though i did say almost. I feel oddly privileged to call these guys friends…

London Calling [Part 5]

Back to work then. Well kind of.

The course for the next two days is much busier than the last one, we’re all kind of crammed into an old Victorian room, which fluctuates between too warm and too hot and there’s never enough coffee to go round.

But the course is good. We even had a repeat of the heart failure talk we’d had on thursday – and it was even more compelling the second time round. Though he was preaching to the converted. I’m a CPAP and morpine man with liberal use of GTN. In  youth i was a furosemide man, though i have perhaps seen the light and all that.

For the non-medics – you may not be aware that for lots of things we don’t know ctually how to treat you so we invoke the gods of anecdote and evidence based medicine and expert opinion to try to justify whichever options we choose. It’s great fun. Though not for the patient perhaps.

There was an interesting chat on thrombolysis for stroke which again reinforced what remarkable things we can treat that we didn’t used to, and also just because we can doesn’t mean we should be doing it where i work. People are always keen to throw money at wht’s fashionable – especially drugs, cause we think they’re like pixie dust or something. No one is willing to throw money at things like, nurses and beds and meticulous supportive care, which is what gets people through illnesses alive I suppose we’re just not willing to accept that we can’t “fix” things.

Anyhow, i must do a proper philosophy of medicine rant. Just not right now.

Back to London.

img_2749Tonight was proper culture – people in penguin suits playing violins and cellos and other instruments I can’t name. Schumann or Scubert or something like that. It was in the Royal Festival Hall which is all very nice, and to give it some credit is really quite egalitarian and evangelisic about the arts, running free concerts and that type of thing. I didn’t feel out of place in my combats at least.

Again we were front row – I don’t kowo how Carson does it – the man’s a genius.

Witihn seconds of the start I was in another world. I get bored listening to classical music on the radio or a CD – the whole thing seems so damned lifeless – I’m lost without my usual handles of rejection, unrequited love and misery that I find in all my “sad-bastard” music. But live it’s a different story – I’ve no idea what’s going on but it’s beautiful – and i suppose that’s all i need to know.

One of the great skills and knacks to life is to see beauty in everything. People write books, and paint paintings and sing songs – because they want to describe something of what it means to be alive. Now of course this isn’t always prettty – bad things happen remember – but it will almost always be something pretty heart felt and genuine. It will nearly always have a bit of “soul” to it.

A broad appreciation of how humans do all this is simply vital – it’ll vary, from footy, to songs, to books, to the things we say to each other. it’s just one persons way of looking at life – and yes we can have a long chat about whether it’s “true” or not – but no matter what way you look at it – it will not be unimportant.

Anyhow, vague, pooorly considered culture rant over.

More amusingly – the chief violin fellow broke a string half way through, and simply swapped the one with the broken string for his mates beside him and played that until his mate had fixed the one with the broken string.

Dandered back to Leiscter Square for a steak and were accosted by 7 or 8 ward sisters from Craigavon Hospital. We were naturally a little surprised. They were all on our list of people we didn’t expect to see that night. Good to see them all the same mind you.

It has started raining – after a good solid 5 days of icy cold. Almost enough to make me abandon the walking and get back on the tube. But then if i hear one more prat singing “let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London” – then I’m going to cause someone grievous bodily harm. Could be worse – could be singing “Lady in Red”…


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July 2020
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