Music

Bluebells

We went to see Patrick Wolf at Oran Mor tonight as part of a belated birthday celebration. And what a good time we had.

I hope you enjoy Bluebells linked above. It's one of my favourite songs. Strangely comforting. Patrick is finally beginning to enjoy some mainstream radio success here in Blightly after having made wonderful music for years. I am a hipster at heart - I liked him better when he made less mainstream stuff, dammit - but it is gratifying to see all his very hard work paying off. Go see him if he plays a concert near you. He's good.

Hymn To Grace

North Star isn't just the name of my favourite neighbourhood cafΓ©, it is also one of my favourite albums from the now long-lost 1990s. In the last couple of days I have rediscovered the album - and it is peculiarly, decidedly Glaswegian. And I obviously had no idea that I would one day end up here when I fell in love with Roddy Frame's album. Hmm. This song has been in my head all day. A short, simple song and all the better for it.

Be There Two O'Clock

It's a new week. And I completely forgot to write about the highlight of the previous week. Friday night my partner and I had an impulsive dance-a-thon in our living room when we realised that BBC4 was showing footage of Pulp headlining at Glastonbury 1995. When we first met, D. and I initially bonded over our shared love for early to mid-90s British guitar pop (some call it the 'Britpop' era but, really, that name was a media construct). Nowadays that era gets boiled down to "so, were you into Blur or Oasis?" because that was the huge (and nonsensical) story of the day. Did you hum along to Country House by cheeky middle-class Southern chaps Blur or did you bellow along to Cigarettes & Alcohol by authentic working-class northern lads Oasis? People knew who you were by which one you preferred - nevermind that Blur's drummer eventually became a Labour activist/politician and the singer from Oasis now dabbles as a fashion designer.

D. and I pledged our allegiance elsewhere (much to the frustration of a former boss of mine who thought she could pinpoint me by asking the Blur/Oasis question) and we both preferred Pulp and Suede.

Pulp used sparkly pop songs to deliver social commentary via great story-telling.Β  Suede glamorised working class struggles whilst referencing Byron and Andy Warhol and playing with androgyny. Suede soon descended into cringe-inducing banality (tellingly around the time their guitarist left to pursue other musical interests - he is now a record producer) but I still love their first two albums. Pulp's frontman, the charismatic Jarvis Cocker, now works as a broadcaster for BBC, and Pulp recently reformed to do some UK festival dates in 2011.

William Shatner(!) has done a great(!!) cover version of Pulp's most famous song, Common People, and Nick Cave has turned their anthemic Disco 2000 into something heartbreakingly beautiful. My favourite Pulp album is His'n'Hers from which Do You Remember the First Time? is taken (lyrics obviously NSFW). I cannot believe that song is now 16 years old and I'm in my mid-30s.

Time has been somewhat kinder to Pulp than Suede, but for old time's sake here is Suede doing a cover of The Pretenders' Brass In Pocket, a live version of So Young (still my favourite Suede song - so much gloomy romanticism!), and the awesome The Killing of a Flash Boy which will forever remind me of living in London in the mid-90s. Looking back it is unbelievable they got away with something like this at a multi-corporate awards ceremony or that my mum approved of me loving them so damn much.

So, yes, we danced around the living room in a totally cool mid-90s minimalist way. And it was the absolute highlight of last week.

(And in case you did wonder..)

Catch-Up

I have ten rows to go on my tenth shawl of 2010. The rows are getting very long now, so I'm taking a break - just long enough to make myself a cup of tea and to update my sadly neglected blog. It has been a very long week. All my best intentions and all my best-laid plans flew out the window whilst I tried to hold on to my sanity and get through a mountain of work. I have been playing catch-up ever since returning from Denmark and I think I'm almost nearly there.

These things have helped me through the week:

My shawl beckons me (as does that cup of tea). Have a lovely weekend.