I don’t know whether anybody else remembers this – I certainly didn’t, until I checked the archives last week – but I’ve actually made one of these “write a blog post every day for a month” pledges before. In September 2006, to be precise: and it was heartening to discover that I made good on the promise.
Tomorrow’s final post should be a doddle. Dymbel and I are going to see Cliff Richard and the Shadows at Nottingham Arena, on their fiftieth-anniversary-slash-farewell tour – and as it’s a “payer” rather than a guest list job, I shall be released from all professional duties, leaving me free to blog about the gig to you lot instead. By way of preparation, I can strongly recommend this article by Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley, which appeared in Guardian Film and Music two Fridays ago. Cliff was long overdue for a fair-minded critical re-evaluation, and I agree with most of the points made.
Now that the summer recess is over, it’s good to re-engage with live music. As well as recent gigs from Tinchy Stryder, Fuck Buttons and Ungdomskulen, I had a whale of a time at a wedding reception in the village on Saturday, bopping around to a distinctly superior covers band (sourced by the father of the groom, who played in a chart pop group in the early 1970s). Choosing the right range of songs for an all-ages crowd, and playing them accurately and skilfully, without letting individual egos intrude, is an art all of its own – and the band in question succeeded delightfully in their mission. And although – once again – I tried to rein in those pointy fingers, I have now accepted them as my signature look. Hell, people have expectations! I cannot disappoint!
Earlier today, I conducted a “phoner” with the folk musician Jon Boden, best known for fronting the 11-piece band Bellowhead. It was an amiable and thought-provoking encounter – particularly towards the end of the call, when we got onto the subject of private versus public “ownership” of songs. I’ll be bunging it up on the freelance blog in a couple of weeks’ time, in advance of Bellowhead’s Nottingham show.
That’s all that I have for you today. Back tomorrow night, with breathless tales of His Cliffness. Ooh, I’m that stoked!