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Richard Thompson  in concert at Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche, Faenza, Italy.  19th June 2016

 rtHow great is this?  A pay on the door  chance to see and hear at close quarters one of the great figures in contemporary folk-rock,  and playing solo too.

This was meant to be an outside show in the grounds of Faenza’s elegant ceramic museum but the threat of rain prompted a late change of plans.

A makeshift stage was set up in the gallery space and plastic seats took the place of cushions.

The arrangements were made easier by the fact, that for a class act like Richard Thompson, all you need is a guitar and a glass of water. View full article »

Jo_CoxThis is a blog post in defence of a tweet I wrote this morning which read as follows:  “In honour of Jo Cox & in opposition to the haters & racists, Brits must vote remain on 23/6″

In an excellent article in The Guardian, Polly Toynbee wrote of the “corrosive” anger aroused by the forthcoming referendum on whether Britain remains or leaves the EU.The venomous reaction to my tweet could be construed as evidence of this. Here are a sample of the numerous comments I received:

  • You really are despicable – exploiting her death for political gain
  • Your comment is absolutely disgraceful and shames the Remain campaign
  • You are a heartless, opportunistic ghoul.
  • Shit for brains.

I stand by what I wrote but feel motivated to explain / defend myself beyond the 140 character limit. View full article »

treetoclub
“One cannot expect a little tree that has been turned into a club to produce leaves”

Michael Burber (from Paths in Utopia, 1958)

EMINENT HIPSTERS by Donald Fagen (Vintage Books, 2014)
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This book is a good antidote to clichéd rock memoirs suggesting life on the road is one extended party. Here there’s no sex, some prescription drugs and a bit of AOR.

The second part takes the form of a 2012 tour diary based on concerts across America performed with Michael ‘Doobie Brother’ McDonald and Boz Scaggs as The Dukes of September Rhythm Review.

It was written mostly to relieve the monotony of playing a series of gigs in mostly sub-par venues to aging punters and staying in soulless hotels.

Fagen coins the term Acute Tour Disorder (ATD) to describe the state of anxiety, paranoia, depression and physical discomfort he experiences. You have to wonder why he keeps going and he asks himself this same question at regular intervals. View full article »

THE SAVAGES written & directed by Tamara Jenkins (USA, 2007)
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Though this movie received universal acclaim upon release, there were the inevitable naysayers. It’s interesting to read some of the negative comments. One says the story is depressing because it’s too much like real life while another says he was disappointed because he had expected a comedy.

I confess that, having glanced at the DVD cover image, I thought it would be more comic than dramatic. There are some amusing scenes but nothing to laugh out loud about. This is not so surprising since it touches upon a number heavy themes including sibling rivalry, mid-life crises, parental abuse and, most serious of all, dementia and dying. Not much cause for hilarity in this list!

It stars Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman as Wendy and Jon Savage. Both are single with messed up personal relationships, both have aspirations as writers and both are fundamentally unfulfilled. View full article »

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