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Lyndon's SONGDOG DIARY

A lapidary log.....

Diary dates

Summer 2014

Diary archive

DIARY 2014




Summer 2014

In the end I fell so far behind with this diary thing that from here on in I’ll be restricting myself to sporadic
reports from the battlefront.

“Oh, yeah? What battlefront’s that then?” a sceptic might conceivably guffaw.

“Why, the site of the self’s miniature battles for its freedom, of course!” I’d jeer back, “it’s where I live and from where my songs emanate, you fucking ape!”

(For no, readers, I ain’t changed a jot since last time I wrote: dramatically at odds with the assumptions of my era, I suppose, recklessly prone to playfulness or irony in an age when sanctimony and cant will get you a lot further, and quicker. But I’m still dead serious about my ‘art’. So I try to be honest in the songs I write --- honest about all the cycles of despair and desire I experience as a man. I’d maintain that sometimes an art can be original or serious enough to be downright estranging in this dumb-fuck late-capitalist era when fun counts as everything. (I remember once a woman wrote me a very bad review after a gig in Liverpool, found me something of a dirty old lech, I guess ---I’d have been proud to have been designated by her the Benny Hill of folk-noir or something, some epithet I could use, but the phrase didn’t occur to her, this wasn’t Dorothy Parker if you get my drift ---- and I wanted to write to her and tell her she should stay in more, but in the end I was too much of a gentleman; but now, in my defence I’d like to refer her to my sixth sentence here. Anyway, I wrote “An Old Man’s Love” out of the experience). But all of the above not withstanding, as regards the music biz, the machine must be fed, as Nick Kaçal says, so another day another over-hyped non-starter as far the real stakes are concerned. (If I owned a record label I’d sign people like Phil Burdett, Michael J. Sheehy, Joe Wilkes, Lorraine Wood, Gabriel Moreno, Vinny Peculiar and others I could mention). Our third record was once long-listed for the Mercury, so in a spirit of foolhardy hope and daring we’ve submitted Harry, (though tin-eared ‘industry’ types are as common as plankton, alas, and require peer-group approval for everything they do, so I’m not keeping the date of the award ceremony free in my diary or nothing …).

It’ll soon be time to launch the rubber-dinghy upon the roiling, broiling ocean again, i.e. make another record. We’ve got eighteen songs, rehearsals have already been in progress for months and Nick Kaçal will do the demos in his new place in Mountain Ash in about a fortnight. Once Nick and I have had the necessary ‘big conversation’ (and assuming it goes well: I want Pod on school-assembly piano, but can Nick handle anything less than Dave Brubeck’s avatar and so on) I like to hope we could begin recording in mid-September? (On the other hand, if the tense negotiations end in fisticuffs, then maybe Jasper could pursue the Red Kite thing?!!). Anyway, like old confidantes, time will tell.

One way or another times seem hard for everybody I know, but there have been moments: a gig at the Cellar Bar in Cardigan (I threw a bit of a wobbler over late-running and almost jumped ship on the gig but it proved a real stormer), a noisy din of a show the following evening in Aberystwyth (a young lady from the University came up afterwards and said “God, your songs are so arousing!” --- I wanted to say “well, madam, I am the Benny Hill of folk-noir, and anything James Brown can do with rhythm I can do with words!” but I didn’t, I just blinked, saluted and carried on packing away my gear). We did a cheerful-enough half-hour at the Fire in the Mountain festival in Devil’s Bridge a month or so later and, latterly, had us a brilliant time at Ray Canham and Alison Burling’s house in Colchester, most definitely one to remember (review and videos here). (If you want a set from us in YOUR front-room, get in touch with Corrinne: you can pay us in quiche and red wine and pass the hat …!).

As for the rest of the year there’s talk of Holland again and a gig in Glossop in September and a really good London show they’ll announce soon for late autumn/winter: plus, as I said, the recording of a new album.

Album-of-the-year so far, I’d say, is Neil Young’s new one. Who’d have thought he still had it in him? They’re not his own tunes, but he delivers them like a true master …. But the Zim’s got one out soon too!

Now I’d like to partake of a glass of Rioja: I’ll leave you with a few things to consider (don’t bother if you find them tiresome!):

1) Isn’t the one of the very dumbest beliefs around at the moment that of ‘now-time’ (Walter Benjamin had a German word for it but I can’t recall it), the idea that things as they are now is how they must always have been meant to be …..?

2) Is all the greatest art nostalgic (like Sgt Pepper and Dylan’s whole oeuvre?).

Tell me in person when I see you all at our special London gig in the autumn!


xxxxx

 

 



 

 

 



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