Eclectic Blue

Get me out of here

0 Comments 13 November 2018

There are a lot of movies and TV shows I have never seen. I’ve never seen a Star Wars film, nor the Indiana Jones series of movies, nor Star Trek. I’ve never seen Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Nor have I seen a full episode of the X Factor or Britain’s Got Talent. I never seen Ant and Dec present anything so I’ve certainly not seen I’m A Celebrity. I do not feel the quality of my life has suffered as a result.

The Bristol Post has reported tonight that ‘Bristol’s very own Noel Edmonds’ will appear on the latest series. I hate to come across as a party pooper – perish the thought – but Edmonds does not come from Bristol. He was born in Ilford, Essex. When he was filming Deal or no Deal, which is yet another show I have never seen, he lived in Bitton, which I would argue is South Gloucestershire, not Bristol. And Edmonds is not yesterday’s man: he’s the day before yesterday’s man.

Fellow contestant Nick Knowles is ‘Bristol’s own’, too, because he filmed an episode of DIY SOS in the city last year, and so is former football manager ‘Arry Redknapp for is appearing in the city early next year to perform in ‘An evening with ‘Arry Redknapp’. If the Post had its way, these men would be given the freedom of the city. Noel, Nick and ‘Arry, the famous Bristolians who aren’t.

Having never seen I’m A Celebrity, I thought it vital to carry out some in depth research on the show, so I had a look at Wikipedia which describes it as a TV reality show  “in which celebrities live in jungle conditions with few creature comforts.” Celebrities have to compete in ‘Bushtucker trials’ where they eat things and do stuff. There is probably more to it than meets the eye but I’ll leave it to you, dear reader, to look it up yourself.

Anyway, the food menu looks delightful. Here, courtesy of Wikipedia, are some of the gems on offer:  ‘Green ants, mealworms, witchetty grub, roasted spider or tarantulas, kangaroo testicles, kangaroo penis, kangaroo vaginal parts, crocodile penis, cockroach (prepared in various ways such as being cooked into biscuits, blended into drinks, eaten alive or dead). Other past foods include beach worms, bull’s tongues, the anus of various animals, vomit fruits, cooked pigs’ brains, various animal testicles, raw fish eyes, sheep eyes, blended rats or mice tails.’

It’s probably just me but I have no interest in watching minor celebrities munching their way through a kangaroo vagina or a blended rat (is this a smoothie drink?). Still, it’s all about taste. Personally, I cannot think of anything I’d less want to watch than this sort of thing, but then I like doing old fashioned things like listening to music, reading books (ask your parents’ what they are, kids) and of course speaking with my partner.

I note that Ant (or is it Dec?) is not on the programme this year because he is, or has been, in rehab and is taking time off work. I’m not sure I would get away with that one at my place of work. Then again, given the number of TV shows which are presented by Ant and Dec, I suspect he has a few quid hidden down the back of the sofa to cover his treatment. Good for him.

No, I’ll give I’m A Celebrity a miss this year, as with every year. The producers regard the signing of Edmonds for a mere £500,000 as the “cherry on the top of the series”, in which case, what’s the cake made out of? Raw fish eyes? Crocodile penis? Roast spider?

 

Acknowledgments to Steve Young for giving me the idea about films and TV shows I have never seen.

 

Eclectic Blue

Box on

0 Comments 13 November 2018

I have an uncomfortable liking of the noble art, or boxing as it is better known. I rarely watch the Big Fights which appear almost solely on Pay Per View TV stations. I pay more than enough, thank you very much, for what I already watch. So, obviously I didn’t see last weekend’s Big Fight between Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk and Britain’s Tony Bellew. I had never heard of the former and had never seen the latter fight. However, I did listen on BBC Radio Five Live.

My liking of boxing is not consistent. Sometimes I find myself disturbed by it. There is something glorious about two courageous warriors scrapping out in a modern day pit from which there is no escape. Or, to put it another way, two incredibly fit men, each trying to render the other unconscious.

Being hit on the head is not good for you. I think we can all work that one out for ourselves. The brain is such a fragile object, yet we replay those sensational knockouts where a boxer is literally knocked out. We were in awe when Mike Tyson was wreaking havoc although we rarely thought about they effects he might be having on his victims. And when the boxing tragedies came along, we express our sadness, mouth platitudes about how “we know it’s a dangerous game but these things are rare” before moving on to the next fight.

I saw a clip on the BBC website today which horrified me. Bellew was interviewed on Sky after being knocked out by Usyk. He had no recollection of the final knockdown and repeated himself throughout a ghastly interview. That he had been affected by the trauma was undeniable. The only question is whether the scars will remain when the concussion has gone?

I was assured by various media pundits that at no time Bellew was at risk. His trainer was with him, along with the rest of his team, as well as his ever loving promoter Eddie Hearn. The boxer’s interests were all that mattered. He would be just fine. Well, we will see whether there will be any lasting effects in the coming years.

Let’s not make excuses. Look at the likes of Thomas Hearts, Evander Holyfield and Gerald McLellan and tell me boxing is safe. It is believed that 90% of professional boxers suffer with some form of brain injury. The evidence  is overwhelming.

If tobacco had been discovered today, it would have been banned. By the same token, if boxing had been invented today, it would surely operate only as an illegal underground operation. And yet we, and with ‘we’ I include me, still watch it. I suppose we must subconsciously convince ourselves that boxing is safe, when in our heads and hearts we know it isn’t.

Bellew’s disturbing confused post match fight interviewers should not be forgotten but I suspect it will be. There’s money to be made and money makes the world go around.

 

Eclectic Blue

Power to the people

Comments Off on Power to the people 12 November 2018

And now the result of the You Gov jury. The question was this: which of the following do you think would make the best Prime Minister?

  • Don’t know – 38%
  • Theresa May – 36%
  • Jeremy Corbyn – 22%

People are quick to slag off the British public but they are surely onto something here. British politics is a sea of mediocrity.

I’m in the non existent category ‘None of the above’. I can’t be considered a ‘don’t know’ because I do know that both May and Corbyn are woefully inadequate politicians, arguably the worst PM and leader of the opposition at the worst possible time for the country.

It is said that oppositions don’t win elections; governments lose them. It’s an arguable point of view but there is some truth in it. Yet, all the rules are going out of the window at the moment.

The Conservative Party is divided like never before in my lifetime, maybe more so than in its entire history. I cannot help but thinking that a half-decent Labour leader would have taken his or her party miles ahead in the polls. But we haven’t got a half-decent Labour leader: we’ve got a terrible one, a career backbencher who has never had an original idea in his life. Jeremy Corbyn, for all his bizarre cult following, is the greatest asset Theresa May could wish for.

Theresa May showed just how bad she was in the 2017 election campaign when she threw away her majority in the House of Commons by running the worst campaign in British political history. Like Corbyn, she is managed by her minders and kept away from major TV interviewers like Andrew Neil and given sofa space on the wretched Andrew Marr show or light-entertainment fluff like the One Show. All this would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.

It is entirely possible that within weeks, Theresa May will have been removed from office by her own party. Having made a complete mess of Brexit to the extent that her government still doesn’t have an effective position on many of the major issues, her plan made at Chequers is about to be rejected by all sides of her party. And quite right too. May is putting forward a deal which makes things far worse than they are now within the EU, with the UK becoming rule-takers rather than the rule-makers we are today.

If you think the current Brexit negotiations are the end of Brexit and we can all move on, forget it. This is just the withdrawal agreement. Our departure from the EU will dominate our politics for years, probably decades, to come and all that our negotiators will be trying to do is replicate the agreements we already have. It’s madness.

A no deal would be a calamity. Even the lying Brexiteers know that chaos will ensue if we crash out without a deal. All the doom-mongers will be proved right when food and medicine shortages kick in, when planes stop flying, when border checks are imposed. Britain will grind to a standstill. There are people who are prepared to accept the hardest Brexit of all: the hardline extremists from the likes of Johnson and Farage on one side and Corbyn and McDonnell on the other.

When May’s deal is sunk by the House of Commons which will certainly reject a no deal Brexit, what happens then? The politicians, who got us into this mess in the first place – don’t forget that Labour voted through the referendum bill, too – have no way of getting us out of it. There is only one way forward: a second referendum.

I have changed my mind on this after a great deal of thought because I now see no alternative. There is no deal available that will attract a parliamentary majority. Of course, we respect the 2016 vote to a point, bearing in mind the crooked campaign run by the Tory hard right alongside the likes of Farage and supported – who knows how? – by the likes of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. However, if the country is not allowed the opportunity to change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy. Arch leaver David Davis said that, one of the few things he has ever been right about.

So, my lifelong opposition to referendums ends for this one vote and there must be three options for the British people:

  1. Vote for Theresa May’s Chequers deal
  2. Vote for no deal
  3. Vote to remain in the EU

I advocate this option with no confidence that remain would win. Precious few leavers have changed their minds since the referendum and I doubt that the campaign would be any different. Remain would not be led by anyone from the top table in the government and only half-heartedly by the Labour front bench. May, half her parliamentary party and some Labour MPs would support Chequers. And the hardliners like Jacob Rees-Mogg, Boris Johnson and David Davis would seek to throw us off a cliff with no deal.

The campaign for the first referendum was a joke. Remain, complacently led by David Cameron and George Osborne, ran a campaign many called Project Fear. It focused on how bad things would be under Brexit and not how the EU had been so positive for Britain through four decades. The leave campaign was also predicated on fear and, even worse, outright lies. Do people really think Boris Johnson would suddenly become an honest and decent man in a second referendum? Hardly.

And if May falls soon, Johnson will be among the main leadership candidates, our next Prime Minister. Imagine a choice between Johnson and Corbyn for Number 10. If you thought May and Corbyn was as bad as it gets, this could be even worse.

The current default position of the British people is “don’t know”. Plenty of them probably do know that both May and Corbyn are hopeless and they don’t know where to turn. At a time of great uncertainty around the world, turning away from our closest allies would be madness. With the politicians unable to decide, it must be left to the people to sort out the mess or, as some of us fear, make things even worse.

Eclectic Blue

Not Going Out

Comments Off on Not Going Out 11 November 2018

I am supposed to be at the Bristol O2 Academy tonight, watching the popular beat combo outfit Blackberry Smoke. I bought my ticket ages ago. Instead, I am at home watching Boca Juniors v River Plate on BT Sport. I couldn’t face the music. Well, not really, I just thought it was a decent play on words. In fact, I couldn’t face the crowd, I didn’t want to out alone, I wanted to be in the cosiness of my own home. This was the second time today. This morning, I had intended to go to the local Remembrance event. I couldn’t face that, either, for the exact same reasons.

I became aware only recently that I might have a small case of Crowd-Phobia, since this kind of thing has happened all my life. Parties and gatherings have always filled me with dread and anxiety and have caused me to become very depressed before and after. As part of yet another attempt to get better, I made the decision earlier this year to simply avoid places where I might suffer Crowd-Phobia.

I have declined party invitations and school reunions and accepted only smaller events and occasions. I’m okay with a few people but very bad with a lot.

I had been looking forward to seeing Blackberry Smoke for a very long time until the last few days when it occurred to me I’d be in a very crowded place away from home. As I knew nobody else who wanted to go, I was to be Billy No Mates, not for the first time. In the end, I had to make a decision, as my brain turned to papiermâché, and that was to write off the £28 I’d paid and feel safe.

And when I felt safe, I was really low because I’d not gone somewhere I wanted to go. There simply wasn’t an alternative, though. I was not frightened of being endangered or anything like that. It was irrational, as are all my mental demons. I was worried I might have a panic attack or ‘merely’ mired in stress all night. I’m home now with the door locked.

I’m playing golf next weekend and I am mainly looking forward to it. It will be way out of my comfort zone but I am determined to go through with it and I am going to try hard to enjoy it. I should feel completely safe because I will be with much loved friends.

What a state to get in. I’m better than I was last week but I’m really pissed off. I should be watching a band I love and I can’t face it. How ridiculous must that sound?

 

Eclectic Blue

Freedom

Comments Off on Freedom 10 November 2018

The Three Lions pub in Bedminster is a pub I am hardly likely to visit. It’s the number one City supporters pub. Despite my waining interest in Bristol Rovers, my loyalties remain across the river. Today I wouldn’t be allowed in anyway because I am not wearing a poppy.

The landlord has declared that people will not be served unless they wear a poppy. Sean Donnelly, for it is he, has  according to the Bristol Post “long been passionate about supporting Remembrance Day.” Well, good for him. So am I and the only reason I am not wearing a poppy today is because I lost the one I bought within a few hours of buying it. I’ve been wearing my numbered Shrouds of the Somme badge instead, which cost me a fiver. That wouldn’t be enough to get me a pint.

It’s up to the landlord what rules he imposes in his pub. However, I think there is an element of danger in what has happened.

Surely, those who gave their lives did so for us to be free. And freedom means we can choose. If we choose not to wear a poppy or lose theirs, like I did, that’s surely okay. As a libertarian, I don’t like to be told what to do by anyone.

 

Eclectic Blue

The lunatics have taken over the Labour Party

Comments Off on The lunatics have taken over the Labour Party 09 November 2018

Just yesterday, the proprietor of Novara media, Aaron Bastani, made his views clear about the Poppy Appeal and Remembrance.  It was“racist”, “white supremacist”, “a joke for people on the left” and “grotesque”. Just for good measure, he declared “Fuck the Invictus games.” Today, his fellow Corbynista media outrider Owen Jones joined in the ‘fun’ with his supportive tweet (see below) of Bastani by taking the piss. And what does the Magic Grandpa himself, Jeremy Corbyn, say about it? Absolutely nothing.
Far be it from me to use bad language on this family friendly website, but fuck it: Bastani and Jones are taking the piss.
Bastani, predictably yet another grammar school Corbynista, has a PhD from the New Political Communication Unit, whatever that is, from University of London. He’s another middle class posh boy who knows what’s good for the working classes. Or rather, thinks he does. And Owen Jones went from humble beginnings to Cambridge University where he studied Sneering Superiority at Seriously Smug level. These days they exist in the chattering classes of trendy London with all the other sneering superior millionaires like Momentum owner Jon Lansman and the official leader of the Labour Party, Seumas Milne, formerly of Winchester College and, obviously, Oxford University. These people have no idea how ordinary folk lead their lives.
People fought and died for our ever eroding freedoms and I believe we have a duty to remember them always. But whilst I am free to believe that, people have the right not to believe that. I have the right to be offended, the likes of Bastani have the right to offend me. It’s a price we pay for free speech, no matter how disgusted they make me feel. I rather think, anyway, that their motives were not quite as they seem.
There is no doubt that there is an element in the hard left which regards Remembrance with contempt. I would think that Bastani and Jones fall well within that category. However, it is entirely possible that Bastani is employing the old adage that any publicity is good publicity, so acting as an agent provocateur might bump up the number of hits on his website and earn him more money in traditional socialist fashion and it’s entirely possible that Jones thinks it’s all a bit of a laugh. In which case, I feel very sorry for them. They have all year to question the Royal British Legion, yet they choose to shoot from the hip at the time of year when the rest of us remember and pay tribute to our fallen.
Remember that Labour is, or rather was, the party of Clement Atlee, Aneurin Bevan, Harold Wilson and John Smith. Now it is a ragbag coalition of the hard left masquerading under Labour’s flag. Where two of Jeremy Corbyn’s most loyal and trusted lieutenants ride roughshod over the memories of those who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we would be free, something isn’t right.
Yes, Bastani and Jones are free to take the piss out of Remembrance, regardless of how much it offends many millions of us. I am also free to not vote for a Labour Party that not so much tolerates but encourages the likes of them and that’s a freedom I shall exercise until the party is in the hands of decent, responsible people. Failing that, I’ll stay politically homeless. I could no more stand alongside the comrades than I could Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees Mogg. Shysters and chancers all.

Eclectic Blue

That Friday Music Shuffle (9/11/18)

Comments Off on That Friday Music Shuffle (9/11/18) 09 November 2018

I need some music. Lots of it. To that end, I’m going to inflict some on you, albeit only by way of song titles and artists. Because it’s that time of the week when I set up my iPod (ask your dads, kids) and let it play ten tunes at random and post it on here. Pointless? Oh, yes, but no more pointless than anything else that appears on this website .

I’m back in my Man Cave, cup of Earl Grey at the ready (I know how to party, me) and I’m ready to go.

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends. Let’s rock.

  1. Plaster Caster by Kiss. You don’t want to know who and what Plaster Caster was.  Classic Kiss, though.
  2. Scatterbrain (As dead as leaves) by Radiohead. From the wonderful Hail to the Thief Long Player.
  3. Chloroform by Phoenix. Perfect from the Bankrupt LP.
  4. Don’t Ask Me Questions by Lynyrd Skynyrd. This would be the legendary original line up, not the current touring version with just the one original member.
  5.  The Troubles by U2. From their not too bad Songs of Innocence which they gave away for free on iTunes, which is just as well since whilst I don’t mind them, I’d have never had paid money for it!
  6. Love Me Tomorrow by Boy Scaggs. From his defining album Silk Degrees comes this track written by Toto’s David Paich. If you love great music, it is the law to own this record.
  7. Real Love by Clean Bandit ft Jess Glynne. Our Jess has a great set of pipes which may or may not be autotuned. Lovely.
  8. Across the Universe by the Beatles. Simply magnificent.
  9. Open Arms by Journey. From their classic album Journey’s Greatest Hits. Nice.
  10. Visibility Zero by Kansas. If you don’t like slightly prog rock from the USA, with crashing cymbals and lots of guitars, you’ll hate this. However, I love it.

That’s all, folks!

 

 

Eclectic Blue

If you tolerate this

Comments Off on If you tolerate this 09 November 2018

If you are in any way interested in our education system, you will need a heart of stone not to feel great sympathy for the South Gloucestershire schools who have become so desperate about the funding crisis that they felt the need to go very public about it. To hear the teachers and administrators at the Castle School in Thornbury explain to the BBC that their ageing school is in real trouble is awful. Puddles in the classrooms when it rains, an elderly heating system that sometimes requires children to where coats in the classroom, gas taps in the science block that don’t work, insufficient resources to take pupils on school trips, windows that won’t open. And that’s not even mentioning the chronic lack of resources that is causing a recruitment crisis and forcing some teachers to take major pay cuts.

Castle School in Thornbury and Marlwood in nearby Alveston were once the go to schools for parents who believed, not always correctly, that their children would get a better education if they took a lengthy bus ride from Bristol and other parts of South Gloucestershire. Those who still put their children on the bus every day must be wondering now if they are doing the right thing, but that’s beside the point.

It must have taken great courage for the trust that controls the schools concerned to tell what is a very difficult truth, which is that schools are being underfunded. The current government spins that more money is being spent on education than ever before. The truth is far more complicated than that. Here is a much more relevant statistic. From 2000 to 2010, school funding rose in real terms by 65%. From 2010 to now, school  funding was cut in real terms by 8%. South Gloucestershire suffers from inadequate funding more than anywhere else in the country. And with a statistic comes a cold reality: it is our children who are suffering.

My children were very lucky. They attended the former Filton High School which was flattened and then rose like a phoenix to become Abbeywood School. a dynamic new head teacher who is now the CEO of the Olympus Trust, turned the school around. My sons both subsequently attended the prestigious Russell Group University of Bristol. They were educated at a wonderful new build school built at a time when governments still invested in education. They walked and cycled down the road to get there. No lengthy bus journeys wasting a large part of their days. Where is the money to rebuild Castle and other schools which were built several generations ago?

Castle School has shown immense courage in coming out publicly about the crisis in education funding. In his budget, the chancellor, the utterly complacent Philip Hammond, casually handed out a few hundred million quid with which schools could purchase those “little extras”. You know, “little extras’ like teachers, teaching assistants, pastoral care, whiteboards, school trips, classrooms that are warm and dry. One of the most senior politicians in the cabinet full of multimillionaires calls these things “little extras” when they are absolute requirements.

Educationalists are not crying wolf. They are desperate, they are being honest, they need better resourcing. Nothing much is at stake, apart from the future of our country and those who will shape it. If we tolerate this, the destruction of our children’s lives will be next.

Eclectic Blue

The world is my lobster

Comments Off on The world is my lobster 08 November 2018

Well, that was an unexpected collapse into yesterday. It was as if all the months of therapy had been worthless. Of course, they were far from worthless but I managed to forget about the one truth I know about my black dog. I need to learn to manage him because he’s never going to leave me.  And there’s another thing I forgot: prepare myself better.

The preparedness matters to me. I found that out for the first time, believe it or not, in 2011 when I flew to Canada for my dad’s funeral. I just assumed I would pack my bag, get a bus to Heathrow, fly to Ottawa, attend the funeral and then fly back again. It was more complicated than that. I had not thought about checking in at the airport and being asked the purpose of my journey. Cue meltdown, unstoppable tears, out and out blubbing. The same thing in the departure lounge. And then sitting down in my seat. I vowed there and then to think things through. I did for the subsequent days and for the funeral itself. I never cried again, at least not about my dad’s death.

I knew I wasn’t ‘cured’ after my recent therapy. My mood had lightened considerably by the end. It had been cathartic as well as therapeutic. I learned and relearned techniques. If I went downhill again, I would know how to deal with it. Yet, when I went down very quickly, I was flailing around in panic. My sleep was ravaged to the extent that I was wide awake in bed and exhausted in the afternoon. I just lost it. There were times, I will be honest, when it got to a point where I seriously considered the Samaritans. Not for long, though.

And here’s a thing. Despite everything, I still managed to function in my professional life to the extent that I switched on when it mattered. There was no deterioration in the quality of my work. If I was so “emotionally weak” as the occupational health officer of a certain former employer concluded, then how come I found inner strength for others when I had virtually none for myself?

This depression malarkey is bonkers. Imagine being aware of when it’s coming and feeling it drag you down? Only a true nut job like me would know that feeling. And how could I go out for a few beers, or laugh and joke with friends and family? My partner is the key player in all this because without her I am sure I would be dead. I think I have a certain survivor’s instinct, too.

I’m showing off a bit, here. I have tried never to let anyone down when I was feeling terrible, at work and in leisure. The last couple of years have been terrible at times and my social life and my sporting life, well golf, has disintegrated. I’ve become a hermit, I’ve not looked after myself. That has to change but first I have to want it to.

Change is coming in a number of areas of my life. It has to. Some I want to, some I don’t want to, some I need to. This has been a horrible few days and I just want to go to bed and stay there until things aren’t horrible. That’s no good, though. Because if I go to bed, I’ll just lie there fretting. Change is coming and in some instances it’s major, hopefully life-changing stuff. And change is massive for me because in the last year I have stood still.

I don’t know if the world is my lobster, as Arthur Daley put it. Next year, I hope to find out.

 

Eclectic Blue

It’s all over by the time you get to 24

Comments Off on It’s all over by the time you get to 24 08 November 2018

Apparently, the vast majority of people stop listening to new music when they hit the age of 24. They find all the music they will ever like and stop experimenting. Where did I go wrong/right?

In reality, I was once proof that this was true. By age 24, all I needed was Steely Dan, the Doobie Brothers, Montrose, Little Feat and various other types of American rock music. By the time, I was 44, things had barely changed. Now, as I hurtle towards old age and the inevitable oblivion, I am listening to more new music than ever. For this, I am indebted to BBC 6 Music.

Having grown too old for Radio One – and quite right too – I had been put out to pasture on Radio Two. And it was good. The music was generally okay, although it was very safe. I could sing along with virtually everything. Whilst I could not tolerate listening to Steve Wright, I liked Ken Bruce and I liked Simon Mayo. Still do, if the truth be known. However, I needed more.

6 Music is the greatest music station ever. Better than the original Radio One, better than Radio Two and because ALL commercial radio is shit (it is: don’t argue), yes, the best station ever. There is enough old music to ply me with some familiarity if I need it (who doesn’t, sometimes?) and there is lots of new music from a wide variety of genres.

In the last few years, I have discovered Courtney Barnett, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, North Atlantic Explorers, Louis Cole, Thundercat, MGMT, Lump, Baloji and so much more.It has cost a small fortune, I admit, because I buy rather than steal (legally stream, but it’s still theft IMHO) music. If I have been in a mess in the mental health department, I can listen to new music and new music equals new life. I am not sure there is any better feeling than hearing a record for the first time.

I recall sitting in the living room back in 1972 waiting for Radio One to play the new T Rex single Telegram Sam and being blown away by that clangy, chunky Marc Bolan riff and when I hear the song today, I still feel the same feeling. Going back even further, I was in the same room back in…gulp…1967 when the Beatles’ Hello Goodbye appeared on the wireless and also in 1967 when, for the first time, I saw the same band performing All You Need is Love, which starts with the first part of La Marseillaise, on Top of the Pops, featuring a long-haired gum-chewing John Lennon. I had the same happy feeling when I first heard Baloji’s ‘Hiver Indien just a few months ago.

Not that there is anything wrong with listening to all the songs you heard when you were growing up, as long as those songs weren’t by Queen, in which case have a good look at yourself. I mean, I went to see Toto last year who are touring as part of their 40th anniversary. However, they still make new music so that convinced me. However, my all time favourite band, Steely Dan, which is basically just Donald Fagen, tour the old songs and don’t make new music. They’re touring the UK next year and I won’t be bothering. I can still hear the records instead.

If you’re over 24, just try new music. There is lots of it and music today is, in my opinion, better than ever and anyway, what do you have to lose by trying?

 

 

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