Thursday, 21 August 2008

Clyde city rockers

Someone else has noticed that the lead singer in Glasvegas looks like Joe Strummer. Apart from the fact they make good music, this is another reason to like them. In 1977, the Clash were my joint-favourite band (along with the Ramones). Also, I always fancied Joe Strummer. Sadly, I feel I should avoid feeling the same about James Allan. I am old enough to be his mother.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Elvis Presley has left the building

The NME was right when it put ‘Remember him this way’ on their cover the week Elvis died. I was wrong when I thought the Clash were cool and prophetic. ‘No Elvis, Beatles or the Rolling Stones in 1977.’
The world would be no poorer without the Rolling Stones, and I could happily live without ever hearing the Beatles again. But Elvis’s death was a loss.
In the end, the Clash had to own up to their debt to Elvis (and there aren’t many musicians who don’t have one). At least, they allowed a homage in Ray Lowry’s album cover design for London Calling, based on an Elvis LP sleeve. (There’s loads of pop trivia where this came from, fact fans. You’re reading someone who once beat a Mastermind contender on ‘punk rock in the 1970s’. Without even revising.)

Monday, 11 August 2008

Sweet old world

I’ve never been a fan of singer songwriters, but sometimes songs tell the truth better than anything else. I’ve heard songs by Lucinda Williams and recognised myself. And once I heard a song of hers and recognised someone else. Someone who died twenty years ago and should not have done. Here’s the song.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

The spirit of 76

I’ve been listening to Frank Cottrell-Boyce’s play ‘This is the modern world’ on Radio 4. It’s part of a themed series called ‘One chord wonders’ about a punk reunion (‘band reunions are totally against the spirit of 76. Let’s have an audience reunion...’).