Month: June 2011

‘Mysterious Accidents and Heavenly Calculations’ Scott Walker, Jean Cocteau and the Royal Opera House 2

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There is a very obscure Scott Walker track, long forgotten now, except by the scant few who have fallen in love with it, called Time Operator, from the singer’s 1970 album ‘Till The Band Comes In’. It is an especially pretty song, in which the protagonist conducts a make-believe affair with the speaking clock. “You just picture Paul Newman,” Scott sings, “and girl he looks a little like me.” The telephone adds a particular sense […]

Cocteau Voices – The Linbury Studio – Royal Opera House 2 – Covent Garden – A Review

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I must admit, I arrived at the Royal Opera House on Friday night for Cocteau Voices as a disciple of Scott Walker, and left with Jean Cocteau and Francis Poulenc entirely on my mind. The double bill of performances features a new dance piece based on Cocteau’s plays Le Bel Indifférent and Lis ton journal,  interpreted musically by a brand new soundtrack by the irrepressibly mysterious former Walker Brother, and concludes with a performance of […]

Plastic Fairy Liquid Bottles and Django Reinhardt’s Finger Tips – The Black Country and the Birth of Heavy Metal

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Plastic Fairy Liquid bottles and Django Reinhardt’s finger tips are things unlikely to be associated with the birth of Heavy Metal, that brashly grinding, cherished Brummie drone which has afflicted, or violently garnished, depending on your viewpoint, our airwaves for years. Django famously burnt his hand after his caravan, (shared with Florine Bella, and stuffed to the rafters with crepe paper and celluloid flowers) caught flame after he knocked over a candle. Reinhardt’s obstinate determination […]

The Maine Blueberry Experiment

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6th of July, 1952 Smokey London’s hapless night time feel and me were never one. Forty eight minutes to ten, Guinness time. Hold me up or hold me back, I’ll make it there in time for The Girl I Love. The trams are finishing tonight. When you heard them fumbling their way through the morning, first thing, you knew you had survived another fiery night. The rattle, the clang and the sway and oh how […]