My biggest musical love left us in 2016, just 2 days after his 69th birthday. He made everything look effortless and impossibly easy. Some described him as the ultimate magpie…stealing all the best ideas from others, yet somehow managed to pass it off as unique and original. A gift in itself, really. But I was never truly convinced by this assumption. Of course he did nick ideas here and there…but he was never really “behind the times” – he was always on the zeitgeist. He would know what was “in” before any of the rest of us mere mortals knew of it.
And his final gift just keeps on giving. Blackstar still keeps on revealing to us more hidden treasures in its artwork, etc. It may be wrapped in grief and loss and therefore a little too much sentiment is attached to Blackstar…but there are such gems still to be had from it. I was liking much of the album before his death. And for some reason…call it a knowing…but it was probably just basic visceral feelings being struck, but I Can’t Give Everything Away just hit me on first play.
It was also the year I fell in love with this man, thanks to a certain Mr Kerr. He shared Pale Green Ghosts back in March on the SMO FB page, then also linked to Marz in reply to me saying that PGG was awesome and that I had been meaning to give John Grant a listen. Of course I then sought out Queen Of Denmark to listen to on Spotify and was immideately bowled over. I listened to it for several weeks and then moved on to the whole Pale Green Ghosts album. Again. I just fell in love. The song Vietnam in particular. I just find it musical…perfection. I’m yet to move on to his most recent album…but I will in the New Year.
I came to this amazing lady quite late. Sometimes I don’t know what’s good for me! Of course I saw Catherine in 2015, performing with Simple Minds, but when her album, Confessions Of A Romance Novelist was released back in January…I was still in grief over David and I was out in Oz. Other things were just taking precedence, and when I tried to order the album from Oz, I dunno…it detected I was not in the UK and wouldn’t let me order the digital copy I wanted because the site was UK specific.
Anyway, it finally took hold in October. A local-ish record store was having Catherine there in-store, signing copies of the album that had come out reissused with bonus acoustic tracks. She was lovely to me, knew my name, and was just…wonderful. I played the album the following night and it has been on constant rotation since.
I saw her perform just two weeks back and she was amazing.
I don’t always listen to Sir…much to my detriment! (Now, if only I could say “you won me round to Catherine, now let me win you round with Heathen!” If only it were that easy!)
Catherine is working on new material, and she’ll be Simple Minds’ support act during the UK leg of their Acoustic tour in the spring. I’ll be seeing her at least 5 times next year. Awesome!!
Simple Minds brought out a new album called Acoustic. It does exactly what it says on the tin! Newly recorded acoustic versions of SM hits. But what came with it was truly unexpected. A gig! A UK GIG!!! The first gig I’d have a chance of getting to in over a year. I was going, by hook or by crook! And if you’re a regular reader of my blog…you know all the rest. So let’s end with my favourite acoustic version of a Simple Minds song…