We Keep Getting Up – Over And Over And Over…

Because you have to. Because life is an endurance test. Because the pockets of good make the mountains of shit just about manageable.

Resilience. Perseverance. Strength. Tenacity.

Possibly not the things Oscar Wilde was thinking of when this (not quite verbatim) quote was linked to him. But I can think he meant this kind of thing.

It is a quote I have loved for many a year. And I have loved Oscar Wilde for many a year. I found someone like Shakespeare far too hard to try to teach myself and understand. But Wilde? He always struck a chord. Maybe it’s the thing of the outsider, the outcast? As someone who never felt they quite fitted in, one gravitates to like minds.

And how did I gravitate to Oscar. I tried to study him and read things. I wasn’t always successful. Also along side him I read James Joyce. There was a pull to Irish writers and poets.

I digress, slightly.

Tonight’s piece came to being from…a spark. A spark I wasn’t looking for. I follow an artists group on Facebook. I’ve never shared a single thing on it. I still don’t consider myself an artist. I call myself all manner of other ridiculous names. Doodler. Collagist…I dunno…anything but “artist”! And if I DO use that word, it is usually in quotation marks, and if it isn’t, I am trying to employ a wonderful display of Wilde-like bravado.

Anyway, the group. A member shared a post with a list of ideas of inspiration of what to try if you found yourself in an artistic rut. I’m not really in one as such right now, but I was reading the list anyway, and I get to number six, “work with your favourite quote” – and like a bolt…it was August, Colchester, the intense joy I had when Martin Chambers’ drum rumble intro to Message Of Love begins and so begins Chrissie “now the reason we’re here…” – IS TO HEAR THIS AMAZING FUCKING SONG!

And there it all was, laid out before me. The piece almost made itself…already clearly defined. Chrissie, among the stars, reminding us, through Oscar, to KEEP LOOKING UP! Don’t worry about tripping up, cos you’re just looking up there and you miss your footing and you stumble. Keep looking up, cos that’s where the good stuff is!

Belief! Not in a god or luck or anything else. Believe – in you! And your ability to get through. To make the good stuff count and get the mountains of shit to look like molehills!

Thank you, Oscar. Thank you, Chrissie.

And When You Dream…

…”Dream of kisses with me”?! I never expected my comment to get a like. BUT…what was the like for? Just an affirmative of me saying “it’s a fab review”? An agreement that I am indeed dreaming (thinking I’ll ever get a kiss from him)! Or…the notion I want to find out for myself if Chrissie was (is) right?

My dreams will get ever bolder!
I dreamed of a hug…pretty much fulfilled.
I wished and prayed for him to say my name…again, tick!
I keep dreaming for the doughnut “date”… sigh – as yet, nothing.
A kiss? Well…in my dreams I would take that like on SMO FB as a “one day” dream that I’d find out! He certainly has the most gorgeous mouth and lips.

Oh, in my wildest, WILDEST dreams! Lol

The three images below…let me explain. There was a review shared on SMO early this morning of the gig in Cleveland (now several weeks back). The first pic is an excerpt of the final part of the review. Second is the comment I left on SMO about the review. Thirdly is the notification of a “like” of my comment. From Jim himself? Who knows for sure…
But the timing it happened would suggest…maybe?
And, well, I might as well link to Julie Finley’s full review (with pics) for you to enjoy…click here to read it

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Simple Minds Tour Diary – Grandslam 2018 Compilation

A great retrospective of the summer’s Grandslam tour. I wish I could have gone to more in retrospect, having gone through most of July wondering if I should be going to any at all. But the three I went to were incredibly special for all varying reasons. And they will each of them retain wonderful memories. Meeting beautiful friends, hearing songs live at gigs for the first time. Having a meet and greet experience. All such amazing things. I’ll be forever “singing memories” with this band.

Review: Grandslam – KT Tunstall, Pretenders, Simple Minds – Kent Event Centre, Maidstone – August 4th, 2018

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I could start with the whole personal account with the logistics of getting to the gig, etc…but it is actually too horrendous to go over it all. Put it this way…all the trepidation I was feeling about going was being made manifest. So…let’s skip all that.

I met up with Ally Scott and her husband at a pub they were staying at in Maidstone. It was wonderful to meet in person and to feel settled before the gig.

We made our way there and arrived on site just as the gates to the venue were due to be opened, except there was a delay in letting the crowd in. Finally the gates were opened around 4.45 (gates were due open at 4pm). We had as many queuing behind us as we had in front of us.

KT Tunstall:

This lady is her own “one-man band” with her loop recorder she uses to create her own rhythm section. I am not overly familiar with her songs but I know in amongst them was Black Horse And The Cherry Tree, Suddenly I See and I think she also did Other Side Of The World (well, it was a song to do with long distant relationships so would assume it was that). Funny moment that had me in stitches: her setting up the loop track for another song…and she uses this “egg” to make certain percussive sounds. She held it up and said “check out my massive egg” and forgot she had engaged the recording of the loop, so nano seconds later, reverberating around the showground is KTs voice saying “CHECK OUT MY MASSIVE EGG…ASSIVE EGG…ASSIVE EGG…ASSIVE EGG”. Lol. I lost it! I couldn’t stop laughing.

She engages so well with the crowd. So much talent and pulls you in with banter and participation recording the loops. Such catchy songs too. I always enjoy her sets, and yesterday was no exception.

Pretenders:

Having heard recent reviews about Ms Hynde and co (including from Mr Ex himself), I was expecting to be blown away…and I am pleased to say that is EXACTLY what happened!

The set opened with Alone. A song full of the attitude we know and love. The set flowed really well. The band are AMAZING! It was my first ever time experiencing Pretenders live. Martin Chambers – wow! What a drummer! At one point he started off a drum solo. Chrissie just started rolling her eyes. A bit of banter ensued. Martin was trying to (and succeeding to!) “drum up” support to extend his solo. In the end Chrissie called him a cunt and says “40 years I’ve had to put up with him”. Lol

Geez, imagine the supergroup that could come from the respective long-term musical collaborations from both sides? Chrissie and Martin. Jim and Charlie. Bring in someone like John Giblin on bass and holy fuck! Sadly it’ll never see the light of day. Over Chrissie’s dead body, methinks! It’s nice to dream though…

I digress.

Classics in the set included: Kid, Back On The Chain Gang, Hymn To Her, Stop Your Sobbing, Middle Of The Road, I’ll Stand By You, Bad Boys Get Spanked, Don’t Get Me Wrong and Brass In Pocket. (I was really, really hoping for Message Of Love, but it didn’t happen…)

Chrissie’s voice is as strong as ever. Pitch perfect and faultless. A powerhouse performance. My little green-eyed envy very much took a back burner. She is all I could only ever dream of being. More talent in her pinky fingernail than I am ever likely to possess in my whole entire being. Still a bloody stick insect! And absolute no fucks to give to anybody.

Simple Minds:

I was with amazing friends…my beautiful, beautiful friend, Ally…someone who has exuded much more faith in me than I ever have in myself. Another person who allowed me to believe in myself and means so very much to me. There is no one else on earth last night I would have been happier to share this experience with. And what a truly AMAZING gig it was! Right from the off from The Signal And The Noise and into Waterfront, the crowd was buzzing.

The band, as usual, was playing so tight. Cherisse, in particular was the stand out last night. Her level of musicianship is incredible. She just gets better and better. So much power yet subtlety and deftness to her playing. I’m just in awe of her every time I see her.

As for Mr…”SIR” Kerr? I don’t think I ever experienced such a strong vocal performance from him. I could feel him giving it his all last night. Like, really! And, PLEASE, GIVE ME CREDIT! I know I love the man to pieces – but I CAN be objective! If I felt he was lacklustre, I would say. (Well, actually…I’d be more likely NOT to comment on his vocal performance at all.) If you actually have read past posts on this blog with me discussing his voice, you’ll know I can give it an objective and methodical analysis.

Vocal performance was AMAZING! To the degree that…I thought some trickery was going on during the performance of Dolphins. He was not in view when the vocal began and I was thinking “Oh, okay….to bide some more time to buy him for his wardrobe change, they’ve pre-recorded this and playing his vocal back.” BUT NO! He soon appeared and it was obvious he was singing live…and I was blown away.

I think he also really has been studying the lyrics too…which made me SO, SO happy. It may be seen as extreme pedantry, but when he gets the lyrics right, I enjoy the performance more…because it reflects how you expect the songs to sound. THE BOY HAS BEEN LEARNING! The lyrical notations really improved.

The most joyous of these was the return of the original arrangement of Someone Somewhere In Summertime – with the “burning slow” lines restored. Oh, I have missed those lines! They are beautiful! I wanted to cry when it started and I prayed he was going to sing the lines, and then…

Both it and Walk Between Worlds was my personal highlight of the set.

I *may* have missed a song…but I am hopeful I didn’t – here’s the set list (not in strict running order):

The Signal And The Noise
Waterfront
Love Song
Let There Be Love
She’a A River
See The Lights
Walk Between Worlds
Someone Somewhere In Summertime
All The Things She Said
The American
Promised You A Miracle (duet with KT)
Summer
Banging On The Door (intro)/Dolphins
Don’t You
Let The Day Begin
Alive And Kicking
Sanctify Yourself

“Pinch yourself” shared moments with Ally included – sing-a-longs to Let There Be Love and Someone Somewhere In Summertime…our arms wrapped around each other…taking in the wonder of it all. Being “in the moment”.

It was certainly one of the best concert experiences I have ever had – and couldn’t have been any different from Aix-Les-Bains. I need to make amends to Françoise for that one!

Based on opening night (well, Pretenders did play the night before in Leeds) – anyone thinking of going to any of these Grandslam shows – I do not think you’ll be disappointed.

I am THOROUGHLY looking forward to the next gig I have in Leeds next Saturday. The only thing I DO regret is that Pretenders won’t be on the bill there. But perhaps that will mean slightly longer sets from both KT Tunstall and Simple Minds? Fingers crossed!

*At the behest of the bands involved, I refrained from taking any photos or video of the gig.

Stan Tippins – A Life On The Road

One of those hallowed snippets of conversations with Jim I’d had in the past was about Stan…but I never looked into the full extend of Stan’s involvement with Mott The Hoople…to the degree that he WAS Mott’s vocalist until Ian Hunter stepped in.

Then a long career as tour manager for the great and good ensues. A life with many a story to it, I’m sure!

I have only gleaned the article on Stan, but I will read it fully tomorrow. You can read the article on Stan by CLICKING HERE

Appeasing Likes?!

Well, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the notification just after midday today, that this ACTUALLY got liked!

Which is now causing me to wonder whether my theory for a few weeks has been right? That ‘likes’ are happening for ‘appeasement’ sake?

Oh, I don’t want to sound ungrateful! And I am genuinely happy for the like. I just….miss him! I miss…more of the interactions and the “rapport”.

*sigh*

And then tonight he talks of Chrissie, and that green-eyed monster rears its ugly head. I really DON’T have this feeling with Patsy. I think Patsy and I would be great mates…and we would have a lot of fun taking the piss out of Jim. Lol.

But…I still feel the love Jim has for Chrissie…and…she is just…untouchably cool. She has more cool in her fucking pinkie fingernail than I have in my whole entire body. And…she absolutely does not give a flying fuck whether Jim likes her or not…but it’s obvious to all he still loves her. Obviously not IN love with her…but the stuff he mentioned tonight…the daughter they share…the grandchildren…a bond never to be broken.

And how very lucky she is. But, well…that’s what makes me most envious of Chrissie…the fact it is all past for her and life has just…moved on. Just a SPRINKLE of that self-belief, please?!

I dunno. Perhaps if I *was* actually GOOD at something, I WOULD have the self-belief?

Maybe these people just TRICK themselves into it? Maybe I just need to con myself? Except…they all have ACTUAL TALENT.

Ah…for a while, I was feeling good today…until I was reminded how…inept and inadequate as a human being I am…as someone who deludes themselves (to not much of a successful degree) into thinking they can be creative.

Say Again?

So, in this new Guardian piece about “Don’t You” Jim says Chrissie suggests they record the song…but when I asked him on SMO in February last year about whether Chrissie persuaded him to do it, this was the reply I got…

I’m confused now. I mean, it matters little in the grand scheme of things…but odd that he should appear to contradict himself to me. Ok, it wasn’t direct persuasion…but if what he now says is true, Chrissie did have a hand in ultimately changing his mind.

Perhaps he misread what I was asking?

You are a puzzle, dear sir!