We Are All Dogs on Chains (for a bit)

Strange times…and I must be bored if I’m resorting to regular blogging again!

My day job’s on lock down, and being asthmatic it might be a while before I’m back in the physical realm.

As the whole of the self employed creative world struggle to plan how to earn their living, I assume OBS are seeing record downloads, and I’m one of their new users. Finally set myself up to try some live streaming for some student virtual lectures over the next few weeks. Yes, I am now that idiot living in the corner of a screen. Thanks to Mark Towers for helping me set it up.

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 19.01.58

This enforced down time will hit us all in so many ways. Financially tough, but a lack of contact with your loved ones is already strange.

If there is a plus, it’s the potential headspace to work on/finish some projects. I’m writing / tweaking some new units for RSL Awards : a level 3 vocational qualification. It’s about to be the marking period for external units for them, too…although that work may completely dry up this year for obvious reasons.

I’ve got a handful of albums on the go to shop to various libraries. These range from shiny beds and reveals to some really dark piano and beats stuff….aiming for 5 albums this year but thats wildly optimistic!

I’ve just had three songs signed to a library on a new imprint…..sort of ‘Killing Eve’ type soundtrack stuff: I love the Unloved albums, so it was nice to win the pitch.

I wrote a couple of tracks for my friend John’s library over the weekend…. I find it so much easier writing for other people rather than my own projects! Just got to finish the mixes.

I’ve got a stack of albums pretty much ready for my own library , so that’s sort of ticking along….planning an album a month for the next 12 – 18 months, then I’ll see where I am with it.

Anyway….new music from Morrissey was out on Friday in the form of ‘I Am Not A Dog On A Chain’ , his 4th album with Joe Chiccarelli on production duties. I dread to think what it’d be like without him producing…..he highlights how vital a good producer is: he’s   single handedly halted the decline of Moz (creatively that is, not politically obviously)  by essentially breaking all of Moz’s sonic rules…it’s got loads of synths for one. The songs, like the last 15 years, are patchy, but the production is ace: muscular and , well, very mad in places.

‘Darling,  I Hug a Pillow’ is brill with some lovely deadpan words: ‘Loving you is a trauma no-one else should face , or sit still for’ : highlights are few and far between though with some proper clunky lyrics and awkward melodies. Overall though, like the last 3 albums, some genuinely great stuff marred (!) by some crap songs and a lack of self editing skills.

Baxter Dury’s album was also out on the same day. Very much a one and a bit trick pony, the last single ‘I’m Not Your Dog’ is perfect: sexy, seedy, simple and very French

 

Stay safe, all x

Vauxhall And I, and I

20 years ago yesterday, my favourite Morrissey album was released: it just sounds so beautiful: Steve Lillywhite did a spectacular job with the production, especially when you consider the twin guitarist sledgehammer duo of Whyte and Boorer were involved.

I was going to blog a bit about the album, but this article does it more justice than I ever, could. Enjoy it, here

I was studying at the SSR in Manchester at the time, so on the day of release, I queued up about 8 hours to get my album signed. I shared cheap cider with the others in the line and had a great old time…. when my time came to get the CD signed, I slipped a cheeky extra poster out from under my T Shirt (you were only supposed to get the album signed, naughty me) and he said : ‘What’s your name?’ ‘John’ ‘With an ‘h’?’ ‘Yes’. I then said the immortal line ‘I’ve missed Home and Away for this!’. ‘No, you haven’t’ he retorted. I know… a life as a comedy writer for me!

Anyway, I gave him a hug and left happy as a happy thing.

….a weird anomaly from the same sessions but released a while after

 

 

 

Morrissey Live 27 6 11

On monday I went to see Morrissey in Bradford at St Georges’s hall.. a lovely old theatre.

I cried a bit.

It was the 8th time I’ve seen him…. Last time was a cold arena, and it didn’t suit him, and he played too much filler from the ‘Ringleaders’ album. But this time, with no album to plug, the set list was flipping lovely: even the ’funny little singles’ from the 90’s sounded fresh and ace: yes, that included ‘Ouija Board’ and ‘You’re the one for me, Fatty’. The band still aren’t subtle but made good work of ‘Meat is Murder’ and ‘Speedway’. Highlight was ‘I know it’s over’, a song I’ve loved since buying the ‘Queen Is Dead’ in the 80’s… to hear it live and sang, and I mean really sang so beautifully made me have a little sniffle.

Yes his albums are patchy as hell, but, really…… he’s a one – off, and worth the wait for the little gems.