Saturday, 11 December 2010
This is a little trick I learned, this latest great escape
"My life is a Milbury's home
On Hereford Way
My life is a Barclays' loan now
And a mortgage to pay
Let's drink to freedom
And family ties
Here's to the bags
That are under my eyes"
So, it gets to this time of year and 'Strange Times' (Geffen, 1986) always comes out. There's no logic here, of course, but it just seems like a winter kind of album, my teenage winter album to be exact. I was just 16 (sixteen!) when it came out and it was love at first play. It has this wintery mood and feel to it. I think it's something to do with the 'twinkly' (that's a technical term) guitar work by Dave Fielding. It conjures up, in my mind at least, images of snow, icicles, frost, dark cold nights and being wrapped up warm against the elements. Hot chocolate and, well, jumpers for goalposts, I guess. This is kind of what I 'see' (in a metaphorical sense) and hear when I listen to the instrumental, 'I'll remember'. One time I spoke with Mark Burgess about it, at a gig in Middlesbrough of all places, and he said it was one of the most beautiful guitar parts he'd ever heard Dave play. I agree. Also, equally so, this glorious album contains some of the finest lyrics from Burgess. No more so than in a song like 'Childhood'. I always found that incredible about Mark, you know, that someone in his early-mid twenties could write in such a haunting and wonderful way about getting old and that struggle we all face about having to, with some regret, grow up and get a grip. You can hang onto the memories and smile, the nostalgia of youth, but ultimately it's all about letting go and moving on - but moving onto what, exactly? You can't play crayola naughts and crosses on the back of Pizza Hut menu's forever, unless you've got your own junior charges with you I suppose. Without the fear of those looks, you know the type. Speaking of, I need to get them in the bath and on the move. It's the Butcher Boy Christmas Fayre today up at the Mitchell Library. Not to be missed. Just let me at that mulled wine... Claudius, you fool. Personally, it's a bit like this when they aren't with you all the time, you need to grab every moment and soak it in. I tell you, blink and you miss them growing up, becoming men. So, this is for childhood, the memories and the moments. And for the regrets of not being as 24/7 as you'd like to be, given the circumstances of separation, divorce and changed realities. It's a time of year thing, you know.
The Chameleons - 'Childhood' (4.46)
The Chameleons - 'I'll remember' (3.37)
Everything, in one sense, can be found close by Middleton. You can buy 'Strange Times' from here. Very much recommended, whatever the season.