Sunday Morning Coming Down

I don’t claim to know everything (no, really, I don’t!). Every now and then something happens that just blows my mind.

Serendipity. I think that’s what it’s called.

Let me explain.

I’ve thought recently that I was turning into a Dad (Oh, how my mother wishes….), sitting here chuntering on about how they don’t write songs like they used to, is that a boy or a girl?, turning off Top of the Pops and then going to the corner shop in my slippers. Not my Dad, but a Dad.

What I mean is, now I’m old (50 is disturbingly close, if a few years off yet), and those moments where you hear a song for the first time and it just takes your breath away don’t happen so much these days. Few and far between. Seen/heard it all before.

But a few years ago, someone out there (thank you, whoever it was) posted a song by Candi Staton that I thought was just one of the greatest records I’d ever heard.

You all know Candi from such hits as “Young Hearts, Run Free” and “You Got The Love”, but this particular tune hit a nerve; soulful, reflective, defiant, gorgeous:


Candi Staton – You Don’t Have Far to Go

Then Merle Haggard died. It’s 2016, that’s what much loved people do. And I got myself a 4 CD retrospective of his. Popped it on my iPod, and, as usual, left the rest to the Gods of Fate and Shuffle.

And so it was that I was on the bus home from work the other day when this came on, and I was gobsmacked. The clues were there in the Candi version – the slide guitar for example – but I had no idea it was a cover version, and even less so that it had been written by Merle (and Red Simpson, credit where credit’s due):

merle-haggard-and-the-strangers-you-dont-have-very-far-to-go-capitolMerle Haggard – You Don’t Have Very Far to Go

You’ll love either one of those versions. Or, if you’re sensible, both of them.

Let them both into your life, is my advice.

More soon.

Late Night Stargazing

“Wet your beak in my stream”

I’ve seen Bjork twice in my life, both times at festivals.

In 1989, I saw her being a Sugarcube, playing at the Reading Festival in that first year after they stopped being rock, but before they started being all post-rock and dull.

In 2007, I saw her on The Other Stage at Glastonbury. I’d wanted to go see an up and coming Hot Chip on the John Peel stage, but my friends, rightly, reminded me how I would hate myself forever more if I didn’t watch Bjork, and thankfully I agreed and stayed to watch her.

There was only one song that I truly wanted to hear her do. This one:


Bjork – Bachelorette

She sang it. I was in raptures.

I know I say this a lot, but if you don’t know that song, you really should give it a listen. It’s as tender, dramatic, orchestral, stunning and beautiful as it’s possible to be.

In the process of writing this – checking the spelling and that the links work, blah blah blah – I’ve now played that song 12 times. And yet, I want to hear it again, it’s that good. You’ll see what I mean.

You. Yes, you. Your life will be better for having this record in it.

More soon.