Here I Am

My one great regret about writing this blog is that I no longer seem to be able to keep up with reading all that my blogging peers have written recently.

People I have shared flats with will testify that it used to be the case that once I got home from work, the first thing I would do would be to fire up my laptop (or PC as it was at the time), and check in on all my favourite folk, see what they’ve been up to and what they’ve been listening to.

But for the last couple of years, this routine has fallen by the wayside. Instead, every month or so – and often, not even that frequently – I’ll swoop by all those that I know, or who have commented here, or who contributed to The Chain back in the day, to catch up with what’s being going on with them. And hopefully pick up a few tips about tunes I don’t know about.

Over the last week, I’ve tried to rectify that, and found that many of my blogging buddies have been going through some hard times of late, and I feel terrible that until now I’ve not provided the same kind of support as they did to me, when I was taken ill last year, and then when I lost my best friend earlier this year.

Back before I started blogging, I didn’t realise the importance of leaving Comments on blogs I read, so I never left one. Not one.

But having been through some hard times myself and received such kind messages, I can tell you how much it means to know there are people out there – that I’ve never met and probably never will – who are decent, respectful and supportive. As one of my greatest allys has found recently, it’s so easy to forget in this world of online existence, where trolling and unpleasantness is often the norm, that there are far more nice, honourable people out there than there is the opposite.

This isn’t a pathetic plea for more comments here, this is an apology to all those who have commented and to whom I’ve not reciprocated until recently, when it’s way too late.

I wish I knew how to end this post. I’d love it to be something inspiring and uplifting, but I fear whatever I do will just come across as glib.

So I figured I’d embrace that. So here, by way of a truly shonky bit of clippage recorded so long ago that Tim Lovejoy still had hair (but was still an irritating twonk), is Alan Shearer doing what he does best: singing Labi Siffrie songs:

Hopefully ths won’t come across as pompous or self-important, but maybe it’s better way to sign off with a tune:

Adam Green & Binki Shapiro – Here I Am

More soon.

50 Ways to Prove I’m Rubbish #23

I’ll be honest, when I started writing this series, the plan was that they would culminate at or around my 50th birthday.

And here we are in November, over a month after my landmark moment, and I haven’t even got halfway yet.

In fact, I haven’t even written one in over a month.

This is entirely indicative of my inability to plan ahead: you would think that having hit upon the idea of writing 50 posts about 50 records I disliked when they were first released but which I now love, you would think I would then spend a little time considering what those 50 tunes would be.

Not this guy. Oh no.

“It’ll be fine,” I told myself , “they’ll just come to you,” .

And this slap-dash for no cash approach was proven to be true this week when watching the inspiration for many things I post here: the reruns of Top of the Pops on BBC4.

These repeats are now into 1988, and thankfully a period where less controversial Radio 1 DJs feature, so fewer editions have been wiped from the running order.

And specifically, to this song, which I remember thinking at the time was really rather dull, but now I see it for what it is: one of the finest soul records from the past 30+ years.

Put it this way (and I can think of no finer recommendation of any record): nowadays, when it comes on the radio I turn it up rather than down:

Womack & Womack – Teardrops

Actually, thinking about it, it might have been Love Wars that I really hated, but I was wrong about that too.

Anyway, more soon.