Sunday Morning Coming Down

Here’s a first for these pages: some South African country music.

The artiste in question is so obscure, he doesn’t even have a Wiki page in English, just one in Afrikaans. In fact, type his name into Bing rather than Google, and the top two results are a entry and one for a financial consultant. Both of which could be the same guy, to be fair.

Anyway, here’s what the translated Wiki page has to say about him: “Clive Bruce is a South African country singer and stepchild of Virginia Lee [Nope, me neither – Ed]. He made his first recordings as a backing singer and bass player in the 1960s. Later he mastered the keyboard, drums, guitar and other instruments. In 1971 he reached the number one position on LM Radio’s hit parade, as well as the 11th place on the SA Top-20 Hit Parade with Sally Sunshine . In 1981 his hit If You’ve Got Nothing On reached number 16 on the charts and in 1996 his album One Last Kiss achieved gold status.”

Before we go any further, reverential deference is demanded of anyone who has managed to crack that tricky LM Radio market.

I’ve checked though, and this chap got nowhere near the UK charts, so I can only think I heard today’s record back when I was a kid, listening to Terry Wogan on BBC Radio 2 of a morning as I devoured my Weetabix. And for some reason that I cannot fathom, it has stuck in my memory. Similarly, it would seem, in nobody else’s either.

As an aside, do you remember all the fuss when Terry hosted an edition of Points of View and the tightness of his trousers attracted lots of complaints?:

I’m saying nothing.

I loved and admired Sir Terry, and you should be thankful I’m not going to make you listen to his version of The Floral Dance. Well, not anytime soon, anyway, but I wouldn’t rule it out completely.

But let’s be honest, today’s record is the sort of thing he’d play, if for no other reason than for the double entendre in the lyrics. He knew how to handle a double entendre, did our Tel:

Anyway….today’s song falls into the same category as The Bellamy Brothers’ If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body

Okay, enough with the GIFs already.

Clive Bruce: just a sexy guy with a sexy name doing a sexy song:

Dirty boy.

More soon.

Late Night Stargazing

I’ve been buying a lot of art recently.

I say art, I mean prints, not originals, obviously.

And when I say prints, I don’t mean posters, I mean those ones you can get on canvas stretched over a wooden frame. And I don’t mean art (although I did go through a phase of buying Banksy prints a few years ago, until I realised how naff that was. They’re still on display, though), I mean of aspects of popular culture which float my boat. My plan is to cover the walls with such artefacts, so that there’s something different, a homage to a film, or record, or actor, or artiste, or band that I love wherever you look. You know, just in case conversation ever dips, should anyone ever visit me.

My living room is split roughly down the middle, one half has all of my DVDs, the other all of my vinyl, with the TV set separating them, like a sausage acting as a damn between baked beans and egg in a correctly composed full English Breakfast.

The CDs, sadly less played these days, are quite literally behind me. And the artwork next to each corresponds with the part of the room you’re in (I appreciate I’ve just made this sound like a mansion, rather than the pokey little one bedroom flat it is in reality); the east wing has the DVDs, so all the film art is there: predictably, Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction ones, along with ones, a little less predictably, of the movie posters for Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind; prints of Jack Nicholson, (predictably, again) Marilyn Monroe (but not the dress blowing-up shot from The Seven Year Itch), Kenneth Williams and Sid James, and a ceramic-painted Animal from The Muppets.

You won’t be surprised to learn the west wing – the music side of the room – is winning the war for wall space. I have prints of paintings of Jarvis Cocker and Morrissey (the latter from his days in The Smiths, and in a far less prominent position than it used to be); one of Debbie Harry looking cool as f*%$; album sleeves of The Queen is Dead, the Ramones first album, Blondie’s Parallel Lines, The Velvet Underground & Nico’s Andy Warhol, and The Smiths’ (again) Barbarism Begins at Home, the drawing of Michael Stipe my friend Mark drew (and which I wrote about here), a cartoon I pinched a long time ago from the wonderful Crying All The Way To The Chip Shop, a massive one of the first Smiths’ single I ever bought, Sheila Take a Bow. (Anyone who has lived with me in the past twenty years will attest this always takes pride of place in any flat I live in. For those unfamiliar, it’s of Candy Darling, one of Andy Warhol’s artistic collective and a transgender icon. When Hel and I were showing our flat to prospective new flatmates, the most frequently asked question was not “How much are the bills?” or “What’s the local nightlife like?”, it was “Why have you got a painting of Myra Hindley on your wall?” Philistines.)

The latest addition is the promotional art for this, the album which came after they finally made it big and, let’s just say, sounded like they had decided fame wasn’t all it was cracked up to be:

I have two more album cover prints on the way, I’ll maybe tell you about them when they arrive. (Neither of them are of the Quo.)

More soon.