Spring arrived all wrong, it was cold down here in Penzance on March 1st and there’s a chill in the air. In ‘winter’ it was warm on the continent, give or take the odd storm, everything’s out of whack. Today it hailed, rained, blew and shined, the planet is very moody these days.
Today has been a day of settling back into the routine of Archive/Studio land. Off to Rowe’s, the local bakers, to book my daily wholemeal vege pasties, pay up front so I can just nip in there and the ladies who work there know me and hand it over whether there’s a queue or not. Today Doreen, Wendy and Theresa greeted me with welcoming smiles. They are so nice in there. They’ve had a bit of a renovation in the shop, too, moved the counters around a bit, put up some historic black and white Cornwall pictures like wallpaper. The greengrocers here is the real deal, nothing wrapped in plastic. There’s something weird about ripping the plastic off a broccoli. Fresh vegetables every day for dinner and today Quorn fillets from Archie Brown’s, the health food store. It is true that I am a slave to Bird’s Eye petit pois, frozen peas. Which reminds me of the line in that song Matrimony by Gilbert O’Sullivan (Ha ha): “When we show up an hour late like two frozen peas”. I bet you never thought you’d hear his name again? He had so many hits, perhaps the unhippest act on the planet, middle of the road doesn’t really cover it. Music that your Gran would like. What a nice boy he is. Still, he had a way of penetrating lounge rooms all over Britain for a while. My friend Rachel is a graphic designer, she did the CD artwork for one of his albums, The Berry Vest of Gilbert O’Sullivan…guess what was on the cover. Whatever you say about old Gilbert, Nothing Rhymed was a bit of a classic. Although he did have a song later on called I Don’t Trust Men With Earrings In Their Ears. Ha ha, nice one, Gilbert.
From the ridiculous to the sublime, I’m listening to Agitation Free live in Cologne in 1974. They were a band I missed in the seventies, but have grown to really like since I discovered them in the nineties. Their first album Malesch (1972) is where you should start. Their original albums are rare, but they’ve all been reissued and I’ve managed to collect most of their vinyl recordings, Malesch, 2nd, Last, Fragments, At The Cliffs Of The River Rhine and the 1994 reunion album River Of Return. The Other Sides Of Agitation Free and Shibuya Nights from 2007 remain elusive. The reissues also become hard to find as they are made in such limited editions. If you don’t snap them up when you see them, you may not see them again. Wikipedia describes them like this:
“Agitation Free’s music is psychedelic, experimental Krautrock with elements of spaced-out ambient, experimental electronic and drone”.
We bought a new sofa for the archive today, the old futon couch has collapsed into broken slats and splinters. I must admit I do like how low it is. There’s something about sitting on the floor, listening to records, incense and lava lamps, even if it’s non incense and lava lamp music. Sex Pistols and Joy Division sound great with the wafting aroma of incense and the globules of hot wax bouncing up and down in their glass tubes. And of course we all know that Van Der Graaf Generator and Peter Hammill had many people sitting on the floor, listening to them with incense and lava lamps and we also know that Pistols’ singer, whass’is name, loved them! I saw the Pistols’ singer at The Mayflower Hotel just off central park in New York when I was staying there in the eighties. Sitting at the bar with Sinead and Paul Brady. Most people don’t seem to know who Paul Brady is (Irish folky singer/songwriter). Dylan has name-checked him, famous people have covered his songs like Santana, Tina Turner and Bonnie Raitt. Anyway, that bar was charged with an energy, but I like to stay agitation free.
Tomorrow Dare and I are in the studio for a continuing Noctorum writing session for what would be the fifth album we have done together under that name. We were talking today about the Space Summit project, the MOAT project, The Wild Swans, Anekdoten, sessions, Salim and Noctorum and that elusive Marty and Olivia album. The day was bookmarked with Skype (Stephen sessioneer in Melbourne and Salim in Dallas) – please send me more hours, there’s things I have to do.