I woke up early today and thought about galloping horses, no reason I can think of except for that annoying advert for the bank where they associate their horrible corporate brand with a beautiful galloping horse. You’ve heard of cultural appropriation, there should be something called beauty appropriation that calls out corporations for selling an image that is as far away from their philosophical reality as can possibly be. It’s incredible to see how they gain trust with images of something beautiful, distracting from their outrageous fees and profits. Hm, the banks, best keep your money in the mattress but don’t forget to blow out the candles when you leave the house.
So today I swam and will swim three days in a row because it will be the last three days you can go to the pool before the lockdown and I hear a mile a day keeps the doctor away. In the pool today there was a Spanish lady and a Frenchman, the usual nice Frenchman, I thought I’m going to ask him a grammar question, so I did, he was most helpful. I wonder if there’s anybody out there who would like to talk to me in French – slowly. The Spanish lady was from Barcelona, we were talking about how the only real way to learn a language properly is to live in the country with the people and the fewer skills those people have in your language the better. That’s the problem with Sweden, most people in the cities at least speak really good English so if you try to speak Swedish as a beginner they just reply in English! It’s unhelpful and frustrating.
Interestingly, it’s the reverse in France, there’s some kind of expectation on you to be able to speak their language well but often when you try, if you’re not good enough at it they don’t or won’t respond in a helpful manner. But it’s not just your terrible French, it’s also their terrible English. Obviously, this is a generalisation but if you compare Sweden to France the gulf in understanding and being helpful is big. I suppose it’s the same in Spain and Italy, a lot of people don’t speak English. Even in Germany, it’s a problem. I went into a bakery in Cologne station and asked if they spoke English, they responded quite coldly so I spoke in my broken German, I knew the word for croissant (croissant) and they were so happy that I tried.
Olivia is so good with languages, she’s a polyglot. Some people just have a propensity for learning languages and it’s a mixture of love for it and study that makes it happen. The grammar is the difficult thing, remembering all those conjugations in different languages, yikes, but you just get it eventually if you put in the work. It’s the same with playing guitar, you just have to keep on doing it and then hope that it suits you. The problem is that you don’t know how good you can be at anything until you go through being bad at it, such is life.
We spoke to Stephen at Schoolkids Records today and the official release date for the new MOAT album Poison Stream will be February 12th 2021. But anyone that supports us on the Indiegogo campaign will get the record as soon as we have it manufactured so we will send it to you without waiting for the February date. We will release another track in the coming weeks, we have 34 days left and we have reached 45% of our goal. Olivia has already sent out a few ‘mystery boxes’ we are working on Handwritten & Illustrated Lyrics and we have sent out copies of the first MOAT record (they are running out) as well as a couple of postcards. Doesn’t everybody at least want a postcard from Penzance?
Skype began today with a sesh with Tim in Sydney and ended with a chat with Salim in Dallas. Isn’t it amazing that we can communicate across the world like this? In the good old days you’d have to ride that galloping horse for days – good luck with the Penzance-Dallas, Penzance-Sydney ride.
Music today is from ex Jellyfish members Roger Manning Jr, Eric Dover and Tim Smith in their new project, The Lickerish Quartet. Their first release is Threesome Vol.1, an EP with four vocal tracks on Side 1 and instrumental versions of the same songs on Side 2. It’s classic Pop and the first track, Fadoodle, sounds like a cross between Jellyfish, Sparks, early Roxy (if they were cleaner) and Queen (if they were smaller). The second track, Bluebird’s Blues, is 10cc meets The Beatles via Supertramp except it’s all an American take on these mostly English bands. I guess (American for I suppose) they love The Raspberries and The Beach Boys too, so if you like this kind of modern clean Pop it’s executed with panache and skill. On There Is A Magic Number, a more mainstream sound comes out of them, less connected to that Indie cred influence, it’s almost West Coast – well they are from Los Angeles. I imagine a little too perfect for most Indie fans but beautifully realised anyway, they would have been huge in the early seventies. The last track, Lighthouse Spaceship, continues with the list of previous influences, they love this kind of music and do a wonderful job of it but although their influence list is solid, to my ears it also includes Pilot but to tell you the truth, I never tire of hearing Magic or January.