It was 20 degrees (F) hotter in Porto than in Dortmund this evening and as we sat here and watched Dortmund lose the Supercup to Bayern Munich 1-3, I realised that I like living in a warmer climate. Not blisteringly hot like Australia but proper summer days with cool evenings like we get here in Porto with a mild winter. I suppose it gets much hotter as you go further south and the Algarve would be another level of heat, it might be a nice place to visit in the winter. Being a musician type and gravitating to staying indoors and playing guitar, reading Michael Moorcock books and listening to records, the weather never lured me out purely because it was sunny. But despite five years of resistance, living in Bondi Beach at one point I finally succumbed to shorts. I shed my fake tiger skin jacket and only wore the spray-on pants on stage. It was so hot at gigs in Australia that you lost weight during the show. Anything dry that you put on after coming off stage was wet again in minutes, so in the end, it was either shed or die, especially if there was a drive after the show.
When I moved to Sweden it was quite a contrast. In the winter walking 45 seconds from the flat to the subway was impossible without serious wrapping, it was simply too cold. Then there’s the darkness in the winter. But in contrast to the winter, the summer is light, it doesn’t actually go entirely dark in Stockholm in the summer. It’s really beautiful. Everywhere has something really beautiful about it, but in the end, it’s what you grow up with for most people, it’s what you are used to. Most people live either where they are from or places that are like where they are from. I suppose that the older people might retire to a warmer climate but it’s not like everyone who’s older lives where it’s warmer even if they can afford it. I imagine that after growing up in Siberia, Florida would be horrendous.
Today I went and met our friend Ricardo in a little cafe ten minutes from here across from a little oasis of greenery (is that tautology?). Ricardo is many things, a lawyer being just one of them but he is also a rabid record collector so we while away the hours very easily discussing how the records are filed. He’s very interested in helping establish the archive here in Porto and with his help and João and Cláudia at Rangel Studios between the five of us we may have a chance of making it happen. We discussed Annette Peacock – I’m The One (1972), X-Dreams (1978), The Perfect Release (1979), Kevin Coyne and Siren, Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd, Eurythmics and Here Comes The Rain Again (1983), Scott Walker and Jacky (1968), If You Go Away (1969), The Seventh Seal (song, 1969), Tilt (1995), Jacques Brel, The Wild Swans – Revolutionary Spirit (1982), Prince – Welcome 2 America (2021), Purple Rain (1984), When Doves Cry (1984), Kiss (1986), Sign O’ The Times (1987), David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust (1972), Diamond Dogs (1974), King Crimson– In The Court Of The Crimson King (1969), In The Wake of Poseidon, Lizard (1970), Islands (1971), Larks’ Tongues in Aspic (1973), Starless And Bible Black (1974), Red (1974), Discipline (1981), Beat (1982), Three Of A Perfect Pair (1984), Thrak (1995), Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Talking Heads, Daryl Hall, Bill Bruford, Yes, Roy Harper, Al Stewart, Peggy Lee, Tangerine Dream and Edgar and Jerome Froese, Taylor Swift, The Doors, Solange Knowles, Sex Pistols, Beyoncé, Billy Idol, Lana Del Rey, The Paragons, John Holt, Debbie Harry, The Tide Is High (1967) and Vivien Goldman, who used to be my landlady when I lived in Ladbroke Grove. One hopes that this kind of thing could happen at the In Deep Music Archive academy.
Olivia came and met us after her Portuguese lesson and we went on to the psychedelic psupermarket in a bit of a rush because I had a sesh with Chris at 6 PM. Chris has a new house which he has called Odessa after the classic Bee Gees album. Chris and Olivia and I wonder how we can get people to listen to their classic sixties, pre-disco recordings.
Music today comes from Kevin Coyne, his first two solo albums, Case History (1972) and Marjory Razorblade (1973) and his two prior releases with his band Siren, the debut (1969) and Strange Locomotion (1971). It’s hard to nail down what it is, first listen you’d say it’s blues, which is true but it’s imbued with such personality and originality that it makes you love it and him. The first album I owned was Marjory Razorblade which was released as a single and a double album. That’s the place to start I think and for some of you it won’t be your cup of eccentric blues-flavoured English tea, but for others, you’ll never look back. Also, check out his art.