I got the news today that the Anekdoten show in Poznań, Poland on May 14th has been postponed, for obvious reasons. A pandemic that reached every corner of the world, and now a war in Europe, what’s next? Of course, much of the world has already been suffering drought, floods, famine, war and disease, here in Europe we’ve been avoiding the worst of these things, I wonder for how much longer. In the year and a half that we have been in Portugal, we have found it to be a peaceful place but it’s not paradise as Olivia’s violin teacher can attest. I saw there was another shooting in the US with six people dead in Sacramento. Where will it end, what can we expect in the coming years? I shudder to think.
In my cosy Portuguese life, I make music, I help people make music, and I try to stay fit and be grateful for it all. I left for the gym late and consequently caught the after-work crowd, usually, the gym is quite empty. It was tough today, sometimes it just is but that’s the price. The new light made a difference on the walk home. I got in and realised that Liverpool were playing Portugal tonight. They were in Lisbon in the quarter-finals of the Champions League against Benfica. Man City were at home against Atlético and that was the game I watched because the VPN wouldn’t do its job for the other game. The VPN is hit and miss, one day it works, the next it doesn’t but some broadcasts are more unreliable than others, tonight was a typically frustrating example of this.
Outside the window, the sun left red streaks in the sky as it slowly descended below the horizon. On the roof of the flats opposite the usual two seagulls sat waiting as they always do for the man who feeds them. They trust that he will return with food, they know that each day the window will open and they will be fed, consequently, they spend their whole lives on a corrugated iron roof, occasionally flying and circling and landing back where they started. They chase off other seagulls but they seem to put up with the pigeons. How do creatures survive in the wild? There must be days when there’s no food, days when there’s a lot of food and days when the food is bad food. When you see the pigeons pecking at the ground, are they actually finding small bits of food or are they just hoping?
Tonight I closed the shutters, drew the curtains and lit three large candles as well as tea lights that sit in the mouths of my collection of ornamental skulls. It was cold enough to need that plus some layers on top. But it is amazing that we live in a house with no heating, no double-glazing and with the occasional well-placed blanket can avoid the exorbitant heating bills that so many people are struggling to pay at the moment. We have a bar fire and two electric radiators but we don’t use them because they are so expensive and it’s simply not cold enough to justify the cost. This is one of the perks of living in a warmer climate.
Music today has been a band no one remembers, Heads Hands & Feet. They released three albums, their debut release (1970) was actually their second album as the label shelved their first album Home From Home, it was finally released in 1995. Their second, Tracks, was released in 1972 and their third, Old Soldiers Never Die, was released in 1973. In typical Spotify disregard, they have their third album catalogued as if the name of the band is the album title. So much money, so little attention to detail. If you were heading up an organisation that was trying to digitise and make available the history of music, wouldn’t you hire people who knew what they were doing? Hire people who knew the genres, knew the years, the history. There would be no point hiring me to catalogue the hip hop section, it seems the equivalent wrong person is in charge of Heads Hands & Feet. The ignorance of corporations is breathtaking in its scope.
Singer Tony Colton died in 2020. After Heads Hands & Feet, bass player Chas Hodges formed Chas & Dave and went on to have hits with his Cockney twang, a long way from the more American-influenced band. Chas & Dave had eight top 40 hits in the UK. Heads Hands & Feet also featured the much-respected session and sideman Albert Lee on guitar. Keyboard player Mike O’Neil died in 2013. The band are survived by drummer Pete Gavin and rhythm guitarist Ray Smith.
Music Of The Daze
In these videos, you can see the flexibility of the players, Chas on violin, Ray on bass and Albert singing. The country influence is huge and the playing is really fantastic, especially on the Beat-Club version of Country Boy. Influenced more by Buck Owens than the blues players of the day, Albert Lee’s guitar playing is something else.