ARTS & CRAFTS: Scratch-Built Card ‘Roadster’!

Basic bodywork and wheels.

Confined to my sofa-bed, in our lounge, and suffering from unspeakable insomnia, I decided to make a cardboard sports car!

Rather than making a real/specific car, I’m just making a generic hybrid. Tonight, in part one, I’ve made wheels and the basic body. Tomorrow (actually later today; It’s 1 am!) I’ll continue with the body work, and fabricate some sort of axles/chassis, lights, etc.

Viewed from the rear.

It’s like being a child again! (Building the cardboard car, that is, as opposed to the grindingly oppressive sleeplessness.) I remember watching my dad make a cardboard cut out roadster, as a nipper. Or did we work on it together? I no longer recall, alas.

Earlier in the evening.

Earlier we watched another Rathbone Holmes movie, and enjoyed a tasty porky stroganoff that Teresa cooked. staying home and taking it super easy. Hoping to shake this awful persistent chesty cough and whatnot.

MEDiA: Hammer DVD box.

I got this boxed set for Teresa, for Yuletide.

We once had all the movies from the set as digital files, thanks to a chum. But we never really watched them. Having the physical DVDs – I guess we’re old school that way? – means we’re much more likely to actually watch them (they’re not included on Amazon Prime).

Dig that carved in stone ‘font’!

It’s Xmas day, and, having watched a Basil Rathbone Sherlock movie earlier (The Pooch o’ the Baskervilles), part of another DVD set I got for Teresa, we’re now watching She,

Shot in Israel and starring Arsula Undress, this is, it seems, where Rumpole got his ‘she who must be obeyed’ line from. Well I never! And you get of only Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and the many faceted charms of Ursula, but also Wombles narrator Bernard Cribbin.

Too much! An embarrassment of riches. Some of the sets or are they ‘mattes’?) are great, as well.

Fab scenes! Colonial clobber meets Romans and… well, all sorts.

Can’t be arsed to synopsise the ludicrous story. It’s just an excuse for exotic locations, good old fashioned Boys’ Own style adventure, with nutty costumes and plenty of feminine allure, all in a distinctly old school non-PC way. We love it!

Christopher Lee in one of many of his more ‘exotic’ roles!

As Miranda – or is it her mum? – is fond of saying, Such fun!

DAYS iN: Yuletide, 2021

Ye olde Yule tree, all a-twinklin’.

I ought to lighten up on this topic, no doubt, but… I Amat’s find the Christian connotations of how we celebrate Xmas, in current UK/‘Western’ culture, an issue.

No doubt at some point in this post I’ll return to this theme. But for the most part this post is simply a record of the pleasurable aspects of our Yuletide celebrations.

Xmas lunch. Delicious!

I worried about being Scroogey, inasmuch as I only texted and didn’t call family, and a few friends, to wish them a Merry Whatever. Was this mean? I dint know! It wasn’t intended as such. I do love the private pleasure of Xmas Day itself being just Teresa and me, and our moggins, Chester.

We love to spoil Chester. And he got plenty of presents. Plus some Xmas fare, inc s but if the roast duck we had for lunch. He had some fun with the ‘unwrapping’. And played a fair bit with his ‘flippety fish’ toy.

Chester, ‘sat at table’, kind of, with us.

As I have for most of the winter holidays, I’ve been sleeping alone in the downstsirs couch. on account of illness and insomnia. Not wishing to unduly disturb Teresa’s nights!

I even watched (ish!) a bit of typical YouTube stuff (drum stuff, snooker, this ‘n’ that), on Xmas day itself. But the main entertainment was a couple of movies: Basil Rathbone’s Pooch o’the Basketcases, and Hammer ‘sword n’ sandal type classic, She. What fun!

Some of Teresa’s unwrapped items, and some wrapped ones of mine.

Due to my being under the weather zi was a lot less involved in Yuletide lunch than normal. My only contributions being peeking n’ chopping the spuds, and helping consume many hours work in just a few minutes. We had roast duck, with all the usual Christmassy accompaniments: roast taters, neeps, pinion; gravy, bread, horseradish, cranberry (etc.) sauces, Brussels, carrots, and so on. Even some chopped cooked chestnuts! Delish!

Present wise, we started unwrapping gifts fairly early, 10 or 11am -ish, perhaps? Teresa had loads of stuff. Me a little less! Several of my gifts were T-shirts or tops. Teresa got a couple of neck-warming scarves.

One of several tops, this one paid for by Pops n’ co.

She also got two boxed sets of DVDs: the complete Basil of wwwRathbone Sherlock, and the 20+ disc (21?) Hammer film set. And we both got a few pampering style items: her, perfumes and unguents, me shampoo!

Teresa’s Hammer box leaflet.

I got a few tops that help profess some of my musical passions. A bit juvenile, perhaps, for a man on the cusp of the ‘big five-oh’!? But what do I care!?

And a Joni For The Roses T-shirt.
A snazzy purple n’ gold Future Days T!

This may sound pretty lame/pathetic. But a highlight of the day, for me, was later in the evening, when Teresa and I dozed arm in arm on the sofa-bed. Just so cosy and peaceful!

MEDiA: Phoenix Nights

Peter Kay as Brian Potter, svengali and impresario.

A recent bout of insomnia found me watching the entirety of series one and two of Phoenix Nights. Having only seen snippets before, watching the whole thing proved to be great fun.

Patrick McGuiness and Peter Kay, as Paddy and Max.

I won’t bother synopsising it all. Suffice to say Kay’s Potter character is a wheelchair bound club owner/manager, looking to run an family friendly old time variety type club, in Bolton. The comedy comes from the characters themselves, the awful acts, and the scrapes one and all get into, entertaining the public and battling Potter’s nemesis, rival nightclub owner, Den Perry (Ted Robbins).

Quiz night.

I like this series for many reasons. Chiefly because it’s funny. But also because, as they say, it’s got heart. It’s also nice because it foregrounds a good few characters often glossed over in modern TV, such as the disabled, elderly, and other peripheral and/or ‘loser’ types. They, like all involved, are treated both savagely and even occasionally tenderly.

Clinton Baptiste, medium … to rare.

Pretty much all the acts are some shade of awful. From the racist folkies (‘send the buggers back!’), to the staff who come to the rescue in Talent Night, when dastardly Den Perry sabotages proceedings. And every episode ends with Potter and co auditioning cringe-worthy hopefuls.

A standout for unadulterated appallingness is Clinton Baptiste, the clairvoyant who ‘didn’t see that coming’. With his bleached mullet, camp accent – ‘y’alright!’ – and ability to misread everything and everyone to maximum offence effect, he’s really something.

The incredible ‘family friendly’ bouncy castle.

I always love knob gags and farting. And whilst there’s a little of the latter, there’s not too much of the former. Except in the episode where they put in a ‘family friendly’ fundraiser, built around fun for kids and their parents. An unbelievable X-rated bouncy castle is the centrepiece. Whorra lorra laffs!

DJ Ray Avon acts as Kamikaze quiz-meister.

The cast is filled with characters we’ve all seen or encountered, simultaneously utterly ridiculous and yet tragically real. Bouncers Max and Paddy typify a very real breed. As does DJ/sparky, Ray Von, and MC/comedian/fall guy, Jerry St Clair (Dave Spikey), the latter one of the best developed characters after Potter himself.

Potter mucks in as Elton on Talent Night.

It’s occasionally laugh out loud. Indeed, several segments had me guffawing uncontrollably. But for the most part it’s gently humorous. Many of the scenarios are just plain dumb. But there are also touching moments.

Rumours of specials a third series, and even a movie, are out there on the net. I believe a couple of one-offs might’ve come to pass? There was a single series spin-off; Max & Paddy’s something or other (a fugitive’s road trip, poss’?) But there’s not really enough. A real pity, as it was a good series. There ought to be much more of it!

MiSC/HEALTH & WELLBEiNG: Doin’ Nuttin’…

It’s day four of doing, as far as poss’, absolutely nothing. It’s really quite hard. After the first day or two the psychological aspect starts to come to bear more forcefully.

Yesterday I tried reading our boiler manual, to both learn to operate it better, and deal with the potential onset of boredom. Such things are, in my experience, nine times out ten, appallingly written. Slogging through them isn’t conducive to peace of mind!

That was yesterday. Today, after sleeping a much better nights sleep than I’ve grown accustomed too of late, I’ve subsequently slept solidly through the morning, as well. Exhaustion is a commonplace for me. Partly a consequence of immune-system malfunction and the meds I take to combat that.

Am I sleeping too much?

When I’m in more ‘normal’ mode, such daytime sleeping would wreck my night-time rhythms! But sometimes, like now, I can sleep almost round the clock, and still – at present at least – sleep at night.

Other stuff comes in and out of the overall picture, as well. Such as intense headaches. Are they migraines? I’m not sure. Possibly. For some reason my brain never retains certain info, no matter how many times it is inputted! I’ve looked up the definition of migraine many times!

I have co-codamol on hand for when these get really bad. Just took some now.

My snooker re-play orgy on YouTube continues. I find watching snooker much more effective than these dedicated sleep things you encounter, with wind and rain sounds, and suchlike (as nice as they may be). With snooker I can either enjoy focussing on it, or let it waft me into unconsciousness.

‘Whispering’ Ted Lowe, formerly the ‘voice of snooker’.

There’s a lot of near complete silence, the occasional clack of the balls and the ref’s numerical interjections. And, in the good old fashioned British snooker on TV tradition, the commentary is mostly very spare and subdued. Ted Lowe is my favourite, his gentle whispering is so soothing!

MUSiC/MEDiA: Sonic Youth, From The Basement…

This promo pic captures Sonic Youth’s art-house rock energy!

This was an interesting watch. A trip down memory lane, and a blast from the past!

The date on the video, i.e. when it was posted to YouTube, is 2020. I was puzzled by the fact that altho’ Lee Renaldo is greying, Thurston and Kim look pretty much as they did back in the ‘80s. Nuts!? But… aha! That explains things; this was actually recorded back in 2007!

The lineup is the ‘classic’ quartet, plus a guy called Mark Ibold, who became an essential fifth member in the years before they split in 2011. So that’s Steve Shelley, drums, Kim Gordon, bass/vocs, Lee Ranaldo, guitar/vocs, Thurston Moore, guitar/vocs, and Ibold, doubling on bass!

The performance space is nice. Very old school rock club. Love that blood red carpet!

The setlist for this performance is three tracks from their album of the moment, Ripped, and The Sprawl and Hey Joni, from Daydream Nation. The last of these is one of my favourite numbers from what is probably also my most favourite of their albums.

The Daydream Nation pieces are easily the best. To my mind/ears. The overall performance is pretty good. Almost certainly best listened to, I assume, very loud. I was listening to this pretty quiet, lying abed around midnight! Not ideal. But it still came over pretty well.

I have to admit that there are some forms of music – anything from this to Beefheart or Slayer (but perhaps intense and weird music especially so?) – that seem inescapably the music of youth. And the idea of folk enjoying listening to, or even more strangely, performing such music, as they age, can seem a bit odd.

Ageing no-wave noise-rockers ageing pretty gracefully!

But maybe that’s totally spurious? I’ve seen Christian Zander and his Magma crew – several of whom are growing ever longer of tooth – doing their very weird very intense thing fairly recently, and thought it pretty compelling. Hmmm!?

Watching this reminded me how much I loved some of this sort of music once – particularly the Daydream Nation and earlier stuff (Evol and Sister); hadn’t heard any Rather Ripped stuff till I saw this! – and, to some extent, I still dig it. It also makes me think I’d like to hear more from their later catalogue. Perhaps especially when Jim O’Rourke joined? I like what he brought to Stereolab.

When this performance started, I was cringing a bit, at the very self-conscious and shoe-gazy vibe. But as it went on, the music re-captured my heart and mind. The Sprawl and Hey Joni in particular, because, as already attested to, Daydream Nation was a much loved and very familiar reference point for a former younger me.

A screenshot the setlist.

It looks like there are a number of From The Basement gigs on the YouTube archives. I’m now watching a Radiohead one. Not a band I’ve ever gotten into, to be honest. But their set is pretty cool. I like Thom Yorke’s total commitment to the music. But I sometimes find his fey delivery a bit much. But that’s for another post!

MiSC/HEALTH & WELLBEiNG: Enforced Rest

It’s surprising how hard it can be in modern life to really and truly do nothing. Even more tricky, perhaps, is ‘switching off’.

Teresa, my adorable wife, has insisted that I do nothing. I’m not allowed out of the house, even! The reason being a recurrent chest infection I’ve had three years on the trot, over winter.

X-Rays and antibiotics haven’t got to the bottom of it, and what with me having a constellation of ailments in the background, it can be hard – impossible so far, it seems – to know what’s going on. What is or are the root causes?

This is the agrometer we have.

My mum and uncle both mentioned humidity in the home. And it’s true that our heating has been an issue. We had a new boiler installed last year. So that’s not such an issue any more. But humidity may be.

I cracked out a digital Afro meter … er (predictive spelling, don’t you love it!?)), agrometer, we have. It said the humidity in our lounge was around 55% earlier today. It’s now crept up to 66-67%!? Apparently 70% and over is unhealthy, and really, over 60% should entail the deployment of a dehumidifier.

Dumbkopf that I am I sold a rather flash humidifier and air-purifier we once had. How I wish we still had that! I think we may still have a small one laying around somewhere. Finding it is another thing altogether.

I love this guy’s videos, n’ stuff.

Anyway, I’m practically living on our sofa-bed, downstairs in the living room. And I’ve been watching mucho YouTube, inc. lots of Stavros Gakos (handplane making, and such like), Colin Furze (loud and loony: I particularly dig – see what I did there? – his bunker and underground tunnels; childhood dreams of my own!), and plenty o’ snooker!

Alcohol is out, by command of she who must be obeyed, and I’m not even reading, never mind making, repairing or doing something musical or arty. Under such sorghum-stenches it’s hard not go for the screens and social media. Indeed, impossible, I find!

Still, all in all, I think it’s the right thing. Keep the home warm and dry, totally relax and look after myself. Can’t be bad, right?

The last few things I was doing, friday, before ‘shutdown’, were: building shelves in the workshop, creating a neck/fretboard blank (in rosewood) for the Hofner Congress, and applying a wrap to an old tom, as part of converting it into a marching drum style snare.

The hardest thing is not continuing with these projects, as I feel compelled to keep such things bubbling over. Truth be told I snuck in a little bit of work on the snare, opening some holes for mounting the head tensioning hardware. That’s something I felt was such light work I could do it supine!

Mellie Xmas!

And a little writing of Xmas cards and the wrappage of some giftabubbles was also smuggled in. Oh! A quick glance at the agrometer reveals it is – or so it tells me – now down to 59% humidity. And up from 16°C to 18.9°C. I do hope this device is accurate. The room feels no different!

And back on the TV, on YouTube, Sonnie O’Rollivan just made a pig’s ear of a shot… ‘Oh dear!’ quoth Neal Foulds (or was it the other guy?). But, amazingly, and in a reversal of the previous frame – in which Ronnie bizarrely allowed Trump to win a frame by escaping a safety shot snooker with a pot – The Rocket repaid the compliment, albeit in an entirely different looking scenario. I do love snooker!

Well, time to get offa the devices. And settle in for some snooker induced ‘somnia’…

MUSiC/MEDiA: Anderson .Paak

Paak doin’ his thang: drumming and singing.

This guy has been around a while. But he’s only just snuck up on me recently. I think it’s about a year since I first encountered him, via the NPR Tiny Desk video on YouTube (below).

That video has racked up over 80 million views (and counting!). And I can see why. It’s truly and sublimely joyful. And off the back of it, I’m checking him out more.

This is the video that taught me to love AP.

As I type this I’m watching (for the first time) another NPR Paak performance with The Free Nationals. I’m not a massive fan of the modern hip-hop and rap scene, esp’ as far it’s such a big and obvious part of the contemporary dumbing down and ultra-capitalist commodification of music.

But, as Paak is coming at it from being a drummer, it might really change things. And if the whole hip-hop chip shop flip flop allows him and others – he’s now done the whole Silk Sonic thang with Bruno Mars (which I’m looking into as well) – to smuggle ‘real’ live organic music back in to the mainstream. So be Obi Wan Ben Kenobi it!

It’s interesting that Paak seems to be such a charismatic force of nature and culture in happy synthesis/balance, that he carries all before him, on a toothy pearly white tidal wave of sonic positivity. And drums – oh, and singing, rapping, dancing, music, producing (one could go on!) – are his ‘happy place’! How cool is that!?

Karen Carpenter, another fabulous singing drummer.

If only ‘the biz’ had let Karen Carpenter stay behind the drums. Perhaps she’d still be wowing us, alongside her goofy bro’? The biz is a cruel capitalist monster machine. A robot of death, selling the appearance of life, a thin mask over the rotting corpse of consumer culture.

But I digress. So… Anderson Paak? Hmmm… there’s the undeniable authenticity of a colourful and troubled back story. But alongside this there are aspects of modern pop trash culture – and I’ve got to be careful here, as I might be going ‘full Partridge’ – the cuss-words, the whole ‘money, niggaz, bitches’ thing, that do trouble me.

I kind of want to say that none of that really touches a deep nerve. But that’d be disingenuous. Of course it does. However much it annoys me in how it connects Paak to a lot of pop culture I really loathe, the ‘other side of the coin’, if you will, is not the hipster vibin’ with us, but the wounded little boy, channelling his damage and pain into a joyful affirmation of life through music.

And not just any music, either. But music that flows from the same deep wells of Afro-American (we’ll get back to this vexed issue later) soul, funk and R’n’B. And here I am, whitey in The Fens. It’s strange, and I’m not entirely sure why – or am I? Isn’t it just ‘the truth’? Authenticity? – but this tradition has always been one of several that just connects with my ‘soul’, like a dentist hitting an un-anaesthetised nerve.

Just ordered this off Amazon…

So, having touched very superficially and tanned-genitally on the musical river that flows from front porches of the Deep South via N’Awleanz dives to the litter-strewn city hoodz, where Caddy fins bespoke the Jaws of crime, to Herbie at Carnegie, or even Beyoncé and Bruno Mars… (again I digress!), where does Paak fit in?

In that last verbal flight, where history and myth meet collide-oscopically, in that matrix, embedded in all that, one can’t deny the ‘black America’ angle. But I want to counter that with the spirit of The Free Nationals; like Santana’s band, breaking out so joyfully at Woodstock… there’s a nice multi-culti angle.

And if the jazz tradition can happily embrace the angry yet all encompassing Miles, or the studiously geeky Mr Magoo Kung-fu mastery of Joe Morello… well. ‘Nuff said!

Do big shades…
… maketh the music or the man?

Anyway, this post goes around the houses just to talk about both Paak, the musical and other cultures that he emerges from, and my own troubled relation with all this, basically because I’m very happy to have found the man and his music.

Like everyone from Louis Cole and Vulfpeck, to, I dunno, King Gizzard and co, or Glasper, and ultra musos like Chris ‘Daddy’ Dave, the mere existence, never mind success, of Paak helps maintain my fragile belief in hope for humanity.

At this juncture Paak and The Free Nationals and co are tearing up the stage, doing a concert for the Grammy awards (I’m still groovin’ on YouTube). And the joyful energy is great. Starting the set with slick, sleek hyper-produced pop product style rap, contemporary pop karaoke style, the music builds to a Dionysian climax of gospel chops, and explodes out of the restrictive context of head nodding laptop wielding MCs and producers, into a world of real organic live music.

Paak behind his kit. His happy place. ‘Don’t I make it look easy. Don’t I make it look good.’, he sings on Come Down, one of the best tracks on Malibu (which I’ve just ordered!). ‘What could be more special than Andy behind the kit?’ beams Bruno Mars in their Silk Sonic promo interview. That interview (below) is worth watching, for its bizarre but compelling mixture of hipster gloss and truthful authenticity. What strange times we live in!

Ebro Darden interviews Paak and Mars, on their Silk Sonic collab’.

MUSiC/WORKSHOP: Hofner Congress neck fix, Pt 3.

Am I getting back on track? Dare I hope so!?

After routing off c. 4mm, sanding.

My quest for a set of four screws (the originals removed and, it appears, lost!) to re-attach the base-plate of my Titan router ended in compromise. I found a set of four screws whose pitch wasn’t identical, but that fitted, albeit possibly damaging/reconfiguring the threads. Still, it allowed me to use the damned thing!

My neck support jig, and methods of clamping the neck, proved something of an issue. How clamp the neck so it won’t move and yet access it all for uniform depth routing? In the end this proved nigh on impossible. I did my best, and routed to a depth of c. 4mm, removing all the gouges and tear out.

Looks pretty flat. I’m happy, I think.

When routing with the jig supporting either side of the base-plate failed to produce the cleanly uniform surface I’d hoped for, I set up a flat sanding surface. As per the pictures. Hopefully this has some over the issues? It certainly looks nice n’ flat now.

Interesting neck ‘archaeology’!

All this work has revealed some interesting neck construction: the neck itself appears to be to piece, with a slightly odd kilter spline running, slightly wonkily, roughly down the lateral centre. This three part construction then joins to the heel, with a two-faceted joint. I’m the pic above one can see the junctions of these four parts. Note also a large-ish hole. what was this for? Fretboard positioning, perhaps?

Two more holes. One filled, the other not.

At the headstock end of the neck are two more similarly sized hole. One is empty, the other filled with a wooden dowel. I used a knife – an ‘x-acto’ blade, as our American cousins might have it – to mark the top end of the neck, where the nut will sit.

Finally removed the tuning pegs.

I took the tuning pegs off. To facilitate the sanding of the neck. Due to the amount of material removed from the neck the sanding process has flattened a small area ‘biting’ into headstock territory. How this might affect the rebuild of the headstock – reattaching the plastic plate, etc . – remains to be seen.

Heel area details…

In the photo above, a number I originally read as 1968 might actually be, read the other way up, 3961! What I took to be an eight can be seen at another point on the underside of where the neck projects over the arch top, below.

Some of this four digit number has disappeared, the neck length being shortened somewhat at this end by the removal of so much depth at a point where the neck tapered to a pretty thin area. But it’s pretty clear that the first digit is a 3, not an 8!

Thanks to Steve for drawing my attention to this!

Next I need to build back the list material somehow. Then I’ll need to rout out a channel for a truss rod. And for this I’ll need to establish neck length, or how long a truss rod (and fret-board) I need.

Got a busy drum-teaching day today. So I’ll either do this tonight, or over the weekend. Need to order the truss rod from Stew-Mac, State-side, so the sooner that’s done, the sooner I can progress this whole neck repair.

MUSiC/MEDiA: Phil Lynott, Song For While I’m Away, 2021

This is great! A decent documentary about the late great Phil Lynott. I’m always flabbergasted when I’m reminded that he died aged just 36. A truly tragic waste.

But let’s not dwell on the morbid darker side. Even more stunning is the fact that in such a relatively short life he and his musical partners in crime left us such a rich legacy.

From the eponymous debut of 1971, through to swan song Thunder and Lightning, 1983, Thin Lizzy’s discography is littered with fantastic music. And Lynott’s solo albums are worth having as well.

As a child my first musical ‘crush’ was for Status Quo. But the first band I got properly into, such that I started buying their albums, was Thin Lizzy.

Lynott and Downey, a dream team.

Rather ironically, but entirely predictably, it was hearing Whiskey In The Jar, on a cassette compilation loaned me by a friend / thanks Heidi – that started the lifelong love affair.

The irony being, as conveyed in this doc’ (and elsewhere), that Whisky was an accidental and unintentional hit. A bit of a joke in the studio – rockin’ up a trad’ ‘Oirish’ folk song, for a laugh – that wound up catapulting the band into the spotlight.

The next phase en route to stardom didn’t come easily. Eric Bell, one of the original core trio, left, disillusioned with the miming pop culture and struggling with his own daemons.

Lizzy then reinvented themselves, adding their famed twin guitars to the permanent duo of Lynott on bass, vocals and chief songwriting duties, and superb drummer Brian Downey. Lynott and Downey had met at school, and played together in several bands prior to the advent of Lizzy.

Probably my favourite Lizzy album?
Ah… those were the daze!

For me this next era, Lynott, Downey and guitarists Scott Gotham and Brian Robertson, is the ‘golden age’ of the band. Between 1974-1977 they released five albums, all of which – Nightlife, Fighting, Jailbreak, Johnny The Fox and Bad Reputation are solid gold classics, in my view.

But as alluded to above, after the flash in the pan ‘one-hit wonder’ aberrant success of Whiskey In The Jar, they were in danger of sinking without trace. But luckily for them, and all of us, The Boys Are Back In Town, and the album that spawned that second hit, Jailbreak, cemented their success.

Robertson left (can’t recall if quit or was fired?) during the Bad Reputation period. And from that point on their was a continuing cast of changing characters on second guitar, from former occasional band mate Gary Moore, via Snowy White, to bouffant haired shredder, John Sykes.

Lizzy’s 71 debut. What a cool cover!
I really love their early Eric Bell era stuff.

Some post classic quartet albums, like Black Rose and Chinatown, are still great, featuring some sublime tracks, such as Sarah (#2!), Dancing In The Moonlight and (?). But Renegade and Thunder And Lightning, which might for other lesser bands be high water marks, aren’t Lizzy’s greatest.

So, this post has morphed from a review of the biopic into a brief overview of Lizzy, from one fan’s perspective! It also makes me realise I’d like to re-listen to the whole Lizzy/Lynott catalogue, and post reviews of all the albums. Like I’ve already done with Joni Mitchell, Tom Waits, and one or two others.

But to return to the core subject… it’s nice to see and hear Phil Lynott being so fondly remembered, and recognised for the great musical talent he had. As music biopics go, this is good. Very good.

I especially liked that they aimed more at his ‘sensitive side’, and not the dumb rocker thing, which has occasionally blighted other Lizzy/Lynott related media. Emer Reynolds, the lady who made this film, has said herself: ‘I was interested in something a bit more nuanced, that would focus on the poet, the songwriter, the man behind the image.’ *

Oi troid really hard to foind da photo on the left of this image, as a stand-alone…

To conclude: Phil, not believing in a spirit world, I realise you can’t hear this, but no matter… I’m Still In Love With You!

* I forget now where I found this quote; some online Irish newspaper article, Oi t’ink?

Here’s another fab pic of Lynott from the very early days. Love it! Just wish I could locate a better quality version.