Sunday, 5 February 2017

Some 2016 thoughts before I get started again...

It's been a while. Over a year, in fact, away from the blog. I've been listening lots, and playing more than I did for years. I have also been continuing to gather music that I keep meaning to write about.

I had a car with a CD player for a bit. That was fun while it lasted.

Michael Chillingworth's debut lived in that car for a while. It's still so clear in my head - and perhaps it always will be - the moment when I pulled out onto the main road towards the highway and his solo started. I think I tweeted shortly after something about how happy it made me. It still does. At first, you might think there was something innocent about his playing. It's unashamedly pretty, but deceptively sharp - fiendish, even. And the same goes for the pieces themselves - somehow both larger and smaller than life. Chillingworth gives us a glimpse of what is going on in his head, and then condemns us to a real world that will never be quite as colourful.

It was the start of me playing more and more over the 6 months that followed. It took me about a fortnight of listening to the album on a loop for me to get my mum's old guitar (which I'd taken with me to Luxembourg) out of its case and try to play back some of those opening lines that had been branded into the side of my brain.

I had a 12-hour drive to Italy to burn through a whole stack of discs - only a few memories of that stick out: I got hung up on Melt Yourself Down's phenomenal first album - a whirling shitstorm of noisy joy, overflowing with hooks and hollers. I was carried - unfazed - over the Italian motorways, by the phantasmagoric arrangements on Donna Lewis' Brand New Day.

Anyway, I'll be trying to write more - sometimes with new records, and sometimes catching up on the past year - so keep an eye out.