I went for a walk

I went for a walk in the sunrise this morning. Actually, tell a lie, I was about five
minutes too late to catch the sunrise in its full glory, and walking in the
wrong direction, but the view from Bole Hills and Rivelin Bank is almost as
inspirational as a sky full of marmalade-cream clouds – I do believe I had a
tear in my eye as I looked out across North-West Sheffield (although that was
probably as much down to lack of rest and love of live as anything else), I felt
like I could fall forwards, arms outstretched, and soar across all those rows
of boxes like the Angel
of the North
.

I’d woken up earlier at 3.30am, realised that F1 qualifying was on TV, and careened
upstairs in time to watch the end of Jensen Button’s lap followed by Michael
Schumacher caressing every curve on the circuit, in the most virtuoso display
of human computer interaction I’ve ever witnessed. I tried going back to bed
afterwards, but my mind was still racing so I came upstairs to work, type emails and
blog. I saw those blue-white-orange strips in the sky signalling morning’s approach, and knew I had to get outside (it
struck me yesterday that the only time I’d left the house in about three days
was to use the washing machine in the outhouse in our back garden), just too
late to see anything really spectacular.

I had my MP3 player on – started off with some Bow
Wow Wow
again. Something struck me – I’m often asked who my bass playing
influences are, and I always reel off Lemmy
(Hawkwind era – and yeah, he is the one that hooked me on the idea of Rickenbackers
– assisted by Chris Squire and others) then later Jean
Jaques Burnel
and finally Bill
Laswell
(mainly Material/Massacre/Baselines era, and subsequently Last
Exit
totally threw my musical direction and altered my life irreversibly),
with a few other minor influences in between who I always forget, they’re so
influential. But hearing Bow Wow Wow again after a break of years, I realise
that this is where it all started. The first record I ever bought was Adam
and the Ants
Prince Charming – I came to music late, was 12 at
the time, for until then I remember being frightened of having an opinion on
any music in case my Dad didn’t like it. I loved Adam and the Ants, but they
were pop, everyone loved them, but Bow Wow Wow were my own little secret (and
how proud I was when they achieved chart success and coolness was duly conferred)
– I think my next purchase was the gloriously titled See Jungle! See Jungle!
Go Join Your Gang Yeah, City All Over! Go Ape Crazy!
– I still have it,
although the wonderful
cover
of my Cassette Pet, which I folded, unfolded and gazed at endlessly,
is now rather ragged. Anyway, listening again I recognised the wonderful bass
sounds of Leroy Gorman as something akin to my own – that spindly tinnyness,
the nervous itchy far-too-many-notes-in-one-bar-iness, the it-shouldn’t-work-yet-it-sounds-wonderful—to-me-at-least-ness.
I never really left my spiritual home. I realised that, in Bow Wow Wow, guitar
and drums were the rhythym instruments with bass playing lead – what I had always
assumed was a double-tracked drum kit on C30 C60 C90 Go and other tracks
is actually the guitar, while the bass wonders off pulling fanciful melodies
out of bags. Ahhh

Anyway, next up were The Coral – the
first time I’d given their album a proper listen. I first heard them on Top
of the Pops and was blown away – probably the most awesome performance ToTP
has ever seen, or is ever likely to, if you pushed me I might even say it was
second only to the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy’s angle-grinding
up of The Word’s set
with California Uber Alles in terms of televisual musical
brilliance. Anyway, the album matches up to all expectations, fuck knows how
this bunch of teenage scousers manage to replicate and improve on 60s Nuggets-esque
garage music, but they do, almost every track is a classic, full of depth, symphonic
variations within short pop songs. Respect. Of course, the lyrics are pretty teenagery and crap, but I never give a toss about lyrics anyway except in exceptional circumstances.

I wish I’d taken my camera with me. I’ve never been able to frame a picture,
but today was one of those rare days when pictures frame themselves. Ah well.
I also discovered places I never knew existed, a couple of streets away from
my house. Glad I went out.