Driving home from work at quarter to five on a crisp, cloudless Thursday evening, the sun, which set a full 45 minutes earlier, had left a glowing orange residue low in the sky, while off the road to my right a dense mist enveloped the Waveney Valley. It was all too beautiful. My in-car soundtrack was one of a selection of old self-made compilation CDrs rediscovered during the recent house move. I had no way of knowing what tunes it contained, but this one started to play as I drove towards that dimming orange horizon and I thought to myself, right at this moment, there's nothing I'd rather be listening to.
Monday, 30 November 2020
Monday, 23 November 2020
Richard Youngs is a man rarely known for looking back throughout his 170-odd album (and counting) career, so it's a particular joy to find him circling around to rekindle the terrific AMOR project once again. A new 4 track 12" EP is due for release in January, resulting from pre-lockdown Glasgow sessions in cahoots with Norwegian combo LEMUR. 'Unravel' is the first taste - order the EP here.
Thursday, 19 November 2020
Following our move out to the sticks in 2011, on one of our first ventures into the local small market town up the road, Mrs S & I decided to to check out a promising looking deli/coffee shop. Once inside, the place had a distinct Mary Celeste vibe about it and I wondered if it was actually closed. Suddenly, without warning, a man popped his head up from behind the counter and explained apologetically that he was just looking after the place for a few minutes while the owner had gone to the bank. His sudden unexpected appearance made me jump, not least because the man behind the counter was none other than Yosser Hughes, or to be more accurate, the actor Bernard Hill. Younger readers may be more familiar with his work in films like Gandhi, Titanic and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but to my generation he'll always be associated with his iconic role in Alan Bleasdale's Boys From the Blackstuff television series. It transpired that Hill lives locally and I've seen him around town many times in the years since that first encounter.
At my old gaff, Swede Towers, the locals would frequently take in parcels for neighbours who weren't at home - we all helped each other out. One day about three years ago, the postman knocked at the door to ask if I'd mind taking a parcel for the young couple who'd recently moved into the big place next door but one to me. The postman was impressed by my neighbour, but I hadn't seen him and the name meant nothing to me. Turns out it was Norwich City and Netherlands goalkeeper Tim Krul. He and his wife were also regular visitors to the supermarket where I work, where he was endlessly polite and accommodating to selfie requests from customers and fellow staff members alike.
One afternoon last week, as I scrambled around on my knees, trying to squeeze a few extra packs of crumpets onto a very low shelf at work, I heard a strangely familiar voice say 'Excuse me'. As I struggled to my feet, the man in question asked if we sold gluten free pizza bases. I replied that we certainly did and took him and his wife round to the relevant aisle. 'Perfect' he said and thanked me warmly. It's fairly common knowledge that he owns a property in a nearby village, but this was my first ever actual encounter with Brian Eno in town. (I did have close call a couple of years ago though).
Monday, 16 November 2020
I have a choice of two roads to take me the six miles from my new abode to my place of work. One is flat, characterless and often quite busy. The other winds its way up hill and down dale as it quietly snakes through the Suffolk countryside. I'm sure you can guess which road I prefer. A couple of weeks ago, as I trundled along through dawn's early light, following a safe distance behind what I assumed to be a police car (it wasn't), a barn owl swooped across the road between us. I let out an involuntary woo-hoo in celebration. These majestic creatures were once a regular fixture of my evening walks around this part of the world, but this was the first one I'd seen in nigh-on three years. Then, at 5.30 this very morning in the pre-dawn gloom, I narrowly avoided rear-ending a deer as it ambled idly across the road in front of me. This was no cute little muntjac either - it was a large blighter and a collision might've caused us both significant damage. Fortunately, on both occasions, I was pootling along, rather than dashing - enjoying the tunes. I've been on something of a David Axelrod kick lately and Cannonball Adderley's 'Tensity', written and produced by the great man in 1970, has been an oft repeated soundtrack to my brief commute.
Thursday, 12 November 2020
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I've been living in the new gaff for nearly five months now, yet I've still to meet, or even cast eyes upon, four of my six immediat...