Hanging out with The Stranglers frontman ~ Hugh Cornwell

I’ll be down at Brendon Books in Taunton, Somerset this evening for the launch of his second work of fiction Arnold Drive.  True, he’s an aging punk-rocker but he’s so cool with it.  Cut him down the middle and you’ll find ARTIST running through his bones.
Click on the Flaming Clef to play the track ~ A street called Carroll.

HughCornwellHugh Cornwell is a musician and singer-songwriter, best known for being the vocalist and guitarist for the punk rock/new wave band, The Stranglers, from 1974 to 1990.  His 2012 solo album Totem and Taboo HughCornwell#2was released to rave reviews.  A Street Called Caroll is from that album.

Arnold Drive is available from all good bookshops now or you can support an independent bookshop and order it from Brendon Books online.HughCornwell#3

MacArthur Park

Here’s a song that in all probability is the very best and the very worst song ever written.  I give you that masterpiece of melodramatic sentimentality, MacArthur ParkJimmy Webb wrote it and the iconic Richard Harris (of Mutiny on the Bounty fame) was the first to record the song in 1968 for his début album A Tramp ShiningClick on the Flaming Clef to play the track.

MacArthurParkOn the one hand it’s pure genius and fully deserved it’s place at No. 2 in the US Hot 100 chart. On the other hand it’s the culmination of a guilty wish for some bloke from Limerick in Ireland (Richard Harris) who became a world famous actor and so had the means to realise his dream.

Imagine if The Clash had covered it, or maybe U-Roy . . .


Is Photoshopping art?

Andric LjubodragCowYou be the judge.

I think that one of the first skills involved in creating a piece of art rests in the ability to curate images relevant to the artist’s vision and it doesn’t matter whether those images are captured in drawings, photographs or whatever.  And whichever medium is used to transpose those images into the final work, through the craft of the artist’s own fingers or through technology, is almost irrelevant so long as the outcome is true to the principles of Art.

However, sometimes when technique is given precedence over the story of the piece of work, perhaps then it might be considered to be more artful than Art.

Recently I overheard someone say, whilst perusing a painting of a melting skull positioned in a traditional Exmoor landscape: “I don’t understand it, but it’s very pretty, so it must be art, right?


“Cow” by Andric Ljubodrag www.andric.biz

Nous n’avion pas encore le temp ~ 3 Minutes Sur Mer

Samuel Cajal and Guilhem Valayé are 3 Minutes Sur Mer and this track, Nous n’avions pas encore le temps (We don’t have time), is from their debut album Des Espoirs de Singes (Hopes Of Monkeys), released in March 2012.  Since then the duo have come a long way, notably appearing at the Pont des Artistes on the enormously popular France Inter (a show on French independent radio) and obtaining the Georges Moustaki prize for independent artists in 2013 .  Click on the Flaming Clef to play the track.

3MinutesSurMerTheir work has been described as “une belle poésie posée avec soin sur une belle mélodie” (beautiful poetry laid carefully on a beautiful melody).  Find out more here.

Michelangelo’s David

David#TheGermanOlympicSportsFederationAdvertI see a new work by Michelangelo has been discovered.  To me it looks much like the other one but somehow more relevant to the 21st Century.

Jungle Fever ~ Chakachas

The Chakachas were a Belgian based group of Latin soul studio musicians which started out in the 1950s.  This track, “Jungle Fever” recorded in 1971, sold over one million copies in the United States.   Click on the Flaming Clef to play the track.

ChakachasHere in the UK, the BBC took exception to the moaning and heavy breathing and pulled it thus securing its place in history as the biggest selling record of 1971 in underground clubland.  Hurrah for random censorship!

Damage ~ David Sylvian and Robert Fripp

David Sylvian (born David Alan Batt in ’58) was lead vocalist and main songwriter in Japan which had some success in the ’70s, reaching worldwide recognition in 1981 with their 5th studio album Tin Drum.  Since then he’s embarked on a series of fascinating collaborative projects influenced by a variety of musical styles.  Click on the Flaming Clef to play the track.

Robert Fripp plays guitar in the legendary progressive rock band King Crimson ~ late ’60s up until approx. 2010.  He’s married to Toyah Wilcox who I had the pleasure of sleeping with back in the 80’s.  Well, whilst technically I did go to sleep in the very same proximity as her, I didn’t exactly sleep with her.  We were at the same party in Bristol where I fell asleep in the early hours of the morning and she very well might have done too.  It was a rum old business back then.

SylvianFripp#DamageDamage is a live recording of their 1993 tour and God’s Monkey is a track from that album.