Something Old, Something New,... but mostly Something Old
I hope you've all been keeping yourselves safe, are looking forward to going shopping again, and are making sense of the latest confusing regulations about social bubbles. Its no good asking me what it all means. When I heard we are to be allowed social bubbles, I immediately thought fizzy lager and a packet of crisps. If you thought champagne and strawberries, you are obviously posher than I am.
Did you hear the life-changing news this week that the government, with its finger on the pulse of popular culture, has decided we are now allowed to go to drive-in cinemas again, provided we stay in the car and keep the windows wound up. Before you all get carried away with giddy excitement, does anyone know where to find a drive-in cinema? I turned to the internet and discovered there are just 15 of them in the British Isles, and I think the closest one to Oxford is down in Southampton. This talk of drive-ins reminded me of David Bowie, and this old bit of video of his appearance on the Russell Harty show in 1973, putting the glam into glam rock.
Here is some more recent footage from Klub Kakofanney that you won't have seen before. The Callow Saints, from Aylesbury, were always popular visitors to Oxford, and here is a reload of the last time they played on the Wheatsheaf stage, just over a year ago, in April 2019 when they came to play for us at Sue's birthday gig. Enjoy the remarkable sound of the Callow Saints.
....and this is new too
And here is a brand new unplugged session too, by local musician Pete Lock, who takes us down memory lane when he plays solo versions of songs from his former band, Moiety.
An advert appeared on TV recently for a new series for The Choir or something of that ilk. I'm not a big fan of shows like that, not one little bit, but it caught my attention because the trailer borrows a song by Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) called "If you want to sing out". This is one of my all-time favourite songs, I always get the urge to sing it on clifftops, and it comes from one of my all-time favourite movies, the extremely dark comic cult classic from 1971, "Harold and Maude". This song was also voted one of the greatest hippy songs of all time, and I love the message in the lyrics:
Well, if you want to sing out, sing out
And if you want to be free, be free
'Cause there's a million things to be
You know that there are
And if you want to live high, live high
And if you want to live low, live low
'Cause there's a million ways to go
You know that there are
You can do what you want
The opportunity's on
And if you find a new way
You can do it today
You can make it all true
And you can make it undo
The original version is pretty good, but for artistic excellence, I love this video cover of it, filmed on a beach in California, a single camera shot, a single take, one acoustic instrument, no microphones, living statues, and featuring the most famous rock megastar that you've never heard of, Amanda Palmer. If you are a musician and thinking about how to interact with your fans, there are some very interesting notes on the second half of this clip about how the filming was organised.
So sadly we are still not in a position to hold real live gigs, and we can't really have a ninja gig on a beach without incurring the wrath of the Daily Mail, but we are now permitted to go to the zoo and watch wild animals in lockdown instead. Have you heard about the lion called Christian who, half a century ago, lived in a flat in Chelsea before being returned to the wild on the plains of Africa where he grew into 300 pounds of feral beast. If the story is new to you, you might enjoy this two minute video, reconstructed from 8mm cine film, with the unexpected ending.
That video certainly helps you appreciate the power of music in adding emotion to the telling of a tale. Have the Kleenex on standby.
p.s. For those of you who asked, the answers to last week's impromptu pub quiz were