Reading the NME (New Musical Express) online today, as I do every day, I happened upon one article that I’m still trying to get my head around several hours later. It would appear that two of my musical heroes (a bit of a strong term that.. musical.. no, I mean Heroes… but it’s a well trodden phrase, and I don’t want to make any other marks on the literary landscape at this point, Dear Reader) are going to be playing live next year to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of one of the albums I manage to wear out (it was on vinyl) whilst at University, Dinosaur Jr’s “You’re Living All Over Me”. Now there are many musicians in the Rock Fraternity who could join the J Mascis and his band up on stage but I would never have expected Johnny Marr (originally of The Smiths (yes, I know you won’t need to have been told Mark, such is your love of the later ) who is more known for his “fiddly” guitar work rather than the heavy pre-grunge grunge of Dinosaur Jr. How this combination will work is anybody’s guess but then I was skeptical when I heard Mr Marr would be joining The Cribs and the outcome wasn’t too shabby at all.
Must be the onset of the dark and grey weather but the music I’ve been listening to today (despite the content of the previous paragraph) has in no way relied up on any form of fx pedal or stack of Marshall amps. I’m currently listening to a song that immediately transported me away from the daily humdrum; I was in one of the then national chain of records store and as usual made a beeline for the listening stations. So strong was the impression the record left on me, that I can picture the event now some 9 or 10 years later, I put the headphones on and selected the first track on an album “Way to Blue: An Introduction to Nick Drake”. I’d never heard of Nick Drake at this point, a real oversight on my behalf, and didn’t know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised by the acoustic guitar work on the lead in to the song, I wasn’t prepared for what happened next. Before the vocals could kick in a melancholy cello provided the song’s central melody and all of a sudden the world seemed to slow down for me, either that or the people were now scuttling round the store like ants. I’m terrible when it comes to listening stations, I’ve very rarely listened beyond the first verse of any song, I blame MTV myself, but there was something about this song which had me hypnotised and then when Nick started to sing, well I was then totally under his spell. I listened to most of the album, much to the chagrin of the shop’s staff, and was thrilled when I left that I had some new music to listen to.. that was before I got home and started to look online for Nick Drake, what his latest release was as well as where he might be playing live. It transpired I was only around 30 years too late to have seen Nick who died in 1974 having released only 3 albums worth of music, each and everyone as sublime as the Cello Song that had me hooked from the very first listen. It would appear the Futureheads and their venture into folk and acapella has started something… how far is Cambridge?