An hour or two ALONE

Having a moment – an hour or two – ALONE. What to do with that time..? Walk briskly through a cold, blizzardy snow on the pebbles of the beach close to the water edge? Thrilling and a sanity restorer. Raid your own CD collection, with speed and not too much thought, dig out a few privately perfect tunes and play them as loud as is possible. Change them mid track, turn ’em up, turn ’em down, play one tune over and over – who cares. It’s up to you!

This is what I played. First off Jewel; Who Will Save your Soul followed by Pieces of You. Next, Disc 1 The Chill Out; Gorillaz Clint Eastwood, I listened to half of it. Coldplay, Trouble – for old times sake. A big breaking up album and I sort of love the morose feelings it allows me to indulge myself in for all of 3 minutes. Turn it up! Jump on to Moloko, Sing it Back (original album version). S’nice! Tried to play Soul Rabbi Session, Enlace Funk Collection (burnt by cousin JohnJoe) but it wouldn’t read. O well. The Best of Van volume 2 and my very favourite track which always brings a genuine tear to my eye; Coney Island. I love Van, but he is a grumpy git. I know that because I once saw him in concert on my birthday in Brighton. He came on stage, he said nothing, he didn’t smile. He just played his set and left. I was appalled. How lame. I went off him instantly after a life times commitment. So shallow.

K’Naan, The Dusty Foot Philosopher. Now this is an album that only means something to me and I have tried to get others into it without much luck. Maybe it’s a ‘you had to be there’ type a thing. And I was… there. Right down the front at the Radio 3 stage at Womad when this young Somalian jumped on stage and sang his heart out for a magical couple of hours. As with all moments in life that transport you – I will remember it for ever. My whole being was gob smacked. I got the album off Amazon and joined his fan club as soon as I could. My lovely darling Mike however was none to keen and the disk coincidentally disappeared never to be found again leaving an empty case knocking about for ever after – but luckily not before I had got it onto the i-pod. Phew! I listened to the whole album with maximum volume, and this took up most of the rest of my couple of hours.

If I had more time to listen to the rest, they would have played thus… Joan Armatrading; Dry Land and Travel so Far. Have always loved Joan and played her to death growing up. Even though, ever since I found out she’s a Tory it just doesn’t feel right – I still have to give her a listen now and again. Pete Seeger’s Abiyoyo. I hunted far and wide to get a copy of this album. Another one to grown up to. I reckon if I played this track to my brothers it would have us all welling up? Maybe not. The Smiths; What Difference Does it Make and of course Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now. Actually, the whole of Hatful of Hollow – it’s the soundtrack to my coming of age.

Elvis Presley cos he would have been 75 yesterday and cos I remember the day he died like it was yesterday. Me and Warrell Andrews sitting in St. Agatha’s Primary School. Miss Woodward’s class. Her favourite class. Warrell and I often had competitions to see who could draw Elvis the best – in particular his quiff and I have to say it was a close call. The day he died we both cried, Warrell at his desk behind mine. I don’t think anyone else in the class even knew who he was. August 16th 1977 and we weren’t yet nine years old! That’s all Right, I don’t Care if the Sun Don’t Shine and I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone for good measure.

Then, for pudding I got Fiona Apple; When the Pawn, track 5 Paper Bag – a very angry young women – and good for a vent. Dear Science, TV on the Radio probably a quick flick through because I don’t know this album very well. I caught them on Jools Holland one night and fell in love with the lead singer immediately, and so I bought the album! Why not? And just before the finale and for that comfortably full feeling one Dr Hook, When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Women. And for the last call, cos I’d definitely be well over my 2 hours of alone time – I’d throw on old Elgar’s Enigma Variations to calm… everything… right… back… down and prepare to re-engage with reality.

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