Saturday, 30 April 2011

Time Travel Via Tottenham, War Zones & (The) Coventry (Automatics)

One day I intend to move to a war-torn country to post blog updates on the terrors unfolding around me in a bid to get thousands of readers, and a book deal. That may seem extreme, but what have I got to lose? Let’s see...
   A job that I don’t hate.
   A flat in London.
   The British countryside.
   My music, book and DVD collection (because I wouldn’t take it all with me)
   My lovely woman (don’t think she’d agree to the move).
   Charity shops.
   Football on Sky down the pub.
   My life.
   Mmm...perhaps I won’t bother.
   I did travel quite far the other day, though, through the badlands of Tottenham and even further North. Terrified, we clutched each other as the bus trundled past shops that looked like they should be in a war zone and housing estates where commoners live. At one point I turned to LJ and said ‘If we don’t make it, I want you to know that I love you.’ Thankfully, at the end of the journey, a friend was awaiting us, along with barbequed food cooked by his charming wife. It’s not that we live in a posh area in a posh house, you understand, but it’s not Tottenham.
   Anyway, whilst in the kitchen (rain having forced us inside) with fans of The Specials, I was prompted by my friend and host to tell them my ‘Specials Story’, which isn’t much of a story at all, really. It simply involves me seeing them support The Clash (read my in-depth review of the night here) on the day they transformed themselves from The Coventry Automatics into The Specials. According to Gary Bushell, this took place four hours before the gig. I could, therefore, claim (along with 1800 others) to have witnessed The First Specials Gig, which is not something I’m particularly excited about. Some people, I realise, may kill to have been there. My lasting impression is that they were good, of course, because they were a good band, but unlike those fans in the kitchen, I have no interest in seeing them now, or listening to their music.
   In time our musical taste may change, although having left Punk (and Two Tone) behind, other sounds from earlier in my life remain with me today. Why, just the other day, should you have peered into the bunker, you would have seen me using my badminton racket as a guitar in order to play along with Jimmy Page. I wish I hadn’t told you that now. After all, I have my credibility to maintain. ‘What credibility?’, you ask. OK, in my head, if no-one else’s.
   So yes, Funk, Bowie, Reggae, Led Zeppelin and so on still get regular airings, constituting a form of travel every time they get played. After all, I would ultimately rather visit my past than a war zone, or Tottenham.

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