Five Things I Saw & Heard This Week: Wednesday 26th September

Then, Our Next Fixture Is Jethro Tull of Wiesbaden…
Montpellier boss Rene Girard has lashed out at the fixture schedule as his side continue to stutter in their title defence. Girard’s team have struggled in the early part of the season, while big-spending Paris Saint-Germain appear to be finding top gear. Girard was angered that his side had to play Arsenal in the Champions League on Tuesday evening and then face Saint Etienne just a couple of days later on Friday, where they managed to scrape a 1-1 draw. “I am not paranoid. I simply say that it’s a question of fairness. We played Arsenal, one of the best sides in Europe; we did not play Pink Floyd of Kiev,” Girard said scathingly. (I’m guessing that this is an amusing reference to Young Boys of Bern, who recently played Liverpool in the Europa league).

Stephen Collins vs Mumford & Sons. The Man’s A Genius!

Muse, Later, 25th September
Playing Madness, reigned in and close to the chest, they sounded for all the world like the house band in a bar in a Philip K Dick novel, with disco overtones. A Triumph!

Van The Man Sat-Nav: A Step Closer
My friend Steve phones up one evening, the sound of jazz behind him, as he leaves a message on the ansaphone: “Hi Martin, it’s Steve, I’m playing Van live and I just sort of realised the way to do the SatNav is to just play it and let me do it live… not that I can sing like him but you can do it if you’re listening to him, cos stuff occurs. But if you’re sitting there cold with a blank piece of paper you can’t do it. You realise when you’re listening to the tracks, like Tupelo Honey—“Well you can take the A45 or whatever…” and you can do it to the tune so it’s real. That’s the way we’ll do it, alright, Cheers!” So I download the set of instructions from the TomTom site and all I have to do is record Steve and figure out how to save the commands as OGG Vorbis files [what!?!] More anon…

I Saw The Splendor Of The Moonlight, On Honolulu Bay
We had a uke moment, in 1968, with the great Richard Perry-produced God Bless Tiny Tim album, then again in ’72 on Arlo Guthrie’s wonderful Hobo’s Lullaby. There were few sightings until Evan Hurd (great photographer!) gave us Israel Kamakawiwo’ole and his extraordinary “OK, this one’s for Gabby*” version of Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World in the early nineties. But now we have The Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain for all our ukelele requirements, busting their way through Ennio Morricone, Handel and Lady Gaga in a smorgasbord of styles and genres. At the Albert Hall on Friday they revisited the site of their Proms triumph of last year. Showing someone who’d never heard of them a clip on YouTube I was thrilled to catch Lloyd and I strumming Beethoven’s Ode To Joy along with 1,006 other ukes…

*That’s Gabby Pahinui, whose slack key guitar playing so inspired Ry Cooder that he went to Hawaii to make a record with him. He features heavily on Chicken Skin Music.

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