Category Archives: Music


I’m just looking at the line-up for Live8 in Hyde’s Park: Elton John, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd, REM, Sting, U2, UB40 and of course Bob Geldof. Not a natural hip joint between them. In fact, half of them came out of retirement for the original Live Aid, 20 years ago. You’ve got to wonder about Geldof’s so-called morals, parading a group of OAPs in front of a baying crowd all day for his own entertainment. It’s sick. What’s wrong with using youngsters? Where are the Goldie Looking Chain when you need them? By all means Make Poverty History, but can’t we at the same time let the old grow old in dignity?

Think of a musical

Think of a musical, written for the stage. Not just any old musical: think of a musical devoted to our national wonky-headed treasure, Diana, Queen Of All Our Hearts™*.

Now imagine the music that would feature in that show. Try to capture the complex harmonies of a turbulent life torn between skiing trips and gala dinners. The minor key of the divorced young mother, mingled with the rising major chord of posessing The Face That Launched A Thousand (tacky pieces of) Shit, then resolving back to minor as her trusted butler goes doolally, sells all her undies to the News of the World and eats kangaroo’s testicles on national TV.

Try to imagine capturing all this not in music of your own making, but in existing works: music with emotional baggage already attached. From the noble pantheon of British musical heritage, try to pick two artists whose work combines to ooze the essence of Diana. Whose combined genius unleashes a synergy of emotion not experienced since the Outpouring of National Grief™.

If you’re imagining Robert Smith and Sir Edward Elgar, you’re not alone.

* (apart from Charles’s, of course – he prefers that tranny who won the Turner Prize)

Yr Atal Genhedlaeth

Blogrot heartily recommends Gruff Rhys‘s first solo album, Yr Atal Genhedlaeth, to all lovers of Welsh-language lo-fi rock. With Gruff playing everything himself, the result is so stripped down it makes Super Furry Animals‘ Welsh-language lo-fi rock masterpiece Mwng sound like a grossly overproduced Phil Spector number by comparison.

Just some of the numerous reasons to love Yr Atal Genhedlaeth include:

  • It has not one but two songs called “Egg Pudding”
  • Its title is a pun on the Welsh for “contraception” that loses somewhat in translation
  • Another song title manages to pun the name of a Welsh mountain with the two currencies Euro and Sterling – lyrical genius!

All in all a fine achievement and a gaping hole in the record collection of anyone who doesn’t already have it. And I now know the Welsh word for “stuttering”. Handy, that.