Punk’s rising tide lifted a lot of boats, not all of them worthy but once all the Pistols marketing hoo-ha had drained back out we were, as I now heard, left with some gems. XTC, The Jam, Elvis Costello and The Clash were all great but no one, as I discovered, was quite like Ian Drury.
...We weren’t ones for cliché/Unless performed ironically./Weeks drift by,/The comfort of familiar phrases,/Of gestures and faces...
It’s a classic punk song; raw, revelatory and raging. The Guardian claims it’s “one of the best singles ever made by anyone, anywhere, anytime”.
It’s a rhythm one could argue is difficult to not slow dance to and, in the sun and in love, I lifted her hand into mine and we danced together.
My brother Paul was into the Minneapolis/St. Paul punk scene at the time, complete with ripped jeans, jack boots and spiked hair. He loaned me his album Rocket To Russia.
November came and went and winter gaped ahead of me. The hostel was somewhere to sleep and a place to leave my things, but there was no comfort there.
Hearing the music in its original context, I could appreciate it anew and it made me think about how mutable songs were. How a stormy day might crank up the angst in a track, the way putting on a particular jumper could change the colour of your eyes.
It was only as the band members sloped off that they looked a little senior for all this excitement, ready for bed and a Horlicks. The mood in the audience was not just ecstatic but validated.
Unheard music is sweeter. A tongue-in-cheek look at the language of music reviews.
At the time of writing this I am currently on day 132 of self-isolation, with no end in sight. It is the first day of the mandatory mask wearing in Melbourne, Victoria.