This week felt very transitional. I find that a polite way of saying it sucked. But that’s not entirely fair. Some VERY EXCITING THINGS broke up the general dismay at grey weather, delicate mental state and bureaucratic frustration.
1) The very lovely Alex Bean (she of 679, 50 Bones and Lost In Paris) asked me to make a Spotify playlist for the 679 blog. If it should take your fancy, you can listen to some of my favourite things/songs here. [If they were on Spotify, it would also have had Egyptian Hip Hop, Othello Woolf and The Units ‘High Pressure Days’ (Rory Phillips remix) on it.]
2) Cycling in late autumn is a good thing. It keeps you warm. You get ruddy red cheeks, thus projecting some semblance of health. And it don’t cost a thing. I realised all of this on the way to interview Friendly Fires for Dummy. We talked clubbing memories, dancing politics and being back in the studio. They were very lovely and a lot of fun. I’m a big fan of their debut album. Strobe makes my heart skip.
3) I went to a listening of the new Gil Scott-Heron album ‘I’m New Here’ with Charlie from Dummy. It was at the XL offices in Notting Hill. Everyone crowded in to a cushion strewn room and…listened. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Like we’d all climbed inside the film rolling inside Scott-Heron’s head. It’s incredibly personal and purposeful, it felt like last words in a way. ‘Me And The Devil’ and ‘New York Is Killing Me’ were my two standouts. But the whole album hangs together as one story, a whole – epic, moving and heavy with meaning. It’s out next year. I will definitely be buying it.
4) It rained a lot yesterday, didn’t it? In that rain, Alice, Alice, Charlotte and I made a dash from Wembley Central to that famous stadium. 20 minutes and fours pairs of very soggy feet later, we were in our seats and waiting impatiently for Fleetwood Mac to warm us up. Ah man, they were glorious. I’d been a little worried after mixed feedback. Maybe they’d upped the ante for this last night of the tour but very honestly, they were tremendous. Stevie Nicks is a goddess. And Lindsey Buckingham’s electric guitar playing short-circuited my brain. Loved the classics but it was actually the jamming that really awed me. I surprised myself by getting quite lost in it. Can’t say I’ll be rushing back to Wembley – not my kind of venue at all – but over the moon to have seen Nicks/Buckingham. Really special.