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Wednesday 18 July 2012

Old Pals

We interrupt our normal programming to bring you some important news.

Our old friend Richard from the Wild Hare Club in Hay-on-Wye has been in touch to let us know of what sounds like an excellent show he is putting on this Saturday - Catherine Feeny singing songs from her forthcoming album "America". Details of the venue, time and prices can be found on the Wild Hare website, while on Catherine's website you can download a song from "America". To whet your appetite further, here is a video of hers from a couple of years back. Get yourself up there if you can.

What's more, our old pal Bram Decock (aka DJ Leblanc) is featured today on Gonzo Circus with a mix of Tsonga Disco classics, some of which you may have heard here previously. He has been kind enough to give me a plug, so I thought I ought to do the same. As you would expect from Bram, it is a very well-chosen selection, so check it out.

Coming round to what I was intending to post, it features yet another old pal. I was up in Leeds yesterday working and stayed on for the evening to meet a couple of friends, one of whom - David Ford - I met in my first week at university just over thirty years ago. After a varied career including a long stint as a Green councillor in Bradford, David now runs the Saltaire Bookshop. If you are in the area, pop in and support an excellent local business. Use them or lose them, folks.

Essex University in the early 1980s was a fairly right-on place (with the notable exception of the current Speaker of the House of Commons, who was an odious little right wing shit in those days, although he seems to have mellowed a bit since). We used to sit around having earnest discussions about whether it was acceptable still to support the striking miners who were picketing the port in Wivenhoe to prevent the import of cheap foreign coal when many of them were appalling sexists. To paraphrase Tom Robinson, we were middle class kiddies and not entirely sure where we stood, but we weren't gonna take it.

David and I first bonded over our mutual love of music and ended up jointly presenting a four hour programme once a week on University Radio Essex. We were the Smashy and Nicey of our day. I learned a lot from David, mainly to avoid like the plague anything by Test Department or Einstürzende Neubauten. Here are a couple of his, suitably right-on, favourites from way back when.

"Sexism's Sick Parts 1 and 2" - Lost Cherrees

"Stereotyping" - Jam Today

For David, for Ben and his many friends called Ben, but mostly for all of you out there in radio land, here are Medicine Head.

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