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Wednesday 30 August 2023

Of Gigs And Gigabytes

The communication breakdown continues. I now have a new PC but they forgot to deliver the new monitor, which is needed as the old one is not compatible. In addition, my external storage drive appears to have been corrupted somehow and is denying me access to some of my music and most of my photos. All very irritating.

To soothe my soul I have been enjoying some live music, with three gigs in the last five days. Life at the moment is a mixture of gigs-a-go-go and gigabytes-a-gone-gone.

First up last Friday was a solo set by Bruce Cockburn at a barely half-full Shepherds Bush Empire. The low turnout was a shame but the fact the cheap seats were over £40 probably had a lot to do with it - I was only there because I had wangled a discount ticket. Bruce himself was very good and the set was a nice mix of old favourites and tracks from his recent album "O Sun O Moon".

Sunday afternoon was spent in trendy Clerkenwell at a free festival in a little local park. There were several acts on the bill but we were only there for the headliner, the great Wreckless Eric. Another solo set, he was excellent as always, mixing tracks mostly taken from his new album "Leisureland" and its predecessor "Transience" (2019) with a selection of expletive-laden anecdotes that I am sure were appreciated by the small children and dog show contestants in the audience.

It wasn't just small children and dogs though. Among the celebrities in the crowd were Spizz Energi, Gaye Advert, Helen McCookeryBook and Old Bob from Tenpole Tudor. It truly was a night of a thousand stars,

By last night we had made our way from trendy Clerkenwell to drizzly Dalston for another open air gig, this time by the Madalitso Band from Malawi. Undoubtedly the finest table-based band I have ever seen, they score highly on most other criteria as well. I would recommend catching them if you can, you are sure to leave with a smile on your face.

I will save the audio clip of the Madalitso Band until our delayed African Odyssey reaches Malawi, but here are one each from Bruce and Eric. Both were highlights of their respective sets. Bruce's track comes from "Big Circumstance" (1989), Eric's from "Transcience". 

Readers of a delicate disposition should note that Eric's track includes blasphemy and obscenity, in one case in the same image.

"If A Tree Falls" - Bruce Cockburn


  1. Sounds like a nice little run of gigs. Madalitso Band are playing in my neck of the woods very soon. I'm pretty sure I can't make it, but the clip and your recommendation has encouraged me to try to work out a way to get there.

  2. So sorry to hear about your technical woes, Ernie, and fingers crossed all will be back to how it should be asap.
    But pleased to hear about your gigs a-go-go. Funnily enough a friend of ours was also at that Clerkenwell do - spoke highly of Wreckless Eric too (I should perhpas point out that he was not one of the small children or dog show contestants either).

    1. I did spot someone in a Crass T-shirt. Might it have been them?

  3. Madalitso Band did a free show at the world music festival nearby. I did not go.

  4. It's an odd thing isn't it - the zeitgeist. I keep bumping into Wreckless Eric recently after him being in 'my wilderness' for years 'n years. There was a profile on him in the Guardian a few days ago and since then I must have seen or read half a dozen pieces about him. Perhaps that was just me researching him though hahaha. Still, it's good to be reminded! Amy Rigby (Mrs Wreckless) is great too.