It’s a toss up between Manchester in May and Live 75 arriving in
November. Both were marvellous and both benefit from repeated listening.
In May it was Dylan as he is now, still a joy to see and great to hear,
whereas on CD it is just fantastic to hear and makes you long for a full
length DVD of any RTR show to see him.
John Green Day 2
A great day as I wrote in a previous Freewheelin’. Looking back I
think that what I enjoyed most was meeting a couple of the newer
Freewheelers, Paula and Chris (CP), and having a bit of a chat.
Putting a face and a
person to an article brings them more to life.
It is not until you have to live without one for two months that you
appreciate how useful a kitchen is! Now it is a joy to spend a Saturday or
Sunday afternoon cooking up large batches of Bolognese sauce to the sound
of a favourite CD (currently Tweeter and the Monkey man on
Two trips this year. An extended camping holiday at the Pont du Gard, near
Remoulin (or as my boys used to say when we first went there – “Rainbow
Land”) was the first. The second was when I accompanied Jenny to a
conference in Toulouse during October half term. Whilst she delivered
erudite papers and chaired stormy sessions I strolled around Toulouse in
the sunshine sampling the best French cuisine and checking the quality of
the local wine.
Fun at Work
Luckily it is not all planning and SATs. This year we’ve had several
discos at which I am the only DJ who is forbidden to play any of his own
records! In case you want to get down with any 8 to 11 year olds
you might like to know that last year’s favourites were DJ Otis’ Hey
Baby, Robbie Williams’ Rock DJ and of course The Ketchup
We also, as a reward for
our Year 6 Booster group, treated them to the Simpsons in 3D at our IMAX
cinema and went Ten Pin bowling. In addition we put on a wonderful
production of Joseph.
I enjoyed new CDs from Billy Bragg, Elvis Costello, Dan Bern, Bruce
Springsteen, Steve Earle, Mary Gauthier, Jackson Browne and the best of
all Fashionably Late by Linda Thompson. Wonderful reissues from
Gene Clark (aka White Light), Fairport (Heyday and Liege and
Lief), and splendid tributes to Townes van Zandt (Poet) and
Derroll Adams (Banjo man).
Box Sets from Ian and
Sylvia (Complete Vanguard Sessions), Fairport (UnConventionAl),
The Band (The Last Waltz) and Shirley Collins ( Within Sound).
I would recommend the Shirley Collins to everyone and say do try to read
the booklet, which is an absolute joy.
Books / Magazines
This year I’ve enjoyed a couple more offerings from Kinky Friedman (you
can always be sure of the odd Dylan reference), a couple from Christopher
Brookmyre who just gets better and better. A new find, courtesy of my frie
nd Bill, has been Ace Atkins with his first detective novel
Crossroad Blues about the search for the recordings from a
forgotten Robert Johnson session! His new one,
Leavin’ Trunk Blues is waiting to be read. Also worth a glance is
Bill Wyman’s Rolling With The
Stones a mammoth work of love with
an emphasis on the early years, Lee Underwood’s
– Tim Buckley Remembered and Shirley
Hughes’, the children’s author and illustrator, autobiography – A Life
Drawing. Apart from Freewheelin, with recent wonderful articles
from lots of us, my favourite monthly read has been Uncut which
keeps getting better as it treats music, films and books seriously.
Apart from Wonder Boys, which I have written a lot about, the other
DVDs which bear repeated viewings are all music ones. The John Prine
sessions and the greatest hits by The Jam and
In Toulouse I enjoyed Clint Eastwood in Creance de Sang, which I
now find out, as it was released here last week, is Blood Work. Not
a bad thriller. Otherwise apart from compulsory viewings of
and Lord of The Rings it was two music
offerings that made the greatest impression. Jerry Garcia in Grateful
Dawg and a film about Nick Drake: A Skin Too Few.
As well as Dylan I’ve seen Fairport, Roger McGuinn, Elvis Costello, Ralph
McTell, Billy Bragg and Christine Collister. The highlight for me was
seeing Alabama 3 at the Cockpit in Leeds, which was easily the loudest gig
I’ve been to for 20 years! If you’ve not heard them check out their three
albums. You may know the theme tune they do for The Sopranos – Woke Up
No space left to fit in
two more Dylan related highlights so I’ll put them here any way. There was
the marvellous Westinghouse tape Folk Songs and More Folk Songs – a
great big thank you to those generous people who found it and then shared
it. And there was, and still is, Expecting Rain,
which every week
leads me to new treasures. Another big thank you.