Friday, 30 March 2012

Can I get this on prescription?

I haven't posted anything for a while, mostly because I've had a major attack of the miseries and haven't felt like doing much except the essentials: work (sadly), eat (too much), sleep (not enough) and smoke. I even cancelled my radio show last week; it must be a bad dose of the doldrums if even playing some killer ska can't lift the mood. Today, however, I got up with more of a spring in my step, even if at my age and waistline it's the sort of spring you get from an overused Slinky (see foot of page for a further, bonus Slinky reference).

Thankfully even the darkest of walks with the Black Dog can be illuminated by an evening of great live music - especially if you're also lucky enough to share it with great company. Such was my experience last night. Despite feeling like a bag of shite I got myself down to Exeter Phoenix to watch the Selecter. So, so glad I did too - it was like an intravenous dose of the best anti-depressants money could buy! Pauline Black was superb and it was such a bonus to see her accompanied by the awesome ball of energy that is Gaps Hendrickson, but for me the show was stolen by their keyboards player, Greg Coulson. Pauline introduced him as 'Boy Wonder' and she wasn't kidding - his playing was absolutely superb. I met him briefly after the gig and at the risk of sounding like an old fart all I can say is 'What a nice young man'!

There are other reviews of the current tour dotted around the web and the set list was predictable enough (in a good way!) so I won't go into 'review-mode', but there were a couple of things which stood out for me. Firstly, the band seemed to be really enjoying themselves and that can make all the difference in the world. The newer tunes stood up well against the old favourites from the 2Tone days. My England was performed with a vigour and passion that left us in no doubt that Pauline meant every word of her anti-EDL introduction. I couldn't help smiling at the way a couple of so-called fans stared at their shoes and shuffled uncomfortably when the EDL was getting a slagging. Just how anyone can pretend to understand what ska music in general and 2Tone in particular are all about when they support the odious aims and opinions of that bunch of cocks is beyond me. It was also good to see another particularly charmless tool get a bollocking off the band for slapping a woman, bet he felt so proud of himself! Suffice to say that the band were tight, energetic and passionate; they delivered.

I mentioned good company as being the second active ingredient in this blues-busting evening. I met up with a guy who I've been following on twitter for quite some time and who also presents a radio show - although his is presented from a real studio rather than my distinctly home-made efforts! Jas co-presents the Morning Dews show on Ridge Radio on Thursday mornings from 10 to 12 - you can listen at and I'd recommend that you do, it's always a cracking show with a cool mix of indie, ska and alternative music. Jas tweets as @The_MorningDew on Twitter and is one of the most enthusiastic and genuine music tweeters you could hope to find.

All in all the evening was the perfect antidote to my dark mood. So here's my suggestion: live music on prescription. Much faster-acting than anti-depressants, probably cheaper in the long run, plus the added bonus that watching a band doesn't make you fart.

Bonus Slinky reference: 
  • What does an EDL member have in common with a Slinky? 
  • Neither serve any useful purpose but they both make you smile if you push them down the stairs.

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