Check out a few of my shots from Saturday’s New Model Army gig at Bearded Theory Festival on Saturday. If you like the shots please feel free to follow my blog or to hit the like button.
It seems barely credible that just yesterday I rose at 5.30 Am and made my way the few miles to Corfe Castle. I climbed the hill next to the National Trust Monument wearing just a thin T-shirt and set up my camera ready to catch the sun rising.
What a difference a day makes. As I woke this morning I heard the low rumble of thunder in the distance. The sound was clear but but almost inaudible above the sound of the rain beating against my bedroom window. I stretched, revelling in the luxury of having a king size bed to myself. I closed my eyes hoping to doze off for a few minutes before rising to shower and then to brave the weather to walk the dogs. It wasn’t to be. As always my mind starts to work as soon as my eyes are open, no matter the time of day or night.
I rise and peek through the bedroom curtains towards the heathland that is just two minutes from my doorstep and offers a lovely dog walking environment. I was greeted by a slate grey sky, uniform with dark foreboding a bleak and forbidding scene. I sighed inwardly, it matters not how bleak the day, whether you try to live your life by different laws, nothing changes very much, if you own dogs they must be walked. I deference to the weather I decide that the shower can wait until I return, no doubt cold and wet.
As I leave home a few minutes later there is no sign that the rain will abate. The wind is howling too, even in full waterproofs I feel the cold trickle of rain down the back of my neck. I raise my chin, staring into the gloom for I have long since learned to welcome whatever the day will bring. It matters not whether I object to the rain, the rain doesn’t mind and will keep falling regardless. As I reach the heath I earn a short respite from the weather as I descend into a small green valley, sheltered by trees. The leaves look sad now, the lovely browns golds, yellows and reds of yesterdays sunshine now just look a dull and flaccid dark brown as they hang sodden. As I rise out of the valley I look towards the beautiful Purbeck hills in the distance. They are shrouded in mist and rain today, a uniform grey, none of the brilliant greens from yesterday can be seen, no chance today of spotting the smoke from the steam trains of the Purbeck railway. Never mind, there will be other trains on other days.
As I crest the hill I see Justin Sullivan approaching me with his dog. He smiles as he hums a song quietly to himself. He smiles and mumbles “you need to be brave to go running through that which beckons to us all on a day like this”. As he walks away, still humming’ I think ‘not for one second did you look behind as you were walking away’. I turn back into the face of the weather smiling as I remember how lucky I am to live amongst these valleys of green and grey.
Here goes with day 17 of my countdown of 75 Albums that in my opinion should have a place in everyones music collection. They are not in any particular order though the top 10 will be my personal take on the top 10 albums ever released. You might be surprised at some of my picks and some of my omissions. Feel free to chime in with your comments and let me know if you love (or hate my choices).
New Model Army – Thunder and Consolation
New Model Army are one of those bands that have established a huge and fiercely loyal cult following. They tour constantly and have built a considerable back catalogue of very strong albums. The band have survived since 1980 and have such an affinity with their fans that the fans are known as ‘The Family’. Whilst the band have never had huge commercial success Thunder and Consolation was a landmark album both in terms of quality and of commercial success. The band, together with The Levellers, were the pioneers of the fusion of folk music with punk rock.
Thunder and Consolation took the attitude associated with punk and fused it with the social conscience of folk music. The addition of a fiddle into the bands instrumentation added to the folk edged feel. The energetic album opener ‘I Love The World’ focuses on atmosphere rather than lively punk riffs. The guitars are loud and aggressive yet are still catchy and melodic. The second song, ‘Stupid Questions’ introduces acoustic guitars and the more folky feel becomes apparent.
It is the folkier tracks that work the best though. Some songs like ‘Green and Gray’ add more depth to the band’s sound, retaining much of the energetic sound of the heavier tracks while adding some fantastic folk melodies. It is perhaps this song that defines the bands sound, it is certainly one of their most popular songs and a staple of live shows right up to today. ‘Vagabonds’ gives Ed Alleyne-Johnson an opportunity to showcase his fiddle playing skills as this song is built around it. In my view this is a ground breaking album which fuses the folk and punk styles, working together sympathetically and without overpowering each other.
Frontman Justin Sullivan’s vocals are perhaps something of an acquired taste but his lyrics are consistently brilliant poetic and complex, with great melodies and catchy choruses. Overall, Thunder and Consolation is an excellent album, the musicianship is superb, the songwriting top quality, the catchy riffs and melodies and the experimental style, all add up to an album that truly broke new ground.
- 75 Essential Albums – #1 – Van Morrison – Astral Weeks
- 75 Essential Albums – #2 Van Morrison – No Guru, No Method, No Teacher
- 75 Essential Albums – #3 Stiff Little Fingers
- 75 Essential Albums – #4 The Levellers
- 75 Essential Albums – #5 Van Morrison – Into The Music
- 75 Essential Albums – #6 – The Clash – London Calling
- 75 Essential Albums – #7 Ramones
- 75 Essential Albums – #8 Nirvana – Nevermind
- 75 Essential Albums – #9 Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run
- 75 Essential Albums – #10 RedHot Chili Peppers – Californication
That Friday feeling is a place to share something with the world. It could be a song, a poem, a painting or a photograph, anything at all. There is but one rule. Whatever it is must touch you on an emotional level.
Either drop me a note with a link and I will post here or leave a comment with a ping back to your own blog. Join in and share that Friday feeling 🙂
This week I am sharing a video of Justin Sullivan (New Model Army) doing a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Masters of War’. We live in very scary times as conflict in the Middle East seems to be getting worse not better. It makes me sad and angry that this song is even more relevant now than it was in 1963 when it was written. I like this version even more than the original.