Category Archives: Arts

Serge Gainsbourg

Well, what can you say about Serge Gainsbourg that hasn’t already been said? Gainsbourg (sort of pronounced: Gasper) was a singer, songwriter, pianist, film composer, poet, painter, screenwriter, writer, actor, and director. He’s often regarded as one of the most … Continue reading

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Van the Man

Van Morrison is a prolific singer, songwriter and musician who was born in Northern Ireland in 1945. His music covers rock, rhythm and blues, folk, blues, soul, celtic, jazz, country and gospel, and to date he’s released 34 albums during … Continue reading

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Phat Bollard

Phat Bollard were formed in 2010 in Calstock, Cornwall. They describe themselves as a folk group, although I would say they also got a punk edge and have some similarities to The Pogues. Phat Bollard travel all over the UK, … Continue reading

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Ignacy Paderewski

Born in 1860, Ignacy Paderewski was a pianist, composer and politician who went on to become the first prime minister of Poland. He was also a noted linguist and spoke seven languages fluently. Paderewski became the music superstar of his … Continue reading

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Au Revoir Simone

The world continues to go to hell in a handbasket, so let’s have some music instead… Au Revoir Simone is a ‘dream pop’ band consisting of Erika Forster, Annie Hart and Heather D’Angelo, all on keyboards, which is a tough … Continue reading

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The Gift of Idleness

Earning a living in middle-of-nowhere France used to be fairly easy. The housing boom in the UK produced a wave of Brits who came over here and bought rural properties, which were comparitively dirt cheap. Many of these properties needed … Continue reading

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Flowers, dense prose and Hand in Glove

I’ve just started reading Autobiography by Morrissey. The opening paragraph is four and a half pages long and contains lines like this: Past places of dread, we walk in the center of the road, looking up at the torn wall-paper … Continue reading

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Tomorrow belongs to me

This one’s for those jolly chaps at the NSA and GCHQ… It’s an oft asked question: how could the land of Schiller and Beethoven be taken over by a bunch of mass-murdering lunatics..? Actually, everything the Nazis did, including the … Continue reading

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Larkin around

Back in the 1950s and 1960s, ‘Monitor’ was a flagship arts programme on British television. In 1964, the year I was born, they put out an episode called Down Cemetery Road, which had John Betjeman interviewing Philip Larkin. Even if … Continue reading

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Happy in Hong Kong, Siberia and Tunisia!

In a previous post I was talking about the worldwide phenomenon that’s originated from a song called ‘Happy’, which was released by Pharrell Williams last November, and in particular how it has really caught on in France (here). France is … Continue reading

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