Wednesday 28 November 2018
More seriously, the book traces the changing face of music journalism and the consumption of music since The Beatles. It also touches on what the life of a pop/rock star might be like.
Friday 23 November 2018
There are, however, absolute gems in this collection:
Sunday 18 November 2018
Friday 16 November 2018
Fast forward to 1959, and we find Jane living with her sister Blanche,
Saturday 10 November 2018
Saturday 3 November 2018
Sunday 28 October 2018
But I like short stories and I enjoy speculative fiction, especially by female writers, so I tried again.
Tuesday 24 July 2018
It was hot on Friday night. The temperature didn't drop much below 27 degrees, even once the sun had dipped behind the hotels overlooking Jardin Albert Premier. A guy walked past wearing a black t-shirt that said "Johnny Fucking Marr", and I thought, "Me too, mate." (1)
But hotter still was the music. French band General Elektriks walked onto Massena Stage at 21:15 and didn't stop for 75 minutes. Led by Herve "RV" Salters, the five-star, five-man, multi-instrumentalist lineup was at Nice Jazz Festival to promote Carry No Ghosts, released in February this year. RV writes and records his funk-based music alone in the studio, but when he tours, he's surrounded by talent.
The band looked cool, everyone dressed in white, the only colour being provided by RV's red striped tie and the title of the opening number, Different Blue. Bassist Jessie Chaton channels the 70s with his wild affro and white silk scarf. Jordan Dalrymple, aka Antonionian, adds a touch of 80s with his white framed shades. Touski's Mohican punks up the vibraphone and drums, and Eric Starczan's virtuosity on the guitar needs absolutely nothing else.
The music ranged from the slow and easy Au Tir A La Carabine, through the catchy Raid the Radio to the early-80s-electronic sounding I Can't Relate, all underpinned by a driving, infectious funk beat. RV invited the audience to "sautez avec nous" in David Lynch Moments, and the jumping continued through a gritty-guitar cover of Soft Cell's Tainted Love. During Tu M'Intrigues, RV's torso was in danger of disconnecting entirely from his hips and legs, as he jumped, shuffled and swung whilst his hands slapped at the keys of his Hohner Clavinet. The set ended with Amour Uber Alles, its multi-lingual lyrics reflecting RV's French nationality, his lengthy sojourn in San Francisco, and his current home, Berlin.
General Elektriks is touring France until the end of 2018, with one gig in Belgium. Check out the dates on the band's website here: General Elektriks concerts. It would be cool to see them more often now they're back in Europe.
(1) The French phrase "J'en ai marre" means "I'm fed up".
Monday 2 July 2018
Reading the book was a little like looking through the photographs of a friend who has recently returned from holiday. There are lots of boring descriptions of works of art and landscapes, interspersed with very entertaining adventures.
Monday 14 May 2018
Sunday 6 May 2018
Monday 23 April 2018
Graham Greene described the book as his 'first overtly political novel'. It was published in 1934, when Britain was experiencing the effects of the Great Depression.
Friday 13 April 2018
Veronika Decides To Die is about a young Slovenian woman who tries to commit suicide but fails. She wakes up in La Villete mental institution in Ljubljana, where the action is mainly set, and is told she has only a few days to live. The story then deals with how Veronika's prognosis affects her and the other inmates.
Friday 6 April 2018
Monday 19 March 2018
Friday 9 March 2018
Thursday 22 February 2018
Fay Weldon's The Life and Loves of a She Devil follows Ruth Patchett's journey in the aftermath of her husband's desertion. It's Bobbo who calls Ruth a she devil, and her acceptance of his accusation sets her free from the downtrodden life she has led up to then. Ruth sets about transforming herself and her life, appropriating power, and in so doing, she exacts revenge on the lovers.
Wednesday 31 January 2018
Whilst traveling by train to Santa Fe to spend time with his mother, Bruno meets Guy, an ambitious architect held back by his wife Miriam who refuses him a divorce. The two men get drunk and talk about their troubles, and Bruno comes up with a plan to murder Miriam in return for Guy murdering his father. In spite of his inebriation, Guy firmly rejects the idea.
Monday 22 January 2018
The story is about Catherine Morland, a naive, seventeen-year-old girl who longs to be the sort of heroine she has read about in the 1794 gothic novel by Ann Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho. Catherine joins family friends Mr and Mrs Allen when they spend a few weeks in Bath. There she meets Isabella and John Thorpe, and the mysterious Henry Tilney, with whom she falls head-over-heels in love. After being introduced to Henry's father and sister, Catherine is invited to spend some time at their home, Northanger Abbey. It is here that Catherine's overactive imagination leads her to invent farfetched mysteries and villainous situations.