Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Day 79: Summertime...

Today's soundtrack: Orange Juice - The Glasgow School

...and the living is easy. Not a lot to talk about today as, basically, I didn't do an awful lot.

If there are any positives about my current situation, then surely today has to be one of them - the only downside was the need to haul my sorry ass into Warrington to sign on.

The rest of the day - sat out in the garden, shorts on, cold drink to hand, book to read, pussy cat playing on the grass.

Whilst all you wage slaves were out there grafting away for The Man.

Now of course, this state of affairs can't go on for too long, and when all's said and done I'd have rather been where you were than out sunning myself (yeah right) but I may as well take advantage whilst I can. Because as sure as eggs are eggs, this sunny spell ain't going to last.

So what to talk about? Football season's over (apart from kitchen sessions with Pedro and his ping pong ball) so the only topics of conversation here revolve around transfer speculation and the state of Everton's next home kit.

Big speculation regarding Everton seems to be the possible signing of boyhood blue Michael Owen from Newcastle. Opinions seem to be divided on this - my view is that if he takes a dramatic cut in salary, preferably on a 'pay as you play' basis, and if he is able to demonstrate that he is not permanently crocked, then it might not be a bad piece of business given no transfer fee would be involved. In fact, the thought of a fit and motivated Owen playing in a half-decent team, off either Yakubu or Saha, is quite mouth-watering.

Also interesting to see the highly ambitious Gareth Barry signing for Manchester City - he'll be getting plenty of the European football he wanted there, next season then! What? Oh. Surely it's not about the money?

The new Everton kit is, apparently, based upon the kit worn in 84-85 when we were the best team in the world. But not in a good way. Pictures that have been leaked have been almost unanimously greeted with scorn. From my perspective, it's only a football shirt, it's blue, and it'll probably grow on me. But it's not likely to be worn on the terraces by me this year either!

Let's talk about the music. Orange Juice were one of the many jangly, slightly fey indie bands that came out of Scotland on the Postcard label at the back end of the '70s. And mighty fine they were too. 'The Glasgow School' is one of a number of compilations that pulls together their early singles and other recordings, and it does so well. Slightly ramshackle, slightly off-key, but bursting with melody and invention, they were a welcome counterpoint to the aggression and attack of many of their contemporaries.

After their initial burst of creativity and popularity around the time of 'Rip It Up', Orange Juice continued to produce fine albums but with diminishing returns until they split up. Edwyn Collins then went on to produce a number of equally fine solo albums that sold in their hundreds, until he finally hit paydirt with 'A Girl Like You'. Unfortunately he then suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in 2005 that very nearly killed him and left him with reduced motor function down his right side.

But he's still performing and making music. One of the highlights at Glastonbury last year was Edwyn performing on The Park Stage, supported by Roddy Frame (ex Aztec Camera, another early Postcard band). Unsteady, seated and referring to lyrics before him on a music stand, Edwyn produced a moving set that was in no way diminished by his condition. This observer had 'something in his eye' most of the way through.

Anyway, here's Edwyn performing with Orange Juice in happier times, demonstrating just how wobbly singing and playing does not, essentially, matter all that much when it comes to making great music.

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