Friday Music


This song links with all the posts I made this week.

During the course of last year, I saw him twice- the first time with those 2 new friends and the 2nd time with those friends and others in a lounge gig I arranged in this village- one of the  best nights of my life: he even ate with us and drank with us!

His music kept me going during that dark time last year and spoke to me. I could have put up ‘Condition’, which I think is one of the all time great songs, but I chose this one.

The lyrics and tune of this song often drove me to tears: I think I found them painfully autobiographical: ‘We’re dying, tied to rules, that we can’t comprehend’…and I got through and I am here…. and I still love his music…


Out there

I’ve used this sentiment and this song before, but what the heck: this is my blog.


‘There was once a woman who was religious and devout and filled with love for God. Each morning she would go to church. And on her way children would call out to her, beggars would accost her, but so immersed was she in her devotions that she did not even see them. Now one day she walked down the street in her customary manner and arrived at the church just in time for service. She pushed the door, but it would not open. She pushed it again harder, and found the door was locked. Distressed at the thought that she would miss service for the first time in years and not knowing what to do, she looked up. And there, right before her face, she found a note pinned to the door. It said, “I’m out there!”’

Anthony de Mello ‘Taking Flight’

Friday music


This week I have been listening a lot to ‘The Magnetic Fields: 69 Love Songs’. I have had it for a while and never really ‘got’ it. A comment by Duke Special at a gig just under a fortnight ago about this group got me listening to it again.

It is by turns brilliant, unwieldy, off kilter and very hummable. It is also highly unsuitable for my 11 year old son, although most of the imagery he would get and laugh at. I would be in a whole heap of trouble with my wife though.

Duke Special did an arch and knowing version of this song, that I will long remember, but cannot think of an occasion where I would sing it in public.

I like the droll version of this- the explanation is worth listening to, but the song begins at around 2 minutes.

Sunday Gig


About a dozen of us from this village are off to the Sage to see Duke Special tonight (one spare ticket if anyone is interested…). Regular readers of this blog may recall how, unbelievably, in June last year Duke Special came to this village to do a lounge gig.

Music has always been a healing experience for me: more so as I get older. I was in a ward this week where someone who was not well broke into tears as a musician played- something about music, good music, can touch us at a level that nothing else can.

This may be the case for me tonight: seeing an artist I like with friends and with so many things uncertain at the moment means the emotions will be high. This is more so with an artist who despite the performance has an emotional honesty and directness.

Mop me up after the gig someone….

Friday Music


I got 2 new albums in the last week: both ordered months ago.

This is a piano and voice version of one of the tracks on Duke Special’s new album. I ordered this some time ago so that I could contribute to the ‘crowdfunding’ of the album.

I like this track: I like the honesty and the poetry of what he is trying to say. Mind you, I like the vulnerability of all of his songs.

He is quite the best Radio 2 playlisted artist to have had a meal with me in my house….


More on the other album next week….

Friday Music


I really like this film and this song, in my humble opinion, is one of the all time great songs ever (I keep attempting to learn the guitar part).

It is one of the few films and albums that Victoria I both like (Kill Bill, Natural Born Killers, Inglorious Basterds, The Matrix & Gladiator don’t apparently float her boat). It shouldn’t work: no proper actors, lots of singing, improvisation etc, but it does.

Anyway: a Duke Special story.I watched this the night before he came to do a lounge gig in my village. When he came to my house (even now, my fingers are trembling as I write that) with my friend , he saw the DVD and said ‘That is a good film: I have recorded with Margeta and Glenn is a good man; I have done some stuff with him’. At that moment I would have been happy if I had died and gone to heaven….

..and as any regular readers of the drivel that passes for my blog will know, the night just got better and better…

Friday Music


I like this version better, but not sure if it will link:-


This will be the last Duke Special feature for a while: honest (although he begins work on a new album next week).

He played this song last when he did the gig at the weekend. He had already played one of my favourites (‘Condition’) and I had got him to play ‘Freewheel’ and dedicate it to the village mechanic. This song was introduced to me by a friend who was one of the ones who persuaded me to put on the gig & helped to host the gig. I love it when I can make other people happy: it makes me more happy than if I were happy: if that makes sense.

By the time he had reached this song, I had entered into a prolonged period when there was no past, no present, only ‘now’. I was lost, gloriously lost in the music and the moment.I had no cares. I might even have smiled.

I think he may have added the word ‘Amen’, repeatedly into the last few lines. Watching this: especially the second version, makes me cry.

It was one of the happiest times of my whole life.

The day afterwards…

I remember:

People: so many people…

Conversations, unlikely interactions & stories: always stories, lots and lots of stories.

Connections with different people, new people, old friends, new friends.

Laughter and light.

Being caught up and bowled over with others’ joy & this being the best thing.

My village: the place where I live; hearing old songs, new songs in new settings.

Feeling ‘wondrous & lit up inside with a feeling of everlasting life’ (Van the Man- of course, dummy) all the time.

Actually feeling happy: so happy- I don’t do ‘happy’ well…. but I was happy.

Music, so much music: music full to bursting and beyond bursting.


Being suprised at ‘thank you’s’- I really did nothing at all…

Late night conversation and wine and wishing that this could go on forever and ever Amen.

And the moment, always the moment ; lit up and rich beyond measure.

Sunday Hymn

Here is your hymn today:-



Wish all hymns were played like this….

I am in a state of excitement beyond excitement. You don’t often get to meet your musical idols, but I met one back in November (Martyn Joseph) and I get to meet this guy who is coming to our house for tea today…Pinch me; I am dreaming.

…still tickets available from me or on….

Friday Music


I have a Duke Special concert coming up this Sunday: O you didn’t know?

As I am picking the guy up and feeding him (even typing those words makes me tremble..), I thought I better re: listen to some music. I turned to the last album: ‘O Pioneer’. I had never really got into it: particularly this track.

The Verve once sang on ‘Bittersweet Symphony’: ‘I need to hear some sounds that recognise the pain in me’. This song does. And from relistening to this album, I find it so personal for me at the moment that it is painful…

still tickets available from me or on….