Monday, August 11, 2008

The Road to Colchester

Bastard godlike. The hairs on the back of my neck are tingling at the brilliance of this YouTube clip.

Who thought the nearest I would ever get to a religious experience this side of Denise Mina answering one of my emails would be from watching a black and white clip from an acoustic set performed at the Colchester Arts Centre?

I'm actually jealous of that (seemingly) disembodied foot away in the audience. How's that for a personification of going soft in the head?

Info accompanying the YouTube clip is as follows:

"Martin Newell performs Julie Profumo, in an excerpt from the 1st Golden Afternoon. Recorded live at the Colchester Arts Centre in the summer of 2003. Martin is joined by Nelson on mandolin & backing vocals. The film was produced & directed by Michael Cumming."

There's another 5 or 6 YouTube clips from the same performance that you should also check out but it's Newell singing 'Julie Profumo' that does it for me. A well played mandolin banjoes me every time. Put it down to early exposure to an alternative universe Rod Stewart where he used to be good.

You don't love this clip as much as me? Fuck you cloth ears. (My God is definitely Old Testament.) As penance you can check out this fascinating 49 minute interview with Martin Newell, where he catalogues his life and times, and which comes courtesy of Cherry Red Records Web TV. Yep, that Cherry Red.

I'm saying it's a form of penance but in fact Newell is a witty and entertaining motormouth in the interview. The interviewer, Iain McNay, hardly gets a word in edgeways for forty odd minutes, and Newell takes you on an autobiographical journey that starts in the backwoods of early seventies Essex, careering on to the nascent punk scene in mid-seventies London to selling out tours in Germany but selling sod all back in Britain. Throw in a mention of dodgy dock pubs in Ipswich, Captain Sensible, the cassette culture of the early eighties to Newell at one point being the best selling living British poet - and it all being told with a garnish of wit and Newell's bullshit detector firmly in place - and you'll come to realise that my God has a bit of the New Testament in her as well. Just a smidgeon. That's all you need.

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