Nuggets 233 – Troubadours 8
I have been sick. When the doctor told me that I had to go to hospital I panicked – I don’t have any pj’s. I went home via Kmart and picked picked up this natty pair.
I haven’t been a patient in a hospital since I was very young. I wasn’t nervous, just a bit flummoxed at what the procedure would be and how long I would need to stay. The lack of privacy was strange. I told my story to a young doctor while other patients lay close by on their beds waited their turn. The curtains were pulled but I could still hear their stories clearly. I didn’t see some patients, they stayed behind their curtains, so I had to put a face to the voices as they told their stories. We all confessed to the doctors, who told us what was wrong and what was necessary. I was prescribed injections, large doses of antibiotics at 6 hourly intervals. I tried to get some sleep while they finalised arrangements.
I was awoken by a large guy, an orderly, trying to bundle me into a wheelchair. I was needed in a different ward on a different floor. I was half asleep but offered to walk, no I was told, I needed to be in the wheelchair. I grabbed my belongings on my lap and I was pushed to my new ward. It was dark but the new bed was comfortable (and electric!) so I settled in. I was put in a sunny ward with men suffering similar complaints. A catholic priest was in one corner. He immediately know my name (he knew everyone’s name) and the nurses treated him with great reverence. He was on his way to a hospice so I assumed that he was not very well. It was unclear what was killing him. He talked about selling men’s trousers when fundraising for the hospice. I know the hospice, it has a very positive atmosphere and it is fitting that he will die there after all that fundraising.
A man was brought in who had had a fall. He was sure people were after him. He was pretty scrawny and no prize. He insisted on keeping the curtains drawn. An Indian guy had his wife with him and she cooked lovely Indian meals, I can’t complain, the food was pretty good. The ward was relatively quiet and I had my music. A registrar kindly helped me recharge my Ipod by plugging it into the back of a computer out near reception. I listened to The BBC World Service, I watched Aljazeera, I subscribed to magazines and newspapers and read them on my Kindle, I txted family and friends, I listened to music and made up playlists, I dozed. All very pleasant really except for the enforced bed rest and the poking and prodding from the nurses and doctors, and of course the 6 hourly shots of antibiotics. 6 hours means that however you play it, just when you are comfortable, it is time for another shot.
But now I am out, cured (almost).
This mix includes songs from Paul Kelly and his latest Album – Spring And Fall (2012). Like me he’s getting to be an old bugger and hence his lament to aches and pains is appropriate. I am not so sure about the second track. He’s pining after a new love when according to Wikipedia he has just moved on from his second wife to a lovely looking woman. He’s a bit rash to already be expressing a desire for a new lover.
Vic Godard is an old punk (ex Subway Sect). He made this album – The End of The Surrey People – in 1990 whilst working as a postman. It was recorded at the home of Paul Bakern, a fellow postman, on a four track tape deck. He had help from Edwyn Collins with the Sex Pistols’ Paul Cook on drums.
PB : You came back though in the early 90’s with ‘The End of the Surrey People’ Why did you decide to return to music, and how did you get back into music ?
VG : It’s mainly because of the amount of musical people at the Post Office I suppose. There was one bloke in particular, Paul Baker. We call him “The Wizard”. He started talking to me about his 4 track and he got me round to his house doing songs with him. It all developed from there really. I have never stopped doing 4 track recording ever since. It’s actually a lot better than 8 track recording.
PB : Did you find it easy getting back into songwriting after seven or eight years away?
VG : Yeah ! I didn’t find it difficult. ‘Johnny Thunders’, was the first thing that I wrote. I wrote it just after he died on the day that I saw his obituary in the newspaper.
PB : The album was produced by Edwyn Collins, and was released on the resurrected Postcard label. How did they become involved in the project ?
VG : That was as the last resort. The whole thing was Edwyn’s project. He felt responsible for getting it out. He had been chosen as its producer by Geoff Travis, who was going to put it on Rough Trade.
Geoff ran into financiail difficulties though at that point, and he did a really big downsizing and so he didn’t have the budget to put it out,. We went to Jeff Barrett at Heavenly and he really liked it, but just before he put it out, it got taken over by Sony, so that got shelved. Edwyn didn’t really want to do it, but he said “Look, as a last option, let’s put it on Postcard. It either comes out on Postcard or it doen’t come out at all.” And so I did.
PB : Was the album recorded quickly or slowly ?
VG : It was recorded quickly on the days we were recording, but we recorded it only one day here and one day there, so it took a long time.
We did a lot of it in Edwyn’s bedroom. He had a kid, William, growing up who wasn’t that old, so he was sort of running around most the time. Edwyn didn’t live in a very big house at that point as well. It was only a little flat, and he kept all his recording equipment in his bedroom. It was a bit difficult for him having to finish the album off like that in those circumstances, but that was the only way we could do it without a budget
PB : It is a really exuberant album. It’s got a real joyous feel to it a lot of it. Did you feel happy to be back to be recording again ?
VG : Yeah, I did.
It’s a fine album. I particularly like the lyrics to Same Mistakes.
“ Well I’m watching and I am reading and I am learning, yeah I am reading shelves, and I am listening and I am thinking.
I am breathing and I am training myself.
I’m not sitting waiting at the bottom of the learning curve oh no
The same mistakes again will be the end of me.
The same mistakes again will be the end of me…”
Michael Hurley of ‘The Werewolf’ fame features. Here is an odd (but engaging) wee video about Hurley from the perspective of an accidental fan (warning, bad puppetry)
I have long enjoyed the Scottish singer Kenny Anderson aka King Creosote and he features here with Gummi Bako from It Turned Out for the Best (EP) (2012).
Tim Metcalf and Harry Rhodes aka St Gregory Orange (buy at Bandcamp) feature. I suppose a band name is hardly a pseudonym when the band consists of more than one person….
Finally more Floating Action, Gillard & Clark, high dart, Jessica Lea MayField, Karen Dalton, Twilight Sad and Woods. Also Jesse Woods and twins from Nova Scotia, Sari and Romy Lightman performing as Tasseomancy. Perversely, on this track they are relegated to backing vocals. Great track.
To close out the playlist a crackin’ cover of the Wreckless Eric song, Whole, Wide World.