A Day in Oxford Pt.2

Posted by on Jun 21, 2010 in Jimbob's Eclectic Mix | 0 comments

Just thought I’d mention a wee bit about my day in Oxford. Firstly, the road directions and layout around that place are shite! Now that gem of info is out of the way (and after wandering for an hour or so looking for a decent place to park for the day, preferably for free, which I found) I can say a smidgen more about Oxford itself, which ain’t a great deal ‘cos I, unusually, got myself a blister on my foot which kind of curtailed my wanderings. That said, there’s some wonderful architecture around the city and the universities with their old sandstone structures and weathered gargoyles brought to it a sense of history, which I always love about a place. Unfortunately, most places of interest had a cost to enter which meanly prodded a stick at my Scottish side so, I ended up in the only places that cost nowt: churches. But I love old churches anyway as, as well as their history, they’re great places to rest and get out of the crowds of the main city streets. The only place I really wanted to go was the Ashmolean Museum which, according to johnwilliamwaterhouse.com houses a study by John Waterhouse for his 1896 painting Hylas and the Nymphs. But guess what? It was closed. I was looking forward to that as well. I walked past the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art (the John Ruskin who had much to do with the Pre-Raphaelites back in the mid-1800’s) and thought I’d have a nosey around there but guess what? It was closed to visitor’s that day. The moral of all this, I now realise, is don’t go to Oxford on a Monday! The Waterhouse study I never got to see. Beautiful it is too. Maybe next time! So, to the main reason I went; Piano Magic and Brendan Perry. Piano Magic arrived just before they were due on ‘cos of a car crash on the motorway so, no soundcheck. That didn’t seem to affect them though and they were great for the all too short a time they were on (about half-an-hour, I think). They didn’t do any of the songs I’d hoped for but I still recognized most of them and the few they did off their last album Ovations were enough to keep me smiling. I hope to catch them when they headline a gig which, I believe, are few and far between (or usually in London or abroad). A few photo’s of Piano Magic live at the O2 in Oxford. Next up was Brendan Perry, one-time singer/songwriter from Dead Can Dance. I didn’t know what to expect really from Perry as I hadn’t heard his new album Ark (except a little from his MySpace site). I certainly didn’t expect anything from his Dead Can Dance days for some reason but he treated us to a few and they were belters as well: two of my faves in fact, which I’ve stuck in below I played A Passage in Time a good few times on the way down to Oxford so I was sooooooo pleased when he did it and seeing the way he played the guitar bit which he plays a few times (which first kicks in at 2.47) was an absolute pleasure. I’ve always wondered how that sound was achieved as I’ve heard it on a few songs (I always think of water cascading over rocks when I hear it) and now I’m convinced it’s done by just using a delay pedal. Still a great song after all these years and it’s off...

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A Day in Oxford

Posted by on Jun 5, 2010 in Jimbob's Eclectic Mix | 0 comments

Being a fan of Dead Can Dance, an Australian band formed in 1981 and consisting mainly of Lisa Gerrard (who did the musical score for the Gladiator) and Brendan Perry, I thought I’d have a nosey and see if they were doing any gigs nowadays (they disbanded in 1998 but did do a world tour in 2005). The answer, in short, was no, but Brendan Perry has just released a solo album and is touring the country at present. He is playing Manchester (a lot closer to home) but when I found out that Piano Magic were supporting him in Oxford, there was only one place I was going I discovered Piano Magic last year and some of their stuff is just wonderful. It’s funny really, but they remind me of the happy days in the late 80’s early 90’s before they were ever even around! Piano Magic is mainly just one guy (I think) called Glen Johnson who gets in guest musicians ranging from Simon Raymonde from The Cocteau Twins to Alan Sparhawk from Low to…er…Brendan Perry from Dead Can Dance. This last collaboration resulted in Piano Magic‘s last album called Ovations which is a fine album indeed. It has Piano Magic‘s own experimental/Factory brand of sounds mixed with Dead Can Dance‘s medieval leanings. The wonderful dulcimer figures here and there, particularly on The March of the Atheists (no prizes for what that song is about). And so to my favourite part, here’s a few tracks from some of the above mentioned musical people. As I don’t know much of what Perry’s solo album is like, I’ve put in a Dead Can Dance tune. This Dead Can Dance song is sung by Lisa Gerrard from their The Serpent’s Egg album and, coupled with this video, makes for kind of sad and beautiful listening. This is one of my fave Piano Magic songs from their album Writer’s Without Homes (it’s actually just over 4 mins long and not the 6 it says on the YouTube vid). Singing it is one Vashti Bunyan who (described as a lost 60’s/70’s folk heroine) hadn’t recorded anything for 33 years until she did this. As I think the lyrics have that poetical beauty about them, I just had to put them in here: The night settles down on the water The feathers of sun gather The trees wave their way to the morning The birds think about what they’ll sing I have dreams in which you’re a nightmare I have dreams in which you’re unfair But angels still dance in your garden and flowers still grow in your hair My tears leave a skull on the pillow My tooth leaves my blood on the sheet My heart sways the way of the willow My heart sways the way of the wheat But you are the queen of the lowlands You have the crown of the lost I found you broke up like a shipwreck I found you broke up on the rocks The horses come in from the cliff tops, their shadows upsetting the sea The waves swim their way to the bottom and stay there until they’re forgotten And you know about birds when they’re dying How they know that they’re going to die How they hide in the heart of the forest and sleep until death chances by You know that You know that From the above mentioned album Ovations. Here’s to Oxford See ya,...

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