Paul Simonon

Just can’t get enough Pt. 8


As I progress further into the desolate darkness of my final project as a masters student, I find an occasional light. There are both pros and cons to writing about your favourite thing day in and day out. The most fascinating thing of the week has been starting my piece on Brixton’s past and its music.

I came late to the party (as usual), but much of what I have learned has been really useful. My favourite piece has been about Brixton and the music it has inspired. The most mind-blowing revelation was finding out that Eddy Grant’s hit ‘Electric Avenue’ was written about the 1981 riots in the area. Electric Avenue is the most popular market street in South London.

The story also introduced me to ‘The Harder They Come,’ the Jamaican gangster film that Paul Simonon references in his lyrics for ‘Guns of Brixton.’ On The Clash’s fourth studio album Sandinista! the band cover ‘Police on My Back’, originally by The Equals who were fronted by Grant.

Anyway, The Equals are another fascinating band that I’ve slept on apparently. All the praise for the magnificence of Eddy Grant.

A not-so-live live-blog to Damon Albarn’s sweet zither

10:46 BST And that’s 1,001 times for Albarn listening to Bobby Womack’s “Across 110th Street.” Unfortunately there’s no zither so I’m peacing out for the night.

Albarn has proved to make the move to radio seamlessly. Saturday night drinks are calling and there really is so much time you can sit an live-blog a no-longer-live radio show. To hear the stream for yourself click here.  Have groovy night. I will be returning tomorrow with my first of “Spin it Sunday” where I blog about bits of my record collection. Tomorrow’s record: Guaraldi & Bola.

Good night all.

10:40 Dreamy piece performed by the Syrian National Orchestra. Was that unreleased Gorillaz? Or do I just hear these things wrong. Anyway, time again for it to get funky and I need a gin and tonic.

And a bit more Zither.

10:33 Now Albarn claims that his second album was Combat Rock. Right and mine was Backstreet’s Back… But seriously, when I was 13 I made up a hip hop dance to “Rock the Casbah.” Because I was PUNK ROCK.

10:28 Actually, speaking of zither. There needs to be a comeback. Like a good whistling solo (see “Walk Like An Egyptian”), the zither is a lost art from the days of old. One Direction? Call me.

10:26 My boyfriend keeps chuckling, but I find this Anton Karas charming. Everyone loves to jam to a good zither player.

10:15 And I’m off for a piss break and time for the news.

10:13 Spaghetti Westerns? Korean film music? Why the fuck not.

10:05 BST The late Etta James now. Albarn is proving to be able to show off his great taste.  Maybe this is my own terrible opinion, but nothing’s better than genuine, great taste.

10:00 A rather nice live performance in the studio with Simonon, Albarn and Harry Enfield for Ken Dodd. Quite a library of music knowledge here. It’s sweet. It’s not a competitive conversation at all (and that’s oh so rare).

9:48 I feel really out of the British loop here. Crossroads? Leslie Sarony? I need a translator here. Let me approach my comrade… According to my boyfriend, “It’s a series. I never watched it myself.” Articulate help from the Brits. Thank you and good night.

9:42 HOLY SHIT. I mean REALLY holy shit. Ladies and gentlemen: Paul Simonon is in the studio.

9:40 BST I can’t help myself. This is beyond great.

9:38 Holy Shit. It’s “Antmusic.” Was Kings of the Wild Frontier really Albarn’s first album he ever bought? That’s beyond funky. Mine was Auqarium.

9:35 Sorry, fun on hold. News first…

9:30 BST So I am live blogging today listening to Damon Albarn take Dermot O’Leary’s slot for the day. It’s been six hours since the original broadcast, but I had things to do today and Damon can wait.