It’s not just the South of France which is is in the grip of the weather, the whole of central Europe has been in the grip of a cold spell since before the New Year. Here in Strasbourg it was -10 yesterday morning and today, in what should be the warmest part of the day, it is around -8. The weather is having a dramatic impact upon football with both teams I follow being put out of action by the weather; Strasbourg because of the weather conditions “sur la région rémoise.” and Manchester City because the underpitch heating at Portsmouth has not coped with the weather leaving the pitch still frozen. It’s just as well the Strasbourg match was not due to be televised as on Thursday I saw the two teams challenging Strasbourg for promotion play on what was effectively an ice-rink, and I wonder if this game would have been called off if it had been due to be televised. In the UK the impact on the cash flow of a cancelled game had lead to many teams investing in under pitch heating to keep the games on so it has not been usual to see two premiership matches postponed because of frozen pitches on the same day.
I guess that’s why the call it the blues
Thanks to igetblues.com for showing us what the Rolling Stones and Ray Charles would have been like were it not for the blues. (hat tip DrHGuy although he does make improper suggestions about the wonderful Anjani who had gone so far as to provide the link for him, the swine.)
Dress down Saturday
What? A favourite site of mine, the sensible left political and arty, Harry’s Place used to have a feature, dress down Friday, where they covered something other than the usual politics and, usually, had a YouTube of some great music, usually from the late 70’s. I decided to run a series to counter the view that the eighties was just silly hair cuts, strange clothes and bad music. Each Saturday I would highlight a different band which might include silly haircuts and possibly also strange clothes but would definitely be anything other than bad music. I called it dress down Saturday to reflect that for some people working was about more, or other, than a Monday to Friday 9-5.
One of, if not, the best bands of the 1980’s was indubitably the Smiths. The intelligent writing, both academically and emotionally, the wonderful guitar playing and the showmanship of Morrissey were nothing short of perfect so this is where I will begin. For anyone with 50 minutes here is the wonderful South Bank Show from 1987, it’s well worth it. First up is ‘This Charming Man’, the first thing from them I heard and from the start just wonderful (How many bands make it waving flowers in the first video?):
The next one was from the second album and was originally the B-Side of another single but got such coverage it was released as a single, again wonderful lyrics and the sublime chugging Bo Didleyesque guitar. (Shame on you YouTube for disabling the sound on the original six minute plus version and only leaving this three minute version):
Further research has shown the those wonderful people at Warner Music have had a number of Smiths videos disabled on YouTube so I’m not able to include the further two songs I wished to, one a video featuring a cycling outing which is not something I think happens over much in videos. The last one will be from their final album, Sing me to Sleep, which claims to be a rare US video but to me looks only like West Side Story (featuring the wonderfully hot Ms Wood) mashed up to the song:
I DO NOT LIKE WARNER MUSIC