Posts Tagged 'mojave 3'

A Gentle Heart

“Gentle heart never hurt a soul.
You live in trust and you learn to love.
In silent darkness I hold your hand.
I don’t get much but I get the way she rolls”.

From “A Gentle Heart” by Neil Halstead.

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This week we had the good fortune of making the trip across the M8 to see Neil Halstead play at the Captain’s Rest in Glasgow.  Whilst the bar upstairs was crammed full of punters watching Man United get beaten by Barca in the Champions League Final, there was a stark contrast downstairs.  I almost found myself centre stage left as I spilled through the doorway at the bottom of the stairs amidst support act Larch’s set.  The venue is so tiny.  It’s pretty rudimentary and it reminded me of a school disco as I looked around and saw folks lining the walls in the darkness desperately avoiding the space of the dance-floor.

Neil took the stage and played through a couple of tracks acoustically including the ever wonderful and heartbreaking “Martha’s Mantra (For The Pain)” before inviting Adam and Ben up to play the rest of the set.  They played a wide range of songs from “Sleeping On Roads” and “Oh! Mighty Engine” (an album I keep listening to with enormous regularity months after I ought to have grown at least a little tired of it).  He included a choice selection of Mojave 3 numbers including requests from the floor.  “In Love With A View”, “Yer Feet” and “Between The Bars” stick out in my mind.

An intimate gig it certainly was.  Do artists get discouraged when hardly anyone turns out to hear them pour out their souls and observations on life?  Just like Neil’s gig at King Tuts last September I will cherish this as a beautiful evening in the presence of an individual whose songs I have carried around as a soundtrack to parts of my life for 12 years or so. 

Ever affable, it was nice to manage to talk with him for a few moments upon leaving – just to say “thanks” and ask how the tour had been going and talk briefly of Cornwall.  Then and again, if you read this you’ll see that there is much common ground…

Thanks again, Neil – hope to see you again soon.

Who Do You Love?

“Would you like who you were if you met them some place?
Would you recognise the lines on a stranger’s face?
Oh, would you know yourself as good as I know you?

yeah… who d’ya love?

From “Who Do You Love?” by Mojave 3.

As I type these thoughts at the end of the weekend, I’m reflecting on the fact that today was my wife’s birthday.  It’s the 17th one we’ve spent together.  I guess we couldn’t imagine then what life would look like now.  I wonder what the 20 year old versions of us from back then would make of the thirty something year old versions of us now?  Would we recognise the people we’ve grown into and would we be proud of them? 

Tonight may have involved discussions about relatively mundane things like budgeting and trying to figure out what to do as her ageing car begins to play up again or how to juggle work and childcare as our four year old is restless in bed with a high temperature, but that’s just real life.

Another year, another bunch of things to be thankful for and challenges we’ve faced together.  In some ways I don’t feel that much older than when we first met…Then and again, look who I still take my cues from – even though they’re now in their fifties if you watch the attached in its entirety you’ll see why I still reckon Sonic Youth have provided some of the most intense gigs I’ve had the joy of witnessing.

Queen Bee

So, I recently asked what single song would always make your playlist and why?  You can link to that particular post inspired by John Peel here.  My own response is posted here.

The thing I love about music, is that I am always coming across stuff I’ve not heard before.  Some of it will resonate with me throughout the seasons of life and other songs just tarry for a while or mark a certain time or place…

So what’s got heaviest rotation on your mp3/CD/turntable/boom-box these days?

For me, it’s “Queen Bee” by Neil Halstead.  It can’t help but put me in a good mood and the attached video makes me want to make music with friends and freewheel down a hill on a bike without a care in the world…enjoy by clicking the arrow below.

Sometimes The Wheels

Today I bought a new notepad to scribble in.  There’s something nice about having a notepad.  A place to de-clutter my head.  A place to record my thoughts, prayers, hopes and fears.  I find it helpful to write things down and then to be able to revisit them years later and recognise how I really felt at a point in time.  It removes my rose-tinted spectacles at times.  Sometimes things seem clearer when written down.  I like to carry a notebook to jot things down in – observations, doodles, snapshots of everyday life.

I think it’s those sorts of things that I appreciate in books and films and music.  The attention to detail in the small and, seemingly, ordinary things of often uneventful days – even if those days and situations are far removed from my own.  It’s the ingredient that makes observational humour or stand up comedians so funny at times.  There’s something funny about a lot of sad things.  It’s the magnet that draws me to the signs of life I find in the stuff around me.

I discovered a new song this week.  It made me smile because I recognise so much of the world around me in its light-heartedness and its deeper truths.

Boy on the pavement, he’s looking the picture

He looks like the eighties.  Oh why did it happen to me?

Twice in a lifetime now.  Twice in a lifetime, Lord

Spent my teenage years tryna not look like

Somebody like him.  What can you do?

Shoulder-pads and belts.  Morten Harket in tights

Oh, I’m sorry – they’re jeans.  How dya get them on?

  Will they ever come off?  Will they ever come off?

 

Sometimes the wheels fall off

Sometimes you can’t get up

Sometimes I just sit and think and I don’t talk much

Sometimes the world moves fast

Sometimes you can’t keep up

Sometimes I just sit and think, but I don’t think much

From “Sometimes The Wheels” by Neil Halstead.

In Love With A View

“So I stood at the station

A plan and a pocket of poems

Heroically tragic, bearded and blind with obsession”

From “In Love With A View” by Mojave 3

Maybe it’s the wanderlust in the imagery.  Maybe it’s the fact that I have long found it easiest to view life as a journey.  Maybe it’s my yearning to keep pressing forward, to experience new things and to grow.  Maybe it’s all of those things and more that render the above lyrics some of my favourites to have been penned.  Something in me rises everytime I hear that breezy, alt.country, line delivered. 

Last night I was fortunate enough to catch Neil Halstead of Mojave 3 playing an acoustic show in King Tuts.  He was down to earth and engaging and we were treated to a rendition of “In Love With a View”.  It cheers my spirit to experience gigs by artists whose songs I have carried around in my music collection, heart and very being for years.


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