You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘David Sylvian’ tag.

I’m very pleased to announce that November 2014 will see the release of a very limited number of original landscape oil paintings featuring the Yorkshire Pennines. Taking inspiration from the moors, the farms and, of course, the weather, each painting corresponds to a day of the week and considers themes of absence and loss.

Studio 1

In the Studio: Wednesday (sneak preview)

So as not to have to always listen to the wind and rain hitting the newly installed patio doors, I’ve been re-discovering the instrumental part to David Sylvian’s 1986 masterpiece Gone to Earth. Perfect studio music.

Keep the headphones on. It was about this time last year that I made a surprise appearance on Mark Radcliffe’s Music Club with my first, my last and everything – a section in the show where you tell the story of the first record you bought, the last record and the record that means everything to you. Simple really and at least fifteen minutes quality airtime on national radio. I say surprise because to be honest I’d completely forgotten I’d written the piece and did slightly cringe at the few Black Sheep enhanced descriptives but, nevertheless, it was great fun arriving home to a barrage of text messages and emails (3) saying how much people had enjoyed my selections. Unfortunately due to cutbacks the show is no longer available and as I can never change my first record I’ll give you that one – Le Chic with Le Freak. And, I suppose, a complete fluke that 2013 turned out to be one of Nile Rodgers biggest years. The other two you’ll just have to guess but to be fair they have now changed.

Although proudly sporting a little yellow Music Club badge is great fun, the selection criteria was a little restrictive. What music fans really want to tell the world about are the lost and unknown gems or the turning points in artists’ careers. In other words; have you ever heard this? Or, they were doing this, and then did this and that’s what led to this. See what I mean.

The idea of this little feature came to me after reading Mark Kelly’s excellent new Marsden Poetry Trail in which, I’m delighted to say, he has chosen a poem of mine together with other more famous Marsden poets to create a stunning nine mile walk. If you’re thinking of visiting the area in the future then I would heartily recommend the walk, not only for the poetry but the truly wonderful landscapes that we are lucky to be able to call home. I smiled at Mark’s summary when he talks of leaving the poets behind on the hills with David (me) and Simon (Armitage) discussing obscure bands from the eighties. I smiled because, although I can’t speak for Simon, certainly this Marsden lad has had many of those discussions amongst the heather and cotton grass.

By Mark’s own admission the trail is a work in progress with notable absentees including the wonderful, Jo Haslam. There’s very little of Jo’s poetry on line which is a shame because she deserves a much wider readership. No doubt it’s because of the digital absence that Mark found it difficult to align a place to the poetry. If available, I would recommend Jo’s heartbreaking first collection, The Sign for Water from which I’m certain The September Swimmer would find home on the trail somewhere. In the meantime, from the equally wonderful collection, On the Kiso Road, here’s the poem Woodbine courtesy of Josephine Corcoran’s great blog, andotherpoems.

In other poetry news I’m delighted to announce that I’ll be joining those fantastic folks at Words on Tap to take part in an open mic showcase as part of the Headingley LitFest on Friday 14 March. I’ve been working on a collection of new poems and this will be a great opportunity to release a few back to the wild.

So this episode’s choice track is The Tenant which comes from Japan’s second album, Obscure Alternatives (good title, I thought). The album was released in 1978 six months after their debut release, Adolescent Sex. The track, The Tenant marked a turning point as the band began to move away from the New York Punk inspired industrial soundscape and Sylvian began to take more control over production values. The sound indicates the direction Sylvian would later pick up on his solo albums and also showcases Mick Karn on fretless bass and saxophone. One year later, Quiet Life was released and the rest, as they say, is history.

Exhausted is probably an accurate description of my current state. Explorer Scout, George has just steered me around the Marsden Moor estate for a day out walking. In itself the walk was not too bad (long) but with the added blizzards and endless snow drifts my legs have now developed a peculiar leaden effect which seems to have been further aggravated by the hot bath. My cheeks have also suffered from the biting winds and developed that strange sun burnt feeling coupled with a bright red glow. Will and friend have just burst into spontaneous laughter after catching the human matchstick hobbling towards the bedroom whilst trying to hold onto a strategically placed towel and the last remnants of dignity. Only the wet clothes and boots give any clues that George also came along for the adventure. After demolishing a plate of food he has returned to his lair where he will remain plugged into the IPod until Top Gear or hunger begins.

This week has seen some excellent blogs. Firstly, Josephine Corcoran wrote a really honest piece titled, Reading, Writing, Rejections and Acceptance which kind of sums up the piece in its entirety. This is the type of blog that can really help anyone starting out in the strange world of poetry – rejection letters can be the loneliest so Josephine’s blog offers a kind of comfort to know it can happen to anyone. As further proof of this fact I would urge everyone to read the wonderful interview with Sam Riviere in the latest edition of The Rialto which includes a good insight into the editor’s thought process: yes, even Faber poets get the blues. You can read Josephine’s blog at http://josephinecorcoran.wordpress.com.

It was also great to see landscape photographer, Andy Hemingway re-release a number of his Peak District blogs on his new site at http://andyhemingway.wordpress.com. The folklore and history of the South Pennines makes excellent reading and offers another dimension to Andy’s photographs.

Whilst on photography blogs I would also recommend the entertaining and quite inspiring http://thefutureispapiermache.wordpress.com which includes blogger Richard’s collaborations with fellow blogger, http://ckponderings.wordpress.com

There’s also a number of equally great blogs which I’m really enjoying so will hopefully include links in future posts.

This week’s track found amongst the green leaves is, I’m afraid to say, a bit of a cheat. Filed under Sylvian from his excellent Sleepwalkers compilation it’s probably one of the most played tracks in the hall of four winds but, whilst searching the zero players, it was also found filed under Masakatsu. It seems that when searching for all things Sylvian, I’ve found this collaboration from the brilliant, Coieda album by the Japanese artist, Takagi Masakatsu, downloaded the track and promptly forgotten all about it until the re-discovery with Sleepwalkers.  

The reason for the inclusion is that I would urge you to listen to some of Masakatsu’s other work. It’s spellbinding and quite beautiful.

Listen and watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHrOsaDgXbI

All the best,

David.

As the eighties tripped into the nineties, almost without warning my soundtrack of life suddenly derailed towards an E before I coloured landscape where I was suddenly the one out of time.

U2 did the honourable thing and bowed out declaring that they would have to go away and dream the whole thing up again, Echo and the Bunnymen rode away on horses, The Cure disintegrated, The Smiths turned the light out and, in an Orwellian twist, no one was allowed to mention the words, Brothers in Arms. Things were changing and even in the spot lit fog of the Broken Doll pub at Newcastle, The Stones’ Gimme Shelter failed to impress the afternoon grant funded drinking club.

We were only months away from the real world and without warning friends began to get their hair cut, started to wash, stopped drinking and, most alarmingly, started to dance. Whatever Charly said then anyone cool enough to be listening to The Prodigy did. We were in the North East but under the shadow of the West. Joy Division was dead and Madchester reigned with New Order in full club spangled party mode.

I have to admit that I was quickly becoming disillusioned and retreated back to Floyd, Zeppelin and Sylvian in the comfort of the not very expensive quayside student rooms. I tried to hide away but room mates constantly hopped into my darkening days with luminous anthems such as Come Home, The Only One and Fools Gold. Perhaps I was homesick; longing to watch the sun sink behind the Pennines with Shine On You Crazy Diamond in the background or sitting on the floor of the cellar bar in The Zetland with Lemmy shouting about his Silver Machine. Whatever the reason, the ideology of Madchester left me as cold and colourless as the very streets where it was born.

Days were getting longer and the inevitability of work was looming. First year students were beginning to find their feet muscling in on the secrets of Indie Nightclubs with their fake denims and floppy hair. Getting drunk was becoming unfashionable; as was pogo dancing. And just when things couldn’t get any worse a smiley face appeared. ACEEED! Whistles, Poppers, shoe gazing and hapless DJs trying to keep the whole thing together was the re-write. No longer could you whip a crowd to frenzy with The Only Way is Up: Fool’s Gold was the new cool!

Into this environment we enter the land of the Darling Buds. Recently downloaded as a good value greatest hits (hence the zero play), this week’s track finds a visitors pass to the great halls.

It was Indie night at Walker’s nightclub (Tuesday) and A Guy Called Gerald was playing with Voodoo as the soon to be inspired DJ began to loop the opening sequence of this week’s track into the acid house buzz. Suddenly, as the song burst into life all thoughts of Dexy’s begging Eileen to come and save the day faded to a euphoric chant of all I ever wanted/all I ever needed/is here in my arms. The music was intoxicating and for a moment I couldn’t think for the life of me who it was until the realisation that the south had invaded and left Madchester standing in its own shoe gazed polish.

Enjoy the Silence by Depeche Mode re-awakened the soul. True, the vinyl of Speak and Spell had been on the shelves for several years but it was the extraordinary re-invention of the Violator album that charged my senses. The music coupled with the art and film work of Anton Corbijn gave the music scene a genuine sense of purpose that would soon snuff out the mad spin of Mad.

I was already a big fan of Anton Corbijn following his work with the likes of David Sylvian, Propaganda and, of course, U2. Who doesn’t think of the iconic gatefold with the metaphorical tree and desert when you here the Eno and Lanois inspired opening to what fans call ‘Streets’.

Corbijn’s work for Depeche Mode was as groundbreaking; still rooted in the American Interior, this time the black and white was washed with Technicolor – a style that would soon follow U2 to Berlin where dreams where re-worked with a Trabant. Unless you’re lucky enough to track down an original version of the Violator film, Strange Too, which includes the inspired –this is how you make a pop video (clowns and donkeys included) – film for the track, Halo then opt for Videos 86 – 98.

Another time:

In December 2011, Amanda and I returned to Newcastle to see the wonderful Unthanks perform the songs of Robert Wyatt and Andrew and the Johnsons at the homecoming show at the Gateshead Sage Theatre.

The Broken Doll is long demolished so after the show we escaped to another old favourite haunt of mine, the Red House. There we were met by a group of students challenging each other at the jukebox. Thankfully there was no Happy Mondays or Inspiral Carpets. Stone Roses made a guest appearance as the soon to be new millionaires of rock and roll and then in the dark of the night, Silence. All I ever wanted was the shout from the bar.

How did it get so late?

We laughed at the circle of life being witnessed in real time. I then had the realisation that Enjoy the Silence was as old as Gimme Shelter had been in those black and white days of The Broken Doll. We finished our drinks; it was getting late. As we walked back to our hotel I was reminded of the poem, Evening by Simon Armitage: home seemed so far away and so did our past.

el viento by masakatsu takagi

David Sylvian's videos.

Artfinder

Follow David Coldwell on Artfinder

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Cotton Cloud

Cotton Stats

  • 15,198 views