Friday, June 17, 2011
I was elated after the programme was over, as elated, actually, as only music makes me. So I didn't want to go to bed. I gave the kitchen a cursory clean and then I thought I'd sit down and see what the next programme would be. I had discovered the Eliza Carthy one by accident. Perhaps (he said, using a transparent rhetorical device) there would be jewels waiting for me in the next thing on the schedule. No. It was a multi-artist Celtic Connection 70th birthday tribute to Bob Dylan. Right up the alley, you might assume, of someone who confesses that 'The Times They Are A-Changin'' deprived him of his cultural virginity. But after hearing Carthy and Waterson play those traditional instruments and sing in those old English styles, Roddy Somebody & The Somebodies, the opening band, who did an extremely pedestrian electrified 'Subterranean Homesick Blues', were so flattening to my spirit I hated them. And then, of course, we saw the usual parade of talented artists gushing about Bob's genius and his unassailable body of work and how he has changed songwriting forever. That might be true, although I suspect it's cod history, but I didn't care anyway. I wanted to hear a fiddle. I wanted an accordion. I wanted something I didn't recognise straight away sung in a rich, accented voice that could squeeze and stroke the real human emotion out of the lyric. I wanted, in other words, folk music. I turned the Dylan tribute off half way through a lifeless and unconvincing 'Absolutely Sweet Marie', fed the cats, had a wee, and went to bed, where I wrote down the names of all the songs by Eliza and Lal that I could remember from the preceding programme before I turned out the light.
Posted by Bruce Hodder at Friday, June 17, 2011