Last of the summer whine


The Blue Door, Newlyn by Harold Harvey, 1934

A painting by Harold Harvey from 1934 – The Blue Door, Newlyn. Still waiting for the Indian summer, perhaps the gentle whine of the concertina will draw warm winds…


Down by the sea…


Wild campion, among the coconut scent of gorse. The southern part of Cornwall near Plymouth, as yet un-noticed…


A hut or hostel, left to settle into old age and gaze happily at the ocean…


Back and forth in ocean blue…



Future's so bright...

Once you get over thinking of Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake, the liberally scattered plastic is not without a ghoulish charm, smoothed and faded and gathered into swathes of similar colours (how?) that melt easily into the fly-blown, gently grilling weed. The result is that none of it seems synthetic. A kind of unholy soup, packed with man-made additives…

To the lighthouse


About six months late, but this is a beautiful little film that went with Bat for Lashes’ album last autumn. I’ve been listening since Fur and Gold but overlooked this – probably too much going on and was thinking it would be a little bit too introspective at the time… it’s not, because having bought it at last it’s great stuff, with lots of light and air. This is probably a bit long for a blog post at 15 minutes, but even just the landscapes and lighthouse are worth it I think.

Villagers – waves in the diamond sky and the pleasures of music in the hand


There aren’t many albums that you really look forward to, but Villagers’ Awayland is one of them. I loved the first album, but have seen them play once in Bristol and twice at festivals since. They’re much more visceral than the Mercury Prize acoustic introspection they might have been tagged with, and the set featuring the new album at the End of the Road Festival last September made me feel a bit like A A Milne and the bears in the zoo. I could quite happily bypass other bands and just sit outside their cage for a bit. Conor O’Brien also achieves that rare detachment, as if sideways or above of the world’s noise.

Villagers Awayland Artwork 2

And then there’s this affirmation of how great it is to hold music as a physical object. HMV include these postcards, which makes it all a package of earthly pleasures. The artwork’s beautiful – kaleidoscopic geometric peaks of rock and mountain rise from landscapes, like all the invisible static of life in our century. (Artwork is credited to Conor O’Brien, Matthew Cooper with Rory McGuigan.)

Here’s a wander through Paris with an acoustic version of The Waves.