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MUSIC

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I was born in Manchester in 1968.

In a small village called Haughton Green.

In Denton.

Someone else that was born there.

8 years before me.

In 1960.

Is Mick Hucknall.

Mick Hucknall.

In his early career.

People that heard his voice before seeing him, apparently, thought he was black.

Saying that so much soul and tone could only come from a black guy.

I get that.

Anyhow, when he was in his mid to late 20’s and I was, I suppose, in my late teens.

I remember reading a magazine interview with him.

And in amongst the copy Mick Hucknall asked (something like),

Who do you know that is as good a singer as me?

That quote was on the cover.

It’s why I bought the magazine.

Because I really liked the confidence.

And because, actually, I agreed with the sentiment.

Talent.

I think talent should be celebrated.

And I think that showing off, with a wry smile so as not to be too much of an arse, is good.

Life’s short.

If you have something to show off about…

Show off.

Much rather that than your talent remaining unseen.

Or unnoticed.

Here’s Mick.

Singing a song: https://www.50odd.co.uk/mick/.

Thom Yorke (whom I like) appeared on the Jonathan Ross Show (whom I no longer like) in May 2013.

Thom played a stripped back version of a song he wrote called ‘Ingenue’.

Ingenue.

The word ‘Ingenue’ means, ‘an innocent or unsophisticated young woman, especially in a play or film’.

What the actual song means I haven’t a clue.

It is, however, very beautiful.

And here it is: https://www.50odd.co.uk/ingenue/

When the riff is right.

Even a really short eight second riff.

Everything’s right.

You can just play it over and over and over for 6 minutes.

All You Need.

Two middle aged blokes in a park.

With a bit of a backing track.

A great riff.

And two guitars.

That’s all you need.

Have a listen: https://www.50odd.co.uk/riff/

 

How long does real friendship last?

For best friends?

For my friend Pete and his best friend, the answer is – a really long time.

Steely Dan.

My friend Pete’s best friend really liked Steely Dan.

So much so that, earlier this year, Pete took his best friend to a Steely Dan concert.

And that’s where the trouble started.

Not because Pete tried to get his best friend into the concert without a ticket.

(Under the circumstances, that was fine).

The trouble was – security thought Pete’s best friend was drugs.

Pete’s Best Friend

When Pete’s best friend died a couple of years ago, it left a void.

From what I hear, Pete and his best friend were really close.

Both of them lovers of music and – according to Pete – his best friend was that friend who would laugh at things no one but Pete and he would.

And Pete misses him.

That’s why he took his best friend’s ashes to that Steely Dan concert earlier this year.

To sprinkle him.

Not to snort him.

Or smoke him.

(As security thought).

Friendship.

It seems to me that Pete and his best friend have it just right.

Still buggering about and getting into trouble.

Even though one of them is no longer with us.

Well, not in the way that he was.

For Ever.

Security insisted that Pete didn’t leave his best friend at the concert.

As Pete had planned.

Security saw it as, somehow, wrong.

Pete and his best friend had different ideas though.

And so it is that Pete’s best friend.

Because of his best friend.

Rests silently in a field.

With Steely Dan.

For ever.

Here’s a tune (https://www.50odd.co.uk/friendship/)

 

Here’s a Facebook post.

I popped it out there a couple of days ago.

Having founded and now running Always Wear Red is a weird journey.

The downs are hard.

The zigging and the zagging.

The learning is constant.

The bruising – when things don’t go to plan – can be brutal.

Wanting to be absolute best… designing bravely… wanting to make a real difference… wanting to build relationships with the best makers in the world takes a lot of time and money.

Creating a brand that I love.

And that I want others to love too.

It drains me.

But then.

If you stick at it.

And ask the hard questions.

And do the hard things – well.

The good comes.

And it lifts you.

It lifts you high.

Here is a word-for-word message I just received.

After I’d asked to meet up with this person.

A person whose work I adore.

I wanted to chat about Always Wear Red.

Her message to me just now:

“Yes darling… once I get off “the road”. I’ll make time for myself and go exploring. Loving your designs, BTW. Cheers”

Well, I don’t know that this will mean something to all of you.

But it meant a lot to me.

The message was from Alison Moyet.

It’s just a nice feeling.

That the things I love today, are allowing me to revisit the things I loved when I was younger.

The message for you?

If things get tricky… keep going.

There are lovely things just around the corner.

I don’t know which corner of course.

And neither do you.

But they are there.

‘Night.

Alison Moyet.

Here’s Alison singing ‘Only You’ in 2016.

At The Burberry Show.

If you’ve not seen Alison Moyet for a few years.

You’re in for a surprise.

A number of people played Sting songs.

In front of Sting.

At the Polar Music Prize ceremony in 2017.

Sting. 

The camera flicks between the performer and Sting.

As he sits in the audience with his wife Trudie Styler.

The cameras capture his reaction.

And Trudie’s.

Gregory and José

Gregory Porter covers ‘It’s Probably Me’.

And it’s pretty good.

José Feliciano covers perhaps Sting and the Police’s greatest tune, ‘Every Breath You Take’.

And it’s a bit shit.

Honestly.

It’s not good.

Reaction.

Anyhow, take a look if you have 10 minutes.

And by ‘look’ I mean look at Mr. Sumner’s face.

As he takes in both versions of his creations.

Sometimes, it’s tricky to hide how you really feel.

(Go to https://www.50odd.co.uk/sting/ if you’re reading this in your email).

 

 

Today, you may have to make some important decisions.

And you may have to decide some things that are really, really precise, too.

What I mean is that you may find yourself deciding about interdependent things.

Each decision affecting the next.

So you have to be careful.

Because it may be, for example, that 10 right decisions followed by 1 weak one sours everything.

Bohemian Rhapsody.

I’m on a roll with this acapella thing.

(I posted one yesterday as well).

So here is Bohemian Rhapsody.

Vocals only.

Stick with it for 6 minutes as there are gaps where the instrumental parts are.

It’s worth it.

Decision. 

When I listened to the layering and the dynamics and the story and the beauty, I thought about decisions.

I thought about how many decisions Freddie Mercury had to make to create the masterpiece that is Bohemian Rhapsody.

They are endless.

And, I imagine, he just went with it.

That’s what creative forces do.

They have to.

They have to decide.

Decide.

Decide.

Decide.

Confidently.

To make any magic happen.

I imagine that’s what Freddie did.

Today.

Today, you may have to make some important decisions.

And you may have to decide some things that are really, really precise, too.

Go for it!

Enjoy it!

Decide.

Decide.

Decide.

Confidently.

And I hope the magic happens for you, too.

Here’s the acapella video: https://www.50odd.co.uk/freddie/

 

I love Antony and the Johnsons as you will know if you follow 50odd each day.

I love them mostly because of their bravery.

And the music of course.

I Fell In Love With A Dead Boy.

‘I Fell In Love With A Dead Boy’ is a song with a beautiful melody and production.

It’s as captivating as a live performance as it is in the studio version.

Meaning.

I am not sure what it is about.

Some think it’s about being in love with someone that is ‘dead inside’ so they can’t love you back.

Some think it’s referencing Anohni’s personal journey.

Anohni formerly was male and has now transitioned.

Personal.

I love how Anohni is creating in a very personal way.

Telling the stories she wants to tell.

Beautifully.

No matter how strange they are.

Strange is embraced.

The title of this song would, I assume, be received with puzzlement from a commercially minded music promoter.

But Anohni is staying true to her art.

And I really like that.

Because so many people do not.

The song appears alongside this story at the 50odd website.