Thursday 18 October 2012


Aged 54 my life changed; I moved from the town of my birth, Bury St Edmunds, the place that I had always lived, to Norwich. I love Bury St Edmunds but I don’t plan to return to living there if I can help it.

Whenever I hear Gates to the Garden by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds I am reminded of my home town. I remember the first time I heard the track. I didn’t know what the song was about. But as soon as I heard it I thought, “Bloody hell it’s a song about Bury St Edmunds”, and indeed on looking at the lyrics it sure is.

For me its one of those songs that brings a lump to my throat. I have a love/hate relationship with my home town. I miss it terribly but in the end I couldn’t wait to get away from it. Now, within reason, I think I could live in most places in the UK.

Wednesday 10 October 2012


A hero of the thinking left George Orwell is probably my favourite author. He certainly wrote my favourite book of all time. Many think that 1984, written in 1948, was about the then future. A prophecy. I suppose to a certain degree it was but I fear many people tend to take it too literally. But in essence it is simply a really great love story, and on a number of levels.

So many numpties on the right brand the book as an attack purely on Stalinism. It isn’t of course, but it suits their own simplistic prejudices. It is a damning attack on all totalitarianism whether it be on the right or the’ left’*, or from capital.

There’s a certain irony in that the fodder that watch Big Brother on the telly are like the proles that fed on the pappy escapist novels churned out by the Ingsoc state machine. The fact that they are also mostly too ignorant to understand where the term ‘Big Brother’ comes from just reinforces Orwell’s prophecy and how it has truly come to pass.

If you’ve never read 1984 I suggest you bloody well read it now.

*actually totalitarianism by its very nature can only ever be right-wing. Stalin was a right-winger. A left-wing government can only ever be democratic. If it is not then it isn’t left-wing; pure and simple.

Friday 5 October 2012

Thursday 4 October 2012

Grayson Perry does it again

Grayson Perry to build holiday home 'shrine' to Essex everywoman
Turner prize-winning artist wins planning approval for holiday home which pays homage to mythical woman called Julie

According to this Guardian article Grayson Perry has been granted permission to build a rather different kind of holiday home. Perry, one of my favourite artists, who is always willing to go into very interesting directions has come up with this wonderful idea. So if you fancy a holiday in Essex in what looks a bit like a gingerbread house then Grayson has the answer to your dreams.

Tuesday 2 October 2012

To rock-a-boogie or not to rock-a-boogie

Some say it’s the devils music but of course I don’t buy that religious shit. But listening to rock-a-boogie can present one with a moral dilemma. That dilemma is ‘should certain artistes be persona non grata’ because of actions in their personal life?

Those seen as undesirable could include Jerry Lee Lewis, Gary Glitter, Jonathon King, Phil Spector and Pete Townsend, not to mention any number of neo-fascists or misogynists that have strewn the ranks of the musical glitterati over the years. To what degree should one shun their music? It’s a question that has often troubled and perplexed me.

I think the answer is that art can be appreciated for art’s sake, no matter who created it, and no matter what the lifestyle or intentions of the artist.