Last Night I Saw Two Stars

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I’m glad I went to John Grant last night. He played the Albert Hall. John provided the eigth of my Desert Island Discs “I want to go to Marz” and has the career every good songwriter dreams of. He has no major record label telling him what to write, what to wear, what to release, how to make his records sound, who to write the tunes, what sort of stage show to put on – plus if he does one show a month he takes home a million quid a year.

That’s enough for anybody and certainly if, like John, you live in Iceland. You can buy Iceland at the moment for a million quid [plus a couple of hundred K in an offshore account for the dignitary who nods the deal through].

John is HIV positive and is a walking testament to what good drugs can do. Every strong resonant vocal delivery of a 150 minute show reminds us of every child in a developing country who comes below the priority line to the shareholders in giant pharm co’s.

I expected John to give a good nod of solidarity to the victims in Orlando. Quite right too and he’s just the guy to do it in the right way.

He chose one of his supercharged diatribes


You just want to live your life
The best way you know how
But they keep on telling you
That you are not allowed

They say you are sick
That you should hang your head in shame
They are pointing fingers
And want you to take the blame

There are days when people are
So nasty and convincing
They say things beyond belief
That sting and leave you wincing

And to boot they say their words
Come straight down from above
And they really seem to think
That what they're doing counts as love

This pain
It is a glacier moving through you
And carving out deep valleys
And creating spectacular landscapes
And nourishing the ground
With precious minerals and other stuff
So, don't you become paralyzed with fear
When things seem particularly rough

Don't listen to anyone; get answers on your own
Even if it means that sometimes you feel quite alone
No one on this planet can tell you what to believe
People like to talk a lot, and they like to deceive

Just before he starts he looks stage left “ladies and gentlemen – Kylie Minogue”

On comes Kylie and stands at the mic. Like a little angel come down to sing for us. Shimmering in the metre or so of material needed to cover her from shoulder to floor, hair cascading down over her shoulders – the whole picture evocative of the shimmering slow cascade of glaciers!.

Kylie and John sang. She was note perfect. Word perfect. Fully rehearsed. She said nothing at all. She sang because she had been asked to. Then she left. Perfect.

Kylie is a pop star. She’s the best pop star ever. She has given charm and the princess fantasy to girls for 25 years and they are still comforted and blessed by her. she’s never hit a photographer. She’s never stormed out of an interview. She always looks perfect. She dances for us. She bore serious illness without a hint of self-indulgence. Every time she wins a prize she acknowledges the team. The team is 100 strong. they write for her, they play for her, they engineer and produce and make light shows and costumes and dance routines and clothes and makeup and hairstyles and photos and videos and stories and campaigns for her. and she’s grateful and she acknowledges it all.

On the way home with my charming companions, our conversation provided most of the inspiration and material for this piece. We all reflected that we could also have chosen to go see Coldplay this evening. The privileged kings of winge rock who have curiously morphed into a weedy version of a Rolling Sones tribute band playing support to Radio Head but with glowing wristbands and rubbish clothes so that’s all right then.

Chris Martin sulks and mopes his way through interviews trying to get a little in return for the giant paydays and glamour he enjoys. It’s odd how quite a lot of bands start good, get famous then become shit, then gget even more famous. Duran Duran and The Mumfords come to mind. Why do the latter think that turning from Cap’n Pugwash and his merrie mates into a bad version of Primal Scream was something we wanted? As Jess remarked en route home last night “we can’t wait for Marcus Mumford’s excursion into electronic dance.”

So John Grant has it all his own way. lucky for him. Kylie tows a thousand lines from head to toe and acknowledges the price of fame. They are at the diametric opposite ends of musical success.They are both lovely and worthy of our love. I am so pleased Kylie has freed herself from the business clutches of the unpleasant self-referencing and self-glorifying money pit that is Rock Nation, Jay Z and Beyonce. I don’t see Kylie treating us to an entire album about what a bastard her husband is anytime soon.


Nirvana just around the corner

Andy Murray had his work cut out this week. a set down and love 3 down. Somehow he fought back against the foreigner to win for Britain.

Never mind, this sort of thing won’t be a problem soon. British tennis tournaments for British players. At last, after Thursday, we’ll be able to control those foreign so-called sports men and women coming over here, taking our titles and our prize money and not paying tax on it. Queens, Wimbledon, The Premiership – British sports for British players. No more excluding our finest players – Jeremy Bates, Tim Henman, Sue Barker and our own great British footballers. The spirit of Wimbledon FC and Vinnie Jones and the gang will be back.

The Reading festival will no longer be invaded by EU economic migrants like Daft Punk, David Buetta, Andrea Bocelli and the like. The Moody Blues and Leo Sayer back on Top of the Pops, which will be back every Thursday.

In fact, everything will be back to just like it was in the good old days.

Proper enlightened situation comedies like Love Thy Neighbour, Alf Garnett and of course classic comediens like Bernie Manning no longer crowded out by foreign EU murder mysteries eroding the cultural integrity of our nation.

Hospitals will have beds galore. No more sick Rumanians collecting benefits while getting free treatment. All those british men and women crying out for key worker jobs as hospital cleaners, porters, nurses, Doctors. Work for them all!

British buses with drivers born and raised here, driving British workers to British owned factories – back to the prosperity of the years before 1975 and the single market. British caught fish cooked on British coal-fired stoves, the coal dug up by British miners in British coalfields.

And as the sweltering great British summer really kicks in this week, we’ll all head for the sun drenched beaches of the south coast in our Hillmans and Morris cars for a day of British R & R – taking care to bear arms, in case any f***ing faceless unelected politicians from Brussels try to get ashore, disguised as Syrian refugees…or even worse, Turks!

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