OU blog

Personal Blogs

Weddin

Atom Heart Floyd

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 11 Oct 2020, 09:44

I took my life in my hands and headed out on Friday night to see Atom Heart Floyd in the Balor Theatre, in Ballybofey.  I didn't realise at the time, I was taking a chance with my life by going.  Storm Eric was forecast, it was raining and a bit windy but nothing overly tempestuous.  However, by the time the show was over, Eric had arrived in full force.  Between the howling gale and the torrential rain, it was a treacherously slow drive home, much of the time on the wrong side or in the middle of the road, to avoid the pools of water.

Was it worth it?  Definitely!  A great time was had by all!

Atom Heart Floyd hail from the south of England so keep an eye out for them if you're a Floyd fan, they put on a good show and if they come back this way again, I'll definitely be there.

They started off with some early Floyd from the Sid Barrett era and finished the show with Comfortably Numb.  They had a large circular screen and throughout the show, there were mini films projected on to it featuring, among others, Sid Barrett and other surreal graphics and images.  During Brain Damage, from the Dark Side of the Moon album, they showed film of politicians from the 80's, Maggie Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Yasser Arafat, Saddam Hussein, Boris Yeltsin, Gorbachev and a few other less notables.  While listening to the lyrics and watching the screen, I was struck with the thought that at one time these people were all giants on the political world stage, inspiring admiration and loathing in equal measure.  Now, practically all of them are dead.  

Considering the state of politics in the world at the moment, this was a comforting thought, because it made me realise that no matter how big they are politically or how much power they might wield, eventually, their time will pass, things will change and they too, will become a footnote in the history books or an image on a screen, reminding us of the past insanity of our 'leaders'. I can safely look back now to all the anti-Russian rhetoric of the 80's and the threat of nuclear war that hung over us like a cloud of lead and see that it was nothing more than egotistical grand-standing by idiots with too much power and not enough sense to realise the limits of their time on earth. They could have done so much good but most of them wasted it.  In a thousand years, who will even remember them?  So, if you're worried about Trump, Putin, Brexit or anything else in the world, political or otherwise, take comfort in the fact that it won't last forever or as Shakespeare so brilliantly put it - 

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

 

 


Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Weddin

Bohemian Rhapsody

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 11 Oct 2020, 09:43

Is this the real life, is this just fantasy...and many a day I spent, back in my teenage years, gazing out the classroom window, watching the sky as clouds contorted and rolled over Croaghan Hill, the ever-changing light, adding depth and detail to the broad vista of the town below while fantasizing about (among others!) Freddie Mercury.  Completely unaware at that stage of his sexual preferences, although, even when I did become aware, I still fantasised that he was only gay because he had never met me!  After all, we had so much in common, he liked opera and ballet and so did I, and he also loved to play Scrabble, my favourite board game!

Bowie and Zeppelin were my first loves in music and I had been introduced to them through my oldest brother but Queen, I discovered and fell in love with, all on my own.  I still remember the night at St Colman's disco when I first heard Seven Seas of Rhye, Now I'm Here and of course, Killer Queen.  I also remember, only too well, the announcement of his death and how I cried that miserable Monday morning in November.  So, with my heart on my sleeve, I ventured forth tonight to see if justice had been done to my beloved Freddie, in the movie, Bohemian Rhapsody. 

The movie tells us about the early days of the band and their rise to fame.  It reveals more about the background of Freddie's life than the other members but there wasn't anything in it that I hadn't read or heard about before, from his long term friendship with Mary Austin to his, shall we say, adventurous party lifestyle.  

 As a Queen fan, I loved it!  I had forgotten just what a tour de force Freddie Mercury was on stage! What a showman, artistic and outrageous, unique and dynamic! I wanted to sing along! I wanted to stamp my feet and clap my hands to We Will Rock You!  I wanted to stand in the crowd at Live Aid and cheer and sing and drink in every second of that heart-storming performance, made more poignant when we realise he had just been diagnosed with Aids, and I'm not the least bit embarrassed to admit a few tears were shed.  Ah, Freddie!  We'll never see your like again, unfortunately!  

When the film ended, no one wanted to leave, conversations were struck up with strangers in order to delay the inevitable as fans and new fans discussed the merits of Mr Mercury et al.  Those of us old enough to remember relived those moments in our lives when the music of Queen provided the soundtrack and helped to cement those memories in our hearts and minds.  Many vowed to come back and see it again and next time, we will stamp our feet and clap our hands!

In the daily grind of life, we sometimes forget those great moments in life.  Times when our hearts soared, when the sheer joy of a performance or piece of music lifted and inspired us, reminded us that there was more to life, that there could be better days or better ways of living if we just had the courage to reach out for it.  I remember 1985,  I remember Live Aid and how unhappy I was with my life at that time.  I also remember vowing to change it and the following year I ended my marriage and even though I had a tough few years after it, it's a decision I've never regretted. 

I haven't listened to music much in the last few years even though I still have all my albums and CD's.  I seem to have settled (or been driven?!) into a sort of musical doldrums, I put away Queen and the Sex Pistols, Billy Idol and all those others who sent my heart soaring and my pulse racing, those powerhouses of my youth who didn't compromise or apologise for being exactly who they were and screw everyone who didn't like it!  

In the apparent misery of the world today, as controlled and promoted by the media, we are fed a daily diet of fear, propaganda and paranoia.  We have forgotten that music used to be a way to stick it to the man, a way to upset the establishment and inspire revolt and rebellion.  Nowadays, everybody is so busy trying to display their liberal principles, demonstrating to the world how open-minded they are, how welcoming, all kumbaya and political correctness, anxious to be good citizens, terrified of change with a soundtrack so bland, sanitised and nonthreatening that we're being lulled into a permanent state of brain-deadness and musical easy-listening (which used to be the most insulting thing you could say about someone's musical taste!).  Now we have music giants like Ed Sheeren with all the charisma of cold rice pudding, perfect for the snowflake generation and political cowards like (punk?) Bob Geldof who turned coat and now kisses the asses of the establishment.  'Oh, we're better together,' 'Oh, we need to save the planet', 'Oh, we can't listen to someone who might disagree with us because we're so easily offended', 'Oh those nasty Brexiteers have taken away our future'.  Blah, whine, blah!  

It speaks volumes for how weak and insipid we have become that the most rebellious voice in politics today is Jacob Rees-Mogg!  My God!  What happened to us?? We were the punk generation, when did we roll over, give up and play brain dead? 

Well, I'm not giving up and thank you Bohemian Rhapsody for getting my blood pumping again, I'm going make it a point to listen to Queen, the Sex Pistols and Billy Idol at least once every month because I need those reminders.  We all need those reminders, to remember who we were, when we had a fire in our bellies and weren't afraid to speak up and speak out.  Remember our youth, when it was normal to challenge the status quo and defy the authorities instead of cowering in a permanent state of anxiety, too terrified to stand out or stand up and go against the crowd even when we're being sold out!  Maybe it's time to get out those old tunes, crank the volume up and let chaos reign for a while, be a rebel, disagree with your friends, be offensive, challenge everything you are being told and be a bit like Freddie, strutting, confident, belting it out at volume, the shy man who was a God on stage, and who knows what might happen if we let that fire burn again...ROCK ON!


Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Weddin

David Bowie

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 11 Oct 2020, 09:36

The late great David Bowie would have been 71 today had he lived.  I still haven't bought the last album, I haven't the heart to, because it's the last...and there isn't going to be a next one.  I know it makes no sense but it does to me so I'm holding out.  I was remarking on this to one of the girls at work today, and it's not just that he's gone but it's how boring the world feels now without him, and not just Bowie but Michael Jackson, Prince, George Michael, Freddie Mercury, all incredibly talented and original and more importantly, interesting!

What do we have now?  Ed Sheeran??  He's ok, he won't exactly set the world on fire, will he and that 'Galway Girl'??? Gawd, I hated that!!!  Thank gawd for the Gallagher brothers, at least they're not boring...

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Weddin

David Bowie

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 11 Oct 2020, 09:37

What can I say - heartbroken at the news.  A huge influence and a huge loss.My sons had bought me a Double DVD of his hits for Christmas since my old video is too fragile to play.  What a rotten start to a week.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Weddin

Rian & Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 11 Oct 2020, 09:39

I was in Letterkenny on Wednesday night to see this show, it was as the title suggests 'fabulous'.  It's a production between Liam O'Maonlai and the Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre performing to Liam's solo album Rian.  They have toured venues all over Europe with this show and it is definitely worth going to see.  They are in Longford tonight, Sligo tomorrow night and  Carrick on Shannon on Sunday night, so if you are in the west of Ireland, do yourself a favour and check this out, you won't regret it!

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Weddin

Music

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Aideen Devine, Friday, 9 Sep 2022, 15:59

If rumours of a possible appearance by Noel Gallagher as a judge on the X Factor are true then all I can say is ‘NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Please Noel, don’t do it, pulleeeeese!

If this turns out to be true, then it will go down as another black day in the history of human kind, like the day the first McDonalds opened in Moscow or the day Robert Plant accepted a knighthood. It’s a bitter disappointment when your heroes sell out, Plant I could overcome to some degree, at least he was English but Bob Geldof will never be forgiven.  His honorary knighthood, for Live Aid, was just too much. Firstly, because he was Irish but mainly because he came to fame on the punk wave of the late 70’s, this made it doubly unforgiveable. You sold your soul Geldof, but not to rock and roll, shame on you!!!

My first big music hero, like many others, was none other than David Bowie, and recent reports of a comeback were a surprise to me because he’s always been a regular in my music collection so, for me, he has always been there. David Bowie was my first love and I still love him, even more so now because I read recently that he turned down both a CBE and a knighthood. Way to go Bowmeister, I’ll luv ya forever!!!

My favourite Bowie album is Hunky Dory but my favourite song is Drive in Saturday from the Aladdin Sane album, the saxophone on that song raises the hairs on the back of my neck every time I hear it.  Aladdin Sane was my teenage rebellion album, songs like Time, with its sexually provocative lyrics used to drive my mother nuts, her being ultra Catholic, so I used to ramp the volume up whenever it came on.

The TV is so crap these days, I’ve been listening to a lot more music recently, George Harrison has been getting a lot of play round my house and I’m awaiting the arrival of a Sparks CD, Kimono My House, remember them from the 1970’s, I loved the strangeness of the Mael brothers.  I’m going to stick my neck out and predict a renewed interest in them.

By the way, none of these albums belonged to me, they belonged to my older brother who had great taste in music and it was through him that I was first introduced to Bowie. He still has all his albums too, now there’s a collection worth robbing!!  Although, I probably have most of the same albums now, anyway. My brother didn’t allow us to play his records and used to keep them locked up in a case but my sister and I were able to open the lock with a hair clip and played them when he was out, well, what’s the point of having older siblings if you can’t borrow their stuff!

I didn’t have the money to buy LP’s when I was young but I got a job the summer I turned 13 and bought my first Bowie single, Young Americans. I haven’t bought the new CD yet but it’s on my to-buy list. Bowie has so much symbolism for my generation, he was never just a singer, he was an artiste, and he drove the parents crazy! 

That’s one thing I really miss about the changes to how we buy our music, there’s nothing special about downloading a piece of music compared to buying an LP which had its own ritual. Everything was much more expensive back in the day.  You had to save your pocket money if you wanted to buy an LP. Then, when you had the money saved, there was the whole experience of going around your local music shops, and spending a Saturday afternoon just browsing through the records before deciding what to buy. There would be deep discussions between you and your friends before the purchase would be made, as the covers were taken out and examined in detail.  LP covers were like works of art and there were some amazing ones, like Led Zeppelin’s, Physical Graffiti or the futuristic landscapes on the great prog rock band, Yes’s covers. Browsing through the records was probably the teenage equivalent of walking around an art gallery now. Then when you had made your purchase and headed out around town to show it off to your peers. Now, that was a big deal, everyone would ask what you had bought and your coolness lived and died by it, and if your choice was approved you walked tall all day. 

There are many advantages to all our modern technology but it is robbing us of so many great experiences too, and I am grieving the loss of HMV. There are only two shops I love to visit now, HMV was one, the other is any bookshop anywhere, and they’re rapidly disappearing too. If the local bookshop goes, I’ll have no reason to go out again. It seems, the more connections we make online, the less connections we have with real people out in the real world. Sad...

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 16 Apr 2013, 05:39)
Share post

This blog might contain posts that are only visible to logged-in users, or where only logged-in users can comment. If you have an account on the system, please log in for full access.

Total visits to this blog: 909477