Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Blossoms in Teddington

For me, one of the most beautiful times of the year is springtime, when the whole world appears to be bursting with exuberant life and colour. I have seen some blossoms and bulbs emerging already this year, which is somewhat concerning (along with blackberry picking, a traditionally autumnal activity, but one which I have been doing since 2011 in early August and even July).

To brighten things up until things revive fully, here are a series of photos taken in the south west London suburb of Teddington over the last two springtimes.

Even in the midst of death there is life. 
This picture was taken in Teddington Cemetery, which includes the final resting places of the author and market gardener R.D. Blackmore, the "fifth Beatle" Neil Aspinall, musician Art Wood, and many more.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Soft Machine Live on French TV

When I first discovered the music of the Soft Machine back in the mid-1990s it was nothing short of revelatory. The first album I ever bought (on the recommendation of a graffiti artist I knew) was their 1970 double album Third Third Third, which offered up a musical experience that took me far beyond the psychedelic rock I had been primed to expect from a band that had made its debut in many of the same London clubs as Pink Floyd and the Crazy World of Arthur Brown.

What I found instead was four sides of extended jazz-rock improvisation, but with a four-piece brass section at the forefront which helped break open the form of the four minute pop song into a wider and more expansive realm of jazz harmonies and crazed noodling.