Monday, 23 June 2008

Mourning the passing of an old friend....

So that's it, the final door has closed on a part of my life. I'm talking about the band "The Mission" who have finally played their last show in London. Now, some of you may remember them as a bunch of strangely dressed, overly melodramatic hippy-goths but to those of us who loved them it's like hearing that an old friend has croaked!

I now regret that I didn't go to the final show. I was on the cusp of buying a couple of tickets and heading to London for the weekend but decided that time, money, hassle etc. wasn't worth it. After all, there was only one original member left wasn't there? If the original guitarist Simon Hinkler had been with them I would have been there but no, not the same really. Of course, typical huh? Who turned up and played with them at the last shows? None other then Mr H himself. I was truly annoyed!

Anyway, they've packed it in once and for all. This may not seem like a big deal to most people but their music has been with me through all of my formative years and I love it! It conjures up memories of good times, memories of my youth! It carries with it pictures of people and places, experiences shared and secret. More than any other band I've listened to over the years The Mission did this for me. The time I saw them on their "Carved in Sand" tour in 1990, just before their big bust up with Mr Hinkler (he walked off in the middle of the tour) remains one of the best gigs I've ever been to!

Ah well, at least there's the DVD of the last show to look forward to. Cheers guys!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Old friends...

Following on from my last ramble....
I've been listening to some old music which has led me to reminisce about things, people etc. In particular I listened to a CD recently which was my companion in the summer of '89 (no, it wasn't Brian Adams) when I spent several weeks in Austria. I was part of a bunch of people doing some voluntary work with Eastern European refugees at the time and it was a tremendous experience.
As with these kind of things, one of the best parts was all the great people I met, not least of whom were the gang that I worked and lived with. A motley assortment of folks from all over the world - Canadians, Americans, South Africans, English and one solitary Scotsman (me)!

This is what I'm on about however. You meet people, you share everything with them, you form a bond of trust and friendship - really good friends - and then when you all split up and go back to your own lives and routines, you lose touch. How strange it is that these strong bonds between people can just fall by the wayside.

I remember my Dad telling me the same sort of thing about his days in the Army. There he lived, worked, trained and fought beside people who trusted you with their very lives! These guys would have died for each other if necessary. But as my Dad said - when he left the army, they all exchanged addresses, promised they would write and visit, keep in touch. And there would be one or two letters, maybe a Christmas card, but then they would stop.... and before you know it, years have gone past and you've completely lost touch.

My own experience? I can barely remember the names of some of those people I spent that summer with. I know it was 19 years ago but I'm not old and decrepit yet! Now of course, I feel nostalgic about the whole experience but I haven't kept in touch with anyone who I could share that nostalgia with and it does make me feel quite sad sometimes. We shared a lot of stuff, good and bad, and it would be nice to know if they feel the same way about it as I do, or even if it affected them the same way.

Ah well, such is the way of things I suppose. Mind you, if any of the OM Ternitz '89 crowd out there ever reads this and thinks that they have a vague memory of an 18 year old kid from Fife who spent the summer sleeping in a bass guitar case...... give us a shout. I'd be overjoyed to hear from you...

Monday, 10 March 2008

Music to remember!

Funny how things set off your memory isn't it? I've been revisiting some of my old CDs and reliving my musical past. Each time I resolve not to dwell on the past too much and to spend more time enjoying the present and looking forward to the future, something stirs up some memory and away I go again!
I'm very into my music. For me music is as much a marker for the various stages of my life as a photograph album would be for others. It's almost like my life has a soundtrack - you know how listening to certain songs can remind you of a certain holiday or person... The thing is that I listen to music pretty much constantly so practically everything I do has a musical accompaniment. What I find (and I'm sure I'm not alone) is that when I dig out old CDs that I haven't listened to for a while, quite often they have the ability to transport me to a particular place, time or even feeling. This leads me on to one particular CD which stirs up a particularly interesting summer, but I'll save that for another post.
Certain albums will always have a special something about them because of this. Some of them aren't even my favourite albums but because of their association they'll always make me smile or feel a certain way. Cool isn't it?

Oh yeah...
For interest's sake, it was "God's Own Medicine" by The Mission. I doubt it'll ever feature in the "100 bestest albums of the entire Universe ever, ever, ever..." but it's up there on my personal list. You should give it a go you know, it really is worth a listen. Especially if you wish you could regress into being a Gothic Hippy again! Yeah, man......

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Lightly perspiring....

What is going on with the weather at the moment? It's a beautiful day today and my south facing office was doing it's best impersonation of a greenhouse. It must have been 28 degrees in there today, and that was with all the windows open. I nearly passed out with heat exhaustion.

Hopefully it'll keep up for the weekend cos I've got Monday off next week - hurrah! Maybe get my mo-bike taxed by the weekend and go for the first proper spin of the year.