There Is More To Life Than This

There’s so much stuff going on right now. Head spinning. Political parties collapsing in front of our eyes and decades old certainties vanishing. Anger all over the place.

Tonight England play Iceland at Euro 2016. I’ve loved the Icelandic team and fans. England have a real banana skin waiting for them and Roy Hodgson is under pressure to deliver after criticism of tactics, selection and strategy. England out of Europe? Twice in four days?

Prior to the Icelandic football team Bjork was their most exciting export. This song off Debut is a joy, lighthearted and in love with itself. The vocals were recorded live in the Milk Bar, London. The bit where the toilet door shuts and and the beat and muffled crowd can be heard and then re-appears shows the sense of freedom and fun that Bjork and Nellee Hooper had when recording the album. I also love the way she pronounces ghettoblaster.

There Is More To Life Than This

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Expectation Versus Disappointment

On the eve of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 Lord Nelson issued a message- ‘England expects that every man will do his duty… and scrape through the group stage before a draining but ultimately hopeless exit in the first knock out round against the first good team we play’. I paraphrase but it was something like that. ‘Reaching the knock out round would actually be a bonus given the woeful state of our performances and results at the World Cup in Brazil’ muttered Hardy to no-one in particular. So, come on boys, give us something to get cheerful about tonight against the Russians. A goal or two would be lovely.

Our other ‘boys’, the sunburnt travelling supporters, are covering themselves in glory, spending their evenings in Marseilles drinking their body weight in lager, taking their shirts off, dodging tear gas, battling the French riot police and attempting to take on Isis in one-on-one combat. FFS. The summer sport of hurling plastic furniture across foreign squares is one of the key features of an England campaign. Add this to the Brexit campaign and you have to assume Europe will be only too glad to see the back of us.

Another group of Englishmen battling crushing disappointment released their second new song at midnight on Thursday. After All For One things could only get better and thankfully with Beautiful Thing they have- the highlights of the seven minutes are Reni’s gold medal funky drumming and John Squire’s guitar playing, the return of the wah-wah and some nice phasing too. The guitar break at around four minutes is the definition of both fluid and liquid and the solo in the fifth minute with some backwards parts is great too. Ian’s lyrics are streets ahead of the Dogtanian nonsense on All For One, with references to crucifixion, sisters, living as one and some vague threats to vampires. It’s nothing especially new. I’m sure John, Reni and Mani can play this kind of thing in their sleep but it’s a step forward for sure and will sound huge played live.