The author Robert Harris tweeted last week ‘How foul this referendum is. The most depressing, divisive, duplicitous political event in my lifetime. may there never be another’. Which just about covers it. Nigel Farage has forced a ‘discussion’ into public, a discussion which has unleashed all kinds of racist and xenophobic forces which have at least partly contributed to the murder of MP Jo Cox last week. Farage is a political charlatan, a fraud, a man who basks in a man-in-the-street image despite a wealthy, privileged background. A demagogue who hates the EU yet is paid by it, who represents constituents at the European parliament but rarely goes. A man who poses in front of Nazi inspired posters and complains that the murder of Jo Cox has ‘taken the momentum out of the Leave campaign’. On every and any level, he is a disgrace.

David Cameron has to take the blame here too- despite being the leader of the Remain campaign, he is the one who called this referendum, a cynical response to the rise of Ukip and the defection of Tory votes, a piece of political opportunism that has blown up in his face, shown the cracks in his party and that he’ll pay for politically at some point, win or lose.

Let’s Kiss And Make Up

This is original The Field Mice version covered by St Etienne with their Eurocentric cover art.

A vote to Leave is a backwards step, a vote for a past that doesn’t exist. I can’t see any positives in leaving. Taking back control, taking back sovereignty is a smokescreen- how is leaving the ‘undemocratic’ E.U. increasing democracy in a country which has an unelected second chamber and is a constitutional monarchy? My vote today is to Remain. Let’s stay together.

Enough preaching.


Stay is off Bowie’s Station To Station, sometimes my favourite Bowie album. The choppy guitar part, Carlos Alomar I assume, is wonderful.

And finally Portishead have released this cover of ABA’s SOS, a tribute to Jo Cox.


I Just Want To Be A Woman

I went to pick one of the kids up the other night and was flicking through radio stations in the car, trying to find something- anything- half decent to listen to. Just as I was about to give up I tuned in to the second half of Glory Box by Portishead. Sometimes you have to hear a song unexpectedly, out of context, to really hear it again. It sounded really, really good.┬áThere was a period in 1994 when it seemed like the only thing anyone was listening to was Portishead. I always really liked this alternate version from the 12″ single.

Toy Box

It’s half term and we are in the Lake District for the next couple of days, near Ulverston (which I can’t think of without singing it to the tune of Glen Campbell’s Galveston). See you in a few days.

Walking Through the Suburbs, We’re Not Exactly Lovers

Yesterday’s trip hop heroes Portishead remix Massive Attack’s Karmacoma, also from 1994, turning it all spacey and spooky. Or even more spacier and spookier. Portishead also stick a great big phased Hendrix style guitar solo in the middle, for no particular reason other than it sounds good. I suppose it explains why they called the remix Portishead Experience. It’s a very good example of the art of the remix.

The lyrical refrain goes ‘karmacoma, Jamaica aroma’, misheard for years round our way as ‘karmacoma, d’you make her in Roma? Duh.

I Brought ‘Em All

..or something very like that, goes the sample at the start of this- Portishead’s own remix of their defining moment Sour Times. The vocal sample and scratching gave Sour Times a hip-hop makeover for the B-side of the 12″, from 1994. Good stuff from seventeen (!) years ago.

Camping in Sherwood Forest, no sign of Robin.
Thursday- sunny.
Friday- rained all day.
Saturday- sunny.
Didn’t quite manage to empty the five litre plastic barrel of red we brought back from France either, despite mine and H’s best efforts. Still, a good but soggy time had by all.

>People Fly By In The Traffic’s Boom

Another first rate Paul Weller remix from the Wild Wood album, this time the acoustic title track is re-worked by Portishead, who surely need no introduction. As with most stuff by Portishead, there are those drums and general spookiness.

The picture shows the last time Mrs Weller let Paul cut his own fringe.