The Meek Ran Wanton

Ok, I give in. Here’s a Christmas post. What was your office party like?

I haven’t posted any Billy Childish for ages and his take on Christmas in the late 70s is wonderfully jaundiced. Green vinyl, 7″. Of course.

Christmas 1979

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Another Christmas Post

Another Christmas post, this time from the king of festive cheer Mr Billy Childish. I saw him do this song live in London, on a very warm day in May, a few years ago. Good fun. As Billy sings repeatedly over a killer guitar riff, merry fucking Christmas to you all. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, whoever you’re doing it with- have a good Christmas.

Christmas 1979

Dulce Et Decorum Est

I am off on a school trip to the battlefields of the First World War today, taking in various trenches, cemeteries, memorials and museums around the Somme and Ieper (Ypres, Wipers). I’ve visited parts of the Western Front before, including Tyne Cot, the largest British and Commonwealth War Graves cemetery in the world. It is unforgettable and a trip well worth taking.

I don’t get back until late Monday night so don’t expect any Bagging Area blog action until Tuesday at the earliest. I can’t think of any more songs with Latin titles- four is as far as I can get. This song is played by Wild Billy Childish, from a radio session a few years back. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning is a blues song from the 1920s, usually associated with the Rev Gary Davies and Blind Willie Johnson.

Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning

Kentish

Do you want to see some of my holiday photos?

We were in Kent last week, staying on Romney Marsh. I’ve only ever travelled through Kent before en route to Dover but exploring it was fantastic. As a bonus the weather was good too. Just down the road is Dungeness, one of the bleakest and most beautiful places in the country. Plus it’s got an enormous nuclear power station which adds to the drama along with the masses of shingle flats and a pair of lighthouses. This one, the older of the two, is open and you can climb to the top.

Dungeness is also home to a community of artists and bohemians who live in a scattered collection of wooden cottages, some converted railway carriages. This one, Prospect Cottage, was the home of Derek Jarman.

Kent’s coastline is dotted with reminders of the past and it’s relationship with France, only twenty-five miles away. During the Napoleonic wars a string of Martello towers were built, against the threat of invasion. This one is Martello tower number 25 and is situated in a car park next to a small amusement park.

From a later conflict and threat of invasion, this World war Two era pill box looks out over the marsh.

Right behind the site we were staying on are some sound mirrors. The listening ears were constructed in the late 1920s, a form of acoustic sound detection and early warning of approaching enemy aircraft. Within a few years they were superceded by radar. There are three at Romney; this thirty foot concrete dish next to a smaller one and a two hundred feet long curved concrete wall. They’ve been closed off to the public due to vandalism and damage, now marooned on a man made island in a nature reserve. There’s a swing bridge for guided tour access (but not while we were there).

Musically, Kent means Billy Childish to me. We didn’t get to Chatham, it’s north Kent not south. This song is from the second album he did with his wife Nurse Julie and Wolf Howard as The Chatham Singers, a blues-gospel thing.

The Good Times

 

Christmas Eve

                                                                Merry Christmas from 1945

It’s too late- the shops are shut, apart from the all night garage and the Nisa local. If you haven’t got it by now, you’re not going to get it. So sit down, pour yourself a drink, put your feet up, put some music on and mute the TV.

I’ll be seeing family and going away for a couple of days. To all the people who come here and read this blog, the lurkers and the shy (pop in and say hello lurkers! You just have to leave something in the comments box) and all my internet friends- Ctel, Drew, Davy, DVD, George, Charity Chic, Simon, Ally, Dirk, Echorich, Walter, Luca, London Lee, The Cynical Farmer, Anto, Mondo, Max, and any others I’ve missed from this list who leave the comments that make this blogging lark a two-way thing rather than just me staring at a computer screen- I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. See you in a few days.

A Poundland Christmas

In recent years Billy Childish has become part of the sound of Christmas round our way.

Gallows Eyes

One of my favourite Billy Childish songs today. In 2005 Billy produced yet another album, this time sidestepping the three chord garage-punk to make an album of two halves. Most of the album is poetry readings, many of them nakedly honest, some funny, some quite uncomfortable to listen to. The first seven songs are something else entirely. Recording with Wolf and Nurse Julie as The Chatham Singers, they strip it right back and play seven songs of ragged Delta blues, Billy coaxing some lovely warm guitar tones and Wolf and Julie keeping time on bass and drums. If they sound like they were recorded in his kitchen, it’s probably because they were. This one is particularly good.

The Man With the Gallows Eyes

By Land Sea And Sky

In this short film Billy Chyldish and family launch thirty-one CTMF dazzle ships into the Thames estuary. Each dazzle ship carries one green vinyl 7″ CTMF single. A reward in cash or ‘other printed matter of apparent value’ will be paid for each one recovered. Goodness only knows what this week’s storm has done to the dispersal of these ships, all named after an area of the shipping forecast. The film, soundtracked by Sibelius, is very lovely indeed.