Writing

All written work except blogs

INESS MEZEL – Beyond trance, beyond identity

It was one of those perfect moments, when passion burns up the concept, and Iness Mezel’s words begin to canter excitedly as she remembers it: “You arrive at the studio with all your baggage and paraphernalia and you lay them out and something just happens, beyond all expectations. Beyond trance. Beyond consciousness. And I love…

TINARIWEN #2 – La dolce vita, desert style

In that same moment of dream-like calm, not more than two hundred kilometres away, a Malian army column was fighting for survival against the firepower of the ATNMC, a splinter rebel movement led by desert ‘bad boy’ and Malian public enemy No. 1, Ibrahim Ag Bahanga.

TINARIWEN – Sons of the desert

When Tinariwen launch into one of their songs on one of their good nights, I’m immediately transported to the place they come from. My nostrils prick up to the smell of tea, tobacco and gasoline. The pentatonic drone of the music rolls out the endless line of the desert horizons. The perpetual polyrhythms put wanderlust back into my heart and my feet.

STAFF BENDA BILILI – No pity please!

Long ago, Staff Benda Bilili understood that any real handicap exists only in the mind, rather than in the legs. Stricken by polio whilst still young, abandoned to their fate in one of the toughest and most dysfunctional cities in the world, forced to survive by courage and wit alone, Ricky, Coco, Roger and the crew have always known that life’s path clings to a vertical cliff face which towers above them. The only way has been up.

Gulliver’s Travels to Alfieland

I went to see Jack Black’s ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ in Chichester with the family. My boy Alfie loved the action and just managed to get through the romantic disinterest. Every time the action dropped below a certain level of intensity, he became a squirming wrecking ball in the seat next to me; bouncing like a giant…

K’NAAN – Barefoot poetry from ‘Little Mogadishu’

This battle for recognition in the hierarchy of the hard is the subject of one of K’naan’s best loved tunes, ‘What’s Hardcore’, with its immortal line “If I rhymed about home and got descriptive / I’d make Fifty Cent look like Limp Bizkit.”’ But what might seem like ghetto-boy posturing was actually part of a deeper struggle to gain respect.