Saturday, 26 September 2009

coming soon

The last week has begun, shame it has to be trannies..

However then normal service will return, I might even mention MUSE...

Monday, 14 September 2009

The Resistance

Never let it be said Muse are afraid to tackle the big BIG subjects. But just where exactly do you go after a revelatory experience with Absolution and Supermassive black holes?

Back to Earth. Origin of Symmetry was Muse embarking on their space rock odyssey, The Resistance is them returning home, mature, concentrated and intent on doing some serious damage.

No more angst and insular self-obsession, grown up, no longer playing games, they have landed back HARD and they don’t like what they see.

The manifesto is laid out good and strong for all to understand in Uprising (also opening in a sleepy Devon town called Teignmouth, I may have mentioned it...) Dr Who and disco,the agenda is set – rise up and take the power back...

Next, Resistance, a gentle synth intro, ominous kettle drums, simple piano hook and disco beat, but its soon obvious the answer (love is our Resistance) isn't going to be enough, the Thought Police are on to us.

Punchy stabs of synth and plucked strings usher in ‘Undisclosed Desires’, 'Map of the Problematique’ gone romantic. “I want to exorcise demons from the past/ I want to satisfy the undisclosed desires in your heart”. A sexy declaration of devotion and building a future together backed by slapped bass from Chris.

United States of Eurasia, gentle piano ballad and symphonic backdrop erupting to Arabian piano and layered chanting nodding in Queen's direction. We are called on to unite our land masses to equal the might of America, tongue is firmly in cheek (or is it?) this is the onslaught of MUSE manifesto. On my first ever listen, THIS was the track that most stuck in my head.

This dissolves into Matt's gorgeous rendition of Chopin's Nocturne in E flat major, but this is sinister, underneath there is half heard tanks planes and children culminating in a full jet flyby and what sounds disturbingly like the bass rumble of a nuclear explosion. Something is very wrong.

Straight into ‘Guiding Light’ - an Ultravox style heartbeat rhythm overlaid with clean guitar and triumphant vocals will certainly be a ‘lighter (or these days, mobile phone) waving’ gig moment. A slow and gentle lament, its clear stakes are about to be raised. We’re about to start a riot. Lines will be crossed, lives may be lost – but this is revolution.

‘Unnatural Selection’ is the Molotov cocktail, a pounding guitar riff and unrelenting bass, "pushing us beyond peaceful protest, I want to speak in a language you'll understand" . A middle eight section with plodding bass and a filthy dirty blues solo gives brief respite to ponder the destruction and recoup your energy before a return to full on Muse riff and the cry "I want the truth". UTTERLY orgasmic.

There's no relaxing though ‘Mk Ultra'. relentless fast synthesiser cuts and thumping bass warn us that “they’re breaking through”. retribution for rebellion. It’s fast paced, frantic and exciting, interspersed with heavy riffs “we’re falling…losing control” The Resistance is failing, the fight is fixed...

The 'wake' is 'I belong to you you', surprisingly jaunty, yearning yet upbeat and maybe just more then a bit inebriated, this is Matt at the piano, a basement dive, cigarette smoke fills the air, the structure changes dramatically and he gets all Edith Piaf and breaks into Mon Coer s'ouvre a ta voix from Samson and Delilah before returning to the I belong to you refrain.

The party is over, it's time to accept defeat.

Lush gorgeous spiralling strings and the Exogenesis symphony has begun.

Part one, overture, sparse falsetto lyrics and we are in trouble, "who are we / where are we / when are we?, heavily distorted guitar and vibrato strings, we are doomed

Part 2 ‘Cross Pollination’. An intense piano solo, starkly the realisation hits, it is time to abandon this condemned planet. There is no hope - except....

We must “wade through the toxic clouds / breach the atmosphere / the edge of all our fears / spread our code to the stars, its time to rescue us all/we know you can never return/tell us your final wish / we’ll tell it to the world"says Matt. We may be doomed but maybe part of us can live on

Part 3 ‘Redemption’ builds from a simple, repetitive melody reminiscent of ‘Blackout’ into the yearning euphoric refrain of “let’s start over again/this time we'll get it right/it's time to forgive ourselves”.....a gentle piano drifts to silence...

Assuming you have not already heard it, DO NOT listen to this album while washing the dog, or waiting for a bus, or cooking dinner, sit down and give it your FULL attention, it's exhausting, utterly moving and if you don't have tears in your eyes and a strange unexplained catch in your throat when it's over then you're not the person I think you are.

This is a concept on the grandest scale, an album of sheer genius and utter beauty. Not since Ziggy has there been anything like this, forget downloads and shuffle modes, this album has to be heard beginning to end in order and in it's entirety.

It'll never work live..... OH.. I was forgetting Teignmouth.... My God these three guys are clever... Imagine what it will be like with floating cubes, plasma backdrops and lasers... Roll on November..



Friday, 11 September 2009

Download, the first

Today, well early hours of this morning I did my first 'download'. Something I have avoided for all I was worth, I guess I have now joined the 21st century and it was horribly beguilingly easy.

You may have guessed, the downfall was MUSE. While Uprising was released on Monday and I bought a conventional CD, Uprising live from Teignmouth was released as a download in the early hours, recorded one week ago today and I was there, and I play it over my iPod and I am there again, yes it is that good. I may not be having my organs rearranged by the bass line but I still want to cry, and punch the air, to scream along with the lyrics.

And I've upgraded iTunes so I can download albums, The Resistance out on Monday will be one of the first so released, and my ultra deluxe box set (CD, multiple DVD, 180g vinyl and memory stick version) will be going home, and I wont for a couple more weeks yet.

Its the start of a slippery slope..

You can get the download from Teignmouth on and you can maybe really see what I am going on about here. Somewhere in that seething crowd is me, losing it....

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

I like Mondays.

Mondays are my day off.

So it'll usually follow the pattern of going out (via Trish the taxi and a bus from Wiliton) to Taunton where I'll have a bucket of coffee in Starbucks, a look around HMV and Primark (I do NOT need any more cheap shirts!) a quick nip into Sainsbury's for something nice for dinner then home.

After a nap I'll do my cleaning (not that that takes long, I'm not here much) change the bed then settle in front of the TV with an Alfred Hitchcock DVD, a bottle of Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc and then something Italian to eat. An early night then I'm as ready as I'll ever be for the next week.

My Mother is staying at the park right now (she always 'sandwiches' the season), so Nadine took us into Taunton and while I did my bits they went shopping for earrings and a mooch around marks and spencer. Nadine is going on na cruise next month and like I said to her they would tend to frown on St Audries Bay polo shirts..

Oh and yes, Muse's single The Uprising was released. I didn't even know HMV sold singles any more, and to be honest there weren't many left.. I've heard it many times online, on the radio you may even have gathered I heard it live (!) but this is the first instalment of The Resistance - out next Monday. EEK! :-)

Sunday, 6 September 2009

A Seaside Rendezvous (3)

John said you could see the back of my head, but you can't, I was further forward and dead centre but this is a brilliant capture of Uprising, and believe me it doesn't capture one nth of what it was actually like to be there.

How could it?

Saturday, 5 September 2009

A Seaside Rendezvous (2)

I didn't take many pictures, while you are messing about with cameras, you're not *there* and I needed to take as much of my day in as I could.

I found much to my delight, I'm nowhere near as singular as I had thought (!) I'd say fully half the ten ish thousand strong audience was about my age. (if you read this stewedrat, say hi)

Teignmouth is an utterly delightful sleepy little town, it's own little backwater world, the people are unfailingly friendly and polite being geared entirely towards the summer visitors.

A little more of the MUSE jigsaw falls into place.

But as I well know, no matter what you think of where you grew up, sooner or later you need to go home and if you can make EVERYONE know about it, so much the better :-)

I spent about 3 hours sitting on the stone edge of one of the seafront flower beds waiting for the 6pm 'doors' opening. For some reason for at least 2 of those I was joined by members of the Teignmouth & Shulden rotary club who had come down to soak up the atmosphere.

I didn't catch any of their names, but they were utterly charming people, we discussed this and that and they were genuinely interested in hearing about MUSE. One of the ladies was particularly excited to find that their plumber (he did all the work on our new house!) was the uncle of Lead man Matt Bellamy.

They were going to come down later with some sherry and sandwiches and sit on the front and listen to the concert on the other side of the hoardings. ('do you know, I really wish we had bought tickets now!') I REALLY hope they enjoyed.

The one thing I did glean is that the licence for the concerts was given on understanding that the sound level would not be above 84 decibels. I have wondered if either the council has no idea what a decibel is or whether it was to be measured from some point on the edge of town - or maybe the next town - or the next county - at the bottom of a well - with earmuffs on. 84 db is not very loud. This was at such a level seismic sensors all over the South west must have been redlining. You could actually *see* the bass lines on the video screens as the cameramen were physically shaken by them. You had to breathe between drumbeats as your internal organs were rearranged.

It was wonderful.

And at the houses and apartments across the road from the Den (a seafront strip of charming park) every window and balcony was filled with the (mostly elderly) residents watching every moment.

Inside every old person is a young one wondering what the **** happened, and for just a few hours we were all 30 years younger..

I will see them again at the O2 this November, and I can't wait, but this was a truly special utterly magical evening and I do hope that now maybe Teignmouth has cracked its shell they will have the nerve to fully break out. I know my friends at the Rotary club want to...

Muse are there again tonight, have a brilliant night guys, I truly wish I could be with you again but I have had one night of magic and maybe, just sometimes one night is enough. And I have Chris Williams' engagement party to host.....

A Seaside Rendezvous (1)

Dream and fate
The world's largest best entertainment institution

They exploded onto the stage with Uprising, their single taken from their new album The Resistance out on the 14th.

They will not force us
They will stop degrading us
They will not control us

You dance, you scream, you have tears in your eyes, you punch the air in victory, you *believe*


They don't put a foot wrong, this isn't the massive stadium gigs, its one of the small stages recycled from Glastonbury tricked out with a victorianesqe proscenium arch and tatty end of the pier velvet drapes.

There is no giant plasma screen backdrops, no laser equipped satellite dishes scanning the skies, this is no push the button and run, this is rock at its loudest, most visceral, most primal, at it's very very best. They make comments to us and each other between the songs, They are having fun, they are home.

And we heard songs from the new album, I'm not sure how many appreciated it at the time, this was stuff that had never been heard before, by the tour in November we will all be word perfect, but this was NEW and we were the FIRST.

I haven't finished on my day by a long chalk, but now I need a sleep.

I believe....

Friday, 4 September 2009

here goes..

Its as windy as all hell, but at least it seems to have stopped hammering down with rain.

I didn't sleep that well, I must be mad..

My friend Rachel who works in Exeters premier hotel says the place is full of journalists and Muse's 'people' but still offered to get me a room by pulling strings, there's not one to be had anywhere.

Teignmouth is a small sleepy seaside town.

I wonder if it has the *slightest* idea what's about to hit it...

Thursday, 3 September 2009

They don't make 'em like that

The recent mobile phone saga.

I like the Motorola V3. (I'm not sure which version, there were a few and I couldn't track the differences anyway) It's been around for an age, it does all I want, it's pretty big, but thin. As far as I can gather it a lot of other people do too, I believe Motorola keeps trying to shut it down but people keep buying it. There's a raging market in grey imports.

And while I'm no regular watcher (how could I be) it even turned up on a recent Ugly Betty in the hands of a new hunky bloke, now thats fashion..

My first died ignominiously in the early rainy hours of one morning a few weeks ago, I'd always loved that phone, (well as much as anyone can love a mobile phone, i.e not screaming at it in frustration *too* often) and it had been dropped a number of times before, but this was just one of those unfortunate accidents, it's hinge just caught a big lump of concrete and suddenly it had a removable screen.

I replaced it with a new one from eBay, one of those mentioned grey imports, it looked the same but didn't really feel it, for something already that thin it seemed even thinner, even flimsy. I managed to crack the external screen within days, it didn't seem very sensitive and the vaunted laser cut keyboard was reduced to mere foil. The black finish was chipping and marking very fast and the end came for it when it developed an 'unless you press your fingers into a certain place on the back the phone cut off' fault.

Back to eBay and this time I've got a refurbished one, (ie replaced the OS to get rid of the original provider 'locking') my theory being it would be one of the older tougher ones, and yes, it is that and it's even a proper 'made in China' Motorola, not an 'improved' made in Singapore one.

This one works perfectly, even if it does look anaemic (it's silver, not the black I was used to). Chinese Motorola's, they don't make 'em like that no more...

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

the last piece in the jigsaw

Trish the Taxi isn't usually available around 9am as she has a standing order taking a lady into Taunton.

Only for Friday she is, the final jigsaw piece.

Now I can get a taxi to Wiliton, a bus to Taunton, if Tim doesn't come through with a suitable jacket I have time to nip into Debenhams and get one.

My ticket on the train to Teignmouth is actually booked (with a reserved seat!) I know where the 'Den' is, I have my ticket, my tee shirt, my iPod. I even know how to get home after, a train to Exeter, another to Taunton and Adrian, Trish's long suffering husband is picking me up at the station at 2.45 am.

I don't ever remember things taking planning like this before, once I just would have gone and to hell with the consequences.

Life for a 50 yo Muse fan :-) I saw a statement on one of the newsgroups, stating there was no such thing.

Think again, we just plan a bit more....