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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Desert Island Albums VI Tim Buckley Lorca

Tim Buckley

Beginning with an ominous, sustained chord from a gothic-sounding pipe-organ, surrounded by flickering, luminous harmonics of an electric piano, it’s immediately obvious that Lorca, Tim Buckley’s 4th album (recorded before Blue Afternoon but released afterwards) is heading way off the West Coast map.

“You're just a man on death's highways” he solemnly intones on the title track; a startling, unsettling collision of his enthusiasm for free jazz, the out-there offerings of contemporary classical music’s avant-garde, and unflinchingly stream-of-consciousness, confessional folk song.

Otherworldly, intensely powerful and sometimes bafflingly difficult listening, the five songs which make up Lorca show Buckley lost in some uncanny rapture, slipping beyond the traditional reins which governed what a sensitive hippy troubadour was supposed to sound like at the tail end of the 1960s.

Captured quickly in a fevered improvisation during September 1969, Buckley, accompanied intermittently by keyboards, guitar and percussion, channels darkly intense and brooding psycho-dramas. His astonishing voice, whose unbridled range could soar to ecstatic heights and swoop to furtive whispers, often within the same breath, ebbs and flows in uneasy, querulous and confrontational waves.

Lorca and the creeping, liminal ballad, Anonymous Proposition, which followed, originally occupied side one of the album. The remaining three tracks were live recordings though this wasn’t revealed at the time. Lighter in tone and mood, they nevertheless reflect Buckley’s manic energies, from the spellbindingly slow pulsating undertow of Driftin’, to the tripping, euphoric runs of Nobody Walkin’ - the latter clearly influenced by Miles Davis’ just-issued In A Silent Way.

Released in 1970, Lorca boldly pushes at the extremes of his talent. It’s also, perhaps, a resentful ‘fuck you’ aimed at the Elektra label who’d wanted something geared towards the mainstream. With its pained yowls, veering dangerous curves, and the stream-of-consciousness valedictions, it took him in precisely the opposite direction. Though Elektra’s Jac Holzman respected Lorca’s defiant ambition, this was the product of an artist they no longer recognised. Unsurprisingly it was Buckley’s last for the label.

Though now often overlooked in favour of follow-up Starsailor’s spacey experimentalism, Lorca is that brave decisive, first leap into the uncertainties beyond the frontier. Writing about it in 1995 his son, Jeff said “They hit it. They certainly hit something that no one can touch”, noting ominously, “When I die, you can all remember my admiration of that period.” 

Whitley Bay Daily Photo CCXLIII

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Whitley Bay Daily Photo CCXLII

Up, Up And Away

In the past when we've left Exeter to fly back to Newcastle we've usually been on a very early flight. Not today. The Gods of the booking form decreed that we should have a long lie-in, an incredibly leisurely breakfast and a relaxed packing.

The view from our breakfast table this morning...

From the hotel to the airport is less then twenty minutes. Going through security we boarded an almost empty flight...

The huge downpour continued as our little twin-prop plane began to taxi...

Wheels up...

About an hour an a half later we where sitting at home drinking a cup of tea and catching up with Tom and Joe.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

After The Rain

A lovely morning so out at about 7.00 a.m. for a bit of a constitutional...

With all our goodbyes said last night, after breakfast we headed for the ferry...

Onto the train at Teignmouth headed for Exeter...

 After dropping our bags at the hotel we wandered out for a spot of lunch...

After more wandering about we ended up at the playhouse cinema to see this documentary...

Walking back through Exeter in the evening the rain comes in and we head back to the hotel to read and watch some TV.  The return from Exeter usually marks the official end of summer for us and so we raised a mug of tea and acknowledged how lucky we are to have had such a lovely few weeks with friends and family.

Whitley Bay Daily Photo CCXLI

Monday, August 27, 2012

Rain Stopped Play

No early out and about for me as the rain came down in an unrelenting deluge. After breakfast we risked a jaunt to the Shaldon Coffee Rush where I caught up on some bits and pieces.

The rain looked as though it had abated so we decided to walk over to Teignmouth for a mooch about..

but it wasn't long before we were back to nipping in and out of shops to shelter from the downpour...

 As we walked back we had to take refuge in a bus shelter - waving a confused bus driver away as he pulled in for us. I turned around and there was Shaldon looking lovely, and more importantly, dry!

Whitley Bay Daily Photo CCXL

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Gone Fishing

After the morning walk around the village and breakfast followed by a bit of internet in the Shaldon Coffee Rush, we went to the Manor House to rendezvous with the gang and from there to the ferry.

Sadly the sun had gone as crossed over to Teignmouth...

but that didn't deter the team...

Neil, Tom, Deb

Roz and Nadia

Jess and Matt


As ever Graham caught the first mackerel of the day. Debra caught the most of any of us - eight or so. I even caught two - although one of them was so small and not even a mackeral that it had to be put back.  After a good hour and a half this was the catch of the day... 

Graham had caught the biggest one of everyone on the boat that day. Here he is with the one that didn't get away...

Back at Shaldon the fish were prepared by Halina with Debra providing support, Neil lit the fires of the barbeque, Linda prepared all manner of lip-smacking nibbles and Matt and I got the pints of Doom Bar in ahead of a lovely evening. 


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