Sunday, November 06, 2005


When we returned from our recent trip to Glasgow, I think we both felt a little disappointed that Bristol did not offer quite the same sort of upcoming musical talent that that fine city has to offer. Well last night proved that we were wrong.

We went along to The Folk House for a glorious night of music in one of the nicest places in Bristol. First up were Cajita, purveyors of lovely brooding music. Mainly acoustic but with an electronica influence adding a nice twist from time to time. Fine band.

The star of the evening though was the magnificent Francois playing with The Atlas Mountain Ensemble. Now, we’ve seen Francois a few times in the past and it’s been nice, we’ve got a couple of his CD’s and they have their moments of beauty – but last night!

The performance was nothing short of wonderful. The only person that I could link him with is the mercurial Sufjan Stevens. Fantastic arrangements by the huge band (10 or 11 members, I kept losing count), featuring all sorts of instrumentation, added to the sense of wonder. The band played in the middle of the room, with minimal amplification and I’m sure that they must have loved looking around to see so many faces beaming with happiness.

They are playing together again at The Arnolfini on December 6th, well worth seeing if you can.

I finished reading “On Beauty” by Zadie Smith this morning. It’s little strange when academics write books, which are set in the academic world. I know that you are supposed to write about what you know, but how many of us really care about the internal politics of university life? However I did enjoy the book, particularly the adventures of the young son who is determinedly non-academic and makes desperate efforts to hook up with some like-minded people.

Had a bit of a CD buying burst today, picked up Aidan Smith’s “Fancy Barrel (worth buying for that cover alone),”Set Yourself on Fire by the Canadian band Stars and “Tanglewood Numbers by Silver Jews. This week I shall mainly be concentrating on performers who name begins with the letter S!

Whilst I was out shopping with Orynthia, Bristol City were being beaten at home in the F.A. Cup by Notts County. Over the past few months I’ve found it harder to raise much enthusiasm for football at Ashton Gate or particularly in the wider arena. For the first time ever I had to think long and hard about buying a season ticket in the summer and unless something major changes, I don’t think that I’ll bother next season. I just think that there are so many better things that I could do with my time.

It’s not the money, though watching football is far too expensive these days. It really is true that as you get older time is more important than money. So I may well limp through to the end of the season, then watch the World Cup and then that may well be the end of it for me. It will be strange, as I’ve spent most of the last 36 years watching the game, the magic has just slipped away.

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