Thursday, May 10, 2007

On Sunday evening we went to see the "This is England" the latest film from the very talented Shane Meadows. It's a brilliantly unsettling look at life in 80's England. The film charts the progress of a young lad as he make friends with a group of skinheads, showing the way the promise of friendship and a sense of belonging can foster loyalty which leads to some very unpleasant situations.

The kinship offered to the 12 year old by his new streetwise friends tempts him into ever more worrying scenarios. It's a testament to Shane Meadows skill as a director, that you can understand the attractions of being part of this gang. We are allowed to see behind the veneer of the shaved heads and the Doc Martin boots to the witty and supportive soul of the group.

The film is set at the time of the Falklands war, so it's a period I remember well. I grow up in Fishponds, a suburb of Bristol which always had a smattering of skinheads even when the rest of England appeared to be devoid of them. Having said that I didn't ever really have that much direct contact with our local "Skins". In the very late 70's the burgeoning mod and Two Tone scene saw a rise in their numbers, but I was still able to keep out their way. As someone who went to a lot of gigs around that time, I became quite used to huge fights breaking out in the middle of gigs, sometimes Skins were involved, sometimes Punks, sometimes the curious Psychobilly slam dancers who would provoke a little ruck. It was always the skinheads that caused me the most concern, although as I said earlier I had no personal experience of them.

Earlier in the weekend we went out for a fantastic meal at Green's Dining Room at Zetland Road, how nice to have such a wonderful place within walking distance of our house.

Bank Holiday Monday was spent at Redland Fair, as ever a very social occasion for us. I must be getting old as this year I bought neither records or books, yet I did buy a small 50's looking vase - I know, I'm shocked as well!

Tonight we are heading down to The Thekla to see the American band "Saturday Looks Good To Me", not really sure what sort of crowd they will attract as they have a pretty low profile. On Saturday we were meant to be seeing the excellent Absentee, but sadly the gig has been scraped as tour headliners Larakin Love have split up, how selfish of them!

Other than that, we've got tickets for the Venn Festival, Apples In Stereo and The Decemberists sitting in our ticket drawer at the moment.

Over recent weeks I've been enjoying new albums by Panda Bear, Cornelius, Apples In Stereo, Au Revoir Simone as well as the songs for the "Young at Heart" project and the live EP from Joanna Newsome.

I'm currently enjoying a book which I have started and given up on a couple of times of the past 25 years! It's Herzog by Saul Bellow and for some reason I'm really enjoying it's acerbic take on the life of a middle aged man in early 1960's New York. Maybe I've just reached the right age at last, because for all his flaws Herzog now comes across as a very believable man.

Oh yes, Bristol City got promoted - how amazing is that!


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