Present Company Exceptional

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10931387_1606116766284382_2832285792610681723_nMy Nan would always tell me that “you’re judged by the company you keep”. If that is the case, I’m quite happy for you to don your wig and gown. Having joined New Haven Publishing this week, for a two book deal, I am in very good company.

Specialising in music and entertainment industry publications, New Haven, boasts Ginger Coyote’s “The Best of Punk Globe Magazine”, Greg Healey’s “Decade of Discontent, The 1970s – Now And Then” and Nick Welsh’s “The Life & Times of A Ska Man” amongst its titles. My fellow authors also include actor Gary Shail (who may be best known for his role in Quadrophenia, but will always be Steve from Metal Mickey to me!) and ‘Punk Poet’ and ex-Stone Roses manager, Garry Johnson. In addition to his memoir, “Punk Rock Stories And Tabloid Tales”, Garry has also collaborated with Swedish singer/songwriter Sören ‘Sulo’ Karlsson, on a CD of the same name. Due for release on 26th February, the album showcases both talents, with Sulo’s distinctSuloive vocals delivering Garry’s lyrical poetry. I have been fortunate enough to have a sneak preview of a couple of the tracks. The beautifully regretful “The One That Got Away” was all it took before I found myself pre-ordering the CD.

At the helm of New Haven Publishing is Norwegian born Teddie Dahlin. An author and music journalist, Teddie was the interpreter for The Sex Pistols when their 1977 tour reached Norway. Her first book, “A Vicious Love Story: Remembering The Real Sid Vicious” is an account of that time. With an aim to “strive to grow steadily, making our name  synonymous with good quality reading”, Teddie leads by example, one which I will enjoy following when writing my next two books on Eighties’ pop culture. After all, I don’t want to be Bad Company – that’s so Seventies!

 

 

Revision of Eurovision

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Listening to Ken Bruce’s Radio 2 show this morning being broadcast from Copenhagen, in preparation for tomorrow’s Eurovision Song Contest, I was reminded of past entries, about which I thought I had completely forgotten. One of my favourite UK entries was in 1982, when Bardo sang “One Step Further”. They were beaten to the prime position by Germany’s Nicole, singing “A Little Peace”, another song that was etched in my memory. However, it wasn’t until this morning that I was reminded of Sweden’s 1984 entry, The Herreys singing “Diggiloo Diggiley” and Norway’s Bobby Socks singing “Let It Swing” in 1985. Catchy, cheesey pop at its very best!

Even those songs I knew I had stashed in my memory held a little surprise for me. No one was more shocked than I, when I sang along word-for-word to Johnny Logan’s 1980 winning entry, “What’s Another Year?” The more I listened to Ken’s show this morning, the more I realised how much I had absorbed from the Eurovision of my youth. Most of it is Eighties-based, although I can’t write about my Eurovision favourites without mentioning Brotherhood of Man. I may have only been 5, when they won the contest with “Save All Your Kisses For Me” in 1976, but I remember learning and practising the dance routine to the song, with my Auntie Sharon (who will probably disown me now!).

Another Eurovision dance routine I used to know off by heart was the routine to “Making Your Mind Up” by Bucks Fizz, the UK’s 1981 winning entry. This one was ‘performed’ with friends rather than family members though. I’m sure we weren’t the only kids singing and dancing, pretending to be Cheryl, Mike, Bobby and Jay, or maybe living in a remote, rural community meant that we were more likely to make our own entertainment. Whatever the reason, it was a time when Eurovision was still fun, and we still stood a chance of winning. Yes, the Scandanavian countries would vote for each other; yes, we could always rely on Malta for douze points, but a good performance and a good song would still find its way to the top of the scoreboard. Now that the competition is heavily dominated by an Eastern European mutual appreciation society, a return to that scenario is unlikely.

Despite our chances of winning being as likely as Russia giving Ukraine top marks (no reflection of the quality of Molly’s rendition of “Children of The Universe”), I will make a long-overdue return to watching Eurovision tomorrow evening. My enthusiasm for the contest has been re-ignited by this morning’s blast from the past, and with promises of a bearded lady and a Greek rap entry, what’s not to like???