Friday, November 02, 2007

The Search for the Grail

impossible songs on a virtual pilgrimage to Legoland

impossible songs

There’s nothing wrong with Bulgaria.

Thursday night and I’m at OOTB, my hip pain and various bruises not quite so acute and I’m hoping that a few hours of eclectic singer-songwriter mumbo jumbo will prove an adequate distraction. It’s a fair enough night with some older participants popping in: Fiona Thom, Roddy Renfrew, the driven Davie Watson and Ben Young to name but a few. Ben played a song called “Battle of the Bands” that stuck with me. One part of the lyric was spot on in its incisive observation “there’s no one here who’s going to remember what you played, singers singing with nothing to say”. The irony and pathos in that line and hopefully hovering it over the heads of the OOTB audience of songwriters, burn-outs, hopefuls, merry pranksters and me (I'm all of those and more a various times) was a magic little moment.

Ben's song did make me reflect again on modern music, entertainment, re-made films, covered songs, tribute acts, re-released albums and packages of work that are blown up to be “classic” when they are little more than regurgitated crap that was never really any good anyway. Wouldn’t we all give everything to just find something new to say, something in a fresh, unexplored part of the spectrum and then express it neatly, articulately and all balanced up on a good tune? That is like digging up the Holy Grail, the Fountain of Youth and the lost Ark and then getting them rolled up into a golden three minutes forty seconds of timeless performance. Better to live in hope than die in Bulgaria.

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