Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 26/01/2012

Little In The Way Of Sunshine*

Squirrel, originally uploaded by

I’ve been looking forward to this evening for quite a while now, in fact long before I even knew what tonight would involve. I’ve mentioned before one of my favourite, quintessentially English, bands is Half Man Half Biscuit. I first heard their Trumpton Riots E.P. on the John Peel radio program in the ‘80s; the rawness of the production, the simplicity of the music, and oh, the complexity and subtlety of the lyrics had me hooked form the off. In all the time I’ve like them, I’ve never seen them live – I’ve wanted to, I even turned up to see them play only to find the venue had been closed down. Well, tonight I’m driving up to see friends and then we’re all off to watch Nigel Blackwell et al and to say I’m excited is a bit of an understatement. My fascination, nay obsession, has waned with Popular Music (I prefer the not so popular stuff anyway) and I couldn’t tell you what was in the charts or even hum any of the tunes (do they still have those these days) but my love of music hasn’t diminished I’m just sticking with what I know. You’ve probably not heard of most of the bands I like, they’re not massively obscure – there are far more underground acts than the ones I follow, they’re just not main stream. You’ll have heard of Radiohead, Manic Street Preachers possibly even Belle and Sebastian but I doubt you’ll have heard of Mew, The Notwist, The Descendents, and not forgetting Cardiacs. I’m not trying to score points on this subject – these are the bands I now seem to be stuck with, whether they’re producing new stuff or not. Anyway, tonight has been a long time coming and I’m sure Half Man Half Biscuit won’t disappoint.

I’m afraid it’s unlikely that you will see photos of anything other than Squirrels (in fact one specific squirrel to be pedantic) until I can escape from my desk and get out with my camera gear. Whilst I’m hoping to be taking photos over the weekend whilst teaching at Dartmoor Zoo, my primary role there is as tutor so will be offering advice to people rather than indulging myself with my camera. It will be difficult though, not taking photos of the animals, but I want to ensure that the people on the course all have a tip-top day, so everything else will have to be put on a back burner. Having checked the weather forecast, it does look like we could have some half-decent weather and that I won’t have to resort to “Plan B” (no not the band, the indoor photography stuff) though I have taken pictures at the zoo when the rain was coming down like stair rods (as the phrase goes).. I’ve got video of the even showing the rain.. which proves one thing Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in conditions other than at mid day when the sun is blazing down.. pip pip and all that Old Bean.

* It’s a Half Man Half Biscuit track of their CSI:Ambleside album.


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