A protestor unfurls an anti-Tesco banner in Bristol
And what better way to hail the New Year’s bounteous arrival than with the tale of another doomed-heroic charge against corporate unaccountability by small-town Somerset’s very own community Light Brigade, Forehead.
Another rain-lashed winter’s evening on the Somerset Levels, another town hall meeting about Tesco. For once, it wasn’t left to a rag-tag bunch of community activists to drag council apparatchiks and supermarket big-wigs into the same capacious room as a crowd of fiery locals. This time the gathering was council-organised, designed, apparently, to help the councillors who would eventually approve or deny Tesco’s superstore bid come to an educated decision. Continue reading
It’s an exciting day for the Bemolution. Art-rock colossus David Bowie has startlingly reappeared from a decade of silent exile that many read as retirement, marking his 66th birthday by issuing his first musical peep since 2003. Four-minute single ‘Where Are We Now?’ was laconically deposited on ITunes with no prior warning, no comment from the man himself and little else beyond the promise of a full album to follow in March. Continue reading
In the beginning, there was ‘Bem’, and it didn’t really mean anything. A nonsensical outburst made halfway through a bleak A-level Politics lesson by a power metal enthusiast called Moe, it became a world-weary catchphrase for some left-wing cynics trundling their way through Further Education.
As snow assails the West Country, the Bemolution fortuitously happened upon the existence of German pianist Nils Frahm, and his album-shaped ode to his nine functioning digits after the painful breakage of the tenth.
If you play piano for a living, breaking a finger is fairly disastrous. After moping inconsolably for a few days, Frahm decided to have a go at triumphing over adversity. Nine consecutive nights of recording later, he finished Screws, named after the metal pins doctors put into his stricken thumb to try and right it, and humbly issued it for free.
‘Re’ turned out to be sublimely atmospheric accompaniment to plodding through the wintery moonscape with your headphones in. Like the rest of the album, it’s concertedly lo-fi, warmed by a soothing, fire-side analogue crackle, over which Frahm gently, slowly lays his lilting melodies. The loping motif is drowsy but playful at the same time, like a zero-gravity Irish jig, but just as it’s lulling you reverie-ward, it takes a starker, more melancholic turn before unceremoniously fading out. It’s beautiful, and makes you wish that talented musicians could suffer potentially career-ruining injuries more often.