Monday, 19 June 2017

Shād bād manzil-i murād

So, I tipped India to win the final of the ICC Champions Trophy; I hope none of you followed that advice to the extent of putting any money on it. Not only did Pakistan win, they whapped India so badly that the losers might as well have not bothered to turn up. Once again proof, should any more be required, that Epictetus doesn't know what he is talking about.

I am on firmer ground with music however. As I have previously reminded you, that eminent philosopher Homer Simpson once noted that it had been scientifically proven that popular music reached perfection in 1974. In light of that self-evident truth I have been to see Ian Hunter, former lead singer with Mott the Hoople, a band who broke up that very year, presumably recognising that it was all downhill from there. Hunter is, astonishingly, seventy eight - by some weird coincidence all the musical heroes of my youth seem to be reaching old age together - but played and sang with energy seemingly to spare. He also had a rather good, and rather younger, backing band to help out. He is touring in support of a new album, but while there was a lot of stuff I didn't know, it didn't stray at all from the template of forty years ago. He did, of course, play the songs one would expect from his solo career (Once Bitten, Twice Shy) and from Mott the Hoople (All the Way to Memphis, Roll Away the Stone, a cover of the Velvet Underground's Sweet Jane, The Golden Age of Rock and Roll etc). Hunter was a friend of David Bowie and for the encore he first played 'Dandy', his tribute following the latter's death which appeared on the new album, followed, inevitably and understandably, by 'All the Young Dudes'.

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