songs to remember

by jamesendeacott

a couple of weeks ago i took the family to Newport in South Wales. not something i’d normally do at the weekend but there was method in my madness. i was asked to take part in a thing called ‘Busk on the Usk’ – it was an afternoon/evening of talking and music. i think it was put together by the people from the Green Man festival. I was asked down to contribute by an old friend called Dai Davis – and yes he is Welsh. As welsh as they come. Dai used to work for Mainman management in the 1970’s … Mainman managed David Bowie through the early 70’s so i felt home with this gently spoken man from the valleys. i was down also on the invite of richard king…author of How Soon Is Now…a wonderful book i keep bleating on about…its a history of the madmen and mavericks who ran independent labels in the UK between 1975 and 2005. buy this book now. richard has a child and needs to feed her. i was there to talk about indie music…a topic i seem to know a lot about…anyway the talk went well – i ended up being interviewed by richard – i was emu to his parkinson. in a nutshell. Dai also interviewed Dave Robinson who started Stiff Records – an interesting hour and a half that was…great stories about Costello, Lowe and the rest…beer, speed and pub rock – those boys partied hard.

anyway the evening entertainment was a gig by Scritti Politti…not any old gig but their first in Newport since the band formed in the late 70’s…Green Gartside, the singer and all round top fella, was born and bred in Newport. i have a long history with Scritti Politti – one day i’ll tell you it all in detail…their first album on rough trade ‘songs to remember’ has been on my turntable constantly for over 30 years…Faithless was my favourite song for many a year. i got really matey with Green in the 00’s…i worked with him on the re-release of all their early rough trade singles. i even named the album Early. in fact is still have the original badge that was on the cover…i must give it him back….more than all this though i put on the first Scritti Politti gig for 27 years in 2006. Green famously had stage fright and wouldn’t perform…somehow i manged to get him on stage all those years later…it was at the Windmill in Brixton – what a night that was…anyway – seeing them a couple of weeks brought it all back.

hats off to you Green. You are a true Gent in a world that is sadly lacking…i’m proud to be your friend…

enough of this time for some black beer.