Monday, 15 August 2016

Un dia càlid a Girona

On a blazing Sunday afternoon we mooched around for a bit on the sunlit streets of Girona. We ate well, struggled to keep cool, saw (but did not patronise) a restaurant named "The Lion's Arse" and observed all the usual signs of Catalans resisting the yoke of Spain.

Saturday, 6 August 2016


So PROJECT CATALUNYA is now real. We've locked up the house in England. We will soon officially be rid of it and fat on what feels like unearned money. Our new life in warmer climes begins in earnest on Monday, I'd say, when our mountains of stuff arrive on a truck and get shovelled into the rented digs we'll be using as our base for the first year. For now, we're perspiring gently in a whimsical hotel in the hills, unwinding after the drive south through the length of France and across the border into the country of which Catalunya is currently a part.

Sunday, 17 July 2016


... more running... more tunes:

  • GUTS: Sweet Love [2008]
  • Savages: You're My Chocolate [2008]
  • Me & You: Arnie vs. Ghandi [2008?]
  • Odjbox: Blue Goose [2012]
  • The Rwenzoris: Handsome Boy (E Wara) [1974]
  • The Mixed Grill: A Brand New Wayo [1979]
  • Chicago Gangsters: I Choose You [1975]
  • Christian Bruhn: Wetten, Dass...? [1979]
  • Juan Demonio: Es Casa [1975]
  • Jerzy Milian: Gacek [1975]


Still no proper personal take on all that's happened on this blessed (soon to be abandoned) island since that fucking referendum. It's coming. But PROJECT CATALUNYA is keeping us busy here: a cathartic clearing out of loft-bound possessions of zero utility - selling some stuff, giving, giving some stuff away, dumping other stuff; making arrangements for removals; paperwork, paperwork, paperwork; arranging leaving parties and drinks that map sensibly to the complex Venn diagam of our overlapping social lives; doing a couple of weeks of paid work not so much for the modest money as for the useful experience it provides ahead of the thing we're going to be doing for a living up in those Catalan hills.

There is still time to run and jump and lift etc., albeit less time than I'd like. A recent session was greased on its tiring way by:   

  • Chemise: She Can't Love You [1982]
  • Skyy: Show Me The Way [1983]
  • Ahmed Fakroun: Nisyan [1977]
  • Chakachas: Stories [1972]
  • The Boris Gardner Happening ft. Leslie Butler: Ghetto Funk [1973]
  • Kokolo: Soul Power [2008]
  • Hülya Süer Şeker Oğlan(Kozmonot Rework)[2015]*
  • Ihsan Al-Munzer: Sari Aghtchik [??]**


*This seems to be a pretty radical 2015 remix ("rework", if you will) of a song by a Turkish Singer, Hülya Süer, about whom I have found precious little information. Various photos of her dotted around online appear to be have been taken over many years. Judging by her makeup and hairstyle in the photo accompanying mentions of this track, I'm inclined to guess the original recording was made some time in the 1970s. 

**This track was recorded in Lebanon some time in the 1970s. I don't have more specific info than that.

Sunday, 3 July 2016


BREXIT REFERENDUM: an angry, exasperated, worried this is my england response IS brewing. But it may take a few more days to emerge. As PROJECT CATALUNYA gathers pace, a third trip to the area has turned out to be necessary, and is set to take place later this coming week. This time the focus will be on confirming a temporary home to serve as a reasonably comfortable base for the first 6-12 months of our new life abroad. But I'm still managing to have a go at working off the excess weight, firming up the excess softness and doing something about a long legacy of under-addressed puniness. The day after the referendum, I spent a fiery hour with my perceptive PT, who wisely selected a session consisting largely of slamming things onto other things very hard. Cathartic. A little. Not enough, of course. Left to my own devices a day or so later, I moved about a bit to a funny old soundtrack: nostalgia for my clubbing days at the front end, followed by a couple of oddities recorded in the Soviet Union of all places:

  • Frankie Knuckles: Your Love [1986]
  • D.O.P.: Future Le Funk [1992]
  • Saint Etienne: Only Love Can Break Your Heart [1991]
  • Rozalla: Everybody's Free (To Feel Good) [1991]
  • CeCe Peniston; Finally [1991]
  • Andrei Petrov: Mondniy Tanec [1977]
  • Aleksander Zatsepin: Tanec Shamana [1974]

Thursday, 23 June 2016


An unnecessary, divisive and toxic plebiscite foisted upon us so David Cameron could continue to be PM. Endless and unpunished lying. The impossibility of denying that we now live in a post-truth era in which experts and facts are routinely reviled and rejected. Unless they're on your side. It's nearly done. Hoping for the right result. Lots simmering away in the background as PROJECT CATALUNYA gathers pace. No wonder I needed another run and additional physical jerks, part of all that lightened by: 
  • Ill Biskits: 22 Years [1994]
  • Handsome Boy Modeling School ft. J-Live & Róisín Murphy: The Truth [1999]
  • Nu: MAN O TO [2012]
  • Capricorn: 20 Hz [1993]
  • The Aloof: Never Get Out Of The Boat [1991]


I've thought about writing something relating to today's EU referendum here in the UK. In fact, given the degree to which the whole dismal business has been dominating headlines and conversations here of late, it seems strange not be doing so. But I've been all over Twitter and whatnot, making my REMAIN preference pretty obvious. I've grown weary of it, and fearful about the consequences of a LEAVE win. More the point, others have articulated the left-wing case for a remain vote far more articulately and persuasively than I can manage, notably Alex Andreou back in May. All I have in the tank today, then, is another dumb list of the stuff I listened to during my most recent stint of running my way towards reduced fatness and sweaty breathlessness:

  • The Winstons: Amen Brother [1969]
  • Billy Preston: Outta Space [1971]
  • Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes: Expansions [1975]
  • Bernard Purdie: Cold Sweat [1971]
  • DJ Nephets: Na Na Na [1997]
  • Funk Machine: Message From Our Sponsor [1991]

Monday, 20 June 2016


Busy times. Back and forth to Catalunya as we firm up the details of the big move to that part of the world. Plus the last few days here in the UK have been a whirlwind of social stuff: a laddish bender with old pals, including beers in the Dublin Castle followed by Weatherall and On-U Sound in the Jazz Cafe; a Kentish wedding party; a good lunch with extended family. Hence less time for flab-fighting and all that. Back on it today, though, the treadmill part made better by:

  • Abradab: Mamy Królów na Banknotach [2010]
  • Gary Wright: Love is Alive [1975]
  • Black Sugar: Understanding [1971]
  • The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band: Express Yourself [1970]
  • Fela Kuti: Water Get No Enemy [1975]
  • Round Robin Monopoly: Life is Funky [1974]
  • Patrice Rushen: The Hump [1977]