A couple of years ago I blogged about discovering an amazing busker who drums on plastic buckets, tin pots and the like. His passionate and unfettered musicality was a great relief from the consumerism of Oxford Street, which can be quite oppressive. Whilst walking along the Southbank yesterday, I found that he had moved to a new regular spot between the river and Waterloo station. Apparently the local authorities didn’t like him drumming on Oxford Street. Perhaps they couldn’t hear the traffic quite so well.
Anyway, it was great to meet Jo again. He is an interesting guy, and is clearly sustaining his life effectively (without going into personal details). What I think is so spectacular about Jo’s drumming is the overwhelming effect he has on passers-by. Some buskers are annoying, some are talented, some are fun, but Jo is in a different league.
Technically, it is fascinating to see him exploring the different ways of using the plastic surfaces, investigating the varying timbre and resonance. That is all very interesting. But each time he picks up his sticks and starts hitting those buckets people just stop and listen in amazement. There is a thrill you feel when encountering such visceral and exuberant musicality – it engages something inside you. People of all different ages, nationalities, backgrounds simply stop in their tracks and become immersed within moments. You can see for yourself in the video how the crowd builds up, it is the same each time he starts. Jo’s music may be unvarnished but he makes a connection, he really communicates with total strangers. It is easy to forget that music is language.
Mind, he was getting a spot of bother from the guys who control the begging and busking scene around Waterloo. It ended up in an amicable resolution, fortunately.
Today is momentous: it marks the final publication of “The World’s Greatest Newspaper”, capping off 168 years of proud history.
To mark this great event, I have decided to read the newspaper. Well, go to its website. And read the front page. Although the “The World’s Greatest Newspaper” might demand deeper reading, you may think, I found more than enough juicy journo goss to go on without clicking any deeper.
BINGE OF FRONT SPREADS
Keywords in the NOTW nostalgia binge of front spreads:
- SHAME (three times)
- HARRY [the prince pictured 3 times]
- GAY BAR (it’s there on the left)
I also saw three nipples. Glad they pushed the boat out.
I learn that the “greatest” newspaper in the world is proven to be a force for good in the article: News of the World proved it is a force for good
Let us consider its obviously altruistic coverage of the abduction and murder of Sarah Payne, and its ensuing campaign to catch the paedophiles lurking in our society. In some ways, I thought for a brief moment, this might actually make up for hacking into the answer phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, and deleting messages to make the parents think she might be still alive. Do not let such a peccadillo lead you to think that this “greatest” of crusading and righteous newspapers might have been trying to profit from the suffering of the vulnerable. The Soham murder phone-hacking neither.
So farewell proud stanchion of justice. We shall miss your steely courage, and determined pursuit of truth and journalistic EXCELLENCE; the wise and ironic juxtaposition of STUNNING page 3 tits and the bloody OUTRAGE of SEX OFFENCE; the close and important tracking of the affairs of Prince Harry and Peter André; the stunning spray of block capital exultation; and your resolution to leave no stone unturned, no moral boundary unquestioned, no phone untroubled in that endless quest to be “The world’s greatest newspaper”
NEWS OF THE WORLD 1843-2011, REST IN PISS
Flamenco dresses are weird enough when not surrounding human.
But look what happens when the Spaniards start using mannequins. They take human detail and mannerism more than a shade further than we do in the UK (or everywhere else I have ever been for that matter).
In general, our mannequins have no facial features, smoothed to cool humanoid abstraction. Spanish mannequins actually leer. You worry they are going to creep after you back to your home and murder you bloodily in your sleep. You’ll wake up to the sound of your own screaming and find some little plastic bastard’s stuck a screwdriver through your kidneys. I mean seriously, who is going to think “But yes, ay carumba, that little frock will look beautiful on young Esperanza, especially now I’ve seen it modelled by Chucky from ‘Child’s Play’”.
But come to think of it, I have an inkling of where they got the taste for these weirdly over-wrought figures…