One of my photos

1998 – Gimme Some More

March 11th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Music

This was the year I really clicked with Busta Rhymes. I got the Turn It Up remix single and was totally smitten by the Knight Rider bassline in it. On the back of that I bought his Extinction Level Event album and although it was a bit frustrating with so many short tracks I found plenty to enjoy especially Gimme Some More. His fast rapping technique on that is just outstanding and stopped me in my tracks.

Busta Rhymes is still my favourite rapper and the only one I have ever seen live. I have always avoided rap concerts because of their reputation for starting hours late and being a bit of a shambles, but a couple of years ago I took our son up to London to see Busta at the O2 and it was amazing. And he only started about 30 minutes late! That was fine for all the Londoners there, but a bit of a pain for those of us having to catch the train back to Sussex. Just like the albums, the songs were too short.  As soon as you get into one it ends. Just for once you want something that lasts more than 3 minutes, even if they are three brilliant minutes.

For all those reasons and for the memory of first hearing it through headphones on the way to work, I have slipped Busta Rhymes onto my playlist for 1998.

Not that I was so impressed with all the rap I heard in this year… [Read more →]

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1997 – Brimful of Asha

March 10th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Music

There were quite a few good songs in 1997, and a few that bring back specific memories. Brimful of Asha by Cornershop  falls into both camps. At this time I was going to a few clubs with my wife and her sisters. We all lived and/or worked in London so had plenty of choice. Sometimes it was a club in Lewisham, but more often we went ‘up west’. [Read more →]

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Health update

March 9th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Life

This is one of my irregular health updates, for anybody who is interested.

Chemotherapy has finished now, which is a huge relief. I was getting very bored with dissolving all those tablets and injecting them down my jejunal feeding tube. I was also a bit bored with having a permanent cold, feeling tired & dizzy all the time, and having no immune system to speak of. [Read more →]

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1996 – Firestarter

March 9th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Music

For somebody who had a serious music-buying habit until fairly recently, I don’t have a lot of stuff from 1996. Maybe I was snapping up bargains in back catalogue, maybe it was a weak year for music. [Read more →]

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Another dodgy Brexit analogy

March 8th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Life, Politics

Last year we helped our daughter move house. She was downsizing from the flat she had been sharing with her brother, into a tiny bedsit in the city. We had hired a van so drove it down to Hampshire and when we got there we expected everything to be as it was when we last moved: everything all packed up in labelled boxes. What we found instead was that very little had been packed up. Instead of just loading up the van we had to spend hours packing things, taking legs off tables and so on.

Basically her level of preparation was on a par with the government’s preparations for Brexit.

Talking to her later, the reason was that she didn’t really want to move. She was going from a large, modern flat to a horrible room in a converted house that had damp, tatty carpets, dodgy gas and terrible on-street parking and so had no enthusiasm for the move. Maybe the government is in the same position. Maybe Rees-Mogg and the ERG are right when they accuse the government of not really wanting Brexit to happen? Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

That is fine, but dishonest. Unlike that house move, there is a choice. Either decide to make the change a success or decide to not make the change. Just doing no work, hoping it won’t happen and then having to make the change without any plan or co-ordination is the worst way of all.

Personally I would like to be staying in the EU. I like my right to live and work wherever I want, even if I haven’t taken advantage of it yet. I like it that my (French-owned) company can run multi-national projects with people and components moving between France, Spain and the UK without an extra mass of paperwork and tarriffs at every turn. But if that isn’t going to happen then at least make a conscious decision to make the transition as smooth as possible. I consider Brexit to be a bad thing, but why make it even worse?

The good news: after putting up with the poky bedsit for some months our daughter was able to get herself in a position to move back from the city to a beautiful new-build house back in the town she had moved from. Perhaps we can make Brexit bearable if we focus on whatever positives there are (not that I can think of any myself) and apply ourselves to it instead of procrastinating.

Mind you, I am still keeping my fingers crossed that this is all a cunning plan from Mrs. May to keep us in Europe.

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1995 – Time Bomb

March 8th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Music

There were four big things going on for me musically in 1995:

  1. British dance music
  2. So-called Britpop
  3. African music
  4. Blasts from the past

Otherwise it was all Macarena and Take That. The lasting legacy of the year, for British holidaymakers anyway, was that this was the year somebody decided to take the song Living Next Door to Alice and add “who the fuck is Alice?” into one of the blank spaces. For some reason that joke never gets old for Brits abroad and the DJs in Greece and Spain know it so they still bung it on to this day. [Read more →]

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1994 – Adouma

March 6th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Music

1994 was when ‘britpop’ really started kicking off. Blur released the Parklife album and a few singles from it, Oasis released their debut album, Definitely Maybe, along with a few singles from that, Suede released Dog Man Star and Pulp started getting some attention with His n Hers. Echobelly had their debut album, while other bands like Supergrass, Elastica and Sleeper were putting out singles before getting an album out.

All of that passed me by a bit because I was getting more into world music. I had the Parklife album, but the rest of it didn’t impact me much. [Read more →]

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1993 – Mr. Loverman

March 5th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Music

The cover of the compilation album Reggae 93

I can’t say that 1993 can compete with 1991 and 1992 when it comes to music as a whole, but it does stand out for me as a vintage year for reggae, specifically Jamaican dancehall. One of the best CDs I bought in that year was called Reggae 93 and it is right up there with the best compilation albums ever. I am not aware of there being a Reggae 92 or Reggae 94 at all, which reinforces my sense of 1993 being the biggest year for reggae since the 1970’s.

The album is a mixture of singles that hit the charts during the year, and songs that really should have done. There are some older names on it, like Althea & Donna and Barrington Levy, but mostly it drew on the newer wave of artists, and not all of them Jamaican – Snow and Ace of Bass are on it too. [Read more →]

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1992 – Covered

March 4th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Music

Having enthused about what a good year for music 1991 was, I now have to admit that 1992 was equally good. You wait ages for a vintage year and then two come along at once! [Read more →]

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Normal service

March 4th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Life, Work

After a couple of months of absence and working from home, I went back into work today. I don’t think I will be in all day, every day, but going in on a Monday morning is an attempt to get back to normality. Of course it is only temporary. Either I will be going in for an operation in about 6 weeks which will see me off work for months, or… well I don’t really want to think of the alternative because it involves dying within two years.

Those 6 weeks or so will also see me having to take quite a few individual days or part days out for hospital appointments and scans, and I have booked 7 days off because I have to use up all my leave by the end of March, so I don’t think I will be in the office very much, but at least I can pretend everything is back to normal.

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