Ever since 1995 I’ve wanted to submit an entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. One of the rules they have is a three minute time limit on the song, which my love of prog rock seems to have prevented me from writing! Anyway last year I did actually come up with an idea for a song, partly inspired by Shakespeare anniversary and partly by political events – Romeo and Juliet as a metaphor for Brexit.
I had great fun recording the song with Cherry Morello – alas it didn’t get selected (and from the Song For Europe show it seemed the UK song selectors were determined to go for a tepid ballad number). See what you think!
Once again, congratulations to Rosey REPEAT for another superbly organised Love Music/Hate Racism stage at this years Strawberry Fair! Kudos to you for all the work you do for the cause in Cambridge. It is always an honour to play to support the work.
It was also great to see so a stage given to so many young performers, and watching Saltfen (who I had supported the week before) in action left me awestruck once again. These guys are really amazing. As featured on the You Flexi Thing Volume 2 by Repeat Records. And a shoutout the to Baby Seals for a great headline set.
The Oxjam Cambridge 2016 gig happened on Saturday. A mass takeover of 10 Cambridge venues, to raise money for Oxfam.
I played two sets – one at 2468 and other other at The Snug Bar in Cambridge. The former I’d last been into when it was the vaults, the latter I’d not been into since trying to catch up with Paul Richards after a CB2 gig. Though pre-gig I was trying to reminisce with Aidy about the dimensions of when the venue was the old Boat Race. I must have been playing on where the old stage was – it was by the entrance to the toilets! – but I couldn’t quite place the location of the door and the sound desk. And then when I put the bar in place it mentally seemed smaller than it used to be, though maybe it was larger in my memory than in reality.
I did get soaked going between the two venues – a rain storm just fell between the two sets. When I checked the weather in the morning I had been promised dryness. I left the Portland (where I went after performing) early because of this and had a migraine the next day. But nothing compared to what the people for whom these funds were intended go through. Still, got to see The Abstracts perform a really cool set, and bumped into the checkout lady at Waitrose who’d recognised me as Karmadillo the day before when shopping. Fame!
Lots of acts contributed, but special mention must go to the organising crew – especially Sandy Mills – and the sound people for the efforts they put in to making this happen.
The song I was most nervous about showing my fellow band members was Rent Boy, a song about house prices in the UK. It has a lot of changing sections, and the outro was a parody of a song I first heard performed in the early 80s by a chap called Shakin’ Stevens. He was served up as a 60s rocker (I believe the phrase was Teddy Boy) and the song – This Ole House – it turns out was a cover version.
The song being a cover version is something I’d been aware of for a while. What I hadn’t been aware of, until reading this interview on the BBC website, was that this song was actually a clever metaphor for death, and inspired by the songwriter (“singing cowboy” Stuart Hamblen) finding a dead body lying in a deserted shack! The lyrics play with the gospel concept of the mortal body being a “house” for your soul, that gets left behind when you go to “meet the saints”. Not something I’d ever appreciated before.
Ironically I am writing this at 5.30am as the house I am currently renting is next to the A14 and I find myself being awoken by passing heavy goods traffic going along at 60mph every day. Come on guys – if only 300,000 of you purchase Karmadillo albums I’ll be able to buy a decent place of my own!
The theme for this video is inspired by the Doctor Who story Shada, and recreates The Fourth Doctor (the Tom Baker one!) being chased around Cambridge on a bicycle by a giant white blob. Special effects meant we could get the giant white blob chasing though we couldn’t quite manage the barbershop quartet in a doorway! A ludicrously long scarf as well as the charango was too impratical but there is a McCoy era tank top and a Davidson era celery stick!
Without further ado … the music video to the song MISSING U by Karmadillo.
Many thanks to Rob Kemp, who directed the video early on a Sunday morning and figured out the locations for the original scenes from Shada – Thanks!