Press Clippings and testimonials

A PERSONAL INSIGHT (PT II*)

(Brian Harding, Kid's brother, on 'Mainlines', 2003)

I am still standing there in the middle of the crossroads as Blitz's violin gives out some errie sounds. Then "The hotel 1969". 1969 was very likely the happiest and most carefree summer we had together, standing on our pitch in Carnaby St. day in, day out with not a care in the world. It was also the year I went through the alphabet of drugs, wisely skipping over the letter "H". Richard can speak for himself. Could that have been the "nightmare machine" ? Didn't see any bell-boys wearing jackboots though.

Then the tempo ups and the sound changes and suddenly I can see faint figures stirring in the corners of both my eyes. They are boys with a full-face and a profile on each side of their heads. "Reversal boys". One slouches out of a shop no longer existing called Burtons taylors just in front of me to the right and slides up the street to the steps outside the Wimpy bar and takes his place in the pecking order and sits down (the hardest geezers sit on the top steps). He is wearing a mohair suit and has probobly just been in to be measured up for a new one. To my left, another one comes out of Woolworths and leans up on the corner of another shop on Tooting High Street,no longer existing, but which once sold mod-gear to chicks in purple mini fashion. He takes out a Mars-bar and begins to eat it. The High Street Existence. His bird turns up and they enter the shop together. "Cans of Dogmeat" ? Some of the local crumpet would certainly not have been out of place at Cruft's Dog Show. Take it from one who knows.

They come out after a while and cross the road to the Wimpy-bar before indulging in a bit of heavy breathing in the back street on the way home. He takes of on his own afterwards and pops into one of the shops and for the tenth time that week, and asks the owner for a packet of twenty Noski tipped cigarettes that both of them know do not exist, but it's just a bad joke now. Picks up his bird again later and takes over to Streatham Locarno dance palace. Drops a dozen blues and finishes off the evening seeing a late night film in the local flea-pit with a bombed out brainbox. "Mainline trains could" indeed "never find drivers out to here". And the whole piece of art ends with a stirring cressendo of sound and voices.

Mainlines is not so much a song in the way that "Marie and Joe" is, but more a monument to me, the size of Nelson's column with a rat on top, placed at the crossroads where I was standing at the start. The Blitz violin part is unique. I was once a violin player and performed twice a the Royal Festival Hall with the school orchestra, (beat that Blitz ! )so I was always able, not only to hear what he was playing, but also follow the notes his fingers were finding . Needless to say , I could not repeat the exercise myself.

 

(* Originally posted on the discussuion board, unfortunately part 1 of Brian's testimonial expired from the board without me saving it. If anyone has a copy of Brian's original post, please let me know!)

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'Drops a dozen blues and finishes off the evening seeing a late night film in the local flea-pit with a bombed out brainbox'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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