In these troubled times, here's one to cheer up all the self isolating aging prog rockers like me. It's a performance recorded live in 2018 of the classic Yes track 'Heart of the Sunrise' by original band members Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman and latecomer Trevor Rabin, ably assisted by bassist Lee Pomeroy and drummer Lou Molino. Please ignore the false cheering edited into the soundtrack by some arseh*le and focus on the fact that Anderson was 74 when this was recorded and still had the note perfect voice of an angel.
No, this isn't a thread about the Swans' current style of play! Do any of you older guys play walking football regularly? For those who don't know, WF is a form of the beautiful game for older players who would find flat out running for an hour difficult but who still want to enjoy the skill and fun of footie. I run the WF group for Oliva U3A (an expat organisation) here on the Costa Blanca. We play for an hour every Friday morning on an outdoor five a side pitch at the local sports centre. When we have the numbers, we can also play on a bigger artificial turf pitch next door. We have a hard core of about 12 guys but have had 16 or 17 turn up in the past. The players range from 50 to early 70s, mostly Brits but also Dutch, Argentinian and Romanian. We'd only been going two months when we were invited down to Moraira to take part in an eight team tournament including two visiting UK teams, and ended up as losing finalists. I was the manager - watch out, Cooper. So if anyone plays and wants to bring a touring team over, let me know.
I happened to comment on some internet forum the other day that when I was looking through the TV listings searching for something to watch and I saw the words 'Steven Seagal' next to a film, I automatically labelled it 'film for morons, do not watch'. The amount of abuse I received was incredible. Good job I'd signed in as PikeyPaul as a security measure.
So what's the verdict, boys and girls? Any big Seagal fans on Planet Swans?
It's not all winter sunshine and sangria here, guys. The east of Spain has just been hit by the worst storm for decades, Storm Gloria. Inland they've had several feet of snow, while here on the coast there were 8 metre waves crashing on shore and throwing around 5 tonne concrete blocks on the prom at Javea like they were kid's toys. We've had torrential rain for 36 hours and winds gusting up to 60 km/hour. Brought down a huge pine tree in our road. Fair play to local council, they were out yesterday in the p*ssing rain to clear it with chainsaws. Several people have died and the destruction of coastal businesses has to be seen to be believed. I pity anyone who arrived for a break in Benidorm this weekend!
I watched the Andrew Marr Show this morning from beginning to end and, as a lifelong Labour Party voter and supporter, I have to say I was moderately encouraged. The election defeat was about as devastating a kicking as a political party can sustain but, and it's a big but, if the party has learned the lesson and has the good sense to choose Kier Starmer as leader, with maybe Jess Philips or Lisa Tandy as deputy, the next five years could be very interesting. Dominic Raab did nothing to assuage my opinion that he's an incompetent idiot way out of his depth, and I think he's indicative of the general level of incompetence in Boris's cabinet. I think Starmer's clinical and incisive lawyer's mind will make mincemeat of the Eton windbag and his collection of disfunctional idiots. If they can clear out all vestiges of Corbynism and keep chipping away at Boris as the disaster of five years of unchecked extreme right wing Toryism unfolds, I see a promising future for Labour. What do you think, chaps and chapesses? Always interested in particular in the balanced opinions of Kerouac, Jango and the Symonds Yat village idiot.
Hello chums, how are you doing? I'm just sitting down to lunch with the missus in the Fishy Fishy (British fish and chips) restaurant in Moraira. Weather's nice, hazy sunshine, no wind, 14C. We're having the monday madness special, fish chips mushy peas and bottle of nice crisp white wine for two for 17 euros. What's that, about £14 since Boris's magnificent victory. I loves Boris, me! (I don't really, he's a cúnt.)
Being interviewed on BBC Breakfast now. Said great progress being made in EU negotiations, when asked what the details were, he blathered and prevaricated. Alan B'stard personified, even looks like him.
I know Birmingham are pretty sh*t, but my word we are playing some lovely one touch football, aren't we? It's almost back to the Swansealona days under Roberto and then Brendan. Absolutely fantastic to see. Keep it going, boys.
Anyone see the Vienna Philharmonic summer concert on BBC4 tonight from the Schonbrunn Palace gardens? It featured drop dead gorgeous Chinese pianist Yuja Wang who gave a stunning performance soloing on Gershin's 'Rhapsody in Blue' whilst almost wearing a glittery cut out mini dress. On of my all time favourite pieces of music, one of the world's best orchestras, stunning backdrop and a gorgeous, vastly talented young woman soloing. I was like a dog with two dicks.
For the music fans on here. Being a man of leisure with a few shekels to spend, one of my recent projects has been to run through the Rolling Stone magazine '500 Greatest Albums of All Time' and draw up a list of the albums I'd like to acquire (in CD form). I composed a list of 28. Some are albums I used to have on vinyl but which disappeared for one reason or another, but most are albums I only knew vaguely or didn't know at all. I've started buying 'em and being on a bit of a West Coast/ Tex Mex/ Country Fusion kick at the moment, have been blown away by Los Lobos (How Will the Wolf Survive?) and the Byrds (Sweetheart of the Rodeo). Question for Loh, do you know the latter? I think you'd like it. Note to Darren - there's one Cheap Trick album in the 500, Live at Budokan. No, it's not on my list! The list was composed in 2012. What classics have come out since then which you'd recommend, bearing in mind I veer towards blues and rock?
Your intrepid correspondent is back in Napoli for the first time since that infamous match. I'm in Pizzeria Pavia in the backstreets behind Piazza Plebicito, about to tuck in to an enormous pizza. Check out the restaurant on Trip Advisor, supposed to be the best in town and cheap as chips.
I love Europe. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Pikey.