Archive | Music

Hard times in the land of plenty

Most people know someone a bit like Donald Trump. The only unusual thing about him is the huge amount of money that he inherited. He parades his faults shamelessly. I would be reluctant to talk to him at a party, let alone vote for him. The polls suggest that many people gave him their vote […]

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Reasons to be cheerful

What if the worst happens? Well, it has. Donald Trump is going to be President of the USA. His campaign rested on his status as an existential “winner”, a promise to reverse America’s misfortunes through the power of will and the demonization of minorities. These ideas belong to a political tradition that is indistinguishable from […]

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Lost struggles

Last week, Sally Brampton walked into the sea and died. Her editorial and authorial skills were widely admired, and her death caused a lot of sadness. For a few days, mental illness amongst the famous was back in the news. I thought that the media coverage of her death was pretty appropriate in tone, but […]

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The Viking of 6th Avenue

In 1970, I bought my very first LP. It was a cheap double album sampler called “Fill Your Head With Rock”. I bought it with money I had been given for my 14th birthday. The album was essentially a tacky marketing ploy by CBS, but it introduced me to a number of artists that have […]

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Bandipur blues again

We have been in Karnataka for more than three weeks now, and we fly home after the weekend. Dr Tony Ryan has joined us, bringing his usual energy and drive. We are struggling to find time to hold all of the meetings and visits that we need, which seems ridiculous in the context of such […]

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A tiger growls

We are halfway through our month-long visit to Mysuru, the first phase of a Tropical Health Education Trust funded project to prevent suicide amongst survivors of deliberate self-harm in South India. Four weeks away from the office is a long time, and it was difficult to find dates that worked for both Indian and UK […]

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Memory of a free festival

The counter culture is extinct. Festivals are no longer unruly affairs featuring the Edgar Broughton Band on the back of a truck performing Out Demons Out. They are organised by the local council to encourage recycling or they’re sponsored by the National Licensed Victuallers Association to support lager consumption. Drugs went mainstream in the 1980s […]

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Life

When I was young, old people had a certain mature dignity. They had been through the Second World War. They didn’t talk about it or, if they did, they construed it as one huge apocalyptic party and sing-song. Women still wore the fashions of the 1940s. Men had oiled short back and sides, topped off […]

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