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What's on? 15/09/16

There is a very good chance I'll finally go back to the Cameo this weekend to watch The Man Who Fell to Earth. I know David Bowie's in it, it's his vehicle, and the fact that it was made in 1976 and I haven't seen it yet suggests I've never been into Bowie.

I've never understood how venerated he is. I read a rock n' roll encyclopaedia once and Bowie had a chapter to himself, along with The Beatles, The Stones, The Who and Led Zeppelin. Pink Floyd didn't have their own chapter. That's the nature of art, I guess, because for me, Pink Floyd are second only to The Beatles (for pure song-writing, Abbey Road brooks no equal) and on a personal level, the music I most connect with. As for Bowie? I bought Hunky Dory and found only one song I liked on it (the brilliant Life on Mars) and Ziggy Stardust, to which I turn to only for the song Moonage Daydream. Sometimes I hear a single Bowie song and like it, but there's something about his persona which saturates his music with coldness. Too much distance maybe? A lack of substance behind the posturing? A lack of anger? Like a humming bird fluttering with brilliance, then gone in a flash. I get the impression he was more into style than substance.

An accusation I don't think you could make of Pink Floyd, and their twin pillars of Roger Water and Dave Gilmour. Brooding bassist and golden-boy guitarists, a fusion of simmering anger and chill-out that clashes and produces the ethereal, the fierce and the reflective; pastoral hues and angsty despair, depending on who sung and/or wrote the song. I didn't like their movie, The Wall, but that wasn't their oeuvre. The album remains brilliant, there are ballads – Mother and Still Nobody Home – which are astonishingly good and remind you that this album was more than just a concept and a No.1 hit. These are grown up musicians trying to make meaning out of life, with its disappointments and anti-climaxes and a lingering unease about how it should be better. And those shifts into music that does make it better, glimpses of a timelessness, a high, sunlight reflections on rivers, an albatross far above.

Anyway, cinema, films. The Man Who Fell to Earth. I like sci-fi, and Bowie is an artist to be given a second chance. Maybe I'll see the light at last, and even if I don't, how many intriguing sci-fis come out anyway?
What's On! 22/9/2016
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