Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Wail of a Time!

It’s a grim Tuesday morning, and I’m huddled in a crusty, rusty, freezing-cold and rattling old train – peering through the steamed-up windows I can see sheets of rain lashing mercilessly against the steel grey landscape. I’m heading towards London, and I’m assaulted by a wave of memories of a score or so years ago, when my younger and less curmudgeonly self dragged itself into the capital for work every day. I thank a veritable host of deities (including Jah, Shiva and Catweazle) that I don’t have to do that any more – the very idea makes the tarnished remnants of my soul shrivel inside me. I wonder if Beelzebub likes prunes?

There’s another difference in the journeys now and then… 20 years ago I was comfortably numbed by cassettes of Pink Floyd played on my trusty Walkman. Now, I’m being shocked awake by a bewildering assortment of fantastic new music via a series of Podcasts on my iPod.

This journey has an undeniably more palatable purpose than work. I’m going to meet with my old mate Pete ‘Codger’ Cogle, host of PC Podcast, and three other podcasters - Peter ‘the Kid’ Clitheroe from Suffolk ‘n Cool; Rowley Cutler from Dark Compass and Colin Gazely from Ourobouros.

I’ve not had the chance to meet these last three guys before, but I’ve been listening to them for long enough that they already seem familiar to me – an odd situation, because (even if they’ve been reading my blog) I’ll likely be an unknown quantity as far as they are concerned. By lunchtime, this is no longer a concern to me; we’re all sitting comfortably in the Sussex in Covent Garden, each with a pint of (hideously expensive) Spitfire ale, yapping away like we’ve all known each other for years. I venture to suggest that if a bunch of whales is called a ‘pod’, then the collective noun for podcasters ought to be a Wail - and this meets with general approval. Mind you, with the amount of cackling going on, an external observer might have chosen a ‘coven’.

I wont bore you with a transcript of our drunken ramblings, though I have to award quote of the day to Mr Clitheroe who, when I told him I had listened to his entire ‘back catalogue’, informed us that he’r rather go through the Codger’s back passage than through his back catalogue…

You can see us at the top of this post and, provided that the Codger managed to hit the record button at some point during the day, you can probably hear us on PC Podcast (Wednesday 23rd, I would imagine).

A little review of the podcasts themselves won’t go amiss here…

Dark Compass – despite Rowley’s site getting a vast number of hits from people searching for ‘Golden Compass’ and ‘Dark Materials’, his compass is more like Captain Jack Sparrow’s – it's useless if you want to find North, but it will point you at your heart’s desire (no, its not Pirate Radio). Try it, you’ll like it. Rowley’s been at this the longest of this wail, and he’s soon coming up for show number three hundred.

PC Podcast – an eclectic mix of music presented by a sixteen year-old music freak trapped in the body of a forty-something year old beermonster. Living proof of the restorative effects of Adnams Broadside (or was it vodka and creosote?), Pete’s been delighting his listener(!) with some great tunes, twice a week, for two years now. He’s dragged me kicking and screaming into to French-Canadian Punk gigs and calmed me down again with Cornish bagpipe dub reggae amongst other things, and was once silly enough to let me hijack his podcast (though he didnt actually tell me until afterwards - trust me, it was complicated, and I was drunk). I’m not sure if his listening figures have recovered yet…

Suffolk ‘n Cool (cultural note for American English speakers: say it fast, and remember that ‘Suffolk’ might be written phonetically as ‘Suffuk’) – a similar mix to PC Podcast, musically, with the occasional ‘curve ball’ as a result of Peter’s Puckish Podcasting Personality (sorry, can’t resist a bit of gratuitous alliteration). Peter C has been ‘at it’ almost exactly the same length of time as Pete C (oh bugger it - see why it’s the Codger and the Kid now?) the two having presented their first episodes within a day of each other. Now, heaven forbid that I should pshychoanalyse, but I wonder if the Kid’s compensating for Codger having gone live a day before him when he trumpets all those Suffolk ‘n Cool first plays? Peter’s autobiographical notes on his website tell us how he preogressed from ‘rodie’ to ‘knob twiddler’. Fittingly, he’s about to knock out his 100th emission. In a manner of speaking.

Colin’s Ouroborous Podcast is named after a legendary Greek serpent (no, NOT Phillip) which swallows its own tail – a symbol for infinity. Colin says (quite rightly) that there’s an infinite amount of good music ‘out there’ and has made it his mission to bring you some of it. His podcast is the youngest of the four, but it’s no less likely to deliver you some sounds that you’ll love – his own enthusiasm for that music certainly shows through.

You know, there are days when I’m quite happy having nothing to grumble about!

Just not that many ;-)


Rowley said...

I think you have the day down to a tee. It was good day, meeting people that you only know by hearing them on a podcast, of hearing their comments in your head.
We will do this again this summer, and with any luck maybe another grumble free day. Hey we'll try to find somewhere cheaper than that pub called "The Cock".
Rowley DarkCompass

Meg Bear said...

great photo!

Pete Cogle said...

Greetings dear Grumbler,

T'was indeed a good day had by all, made sad by the fact that the next day actually had some work in it..... Grrr!

Trust me when I say that pressing the record button doesn't always yield the results you want. Either that, or N+3 pints of bitter doesn't improve my S-s-s-stutter, Granville!

Until the summer then, when I suppose straw boaters will be de rigueur?

Oh.... and another french punbk band on it's way to a PCP soon....!

Peter Clitheroe said...

Any more of this enthusiasm and your reputation will have to be reported missing in action.
However, I expect that, after a few years, some over-excited geek wearing headphones and a Tibetan hat will find in what was once the fag-end and chewing-gum infested gutter of a Soho alleyway. (Let's face it with musical taste like that, it's only a question of time before Codger takes up metal-detecting) ;-)
The Kid