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Classic Relief!


Wednesday, 4th March. Calm skies after a night of wind and rain. Frog action in the pond has been playful and relaxed for about a week. This morning I see the holiday is over, the males have started clasping, the grim business of reproduction has begun.

Metempsychosis of the Machine: Out in the wind and rain last night, to see Slumdog at the Marina. Great show, terrific soundtrack. An expertly crafted, cruel and sentimental fairytale -the qualification is not an insult, all proper fairytales are both cruel and sentimental-, telling of the savage greed of poverty, the singleminded determination of the one that got away (keep your eyes on the prize, slumdogs); the "Jimmy Cagney" hero's death of the underworld system's luckless dupe;the dream girl, as good as she is beautiful, teasingly dangled and finally bestowed as the reward of virtue. A perfect Hollywood depression movie!

But enough of this frivolity. I'm here today with the serious yet delightful purpose of exhorting you to flock to Classic Relief, an extraordinary evening of laughter and great music, 7th March, 7.30pm at the Royal Festival Hall, South Bank, where among others you'll have a chance to see my lad Gabriel, luminary of the "stylophone chorus", eight Trinity Music College students in DJs and bowties (he assures me he can borrow the kit) playing The Ride Of The Valkyrie on tiny little primitive synthesisers. I thought he said xylophone, but no, it's electronica. After I'd bought the tickets I asked innocently, and will I see you after? Er, no, says my loving son. There's sort of a party. Ah well, Meet Mum in the foyer, party with the famous poet Alfred Brendel... I take his point

Interestingly, we watched Repo Man again the other night, and Peter spotted an actual stylophone, played by Emilio Estevez as he leans against a phone box, in one of the punk/rom gang scenes. So that's how you can check it out. Great movie, another excellent soundtrack. It hasn't lost its freshness, and yet so evocative of the early eighties. That cohabitation, punks, goths and New Romantics, sounds so bizarre and yet it seemed so natural at the time: as it appears here.

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