7 April 2020, New Project: My A-Z

Well here we are! We’re at the start of the third week of lockdown and our Prime Minister is in intensive Care suffering with that which shall not be named here! On that note I will not be dwelling, pontificating or even conjecting on how shit it all is or how the world is about to change forever! That may or may not be the case but I ain’t going there! Suffice it to say that, even though I’m not one of his biggest fans, I wish Boris a speedy and full recovery!

Anyway, I’ve decided to up the ante on my blog and while I have sod all else to do, over the next 26 days I’m going to post an album from my collection in A-Z order (by artist) and write a few words about it! Not review it per se, just say what I think about it and how it landed in my collection! If you have followed me at all on here, Facebook or Twitter some of these may just surprise you!

Comments and musings are very welcome but let’s not get into the argumentative stage that these things can become, after all, everyone has an opinion and I will defend to the death their right to express it! OK, maybe not death, but you know what I mean!

Anyhoo!!!! Here we go:

Day A: Kevin Ayers – Joy of a Toy

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I was never a big fan of early Soft Machine or Kevin Ayers solo material when I was younger, it was only later when I discovered and fell in love with Gong that I came back, via Daevid Allen, in a rather large loop and found out what I had been missing out on for all of those years!

Released in 1969, Joy of a Toy, Ayers’ debut solo album after departing Soft Machine, has a rather whimsical tone with stripped back musical accompaniment. Hardly surprising seeing as most of the album was conceived in a small London flat singularly by Ayers on a guitar gifted to him by Jimi Hendrix, on the condition that he continued playing and writing.

I will be honest I hadn’t listened to this album for a number of years until I decided on this project but I’m really glad I did! By the second track I had a cold shiver running down my back, talk about poignant! Town Feeling could have been written yesterday. The opening lines: ‘Today, the town seems like a tomb, everybody’s locked up in his room”. In fact the whole song feels very current, give it a listen and see what you think. I didn’t pick this album because of that, I was as shocked as anyone when I heard it, I had completely forgotten the lyrics.

There is no doubt that David Bedford’s keyboards and arrangement made this album what it is and there is equally no getting away from the overall ‘Canterbury’ feel but that is a good thing, isn’t it?

In closing can I just say a very big THANK YOU to Jimi Hendrix!

Next up, B ….yes, really! #NoShitSherlock