Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-02-17 - 7:30 a.m.
I went to Slough from Guildford for a focus group meeting. Its funny how that term has been debased. It was actually a worthwhile gathering of people who had a lot of experience in a rather specialised area. I had already met a couple of them locally which was cheering. So I learned a lot and had plenty of opportunity to put my organisation’s point of view making it a morning well spent.
I drive back to my flat and then set off for Lawrence’s in Witley. As usual I got lost. I need to remember that I have to go to Woodstock, past Blenheim Palace and then turn right rather than turning right earlier. Anyway I got there eventually.
Lawrences’s son Ben is behind http://www.winnebagodeal.com/index2.html. This is a drums and guitar duo which keeps on climbing in the nation’s affections. Lawrence played me the new 5-track CD which is coming out it March. I preferred it to the stuff I have heard more recently from them where I had thought they were going for a quirky sound world. This is very straight ahead a lot of the time – the sound relates very much to the Sex Pistols to my ears – but there are some noise episodes too. Lawrence’s bookshelves are lined with bottles of Jim Bean – from the promoters – yes its that kind of music. I was impressed by the new recording especially hearing it as the result of a lot of hard work in the studio getting their sound straight. WD’s acoustic was against the wall in the sitting room so I tried it out (with permission). A nice US made acoustic but really a plectrum guitar. The neck felt good especially the back. They are getting some very serious US interest just now in terms of producing their next full size CD. Flora, Ben’s sister, also has a band and her boyfriend is currently doing roadie and business manager for WD – quite well it seems.
I played Lawrence the Lullabyes CD and he resolved to come to the concert.
After we’d eaten we went through an Old Grey Whistle Test DVD he had got for Christmas. The famous Little Feat Rock n Roll Doctor is on there which is truly stupendous – plus a lot more fun – early Talking Heads, a great jazzy Alex Harvey which I hadn’t seen more and some Bob Marley which always warms the cockles. I hadn’t been aware of how much the sound embraced emerging electronic timbres. Then that incedible Bill Withers 4tet. We agreed that Little Feat had the same majesty as the Dead.
Then I gave Lawrence my Nico teach in. We started with These Days and I’ll Keep it With Mine and then we did Marble Index and Desertshore. Flora played her Cale produced Stooges album and we marvelled at his versatility. I told Lawrence that he was going to buy Marble Index and he agreed. Flora said there were links to Bjork as she heard it. Then we played some tracks from Paris 1919 – with Little Feat in the background and the influence of early Jackson Browne – followed by some Joy Division to takes us through to the 1981 Nico studio album. Flora said she liked the way Nico was 150% committed
I played some P-Funk and both Flora and Lawrence were amazed at the Detroit pioneer – immediately seeing how influential it had been. Again the Stooges-MC5 tie in to P-Funk grabbed Flora and she was amazed at the Kraftwerk flow through to Techno. Lawrence followed through with Feats Don’t Fail Me Now and it was as plain as day how that loose but tight rhythm was shared with P-Funk.
Lawrence’s ex wife got a complete ND set for Christmas and I explained to Flora how I came to write a fair amount on that subject. She showed me some very interesting rock photographs by Friedman. I said I could see the influence of Derek Ridger’s work. Flora is doing A-level Fine Art, Photography and English and we talked a bit about Vita’s aim of doing Fine Art Printing, Photography, Textiles and Graphics.
By then the evening was over and we hadn't really touched metaphysics apart from what was in the music. As usual I ate too much.
It would be great to get Winnebago Deal do a Lullabye – is this overambitious?