Monday, 24 February 2014

That Last Gasp Of Greatness: 'When the flags coming down and the Last Post sounds'



There's no specific reason for this post apart from - today an old song made my heart soar

From my sad old music snob POV I'm very much against bands getting back together - particularly if its just a cash grab and no new music is forthcoming. yet my heart has made me leap at the chance to see Pixies, The Specials, Sex Pistols, Magazine etc and would stomp over living creatures if XTC ever graced a stage again.

Sometimes bands just limp to a conclusion with bitterness finally spilling over as they become a mere shadow of what they were in their pomp. Others leave whilst the crowd is baying for more.

Blur were done when Graham exited. Yes they finished 'Think Tank' and toured but it wasn't the same.

However, a strange coincidence of the London Olympics and a recent band reformation for one last knees up in Hyde Park came together enabling them to put a more dignified full stop on their career. 

It was everything you loved about Blur at their anthemic heights - it made you want to put your arm round a friend and sway, singing along to its melancholy oh so London world view. Hopeful and hopeless in equal measure. Melodies and harmonies recalling The Beatles & the desolation of  Mercury Rev with an aching Coxon solo echoing Albarn's yearning vocal. 

I don't know if they'll ever record another note together - they seem too disparate and focused on their own muse (or cheese) to want to dilute their ideas with each other but if 'Under The Westway' is to be their last message to the world then its a beautiful way to go. 


There were blue skies in my city today
Everything was sinking, said snow would come on Sunday
The old school was due and the traffic grew
Up on the Westway

Where I stood watching comets lonesome trails

Shining up above me the jet fuel it fell
Down to earth where the money always comes first
And the sirens sing
Bring us the day they switch off the machines
Cos men in yellow jackets putting adverts inside my dreams
An automated song and the whole world gone
Fallen under the spell of
The distance between us when we communicate
Still picking up shortwave, somewhere they're out in space
It depends how you're wired when the night's on fire
Under the Westway

Now it's magic arrows hitting the bull
Doing one eighty still standing at last call
When the flags coming down and the Last Post sounds
Just like a love song
For the way I feel about you
On a permanent basis I apologise
Paradise's not lost, it's in you
But I am going to sing
Hallelujah
Sing it out loud and sing it to you
Am I lost out at sea
Til a tide wash me up off the Westway










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