The party’s over – remembering Mark Hollis, Talk Talk & Genesis

Mark-Hollis

I was sad to learn of the passing of singer/songwriter Mark Hollis during February 2019, only aged 64. Nothing has been released publicly about the cause of death at the time of writing, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was another victim of cancer, reading between the lines from a (reported) quote by his former manger, saying he died after:

A short illness from which he never recovered.

Lauded as a ‘genius’ songwriter in various obituaries, I was quite unaware he was the driving force behind the music of Talk Talk. Choosing to remove himself from music and public life at the end of the 90s, I could only assume he invested his song-writing royalties wisely in order to disappear so successfully. I doubt very much the artists of today will be able to leave the Hamster-wheel so easily, being forced to endure a lifetime ‘on tour’ to sustain an income, now that music is ‘free’.  I equally doubt the remnants of what we knew as the music industry is equipped to find, fund and nurture another Mark Hollis. So whilst we mourn the passing of Mark, we should also throw in a memorial service for the passing of an era which regularly gave birth and sustenance to creative offspring like him. [...] 

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I was never a WHAM! fan, but…

Wham! 'Bad-Boys' single cover

George Michael was truly, a gifted artist

I can categorically state, I was never a WHAM! fan; it really is that simple. But, respect should be given where respect is due, especially after an unprecedented year of deaths from within the creative arts fraternity.

George Michael was a naturally gifted songwriter of my generation and although not within my normal listening range, an artist who stood out from many of his peers, managing to escape the pop star bubble to forge a career outside of the genre and more importantly, gain the respect of the living legends he respected. More than any other death this extraordinary year, his sudden passing has strangely moved me, especially as I write more as observer than fan. Maybe his death is a harsh reminder of the mortality of my generation who dreamed our youthful optimism of the 1980s would live forever.

Elsewhere in this BLOG, I speak of a sometimes difficult period in my life as a teenager, read more

The Jon Amor Blues Group – Gig Review

Telford’s Warehouse, Chester, 03/11/12

A rainy night in Chester, just a stones throw outside the ancient Romano/Mediaeval city walls stands Telford’s Warehouse, venue for tonight’s visit from ex-Hoax guitarist Jon Amor and his deceptively titled ‘Blues Group’.

For the previously uninitiated, The Hoax were one of the UK’s most successful Blues exports of the 1990’s, sounding nothing whatsoever like the Blues/Rock dirge music devolution that dominates British ‘Blues’ in the 21st Century. read more

Alison Krauss & Union Station, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, 14/07/12

If I were lucky enough to meet Robert Plant and be allowed to say one thing to him, it would have to be;

“I get it.”

After watching Alison Krauss & Union Station perform to a sold out Liverpool audience, it’s understandable how being the singer in one of the biggest bands in Rock history fades into the background, when confronted by what can only be described as an emotionally moving musical experience, totally out of the comfort zone of the average British Rock star. read more