Sarah Halford

Architecture and Ceramics

reasons to be cheerful

We watched the fantastic film about Ian Dury’s creative life, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll. I know I’ve missed the boat with this one a bit, but Andy Serkis is JUST BRILLIANT! He just gets the charisma of Dury perfectly.

To be honest, I have a huge interest in Ian Dury, I think he was waaay ahead of his time with that sprechgesang style, frantic style and funk backing… AMAZING. I remember watching TOTP2 and seeing Hit Me, and just being so excited. I then sang it for weeks, all the time, as loud as I could.

A few years later I’d forgotten that The Blockheads existed when I heard Sweet Gene Vincent on a compilation tape of punk hits [whether it is a punk hit is not the point. The fact that I had a compilation tape of ‘punk hits’ is a bit embarrassing but in my defence,that year every song in the Top 10 was produced by Darkchild]. At the time I was obsessed with Gene Krupa’s book of basic drum techniques, and to me the name ‘Gene’ was just fascinating in itself. There is so much I’ve learned from listening to pop music, it’s a shame that the style for referencing your influences in lyrics has died out. Maybe it’s because no one writes their own lyrics anymore.

I’m talking about PolyStyrene

Warrior in Woolworth’s
Dips on friday nights
Youths meet at Stockwell Tube
Weapons rule their lives




I’m talking about Pet Shop Boys

Such a cold winter

With scenes as slow as Pinter






and obviously I’m talking about MSP

Wasted your life in black and white

Kevin Carter










So… glad we cleared that up. If you have any interest in the music of Ian Dury, or the lifestyles of the rich and famous, it’s a good watch. If new wave, punk and funk make you feel a bit sick, you might want to avoid. To put this another way; if Nowhere Boy is a lame thoroughbred [and it is], Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll is a dog in a pub chasing his tail and licking beer off the floor.


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This entry was posted on November 19, 2010 by in films.
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