DAY 194: The Fiddler’s Elbow

November 21st, 2016 § 0 comments

Continuing the previous theme: it’s surely time to abandon the shallow pools of day-to-day politics in which we’ve been in danger of drowning: and to plunge headlong into the eternal verities of Art, which will hopefully sustain us in the oncoming storm. To recap: last June 25th I was doing my narrow political duty by showing up at a gig in a dim pub in Kentish Town where we hoped to raise large sums for ‘London2Calais’ as a result of the money raised by the audience, and their appreciation for the artists.

How full life is of ironies! The audience was decidedly small, and I wasn’t impressed by the first two acts. The third (Th’Sheridans)13438956_10201574491761765_217113596314999774_n was more mellow and to my taste, and I was getting into the mood when…

A tall woman in a long dress12814670_1117701058261868_7769792526235084374_n strode onto the stage and began to set up (a daunting array of synths and other electronic equipment). This took the best part of half an hour. Did the audience know what was to come? I didn’t, I was getting restive, and when Aphty Khea (for it was she) finally unleashed her repertoire on the pub, I was completely bowled over. That someone who by rights should be performing for huge sums at the South Bank was playing for charity at the Fiddlers Elbow! I hadn’t heard such a dazzling, provocative display of pure art – I’d like to say for years, but I have a duty to my journalist’s conscience (is there such a thing?).

It was beautiful, avant-garde and political!
Of course once finished, Aphty was due to head off to the Greek islands to volunteer with the refugees. I realised that we are part of a much larger, invincible movement, since we have the eternal truths on our side. Chick peas and rice (and cumin) will fill our bellies, and we must be sure that we and our neighbours have enough of them; but Art is what sets us on a higher plane than our enemies. It must have felt much like this to have wandered into a Bierhaus in Vienna in the 1820s and found Schubert hammering out his latest number. I’m too moved to go on at this point. I hope that my birthday celebrations in a month’s time can involve Aphty, maybe a Syrian oud player, and a collection for refugees, naturally. Trump, do your worst! We have Song on our side.12936524_10201313048185839_8670520434824483592_n

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