The Wrinkly Romeos are playing the Kilkenny Rhythm & Roots festival over the weekend, which ought to be pretty good. The festival, I mean, not the Wrinkly Romeos. Their drummer is in hospital, for whatever ridiculous wrinkly reason, and in his place they have a guy with an electronic kit. Great. There you are, trying to play stuff with some small bit of credibility (“Here’s one I got from Robert Johnson . . .”) and the drummer turns up with decks, or the next worst thing. I mean, come on! What has he got parked outside the door? A nineteen-year-old Fiesta with a spoiler and a dustbin exhaust?
As I write here, I’m listening to a selection of [tag]music[/tag] as the mood takes me. Earlier today, I was wandering around a sun-drenched Limerick, enjoying the Riverfest. I find that the best way to do these things is to strap the bike to the back of the motor, park someplace out of town and just scoot around on the old bike, listening to songs and meeting whatever stiffs you happen to know. I happened to know about forty of the fuckers competing in the barbecue competition, but do you think one of them would give me a sausage? Would they fuck! As I mentioned to you recently, I found the IPod, and there was a few bands I meant to give a good listen to, so there was a bit of a backlog. I’m very taken by Jenny Lewis’s new collaboration with the Watson Twins. I like this very much, and why wouldn’t I, given Jenny’s provenance with Rilo Kiley? The Eels’ Souljacker is another album I should have taken to much earlier. What a motherfucker of an album. All decent people should rush out right now and buy a copy. That’s how it goes, though, isn’t it? There’s just so much shit coming at you from every direction, it’s hard to stay on top of it all.
At the moment, in honour of the Wrinklies, I’m listening to Hank Williams III singing Whiskey, Weed and Women. I got drunk the day my Pa went to prison, and when my Mama died, I just didn’t care ’bout livin’. Good man, Hank! Woo hoo!! You tell ’em. Carrying on a family tradition, as Hank II once said. But what a barrel of laughs ol’ Hank the First was, and yet, somehow, in the middle of his drug-crazed alcohol-maddened lunacy of a life, this sozzled junkie managed to create rock’n’roll. How the fuck did he do that?
I have to tell you a story that has little to do with Hank Williams or anything else. I just thought it was good. A few weeks back, I was doing the school run with the Bullet, and you know the way all kids think that everything was invented yesterday? Well, I’d been listening to all sorts of mad shit, so I just threw on a track from, of all things, Led Zeppelin III. It’s called Bron-Y-Aur Stomp. You might know it. Anyhow, the reason I put it on was because it reminded me of something else, so I said, Bullet, what does that sound like to your good self? And Bullet, bless him, said exactly what I hoped he would. It’s kinda like the White Stripes.
Giving me the opportunity to say: Isn’t it spooky the way Led Zeppelin knew what the White Stripes were going to sound like?
None of this is any use to the Wrinkly Romeos, who are possibly dying on stage as we speak. Wrinkly Joe is just in from the Antipodes, probably jet-lagged. Definitely jet-lagged, in fact, considering that the first text I got from him was to say that Billy the Fish had scored the winner for Scunthorpe in the ninetieth minute. That was after the Blackpool keeper had pulled off two brilliant saves to deny the Irish lads, Cliff Byrne and Andy Keogh. There’s a picture of Wrinkly Joe and myself with Cliff Byrne in the pub after a game, and I’ll tell you this : that boy can put away some amount of beer. What a great attribute in a professional footballer. The prerequisite, in fact.
Still nothing to do with the Romeos, Kilkenny or country music. Christ, how’s a boy to get focussed? How can a poor man stand such times and live?