Tuesday, August 4, 2009

sans palmolive, without lubrication

Oh, well. It's now or never. In less than a fortnight I shall be officially married - road traffic accidents and strokes, excepting - a convention I have studiously avoided in the thirty odd years since I legally 'came of age'. Out of atypical modesty, I have thus far resisted the urge to announce said event. That, or the faint anxiety regarding plans which gang awry.

Anyhow. The game is afoot. Events have been set in motion.

A piper, even, has been procured; a splendid Portuguese busker on Spanish pip
es who kindly agreed to step by and bless the ceremony. Far better a relaxed Iberian note than the spectacle of pomp and circumstance. A far more colourful route to travel than booking a complete stranger through any agency, I would suggest. It rained abysmally in the moments of my asking him if he had ever done a wedding gig. He carefully flicked a raindrop off the display on his cellphone as we swapped numbers and made sure we were not about to drag him on to the steps of a church. A man of the cloth, his tartan was wholly black. Without stripe or accent.

"Pipers are much like the rain in Scotland," he said. "One can always be assured we will be there."

I have not stepped foot in Portugal for quite some time. Twenty years, in fact. Give or take a downpour. From his tattoo I took him to be a man of his word.

Tessa Pollitt: bass;
Ari Up: drums, vocals;
Viv Albertine: guitar;
Steve Beresford: keyboards;
Bruce Smith: drums.

Recorded on October 12th, 1981;
first tra
nsmission on October 26, 1981.

Produced by Tony Wilson.
Backing vocals by Neneh Cherry.

THE SLITS: EARTH BEAT / WEDDING SONG from "The Peel Sessions" CD (Strange Fruit) 1998 (UK)


davyh said...

And it's about time.

ib said...

Cheers, Davy! You are not wrong.

Your driver said...

I tried to include this in my selection of songs to be played at my wedding reception. My (now ex) wife absolutely forbade it. Is it any wonder we didn't work out? If you and Rosa can agree on this one, I predict a long life of harmony and domestic bliss.

ib said...

Thank you, Jon. An acquaintance of mine hired a DJ for his reception. After several dodgy numbers played back to back, the groom had enough and approached the desk with not so much a request as some polite direction. "Fuck off," the DJ said. "I am a wedding professional. I do this for a living. This is what people want."

I don't believe The Slits made the final cut there either.

Nazz Nomad said...

Congratu-fucking-lations! I want to know the exact date and time so here in NYC I can toast ya!

PS_ we had an "off-limits" list of songs for our nuptials 20 years ago including Chicago, Billy Joel and Bon Jovi.

Out wedding song was "Thank You" from Led Zep and "To Sir With Love".

ib said...

Cheers, Nazz.

"Thank You" is a fine song. Probably their best album too. Lulu, eh ? The Glaswegian connection.

Right now I am beginning to have anxiety attacks about what to wear. Fashions may come and go, but the best of my shit no longer fits. There was a time when there was always plenty of surplus material. A kilt, in fact, might just cover a multitude of sins. Still, better late than never.

I will keep you posted nearer the time.

Chris Marsden said...

As expected, diverse imagery and interesting and evocative stories, experience and sound...your blog never ceases to amaze.

We're looking forward to a trip to Glasgow next week so look forward to meeting you.
Here's a poem that i rate quite highly...hope you enjoy it.

Wedding Whistle

(Ogden Nash)

Though you know it anyhow
Listen to me, darling, now,
Proving what I need not prove
How I know I love you, love.
Near and far, near and far,
I am happy where you are;
Likewise I have never larnt
How to be it where you aren't.
Far and wide, far and wide,
I can walk with you beside;
Furthermore, I tell you what,
I sit and sulk where you are not.
Visitors remark my frown
Where you're upstairs and I am down,
Yes, and I'm afraid I pout
When I'm indoors and you are out;
But how contentedly I view
Any room containing you.
In fact I care not where you be,
Just as long as it's with me.
In all your absences I glimpse
Fire and flood and trolls and imps.
Is your train a minute slothful?
I goad the stationmaster wrothful.
When with friends to bridge you drive
I never know if you're alive,
And when you linger late in shops
I long to telephone the cops.
Yet how worth the waiting for,
To see you coming through the door.
Somehow, I can be complacent
Never but with you adjacent.
Near and far, near and far,
I am happy where you are;
Likewise I have never larnt
How to be it where you aren't.
Then grudge me not my fond endeavor,
To hold you in my sight forever;
Let none, not even you, disparage
Such a valid reason for a marriage.

See you all next week

Chris Becky and James.

Löst Jimmy said...

Congratulations brother, I'll raise a glass from afar to you and yours on the day.

I had 'We Took The Wrong Steps Years Ago' at my wedding bash in Edinburgh, although to tell you the truth the song was drowned out amid the masses descending upon the buffet free-for-all.

Have a great day when it comes around ib

Denier said...

Congrats! Once you hire the piper, there's really no turning back.

ib said...



Nice on the Nash. Whistles and flutes, not necessarily suits. I have wedding gear like water on the brain right now...

See you all next week. Oh, and a belated many happy returns.

Cheers, Löst Jimmy.

My favourite ever Hawkwind song, that one, and a brilliant piece of lateral playfulness to have it at your bash. Our own do is going to be quite a low-key affair; bizarrely enough, the only thing I insisted on was a bit of Miles Davis. The bar we are descending on is remaining open to the public and I sensed a bit of resistance to my total commandeering of the sound system...

You are not that far away from us, brother. It would be nice to meet up with you (and your wife) for a drink or two if you are in the vicinity...


Cheers! Yes. He who pays the piper and all the kind of thing... He seemed to be a really decent fellow. Rosa had her heart set on the idea, and, well, everything kind of fell into place.

HowMarvellous said...

ib, that's great - congratulations indeed, my best wishes to you both. The piper sounds ideal.

ib said...

Thanks, Andy. The piper does indeed actually sound quite excellent. I am not actively a huge fan of the bagpipes - preferring the chanter instead - but this guy is good.

sunnydustmote said...

Not long now bro, hope your excited and have now got something to wear. I have my camera ready for action. Very excited about the day - see you very soon. xxx

ib said...

Yes. A bit like that Johnny Cash number, so to speak. See you there.