Just an Observation Friday 19th October

Three weeks on and still the number of Jimmy Savile’s victims seems to grow daily with the story showing no signs of abating.  Quite contrary to this it  seems to have opened up a whole can of worms and thrown up so many questions as to why it has taken so long for these accusations to emerge. Now up in the hundreds there is no way some form of cover up or collusion has not been in force and the BBC is under investigation –even by some of its own employees- as to how one man used his position under their protection and on their premises to become what is fast becoming recognised as the most prolific child abuser this country has ever known.

Whilst it is reassuring that some of the others involved are being brought to task  and face prosecution it still sickens me that Savile managed to escape unscathed and with his reputation intact during his lifetime. What makes it worse is that all the old footage on display shows that he was carrying out his indiscretions in plain view of everyone- still managing to remain unchallenged- and what some regarded as harmless fun actually reveals itself as something far more sinister in hindsight. Hopefully his victims are attaining some form of belated resolve by actually being listened to after years of being ignored and in some cases disbelieved.

Out this weekend is the new James Bond movie ‘Skyfall’ and I am off to see it in a few hours hoping it will be better than 2008’s ‘Quantum of Solace’ which threatened to undo all the credibility and re-invigoration the Daniel Craig tenure started with the impressive ‘Casino Royale’. Early reports are favourable with some even going as far as to say it is the best Bond movie ever but I will reserve judgment and expectations until I have actually see it although most Bonds have something to recommend them and with Javier Bardem on board as his latest adversary the signs are already looking good .

Also out on Halloween the Filmhouse is showing a new version of ‘The Shining’ with twenty eight minutes of previously unseen footage and it is definitely worth catching on the big screen as opposed to TV re-runs- usually with atmosphere destroying adverts- or DVD showings. A full review and re-appraisal can be found here.

Talking of Halloween it seems to become ever more Americanised with each passing year. Trick or Treating has slowly been replacing the more traditional ‘guising’ of my youth to the point that a younger generation are no longer even aware of what the latter term even means. Oh well! Something else lost in the way of transatlantic tradition and so called progress I suppose.

Neu! Reekie have their second outing at Summerhall tonight and a line up which includes poetry from John Hegley and Douglas Dunn, music from James Yorkston and Craig Lithgow with no doubt so much else also on display. Starting at 7 pm if it is as busy as the last outing it would be advisable to get along early as it does tend to sell out quickly. There is also a follow up gig in Glasgow at the Poetry Club tomorrow featuring the wonderful Teen Canteen which I am unable to attend but if you are in the vicinity then get yourself along as it promises to be one not to be missed.

Also last week I went to see the bizarre, brilliant and totally bonkers Sparks. Featuring just the two Mael brothers in a keyboards and vocals set up it was as close as we will get to a Sparks ‘Unplugged gig although the synth led ‘Number One Song in Heaven’ was a moment of blissed out perfection but the whole gig was  astounding. A full appreciation can be found here.

I am not sure what it is about these oldies who should by rights be sitting back relaxing in their dotage but instead insist on leaping around a stage with all the verve and attitude sadly lacking in some acts a third of their age. I put it down to an unswerving belief in the currency of what they are doing and actually placing themselves somewhere within their art rather than being mere product. Last month Patti Smith turned in an amazing show which electrified not only the audience but the night air outside also. Grace Jones, three years ago, put on one of the best shows I have ever seen and several of this year’s best albums – Mark Lanegan, Jack White, Richard Hawley, Dr. John, and Smith- are from those hardly in the first flush of youth. Even local band Opium Kitchen is made up of stalwarts on the scene and their energy comes from an inner belief rather than youthful flourish. I guess it’s the old age rampage.

Young artists such as Grimes have shown some innovation and her serious competition Laurel Halo- according to a friend she, harshly in my opinion, reveals Grimes to be no more than a ‘twee pussypop merchant’- is playing Edinburgh’s Sneaky Petes tomorrow night at a gig I hope to get along to if I can fit it in.

Keeping things brief today as I have a midday appointment with Daniel Craig and his superhero doppelganger  and anyone who knows me will also be aware that I rarely do anything before this hour or at least anything which involves actually leaving my bed. In fact between the clocks going back this weekend and next March when they go forward it is hard to get me to do anything without at least three weeks warning and weather checks as I slip into hibernation mode.

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