Thursday, July 10, 2014


Play it here!
Buy it here! (Of course it's on vinyl!!)

We don't need a revolution in the summertime
We don't need a revolution anytime

what we need is someone to believe
in like a god to fall out of the sky
what we don't need is a revolution
that could blow our minds away,
yeah away,
tomorrow or today

You can sell me Darwin's theory
evolution got me here to where I am
i'd believe in anyone who'd promise me
the sun would shine today
yeah today
or any other day

we can pray for the sun and let it shine on everyone
sunshine brings love
we can pray for the sun and let it shine on everyone
sunshine brings love

Uncertain of the irony of this appearing directly above the Airplane theory below, given I am referring, perhaps again, to the "revolution" via summer music festivals, albeit with particular reference to the UK. In a strange way, the lyrics above completely underline the point that, needed or not, it has taken/did take place. And now, is it a revolution or a ritual? Or relic?

I love festivals. As a younger man I attended as many as I could, from the Rock of Reading 1975 to the more ambitious Glastonbury 1994, the latter with  my then wife and pre-teen kids, my tastes gradually turning then more to the more intimate (nominally) folk festivals. I think I finally stopped going in about 2003, my swansong being my much visited Cropredy in 2002, the annual Fairport Convention run and curated shindig, still going after many a long year. But, in a whimsy of  disappearing youth, I have this year bought tickets and a tent for The 50th Cambridge Folk Festival. It is true my choice is as much based on my musical preferences as the seemliness of my age: both the stage and the audience will make me feel young, as the "revolutionaries" of the 60s and 70s have become respected elders, letting down (whats left of) their hair in like-minded company. It will feel both a reminiscence and an evolution. With Glastonbury being now on the summer privileged corporate circuit of Wimbledon and Henley Royal Regatta, mass-produced and must-do, both anaethema to me, I am hoping this will feel a nostalgic wallow in ageing counter-culture.

But what of the song? Have you listened to it? Sorry about the biker bit that precedes, it was the only link I could find to this wonderful slice of completelyoutofitstime hippy wisdom, if that is no oxymoron. It is the Cosmic Rough Riders, even the name reeking of a patchouli scented lysergia. Sounding as if from the heart of a stoned california of a quarter century ago, it actually stems from the urban mayhem of Glasgow in 2000. For some strange reason, Scotland's concrete city landscapes have always been a dab hand at producing USA-philic jangle-pop a la Byrds and similar. (Another and possibly better known example would be the wonderful Teenage Fanclub .) By the time the LP upon which Revolution in the Summertime appeared, actually a compilation of 2 earlier self-produced albums, the band had begun to implode, their singer leaving as a run of singles therefrom had begun to garnish them both notice and praise. The band actually lurched on for a number of years and several more recordings, never quite, at least for me, catching these glory days. Enjoy the Melodic Sunshine is the name of the parent record and I unashamedly promote it it a tonic to turn to, on those occasional days we get a blast of sun and summer. I'm praying that it won't rain at Cambridge.

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