Blog of the AMM

Richard Evans washes up to Latest Late Lunch

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This week’s Late Lunch With Out To Lunch contained a sort of density of sound that overwhelmed the kitchen sink, and strange fragments from the soapscum dishwater floated, intermittently, in grimy tease and chaseplay between my fingers (encased in a type of very thin transparent glove, surgical type, used in health and social care settings, one of the very few perks of the job, though the odd box of gloves good for dirty jobs round thee ‘ouse haaaaaardly compensates for £6.51 an hour and the responsibility of some poor sod’s life in your hands, oh yeah, and zero hours contracts – BEN SERIOUSLY MAN WHAT KIND OF FUCKING COUNTRY IS THIS TURNING INTO WHERE LEGALLY THERE CAN BE SUCH A THING AS A ZERO HOURS CONTRACT?? IT’S NOT ENOUGH FOR THEM JUST TO PAY US BADLY, THEY WANT TO TAKE AWAY ANY POSSIBILITY OF SECURITY IN OUR JOBS OR OUR LIVES. AAAAAAAARRRRGHHH FUCKING ANGRY ABOUT SO MUCH AAAAAARGGHGHGH!!!) What was I saying? Oh, yeah … the improvised stuff on the programme – I never listen too closely to details of tracks played, artists’ names, etc, not just with you but in general, I’m not pleased about this, it’s a real failing, I miss so much, but my mind wanders when details are presented as encyclopean poly famous citation-sirens – but I think it’s a bunch of stuff from the musical marxists bash you lot did last week? [YES, RICHARD, IT’S THE AMM ALL-STARS with PAUL SEACROFT on lapsteel and PETER BAXTER on drums and PAUL SHEARSMITH on trumpet and OUT TO LUNCH on vocals and ALAN WILKINSON on saxophone playing at the Cock Tavern in Somers Town last MONDAY …] Anyway, as I say, it filled the kitchen, especially the sink, where occasional lost fragments of breakfast, or ancient ruins of last night’s dinner, or the graceful ancestral forms of kinfe, fork and spoon – elegant and human still, this cutlery, though now effaced by distorting veils of grease and suds and veg – and other odder things broke surface between my rubberized clawing fingers, nothing of them doth fade, but doth suffer a sea-change – and this sink, roiling darkly in its multi-layered murk, with bobbing objects of food and non-food bobbing up here and there, the action of rot, gravity, water erosion and ennui causing these undifferentiated chunks of the old primordial to (a) first mutate into some other form (as a partly consumed carrot hunk can fold inward, under pressure of time and dense liquid, to become briefly a brown and defeated stick of celery, sinking fast) and (b) collapse into and become one with the rank, steaming waters of the Ganges – it was how your show sounded to me this week, man, like that sink, those bits bobbing up, the mutations in the ooze, the underlying deep glugwater round the big pans and flat pots, the mugs and jugs, depth charge bass of dinner plate slow-mo collision with the zinc of the sink, and then the inevitable upsplosion of tiny bubbles. Washing up with these sounds loose in the kitchen, in the dead of winter, in a time of both political optimism (my mother-in-law lives on the paradise isle of Kefalonia and, as a former member of the CPGB – a youth spent in late 60s/early 70s Hampstead with a bearded commie for a husband – and a passionate if not terribly informed lover of the Greek people and their culture, she’s very excited indeed) and terrible pessimism (working in social care, it’s obvious to everyone that any further round of these deliberately targeted welfare-eating austerity cuts are going to be properly fucking devastating and ruin many, many lives), a mixture of things swirling around in the sink, always moving, always throwing up new combinations, crushedpink drinkstraw contorted mandala, eggy fork with yellow yolky tines, and mutating wildly all the while. I-ching cookie carradine wisdom chips of kung fu, printed on Indian ink, Balinese paper, wrapped in tin foil from Guyana, simply tap and unwrap: nice font, Gymkhana sans, colour sep. a bit off, smudge effect, what does it say anyway… A Time Of transition.

OK, you’ve read the sleevenote, now play the record: Back to Bass because Greece Is The Word 28-i-2015


  • My God, Richard! I love your blog, I hear the ‘Richard’ that my daughter fell in love with (and the ‘Richard’ that makes his mother-in-law very glad he is part of the family)! Actually, I do ‘hear’ because, quite frankly, just like Dylan Thomas. your adjective-riven, punctuationly-perfect writing, can only really be appreciated if you read it out loud and hear the tones of Richard Burton! Thank you for my reference, yes, indeedy-very-do I AM UTTERLY THRILLED to be living in what, after 10 years of trying to understand the Greek people, I can UTTERLY BELIEVE that once again they will bring the ‘spirit of democracy’ back into some respectable status in this mess that capitalism, and primarily in our lifetime, that UTTER bitch, Margaret Thatcher, who did more to harm the spirit of the British than anyone, in my view, throughout history. Yo! Tsipras, (our old landlord went to Uni with him & shared a room!) but my big Yo! goes to Yannis Varoufakis!!! We have been following his blog for over a year – clever beyond clever – and didn’t he look good chatting with Georgie Os! I truely feel I am right in the middle of a vital moment in history. All this comes back to Dylan Thomas who is better spoken than written, Richard who is better spoken than written, Greeks better spoken than written …. and they can talk in their UTTERLY incongruent metaphors ’till the cows come home!

  • Ben Watson says:

    “better spoken than written” … Indeed! This summarises prettymuch everything we are about here at the AMM, where if you can’t convince a roomful of random people what you are about, then we won’t listen to you. I should have guessed that Richard, along with his Joycean prose and great politics, would have a wonderful mother-in-law as well!

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