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You may think something was seriously wrong with me when I had the chance to do an interview and decided not to ask a single question. But frontman and songwriter James de Malplaquet actually exceeded my expectations. I didn't expect anything less.
I'm addicted to the Miserable Rich. "12 Ways To Count" still is one of my favorite records and when they released "Of Flight And Fury", I wasn't able to listen to anything else for several weeks. If a song like "Oliver" ( Preview track), "The Mouth Of The Wolf" ( Preview track) or "Sommerhill" ( Preview track) doesn't knock you off your feet, I'd presume something is seriously wrong with you. No offense, just my personal opinion. And you may think something was seriously wrong with me when I had the chance to do an interview and decided not to ask a single question. But frontman and songwriter James de Malplaquet actually exceeded my expectations. I didn't expect anything less.

"I felt Brighton was a perfect ending to a really interesting career." - Harold Budd's.
Ah, this must be from 2005, when the Buddster played his last concert before retiring at Brighton's Dome. It's always been a nice link that a man described as the Godfather of Ambient music has a surname synonymous with fine marijuana - of which there is plenty in our little seaside town. This quote makes me think he must have had a nice, er, trip to Brighton.
I don't know if it's true, but it's alleged that Daniels Lanois recorded Budd playing, unaware, and put the recording out as 'La Bella Vista'. I'd love to believe that one - what a lovely way to record?
As for ending your career in Brighton - maybe, but not just yet, eh?

"On your way to wonderful, you're gonna have to pass through alright. And when you get to alright, take a good look around and get use to it, because that may be a far as you're gonna go." - Bill Withers
Bill Withers knew a thing or two about life. Anyone fitting toilets into jumbo jets while trying to make it as a musician - two of the most demeaning jobs in two of the most glamorous industries - must have had a fair deal of grounding.
I like Withers - and not just because of the duck in a microwave jokes. These simple, easy going pop songs everyone can sing have an undercurrent of pain and honesty to cut against the saccharine. Just have a listen to 'Use me' and 'Who is he and what is he to you'. I even love the simple stuff like 'Grandma's hands'.
Not necessarily the most fashionable guy on the block, what with all the coffee adverts in his legacy, but he certainly made it through the hard times to Wonderful.
I hope we're travelling in the right direction, but only time will tell.

"I don't want to change the world, I'm not looking for a new England. I'm just looking for another girl." - Billy Bragg
Never really been into Bragg, though he seems a totally genuine bloke, and he's closer than most pop stars to my politics. I really like what he has to say about the magical hyphen in Anglo-Saxon. Could do with a bit more melody for me though.
I guess we're not trying to change the world either - nor looking for another girl either.
We're just trying to document the lives we lead - and keep it interesting through the descriptive passages.

"Words are cheap. The biggest thing you can say is 'elephant'." - Charlie Chaplin
Wow. That truly is a mammoth statement.
He must've had a whale of a time seeing it in print.

"It is commercial pop that the majority of people understand. A working man's daughter would not understand blues." - Barry Gibb
Hmmn, I'm not really sure Barry Gibb qualifies as the voice of the people - and it's not usually such a great idea for artists in mansions to be saying what it is people in council houses do and do not like.
That said, when times are tough, a bit of glamour and escapism is often what people want. That's what the Bee Gees gave us in Saturday Night Fever, and Roxy Music gave us throughout the seventies.
Not sure Bryan Ferry really qualifies as the voice of the people either, though.
For the record, i quite like foxes.

"I'm not here for your amusement. You're here for mine." - Johnny Rotten
The beautiful arrogance of youth.
Well, Johnny, when we see you in those butter commercials and reality programmes, taking yourself so seriously, i'm really not sure who's the more amused.

"Never be ashamed to write a melody that people remember." - Burt Bacharach
Who can argue with that?
'San Jose', 'Say A Little Prayer', 'Something Big' - so many favourites played by so many artists, always sounding great.
I am musically the weakest member in a band of great, proper musicians.
I guess i'm not really a musician, not even a songwriter really - just a kind of wordy melodist.
But if someone remembers and hums one of my tunes, i'm happy.

"I've never intended to be controversial but it's very easy to be controversial in pop music because nobody ever is." - Morrissey
Paradoxically, since Morrissey lost his sense of humour - some time ago - it's been very difficult to take anything he says seriously.

"Pop stars should not eat." - Lady Gaga
It is certainly true that pop stars should not eat Lady Gaga.
Even in the most barbaric countries, there should be a law against that type of thing.
Not much meat on her either.

"What I want to know is: what is actually wrong with an elite?" - Prince Charles
There's nothing wrong with an elite - on merit.
When it's hereditary, it does nobody any favours, as poor old Charlie's life should adequately illustrate.

"Being sober on a bus is, like, totally different than being drunk on a bus." - Ozzy Osbourne
Now, normal people would probably put this the other way round -
being sober should be the normality, drunk the alternative.
These quotes were specifically picked for us, right.......?

"Who really needs a new album from me?" - Elton John
Tantrums and tiaras, at least you can never accuse Elton of not having a sense of humour about himself.
I read an interview with Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry recently, who, when asked if there was any demand for a new album had this to say -
'Actually, I'm not sure there is... New material is not that important any more. We've been at this for a long time. I think of some of the songs I've written or co-written and I think, why should I bother trying to top that? It's like Leonardo Da Vinci painting the Madonna again. Why should I paint the Madonna again?"

I don't believe in fate or destiny. I believe in various degrees of hatred, paranoia, and abandonment. However much of that gets heaped upon you doesn't matter - it's only a matter of how much you can take and what it does to you." - Henry Rollins
Henry Rollins talks a good game, but the onstage bullying of teenage fans, sucking up to Hollywood for bit-parts and recent rebranding as a reality TV host tell more of the truth about who he actually is than the endless pontificating.
With some people, the gap between who they are and who they think they are grows exponentially.

"Even modern English people are imperious, superior, ridden by class. All of the hypocrisy and the difficulties that are endemic in being British also make it an incredibly fertile place culturally. A brilliant place to live. Sad but true." -  Pete Townshend
England is not the greatest place on earth - nor even the most self-critical - but it is my home.
Stephen Fry, the much beloved Englishman - and like all true Englishmen, from a foreign family - put it better than i ever could.
'I feel about my country like i feel about my parents. I love it, but i can't help wishing it was just a
 little bit better.'

"Some of the most miserable people I know are some of the richest people in America, they are the most miserable individuals I've ever seen." - Chuck Norris
I don't know too much about Americans outside of what i've seen in films, but it does seem to me, as our name would suggest, that too much money goes a long way to ruining lives.
A little bit would be nice though.

"Know that I love you, know I don't care. Know that I see you, know I'm not there." - Nick Drake
A truly chilling song from a troubled mind.
Funny how you still find people listening to it at dinner parties and at summer barbecues.
Shame even that numb success wasn't granted him in life - but let's leave on a happy note.
At least he's still being heard and enjoyed.
Sleep well old chap.
Published: Aug 18, 2010
by Claudia Nethge (artistxite)


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