June 19th, 2010


Avoiding the World Cup Part Two. Mr Fantasy: Steve Winwood

Yesterday evening I had a date with Steve Winwood on BBC 4. English Soul the programme was called and you can see it here. Paul Jones and others commented that this young white boy ‘sounded black’ (I thought the same thing the first time I heard Paolo Nutini). Say ‘Steve Winwood’ and most people think, ‘Traffic’. I must admit that I’ve still got Dear Mr Fantasy as an earworm but I just don’t like druggy music. My tastes are simple. I like R & B and I like it black and white and mono, so you’d hardly expect me to love Traffic and Blind Faith. I much prefer the music Winwood played with the Spencer Davis Group: Keep On Running, Gimme Some Lovin and I’m A Man. And he did all that before he was twenty. Blimey.

Nowadays, Steve Winwood lives in the country, walks his dogs, spends hours in his studio. Oh, and every now and then he does a concert with Eric Clapton. Fascinating documentary, highly recommended, and it was followed by film of him playing Madison Square Gardens with Clapton. It sat strangely with the previous programme, which I caught the end of; a concert given by the Vienna Philharmonic in the gardens of Schönbrunn Palace. To celebrate Schumann’s 200th birthday they played Träumerei from Kinderszenen. Lovely. Träumerei, Schwärmerei. Very appropriate after my little Eva Ibbotson fest.