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March 2019



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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.


Alas, not available in my area. :(

Wasn't he 16 when he started in the Spencer Davis Group? I must say I do l love Traffic (at least their more melodious songs*) and Blind Faith as well. I'm not fond of Winwood's later solo work, though.

The first time I heard Nutini I thought he was a 90-year-old blues singer. :)

*Jim Capaldi's solo version of The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys is one of the most beautiful songs I know, whereas I find the Traffic original way too loud.
Shame! It's on again this evening. I think he was actually fifteen when he started! So was Dave Davies of the Kinks.

Yes, Nutini. I kept hearing a record on the radio which I loved and which sounded as if it were sung by an old black man. I looked him up and was astonished to find he's actually young, white and Scottish. I like the album very much.

I'll check out that Jim Capaldi later on, thanks.
Unfortunately I can only receive BBC 1 and 2. I really should go digital.
Without the digital stations I'd have almost nothing to watch! But now I'm glued to Wimbledon on BBC2.