Sunday, 16 December 2007

He looks good in a vest!

The other day my Joshua Tree boxed set arrived! At last! Seemed like forever since I ordered it. It was worth waiting for... a sumptous black and gold delight, with lots of goodies inside. A 56 page book filled with lyrics (some a copy of Bono's original hand written words, complete with scribbles); an envelope with 5 postcard pictures inside; and of course 3 discs... the remastered Joshua Tree, a CD with B-sides from the day, and some extra tracks... and finally the DVD I had been waiting for with bated breath!

I'll read the book soon, but for now I am obsessed with the music and the images. Many years ago I had a jumpy, scratchy video of part of a concert from Paris. Now I have it all (or most of it) in glorious, glitch-free technicolor!!! It's a real treat. Now, don't get me wrong, throughout his changing images and hair, I have always loved Bono best when he looks as he does "now", in the moment, because for me that is the "real" him. Even though sometimes he has REALLY tested my loyalty, like in 1988/89 when he had that too long dark hair, and in 1994/95 when he sported that pointy, devil-like beard and took to wearing tweed and grandad cardigans, and that cap that made him look like a Polish farmer or something (not that I am knocking Polish farmers, but they are not my romantic fantasy!).

But anyway, in this new (old) DVD, he looks glorious.... all long, lustrous hair (oh the colour, that lovely warm red) and 80's waistcoat and boots - gotta love the 80s! His face is unlined (weren't we all 20 years ago?!) and pure, and as always it is so weird to see Bono in the early days, before the map of his travels and experiences was drawn on his face. We've seen him grow up before our very eyes, and turn into the tireless campaigner he is.

So he leaps and dances and winks his way through the Paris gig, and it's great fun. Really good fun and wonderful to have something from that era that is such good quality.

The bonus videos on the disc are the alternative version of "With or Without You" (not very impressive in my opinion) and "Red Hill Mining Town" which is a great song, but the video has more cheese than a packet of Quavers! Very funny. But everyone looks so good in it. Adam is almost unrecognisable at the beginning! I just hope that no canaries were hurt in the filming because they are flapping all over the place and appear to be thrown in all directions!!!

There is a hidden video or "Easter Egg" as they are known, on the DVD. From the menu select "Videos" and when you get to the screen with the videos titles on, scroll up and highlight the line ABOVE "U2". Press enter and it will prompt you for a password. Enter "Betty" and you will get a couple of tracks from The Dalton Brothers.

Finally, the new songs on the bonus CD are great. I love "Wave of Sorrow". The music was created in the Joshua Tree sessions 20 years ago, but the lyric and vocal are from now, and you can really tell. It is so NOW, and again so "in the moment" that it is impossible to mistake it for old Bono. He had never had all those experiences 20 years ago, and then, he was deep into his American (both north and south) phase. "Wave of Sorrow" is a photograph of Africa.

"Rise Up" is another one I like on first playing but I need to listen to it more. That sounds to me so like Bruce Springsteen, and I know Bono was hanging out with him then and was influenced. America again... and you can't get more American than Bruce.

So that's my two cents and first impressions of the remastered Joshua Tree offering.

Opinions welcome.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Did We Have A Great Time? Abso-fuckin-lutely!

Okay, so it is just after midday and I have just got out of bed after sleeping for just 4 and a half hours! My last guest left at 6am... the sight of her tottering to the taxi in trench coat, knee length boots and pyjamas will stay in my memory for a while! "Hello, Pyjama Girl," the taxi driver shouts through his window (she had told them on the phone that she was wearing pyjamas. In fact, she had been telling everyone within earshot all night).

As I shut the door, I see her Victoria Beckham jeans and Italian sweater, strewn on the floor where she had left them over ten hours ago!

What a great night. Everyone turned up and there was so much food! Lovely mini duck in filo pastry with dips from Jan, satay chicken, wings, quiche, wedges... you name it, we had it.

Gemma and I became experts at mixing the Cosmopolitans and we imbibed many glasses! It was so great that my workmates (old and new) got along. Janis was a "Sex and the City" virgin but we managed to convert her. It was lovely to watch her reaction to something so familiar to us - to see how she took to the characters.

Thanks to Janis, Ruth, Gemma and Janet for coming and making it a really fun night.

Now I am off to lie on the sofa. Hangovers don't cure themselves!

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Tonight's The Night!

I am excited today, despite the way this week has gone. The downside is that I developed synovitis in my right wrist and work has been very painful. The upside is that tonight is my long-awaited cocktail party!!

A few of us are getting together, watching Sex And The City DVDs, drinking Cosmopolitans, and eating. And the dress code is pyjamas!!! I totally stole the idea from a party I went to when on holiday in America earlier this year (yes, I will blog it soon!) and it was so much fun that I wanted to do it for myself when I got back.

The only thing is that my dear friend, Donna, will not be able to make it, because it would be right up her street, but at least she will be able to read about it and see the pics (if there are any I can actually show the world!) tomorrow.

It would have been great for Sue to be here too (and not as far for her to travel as Donna), but we are going to make up for it next year and have an "Ab Fab" themed night at her house!! Bolli anyone!

A Poet's Heart

I am feeling brave today. Sometimes you have to bare your soul - and bear it. The weight of it, that is. Over the years I have written many poems, most - I have to say - penned during troubled times. Times that were difficult for one reason or another. They say that angst breeds art, and I believe that is true. It is certainly interesting to look back on something you wrote when things were hard. Especially when, in a strange way, you can't even remember being that person. But you remember knowing her, and watching her life.

I didn't know if I was brave enough to put them on my blog until I had my daily visit to my good friend Sue's Blog. It was spooky that she posted about poetry at precisely the time I was thinking about it, so it seemed a good omen.

So... here (to start with) are 3 poems that specifically deal with a very early part of my life. The second two don't need explaining. They speak for themselves.

The first is about my "wide-eyed" first forays into the world of religion. Not by choice. I was a child being brought into a Roman Catholic world because the adults around me decided I must. The poem is of my earliest memories of Sunday services, with my nan. I posted this poem on a poetry newsgroup once and it brought many positive reactions and only one negative one. One reader thought that I was attacking their beliefs. For the record, I would not attack anyone's beliefs. This is simply a child's view of a confusing ritual.

These days, religion has no place in my life. I am an agnostic, and my view of the church is maybe tainted by my experiences. But that is for another time, another post. Meanwhile, the poems:


If I never understood you, it's because you never let me
As you sat there with your arms crossed
Across giant, wool-clad bosom
Your face pinched and sullen
Mouth puckered like the anus of a pit-bull

I feared you, and I never wanted to stay
But you made me, every Sunday
You dragged me into that house of pain
Where tortured souls bowed and scraped
And gave their dignity to a man in black frilled with white

The smell of ashes, sweet and oily palms
Burned as offerings then smeared across the brows
Of frightened children, faces wide like mine
Our hearts fluttering as we chewed the flesh of a magic man

With puzzled face each Saturday, I made up sins
To tell the shadow behind the crimson curtain and hazy mesh
And when I emerged with prayers to say, you'd take my hand
And lead me to the altar, and watch as I knelt
And smile as my lips moved, wanting you to know I was praying

And you'd finger your black rosary.

Copyright ©2007 DebbiVoisey


My father took the typewriter from the hall
Told me he loved me, kissed me. Then left
My mother, later, asked us all What happened?
Wrung her hands, cried. Was bereft

The house was quiet that day

During the night my mother's father died
In the morning, all around her bowed head
And dripping tears, we played inside
Making a mess, shouting, jumping on the bed

The house was noisy that day

Copyright ©2007 DebbiVoisey


On Sundays Demis Roussos would fill my head
Talking about his friend the wind as my dad
Closed his eyes and thought his thoughts
As my mother cried and was distraught
Trying to make sense of the mess

Ghosts would haunt us in those damp rooms
(Strange rooms - not our home)
Relatives long since gone, trying to point out
Mistakes made and yet to be made

Desperate nights squashed together and listening
To the raised voices. Declaring hate and rage
And hopelessness. And the end
This is it
The keys rattle
The door slams
He is gone.


Copyright ©2007 DebbiVoisey