The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
LIKE I say, I get around. Sometimes, though, I even surprise myself.
ENO's production of La Boheme is a triumph,
Authenticity and a back-to-roots attitude are important commodities for the aspiring US singer-songwriter.
You don't get much more authentic or woodshed-y than Scotty Alan, who proudly boasts that he wore out two shovels digging out his own basement.
A veteran of punk bands, Alan takes various detours through country and Americana on Wreck And The Mess.
But it has to be said the results are uneven.
There is no real sense of Alan seeking to definine his own sound.
On Dam he's Bruce Springsteen, all tough and rugged, yet on Barn Dance he seems like an impression of Mike Scott in his "Oirish" Galway-loving phase.
More successfully, the guttural Tom Waits-ness of Down Before I Fall could have fallen off the back of Mule Variations - splendid stuff.
Scotty Alan is clearly a talented songwriter and with superb accompanying musicians. Yet Wreck and the Mess just lacks identity.
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