Monday, January 04, 2010

Must be, kinda, related.

Comparing the work of a raven-haired, east end London actress/novelist with the musical repertoire of a long-haired, plaid-shirted hippy singer/songwriter from O-Mee-Mee, Ontario, Canada (OK, Toronto or Winnipeg) probably seems like an odd choice for review. After all one is a thirty something girly girl, slinking round the fashionable parts of Soho and Mayfair looking for love in the form of "Mr Right" and the other is a reclusive folk demi-god, famous for barnstorming one note guitar solos and for writing 70's AM radio standards such as "Heart of Gold" and "Old Man". Putting a Canadian male and a British cockney bird, on the same bill might seem like an odd night out, then.

Well kinda. Live At Massey Hall, recorded in 1971 and featuring live recordings of early and seldom heard songs about leaving home for the US can only be a Canadian album. From the beginning chords Neil sets the tone, and his own speed, which (as he fiddles with his strings and rebuffs a photographer, keeping him out of "time") is clearly not in any great hurry. Young slowly draws you in with his repertoire of songs, recorded in the pin drop silence of the near perfect accoustics or Massey Hall. The audience of working Toronto office folk and teenage stoners, who good naturedly cat call between sets, is clearly there for the listenin', man. The temple is Neil and the album captures a burgeoning city, which can only be Toronto, at a time that can only be the politically unstable late sixties.

London Novelist/Actress (East Enders alumnus and Love Actually scene stealer) Martine Mccutcheon, writes compellingly of place and in her own style, too. This is modern London where money and success are hard to come by but obtainable goals so the cheek is turned up to ten and the girls stick together in packs secretly keeping their fingernails polished and catty gay friends at her beck and call, suffering the ups and downs of love and life in the Big Smoke. ( I think the Brits nicked the term from the good folks of Taranah but I'm not going to start pointing fingers). The Mistress, Mccutcheons self-penned debut is a better than average love romp through the pitfalls of falling for a married man and is filled with the personality of an actress, whose soul mate 'ticks all the right boxes'. In one funny and memorable sequence two girlfriends battle it out over lunch about who has been more honest about their cosmetic surgery. When single Deena, breaks down in tears and says that yes, she did have cosmetic surgery, reconstructive cosmetic surgery – after a cancer scare – the other is mortified but Deena replies with a cavalier nod as she departs the restaurant.
"Well me and my tits are off." It is one of those little moments that tells you that though the times have changed (hippies vs cheekie chappies/caners) you still have to keep your wits about you if you want to survive in the post credit crunch environment.
How Yah Doon? - Blogged