I’ve headed to Alicante for the weekend. Regular readers of Sonic Breakfast will know that this is my happy place. I love the solitude that I get from the villa out in the country but need the buzz of a city from time to time.
And Alicante gives me that even if the 2020 version is a muted and mutated version of what has gone before. I walked down the esplanade en route to my hotel yesterday and had it all to myself. The hotelier tells me that he might only have money for a couple of weeks more trading. These are desperate times.
But last night out in the old town I sat under the stars and watched the world go by. There was still an energetic and contagious buzz; we remembered how to smile and laugh amidst the infectious giggles.
I headed back to my hotel and listened to a piece of music that totally knocked me sideways. I’ve now watched this video a dozen times on repeat and I plan to watch it a dozen times more.
I remember the very first time I listened to Original Pirate Material by The Streets. Mike Skinner introduced himself as a talent to behold with his gritty, humorous observations about working class life in Birmingham and I adored it. For Those I Love achieve something similar, albeit working class life in Dublin, with this track I have a love’. I can pay no greater compliment.
For Those I Love is the life project of Dave Balfe. He wrote this piece to honour the memory of his best friend and former band mate, Paul Curran, who died suddenly a couple of years back. In one fell swoop, the beautiful, observational spoken-word poetry builds over a growing electronica swarm to establish a more than fitting tribute for a friend. The video, laced with footage from their friendship, manages to be both beautiful and sad. I defy anyone watching to not feel the lump in the throat as the song builds to its point of no return.
Dave puts it better than I ever could when he says, “When it happened, and life froze over, the only way out was through the songs. How else can I show my love, how else can I remember what we had and what we made, but through the art itself.”