Tag Archives: British genius

Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide To The Orchestra

I love the United Kindgom only a little bit more than I hate it. I have been paying taxes here for almost a decade and I may intend to keep doing so for as long as the balance stays like that.

If we take the cosmopolitan and exciting London out of the equation, what is worth in a country with grim urban areas, an over-rated but remarkably limited cultural heritage and an imploding economy? In the video of the post “British Icons” we hear John Lyndon wonder: Do I buy Countrylife because I yearn for the British countryside? What really is outstanding about the UK is a bunch of their men and women (for clariy, the above mentioned individual does not count among them). I find that some of the geniuses in this country makes up for the barren land they live on.

Many foreigners in this country might not have heard about a comedian with the name of Bill Bailey. I had only watched him a number of times in some TV programs like IQ and Never Mind the Buzzcocks until I watched “Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide To The Orchestra” this weekend. I was surprised by his multiple talents and how he managed to keep me smiling for 60 minutes and occasionally make me laugh.

Bill Bailey is an entertainer with the worst hair cut in the industry and sufficient panache to conduct a show about orchestral music in the Royal Albert Hall.  The show is about how the orchestra works and the influence of some 20th century composers. He was helped by the conductor Anne Dudley and her BBC Concert Orchestra.

The best of the show, temporarily available on iPlayer, Docteur Qui at the piano and the parody of the US TV cop shows in the 70’s.

I made some research about the comedian. This is an extract of an article that I found of Bill Bailey (source: The Observer):

… for the artificial enhancement of musical enjoyment, here is a rough guide. Wine with jazz, mescal with jazz (or anything, come to that), beer with rock, beer and a cigarette with punk, beer and a sandwich with Saxon, spliff with reggae, spliff and a Bourbon biscuit with dub, cider with the Wurzels, cider and crisps with folk, Nurofen with Slipknot, and a nice big basket of fruit with prog.

I also found the lyrics of Golden Brown by The Stranglers, which Bill Bailey mentions in his article:

Golden brown texture like sun
Lays me down with my mind she runs
Throughout the night
No need to fight
Never a frown with golden brown

Every time just like the last
On her ship tied to the mast
To distant lands
Takes both my hands
Never a frown with golden brown

Golden brown finer temptress
Through the ages she’s heading

West
From far away
Stays for a day
Never a frown with golden brown

Never a frown
With golden brown
Never a frown
With golden brown

Which reminds me of another cryptic lyrics of Jerk It Out by the Caesars about the love to some other vice:

Wind me up
Put me down
Start me off and watch me go
I’ll be running circles around you sooner than you know
A little off center
And I’m out of tune
Just kicking this can along the avenue
But I’m alright

Coz it’s easy once you know how it’s done
You can’t stop now
It’s already begun
You feel it
Running through your bones

And you jerk it out
And you jerk it out

Shut up
Hush your mouth
Can’t you hear you talk too loud
No I can’t hear nothing cause I got my head up in the clouds
I bite off anything that I can chew
I’m chasing cars up and down the avenue
But that’s ok

Coz it’s easy once you know how it’s done
You can’t stop now
It’s already begun
You feel it
Running through your bones

So you jerk it out

Coz it’s easy once you know how it’s done
You can’t stop now
It’s already begun
You feel it
Running through your bones

And you jerk it out
And you jerk it out
And you jerk it out
And you jerk it out
Oh baby don’t you know you really gotta jerk it out
When you jerk it out baby don’t you know you really gotta jerk it out
When you jerk it out baby don’t you know you really gotta jerk it out

Tracking Alfred Russel Wallace in Sarawak, Borneo

I found all Alfred Russel Wallace‘s writings online. Not only all the original works by Wallace are available there; the webmaster, Charles H. Smith, includes some summaries and comments that help understand the texts.

sundaland subduction and collision zones

Wallace’s wrote that a traveller in the Malay Archipielago finds himself sailing for days or even for weeks along the shores of one of these great islands, often so great that the inhabitants believe it to be a boundless continent.
Continue reading Tracking Alfred Russel Wallace in Sarawak, Borneo