Tag: Music

Tragic Loss of Erik Petersen

I love music but I must confess I struggle to find new bands or artists these days that inspire me as they did when I was in my teen years. Yeah I know I am one of those boring old farts who continuously rant about how great the sixties and the seventies were and the music today all sounds the same. Oh no – I think I am beginning to sound a bit like my parents. However I do make an effort to try and listen to new bands and as part of my lifestyle relaxation program I like to pour myself a glass of wine and sit trawling through artists, unknown to me, on YouTube in the hope of finding something of brilliance.

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January this year I discovered the band Mischief Brew that I just sat back and thought ‘WOW’. Erik Petersen the songwriter in the band, produced lyrics that cut to the bone with the music raw and dissonant with a distinctive timbre producing something unique and brilliant. The first song I listened to was Dirty Pennies. This song is about a peasant lady and her friendship with a young boy that proved Erik Petersen talents in song writing and are worth reading on their own. It starts with the lines:

“In a small town where all knew all, wondered a peasant lady nobody knew,
But her only friend was a young boy, brought her hot tea and leftover stew,”

Full lyrics Dirty Pennies click here.

I had a holiday planned, for July, in Florida this year and being Mischief Brew came from America I thought I’d check to see if they were performing anywhere near to where I was staying. Ironically, whilst I would be in America Mischief Brew would be in England playing, my chance to see this band lost.

It was whilst in America that I read the tragic news of Erik Petersen who had gone missing and later to be found dead with the cause of death as suicide. It seemed Erik lived a tortured life suffering from depression and anxieties over the quality of his art and music not being as successful as his ambitious mind had set.

Here are some of the songs that made this man such a great talent and why the world of music will sadly mourn his loss.

Old Tyme Mem’ry by Mischief Brew

Squatter Envy by Mischief Brew

 

Erik Petersen at the age of 38 died on the 12 July 2016.

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Bowie Rocks the Shelf

The big black speakers sat on the white glossed wooden shelves strategically placed at opposite ends of the living room. It was a Fidelity record music centre; the body grey and a plastic translucent top, resting on the teak record cabinet with two sliding doors.

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Sliding the left door would reveal my parents record collection, some compilation albums of middle of the road music and country artists. The right door opened a whole new world, my sister’s record collection. In there I removed a record, the plastic cover protecting the album sleeve indicating this was an item of value. Taking the black vinyl twelve inch record, each groove glistening as it is caught by the sunlight that shone through the window, the orange centre label displayed the album name and artist as I placed with care onto the turntable. I turned the On Off control to the right and there was a crackled static sound that coughed through the speakers. Between my thumb and forefinger I lifted the needle from its resting place and navigated to the first groove. Hearing the needle make contact I turned the volume knob a little further to the right. Captivated by the haunted rhythm of the drum and snare playing 6/8 time which was a sound I had not heard before. Followed by the unique vocal sound of this guy telling me that earth was really dying and we had only five years left to cry in. Mesmerised I turned the album and was half way through the B side when I was hit by the raw sound of guitar and Bowie’s voice blasted and rocked the speakers on the shelf with ‘Ziggy played guitar’ I was hooked for life.

And from that day I will always be eternally grateful for that moment and for the years that followed with the intoxicated sound and feeling that cannot be pinned into any one thing how the music bequeaths such emotion and feeling.

For me on that day in my parent’s living room was the day a genius was born.

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RIP David Bowie.