|Midge Ure: The sideburns are gone|
You know how I am with Ultravox and the relentless praise of all connected to my favourite 80s band. However, I've never really found myself at home with Midge Ure's solo career - I bought The Gift in the mid-80s, but didn't find myself enthused by subsequent works.
That is - as they say on Tomorrow's World - until now. Like Alison Moyet's comeback album of this year (The Minutes), both have rediscovered their electronic roots and come up with something that takes 40-somethings like me back to what we nostalgically call "the day".
Fragile, then, is a collection of songs and instrumentals which show Midge back in love with music. Surely it's no coincidence that both he and Ultravox partner in crime Billy Currie have put out spanking good albums immediately after their Ultravox reunion. More of this kind of thing, I say.
Many highlights on the disc, but the one I liked least on first listen (Are We Connected?) is the one that won't leave my head; while the instrumental Wire and Wood makes a confident play for all TV and film incidental music for the next year.
Eight Viennas out of Ten, with a Vienetta for pudding
I'm often asked to review books, and this - err - tale of niche interest piqued my curiosity.
It's a comic novel about a dowdy pensioner forced to abandon her hopes of making it as a serious writer to make ends meet through the medium of filth, and her adventures in finding out exactly what said filth should contain.
In this world of Fifty Shades po-faced mummy porn, it's good to have something out there proudly poking fun at the genre and proud of the fact that it's pure, daft comedy. Adapted from an initial novella and its sequel - both of which have sold reasonably well to good reviews - Rosen's pulled it all together, fleshed it out and ...err... whipped together a comic novel in its own right.
Essentially a story of middle class embarrassment in the face of farcial odds, I'd be the first to admit it wasn't quite my taste of Viagra-spiked tea, but I stuck with it to the satisfying conclusion, and there are some genuine laugh out loud moments.
A fun, light read if you're into that kind of thing. (For eg, granny sex comedy)