(from Red Roses 7)
Another morning after the argument the night before, watching the sun come
up on a bench by canoe lake, chill damp air despite it being summer. I hate
so much of this city, if cities are mythical beasts with hearts & souls than
Portsmouth's is one which revels in eradicating dreams, you just get worn
down here. Maybe that's why everyone seems so jaded, closed & beaten? It's
like someone has got a picture postcard of the place, crumpled it up & left
it to fade in the sun.
This is the only place here I actually still enjoy, it's just off the seafront
and I don't ever recall seeing a canoe on it? I suppose Pedalo Lake doesn't
quite have the same ring to it? Rent a pedalo & chug round in circles for
half an hour. You used to be able to rent kiddies bikes & pedal cars as well
but I guess four year olds plunging into the lake on tricycles was considered
a health hazard?
Lined by flower beds and lots of "in memory of....." seats apart from the
six weeks or so you get unsuspecting tourists it's home to swans, ducks &
several hundred scabby pigeons, oh & also radio controlled boat enthusiasts.
The winter solitude is when it comes into it's own......
Imagining it in black & white, spies exchanging secrets on the benches in
a Polish subtitled film. The soundtrack, eerie layers of keyboards, a simple
beat & odd snatches of tambourine discordant & hypnotic, "Joe Stumble" by
the Tindersticks. One of four such excursions on their Marbles 10", conjuring
up images of smoke-filled bars, French cigarettes, glamour with a seedy edge
& beneath it all a deep black tension as thick as Turkish coffee with the
same bitter hint. Simply having the line "Thank you" at the end of "For Those"
making it twice as cool. The spoken lyrics to "Marbles" itself submerged in
the cloudy swirl of sound.