iPod on Shuffle:
Gaye Bykers on Acid – World War 7 Blues (4.56)
When cousin Katy on Boxing Day suggested I ran a 10k Race with her I flippantly said ‘yes’. Ye of little faith! She actually registered her brother Ben to do the run as she probably thought my flippancy meant, ‘yeah yeah Katy, but I’ll probably be too busy.’
So with the absent Ben’s name and race number pinned to my shirt, we, the Pink wave (another term for slow coaches) set off on a 10k jog around Manchester, spurred on by the 10.30am winner Haile Gebrselassie who did it in 31 minutes.
The Gaye Bykers track is off their debut album ‘Drill Your Own Hole’ – which first came out on vinyl and you actually did have to drill your own hole through the centre of the record to get it on your hi-fi. They were a grebo band of the late 80s and sound so dated now.
Black Keys – Same Old Thing (3.09)
Katy was now labouring after half a kilometer and we had agreed during the mass warm ups that we were to run at our own pace so I started inching out ahead until I lost her amongst a sea of black and pink lycra. We were doing the run in aid of St Kentigern Hospice in St Asaph, which is where our grandmother (we call grannies Nain in Wales) spent her final days, being a victim of that one in three cancer statistic.
Black Keys are relatively new to me, picked up their bluesy album ‘Attack & Release’ only a few weeks ago.
Velvet Underground – I’m Waiting For The Man (4.38)
Fact – the vast majority of dogs who are family pets don’t die of natural causes, they are put down. We do this so they don’t suffer, or perhaps in a perversely subconscious way it’s so we don’t have to see them suffer. Either way, if we kept the poor dog alive we would be in the papers and up on a charge of animal cruelty. And yet, we keep ourselves, our relatives, our loved ones alive to the very end. Some dying in agony, discomfort and without dignity, others so drugged up they are barely conscious or cohesive. I’m not backing Exit or booking trips to Switzerland, but it’s a point I think worth making.
The pace was slow, which suited me fine, my training had been in fits and starts due to pulling a muscle twice in the last six weeks (the last time was two days before today). I kept thinking I need to keep some energy in reserve, after all, the distance I’m doing is something I’ve never done before.
I recorded this Velvet Underground track off Last FM during a ‘Must amass Lou Reed’ hour – first heard the track cover by the UK Subs on the b-side of their brilliant Warhead single (brown vinyl if I remember!).
Butthole Surfers – Tongue (2.07)
When Nain was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophegus, she told me, ‘You can talk about it with me.’ I guess at 82 you’ve had all that life can throw at you and the final curtain is just another challenge, but one you know you’re probably not going to get through. There are people / organisations who help our friends, relatives and loved ones at the end of their lives, to at least make their final days as comfortable as possible, to offer support and advice to both the patient and the family. One such organisation is St Kentigern Hospice in St Asaph, which is why my cousin Katy and myself ran 10k in Manchester on Sunday, it is why we spent weeks out doing this alien activity called running.
I hated every second of the training, I’d run round the block and feel like dying within a half mile, but it all came good in the end.
Off the album Independent Worm Saloon the Butthole’s were introduced to me at an impressionable age by Wayne who played me that track that starts off with ‘Satan Satan Satan.’
Primal Scream – Shine Like Stars (3.45)
The iPod helped so much, running without it is like hell – the music takes your mind off the heavy legs, the wheezing, the sweat trickling into your eyes. A bit like the front row of a Primal Scream gig you might say – tho I’ve never been that close to the band, they played in Conwy once, I never caught them then, nor did I have ‘Screamadelica’ up until a coupla weeks ago. I did catch them from a distance in Glastonbury in the early 90s and again at the Manchester Apollo, but to me they’ve always been a take or leave it band.
Khagool – All The Things (6.04)
A wide grin spread across my face when this came on, I love this band, I started miming the words as I ran through the slower runners, only to be overtaken myself by a giraffe… My grin became a chuckle when the spotted pantomine creature galloped ahead of me. The song is so uplifting and there was a twinge of melancholy that they recorded so little output during their brief career.
Manic Street Preachers – A Billion Balconies Facing The Sun (3.39)
Hey I’m on a roll here, both musically and runningly – what a superb track, this off the new album ‘Postcards From A Young Man’, which is plastered with hit singles. A spring was definitely in the step, almost enough to elevate me, and hey, I’m seeing them in Llandudno in three days time!
Dr Phibes & The House of Wax Equations – Marshmallow Madness (7.02)
‘It may hurt a little giving you £20 but nowhere near as much as losing someone…’ is what someone said to me when I apologised for taking the sponsorship money off him. Dr Phibes are a band that ended in tragic circumstances, this is a track off their excellent debut album ‘Whirlpool’
Resistance 77 – Nottingham Problem (1.36)
No problem in Manchester today, although I did have to face the indignity of running past Old Trafford (I spat on the ground, vowing to help put a halt to their 19 titles braggartishness next season). I used to phone Resistance 77’s bassist, Kieron Egan regularly when I was a spotty teenager – punk bands were accessible in those days to the point they’d print their home phone numbers on the back of their singles! Those singles would shift anything up to 20,000 copies! Imagine a single doing that in today’s climate (without record company gerrymandering) – imagine Resistance 77 at No.1…
Conflict – Punk Innit (1.19)
The iPod must know that I needed a couple of short sharp bursts to gee me up, none better than Conflict, off their 2nd album ‘Increase The Pressure’ – which was effectively a one-sided record as the b-side was a live recording. I used to play this all the time, full blast in my first flat in Bath Street, Rhyl, until the landlord knocked on the door and said he didn’t mind the music, but there are some people 3 miles away in Rhuddlan complaining about the noise…
Black Angels – Entrance Song (3.39)
What a find! Northern Star Records included this band on their ‘Psychedelica’ compilation series, and it prompted me to hunt down their albums – this bluesy, psyche-indie rock track is off their ‘Phosphene Dream’ release.
Nico – I’m Not Sayin’ (2.50)
Didn’t she split up Velvet Underground, or am I thinking of Yoko Ono?
Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze (2.52)
I actually played air guitar whilst running through a cool mist tunnel! I didn’t need cooling down as the weather was also a cool mist, but I had to try it anyway.
Butthole Surfers – The Ballad of Naked Man (6.05)
Second track by the Buttholes and I had passed the 6km mark with a grin, knowing I could finish this without stopping.
Pulco – Old Stones (3.22)
The only local support on this run came from Anthony’s latest album ‘Small Thoughts’
Kasabian – British Legion (3.20)
Sex Pistols – Johnny B Goode (2.35)
The 8km sign came up and I started laughing, apparently each k was marked but this was only the second one I’d seen, I felt I had loads left in the tank so I upped my pace.
Black Angels – Better Off Alone (3.03)
Off their ‘Passover’ album, I hardly remember hearing it as the adrenalin was well and truly kicking in…
Volcano Suns – Room With A View (3.18)
And off their ‘All Night Lotus Party’ LP I definitely didn’t hear this one, I took the headphones off as the crowds built up from a constant stream off people applauding along the way, to thousands cheering as the the final half kilometer took us toward and under the railway arches. I even managed to sprint the last bit before trundling over finish line in 64 minutes. Katy did us proud coming ten minutes behind and once I’ve collected the monies off my form I’ll send it to St Kentigern via the Just Giving website (I’ve raised £425 so far) and Katy has the same.
I still miss Nain, despite the years going by, miss taking her out for Sunday dinner…
You too can still donate here – http://www.justgiving.com/katyandneil