Mike Garry / Joe Duddell St Anthony: an ode to Anthony H Wilson

review singlesA x1 cong

Historian Christopher Hibbert once wrote about Francis Hare, sarcastically nicknamed “Silent”, who could not only speak every European language, but had a memory that was as surprising as his loquacity; he could repeat whole pages from almost any book that friends could mention. His chums, having had enough of this, made a bet that they could catch him out, and read up about Chinese music in an encyclopædia. Over dinner they discussed this new learning at length, only to have Hare butt in and say he wrote the article but had now arrived at conclusions diametrically opposed to those he held at the time.
You get the impression that Tony Wilson was a similarly annoying man and certainly split opinion (probably down footballing lines in Manchester): when we saw him walk onto the stage at a Manchester v Cancer gig, half the audience booed and half cheered, even though, at that stage, he was known to be very ill.
This tribute to Wilson reflects his personality, the opening lines being: “Talk to me of Albion, of Anderton and of art, of the Arndale, Alan Turin, acid house, Alexander Park; Bez, the Buzzcocks, the Bouncing Bombs and the beautiful Busby Babes, Curtis, cancer, Christie’s Catholicism, crack and Kurt Cobain…”
The lyrics are spoken and backed by music from New Order’s Your Silent Face, made suitably mournful.
He clearly was very annoying (particularly to New Order’s bank account) but also much-loved and the respect and love for Wilson behind this song are plain to hear. Even if you’re not a fan it’s a touching tribute, as if Mancunian Gil Scott-Heron had roped in New Order as a backing band.
There are various remixes and stuff, making it a neat package. All profits go to The Christie.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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