Why I wasn't in a band

In tribute to hard-working bands, I revisit songs I didn't like on first listen.

It seems quite stressful being in a band, I have always been quite grateful I wasn't in one. For starters there is a lot of carrying to do and I don't generally like having things in my hands. Then there are the odd relationships, the fear of letting each other down and - much like playing 5 a-side football - there is always one person who cares more than everyone else. I say this as I have been hanging out with a few of them recently, or rather sitting in corners and been ignored by them, and have developed a new found respect for how much hard work is actually involved. I genuinely believed that most of the time you'd just be getting off with people.

As a result of this enlightenment I have been less flippant in my listening this week, revisiting things I didn't at first like, a lot of slog went into that "How dare I put it in the bin with such ease." Wise Blood's new e.p These Wings is one such record; I was a bit put off by the drama in his voice at first, but have since bothered to listen to everything else that is going on, and it turns out there is quite a lot and some of it is a bit brilliant. It must have taken bloody ages.

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"The Anatolian Fertility Goddess": a poem by Fiona Pitt-Kethley

Across the Golden Horn in Karakoy. . . 

Across the Golden Horn in Karakoy,
a maze of ancient, crooked, cobbled streets
contains the brothels of old Istanbul.
A vendor at the bottom of the hill
sells macho-hot green chilli sandwiches.
A cudgel-wielding policeman guards the gate.
 
One year, dressed as a man, I went inside
(women and drunks are not allowed in there).
I mingled with the mass of customers,
in shirt, grey trousers, heavy walking boots.
A thick tweed jacket flattened out my breasts.
A khaki forage cap concealed my hair.
 
The night was young, the queues at doors were short.
Far down the street a crowd of men stood round
and watched a woman dancing in a house.
Her sixty, sixty, sixty figure poured inside
a flesh-tone, skin-tight, Lycra leotard,
quivered like milk-jelly on a shaken plate.
 
I’ve seen her type before in small museums –
primeval blobs of roughly sculpted stone –
the earliest form of goddess known to man.


Fiona Pitt-Kethley is a British poet, novelist and journalist living in Spain. Her Selected Poems was published in 2008 by Salt.

This article first appeared in the 26 May 2016 issue of the New Statesman, The Brexit odd squad