Bright Black Morning Light

Am I the only one who finds it bit weird when a man and a woman are best friends and not shagging?

Am I the only one who finds it bit weird when a man and a woman are best friends and not shagging?


I’m not a very spiritual kind of guy. I have no religion – nowt but bloody trouble if you ask me. I’m also not particularly taken with any so called New Age nonsense. If you gave me a crystal, I’d not be tempted rub myself with it and chant. If you fancied an hour of meditation, I’d go to the pub and meet you later, and if you showed me your Dreamcatcher, I’d probably suggest that you got a new tennis racket.


Apart from once having diverted a modest amount of money, that was not strictly my own, to support the Sandanista in Nicaragua in return for a rather cool T-shirt, I’ve never been much of an activist.


I have, however, lived in a tent and found enormous satisfaction in owning nothing more than a fork. I have grown vegetables with varying degrees of success. I smashed open some kind of shellfish when I was six and the memory of this murder (crustacicide?) has never left me. I like Spirit of Eden by Talk Talk.


“What the fuck are you talking about?” I hear you cry. In a round about way I’m talking about Brightback Morning Light.


It’s a collaboration between “best friends” Nabob (bloke) and Rabob (lassie) – What’s that all about? Best friends? Am I the only one who finds it bit weird when a man and a woman are best friends and not shagging? I do not claim to have my finger on the social pulse, but I don’t know anyone under the age of 63 who dabbles in cross-sexual, best-friendliness without at least a certain amount of rogering. Maybe they’re at it like rabbits and they’re just being coy. Not that it’s any of my business. Just a thought.


Anyway they apparently live under canvas or in a cabin depending on the weather and they play music. Mostly slow, minimal and bluesy. In fact on first listen, I had a bit of a job telling the difference between the songs. There’s not one over about 85 bpm, and the tracks were a bit too long. Even the short ones. And to be honest I was drifting a bit – Did we remember to get peppercorns? Have them bloody kids been scribbling on the wall again? Did Golden Earring really write a song called Burning Stuntman? – That kind of thing.


After realising that I was getting nowhere, I knocked up a little number, and Bob’s your uncle. It’s instantly a better album. There’s actually lot’s going on. This is spiritual and soulful, it’s tree-hugging and herbal remedies. Intricate and subtle monotony is pierced by flutes and bells, raw southern blues doused in washed out whispering vocals. An occasional trombone, a bit of wailing, some super percussion and a laid back vibe that makes J.J. Cale look like a rabid punk rocker on an alcohol fuelled, amphetamine frenzy.


Once I got down somewhere approaching the right level, I was away – even the 10 and a half minutes of Star Blanket River Child were over in a flash. OK…… more of a haze than a flash, but there was never a dull moment. The problem with cheap hash, however, is that it doesn’t last that long, and the further we go, I come to realise that this is seriously hippie stuff. Worryingly so. I really am starting to think that these guys are serious. What if they don’t need the help of any drugs at all to get down here? What if they don’t shag and don’t do drugs and they come all the way down here to play music? Whoa!


Basically, what I’m saying is, if you’re not the sort of person who can get themselves slowed down and opened up to this kind of stoner, country blues, then your going to hate it. If you don’t get much time for yourself, what with one thing or another, you’re probably not going to have the patience.


If, however, you get the opportunity to chill out, and do whatever it is you crazy kids do to feel free nowadays; possibly around a camp-fire, with your best friend, the flames throwing shadows across your faces and up into the branches above. No shoes on your feet, love in your hearts, the mist rolling across from the stream to form a soft blanket to cover the roots of the trees. Then this might well be one to fill the silence in the tepee when you’re not shagging.


Words: MONO