Thursday, 26 June 2008


Nostalgia over the 80s hasn't visited me for a while, but now I want my teenage years back. With a vengeance.

Who remembers Eddy Grant? Who remembers UB40? Do you know that they're still touring? Most of my 80s stuff is on vinyl I've passed on to someone who still possesses a record player, the cassettes are in awful shape in the outdoor storage. But luckily there's YouTube, where I made a discovery: many Eddy Grant and UB40 videos are there. I'm getting my childhood and teenage years back.

Eddy surely knows how to shake. Some of his videos contain just the typical heterosexual romance gone sour (eg. "I don't wanna dance", "Romancing the Stone"), but I felt a strange affinity with the past when watching "Electric Avenue", in which he angrily poses on the livingroom couch watching TV news and commenting, commenting. It's a frightfully serious piece of music, which dislocates me totally, being used to the MTV stream of shaking asses in my own livingroom, uncritically consumed by the kids. I wonder where such artists have disappeared. Some come up live at alternative festivals, but do they make videos for international distribution?

I also find other evidence of his political interests, he has been a fan of Lech Walesa and interviewed him for British TV in Poland. Into the gigantic meaning of "Gimme Hope Joanna" I don't want to plunge right now, surely South Africans can explain it better. But the song as such is still empowering, it lives its own life in our hearts and minds, globally and locally.

Lately, I've almost become an Eddy Grant ambassador. Very few people know the artist, and even my knowledge on him is mostly based on internet surfing. But it would do the soul wonders to see Eddy performing live. This is my next goal. Definitely.

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