Wednesday 12 June 2024

Train to ... the end

This is the fourth time so far that I've broken my year long sabbatical, and the third time that the reason has been the inevitable: the death of someone I admired. Or, in this case, deaths.

First up, Françoise Hardy, whose death was announced yesterday. Her recorded works provide quite the YouTube rabbit hole, but I am going to stick to type and feature her collaboration with Blur on To The End. Not the album version though, but the alternate take (La Comedie) in which they ramp up the Gallic 60s vibe: Françoise takes lead vocals, Damon takes backup, the accordion gets even more time and the video, of course, is in black and white. You can almost taste the Gauloises smoke. Hard to believe this is 30 years ago ... time, etc.

Secondly, I've just read at Dubhed of the death of Arthur "Gaps" Hendrickson, of The Selecter. I saw them live in 2013, in Whitstable of all places, and was very chuffed to get his and Pauline Black's autographs after the show, Sharpied across the cover of a CD. Pauline has always got more attention, but Gaps was an essential part of the Selecter sound. Here they are, adding their 2-Tone credentials to a live rendition of Train to Skaville for Jools Holland's Hootenanny shindig in 2015. Yes, only nine years ago, but pre-Brexit and pre-Covid ... time, etc.



  1. Sad news, both. To The End is one of the few Blur songs I can still listen to without grinding my teeth.

  2. As Rol said
    Two different but excellent artists

  3. Lovely tribute to both - great musical choices too (of course my ears pricked up at the accordion too). It feels as if losses like these are happening all too frequently.

    1. Sadly I guess that's inevitable, as our heroes age with us. A sobering thought.