I like Birds
Last week I went to Cornwall with some friends, to watch bits of the world cup and to drink and play computer games and go for walks and look at the sea and challenge the tide to a fight and lose (= get wet) and eat ice creams and go swimming and teach naked Germans the rules of cricket.
All of these things happened. What also happened was I decided it was time to at least try and master a simple skill: that of singing a song and playing a song at the same time, without having either the chords or the lyrics to hand on a piece of paper. I’m getting a lot better at remembering how songs go music wise, but I am notoriously awful with lyrics, this trait manifesting itself most memorable when I ‘supported’ Belle & Sebastian by forgetting the words to Babies by Pulp in front of 2,000 people, with a live band, who happened to be Franz Ferdinand in fake moustaches, watching on in bemused horror.
So I took advantage of the slower passing of time to teach myself a couple of covers – I Like Birds by the Eels, and Come Back From San Francisco by the Magnetic Fields, which sounds particularly good if you sing it in the style of the Divine Comedy. Or Slade.
I was mulling over recording a crap camera video of the Eels cover, when I walked past Mousehole Wild Bird Hospital. Yes, that’s right – Mousehole Wild Bird Hospital.
They don’t discriminate down at Mousehole Wild Bird Hospital – pigeons, chickens, emus, anything that gets washed up to shore. They’re all housed in these big communal cages – a perfect backdrop, I suddenly thought, for my first attempt at getting through an entire song without majorly fucking it up.
The next step is to learn the chords well enough so I can look at the camera.