Wave

from ‘Saints and Sheep’

I was at university in London in the mid-1980s, and my primary connection to what was happening in the world of the ex-members of Japan was the fanzine Bamboo. I would eagerly anticipate each new issue, taking a walk after lectures to the Virgin megastore on Tottenham Court Road to check whether they might have a new issue in stock. If in luck, I’d hop on the bus back to Denmark Hill, make a coffee and sit in the one easy chair in my student accommodation to devour the content from cover to cover. The full set of these A5 volumes still sits proudly in my music cabinet at home – and if any of the dedicated band of instigators and contributors should read this, then please accept grateful thanks for being a lifeline to fans in those days before the information superhighway.

Issue 6 from 1985 carried pictures of David Sylvian taken on 7 July that year; he’s wearing large shades, a designer white shirt with bold black design and has a portfolio case tucked under his arm. The photographs are accompanied by the following news: ‘It’s been over a year since the release of Brilliant Trees and the wait for another LP continues. David’s second album provisionally titled The Holy Blood of Saints and Sheep was due for release in September but has now been delayed until November when the video Preparations for a Journey will also be released.. ..Side One of the album is an instrumental piece entitled ‘Explosion of Faith in a Cathedral’. Side Two consists of three or four songs.’ Continue reading “Wave”

Laughter and Forgetting

‘Joie de vivre’

Brief airy atmospherics and then immediately, the voice.

‘Running like a horse between the trees
The ground beneath my feet
Gives me something to hold onto’

‘Laughter and Forgetting’ picks up from the theme of the song ‘Brilliant Trees’, here though the joy and optimism are more unreserved. ‘Brilliant Trees’ captures the faltering of conventional religious faith, yet transforming love is found in another’s eyes. In ‘Laughter and Forgetting’ the sense of loss is not so acute as Sylvian again uses imagery from nature to express a joie de vivre that I find uplifting and infectious. Continue reading “Laughter and Forgetting”