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Director's cut — October 2006

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October 1, 2006 by Tara Brabazon

Greetings to members and lurkers.

October is always a month of reflection. Part of me is still haunted by Donnie Darko's October. But this year, most of our community has been busy working on creating change in their own lives and the lives of others. It's been a busy 31 days.

Popular culture is the fuel and fount of our propulsion for difference. That's what we share. As I have been watching and reveling in the hopes and ambitions of PCC members, I have marveled at your passion and commitment. It seemed appropriate that on the last day of the October, I sat in a half filled auditorium in Eastbourne, watching a revue show given the unfortunately unpromising title of Maximum Rhythm 'n' Blues.

I was there for one reason, and so were most of the other 300 punters. While billed as a Manfred Mann show (as in "5, 4, 3, 2, 1" and "Quinn the Eskimo"), the bill featured a very special "Special Guest" — Chris Farlowe.

There may be better voices in popular music, but not many. Chris Farlowe's voice could strip paint off walls. The edge is sharp and the tone is not quite human. In between Manfred Mann songs, out stepped a short, white haired man with an aura like only the best pop icons. There may have been other people on the stage with Chris Farlowe. I really can't remember any of them. He sucks all the attention away from others and on to him. It was remarkable.

The point of this story is not to share how brilliantly this old sixties icon performed on that cold night in Eastbourne. It was the passion of the fans that was astonishing. Farlowe had a few hits, most notably "Handbags and Gladrags" and "Out of Time." But there were clearly fans in that auditorium that have been fans for forty years, following him through the dodgy gigs and the months of nothingness. The look of sheer joy on their faces and the standing ovation that this ageing bluesman received from these fans was worth the point of entry. Really, that is the point of pop. It is more than the music. It always has been. Through time, through space, these voices, faces and sounds provide a connection to something better than our present, and a commitment to more than the next meal.

See you in November!