In the wake of Francis Kemp’s Christmas show, Mark Penny has spent his weekend reassuring listeners that Lomond Sound is not a bastion of prehistoric values. Twenty seven complaints have been received from listeners who think Kemp’s jokes inappropriate to 21st Century sensibilities. As an example, Mark repeats an anecdote in which a ‘leggy blonde’ is rescued from the roof of the King’s Arms, an improbable story that concluded with the punch-line, “someone told her the drinks were on the house…”
Mrs Walker offers the opinion that Kemp, is deliberately provocative, considering himself protected by his status as a (self-proclaimed) Lomond Sound Legend, rather than “a bumptious social climber who refers to himself as ‘Yours truly’ and pesters single women in restaurants…”
“There won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas-time,” sang Isobel as we made our way to Drumfeld Church for the Watch Night Service, her smoky baritone quivering with emotion. Sometimes it takes an outsider to remind us that happiness is fleeting. Noticing an exchange of sneers between Spencer and Colette, I joined in with the chorus. As Isobel took one of my arms and Liz the other, we proceeded, singing defiantly against whatever fate might send to confound us (which, as it turned out, was a rut in the pavement that caused Isobel to stumble and twist her ankle).
Friday – November 29th
My first engagement of the winter season where I premiered my new song The Christmas Miracle (accompanied by Melvin Shead on violin.) Well-received by the audience, though it would have been better without Melvin who drew attention to himself with off-putting elaborations that were completely inappropriate to the song. Naturally, I had to sing louder in order to compensate and the subtleties of the piece were lost.
As I looked to the audience, I noticed Malcolm making a calming gesture with his hands: he must have noticed my irritation, as, I’m sure did everyone with the exception of Melvin who concluded with a flourish before smirking and bowing as if the applause was for him.
Later chatted to members of the audience: several wanted to know about the availability of my Song for Diana. It’s nearly two years since the royal wedding and my appearance on Pebble Mill, but I’m touched and surprised by the extent to which it resonated with so many viewers. “I couldn’t get it out of my head,” said one woman, a nice compliment (I think!) that was ruined by a passing smart-aleck who asked if I’d “sorted out the royalties.”
He was obviously alluding to the (superficial) similarity between my song and Scott Walker’s ‘Joanna’. As politely as possible, I pointed out that the notion of plagiarism had been dismissed by Dr Alan Napier (a professor of musicology, no less): “To a certain extent,” I explained, “ALL songs sound like other songs – there are only so many notes, after all!”
This made everyone laugh, except for the loud-mouth who scuttled off – though, later, as Malcolm and I left, I noticed him in conversation with Melvin Shead. I wonder if they were in cahoots…