Friday Reading S13E20
Friday Reading is a weekly series of recommended reads from the Guardian’s Martin Belam, covering journalism, media and technology, and other interesting nerdy things he found on the internet this week. It is now in its thirteenth season which at twenty episodes must be one of the longest I’ve ever stuck at it in recent years. Sign up here.
I'll be honest and say it has been a really grim and difficult week where not only was I live blogging the war in Ukraine, I was doubling that up with covering the Robb elementary school shooting in Texas, and then also ended up reporting the news that Andy Fletcher had died.
I was such a huge Depeche Mode fan in the 1980s and 1990s, and anybody who loved them knows that it becomes part of the fabric of your identity. I listened to Some Great Reward, and joked on Facebook that it was the first Depeche album I had on vinyl, I got it for my 13th birthday, and track one goes "Grey sky over a black town / I can feel depression all around / You've got your leather boots on". No wonder I turned out the way I did. The Master and Servant 12" was the first record I ever bought on day of release without hearing the single at all first because I was a fan and I bought everything.
It's funny because even though he himself would have been the first to say he didn't contribute massively to the music, it is very difficult to imagine Dave and Martin carrying on the band as a duo without him – he was so much of the glue that bound Depeche Mode together.
Joe Muggs has republished an appreciation he wrote about the band in 2011: Goodbye Fletch
"They spread a darkly irreligious attitude across heartland America, and remained musically innovative and unintentionally funky enough to command the respect of the godfathers of modern dance music."
We also lost Cathal Coughlan and this is a fine piece of writing about that from Andy Dawson.
[It also has unexpected Bucks Fizz in the bagging area]
More loss. Ed Walker on what his dad taught him about being an editor, despite Mr Walker Snr not being a journalist.
I'm still contractually obliged to be fun so Ron wants to be sure that you didn't miss this week's Guardian Thursday quiz: New cities, new statues and Stevie Nicks – take the Thursday quiz
There were several complaints that the joke about ancient Sumerian cubits was, in fact, an inaccuracy. Life is short.
Stephanie McNeal asks “Why must we torture women before giving them a redemption arc?” in this piece: “I Can’t Wait To Watch The Inevitable Documentary About How We All Wronged Amber Heard”
NEWS OR FALL SONG? Carlisle library to shut because ‘something has died’ on the roof
More grief. But from the olden times: The Reputed Plague Pits of London with a map. Let’s go digging!
It’s pretty much all music this week, this newsletter. I haven’t had the energy left over to engage with much else I’m afraid.
Fair fucks to Liam Gallagher, he comes across as really funny and self-knowing in this article where he gets asked some (slightly predictible) questions by Guardian readers, and some slightly leftfield ones as well: “Liam Gallagher: ‘Would I give Noel a kidney? Without a doubt’”
Alison Moyet – THE ALISON MOYET – going viral on Twitter for tweeting this is everything: “I have the benefit of age. It’s time I share what I’ve learnt. It’s time you listen, and well. If you can’t thinly slice cheddar cheese, use a potato peeler. Don’t wait years to wake up to this. I’ll tell you more stuff later.”
Talking of 80s music people, Nik Kerhsaw has a new album/project out which is songs he wrote in the late 80s/early 90s when he had given up on doing his own pop star thing and was more interested in being a producer/song-writer [CUE CHESNEY HAWKES INTERLUDE] but the opening track from Songs From The Shelf, Come On Down, I just really really like. Melodically it borrows a bit from, I think, Sense by The Lightning Seeds, though maybe originally pre-dates that? But it’s just a really nice Nik Kershaw song. Give it a spin.
DOCTOR WHO CORNER: If you missed it I wrote about the 1996 TV Movie and a new documentary about the guy who wrote it going to fan conventions for the very first time, two decades later.
Thanks for reading. Take care. Stay safe.