Covid Music and Arts #7&#8


More music and arts stuff sourced and collated by Alan Dearling to bring cheer to the world, as we remain in an increasingly locked-down, Covid-ridden world.


This was shared with me by my friend, Jacqui Jam, via her friend, Kym.

Feel the vibe…Some love and positivity from Ian. Fab antidote to the fear and hatred doing the Covid rounds:


Get yourself lost in the world of London-based singer/songwriter Kings Elliot as she faces some of the hardest home truths.

Born out of a loneliness which has seen been exacerbated by the world around her falling into lockdown again, Kings Elliot draws on her experience living with borderline personality disorder, depression and anxiety to create.

Raised in Switzerland her lyrics are composed around her most personal thoughts and fears and then set to cinematic soundscapes which add atmospheres of both calm and chaos to her frustrated words.

“I tried wrapping a very sad truth into a soothing lullaby,” Elliot explains of the track she’s chosen to share on-line first. “The song isn’t only about self-loathing but also about accepting the part of you that you’d rather escape from. At the end of the day, you are all you have.”


1968: John Lennon talks to ‘Release’

Here’s a rather wonderful and quite rare clip from 1968 after his National Theatre play opened. He spoke to ‘Release’ about his writing process and calls all rulers ‘insane’ and ‘maniacs’… Everything is ‘sound’.


‘Oh Well’ – Belfast Busking. Dea Matrona Band, Xmas Eve 2020

These ladies tell us: “We’ve had the best craic busking in Belfast over the past few days. Thanks so much to everyone who stopped and watched. Hope everybody has a great Christmas. Here’s a clip of ‘Oh Well’.”  Made me a happier bunny than before I found them… lots more of them on youtube and beyond.

The band appear to be a total throw-back to late ‘60s psychedelia. We need more of this!

Here’s their own ‘Siren Song’:

And from 2018, again live on the street in Belfast, they absolutely stun with their Abba cover. Just marvel at the bass solo!

Plus their take on Van the Man’s ‘Gloria’:


‘Check the sound. Vilnius sound system culture’.

I was sent this link from Paulius. He told me that it was mostly filmed pre- the pandemic lock-downs. It’s a film about sound systems in Vilnius, Lithuania. The folk who build the banks of speakers, dj and run events. In the film the sound systems seem more like descendants of the Reggae sound systems I worked with in London in the 1970s and bands like Zion Train who use a lot of toasting and dj-ing. I’ve seen live quite a lot of bands and performers in Lithuania including Uprising Tree and Ministry of Echology.

The film lasts 26 minutes and contains English subtitles.

Youtube film link:


Continental Drifts are my favourite UK music promoters. I’ve known Chris Tofu, one of their key movers and shakers since his days with the Tofu Love Frogs, new Travellers’ festies and East London squats. Up until the Covid lock-downs, I’d been privileged to take photos and review many of their events including Toots and the Maytals’ big celebration of black music in the UK at Alexandra Palace and the annual London Re-Mixed events.

They run operations from the barge Judith – go and find out more about their community-focused and radical take on music promotion: by the people for the people.

Web site:


Alan Dearling collates another collection of music, arts and more to keep us just a tad more cheerful in tricky times.

Isolation Blues from Ian McLaren:

This is rather lovely. Hawaiian Delta-blues. “Remember doing nothing is a valid action too.”

Ian is a Perth-based (in Scotland) bluesman and fronts the band, ‘Wang Dang Delta’. Ian says: “Lockdown tune no 28 is a wee bit of a cheat. I enjoyed my Lockdown tune no 9 so much, I wrote another verse, then roped in my good friend Alan Sutherland to play some piano remotely and then blended all the parts together.  It is a wee jazz blues number I rustled up entitled Isolation Blues. Inspired in part by my granny and grandpa (on my mum’s side) who did the very thing described – did the dishes after every meal (Alice washing and John drying) before setting the table for the next meal. Proper crockery with side plates etc. No wonder I am so well mannered. It’s also a commentary on life in the slow lane, when the faster lanes have, for now, all been coned off.”


‘Translate’ is the new, sometimes challenging third album from Norfolk synth wizard, Luke Abbott. A swirling mix of electronica, at once both jazzy and experimental. At times a strange tableaux mix, with an edginess verging on complete distortion. Somehow, ‘Kagen Sound’, the title of the first track, seems to catch the spirit of the Abbott Soundscape.

Dislocated, and other-worldly:

How the Beatles Rocked the USSRBBC docu. Great stuff on how the Beatles did their best to destroy communism (the ‘Monster State’). Or, more accurately, the people of Russia saw them as icons of freedom against oppression:

I have quite a lot of Russian friends and also many mates who grew up under the repressive Soviet control of the Baltic countries. Nikita Kobrin in Vilnius is one, and he is still a complete Beatles’ fanatic.

Go on a high resolution journey through The Louvre in Paris. A real treat for the senses. And an antidote to the current lockdown restrictions. Enjoy!

The Louvre:

Simon Le Grec playlist:

ambient dance beats… pitched somewhere between intelligent background, the dance floor, and the chill out zone. He’s absolutely huge in continental Europe, especially Germany. All are Simon Le Grec originals:


The Fourcast is the new podcast service introduced by Jon Snow from Channel 4 News. It’s an innovative way of catching up with some investigative journalism, including stories that are just too much on the cusp of the political nerves to be broadcast mainstream. Well worth dipping into now and again for a different and possibly new perspective on news items and issues.

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