Monday, August 13, 2012


Manhattan on the Yangtze. Thousands (not hundreds, thousands) of identical skyscrapers thrusting into an overcast sky with 40C heat down on the streets. Good to see everyone in the busy office and fun to give them a presentation on how UK Now is going. 
After lunch in a Yunnanese restaurant whose motto was "Fine Living Hard Feelings" (opposite a cafe called Floweriness), we headed off to a new, high-end development in the west, the management of which are putting on a couple of UK Now exhibitions - Rankin and Olympic Posters. The scale of the place is huge (the scale of everything in China is huge) and after a while the real estate talk became a series of numbers: "Phase 4, million square metres, 2018..." Still, it was impressive. 
Less impressive was another delayed flight, but it gave me the chance to finish my book, Electric Eden by Rob Young which, at 600+ pages, has taken a while. Really interesting survey of 20th century British folk music, from Cecil Sharp & Ewan MacCall to Shirley Collins & Fairport Convention, with asides on peripheral artists like Kate Bush & John Martyn. Heavy on the folk rock of  the late 60s / early 70s, light on the 80s & 90s when folk was beyond the pail, the book's publication is timely. There seems to be a resurgent, unembarrassed interest in all things folk, from Jeremy Deller's folk archive project to Morris Dancing at the Olympics opening ceremony.

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