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I was introduced to Spaghetti Westerns by a friend of mine at university, who used to show up in my room (usually whilst I was trying to write an essay) and refuse to leave until I came down to his room and watched, say, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

In retrospect, it’s a miracle that either of us ever passed our degrees, especially because he also used to spend much of his time playing a “submarine simulator” and pretending that he was underwater in 1941. But he still got a first in PPE from Oxford, so there you go. They’re not all they’re cracked up to be.

All the same, I’m eternally grateful to him for introducing me to classic Westerns, and lately I’ve been listening again to Ennio Morricone’s soundtracks to the films of that era. I still believe that his theme to Once Upon a Time in the West is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever recorded. It’s below:

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Posted by on 17/04/2012 in Music, Other


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Man, I love Stornoway. Partly because they write songs about Cowley Road – and I live on Cowley Road – but also because, despite being pretty weedy and not that cool, when they open their mouths and sing, whole rooms fall silent.

It’s a mark of real talent, and so I’m particularly excited about the fact that they’re coming back to their hometown of Oxford in September (supported by The Epstein, no less) and parading a whole bunch of new songs. I was late to the party on Stornoway and only saw them live last year, but when I did I realised instantly why everyone had been telling me to go for so long. They are a truly remarkable live band.

Here’s a new song entitled The Bigger Picture. It’s a beautiful thing.

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Posted by on 26/07/2011 in Music, News


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