The Stunning ‘New’ Amy Winehouse Album :

The Stunning ‘New’ Amy Winehouse Album :


This might be an obvious statement, but this new Amy Winehouse collection is stunning and a great reminder that behind all the headlines and ‘scandals’, there was a massive talent who can never be replaced.
Forget the instrumental work of Antonio Pinto, I mean this is not actually a diss of his work, just that when you are putting yourself between the best of one of the country’s greatest singers, yur work is going to get skipped. For some reason, and this IS a diss, there is also a terrible Strange Cargo track on the record, which is everything Amy is not, it is bland dull and completely unneccessary. This is not an album to add something like this to, it is like drawing a moustache on the Mona Lisa. Epic fail.
But let’s talk about the magic, the untouchable Amy Winehouse. The first Amy track on the album is the first track on her debut record, the epic Stronger Than Me, a storming attitude filled joy. From there we travel to the North Sea Jazz Festival for a great version of What Is It About Men? where that voice soars up to the stars.
Tears Dry On Their Own is as magical as the first time you heard it and then just when you have heard the most perfect thing, the album hits you with a mindblowing heartbreaking acapella version of Back To Black which will stop your heart before bleeding into the version we knw and love. If you feel nothing at this, congratulations, you’re dead.
Another old favourite gets a new lease of life with a Jools Holland version of Rehab, amazing. You kind of need a thesaurus by this point in the album as there are so many emotions brought up and memories relived and love, love is the main feeling this album gives you. And as the Fabs once sang, sometimes love is all you need.
Is this the point where I tell my Amy Winehouse story? Yes, I think it is. I saw her a few times as she was a regular in one of my favourite places in the world, The Good Mixer in Camden (where there is now a framed picture featuring her and other regulars on the wall) she used to be in there before her fame exploded, just playing pool and laughing with her mates. The Mixer is very much like that, people get left alone if they want and so they feel comfortable there. I noticed her fame grow and the difference it made, she would be in The Mixer and you would see constant flashes coming through the window as the red top papers tried to get a picture of her so they could continue their ‘drunken Amy’ stories. One night when I was in there, I got talking to Mik Whitnall from Babyshambles, as we had met in BoMo the week before when he came clubbing after a Shambles gig and we got chatting. Whist we were talking Amy came up so I finally got to meet her. She was so smiley, just looked like the happiest person, when Mik introduced us, she was just like ‘Hiiiiiii!”, like meeting ME was somehow awesome. Just after this, she bought a huge round of shorts and then decided she wanted to play pool. A guy was setting up the balls and she just went straight in and punched him in the face. I should state he WAS wearing a Bob Marley t-shirt so maybe he deserved it. Naturally the next day he was in the papers crying like a bitch about how he had been hit. By Amy, possibly the most slender woman in the world at that point, I mean she was tiny. In the picture the papers used, there was Amy, Mik and then me next to him, though obviously most of me was cut out and Mik was just referred to as ‘a friend’. Still, my moment with Amy was magic. My sister loves her too and has an amazing tattoo of the lady. Awesome.
You will have your own memories brought up by every track on this record, it is both of its time and timeless. Amy Winehouse. A beautiful twisted one-off. The queen of my Camden.

Poem : Solitary

Poem : Solitary


He lays on the grass in front of the stone.
Comes here to feel something, but he just feels alone.
Looks up at the clouds and sees faces and frowns.
If life is a circus, then he’s among the clowns.
Wonders why death follows life every day.
Thinks about things in a very dark way.
Goes home to his shelter,
His place to be free.
A solitary blind man,
Who never will see.