One of the many things over which Himself and I disagree is music. There are moments of convergence, XTC for example, and we were in complete agreement about walking out of church to the strains of Booker T and the MGs Soul Limbo (BBC Cricket theme) on our wedding day. But, well, I like acoustic guitars.
My digitally stored archive (OK, i-tunes) is pretty eclectic I think. Everything from William Byrd to Goldfrapp and Jessye Norman to Ugly Duckling and all things in between but I do like acoustic guitars. I tried – briefly – to play, back in my youth. I gave my poor guitar teacher a heart attack. Well, he had one, whether or not the painfully long pauses between each chord change were the cause I can’t be sure. But I was lazy and I could sing so I stuck to the singing I found easy and went out with guitarists instead. And sax players. And once, marvelously, a bloke who played both.
Unlike my Beloved I find acoustic music more often uplifting than desolate. The lady I’m listening to as I type this is a case in point. Martha Tilston is the daughter of Steve, a stalwart of the West Country folk scene and she’s blessed with a voice that veers between the feathery and the fiery and she writes with deftness about the beauty of the natural world and its precarious place in modern culture without ever making you feel bad for shopping in a supermarket or drinking too much cider now and then.
One of her songs is called Good World and it’s hopeful stuff. It makes me think of the sun shining – just as XTC does for Himself. One girl and her guitar aren’t about to change the world but they’ve warmed me a little in the cold and dark of a November night.