If William Blake was alive today he’d be 250 years old, running barefoot through the streets of Shoreditch and communing with angels. Or maybe he’d be hanging out with The Klaxons, getting giddy with the glow sticks. Whatever, he’d be having fun and getting transcendent.
After Rimbaud, Blake is probably the most rock and roll poet. Therefore I’m thinking of playing a few William-inspired recordings on this Friday’s show. Some of the contenders are:
1. Billy Bragg – ‘Upfield’ A fond tribute, from one Bill to another.
2. Patti Smith – ‘My Blakean Year’. Perfectly pretentious.
3. The Doors – ‘End Of The Night’. A steal from Auguries Of Innocence.
4. Jah Wobble – ‘The Inspiration Of William Blake’. A wide-boy homage.
5. Van Morrison – ‘Veedon Fleece’. Name-checking Blake and The Eternals.
6. Test Dept – ‘Jerusalem’. Complete with Thatcher’s Falkland’s speech.
7. Bruce Dickinson – ‘The Chemical Wedding’. The rock chancer’s guide.
8. U2 – ‘Beautiful Ghost’. An outtake from ‘The Joshua Tree’.
9. Van Morrison – 'Let The Slave'. The mystic soul-brothers.
10. Rudi – 'Tigerland'. Ulster punks reference Tyger Tyger.
Any other suggestions?
Stu Bailie presents The Late show on Radio Ulster, every Friday from 10pm until midnight.