Paul Carrack: The Man with the Golden Voice. BBC 4, 10pm.
Posted by celticman on Sat, 13 Oct 2012
I must admit to having no idea who Paul Carrack is. I know from the time slot he’s got something to do with popular music. Friday nights, that’s when BBC 4 gives music a spin. My thoughts were more on the man with the golden boot, Garth Bales. He’s not a Welsh tenor. He’s a football player, but it wasn’t really fair to play him against Scotland. Needless to say Scotland looked like winning. They looked like getting an honourable draw and then get humped in that thoroughly Scottish way. So I swallow down defeat with fritters and tune into Paul Carrack. His name sounds a bit like a math’s teachers or somebody that should be teaching geography. His appearance, a small hat wearing, balding, middle-aged man, has me loosening my cords in the hope I can get a record deal. But Paul Carrack’s the real deal, he’s been ‘a hired hand’ for bands such as Roxy Music, had a number one hit in the States with Mike and the Mechanics, a top ten hit with Squeeze and played with just about every other band in between. I didn’t think I know him, but I do. I don’t listen to music but they are the kind of songs I liked when my van had a radio. It broke a few years ago and now I don’t bother. He’s a singer/songwriter and whisper it, a major talent. I don’t know how describe his voice.
I should know because I get my musical education from books. I’m reading Richard Powers’ s (2004) novel The Time of our Singing. One of the characters, Lisette Soer, says to the Lionel Messi of the music world, Jonah Strom –half Jewish, half Negro- ‘Music is something we aren’t. It comes from outside and goes back there’. Paul Carrack’s voice is a bit like that. It’s something we have not heard but kinda know. One of the themes of the book is time. Einstein gets to hear Jonah’s voice at a family recital and recognises genius of a different sort. I’m not saying Paul Carrack’s voice is on that level. But the book is. It’s one of those books that even as you read it, in a parallel universe, a part of you is already reading it again. One of the other things that resonated with me is when the upfront narrator, Joseph, Josh’s brother, tells us a singer is always looking for the next teacher, a new way of learning. The singer that doesn’t have a teacher is already dead, just doesn’t know it yet. That got me looking at somebody’s work that had tried to teach me writing for a short time, but the failure was mine. Chris Dolan (2012) Redlegs is about Art, Acting and Identity. These are personified by Elspeth Baillie a young Scottish actress feted for a short time by faux titled, Lord Coak, a sugar plantation owner, in eighteenth century Barbados. In another multiverse, I’m shouting back, or forwards, or sideways, whatever way it bends, don’t bother reading this. Don’t waste your time.