Have you caught the Bugg yet?
Tuesday: I listened with envy today as a work colleague told me how he saw Johnny Cash playing live in the Carlton Cinema, in Dublin, in the early 1970s.
It made me wish I had been around to see the likes of Cash, or Dylan or Simon or any of the truly great singer songwriters performing in their prime. I was lucky enough to see Kris Kristofferson in the Olympia in the mid-noughties, and it was a pleasant evening as he strummed his guitar with a plectrum that was a present from the late 'Man in Black'. But it felt like more of a lap of honour than a troubled, yet energised, man that had issues with the world.
This week, however, I happened upon a gem of an album in the form of the eponymous debut offering from Jake Bugg. RTE Radio 1's weeknight presenter John Creedon predicted big things for this Nottingham-born singer songwriter last year; it took me until this week to heed his advice.
If you can imagine a blend of Dylan, Cash and the Everly Brothers sprinkled with the attitude of The Verve and perhaps the energy of Oasis, then this record will be right up your street. Bugg was nominated for a Brit Award for Breakthrough Artist this year but lost out to Ben Howard.
He is coming to play the Olympia in Dublin later this year and he's only 19, meaning I might have a potential 'great I saw first time round' story to brag about to the grandkids. Perhaps you were fortunate enough to see some of the greats play Ireland in their prime (Roy Orbison in Waterford anyone?) and if you were I would love to hear your stories at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday: I told the good woman that I picked up a hitchhiker today. She wasn't impressed. 'Have you not heard the news?' she asked me. I told her I hadn't. Somewhere in the south of the country, an elderly female driver had stopped her car after seeing a boy that appeared to be injured lying on the ground beside his bicycle.
When she got out of the car to help him, two other males appeared from behind a bush, jumped into her car, and sped off. The deceptive youth that had been lying on the ground climbed up on his bike, before also disappearing into the night.
The good woman argued that the days of picking up strangers are over, and that I should have had more sense. I argued my hitchhiker was a gent who had simply missed his bus. I know deep down she is right to be cautious, but it's still nice to do a good turn sometimes, without having to fear the worst about what lurks in society.