(FILE) 50 Years Since The Beeching Report Issued In The UK
Today’s posting was meant to feature The Strokes, but at the 11th and 1/2 hour, I came up with a change of plan.

You could blame it on the fact that yesterday (which is when I typed this up) was described across the media as the darkest and most gloomy day we have in the UK thanks to a combination of it being so far since Xmas and so far until most of us enjoy our next pay-day.  On a personal front, I’m a bit down as a very good friend is in a really bad place just now in terms of her mental well-being and despite the best efforts from a number of folk around her, there’s a real sense of worry and concern.

You could also blame it on feckin random shuffle on t’i-pod as it through up iLiKETRAiNS while I was actually on a train, thinking about my dear friend, and this led to a few minutes where I almost started crying in public.

I think it was Comrade Colin who first brought this band to my attention. Wiki describes them as “an English alternative/post-rock band who play brooding songs featuring sparse piano and guitar, baritone vocals, uplifting choral passages and reverberant orchestral crescendos. They draw their inspiration from historical failings and a pessimistic world view.”

The key word up there is ‘pessimistic’ and even then, that’s being generous with a description of the band, albeit they are magnificent at what they do…..someone always has to do doom and gloom y’know.

The thing is, I’m not sure what came first, the band’s name or the fact they wrote a song called The Beeching Report.

For those of you who are too young to know what that is (or maybe you are from overseas and have no idea of this part of UK socio-economic-political history), then I respectfully suggest that you do a little bit of browsing with perhaps wiki, again being your friend.,_Baron_Beeching.

In a nutshell, Richard Beeching decimated large parts of the UK in a way that no-one else had managed beforehand or indeed has achieved since. The despair and angst caused by his work in the 1960s led to this suitably despairing and angst-ridden song more than 40 years later:-

mp3 : iLiKETRAiNS – The Beeching Report

Take from it any modern-day metaphor you like, even to the extent of a loving relationship that has fallen apart.

I will try to be a bit more light-hearted tomorrow.