Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Bach for Goodman

BLTP Advent Calender DAY 5.
Music to Christmas shop at Liberty‘s to:

Benny Goodman -Bach goes to town 1938

I’ve talked before of the effect of listening to swing whilst out walking, it’s good for present buying too. I think “Bach goes to town” by Benny Goodman (a “cover” of Bach fugue) is strangely Christmassy.

So where better to listen to it than in the most strangely Christmassy of shops; Liberty’s.

Why is liberty’s Christmassy well, it looks like a half-timbered coaching inn and most of the things it sells are “gifts”. You don’t go there for a tin opener do you; it’s mainly lovely but impractical stuff. And it smells of cinnamon too, I do love the place!

When I worked, literally up the street from Liberty’s, one of my favourite things was seeing their florists unpacking and preparing their blooms in the main entrance, it was a curiously un-London sight, more like something you’d see abroad. All the cut stems, discarded leaves and the floral smells always put me in mind of the cupboard at church where the chapel’s ladies would store their flower arranging paraphernalia; old fluted glass vases, strange wire “crowns”, blocks of miraculous oasis, which we would illicitly poke and squeeze and later marvel at, as it swallowed up gallons of water, as it soaked in the deep chipped Belfast sink. And most intensely of all the smell of chrysanthemums and sickly odour of stale flower water.

All of a sudden thoughts of flower arranging have led to thoughts of my mum, who died at this time of year and would have loved shopping at Liberty’s.

I think I’m going to listen to Benny play Bach, one more time.


ally. said...

i used to live next door to that florists islington shop. paula prick as my brilliant upstairs neighbour used to call her. she was horrid and i once threatened to do all her shop windows with a baseball bat. she wouldn't mend her broken air conditioners which kept us all awake for weeks...

liberty's is a gorgeous place though...

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone
I Found this website for Benny Goodman's Discography: http://www.discoogle.com/wiki/Goodman%2C_Benny_Discography Includes 10" (78rpm + photo vinyls), Albums mono/stereo....
Nice Work!