Welcome all to 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿, a series of weekly reviews by Charles Connolly - an artist in his own right. Here, Charles delves into the greatest brand new singles brought to you by the best unsigned artists on our electrifying and eclectic set of 𝙉𝙚𝙬 𝘼𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙨𝙩 𝙎𝙥𝙤𝙩𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 playlists.
𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙄𝙨𝙡𝙖𝙣𝙙 - 𝙑𝙞𝙭 𝟐𝟎
Charles Connolly is unwell…
Let's see how this goes. Like Jeffrey Bernard, I am currently not very well. Nothing terrible. I'm not dying, or anything, but it was all rather sudden. On Sunday, I was carrying on with a mix/production for a client. All was relatively normal throughout the day. Lunch was late but hearty. The music continued its journey through my mind with every bite. I was “in the zone”, and feeling perfectly normal. Or as close to normal as a thing like me can be. As you can probably tell from that last line, I’m not exactly feeling “wordy”. Words are NOT flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup. They are instead missing the cup entirely or occasionally sticking to the brim. It is more like constipated drizzle than endless rain. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, I was feeling normal whilst immersed in music. Noyce. In my element, one could say. But then towards the evening, I coughed. Now, coughing is not particularly a sign of anything, in fact we do it all the time. Particularly we asthmatics. The word asthma reminds me of Jack Lemmon in The Odd Couple when he is attempting to clear his sinuses. Thma. Thma thma thMAA! If you have no idea what in God’s name I’m talking about, do watch the film - it’s worth it. Ugh, I really am like a meandering tangent today. So, I coughed. It was different though. I felt it in the centre of my chest. It banged like a distorted timpani drum. Instantly I knew this was not normal and that I might be starting to get ill. Oh bugger. I am never ill. I am almost never anywhere I could catch anything (i.e. outside). Maybe it was just one isolated oomphy cough. A "man’s cough". But no. It happened again. I continued with my mixing and arranging and whatever else I do most days. But over the following hour or so, I started to feel dirty. Dirty on the inside. You know those satisfying before and after cleaning videos? This was the before. Then as the early evening became later, my head started to get all stuffy and bunged up. You know that feeling all too well. We all do. I just so rarely GET this! The lower back started to ache and I became fragile. This must be what it’s like to be old. It gives us a glimpse of the wonderful days ahead. Bloody awful.
Then the groggy, slow, dumb, stupid phase sets in. As if your brain hovers over your skull with a bad wi-fi connection to the rest of the body. I feel an instant connection to a dwarf named Dopey. Can you say dwarf these days? Vertically challenged? Or is that worse? I don’t know, and right now neither do I care. The point is, I went to bed on Sunday evening, feeling less than perfect. I wasn’t shaking or sweating or anything like that. I wasn’t feeling sick, I was just fragile and a little useless. Time to snooze on my little island. My safe place.
6am came along to prod me in the shoulder. I was shaking, sweating, cold. I was really ill. Full-on fever, for the first time in about 15 years. Banging headache. And of course, feeling sick. Oh what joy. After several bouts of laboriously heaving myself into the bathroom, I kept going back to bed. This cyclical routine lasted for around 6 or 7 hours. And every time I went back to bed, I gathered another layer. This really was my island. The only place I could feel unexposed. By this point I had jammies, a gown, a woolen blanket and a duvet. And STILL it wasn’t enough. The head kept banging, I was in and out of dreams about awful people I used to work with. I was aware that I had to write my review, but even a glass of water was out of the question at this point. I had to just stay here and not move. It slightly reminded me of when I was a child. You know when you used to make a little safe haven out of the bed? No? Was that only me? With the duvets and the cosy cave? Well it was like that anyway. Only without the feeling of anything remotely nice. Even right now, my head is swimming. Wincing at the dull brightness of the screen. The words are stuck in sludge. They’re also difficult to grasp from the ether. I have come to the conclusion that being ill is crappy. But, I am young (ish) and fit (relatively), and so in a day or two, I’ll be back to normal. So why write about all this? Well two reasons, really. One, I hate to disappoint the fans and go against my military regime. But more importantly, the second reason. No one really expresses this stuff. Because, by definition, they are too ill to even think. I thought it might be nice to force myself. Yes, even if it might make me slightly worse, I prefer to have something to show for my dumber days. It even took me away from my many layers of insulation, and more importantly, my island. My safe place. The things I do for you.
In a weller state, I might have made a cleverer segue into the review, but this is more genuine. I won’t pretend to be something I’m not. I must be honest and tell it like it is. Weirdly, the first thing I did in a relatively conscious state (still bed-bound), was listen to Made In Heaven - the posthumous last Queen album. I listened in full, except for the last track (arguably one of my favourites). This last track does to me what Eno does to me. I adore Brian Eno. Musically, it does almost nothing, and yet it is all just so right. So peaceful and fascinating in a subtle way. But I stopped it short, because I had work to do. I had decided to write this review. Despite informing Ed Eagle that I wouldn’t be able to. I just can’t let down the troops. The show must go on - good old Queen! Now, I must admit to being biased this time towards a sound that is perhaps softer than others, so as to avoid breaking my head. I did listen to quite a few corkers from the New Artist Spotlight, but frankly, they were just too heavy for my fragile state - maybe next week! I needed something cosy. Something that made me think of home. Well, okay, I didn’t go with COSY! But I went with something that put a smile on my face. Let’s have a big round of applause for our British boys, Vix 20! The legendary Gary Mills and CJ have seen my Corner once before with their classic, Invisible Girl. They’re back with another cracking crowd-pleaser. I first heard this a few months ago as an early exclusive on their own radio show, Vix Essentials. But finally, The Island is released! As with their back catalogue, it is quintessentially British. Take That legends, Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow would be proud. It’s that pleasingly perfect blend of 90s and 60s. Can you recognise the influence of ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’…? Producer Guy Chambers would I’m sure be proud to put his name to The Island.
This is feel-good pop rock, for that is what they do. As with Invisible Girl, the production and mixing is sublime and so well treated and well judged. Don’t concentrate on me not being well, just enjoy the music! That’s what it’s all about. So what’s left of this cosy little island, I will enjoy for as long as it lasts. Be that Britain itself or my ill-ridden bed.
On that note, my blanket awaits… (I promise I’ll be more on form next week)
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