“SONG FOR EWE”
with ZOË HOWE
“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day.
Today it’s a music writer extraordinaire, whose debut novel “Shine On, Marquee Moon” was shortlisted for the Virginia Prize for Fiction in 2016. Their extensive canon of punky rock biogs includes “Typical Girls? The Story of The Slits”, “Barbed Wire Kisses – The Jesus and Mary Chain Story”, “Stevie Nicks – Visions, Dreams & Rumours”, “Lee Brilleaux – Rock ‘n’ Roll Gentleman” and most recently “Wilko Johnson – Looking Back At Me”.
I first became aware of our guest through promo for the work-in-progress, but much anticipated documentary/biography of awesome X-Ray Spex frontperson Poly Styrene, with collaboration from Poly’s daughter Celeste Bell and to be directed by Paul Sng, which encouraged me to put my hand in my pocket (doesn’t happen often – in fact only other times a lyrics book by Blurt’s Ted Milton and a horror movie by Toby Amies featuring The Shend from The Cravats).
Welcome to Velvet Sheep rock journo sans pareil, Zoë Howe!
Intrigued by the Poly Styrene doc, which is crying out to be made, I found Zoë on social media, and my interest was piqued with her updates often about her local ‘hood in Essex (I am from Gravesend in Kent and used to see the twinkle of the lights of Canvey Island beyond Tilbury, a place where one of my Dad’s mates convinced their kid the ferry was taking them to Australia). Also she shares the surname Howe with one of my bosses and her husband a former MTV colleague/friend turned star TV director, so even more reason to connect.
So without further ado, here’s Zoë’s “song for ewe”!
“I’m not generally a trad jazz kind of girl but ‘The Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me’ by Sidney Bechet gives me the shivers – the good kind.
Yes, you can easily just stick it on and shimmy your shoulders and smile along with it, but there’s just something softly intense about those piano chords that transmit as much sweet pain as they do humour and lightness of touch.”
Zoë’s next exhibition will be as part of the group show ‘DisPLAY’ at Ply Gallery, Hornsey Arts Centre, North London from 13th July for two weeks.
The Poly Styrene biography Dayglo – The Creative Life Of Poly Styrene (working title) will be released by Omnibus in November 2018).