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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Sunday, August 04, 2002
    Half a world away yet closer than breathing
    Greenbelt kept me going during the mid-1980s when I'd given up on church but not on God. Today I stumbled across a dusty old box in my spare room (and I mean stumbled because it's that kinda room) and out of it fell one of the tapes which I exchanged with my mate Dave while I was away getting an English degree in Cardiff. We used to spend hours mixing music, chat and ridiculous sound-effects, much of it Greenbelt-related, and posting the resultant tapes to each other.

    Occasionally we had guest appearances from other daft DJ-inclined pals, and I would show off by dropping in extracts from interviews I'd done in my role as features writer on GAIR RHYDD, Cardiff's student weekly, and for STRAIT, Greenbelt's own mag. The tape I rediscovered today comes from early August 1987 and features Dave getting excited about the prospect of seeing Bruce Cockburn for the first time, and his mum telling him: 'You should be out in the sunshine, walking.'

    On the other side, I drop in bits of taped conversations I'd had with GB poet and luminary Stewart Henderson (in Liverpool's plush Adelphi hotel).

    And there's 'Two Tribes' from Frankie Goes to Hollywood featuring comments from our friend Jim: 'If any member of the family should die while in the shelter put them outside and tag them for identification purposes': 'Is this an advert for Barratt Homes?'

    Funny, those days seem half a world away and yet in other ways closer than breathing.