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

    Thursday, March 08, 2007
    Free magazines and the explorative spirit
    Feeling too conspicuous to walk into designer bars carrying a loaf of bread and a carton of milk I failed to find the latest Mercy magazine in town today. But I did come back with a copy of February's Stool Pigeon, featuring his truly on the cover.

    The interview features the revelation that MES kind of likes the popularity of Big Brother if only because it encourages him that 'You were right all along, Smith, people are stupid'. And plays down his celebrated psychic powers (his songs about the Manchester bombing and Terry Waite's kidnapping famously predated the actual events) by saying, 'It's not a good gift to have. First up, people think you're f--g barmy. Second thing is, a psychic can forecast when a bus isn't going to arrive but they can't forecast the winner of a horse race. It's no good to you!'

    It's the usual sideways-on Smith stuff and it raises the usual smile. More fascinating fare comes from Liverpudlian-in-exile Pop Levi. Levi, writes Phil Hebblethwaite, 'is an archetypal product of the affection you find in Liverpool for not just knowing about music, but really exploring it. "I ended up there because I heard about music scenes and things that were going on ... That's what people do in Liverpool - really study and get into things."'

    He demonstrated that himself by developing his performance skills by insisting on playing every song to the public on Liverpool's streets until it was learned by heart. So if the observations of this great talent are true then they go some way towards explaining why I've spent many years wandering around town in search of free - but very informative - alt. culture magazines.