Monkey Swallows The Universe

A slightly lost week this week, being ill, waiting to see if I have Covid. I suspect I just have a (“the?”) flu, but one might as well be sure and there’s a walk in centre just down the road. Once I was able to get out of bed, I went and stuck the stick in the various orifices.

“We weren’t able to read your PCR test,” came the slightly cryptic text the following morning. So off I went to do it all again, to the NHS site amid rubble behind the doomed Blagdon Road multi-storey car park.

So it’s been illness and isolation, left alone with all my worst thoughts and the many things I need to sort out when I’m feeling better.

Tonight, though, was better. I had some phone calls and I sang some covers. The one below is from Monkey Swallows The Universe, Sheffield legends who released two albums before disappearing into the ether. Nat, the singer, was a indiepop acquaintance, and I remember interviewing her once and her having interesting things to say about science, faith and magic.

They re-emerged, briefly, a few years back for some belated farewell shows , playing both albums in their entirety. I found out about the shows late and only made it up for their debut; the latter, upon which this song appeared, was a beautiful, confident and sad work. Nat went on to do lovely solo records, but this is how I remember them best, all glockenspiels and unapologetic recorders. Neither of which appear on this very fragile cover.

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