Sunday, 6 July 2014

Viv Albertine on running

Viv Albertine has a new autobiography out - Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys. At its core is the punk period of the late 1970s/early 1980s, when Albertine was the guitarist with The Slits, but the book goes on to describe her battle with cancer and a period of domesticity in Hastings after which she re-emerged in recent years as a solo recording artist and performer.

Viv Albertine playing with The Slits at the Alexandra Palace, London, in 1980 at the Morning Star's 'Beat the Blues' festival. I was at that gig, one of the best I've ever been to, The Pop Group, The Raincoats, Essential Logic and John Copper Clarke were also on the bill.
As she sets out in the book, she started running in Hastings to help her daughter train for cross country, but soon came to love it as a practice that helped her get her head and body together:

'I start to love running. It's like a meditation to me, I have to do it; I don't even notice the effort any more. I run in all weathers at all times of day; rain, cold, dark, hot. On one side of the sea wall is a road and flat fields of tall grass. I watch the swans gliding along a little canal...

After so long worrying and being fearful, living by the sea and running is giving me the mental space to think creatively for the first time in years. With the salty wind on my face, feet pounding on the shingle, Kate Bush, The Hounds of Love on my iPod, new thoughts enter my head...

Running also helps me accept my body After all the years of medical intervention, I feel violated. All those unknown men's hands up for years. To cope, I reacted like a rape victim, disowning my body, floating above it, not in it whilst it was happening... At last my body is beginning to feel like it belongs to me again and it's strong and healthy, serving me well instead of constantly letting me down'

Viv Albertine breaks into a run on the cover of her 2012 debut solo album, The Vermillion Border.
I saw here supporting Siouxsie at the Royal Festival Hall last year (part of Yoko Ono's Meltdown festival), and she was great.

Other musicians in motion:

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