18. Labi Siffre

Watching Labi Siffre on Top of the Pops was a particular experience. He seemed out of time and place.
Himself, raw and vulnerable. It was almost too much in contrast to the other acts and the medium of television.

Black Gay Atheist Introvert Depressive – this all came across in his playing and voice.
He was brought up in a middle class household, privately educated. A family dominated by his overbearing Father. His mother invisible. Whom he chose to protect.

He lives in remote parts solitary composing with an urge to return to playing live. He claims that his home life is most important to him – that and his music. The only two things he felt he was good at. He retired from music to look after his partner through illness.

He didn’t like the limelight. He wasn’t mainstream. He shared cut ups with David Bowie. The hip hop world sampled his music. Including Eminem but forced him to change the homophobic lyrics.

He imbibes a kind of calm strong protest. From a life of dealing with his Father, and an unenlightened unsympathetic time.

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