'Down by the shoreline with my back to the land
I felt my feet sink down in the sand
Down by the harbour standing all alone
I felt my heart grow heavy as a stone...'
- The Weather Prophets, 'Almost Prayed', 1986
Earlier today I was reading about the forthcoming Shorelines Festival at Leigh-on-Sea and these lyrics came to mind, from one of my favourite singles of the eighties. The song conveys an impression of the industrial shore in a few simple images, from the swans in the diesel river, to the cargo and cranes in the dawn light. What with the Morrissey autobiography and Sam Knee's appealing new book about Indie fashion, A Scene In Between, Mrs Plinius and I have been feeling rather nostalgic this week. I've not yet read Morrissey, but A Scene in Between is mostly photographs and Peter Astor can be seen in one of them wearing the spotty shirt he had on to perform 'Almost Prayed' on Whistle Test. I still have stashed away in a wardrobe some old NME articles from that time, including an interview with the Weather Prophets from 28 March 1987. Hopefully nobody will object to me including here a few paragraphs from this, in which Astor talks about the kind of landscapes that influenced his lyrics and the importance to him of Andrew Marvell's poem 'The Garden' ('a green thought in a green shade...') Sadly the interviewer moves on just when this is getting interesting...