“I probably won’t be able to perform again, because when there are drums or electric guitars I can’t hear enough of myself to be able to feel that I am making music,” he explained at an event in Mayfair yesterday. “I am back to playing guitar and maybe what I write now is going to be like that. It’s going to be very simple.”
When the Londoner asked him more about playing concerts, Simon said he was planning to rehearse with two guitars next week to see if it was “soft enough” for him to perform his new album, Seven Psalms. Later he’d try to add “percussion and mallet instruments” to the mix.
“I don’t know how long I will be able to sustain my sense of pitch, whether I will be able to sing in tune for 33 minutes... I am going to begin the process of trying to rebuild my ability to do it... I really hope that I can. I really miss it” he said.
Simon, pictured with artist Charlie Mackesy, recently revealed he lost most of the hearing in his left ear during Covid. He was speaking yesterday at the Frieze to mark a new exhibition of illustrations inspired by his work by Mackesy. Mackesy brought his dog along too.
Goulding Glitters at KOKO, and the Culture Sec praises Penny
London is gearing up for fashion week, which begins on Friday, with a series of glamorous parties. Last night at Camden’s House of KOKO, singer Ellie Goulding graced a Lumule Foundation and Amal Jewellery Collection launch. Television presenter AJ Odudu was there too.
Over at the Design Museum in Kensington, the British Fashion Council hosted a bash celebrating its NewGen intiative. We met Secretary of State for Culture Lucy Frazer. Who is the most fashionable minister, we asked? Penny Mordaunt, she said, after racking her brain, “who obviously during the Coronation stunned us all with her fabulous outfit.” Frazer, who told us she recently had a minor wardrobe clash with new Energy Security Sec Claire Coutinho, thinks the front bench are “embracing fashion and colour”.
Frazer’s new shadow, Thangam Debbonaire, was at a Sky News party at Somerset House, joined by several others from the reshuffled Labour frontbench, including Bridget Phillipson and Chris Bryant. On the Conservative side, there was less front row glamour and more of what one wag described as “Tory backroom boys”. The changing of the guard?
Talulah joins the celebrity author debate
Author Katherine Rundell held one of the classier book launches of the year at the Natural History Museum last night. Actor Charles Dance read from her new fantasy tome, Impossible Creatures, while Rundell herself glided in on an escalator. Top Boy creator Ronan Benett and Freddie Fox went along too.
There’s debate in the literary world over whether there are too many celebrity authors, as teen actor Millie Bobby Brown has written her first novel. Rundell spoke of the “great non-celebrity authors” putting the work in. Elon Musk’s ex-wife Talulah Riley, who recently announced her engagement to fellow thesp Thomas Brodie-Sangster, felt slightly differently, talking up the importance of the “slash”, as in actor-slash-writer. “Just because I’ve been an actor at some point shouldn’t stop me pursuing other ambitions,” she told us.