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Baker's Dozen

Songs Of Praise: David Keenan's Baker's Dozen
Jennifer Lucy Allan , December 2nd, 2020 09:46

Jennifer Lucy Allan hears about high-fiving Edgar Froese, frightening the neighbours, disavowing the devil and how Scottish author David Keenan is all about saying yes. Portrait by Heather Leigh.


Leo Sayer – 'Long Tall Glasses’
When I was a kid I was really into dancing and performing. I did a David Bellamy impersonation talking about moisture in the plants and all that, I really liked eccentric old English guys. Until I discovered rock & roll I was all about astronomy, birdwatching, calligraphy. I dreamed of smoking a pipe. But my mum had a 7" collection, and when we had guests coming over I would perform one of my dance routines, and my favourite record for doing a dance routine was 'Long Tall Glasses' by Leo Sayer – it's a time machine record, when I hear it I am eight-years-old all over again.

One night I insisted on doing the 'Long Tall Glasses' dance for two old people called Mr and Mrs Grey, who my gran was a cleaner for and who occasionally came over for dinner. I asked my mum and she said ‘Err, they're quite old fashioned, so I don't know they'd be into it,’ but I decided to give them a couple of minutes of my display. So my mum announced me, and my dad put on 'Long Tall Glasses', and I came into the room dancing, over to the fireplace, doing these mad moves. But I became possessed by the music, I totally flipped, completely lost myself, and when I came to the end of the dance, Mr and Mrs Grey were completely aghast. I might as well have stripped off, their jaws were on the floor. It was so innocent, but they were just freaked out by that kind of energy – they never came back! But that's what I've always loved in music, in art, in literature: energy. The application of energy.