Zola Blood Finds Grace

Zola Pieterse aka Zola Budd is best-known as the barefoot runner.

barefoot runningShe was born in South Africa, yet ran for Great Britain in 1984 Summer Games – working around the Olympic boycott of South African athletes during the apartheid era.

Her British citizenship was, controversially, ‘accelerated’ so she could earn a place in the GB squad. Anti-apartheid groups campaigned fiercely against the preferential treatment that she apparently received.

Even more questionable is the behaviour of Zola on track. The American world champion, Mary Decker, still swears blind that Zola intentionally tripped her in the 3,000 m race.

The image of the famous “trip” is one of the most memorable sporting moments of all time.

But back to Blood — who become the latest in a long series of musical artists named homophonically. The trio (or four-piece… depending how they feel) jumped out of the blue – barefoot and speedy – releasing a splendid song on the label Pond Life.

We have been listening to the debut “Grace” :

The backing is grubby. Like the hands of a child after a mudpie battle.

The voice is dark mallow – with a hint of magenta – like an ugly bruise allowing blood to escape. The rhythm follows along in lazy synthy steps.

Then the voice moves up slightly higher – away from all the coagulation. The accompaniment becomes punctuated by small bursts of tiny stars. These erupt under the skin.

At this point, everything shines large, like elegant drapery.

Finally, the voice is literally ‘carried away’ by drummer boys – and a sensual synth beckons… it sounds like a group of imploring winged maidens.

This is an invocation for holiness and mercy.

@neilmach © 2014






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