For some, including Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland, for whom this was a first recording Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City was ostensibly a love song. Others however, heard it as a lament on urban deprivation and hopelessness.
Primarily, for No Fixed Abode, it is neither. Instead, its resonance is metaphysical. A ghost of the view of the city as organism, this lament is one of infinite ruminations on urban life – co-ordinated audibly in this instance through rhythm and sentiment – which becomes ever more semantically intricate though continual lyrical and stylistic re-appropriation.
No Fixed Abode’s interest here arrives as a sense of recognition that this sentiment is tangible to them in their own city, with its own narrative. Alternatively, within Art Sheffield 10 this lament provides the point of departure for a visual cartographic work which looks at the play of various subjectivities that are being manufactured for Sheffield at that moment.
Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City was produced for Art Sheffield 10 Life: A User’s Manual, curated by Frederique Bergholtz and Annie Fletcher.
All content © No Fixed Abode unless otherwise stated.