And finally…

…I’m off to see The Dandy Warhols play at the Electric Ballroom in Camden tonight, so this is the last post for today.

I’m hoping they play this, one of my favourite tracks from their most commercially successful album, “Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia”, which is mostly over-looked due to the massive success of “Bohemian Like You”:

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The Dandy Warhols – Get Off

Say hi if you see me there. I’ll be the one who looks way too old and uncool to be there. Should narrow it down a bit.

More soon.

How To Do A Cover Version

Continuing the theme, and a further attempt to prove that I don’t just throw this stuff together (although, to be honest, that’s pretty much exactly what I do), here’s some covers of Kate Bush songs that I think are pretty good.

Still, none as good as the originals, of course, but pretty good nonetheless.

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way:

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The Futureheads – Hounds Of Love

When I saw them on the NME Tour I mentioned in my last post, they played this, and split the crowd into two, encouraging each half to sing-a-long with a different backing vocal part (most evident at the very start of their version), in a pantomime audience style. Great fun.

Compare and contrast with the original:

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Kate Bush – Hounds Of Love

Next up, a cover which I have no idea how I have come to own, partly since it’s by a Romanian-German singer/songwriter (not a pool of music in which I usually paddle), but mostly because the missing “i” from her name really irks me.

I quite like this though, in a kinda sub-Lily Allen/Mark Ronson kinda way:

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Miss Platnum – Babooshka

Here’s the original, and I think Kate had got new art directors in for her single sleeves post-“The Man With The Child in His Eyes”:

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Kate Bush – Babooshka

Last, but by no means least, lifted from his “Distraction Pieces” album, and performed by the reliably brilliant Scroobius Pip, sans regular collaborator Dan Le Sac, but avec Natasha Fox, of whom I know nothing:

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Scroobius Pip feat. Natasha Fox – Feel It

And, here’s the original, from Kate Bush’s debut album:

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Kate Bush – Feel It

Let me round things off by pointing you in the direction of the Blogroll list on the left, and particularly to the link to a blog with the same name as those last two tunes. Written by Darcy, it’s a great blog crammed with predominantly soul and disco tunes, the majority of which are (great, and) new to these old ears. Darcy’s gone a bit quiet recently, so hopefully a few more visitors might spark him back into life again.

More soon.

Which Reminds Me…

…my dislike of Hue and Cry singer Pat Kane’s butchering of “The Man With the Child in His Eyes”, specifically the na-na-na-na-na’s, reminded me of this:

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Kaiser Chiefs – Na Na Na Na Naa

I mentioned some time ago that I first saw Kaiser Chiefs on the 2005 NME Awards Tour where they were bottom of the bill, below Bloc Party, The Futureheads, and The Killers.

Until that night I’d been totally unimpressed by everything I’d heard from them. But that night they completely blew me away, kicking their set off with a blistering rendition of  this, and managed to utterly upstage all the acts that came after them.

That is all.

More soon.

How Not to Do a Cover Version

BBC4 on a Friday night is generally a wonderful channel for music fans to watch, and last night was no exception, mostly because they showed their “Kate Bush at the BBC” show, a load of clips of…erm…Kate’s performances on the BBC. If you missed it, I’d heartily recommend catching it on th’iPlayer whilst you can.

As I watched it, it occurred to me that for someone so revered as she is, I could think of very few examples of people covering her songs well. I’d like to think that’s because most musicians release that you can’t improve on perfection.

Some people, however, have had a go. I’d like to say with varying degrees of success, but that would be generous, and anyone who knows me knows that’s not a quality of possess in abundance.

So let’s have a round-up of the not very good ones.

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White Flag – Wuthering Heights

I own this on the above compilation album, but don’t be fooled by the “…Performed By Today’s Stars” tag-line. This was released in 1992, so no longer “Today” and I think an album containing cover versions by, amongst others, Erectus Monotone, Hypnolovewheel and Chia Pet is stretching the notion of “Stars” to its knicker elastic-twanging limit. It does however have tracks by Sonic Youth, Mudhoney, Redd Kross, Superchunk and The Connells so there’s much to recommend it (and I will doubtless post much more from it in the future), just not this particular cover version.

There’s nothing to recommend this one, either, as it goes:

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China Drum – Wuthering Heights

Louder is not always better, guys. Especially not when you place it right next to the simply breath-taking original:

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 Kate Bush – Wuthering Heights

I have a lot of time for certain records by Placebo. Just not this one, which arrived on a bonus disc of covers, called “Covers” (inspirational out-of-the-box thinking by whoever came up with the title, by the way), available with their 2003 album “Sleeping With Ghosts”:

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Placebo – Running Up That Hill

…which, isn’t awful, it just isn’t a patch on the original:

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Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)

But I’m saving the worst for last.

Regular readers will now how little I care for cover versions where a shuffly Soul II Soul-esque dance beat (and yes, I realise that using the phrase “dance beat” makes me sound like a granddad) is added in the hope of making something sound contemporary (see my previous posts about Tin Tin Out), but that is exactly what Inside Moves (nope, me neither) did:

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Inside Moves – The Man With The Child In His Eyes

But even that pales into insignificance when compared with the next version of the same song, which originally appeared on their “Violently EP”, but which I own on the group’s “Best Of” album:

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Hue and Cry – The Man With the Child in His Eyes

I honestly don’t know what riles me so much about that version; on face value it’s a fairly faithful cover. I have nothing against Hue and Cry in general; as I’ve mentioned before “Labour of Love” is one of my favourite records not just from the 80s but ever. Maybe it’s the needless change of perspective, from “I” to “You”; maybe it’s the unnecessary oversinging “na-na-na-na-na-na” bits. I dunno.

Let’s cleanse the palate.

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Kate Bush – The Man With The Child In His Eyes

Speaking of awful covers, that’s a pretty poor, far to literal sleeve, isn’t it?

More soon.