The One and Only

Just a quick post tonight, as I’m just back from watching the ever wonderful Teenage Fanclub at Camden’s Electric Ballroom.

For those of you yet to see them on this tour, I won’t give you any spoilers as to what they played. Well, except one. So, look away if you don’t want to know the score (going to the gig tonight certainly saved me the horror of having to sit through Spurs’ latest effort in the Champions League):

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Teenage Fanclub – Verisimilitude

For those of you interested, verisimilitude is the appearance or semblance of truth; likelihood; probability Рor, something, as an assertion, having merely the appearance of truth.

Spurs are definitely going to win the Champions League this year.

Oh no, wait…that doesn’t even have the merest appearance of truth, does it?

Bugger.

More soon.

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The One And Only

Once upon a time, Virgin was known for being both a record label and chain of record stores, and not for owning trains which don’t run on time (apparently; I don’t think I’ve ever had the pleasure of riding a Virgin…train), or providers of Murdoch-baiting TV packages and sporadic broadband. (I hate Murdoch with a passion, but my dislike deepened still further a couple of weeks ago when he suddenly decided to stop BT (who I’m with) from airing the Fox Channel, just as the current season of “The Walking Dead” started up again. Twat.)

Anyway, in 1980, The Freshies released this slice of rather ruddy wonderful DIY pop:

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The Freshies – I’m in Love with the Girl on the Manchester Virgin Megastore Check-Out Desk

Never slow to miss an opportunity to self-promote, Virgin guru Richard Branson wasted no time in waiting 26 years until 2006 when he launched a search for the Girl in question, to mark the opening of a new Virgin Megastore in Manchester. The quest was unsuccessful; had he found her then he would doubtless have been pictured lifting the poor girl up, for this seems to be his default setting for publicity shots. Type the words “Richard Branson lifting” into Google images search, and you’ll see what I mean.

The more astute of you will know that The Freshies were formed and led by the much missed Chris Sievey, who later found fortune, of sorts, as Timperley’s finest son Frank Sidebottom.

I love the fact that after Sievey’s (and by extension, Frank’s) death in 2010, fans got together to raise ¬£60,000 to commission a statue of Frank which now stands in Timperley in his memory. I knew nothing about it at the time; had I, then I would have happily contributed. You know I would. I really really would.

Here it is:

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This, of course, gives me a little needed excuse to post some more Frank. In a week where we lost yet another from the ranks of popular music, it seems appropriate to share Frank’s contribution to the NME’s 1988 charity release to support Childline, “Sgt Pepper Knew My Father”, an album where acts of the day covered the whole of the George Martin produced “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album.

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Frank Sidebottom – Being For Benefit Of Mr. Kite

More soon.

The One and Only

People who know me will take what I am about to write as further proof of what an argumentative sod I am.

The truth is, I quite enjoy pressing people on opinions they hold, sometimes deliberately taking an opposing stance, even if I agree with them, to see if they have really thought through what they are saying.

Usually I will preface this by saying “Playing Devil’s Advocate for a moment…” so they know that’s what I’m doing, but often I won’t bother, as it’s much more fun to¬†see if they really think I hold the¬†extreme view I am about to propose. The most I’ll do is proffer is a knowing wink or smile to anyone else involved in the conversation, so they know I’m playing.

The downside of this is that¬†often¬†it’s¬†misconstrued as me being a cantankerous old bastard.

A friend once said to me: “The trouble with you is that you think you’re always right.” My response: “What, and you don’t? Gosh that’s sad. Tell me, how does it feel to be so crippled with self-doubt that you enter into a debate¬†thinking “I’m probably wrong about this”…?” I won that one, too. I think.

Anyway, for a while I was scrabbling around trying to think of songs that would fit into this thread.

For first timers here: to compliment my series about different songs with the same title, here I post a song where only one¬†song exists which has¬†a unique¬†title. As far as I know. I’ve been proved wrong once before (See? I can admit it!!),¬†and this is only the fourth post I’ve done in this series. So y’know, not a great strike record. S’all up for grabs.

But then I suddenly realised that the answer had been staring me in the face: my favourite band – the greatest band in the history of great bands (not, not Quo this time) – had a whole host of songs that fit very nicely here.

So expect to hear a lot more from this lot:

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The Smiths – Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others

I had…not exactly an argument, more a heated discussion…with someone¬†at a sort of house party once about this record. I say “sort of”, it was essentially the host, his girlfriend, and about 7 blokes and me sitting in their living room, drinking, chatting and playing records. “Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others” came on.

The argument heated discussion was about whether this song was sexist or not; the person who started the argument heated discussion was of the opinion that it was, since it referred to¬†women by their chest size. I was of the opinion that it wasn’t, rather it was social commentary on the media’s obsession with precisely the same topic.

To prove my point, I directed her to the live version of the song, included on the 12″and cass-single release of “I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish” which, recorded at The Smiths last ever gig (Brixton Academy, 12/12/86), includes an extra verse that¬†explains all.

There wasn’t a copy of said release in the flat, so we both left grumpy that we hadn’t manage to victoriously put that argument heated discussion to bed. (It should be noted that this happened a) in the days when I would defend Morrissey for pretty much anything he did or said, a position which has waned somewhat over the years, and b) in the days before the internet when someone could have just, y’know, checked.)

Anyway, twenty years later, here it is:

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The Smiths – Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others (Live)

I win!

Oh, and in case you’re wondering where you know the phrase “Send me the pillow you dream on” from, it’s from here:

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Hank Locklin – Send Me The Pillow You Dream On

You’re all fans of Hank Locklin, right? Right???

More soon.

The One and Only

Today, a tune by a man with true music pedigree.

Barry Adamson not only played bass with Magazine, he also was a temporary member of Buzzcocks, as well as working on¬†both Howard Devoto and Pete Shelley’s solo projects, appearing on the first two albums by Visage, playing with both The Birthday Party and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, and remixing Grinderman, Depeche Mode and The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. He’s also contributed to the soundtracks of David Lynch’s “Lost Highway” and Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killers”.

But it’s to 1996 we go for today’s tune, and to his “Oedipus Schmoedipus” album, which featured in the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die” book, and specifically to this groovy little number, which features, and was co-written by, your actual Jarvis Cocker:

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Barry Adamson – Set the Controls For the Heart of the Pelvis

More soon.

 

The One and Only

You will recall last week I started this thread, a companion piece to the “Same Title, Different Song”, only now focusing on songs where the title was so obscure no such confusion could arise.

Last week I chose PJ Harvey’s “Sheela-Na-Gig”, and those of you who read the comments will have spotted that I was kindly corrected by Alex G on my speculation that there were no other songs with the same title.

And he was bloody right as well, although having listened to the identically named track by Nurse With Wound I can’t say I’m tempted to check out any more of their stuff:

So, let’s try that again then, shall we?

I’m pretty confident on this one:

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Cud – Only (A Prawn in Whitby)

Lifted from their debut album “When In Rome, Kill Me” the song is based on a chance encounter between the band’s manager and one Steven Patrick Morrissey in the titular North Yorkshire seaside town. Legendary vegetarian Mozzer was supposedly eating a prawn during the encounter. Yes, just the one. Or only the one, perhaps I should say.

The band have subsequently¬†gone on record to confirm it wasn’t Morrissey, but a Morrissey look-a-like.

What is rather charming about this track is that on the album sleeve, the title is accompanied by the words “Better make this one a single.”

Which they did, in 1989. Whilst it didn’t trouble your common or garden UK Singles Charts, it did claim 15th spot in that year’s John Peel’s Festive Fifty, which is better in my book anyway.

More soon.

The One and Only

As a companion piece to my “Same Title, Different Song” thread, I thought it might be fun to look at some songs which, as far as I’m aware, have no such duplication and what’s more, are really unlikely to. So if you’re reading this expecting to see a homage to Chesney Hawkes, well I’m sorry to disappoint. Actually, I’m not sorry at all.

Sheela na gigs are architectural grotesques found on churches and castles in Ireland and Great Britain. Specifically, they are figurative carvings of naked women displaying an exaggerated vulva, said to ward off death and evil.

Makes you proud to be British, doesn’t it?

Sheela-Na-Gig is also an early single by the one and only Polly Jean Harvey. You will know her better as PJ Harvey and she is the Kate Bush of our generation: constantly innovative, always fascinating, permanently brilliant.

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PJ Harvey – Sheela-Na-Gig

PJ¬†is the only person to win two Mercury Music Prizes (for 2001’s “Stories From The City, Stories From the Sea” and 2011’s “Let England Shake” – truly she is the Tottenham Hotspur of music, only winning things when the year ends in a 1. Roll on 2021.), an annual music prize awarded for the best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland. She is also – and I had no idea about this until I was researching this piece – an MBE. Having chuffed on for ages a couple of posts ago about how reliable Wikipedia is these days, I did wonder if I was being pranked with that info – surely I’d know that?? –¬†but no.¬†Here’s the evidence:

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PJ and Lizzy. What a collaboration that would be!

New PJ tuneage is afoot, and if you have Spotify you can listen to new track “The Wheel” here. I would strongly recommend that you do. It is, excuse my language, fucking immense.

In a year which has started off pretty shittily, the return of PJ is a much needed boost.

More soon.