This is rather great.
John Grant, with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, performing “GMF”, which has some effing and jeffing in it.
This is rather great.
John Grant, with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, performing “GMF”, which has some effing and jeffing in it.
Welcome back to the Chain Gang.
We ended up last week with me inviting suggestions for songs which link to The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “Voodoo Chile [Slight Return]”, which is lifted from their “Electric Ladyland” album, whilst also making a rather bold prediction:
“I’m willing to bet I know which artist Charity Chic will suggest.”
So over to you, CC:
“If you are thinking Wall of Voodoo, they only had one decent song which I suggested last week which could be winner if it didn’t take you back to the radio theme.”
Errrr, no. That wasn’t who I was thinking of. However, that did prompt Dirk from Sexyloser to suggest the following:
“Wall Of Voodoo’s “Dance You F***ers*” was okay as well, if I remember correctly”
Fancy another go, Charity Chic?
“Chile used to be ruled by a tin-pot fascist dictator called General Pinochet. When he took I’ll he came to the UK where our very own tin-pot fascist dictator Margaret Thatcher gave him bed and board at the countries expense. Thereafter the normally spineless Jack Straw the then Home Secretary deported him. I wrote to congratulate him but never got the courtesy of a reply.
So “(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang” by Heaven 17 please.”
Nope, that wasn’t what I was thinking of either. How embarrassing. Anyone else?
Here’s Rol from My Top Ten:
“Why has nobody suggested Kirsty MacColl yet? Is that what you were expecting from Charity Chic?
Kirsty had an excellent album called Electric Landlady. The opening track is called Halloween, making it doubly appropriate.
That’s not my official suggestion. Just the obvious one you were no doubt looking for.”
You see, the other week, having successfully suggested a link to a Kirsty MacColl record for the second week running, and aware of our mutual adoration of her work, CC announced that he would attempt to link to something by her at every opportunity.
I’m reminded of QI, and the number of times Alan Davies has proffered “a blue whale” as an answer, and got it wrong, but then when it is the answer, manages to miss it. Like this:
Now. Before we go any further, I need to just clear a little something up. And having popped the tissues away, now I need to clarify something.
The reason we are linking to The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “Voodoo Chile [Slight Return]” is that it was the next record in the official BBC Chain, following on from Joni Mitchell’s “You Turn Me On I’m a Radio”, and the official link between the two was given as “…Mitch Mitchell played bass in the Jimi Hendrix Experience…”. Needless to say this raised a few eyebrows, by The Swede (“That’ll be news to Noel Redding’s estate”) and Alex G (“What a disappointing official connection. I expect better than that for £145.50 a year.”)
So let’s just check with the bible of all accurate data: Wikipedia, which lists Mitch Mitchell’s credits as ‘backing vocals, drums (except on “Rainy Day Dream Away” and “Still Raining, Still Dreaming”), percussion, lead vocals on “Little Miss Strange”‘ and Noel Redding’s as ‘backing vocals, bass on “Crosstown Traffic”, “Little Miss Strange”, “Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)”, “Burning of the Midnight Lamp”, and “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”, acoustic guitar and lead vocals on “Little Miss Strange”‘
So perhaps we should have a couple of Noel Redding related tunes before we go any further.
There is a town just outside London which hosts an annual music festival over the August Bank Holiday Weekend. That town is Reading, but it’s pronounced the same way as Noel’s surname. The other way to pronounce it is, of course, in the same way as in the phrase “Reading, Writing And Arithmetic”, which just so happens to be the title of the debut album by The Sundays. Here’s the opening track:
Similarly, here’s George, with both of his suggestions linking to the unappreciated multi-instrumentalist:
“Noel Redding the bass player/drummer, could also play the mandolin, and so could Ira Lonnie Loudermilk, better known as Ira Louvin, one half the toptastic Louvin Brothers. (He was also the heavy drinking much married and alleged wife-beater who was once shot by one of wives). And one of the Louvin Brothers’ song is The Angels Rejoiced Last Night, which has one of the finest examples of lyrics in country music you’ll ever hear.”
I don’t know about you, but the sight of that album sleeve has just bumped that record to the top of my “must own” pile.
Here’s George’s second suggestion:
“I’m surprised no-one has posted an Otis Redding suggestion, so mine is ‘Stay in School’.”
I have two things to say about that. Firstly, I always thought Roy Orbison was ‘The Big O’? Secondly, George adds: “I played this to some of my classes when I was working.” So what on earth was your teaching style like if you had to play the pupils a record imploring them not leave?
“I also played them the occasional track by Gong,” George adds, like that makes it perfectly acceptable. Although maybe in an alternative to classroom bell context, a “That Gong’s not for you, it’s for me” kinda way, I guess it might work.
But I digress. Where were we. Oh yes, Chile. CC was not the only person to go down the “Chile” route. Here’s The Robster from Is This The Life?
“I also couldn’t get Chile out of my head, in this case the country – ‘Chile Your Waters Run Red Through Soweto’. While the Billy Bragg version is best known, for me you can’t beat Sweet Honey In The Rock’s take which is just wonderful.”
And in similar territory, literally, here’s The Great Gog:
“Back in my mid-80s student radio days, I had a stand-in co-presenter for the mammoth 4-hour Saturday Sportswatch (not my choice of title). I set the Hendrix track off and as it finished I was busy scribbling info off Ceefax for an upcoming link. Said co-presenter then back-announced the track, pronouncing Chile as one would the South American country which is spelt that way. Cue much mirth around the studio where music snobbery was positively encouraged.
Anyway…I’m obviously now in South American county mode, so I offer ‘Ecuador’ by Sash!…”
“…or,” The Great Gog continues, “‘Brazilian Love Affair’ by George Duke.”
Before we move on to the most popular links, one which received two nominations this week, firstly from Rol (“The other obvious suggestion is ‘Slight Return’, the Bluetones’ biggest hit. But you can have that one for free.”) – CC: did you notice that’s the second time he’s said “obvious choice”? He may as well have said blue whale – but also from The Beard (“Alternatively, ‘Slight Return’ by The Bluetones”), which, to be fair, looks a little bit odd when taken out of context i.e. immediately after his other suggestions, which we’ll come to in a bit.
Now, a Public Service Announcement. I have had to disqualify three suggestions this week, because I don’t think the suggested link is correct. I’m talking about these:
“Jimi’s guitar solo from, oh I forget but not Voodoo Chile, was recycled in BAD’s C’mon Every Beat Box and then later Right Said Fred (Deeply Dippy I think). Which was then covered on the Heavenly Fred EP by the Rockingbirds. One of whom plays guitar for Edwyn Collins.”
I had the BAD track all lined up and ready to go, listened to it to make sure it sounded okay, and realised after it finished that I hadn’t noticed any Hendrix-guitar in there. So I listened again. And again. And again. And again. Nope. So I had a little look on-line, and stumbled across this page which explains all of the samples, source materials and references on BAD’s “No 10 Upping Street” album, from which “C’mon Every Beat Box” is lifted. No mention of Mr Hendrix at all there, nor on several other places I checked.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I would love to post all of them, not least The Rockingbirds version of Deeply Dippy, but as far as I can see, these suggestions fall at the first hurdle. So sorry, but in the absence of any link, I can’t play any of those tunes.
Ok, so there were two other means of linking to our source record this week which attracted mucho attentioni (those online Italian lessons weren’t wasted on me, right?), and so I’ll hand you back over to Dirk for a moment:
“Now, there are quite a lot of really good bands called “The Something Something Experience”, such as The Colorblind James Experience, The Iowa City Beef Experience, The Jean Paul Sartre Experience, The Joyce McKinney Experience, The Mr. T Experience, The Tony Head Experience plus, I’m sure, a few others which I can’t think of currently. ‘Lift To Experience’ spring to mind as well, but they don’t count in my Mr. Monk–world.
Also we have The Sid Presley Experience and the B-Side of their 1984 7″ ‘Hup 2-3-4’ is rather splendid, so it shall be my link for this week, please: ‘Public Enemy Number One’.”
Time to welcome back Charity Chic:
“I was going to offer up ‘Considering a Move to Memphis’ by the Colorblind James Experience but Dirk stole my thunder…I am not having a good day…”
Well, actually he just mentioned it in passing, so I’ll give you that one (also because it’s one of my favourite records ever):
And here’s another one of those ‘The Something Something Experience’ bands, suggested by Yours Truly, although strictly speaking they’re a the ‘Something Something Something Experience’ band: a band with a truly magnificent name, but who’s music sadly doesn’t quite fulfill expectations, unless you’re expecting some fey C86-esque indie jingly-jangly guitars, in which case, fill your boots:
But by far and away the most popular link this week was to Voodoo. There was a great song by Vic and Bob from their “The Smell of Reeves & Mortimer” series called, I think, “Do You Do Voodoo?” which I was hoping to link to now, but can I find it? Can I heck as like.
So, let’s start off with a welcome return for Marie, who suggests this:
“As soon as I saw the word “Voodoo” (with Halloween being just around the corner an’ all), I knew that I had to suggest this song: Charles Sheffield’s ‘It’s Your Voodoo Working'”
I wish I could say I’d planned this week’s post to land a couple of days before Halloween, but honestly, I never look at what the next link in the Chain is until I come to write this, so I can’t claim to be that organised.
Anyway, here’s Charles:
Time for babylotti’s suggestion(s):
“‘Voodoo Chile’ was part of the Hendrix medley released as a free record with Soft Cell’s most accomplished album, The Art of Falling Apart. The other side of that record was a song based on George A Romero’s film about a boy who believes himself to be a vampire. So I’m suggesting that one, ‘Martin’, by Soft Cell.”
It’s not long before babylotti’s back though, with a second suggestion:
“Jeez, how did I not take that chance to link to Tom Robinson Band’s Martin? I think I just did…;-)”
Don’t think you can get round me with a cheeky winking emoji, old chap. That’s the sort of thing likely to make me not post your choice. But since it’s a rather fine choice, here you go:
It’s not often that we get different versions of the same song suggested here, but that’s exactly what happened this week. I’ll let SWC from When You Can’t Remember Anything explain:
“I have always thought that the greatest song to ever feature the word voodoo was by A Guy Called Gerald and Voodoo Ray….”
“But,” continues SWC, “his version is not the best for that you need to go to Acid Brass version.”
For the uninitiated, “Acid Brass” is an album of acid house choons covered by a brass band. The Williams Fairey Brass Band, to be precise. Don’t let that put you off though, this is, as SWC alludes, brilliant:
I said three versions, right? Right. Here’s Swiss Adam from Bagging Area:
“Voodoo Ray is not only the best record with the word Voodoo in its title, but one of the best records ever made. No arguing. Fact. The Acid Brass version is wonderful too but Gerald’s was proof that British house music was going somewhere else entirely. For an updated version see Optimo’s remix (done with Jeremy Deller).”
Can we have a factoid about the tune before you go Swiss?
“It was supposed to be Voodoo Rage but there weren’t enough spaces in the digital name display so he changed it to Ray.”
Here’s babylotti again. He’s been thinking.
“Just yesterday I was listening to Philip Boa & The Voodoo Club, they once sang a song about Paul, who was in love with a container…..which is a line from another of their songs, so my next suggestion is Love on Sale by them…”
Now. “Container Love” by Philip Boa & The Voodoo Club is another record I adore, so I’m a bit annoyed you didn’t pick that one. In fact, I very nearly over-ruled you and played that instead. But then I realised we’re a bit light on cheese this week – we love the occasional cheesy record round these parts – and without Love on Sale then you wouldn’t have been able to provide this week’s Dairylea triangle:
“Which leads me to my awful song selection, from Love on Sale to ‘You Gotta Be A Hustler If You Wanna Get On’ by Sue Wilkinson.”
Not awful, babylotti, cheesy.
Ah. Okay. As you were. Awful it is.
That made it to Number 25 in the UK charts back in 1980. It was her only hit. Maybe she’d have had more if her name hadn’t been so…well, drab. I mean, it’s not exactly the sort of name that conjures up visions of a pop star, is it? To me, Sue Wilkinson sounds like the woman from the office with a fixation on cats, who arranges the collections for people’s birthdays and tries to engage you in conversations about The Great British Bake Off when you’re trying to mind your own business by killing time at the photocopier.
Now, we can’t really do a post referencing records linked to Voodoo without mentioning The Robster’s next suggestion:
“Screamin’ Jay Hawkins looked like a witch doctor who practiced voodoo. He’s best known, of course, for his classic I Put A Spell On You, but in 1974, he released a single called Voodoo, which was backed by You Put The Spell On Me. So you can have any one of those three.”
Suddenly, this has become like a version of Michael Barrymore’s “Strike It Lucky”: I can have top, middle or bottom, you say? Middle! (See, I can resist making the obvious joke sometimes)
Time for some Swede action. Here’s The Swede from Unthought of though, somehow:
“Working on the basis of ‘first thought, best thought’, the song that immediately popped into my head to follow ‘Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)’ was ‘(The Ballad Of) The Voodoo Ranger’ by Multicoloured Shades.”
Chain Gang, count yourself very lucky, for that song made me think of one very cheesy one which, had I had the time, would have got posted right now. I’ll save it for another time…
Here’s Swiss Adam, back for a second, third and fourth bite at the cherry:
“Voodoo always makes me think of The Gun Club’s debut album Fire of Love (the cover art). Sex Beat is a peak on an album of peaky peaks. They were never that good again.”
I’m not sure we’ve ever had someone link via the medium of cover art before. I suppose, given the cover art I used for “Electric Ladyland” last week – which Hendrix himself disapproved of, by the way – I should be grateful. Anyway: a first!
Anyone who regularly visits his excellent Bagging Area blog will not be surprised by the manner in which Swiss continues: “…which gives me two Andrew Weatherall links- Two Lone Swordsmen did a spirited cover version of Sex Beat…”
“…and the sleeve of Sabres of Paradise’s wonderful single Wilmot recycled The Gun Club’s cover images and is a voodoo influenced tune itself.”
I always thought that was about popular chicken-in-a-basket entertainer Gary Wilmot. Apparently not.
A couple of weeks ago, one of the songs posted here was Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does It Better”, and I happened to comment that it was my favourite Bond theme ever, although occasionally it might be the next record. Here’s Alyson from What’s It All About, Alfie?:
It seems Rol has been trying to think of something clever:
“I was going to try and be deep and obscure this week, but then I remembered one of my favourite tracks from my favourite album of last year: ‘Voodoo Doll’ by John Grant”.
Regular readers will know I share Rol’s love of all things John Grant related, so here you go:
Time to welcome back (I think – you have posted here before, haven’t you…?) Brian from Linear Tracking Lives:
“Like The Robster, my first thought was Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. Then I recalled quite a few albums with voodoo in the name, such as the Dirty Dozen Band’s Voodoo and Paul Carrack’s Suburban Voodoo, but there isn’t that one song that hits on the theme. Then I smiled when I thought of Harvey Korman as Hedley Lamarr in ‘Blazing Saddles’ telling his band of bad guys “Now go do that voodoo that you do so well.” Yes, I’m that highbrow. Well, that’s liberally lifted from Cole Porter’s ‘You Do Something to Me’. Francis Albert sings that song with gusto, but it’s not my favourite. So, finally, my pick is a close cousin to voodoo…. Witchcraft, sung by Sinatra”
Here’s Alex G, fresh from expressing his disappointment at last week’s link, which given the amount of research he’s done into his own link is a bit rich:
“Talking Heads did a song called Papa Legba, which is named after some sort of spirit in Haitian Voodoo.”
(Papa Legba is the loa who serves as the intermediary between the loa and humanity. He stands at a spiritual crossroads and gives (or denies) permission to speak with the spirits of Guinee, and is believed to speak all human languages. Either that or an over-priced midfielder currently arousing the curiosity of Manchester United’s scouting team. You decide.)
Alyson’s back, to expand on her earlier “Live and Let Die” nomination:
“Thinking about it a bit more, the fictitious island where much of the Voodoo action in the film took place was called San Monique but of course it is highly likely that this fictitious island was supposed to be Haiti where, apparently, the majority of the population hold Voodoo beliefs. This of course got me thinking of the song ‘Haitian Divorce’ by Steely Dan.”
Time now for a big warm Chain Gang welcome to Kuttowski, who unless I’m very much mistaken, is Walter from the excellent A few good times in my life blog. Welcome aboard, Kuttowski/Walter, what have you got for us?
“I think it is time to join the chain gang. Thinking about the word voodoo Screaming Jay Hawkins and Voodoo Ray came to my mind. But it all said by the ones before. So I would suggest Voodoo by Mano Negra, a French band lead by Manu Chao back in the late 80’s. Starting with a dark mood this song turns into a weird folk chaos.”
“Otherwise,” he continues, “I would suggest Jah Wobble’s Voodoo.”
You can have both:
And so to the last of the Voodoo related tracks, and a very heartfelt welcome back, albeit via the conduit that is SWC, to Badger:
“I spoke to Badger and his suggestion from the sofa is thus. Part of the voodoo ceremony is to slaughter a rooster. (He is basing this solely from the Mickey Rourke/Lisa Bonet film [Angel Heart, I believe – Film Ed] of a few years back.) But that takes us too ‘Mansize Rooster’ by Supergrass.”
Hallelujah, what a great, often overlooked tune. And I think I speak for everyone here when I say it’s great to hear Badger is on his way back to fighting fit.
Four songs to go, and here’s my last choice. This is, I believe, a cover of a Kiss record, performed here by The Lemonheads back in their early days before they had added the The to their name. I’m not going to explain the link: if you don’t get it, then just type the words “Jimi Hendrix” and “Plaster Caster” into Google. But don’t do it at work:
Having given him a bit of a ribbing earlier, I was going to let Charity Chic have the last word this week. But, that honour is being saved for my favourite link of the week.
So, sorry CC, but here’s your other selection:
Earlier on, I mentioned that The Beard had suggested The Bluetones “Slight Return” as his final choice, and here come his first two choices, the reasoning behind which I love:
“From Jimi Hendrix to Hendrik Van Kleefe, the dodgy Dutch diamond dealer from To Hull And Back, the Only Fools and Horses Christmas special from 1985. Two of the world’s greatest cities, Hull and Amsterdam, are featured in the episode. 1985 also saw the release of Flag Day, the debut single by “the fourth best band in Hull” aka The Housemartins.”
“‘Amsterdam’ by Peter Bjorn and John didn’t come out in 1985 but is great nonetheless.”
Right, can you all line up please? *Does quick head count* Okay, I don’t think I missed anyone out. So let’s have a look at the reason behind the next record in the official Chain:
“Jimi Hendrix’s manager was Chas Chandler, who played bass in The Animals…”
…and this was the record of choice:
So, let’s be having your suggestions for records which you can link to The House of the Rising Sun by The Animals, along with a description as to the link between the two records, via the Comments section down below.
See you next week.
Hello! Fancy seeing you here!
Apologies that it’s been a bit quiet around here for the past week; yet again my laptop decided it didn’t want to play anymore at the weekend. Several System Restores and a lot of swearing later, we’re up and running again, but this is the first chance I’ve had to post anything new since the stuff I wrote last Saturday.
So, everything that I intended to post last weekend, but didn’t, will feature this coming weekend, particularly the next in The Chain thread (and my, have I got some beauties for you in that post). Oh, and I’ll get round to replying to all of your very kind comments as soon as I’ve posted this.
Anyway, enough of my tales of woe. Time for some famous person’s name related fun.
On Sunday this weekend, I’m off to Day 2 of Field Day here in London, and since I didn’t get a ticket for the real thing, this is my mini-Glastonbury for the year. Of course, rain is forecast, just so I can convince myself I’m in a field in Somerset rather than a park in East London.
Here’s some of the acts that are playing on the day I’ll be there: Cass McComb, Adam Green, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Thurston Moore Group, The Temper Trap, Parquet Courts, Shearwater, Steve Mason, The Ben Watt Band (featuring Bernard Butler), Beach House, Mystery Jets, The Duke Spirit and, as they used to say in Greatest Hits adverts, many many more. It’s an impressive line-up and no mistake. If any of you have any recommendations out of that lot (or more pertinently, out of any that I’ve not listed), then feel free to let me know via the Comments.
Spread over eight stages, inevitably there are clashes of acts I want to see, none more so when it comes to the headliners.
On one stage, there are The Avalanches, performing in support of their first new material in what feels like a lifetime, with French electro-noodlers Air topping the bill. I’ve never seen Air live, and suspect that an after-dark performance by them will be quite something. Similarly, I’ve seen (as I think I’ve mentioned before) I’ve seen various members of The Avalanches DJ before, but this is the actual band playing an actual set (I think).
Competing with them on the main stage (or the Eat Your Own Ears stage, as they seem to want to call it, which sounds like a terrible idea at a music concert, unless, say, you were at that Brexit concert that the world and his wife seemed keen to avoid being added to the bill of) where the headliner is P J Harvey, and on before her is John Grant. I’ve seen PJ before and she’s always, as you’d expect, mesmerising; and John Grant is right up there on my “People I want to see” list.
Quite the quandary, no? Luckily, there’s only me and two mates going; we’ve all known each other for such a long time that I suspect we’ll all agree where to be and who to see. If there is any dissent in the ranks, then democracy will win out. If its a 2:1 scenario, I don’t think the :1 will be too upset at losing.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the work of Grant (I’m going to assume you have heard of P J, Air, and The Avalanches), you’re luck’s in, for he provides today’s tuneage:
As the more astute of you will have spotted, that’s taken from his debut album – or rather, his first solo album after his previous band The Czars split up – “Queen of Denmark”, which he recorded in collaboration with Midlake, who are one of those bands who I know of, but own absolutely nothing by. Your recommendations of where I should start with them would be gratefully appreciated.
Anyway, one of the things I love about John Grant is his unique lyrical style. He seems to make some of the most bizarre similes I’ve ever heard, like this, from the above-posted “Sigourney Weaver”:
“And I feel just like Sigourney Weaver
When she had to kill those aliens.
And one guy tried to get them back to the Earth.
And she couldn’t believe her ears.”
Erm, okay John, If you say so.
Or, later in the same song:
“I feel just like Winona Ryder
In that movie about vampires.
And she couldn’t get that accent right;
Neither could that other guy.”
Not great with the names of male actors, is he?
(He’s talking about Paul Reiser in “Aliens” and Keanu Reeves in “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” respectively, by the way).
And here’s a semi-interesting Sigourney fact: her real name’s Susan, but she changed it to Sigourney after finding inspiration from a character in The Great Gatsby.
Which is lucky, because “And I feel like Susan Weaver…” doesn’t really scan all that well.
Slightly more impressive is this: there’s a scene in Alien Resurrection where Weaver’s character, Ripley, has to make a basketball shot from behind her back, some 6 feet past the 3-point line (wherever that is). Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet wanted to drop the ball into the hoop from the top of the screen, to give the impression Weaver had done it. Weaver, however, had other ideas:
Just so you know, this week’s selection comes with one of those Parental Guidance stickers right across it.
Also, I’m writing this with the Wales v France match on the TV in the background, so if this is posted a little later than usual, you’ll know why.
Let’s get straight to it; we’ll pick up where we left off last week and a song that in all honesty should be the theme tune to this thread:
Released in 1992, as you can see as a double A-side with “People get Real”, which the band had wanted to release as a single in its own right, but met opposition from their record label, Heavenly. So, they set about creating the most commercial record they could, and “Join Our Club” was the result. This was the second single to feature Sarah Cracknell, after founder members Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs had ditched the idea of using a variety of lead singers – a concept which features (and works, but very little that St Etienne produces doesn’t) heavily on their debut album “Foxbase Alpha”, but which the duo decided against once they had worked with La Cracknell.
Next, to New Young Pony Cub (or NYPC as they are apparently now known), and this oft-over-looked single from their second album:
New Young Pony Club are one of those bands that don’t really ever seem to have quite broken through, despite supporting Lily Allen on an early tour, and also claiming a spot on the 2007 NME Indie Rave Tour, along with the likes of CSS, The Sunshine Underground, and Klaxons. I suspect that CSS and Klaxons, indie-press darlings that they were at the time, probably gained most of the attention on that tour.
An ex-flatmate of mine told me once that the next band had won some TV talent show or another – suffice it to say it was The X Factor – but since he also once tried to convince me that every song title on Andrew W.K.’s “I Get Wet” album has the word “Party” in it, and since his favourite groups were Kasabian and Mumford & Sons, and since he once came home telling me he’d just heard the most awesome Britpop band ever (he was talking about Longpigs, who you know, are alright and of course gave us Richard Hawley, but…), and since he used to eat Doritos whilst sitting on the toilet, I am, frankly, sceptical. If he’s right about any of those points (particularly the Doritos bit), I’m sure one of you will enlighten me.
And well, that leads me rather nicely onto this:
When you think about it, it’s a miracle that The Charlatans are still going, let alone that they’ve been one of the most consistent UK singles bands for the past twenty-going-on-thirty years; when they started out they were considered little more than Madchester wannabes (a tag which, I’m pleased to say, they’ve consistently proved wrong on many times since, having outlived all of the main scene protagonists. No need for The Charlatans to reform, nosireebob. And no seven year wait for a second album, either) and they’ve constantly been beset with drama and tragedy. In 1992, original keyboard player Rob Collins managed to get himself mixed up in an armed robbery being committed by a friend, and unwittingly ended up being his getaway driver. He ended up getting a four month stretch at Her Majesty’s Pleasure for that. Rob’s car related bad luck didn’t end there though: he was killed in a car crash in 1996. In 2013, drummer Jon Brookes died from a brain tumour that had been diagnosed in 2010.
But The Charlatans always seem to bounce back, and of all the varied and wonderful singles they’ve released, “Weirdo” is probably my favourite, not least because the 12″ single contains the US version of “Sproston Green” which they always, but always, end their live sets with.
Anyway, since we seem to have drifted into the territory of songs with vaguely insulting titles, we may as well have the king of such things:
You have to love ’em, don’t ya?
Well, we’re now into Parental Guidance time, so please only continue if you are above the age of 18 and have the bill-payer’s permission. Or something.
Have they all gone? Good, then I’ll continue.
A song now that I mentioned in passing on these pages some time ago:
…and which I’m therefore not going to dwell on any further here. It just fits here, okay?
Many years ago, when I was working as a “chef” in a motorway service station restaurant, I bunked off one Sunday to spend the day with my friend Richard, who had invited me and a few others round for a day of roast dinner, drinking and watching films. The only film I can recall that we actually watched that day was “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” starring Whoopi Goldberg. I remember nothing about the plot.
So why am I mentioning this now, I hear you wonder? Well, the only thing that I do remember is Richard commenting that “Nobody swears like Whoopi swears”. That may have been true in 1986, but no longer I fear. I say this not in any kind of “Kids of today, eh?” rhetoric, but because…well…here’s Peaches:
And speaking of sauce, no selection of rudeness would be complete without a nod in the direction of the Purple One:
Much as Fatboy knew that releasing a single with the words “What the Fuck” repeated quite a few times was unlikely to attract much airplay and so tucked it away as a AA-side, Prince knew to abbreviate his title and provide an edited version for radio use.
A change of pace now. Just as bands often punctuate their live sets with slower songs to give the audience a chance to get their breath back, so does Friday Night Music Club, and the moment has arrived where I get to do one of the things I love to do most these days: have a good sit down.
Still room for some abbreviated swears though.
And whilst we’re having a few moments of quiet cursing, here’s eels, who aren’t afraid to dispense with the abbreviations:
Many years ago, I had a (now ex) friend round at my place once when I happened to play “Gorecki” by Lamb. If you don’t know the song, it’s a quite, quite beautiful, fragile thing, not a million miles away from Massive Attack’s “Teardrop”, neither of which would be out of place in my “Late Night Stargazing” thread (and which will feature there soonish, once I stop thinking of songs I’d rather post there). Anyway, she had never heard it before, and made me play it another two or three times. As she loved it so much, I did what I often do when someone tells me they like a song I’ve played them: I made her a mix CD with it on.
She was very grateful. Or rather, she would have been had I not, in her words, “totally ruined it” by placing this song immediately afterwards:
I am 46 and single. That may go some way to explaining why.
It seems appropriate, then, that I post this next: a band that I’m quite simply staggered to see I’ve not posted anything by here before. This is something I shall have to rectify immediately:
I went to see The Fannies (see? even their nickname is rude) in Bristol about ten years ago, when they were promoting their greatest hits album “Four Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty-Six Seconds – A Short Cut to Teenage Fanclub”, and I took the opportunity to purchase some official merchandise, namely a t-shirt bearing the band’s moniker upon on it. I have subsequently learned that wearing such a t-shirt gains you some disapproving looks from people who are unaware of the band’s existence. I no longer wear it outside.
It’s not often that I post a Number One single on these pages, but here is one such occasion:
Of course, Cee Lo had to change the lyrics to “Forget You” in order that the single might attract any airplay, but we’re having none of that cleaned-up-version nonsense here tonight.
Now to something a lot less well known, which is a shame as it’s rather fine:
(Apologies if I seem to be rattling through these now. It’s because I am. Got a bit too engrossed in the rugby, see).
So, finally, the closing track from their first album “Life’s Too Good”, an album which properly introduced us to the wonderfully bonkers Bjork (though the Festive Fifty-topping “Birthday” had seriously whetted our appetites). This is one of the few songs in their canon not to include Einar butting in with an incoherent rant, a practice which always came perilously close to spoiling their songs in my book. Almost, but not close enough.
I was once discussing Welsh popsters The Automatic with a work colleague, who bemoaned the presence of Alex Pennie on their early records (Y’know, when they were kinda famous); he hated his vocal style and found him intrusive.
“Ah,” I said, nodding sagely “like Einar from The Sugarcubes.”
He looked at me blankly.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
I have rarely felt older.
That’ll do you for tonight.
Sometimes, when I’m feeling the need to be organised, I write a few of these posts at the same time, and such was the case with today’s offering of Sunday morning loveliness (I didn’t have much else to do, since I was using my bro’s post yesterday).
Imagine my surprise, then, when having completed today’s selection of Sunday songs and settling back to watch Match of the Day last night, to promote Match of the Day 2 they played the first song I had lined up today. Now, all I can think of when I hear this is Shearer looking smug, which I’m pretty sure was not the desired effect:
Quite a few years ago, I worked in a video store in Cardiff, a job I loved, but ultimately was crappily-paid so I had to find something else to do to earn my corn. The legacy of those couple of years, of which you will learn much more later, is that I love any films which are based in and around such establishments. Clerks, for example, is one of my favourite films (but not Clerks 2). A couple of years ago, I watched “Be Kind, Rewind”, and was delighted to find it heavily referenced Fats Waller, a jazz pianist and singer I had a bit of a soft spot for, mainly thanks to my Dad playing me this when I was a kid. So, to keep things on a jazzy tip this morning , here’s some more Fats:
And now, as they say, for something completely different.
Nothing like remembering what Sundays are all about, eh? Speaking of which:
And finally, a few months ago I posted on Facebook that I had just discovered the next artiste, probably a long time after everyone else, and was informed that the video for this song was filmed in Grangetown, a less than glamorous suburb of Cardiff. I honestly figured the person telling me was winding me up until he posted the link to the video and I can confirm he was right, that’s Grangetown alright. Makes yer heart fair swell with pride.
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