By which I mean, a Friday Night Music Club mix for Good Friday, as opposed to “At last! A good Friday Night Music Club!”
I’ve “ummed & ahhed” about posting this one to be honest; whilst I am not in the least bit religious – I’m firmly in the “religion is the opium of the people” camp – I do think it’s important to respect those who do have faith, no matter in which God, and I didn’t want this to come across as me taking the mick.
Besides, if I’m going to happily accept some extra days off work at Christmas and Easter, it would be rude to bite The Hand that feeds me.
That said, when you’re trying to find pop songs which in some way relate to the biggest Christian festival of the year, of which there are few, and whilst also trying to stay away from obviously religious songs, of which there are many, one does worry that what I’ve prepared may see disrespectful. Genuinely, it’s not meant to be, and I hope it isn’t.
See, I think I’ve dodged that particular pitfall by trying to make this mix so that it roughly follows the events of Easter weekend (as far as I can remember from junior school), starting a little earlier with Judas’s betrayal of Jesus, through Peter’s repeated denials, the crucifixion and resurrection, with some stuff about chocolate and bunnies thrown in to cover the Saturday, when nothing much happened. Apologies if I have misremembered the ‘true’ sequence. If only someone had written it down in some kind of, I dunno, good book that I could have referred to…
I also wanted to avoid including anything from obvious film or theatre portrayals, so there’s nothing fromAndrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar or from Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Oh ok, there is a teensy bit of Life of Brian in there, but don’t fret, it’s not Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.
For those of you pondering Dylan’s inclusion, he’s in there for two reasons: firstly, the song title seemed pretty apt, and secondly, because of the infamous moment when someone shouted “Judas” at him at a gig after he dared to start playing an electric guitar. This of course only makes him the third worst Judas that I’m aware of: there’s the obvious Iscariot chap at #1, and of course Sol Campbell at #2, for leaving Tottenham on a free transfer to go to play for Arsenal. (See, if I was religious, I’d have forgiven him by now.)
Anyway, as I say, I’m honestly not trying to offend with this mix (so there’s no need for an ‘effing and jeffing’ warning this week), rather the idea is to offer up a way that non-Christians can enjoy the weekend’s activities from a musical perspective, and who knows, perhaps even engage in a way they haven’t done for a long time.
I’m not in the best of moods today. I am being held together by vodka, sleepy dust and a general distrust of people with the ability to vote. Be gentle with me.
Just as we have to try and make Brexit work, idiotic as it may be, and just as we now have to swallow the idea of a racist, misogynistic, idiotic reality TV star being the most important and influential man in the world, idiotic as that may be, so we need to buckle down and get this done. Business as usual.
So (sorry, CC), last week we ended up with Dr. John’s “Such a Night”, from his “In the Right Place” album, and the usual request for your suggestions for songs which link to that, in the hope that someone might suggest the actual next record in the actual BB sponsored chain (rest easy, anti-BBC-ites, I get no sponsorship for this), but without caring too much about that really.
There seems to be only one place to start today. Here’s The Swede:
“‘Such a Night’ was produced by Allen Toussaint , who also wrote (among many other classics) ‘Yes We Can’ by Lee Dorsey. The song was later covered brilliantly by The Pointer Sisters, though Lee’s version is the one for me.”
In case you’re wondering why I say that’s the best place to start, much like Bob the Builder, “Yes We Can” was Obama’s slogan back in 2008. I don’t think Hillary had a slogan, did she? Maybe that’s where she went wrong. But then again, “There’s a perfectly legitimate reason why I deleted those emails” was never going to resonate with the US voting public in quite the same way as “I am a vile, groping, orange excuse for a human being” seems to have done.
That’s the last mention of it, I promise.
The remainder of this week’s suggestions can, broadly, be bracketed together. Whilst some went down the New Orleans route, the majority plumped for either links to “Doctor” or links to “John” with a few (okay, more than a few) exceptions that proved the rule. Whatever that means.
So, to the Doctor links. And we’ll start with SWC “outing” Badger as a secret Dr. Hook fan:
“Hurrah a chance for Badger to finally express in words his secret love of Dr Hook.”
As it happens, Badger didn’t take the bait, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say there’s nothing wrong with a bit of Dr. Hook. Anyone else agree?
“I also have a secret love to Dr. Hook. Therefore I suggest ‘You Ain’t Got the Right’ because it meant a lot to me when I had the blues” offers Walter/Kuttowski
Thanks Walter! Hope this doesn’t rake up too many bad memories then:
Okay, so maybe no introduction, but maybe a nerdo explanation. The main sound plug from that is the 1970s Tom Baker Doctor-era’s theme tune, created by the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop. More than any other TV theme tune, that version makes me want to hide behind the sofa.
Also, Orbital, having mysteriously regenerated into an act who could play live again after they split up ten years or so earlier, performed this at Glastonbury in 2010, with an actual Doctor in the house:
Here with more Doctor-based shenanigans, is Alyson:
“Got a double link but no long drawn out reason for it, just that the band is Dr Feelgood and the song is Back in The Night.”
And so to the Johns. But first, one of those suggestions that doesn’t really fit anywhere else. Here’s The Great Gog:
“I noticed that this song [the Dr John one, remember?] features on the music video of a film called 3000 Miles To Graceland. This set me thinking about suggesting a certain Proclaimers song six times, a certain Big Country song seven and a half times, or a certain Pretenders song one and a half times. See what erratic sleep patterns do to you?
Ultimately though the far more obvious suggestion is the rather lovely Graceland from The Bible.”
Thank Gawd for that, for I have no idea which Big Country record you’re referring to (I got the other two!)
Now, ordinarily, I wouldn’t allow multiple suggestions for the same artiste, but today, well today’s different, for today the first of these is about John Cooper Clarke. It’s not often I get to post a GCSE approved poet, so I’ll let it slide this time.
Would have gone for “The Night” myself, but there you go.
“And on the artist himself – Dr. John released a tribute album to Louis Armstrong a couple of years ago. One of the songs he covered was Mack The Knife. I can’t think of anything better to include here than the wonderful original by Satchmo himself.”
Personally, I remember them for “Some Girls” and for the lead singer’s (third one in on that picture) ability to eat an apple through a tennis racket.
But who knew there were so many links between Dr John and Racey? Here’s Rigid Digit:
“Racey also recorded a track called “Kitty” on their debut album. With a bit of gender re-orientation and a video a featuring Cheerleaders it became the one and only hit for Toni Basil, ‘Hey Mickey'”
Somewhere in the back of my mind this struck a chord, so I checked it out, and scarred though I now am for having listed to four Racey songs on the trot, he’s not wrong. It’s a bit like Scott English’s “Brandy” being changed to Barry Manilow’s “Mandy”, although apparently any rumours about English’s original being about his dog are purely fictional.
Anyway, here’s Toni Basil, in all her cheer-leading, one hit wonderness:
“…and from such truly dreadful stick-pins-in-your-eyes [I’ve told you before George, if you don’t like hearing something, go for the ears every time over the eyes] song to this: The Drifters recorded a song called Such a Night, with the legendary Clyde McPhatter on lead vocal. And as a solo artist Clyde McPhatter recorded “The Treasure Of Love'”
And since people are coming back for another go, here’s Alyson:
“…my only real memory of Dr John is when he appeared on the BBC Charity record Perfect Day, where he popped in 2oth and then 26th order in the line-up. Very scarily that was made in 1997, nearly 20 years ago. That does link to Lou Reed and his original version which popped up in the film Trainspotting the year before and I don’t know about you but I feel bombarded today with trailers for Trainspotting 2 (in a good way). Will go with Lou Reed and Perfect Day as well if you have time?”
I cannot wait for that to land. The first film is one of my favourite films ever, and I was already excited about it, but when I saw that, which has just enough call backs to the first film to intrigue me even further…well, I’ve already started scouring the local cinema listings waiting for it to appear.
Here’s Dirk. Dirk has a different way of dealing the idea of linking records together. Whilst the rest of us ponder the staple tune and think of songs to link to it, Dirk seems to decide on what record he wants to hear then just make up any old stuff to get to it:
“Rumour has it that said Jim in the tune was not only angry about Dr. John trying to steal his woman, in fact he was incandescent with fury, so much so that he nearly was about to explode! A true story, of course, which some time later led Jack White to write “Jimmy The Exploder”, so there you are ….”
Right, well, if you’re having that, then I’m having this. If Jimmy exploded, then you would need something or someone to clear that Mr Creosote-esque mess up. And who better, then, than Jimmy The Hoover?
Since I allowed two poems by John Cooper Clarke in earlier, I don’t suppose I can get all sniffy about another Dr. Feelgood suggestion, can I? Here’s Walter/Kuttowski, back for seconds, and, as it turns out, those creative juices must be flowing, thirds:
“My first thought was on Dr. Feelgood and Wilco Johnson (his real name is John Wilkinson) a band that was the link between pubrock and early punk. I suggest their Sneaking Suspicion.”
“Thinking about ‘night’ Saturday night comes to my mind. Don’t worry but I won’t suggest the Bee Gee’s at this place. I remember The Leyton Buzzards another band that was active in the late 70’s. Therefore I suggest ‘Saturday Night Beneath The Plastic Palm Trees.'”
I was more worried you might suggest Whigfield, to be honest.
Rigid Digit’s back, and thankfully this time he doesn’t come armed with any Racey-based factoids:
“Dr John’s real name is Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack (thank you wikipedia). Malcolm is one of those un-Rock n Roll names – there are a few but not many. Malcolm Young – a choice AC/DC track to follow next? Malcolm McLaren – sticking with the previous possible Animal link, how about Buffalo Gals?”
As you haven’t actually suggested it, you can have the album version rather than the catchier single version:
Whilst we’re on Malcolms, here’s Rol, who wins this week’s “Most Blatant Plug for his own Blog” Award.
“I thought I’d see how many songs I could come up with that mentioned a Malcolm in the lyrics. I thought there’d be very few; turns out I could easily populate a Top Ten… although a lot of them would be about Malcolm X.”
As it happens, he was going somewhere with this, so I’ll allow this subtle slice of product placement.
“‘Malcolm Solves His Problems With A Chainsaw’ by the Arrogant Worms is worthy of a mention though.”
“Dr John’s 2012 album Locked Down was produced by Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys. Dan was also the name of Alan Partridge’s one time best friend (“Dan. Dan. Dan. DAN. DAN…”). Alan Partridge when not presenting Skirmish, a military based general knowledge quiz show on digital cable television channel UK Conquest, could be found behind the wheels at Radio Norwich where, among extolling the virtues of other deep cuts, he implored listeners to “kommen sie bitte und listen to Kraftwerk”. Cue, The Model…”
Actually, if you go on that there YouTube, someone has done a mix of The Model with the Partridge quote to which you allude sampled on it, over and over and over and over and over again, ad nauseum. It’s too annoying to post a link too. I bear no responsibility for you seeking it out yourself this way.
Now. I was all ready to apologise to Rol for posting ten songs earlier today about how annoyed I am with certain world events, but having just checked his blog, I need not have worried. Turns out, there’s plenty of songs we can use to illustrate what a dick Trump is.
Anyway, here’s Rol, with the last two suggestions of the week:
“1. In the lyrics to Such A Night, Dr. John sings “You came here with my best friend Jim, and here I am, trying to steal you away from him…”
One famous Jim who’s obviously lost his woman to another man (even though he claims it’s nobody else’s fault) is Jimmy Buffet in the song Margaritaville.”
Anyway, as I pack the cigar away (not a Clinton reference), all that’s left for me to do is invite you to submit your suggestions for songs that link to The Band’s “Up On Cripple Creek”, along with your description of the link which needs to get past my incredibly rigorous vetting process, via the Comments section down below.
And, I guarantee, unless anyone suggests the same record, I have the worst one for next week already down.
Welcome, welcome Chain Gangers new and old, welcome all.
Last week’s record was “Radar Love” by Golden Earring, and the gauntlet was thrown down for you to come up with records which linked to that five minute rock classic. Some of you chose to link to word “Radar”, some to the word “Golden”, one of you to the word “Ear”, but, and bless you all for this, not one of you went down the very simple route of suggesting songs which linked to the word “Love” or “Ring”.
Actually, that’s not quite true. For one from amongst our ranks linked to both. At the same time. We’ll deal with them later.
“Let’s get the cheese out the fridge early doors,” begins CC. Music to my ears, that. Regular readers will know that whilst we encourage, smart, clever, odd, witty, records here, we also enjoy a bit of cheese to off-set it all. So what does CC have in store for us?
“Golden Earring puts one in mind (or me at any rate) of Golden Brown by the Stranglers. There was a Boston Strangler leading to the poodle band Boston with More than a Feeling.”
If I could just clarify, Boston were a band from Boston who named their band Boston, that’s how full of innovative ideas they were. So clearly, Boston were not a band made up exclusively of Poodles. That would be ridiculous. There was a Yorkshire Terrier on keyboards too, and an American Hairless Terrier called Brian provided occasional backing vocals.
“I may well be back,” CC adds, somewhat ominously.
Now, once in a while a suggestion contains a bit of info that I didn’t know, and this week that dubious distinction goes to The Great Gog:
“Oh well, I’d better get it over with. For those that know about these things, there’s a bit of an elephant in the room with Golden Earring, or should I say Eggermont in the room. Japp Eggermont to be precise. Not content with providing a track for the Euro-version of Smashie & Nicey to play, Mr. Eggermont post-Golden Earring was responsible for the medley mania that blighted the UK Charts in 1981 with his Starsound project.”
In case you have no idea what GG is talking about here, the Starsound project was kind of like a prototype Jive Bunny, who simply mixed old pop hits together into a medley with an irritating drum beat syncing them all together. You can read about them here or if you’d like to actually hear one of them, this is the one that got to No. 2 in the UK charts in 1981:
Anyway, sorry GG, I seem to have interrupted, do carry on.
“This launched many copyists, but perhaps the most interesting lurked on the b-side of Squeeze’s “Labelled With Love” single – “Squabs On Forty Fab”. Clearly, Glenn, Chris and the guys weren’t taking it terribly seriously, but it’s a better listen than any other the others that were around.”
See? I had no idea that a bloke from Golden Earring was responsible for all those records, nor did I know that Squeeze had done a parody, of sorts:
“…it’s also a little known fact that this song’s title refers to Barrett Strong, American singer and songwriter, born February 5, 1941 in West Point, Mississippi.
Brenda Lee, although married to Ronnie Shacklett since 1963, apparently had a soft spot for lucky Barret as well, or is there any other explanation why she wrote a song about having sex with him and even describes her favourite position in the title?” [Erm…are you sure about this bit…? I’ve read this several times and can’t make out if you’re making a very rude joke or not – Ed.]
“And, friends, it must have been g.r.e.a.t. sex, because it was Barrett Strong who gave Brenda the nickname under which she was widely known until the end of her career: “Little Miss Dynamite”!
Also commonly not all too well known is that Barrett wanted more than just this short liaison, but it took him until 1973 until he responded with a song for Brenda: ‘Stand Up And Cheer For The Preacher’.
History shows us that his wish was never fulfilled by Brenda, nevertheless it’s my suggestion for this week’s link, so there you are!”
I have no idea whether any of this is true or not, so just in case, a disclaimer: the views of Dirk are not necessarily shared by the broadcaster.
Anyway, here’s the tune Dirk nominates, and rather fine it is too:
Time to welcome The Swede from Unthought of, though, somehow who proposes a song and a band I had no previous knowledge of, and who, on the strength of this song – which musically reminds me of Cowboy Junkies take on “Sweet Jane” from their The Trinity Sessions album – I’ve gone out and got me the album.
“There’s no way I can pass up such a (ahem) golden opportunity to suggest my favourite song of 2015. From Golden to Silver – ‘Silver John’ by This is the Kit.”
Which seems an appropriate moment for me to slip one of my suggestions in, for the first record that sprang to my mind when I saw the source material was this, one of those “let’s stick this previously unreleased track on the Greatest Hits album in the hope it helps flog a few more copies” affairs:
“Better leave it at that – I’m getting greedy…” he (finally) signs off.
Now, I’ve never heard that Stephen Hero record before, so forgive me as I’m not entirely confident in the place I got it from: is it supposed to do that thing where it seems to go into a completely different song for no reason whatsoever? (Not saying I don’t like it, by the way, just wondered if I’ve picked me up some duffer of a tampered with version).
Ok, so The Robster emailed me to tell me it sounded like I had indeed been sold a pup and that what I seemed to have was a sampler for the whole EP, which just goes to show what an idiot I am. Link now updated to feature the correct song. Many thanks to the Robster for pointing me in the right direction with this one, which I like even more now that I’ve heard it properly!
“I am (sadly) old enough to remember Golden Earring from when they first released Radar Love back in ’73 and I hated it! Not my thing at all and they stole valuable TOTP from my favourite teen idols of the day. Bit of a one-hit wonder though so they soon went away, but then what happens, they release the same bl**dy song again four years later! My musical tastes had evolved by this time but they still (to use a phrase last employed by my favourite person to stalk/spy on/copy, George) “rubbed me up the wrong way” – Again they were taking valuable air time away from the acts I did want to watch on television!
So, to pull a lyric from a song I really do like, they not only stole time:
One time, one time (but) Two times, two times…..
Yes, a very tenuous link to the Fugees version of Killing Me Softly from me this week.”
Remember how Charity Chic said they may be back later? Turns out, they weren’t ruddy well joking:
“In 1978 Radar Records released their first single (I Love The Sound of) Breaking Glass by Nick Lowe – hopefully got those brackets in the correct order Alyson!”
This prompted a mini-discussion (can two comments be classed as a discussion? Discuss.) as to whether there were any brackets in the song title in question, Alyson stating: “Not seeing brackets in any of my reference material for that one CC, although I’m not actually looking at the single so they might have snuck those pesky brackets in there.”
I was with CC on this one, right up until the point that, after uploading and naming the MP3, I checked the single sleeve. Oopsies.
Luckily, it turns out that we’re all right. For it seems that in some countries, it was released with, and in some countries without, the brackets. For example, when it was released on Columbia Records in the USA, the brackets were included. As evidence:
Glad to clear that up. And by the way, who said us bloggers were nerds?
Now does anyone know what time it is? That’s right: it’s George Time!
“Golden Earring were Dutch (I suppose they still are). So were Focus, but I chose them last week, but The Vengaboys were Dutch. I recognised We Like To Party (and did a little dance a la The Inbetweeners film which brought a smile to my partner’s face. Or was it a grimace…. ).”
For those of you new round these parts, can I stress that this is not the sort of record that George usually suggests. He’s been under a lot of pressure recently…
To try and balance things out a little, I’ve spent much of my spare time since George suggested this trying to find a clip of the Wenger Boys from Sky One’s Soccer AM, but to no avail. In my quest, however, I did find an article about Vengaboys which read: “Vengaboys are a Dutch Eurodance group…[who were] never critically acclaimed”.
Hands up who knows can think of a really good reason why that might be?
Here’s Rol from My Top Ten; surely he’ll have some blinding suggestions for us?
“My first thought this time was that Golden Earring also had a song called The Twilight Zone and recently I put together a Top Ten Twilight Zone Songs (songs which could have been episodes of the amazing Rod Serling TV show). Number One on that list was Angie Baby by Helen Reddy because it freaks me out every time I listen to it.
However, I’ve disqualified the above as it’s way too self-referential.”
“So instead, I offer Mark Germino & The Sluggers’ classic DJ song Rex Bob Lowenstein, taken from the album Radartown. Rex Bob is a hero to music bloggers everywhere – he refuses to “play the song list they send in the mail” and when The Man tries to make him, he barricades himself in his studio and “plays smash and trash till they cuff him on the floor”.”
“OK, sticking with Dutchness for a moment, one Dutch musician who passed through Golden Earring’s ranks was Robert-Jan Stips, later of art popsters Nits, from whom I nominate “Radio Shoes”. And since the first “R” of “RADAR” stands for Radio, that’s a connection by two different routes.”
What time is it? It’s a quarter past George Time! And here he is with another contender for Comment Showboat of the week:
“Taking Gold as a starting point, directly under gold in the Periodic Table is Roentgenium, symbol Rg, named after Wilhelm Rontgen, the discoverer of X-rays. And The Butthole Surfers have a song with lines I Saw An X-Ray Of A Girl Passing Gas, from the Hairway To Steven album. (Apologies to German readers and Germano-philes for not using an umlaut in Rontgen.)”
Last, but by no means least, of your suggestions this week, it’s welcome back to The Beard:
“Golden Earring are famously Dutch. The sport of darts has produced many famous Dutchmen, none more so than current world number one Michael Van Gerwen. In the glamour world of professional arrows, walk-on music is standard. His walk-on music is Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes. Frontman Jack White appears to have a low boredom threshold/strong work ethic and was also in, among others, The Raconteurs with a couple of gadges from The Greenhornes. My choice is The End Of The Night by The Greenhornes.”
Whilst Black Francis/Frank Black/whatever he’s calling himself this week and Kim Deal may be (or have been in the latter’s case) the famous ones in the Pixies, this overlooks their drummer, the fantastically named Dave Lovering. Which is probably why he plays an instrument that is played sitting down, to protect his Lovering. (You know when I said I wasn’t going for the easy joke? I lied.)
And one more from me. Some people claim to be able to use their Radar to establish what sexual preference a person is. Often this is referred to as a Gay-dar. Which sounds too much like this for me to be able to resist:
CC – you were so close to gaining some bonus points. So near, and yet so far…
Ok, so you all know what to do next. Send me, via the Comments section below, you’re suggestions for records which can be linked to “Radio Radio” by Elvis Costello & The Attractions, along with your explanation of the link between the two (or in The Robster’s case, five).
Mention Glastonbury to anyone who’s never been, and they will say one or both of the following two things:
1) they will make some reference to you, and everyone else who has ever been to Glastonbury, being a drug taking hippy,
2) they will say something about how crappy the weather always is.
Neither of these things are, of course, entirely true.
You may have noticed that in my last two posts, whilst I haven’t exactly banished the spectre of Glastonbury as a haven for spliff-puffing, pill popping longhairs (it isn’t, though there is a fair bit of hippyness going on) I have tried to shy away from mentioning the weather, partly because it’s so damned predictably English to talk about the weather, but mostly because on the whole it wasn’t too bad in 2003 and 2004.
In fact, I came away from Glastonbury 2004 with quite the tan, mostly because I’d lost my cap on pretty much the first day, and hadn’t bothered applying any sun cream for the rest of the weekend. On my first day back in work afterwards, I was met with a couple of “Fucking hell, where did you go on holiday?”s, although this was probably because my bald bonce had burned so badly I was quite literally able to peel a whole layer of skin off in one go, leaving me with what appeared to be a swimming cap made of my own skin, like some macabre tribute to Duncan Goodhew made by Hannibal Lecter.
So that was the look I was rocking post Glasto 2004: draw a line through the middle of my forehead and I was bright sore pink above it and tanned brown below. I must have looked like I was going to a fancy dress party, had taken it waaaaay too seriously, and was going as a Big Dog’s Cock.
But I digress. There’s really no getting away from it, the weather at Glastonbury 2005 was terrible. We (a considerably smaller posse this time, but I really have lost track of who was there this year) arrived on the Wednesday of our hat-trick year, pitched up and wandered round, and the weather was gorgeous, no sign at all of the quite literal storms to come. This continued through Thursday, and by Thursday evening we were all beginning to believe that we were about to experience that most rare of things: a sunny Glastonbury festival.
No such luck. On Thursday night/Friday morning, the rain came down. And down. And down. Camp sites were flooded, tents and their belongings swept away. Proceedings at the Pyramid were delayed starting due to flooding, with the first two acts, Adjágas, and The Subways having to bow to the storm and the threat of electrocution.
When I was researching (alright, trying to jog my memory) about the 2005 festival, I came across this on YouTube, footage taken by a festival goer showing before, during and after the storm. It kinda has the feeling of one of those camcorder horror films like Blair Witch Project, or Cloverfield that were all the rage a few years ago; for the 1:40 seconds at the start you just know something terrible is going to happen and then…boom!
But something happens when the Glastonbury Festival is hit by extreme weather. All the festival goers seem to come together in defiance, determined to have a good time no matter what the skies may throw at them, and assuming that your tents survived the deluge that’s about all you can do: chuck a waterproof on, decide “Aww, fuck it”, neck some scrumpy, and soldier on. That’s British Bulldog Blitz Bravado, right there.
Anyway, tracking down footage of some of the acts playing in 2005 proved rather difficult, presumably because most of the TV companies covering the event decided to follow the example of the Pyramid on Friday morning and elected not to risk electrocution by filming much bar the headliners.
As a result, I have nothing to offer you in respect of Editors on The Other Stage on the Friday morning, after which we trudged over to the newly named John Peel Stage to catch Maximo Park. We didn’t manage to see them, but we did manage to stand outside the rammed tent and hear them, a bit. You can get a better idea of how they were here.
Next it was over to The Pyramid to see the legend that is Elvis Costello. Sometime in the late 1980s I’d picked up a copy of his “The Man (The Best Of Elvis Costello)” album. This was back in the days when people released a “Best Of..” album when they had established themselves, and had a wide body of work to choose from and show off about, rather than after two or three albums with a couple of new tracks thrown in to sucker you into buying it. I’m with Dave Gorman on this one. (Hopefully, that link should take you to a rather brilliant analysis of the content of Scouting For Girls’ Greatest Hits album. Scroll up to the start of the chapter if it works. If it doesn’t, then buy the book from which it’s lifted “Too Much Information: Or: Can Everyone Just Shut Up for a Moment, Some of Us Are Trying to Think” here)
It would seem that the British Bulldog Blitz Bravado spirit hadn’t quite kicked in yet; much as I loved his set, Elvis went on record saying it was “fucking dreadful” and pledged never to play in the UK again (a threat he has, thankfully, reneged on since, returning to the festival in 2013, sporting, it has to be said, a rather natty hat)
Here’s him doing sticky Valentine unrequited love classic Alison, and segueing into something by some other chap also called Elvis. Not sure what happened to him.
Next up, Doves. Not much to say here, other than I miss them a lot more than I thought I would. Their slightly brooding but captivating sound certainly seemed to sum up how everyone was feeling as the weather resolutely refused to improve.
Next, The Killers. Promoting their first album, the aptly titled Hot Fuss, they were much anticipated by all that had not yet seen them. I, and most of our gang, being super-cool indie kids, had already seen them, headlining the NME Awards Tour earlier that year, with support from (and get this): Bloc Party, The Futureheads, and Kaiser Chiefs. Now THAT’S a line-up.
We’d decided they were okay enough to warrant us sticking around and to watch them again, though this decision had more to do with the mud underfoot and the fact that The White Stripes were on next as headliners than any particular desire to watch The Killers again. That said, they put on a pretty good show, opening with my personal favourite by them, Somebody Told Me, followed by Jenny Was A Friend of Mine (a song which, to this day, my friends and I are unable to say the title of without doing it in that ridiculous yelp Brandon Flowers does when introducing it here), before rounding off things with the song that has perhaps the most cringe-worthy rhyming couplet ever in it All These Things That I Have Done The reaction of people to this song baffles me to this day, all eyes closed, hands and lighters in the air like it actually means something. I’m with Bill Bailey on this one.
Much like Adam Buxton in Commentary Corner, I can’t resist looking at the comments left under a clip on YouTube, and some of the screaming outrage on show under the clip of Mr Bailey, left by Killers fans, is the internet version of those earnestly singing along to utter claptrap. Like Daniel Pacheco, for example, who says “The phrase in context of the song makes perfect sense. Hell even taken out of context it makes perfect sense. Bill Bailey is obviously retarded”. Well, no, Daniel, it does not, and I note that you haven’t actually gone as far as to explain why you think it makes sense. I would challenge him to expand on his theory via the YouTube comments, but I won’t, partly because I’d like to think I’m above that sort of thing, but mostly because I’m not a masturbating fourteen year old. Sighs…I wish….
Anyway, The White Stripes are next, and they do their thing, which is Jack tossing off some awesome riffs whilst Meg just twats the fuck out of her drums, the two seemingly bearing no relation to each other, yet somehow working brilliantly at the same time. We get every White Stripes song you could wish for: Blue Orchid, Hotel Yorba, Jolene, My Doorbell, I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself, and, of course, Seven Nation Army to name but a few that anyone has actually heard of.
So ended Friday, and off to our tents we all trudged (eventually), hoping Saturday would be a little drier.
It was, but not much. No more floods, thankfully, but still not exactly flip-flop weather.
My day was spent flitting between The Other Stage and The Pyramid. Apparently Goldie Lookin’ Chain played The Pyramid on Saturday morning, and a tiny part of me wonders if this is where my confusion with them playing in 2004 comes from, but a larger part of me remains fairly sure the line up was as I remember. Anyway, I couldn’t find any footage of them in 2005, so I guess I’ll never know.
Next up: Kaiser Chiefs. As already mentioned, we’d caught them on the NME Tour earlier that year, and until that night I’d been totally non-plussed by everything I’d heard from them. But that night they completely blew me away: they were first on the bill, started their set off with a blistering rendition of “Na Na Na Na Na”, took no prisoners after that, and to my mind utterly upstaged all the acts that came after them.
Their set at Glastonbury followed pretty much the same pattern, and whilst The Pyramid Stage is a rather different proposition to Cardiff University’s Great Hall, they still were pretty darn good. Here’s two out of the three of their early singles that have the trademark “Whooooooooaaaaaaahhhhhhh” in them: Oh My God and, of course, I Predict a Riot.
Next on The Pyramid, Ash. It’s incredible to think that they were still in their late-twenties by 2005; they seemed to have been around for ever, churning out indie classic after indie classic for ten years or so. They don’t need any more introduction, so here’s A Life Less Ordinary and Burn Baby Burn.
Back over to The Other Stage now for the obligatory Echo & The Bunnymen set, The Killing Moon being an obvious high-light, closely followed by Interpol.
Interpol are one of those bands that seemed to have made one awesome album (Antics, for the record) and several kind of okay ones. Luckily, they were promoting said album in 2005, so we got Slow Hands and Evil (I’ve never seen them since, but I imagine they’re staples of every set).
Who’s on next? Wait…is that….Fuck, run!! Head for the hills!! It’s Kasabian!!!
Luckily, over at The Pyramid there was New Order, back in the days when they were still speaking to each other, kind of, occasionally, if they had to. This was a proper tear through their back catalogue, plus a couple from their slightly iffy new album, so we got some Joy Division (Love Will Tear Us Apart, of course), some classic New Order (Temptation) and Keith Bloody Allen, coming onstage riding a pantomime horse, comic genius that he is, so he could “join in” on World In Motion.
Choice of Saturday night headliners had been a bit of a quandary for me this year. 90% of our group elected to watch Razorlight on The Other Stage; promoting their one half decent album (Up All Night) they were probably the wise choice. However, one of the group really wanted to go to The Pyramid and watch…Coldplay. Somewhat bashful after how rude I was to the girl the previous year who wanted to watch Muse rather than Orbital, I think I decided I needed to do something to sort my karma out (now there’s some hippy bullshit, right there).
So, I volunteered – yes, volunteered!! – to go watch Coldplay with my buddy. Now that’s friendship.
They couldn’t be that bad, now could they? I reasoned.
Oh, but yes they could.
I can honestly say that I have never been so deathly bored at a gig in all my life. The one highlight, if you can call it that, was their cover of “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head“, played as attribute to Kylie, who had to pull out of doing the headline slot on Sunday due to fairly well-publicised health problems.
Needless to say, they turn one of the finest pop records of the 21st century into a dull dirge. Oh and Chris, don’t give up the day job for comedy.
People, if you buy Coldplay records, CDs or MP3s, or go to their gigs, or buy their T-shirts, then please stop. You’re just encouraging the morose posho dullards.
Sunday arrived, and the weather didn’t seem to be showing any sign of improvement. And then Brian Wilson played The Pyramid, and suddenly everything was alright with the world, for, just like during Belle & Sebastian’s set the year before, the sun suddenly came out to play, only this time we had Surfin’ USA, California Girls and a whole host of other Beach Boy-tastic tunes rather than wry Scottish indie pop songs about someone called Judy dreaming about horses to celebrate to. I have deliberately not posted a link to film footage of the set, partly because I again struggled to find much of decent quality, but mostly because if I had, you would have to watch Brian looking…well, let’s just say he didn’t really seem to be fully aware of where he was, what was going on, and what he was doing, for the majority of the set. But no matter, Glastonbury loved him for bringing the California sun with him.
Next up: Garbage. I don’t mind a bit of Garbage, and actually met lead singer Shirley Manson many years ago when she was backing singer in Goodbye Mr Mackenzie (CLANG! – the sound of a name drop there). Actually, she won’t remember it (nor should she) and I certainly don’t. I’ll explain this some other time. Needless to say, there is no gossip for you to get your teeth into.
Garbage were here in support of their fourth album, “Bleed Like Me”; an album that I would struggle and fail to name a single song from, much the same as with their third album, whatever that was called. Thankfully, they knew what to do in a festival atmosphere, so we got the decent singles from their first two (good) albums: Stupid Girl, Push It, and the apt-if-only-you’d-been-on-stage-a-couple-of-hours-earlier Only Happen When It Rains
Next: Primal Scream. I love a bit of Gillespie, Innes and Co., and now the sun was out, and about to go down again, I, along with probably about 85% of the rest of the crowd wanted a set of sunny-Screamedlica songs to compliment our new found joy and dryness. The signs were good when the into music was the chorus of the single version of “Come Together”, but The Scream don’t really “do” what you expect, so instead of summery dance records, we got their Kraut-rock set, which was fine, they were still fantastic, just not what most of wanted, I think. They started by launching into a blistering version of Accelerator before ending up with Movin’ On Up via Swastika Eyes .
I say “ending up”, but anyone who was there, or watched it on television, will know that their set didn’t end after Movin’ On Up. Well not straight afterwards. Bobby was clearly not impressed that Basement Jaxx were now headlining the Sunday night in place of Kylie, and decided that he wanted to a) berate the crowd, and b) play another song. Some of his taunts are just priceless (“Do you wanna dance? Yeh?? Well you should’ve been here fifteen fucking years ago”). This, I have decided, was definitely aimed at me and the rest of the Screamadelica crowd. He had a point.
So, on to Basement Jaxx. You’ll recall that many of my fellow festivalees had chosen them over Paul McCartney the previous year, and whilst I have no regrets about seeing the former mop-top, I have to admit the Jaxx were incredible, giving Glastonbury the dance Bobby refused to and Kylie would have done.
Again, for some reason, footage seems to be in short supply; here’s U Don’t Know Me from Glastonbury, and Oh My Gosh, which isn’t, despite it being the first time I ever heard it, and it became possibly my favourite song by Basement Jaxx.
Oh My Gosh was a new track on Basement Jaxx’s “The Singles” album. Which I bought. What does that say about me, Mr Gorman?