How To Do A Cover Version

In this sporadic series, one of the central pillars I have identifed in trying to pinpoint what it is that makes a cover version great, is the ability to make it sound your own, like it isn’t a cover version at all.

Perhaps the greatest example of this is Quo’s version of Rockin’ All Over The World, which very few people realise was actually written and originally performed by John Fogerty (of Creedence Clearwater Revival fame).

Don’t worry, I’m not going to post either version today.

But instead, I’ll guide you to Transvision Vamp, a sort-of major label’s attempt to recreate a female fronted indie pop band from the late 1980s/early 1990s, fondly remembered by many for records such as I Want Your Love and Baby I Don’t Care (both great pop records, admittedly). They were sort of a mix between The Primitives and Sigue Sigue Sputnik, if that helps.

That said, one of their other hits – which, I must admit I thought was a follow-up to one of the above, but which turns out to actually be a pre-cursor to their break-through hit I Want Your Love – was this:

Transvision Vamp – Tell That Girl To Shut Up

But little did we know that the record which their record company decided to drop before their massive hit I Want Your Love (which peaked at #5 in the UK charts) was a cover version of a record which barely tickled the Top 40 eleven years earlier in 1979, getting to a less than magnificent #45.


Holly and the Italians – Tell That Girl to Shut Up

To be fair, the song fits Transvision Vamps’ image – or, more specifically that of lead singer Wendy James. Maybe had Holly and the Italians had a peroxide lead singer with distinctive pink lipstick the British record buying public may have fallen for their charms instead.

Anyway, I thought I should get this post out of the way now, because you never know how anything you say online with the word trans mentioned anywhere in it may be interpreted, and that’s one spat I’d rather steer clear of, thank you very much.

More soon.

I’m Not Interested in Anything

It’s a big weekend in the UK.

Firstly, it’s the FA Cup Final, Manchester United v Chelsea.

alan gif

Yawn. I won’t be watching.

And yes, I am bitter, before you ask.

I was at Wembley with my old mate Richie last weekend for Tottenham’s last “home” game of the season, against former Champions Leicester. It was a quiet, uneventful game:

Final Score

We have contacts at the club (hello, and thank you Ray!) so at half time we were ushered into the Members and Sponsors Reception Room; a room which punters pay a lot of money to be in at the same time as some ex-players. I needed to go to the Gents, and found myself stood at the urinal between Pat Jennings and Ricky Villa. I’m still not sure if I actually “went” or not – certainly there was stage-fright on my part (but probably not theirs). I suspect that I just nerd-perspired all of the excess liquid that needed to be expunged from my body.

After the match Richie and I were allowed back into the same Reception Room, for Man of the Match and various sponsor presentations. We – having been told it was perfectly okay to do so – spent a happy couple of hours getting photos of us with Spurs legends. As a result, I now have some photos I’ll cherish to the grave: me (and Richie) with Robbie Keane, Pat Jennings, Gary Mabbutt (he’s diabetic, you know) and Ricky Villa, who,  when we were posing for the photo, I must have told about eight times  that he’s the reason I support Spurs (or, more specifically, because of that goal in the 1981 FA Cup Replay against some up and coming whipper-snappers called Manchester City).

What do you mean, what goal? This one:

Anyway, there were a few other ex-players (legends, if you will) that we didn’t approach for photos (Graham Roberts, Micky Hazard, Alan Mullary, Cliff Jones), one that Richie got a selfie with that I was totally gutted on missing out on (Dimitar Berbatov, who looked cool as flip), one who was at the stadium but didn’t come into the reception area we were in or we would have (Gazza, obviously), and the one who got away, the one that we both really wanted a photo of/with, who we asked and who said he’d be back in a moment, but didn’t: Ossie Ardiles. Maybe next time.

I can guarantee you that the FA Cup Final today will have nowhere near as many goals as we saw last weekend. My prediction – with apologies to London Lee if he’s reading this – is 2-1 to United.

I should stress at this point that I have never correctly predicted a score and if you decide to place a bet based on that last statement that’s entirely up to you. Nowt to do with me, guv.

Here’s a record that sums up how I feel about the game today:


Transvision Vamp – Baby I Don’t Care

The other big event of the weekend here in the UK is the trifling matter of a Royal Wedding.

You’ll probably have guessed from previous posts that I’m no fan of the Royals (the family, not the cigarette brand):


Lorde – Royals

It’s another major event that I won’t be watching.

Throughout the week, the media has been obsessed with whether or not Meghan Markle’s father would be at the wedding and whether he would escort her down the aisle and give her away.

Dropping my feminist dungarees and putting aside my thoughts on what “giving the bride away” says about the patriarchal society we live in and the concept of ownership of women within it, with the news that her father will not be in attendance, I made the following observation at work earlier today:

It seems perfectly fair that Meghan’s father isn’t there. After all, Harry’s father hasn’t been invited either.


I think I upset somebody at work with this throwaway quip, for I was informed that a) somebody on Diana’s side of the family has red hair (I’m not sure how that adds anything to the discussion), and b) these days Harry has developed many of the same gestures and mannerisms of Charles, so he must be his son. I decided to let this slide, rather than point out that by that logic Mike Yarwood is his son too.

A tune, I think:


Elastica – Never Here

I’m sort of DJ’ing (I’ll explain the “sort of” later, if I can be bothered) at a friend’s 40th birthday tonight, so that’ll do for now.

More soon.