Friday, 29 June 2012

Saint Etienne - Wouldn't It Be Nice...

I've been dying to hear their cover of this, must've missed when it was on the recent MOJO cd, and I don't have the boxset.  Wouldn't It Be Nice was always my favourite Beach Boys song, and strangely enough, I just bought Pet Sounds for the first time last night!  I know, I know.  I loved The Beach Boys when I was a kid and my parents would play me the early singles (my dad always used to play Fun, Fun, Fun on his guitar for us, another one of my favourites).  And for years I knew I *should* get into them, but being the obsessive record collector that I am, the task seemed so daunting.  Much like how I know one day I want to, and will, read Finnegans Wake, but when will I ever have the time?  Anyway, Pet Sounds has come up a few times this week, twice the night of the Saint Etienne gig.  They mentioned it in my interview with them and then afterwards I was talking to my friend Jason about it.  And last night, after I read Bill Drummond singing its praises at the end of his 17 book (excellent description of said book by Paul Morley), I thought maybe I should just buy it and do my best not to go overboard.  So I did, and pulled out my really good headphones and put it on as I went to bed.  And then awoke this morning to an email from Jason with a link to the Saint Etienne cover!  And how wonderful it is too.  Glorious vocal harmonies a la the original and also reminiscent of their Tales From Turnpike House record. Lovely tradeoff between Debsey and Sarah.

Original Beach Boys 60s video.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Dracula's Daughter - Candy...

I love this song. It used to come on my ipod and until one day when I bothered to look at the screen, I assumed it was from some obscure 60s girl group comp I had. It is of course one of the made-up bands that Bill Drummond and Mark Manning invented to soundtrack their Bad Wisdom trip. An incredibly entertaining book, as is 45, which I wish I had here with me because I remember him writing about them in it.  But from 17, it says ""Dracula's Daughter were four Andy-Warhol-meets-indie-art-school girls and one of them wore glasses. We fancied them.  Especially the keyboard player who wore woollen skirts and woollen tights."  The whole story behind this soundtrack is fascinating and laudable.  I won't spoil it here by attempting to summarize it.  Read 45 and you'll find it and much more to be highly delighted by.

Saint Etienne - Mario's Cafe...

Been a while, hasn't it?  I interviewed Saint Etienne for The Quietus last night!  Exciting, one of my all-time favourite bands.  Should be up next week.  Palladium gig was great too.  Excellent selection of songs.  I've been reading lots of Bill Drummond's writing lately (more on this in posts to come), so the "And did you see the KLF last night?" line in Mario's Cafe genuinely moved me.  I've always been fond of this song, such a lovely picture it paints.

When I first moved to London, looking for places to live, I went to any areas mentioned in Britpop songs.  Seven Sisters (from Suede's By The Sea),  Mile End and Ladbroke Grove (Pulp), before finally settling in Kentish Town, home to the actual Mario's Cafe.  I breakfasted there a few times, and greatly enjoyed it. On a springtime street with its multi-coloured houses.   I believe the cafe is still open though in subsequent years seemed to be always shut whenever I arrived at its door.

Live on The Beat, 1993:

Live at The Kazimier, Liverpool, 24/5/12:

It was great to remember, and experience, the glorious transcendence of live music last night, hitting me as soon as they swooned into Sylvie and then later with the magnificent He's On The Phone.

Live Top Of The Pops, 1998:

The Sylvie single is perhaps my favourite ever record sleeve.

My post on the magic of He's On The Phone here.

Then when I got home I watched The KLF's 3 A.M. Eternal video for the first time in 20 years.  Although it didn't seem so then, it's really bizarre, and awesome, that this hit the mainstream.  In America, we (or at least the 15-year old I) had no idea of anything they'd done before, so this just came out of nowhere and it was huge.  Referencing The Illuminatus! Trilogy too! When I finally got around to reading that in 2009, it had a profound effect on my life.  For the better I must say.