Sunday, December 11, 2005

The other Jonathan's Indiepop Odyssey- songs 10-15

Err... hello everyone, I'm back. I know these six songs have been on their original home at for a little while now, but better late than never, eh? I will try and get songs 16-21 up here in the next few days.

10 Brighter... Does Love Last Forever?

Well does it? Brighter were the quintessential Sarah records act, in that they were shambolic, shimmering, ephemeral, eternally lovelorn and probably recorded their throwaway jinglyjangly songs about unrequited bedsit passion in a damp attic using borrowed guitars which they didn’t really know how to play. I certainly hope so. Anyway this is the third of three songs on their one-and-only (as far as I know) 7-inch release and for a good few months in Wolverhampton I had to stick it on the turntable as soon as I woke up. I would play it while drawing furiously on the first of the day’s forty Silk Cuts, surveying the French New Wave cinema portraits on my wall, and generally considering myself some kind of Black Country Indie Pop Jean Luc Belmondo.

11 Rythym Sisters.......... American Boys

Who the hell were the Rythym Sisters? Where did they come from and what became of them after they produced this maniacally catchy ditty (it’s like something an indie-pop Bananarama might have come up with) about those pesky American Boys, who apparently fancy themselves as Elvis Presley, and ‘think that they are so damn sexy’? Something tells me that the Rythym Sisters’ only experience of American Boys was watching Starsky and Hutch in their Leeds bedsit, but that doesn’t stop them being damn wonderful, whoever they were.

12 Darling Buds.......... Its All Up to You

The Darling Buds were briefly everyone’s favourite band in 1988, until they signed for a major record label and became persona non grata in indiepop circles. Time has treated their seemingly throwaway slices of furious-paced pop more kindly, even if I did once come across their entire back catalogue in the bargain bin outside of an Oxfam shop in Keswick. This seems cruel; I would rather dwell on my favourite Darling Buds memory, which is of stumbling out of their gig at the Newcastle Riverside and, disorientated by the preceding jangly onslaught (and several cans of Red Stripe) becoming hopelessly lost in the labrynthine passageways of the Swan House roundabout. If I had not been rescued by a fellow concert-goer and pointed back in the direction of the number 12 bus-stop at Eldon Square, I might have been still there now.

13 Fat Tulips Its So True

Nottingham’s Fat Tulips were a sort of poor man’s Talulah Gosh, which is to say, of course, that they were very fantastic indeed. This single (which I think I sent off for from a fanzine) came wrapped in a DIY gatefold cover featuring a cartoon of a quintessential indiepop girl complete with floral dress and lollipop, and a mini-fanzine written by the lead singer, in which she apologised for the record ‘not quite coming out as good as we thought it would’. I wonder if she went on to a succesful career in marketing?

14 Another Sunny Day...... I'm in Love With A Girl Who Doesn't Know I Exist

Another Sunny Day consisted, apparently, of one of the fellows out of the Field Mice sitting in a flat in Bristol with a set of instruments and a primitive recording machine, churning out exquisitely maudlin odes to unrequited love. This one is just one and a half minutes long but they are the mst perfect ninety seconds of unadulterated tweeness you could hear in a long days walk in your Doc Martens. I used to alternate this one with Brighter back in the day, during a time when I was (as befitted my status as a Sarah Records devotee; it was a badge of honour, like your floppy fringe and possibly stolen Marks and Spencers cardigan) In Love With A Girl Who Didn't Know I Existed. Some years later I heard it again, rather surprisingly, on Radio Nacional de Espana, where it was introduced, featuring an instructive use of the present subjunctive tense, as Estoy Enomarado de una Chica que no sabe que yo existe, by Otro Dia Ensolelado. They know their indiepop in Madrid, you know.

15 Wedding Present ........ Nobody's Twisting Your Arm

Did I ever tell you about the time me and a mate spent an hour talking to David Gedge's very charming girlfriend at a gig in Barcelona, until the man himself appeared from nowhere and scowled at us in a most unindiepop fashion until we skulked away into the darkness? Oh, I suppose I probably did- it is to date my only face-to-face meeting with any pop music luminary. I always expected Gedge to write a song about it, but maybe he doesn't remember the incident with quite such clarity. I don't remember the gig all that well, but I do remember our ill-fated and drunken attempts to get home afterwards to my mate's house somewhere in the Catalunya countryside. We walked around Barcelona in circles for three hours, then slept on a park bench until the Metros started running again at dawn. Happy days.


Blogger Damo said...

If you must wander around anywhere aimlessly, I can't think of a better place to do it than Barcelona...

5:07 pm  

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