Thursday, November 10, 2005

The other Jonathan's Indiepop Odyssey; songs 7-9

7 Everthing But The Girl...... These Early Days

They wore sensible cardigans and sang about bringing up babies- what could be less rock and roll than these two middle-aged-before-their-time musos with the short back and side haircuts? On the other hand they were very finely-crafted tunes, and even better- produced cardigans. I ended up falling slightly for the music, but wholesale for the attire- every term I would go into Wolverhampton Marks and Spencers and spend forty pounds of my grant on something designed to be worn by my grandad. Hell, if I’d asked him he probably had a few he could have lent me. Everything But the Girl have a lot to answer for.

8 Madness....... Waiting for the Ghost Train

You’d better get used to obscure Madness tracks cos there’s going to be a few of them. This one was their very last single before they broke up- only to launch the first in their interminable series of comebacks. I still think it is one of their very best, though. Apparently Suggs’ opaque lyrics concern politics in Apartheid South Africa, but if you believe that then you probably think Baggy Trousers is a stinging critique of Fidel Castro’s Cuba. Really I think it is about trains.

9 Voice Of The Beehive....... I say Nothing

Some remnants of the Madness rythym section (this is before the start of the interminable series of comebacks) got together with a pair of kooky American girls they had met at a bus-stop, or somewhere, and the result of this happy pop union was Voice of the Beehive. They were like Blondie only with better tunes and if there was any justice in the world would have been just as famous, or at least somewhat more well-known than Katrina and the Waves. As it was ‘The Beehive’ had to settle for being swooned over by a handful of discerning devotees. I was one of them and spent six months in Valencia playing a cassette of their one and only hit album on a tiny tape recorder which was constanty in danger of melting in the forty-degree heat. Come to think of it, I think it eventually did.


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