Friday, January 11, 2008

Five songs from the Five-Centres ipod No.8

I liked Moving Wallpaper, but I couldn't stomach Echo Beach after that, today it's pouring with rain and we all need cheering up. So as it's a Friday, it must be five songs from the F-C ipod day.

'Hooray!' I hear you cry.

The Legend of Xanadu/Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Titch When I was growing up, this lot were local(ish) heroes, hailing from the Wiltshire area. What with them and the Troggs from Andover, they were the closest we had to local rock royalty. Which when you think about it, is amazing, as this is a band that is only remembered now for its joke name. You could call it the TVQuick of pop groups (and I can). And yet they enjoyed a string of great hits for years in the Sixties, including this grandiose, whip-lashing No.1 from 1968. Perhaps you saw it recently on that TOTP they showed in full on BBC4 the other day, where every singer and group involved in that showremains in the public consciousness to this day - even this one, for all the wrong reasons, of course. Check out their greatest hits. The post Dave Dee Mr President is a masterpiece and the sound of 1970. I think Mitch runs a hotel in Salisbury now.

Dress Up In You/Belle & Sebastian The more I hear of this band the more I like them and the more cross I get that I didn't come to them earlier. I had no idea that this is what they're like, kinda Sixties, kinda folky, great wordy epics that draw you in and never let you go. Thanks TJ for pointing me in the right direction in order to discover more.

Love Me, Love My Dog/Peter Shelley What's not to like about this 1975 slice of canine-friendly whimsy? Bit of bassoon, barking effects, rolling guitars on the country side, even whistling. The sort of song that doesn't happen anymore. It makes me feel all warm inside. Did you know Pete was the first Alvin Stardust, and appeared as him once, then passed the mantle on to one Shane Fenton (ne Berneard Jewry), because he didn't want to be bothered with all the dressing up? Me neither. A No.3 by the way.

For Where Have You Been?/Honeybus I can't recommend the Castle Records' Tea and Symphony enough, and the more I listen, the more I love. I'm this close to jacking it all in and running that bistro in Bath or Exeter, all the while pretending it's 1972. This is a gorgeous, bassoon-heavy (at least I think it is, unless anyone can tell me any different), piece of late summer/early autumn represented in song. I only knew I Can't Let Maggie Go before, but now this. I'll never let it go.

Twist and Shout/Deacon Blue Vaguely hip for about five minutes in 1988, they remain as unfashionable today as they almost instantly became. Singer Ricky Ross always struck me as humourless and a bit of a try-hard, and I'm sure I wasn't alone in that. But on the whole I think they've done some good stuff (Chocolate Girl, Queen Of The New Year, Real Gone Kid), and I do have a soft spot for this song. Mainly because it reminds me of a great fun barge holiday with eight friends in 1991. This, along with Rush Rush by Paula Abdul, International Bright Young Thing by Jesus Jones and I'm Too Sexy by Right Said Fred were never off the radio. But when I hear this, I remember lying on the roof of the barge in the sun as it chugged through the Oxfordshire sunshine.


Clair said...

Nice. And talking of Alvin Stardust,the Man About Town tells me that at the height of his fame, he'd even wear those menacing leather gloves whilst doing his Saturday shop. Rock and roll, eh?

SuzyPepper said...

Real Gone Kid reminds me of rollerbooting around our Buckinghamshire cul-de-sac. I used to be in love with Ricky Ross but then I was only 12 (and not very subtle).
Glad to report to being much more in to the Belle and Sebastian in adult years. But those were the days...

TimT said...

I saw Deacon Blue live a couple of times in their heyday, and they were a fine band. I liked the vocal interplay between Ricky Ross and Lorraine Macintosh. It probably helped that Ricky was clearly a big Springsteen fan - live, he used to insert 'Thunder Road' into the middle of 'Chocolate Girl'. Spellbinding stuff.

Bright Ambassador said...

My mum's met Alvin Stardust on many occasions.

Any Slayer on your iPod?

Valentine Suicide said...

I think it was mistake for Ricky Ross to give a microphone to his Mrs.

We've had enough Dr Whos and James Bonds. I think the world is ready for a new Alvin Stardust.

Matthew Rudd said...

I remember Right Said Fred reviewing the new singles in No.1 magazine and when Deacon Blue's new song came up, they simply said: "They should sack that woman."

Gwen said...

Re Deacon Blue - I agree that Ricky Ross appears to be quite humourless. However I saw then live a few months ago and he was quite funny - in a rather droll dry way mind you - but not totally humourless. Good choices there.