Walk Like A Man
The Independent called this "a ramshackle cover ... that's as loose as a torn string vest". Which is fair enough. The high pitched falsetto of The Four Seasons' original is handled by the keyboards while MES does exactly what you'd expect him to do. You can see this on You Tube where the comments are hilarious - 'The singer looks like a 60yr old drunk who hates life!... He also sounds like a duck...sounds like he has a mouthful of socks....These donkeyfisting muppets ruined this song...Braver than Jesus.'
Walk Like A Man (live, New York, 2004)
@ 19.05 PM, April 09, 2008
I'm Ronney The Oney
Instrumental that doesn't really go anywhere, but you expect it to. Like previous instrumental snatches, it's reminiscent of a spy TV theme tune with moody bass line, fuzzy synth and clichéd guitar phrases.
I'm Ronney The Oney (Interim, 2004)
posted @ 19.15 PM, April 07, 2008
A birthday present for John Peel. Lo-fi echoey sound with no drums, reminiscent of the early days except with added electronica beeps. Sounds like it was hastily knocked out at the end of their last Peel session, so has a nice languid live feel. A fittingly unique last recording for the great man.
Job Search (John Peel session, 2004)
posted @ 11.20 AM, April 06, 2008
I Can Hear The Grass Grow
Move cover. Takes a few listens to sink in, but what a triumph. That vocal strain to approach the melody, accompanied by backing vocals getting it just right is a winning combination. The Peel version's probably best, more immediate and the guitar is just perfect on that 'Get a hold of yourself now baby' bit. Even the wah wahs are good. The single version has added echoes and a brilliant sweeping guitar/keyboard bit at the end of the verse riff.
Video here: I Can Hear The Grass Grow
I Can Hear The Grass Grow (John Peel session, 2004)
I Can Hear The Grass Grow (single, 2005)
posted @ 11.20 AM, April 06, 2008
What About Us?
Harold Shipman, GP serial killer, raises his ugly head in this witty exploration of immigrant fascination and interpretation of the bad doctor's drug distribution system. Written by Mrs Smith, she would appear to represent the 'rabbit from East Germany' frolicing through the song demanding equality and attention. The strong, insistent riff is slower on the Peel version with more structured rockist chords, but all the better for it. Another live belter, partly thanks to the handy singalong 'Shipman!' chant. Hop hop hop!
Video here: What About Us?
What About Us? (John Peel session, 2004)
What About Us? (Fall Heads Roll, 2005)
What About Us? (live, Manchester, 2005)
posted @ 13.10 PM, April 04, 2008
Solid gold Fall masterpiece. A thing of beauty. It's hard to describe the magical sounds layered throughout this incredible track. It's just something you have to experience and is kind of shattering. The rumbling bass and simple keyboard line build and build until you're knocked into submission. Live, on a good night, it's just mind blowing. MES has stated that the song was at least in part inspired by reviled former Home Secretary, David Blunkett but, really, the subject matter takes a definite back seat here to the feel of it, although that vocal delivery is, as always, vital. Lyrical wizardry includes, '99% of non smokers die', while, 'Do you work hard?' harks back to 'Chicago, Now!'
Video here: Blindness
Blindness (John Peel session, 2004)
Blindness (Fall Heads Roll, 2005)
Blindness (Interim, 2004)
posted @ 13.30 PM, April 03, 2008
An energising slice of rockabilly glam. Framed by chatter on Fall Heads Roll with some extra whistling, so it has that 'party in the studio' type atmosphere. The Peel version is a strangely different beast altogether with a radical change of pace half way when a variation on the old Iggy 'I wanna be your dog' slow riff comes in. Also some impromptu funny lyrics, too - 'Now eight is eight and in French it's.../I didn't get past the six/In German, it is sieben - the one after that.' The bass slows down forever at the end of the Peel session. Brilliant version. Good live too, with keyboard prominent.
Video here: All Clasp Hands
Clasp Hands (John Peel session, 2004)
Clasp Hands (Fall Heads Roll, 2005)
All Clasp Hands (live, Interim, 2004)
posted @ 12.50 PM, April 02, 2008