14 May 2007

Age of Chance - Kiss


Age of Chance - Kiss cover

I'm really sorry. I only just noticed that the last three postings were all bad tunes. Compelling and captivating, in a watching as you pass a car crash kind of way. But bad nonetheless.

Today I change that.

Last time Prince toured Europe he didn't even play the UK. The nearest he came was frigging Rotterdam. I've been whining about it ever since.

Then he announces that he'll do some European dates this summer. All 21 of them in one month and in London. Not so much a gig residency as a tenancy.

The first seven - at the new O2 Arena, the old Millennium Dome - went on sale on Friday, and I fuckin well got some. Face value only 30 quid, which is a lot compared to other gigs I go to but nothing compared to others at the O2.

The Stones are trousering 70-150 notes per punter. Which is fair enough, they are the best live band ever, capable of blowing anyone else off the stage.

Barbra Sodding Streisand is charging up to 500 quid! Excuse me? I get the very strong feeling I'm missing something here. Isn't she basically Elaine Page?

Not content with his excessive style, Prince is dishing out a free copy of his new album to all ticket buyers, a move that made his record company go 'what new album? he never told us about a new album'. What a dude.

So, being from Leeds and going to see Prince, I present the only other Leeds/Prince interface I can think of.

It's 1986, less than nine months after Prince's sinewy upright funk original was released, and Leeds' own Age of Chance come at it like a runaway steam train. Hard, heavy, electronic yet dirty, like a prototype for Pop Will Eat Itself and Jesus Jones. What's more, they release it on pretty green vinyl to boot.

Play it as loud as you can to get that full 'Alternative Night at Mad Hatters in Southport circa 1987' effect.

[Sorry! MP3 deleted to make room for new ones!]

10 May 2007

Cliff Richard - Jesus


Cliff Richard - Jesus 7 inch

No, really.

I found this one in Oxfam in Bradford. With that title, you've gotta give it a go. And my, how it rocketed past my expectations and into the stratosphere.

To start with, the lyric is breathtakingly brazen:

Jesus, Jesus won't you come back to earth?
Jesus, Jesus come back to earth

We apparently want him to save us from people who think 'the world is OK' (yeah, I know it's an abomination since we were cast out of the Garden, eh Cliff?), from 'the love of death' (not at all paradoxical from people who worship an image of a man dying very slowly).

But the best is yet to come. Cliff repeatedly belting out

Save us from the Devil!
Save us from Satan!
Save us from hell!

We've been gently immersed in decades of Cliff's emetic yuletide sludge, so hearing him say anything so loud and proud is a great comic shock.

However, it's the tune that does it. There is something really good about it. Really though. It's got this funky rolling drum pattern, a real groove that's something akin to Young Americans with a Ringoid looseness (albeit with a tinge of something from the Hair soundtrack). And the flanged drums, five years before White Man In Hammersmith Palais.

Then that guitar, nasally distorting like a stylophone until it finally breaks free into what you've been gagging for from the first note, its own free flying freakout solo.

It's a tremendously sticky song - I do warn you that you'll have it going round your head for fuckin ages.

I implore readers to leave suggestions in the comments for excuses to use when someone catches you singing 'Jesus, Jesus won't you come back to earth' or 'save us from hell! save us save us!'.

[MP3 deleted to make room for new ones. Sorry!]