K. (infinitemonkeys) wrote,

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Lugubrious Barry and the World of Twist

I am as spoiled as rancid butter. I was going to try not to read about the new X-Files movie but who was I kidding? I was the kind of kid who read the end of the book first, I'm the kind of adult who reads spoilers.

Yesterday I took the Not!Godchildren to see Kung Fu Panda, which was cute and just funny and beautiful enough to hold all our attentions. Then we went to Clissold Park and hung out in the sunshine while spotting EastEnders actors by the padding pool. Today was really, really hot so I spent most of the day out in the garden, listening to the Doctor Who prom (which was lovely and made me wish I'd bought tickets to take the Not!Godchildren) and Radio 4. My wireless also works in the garden. Yay for reading online stories and noodling about while listening to music, eating Twister lollies and getting a tan.

A while ago, me and lilydale did this thing where we talked about songs we loved, and I let it slip badly. I am going to try to get started again. I know I talk about some music that I am certain a lot of you think is wanky, if you think about it at all. You know, Tuvan throat singing and German electronic music and Girls Aloud FFS, but I do sincerely love it to pieces. I don't expect everyone to like it.

However, if you didn't like this song, I would seriously, seriously question whether you love music at all. I would question whether you had ears. This song is the *absolute* dog's bollocks. It is five minutes of propulsive, adrenalin-fuelled joy. If you don't want to dance to it, why? Is your arse asleep? Have your cognitive abilities deserted you? Are you perhaps dead?

World of Twist - Sons of the Stage

This is the album version. It begins with a sort of tense, coiled wispy intro with swathes of Hammond organ, and weirdly Dire Straits-Money for Nothing-style guitar very low in the mix, but then at 0:35 the riff kicks in like something Keith Richards *dreams* he wrote.

The best moment comes from about 2:00 onwards when the song is stripped back to beat and organ, with some small noodly guitar decorations, then at 2:34, there's this glorious explosion of drumming and one repeating high note with a synthesiser shimmer straight out of an early 90s dance record, and whoooosh! off you go, like someone just took off the brakes again. Magnificent.

The lyrics are the best evocation I have ever heard of what it was like to dance at a rave.
The floor's an ocean and this wave is breaking
Your head is gone and your body's shaking
There is nothing you can do because there is no solution
You gotta get down to the noise and confusion

World of Twist were the Manchester band everyone expected to be the next big thing, then grunge happened and the band were disintegrating anyway and all they left was this one album, Quality Street, (good but not entirely living up to its name), and a handful of utterly fantastic singles. I've posted one of those singles before, their cover of the Jagger/Richards song She's A Rainbow, but I had completely forgotten about Sons of the Stage, mostly because I only ever had it on cassette and the album sold so few copies that second-hand copies started going for thirty quid a pop.

Sadly, Tony Ogden, the prime force behind the band, died in 2006 but this is an indelibly magnificent artefact to leave behind.

In the six or so years I lived in Manchester you couldn't go to an indie club without hearing this record but my strongest memory of it is going to the chippie/pizza place near the International II with a mate and this was playing. We'd been drinking on and off all afternoon and were pleasingly uninhibited without being actually pissed. This came on the radio and we started dancing, and even the bloke behind the counter was looking pleased and nodding his head.

Such is the power of Sons of the Stage. It will make you dance in chippies.

Actually WoT are one of those lost bands whose names are dropped in interviews. Oasis used to use it in their pre-show music, and used to talk in hushed tones about the album it came from.

I used to have Quality Street on a cassette made for me by Lugubrious Barry. Lugubrious Barry came from Chorley. He had a fantastic record collection and posters of fractals on his walls which he could actually explain in scientific terms. He had the world's coolest haircut at the time, a kind of total hair that made him look like a particularly troubled mushroom. He was studying astrophysics and had a perpetual air of wistful gloom. Hence "Lugubrious Barry". (We would give everyone had descriptive nicknames at the time. It was a thing)

He was actually a very, very sweet boy but my friend at the time had a crush on him and would not tolerate other girls speaking to him. Including his girlfriend, and of course, me. She would disappear off to his room for hours on end to talk to him, listen to records and be ostentatiously unhappy that she could not be his.

Why, yes, she was crazy. (And she's now a teacher. Joy!) Lugubrious Barry, however, was not crazy. He wrote a really sweet, short letter to me a couple of years after I'd left university because he saw my byline in the paper and I really wish I had tracked him down. Now, of course, I can't even remember his surname, and I don't think plugging "Lugubrious Barry" into Facebook is going to help much.

Anyway, back to WoT: I found their album on iTunes today. I've searched before so it must be a relatively new addition. It's a tenner instead of the usual but that's because you get a second disc of remixes. However it's worth your cash.


* * *

At some point I will talk about politics again. I just did the political compass test and came out even more leftwing and libertarian than before. To be honest my inclinations are pretty much authoritarian but it's not something I like about myself so I tend to overcompensate in surveys. The leftwing thing though, that's all me. I like paying taxes if it means I get my NHS and my BBC.

It's quite something to be some way further to the left of the major political party in the country though.

When I woke up on Friday morning and read the news, it had a HSQ* of eleventy, given that it took a 22% swing away from Labour to hand the election to the Scottish Nationalists. I don't think people were voting *for* the SNP so much as they were voting against Gordon Brown to punish him -- mostly for things that aren't his fault. The Blairites are being nauseating as usual, barely containing their glee. I want to shake them until their teeth rattle because at this rate we'll get David Cameron for Prime Minister and the Labour Party will spend another 10 years tearing itself to bits as the Tories make hay by dismantling everything that makes this country wonderful. God, can you imagine the gloating?

I think Brown can expect a shiv in the back in short order. The trouble is that all the would-be replacements for Brown are intellectual pygmies, too fatally compromised or too young.

The general consensus at work is that Gordon Brown has entered the IDS stage of public consciousness, wherein no matter what he says it will be met with derision. Also when asked "how stupid do you think Middle England is?" the answer is "stupid enough to vote for the fucking Tories."

[*Holy Shit Quotient, ( TM the Buffistas)
Tags: 31 songs, music, politics, tv:xf

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