As mentioned in my last post, I am taking a break for a few days.
Will you miss me?
I will not be gone for long – just a week or so. I have decided I need to rest my weary head and recharge my batteries.
Later, pop fans.
(All I really need is for a beautiful girl from Baltimore to fly over and give me a kiss. And of course, I wouldn’t settle for just one.)
On the Fantastic hifi today:
Get Happy – Elvis Costello and the Attractions
I’m so proud of some of the reviews Enormous – and Slaughterhouse 5 – have garnered in the past that I thought I might reproduce a few here.
Here is one from the Sunday Times Music Supplement:
‘Pure horn-rimmed pop with brass reinforced hook-lines that don’t let go. Enormous deliver upbeat, soppy, sing-along choruses one minute, then dark Costello-ish verses the next.’
Yep, that’s right: the writer compared me to Elvis Costello, He’s something of a hero of mine, don’t you know.
(Putting aside the obvious ones – Beatles, Kinks, Small Faces etc.)
My work has often been compared to the Undertones, the Buzzcocks, and latterly, the Wonderstuff. (‘Think of What Do I Get? By the Buzzcocks and Unbearable by the Wonderstuff and you’ll get the idea’ – Johnny Cigarettes, NME). Though the renowned music business impresario Miles Copeland – head honcho at IRS Records who the band were initially signed to – said the material reminded him of the Cortinas and the Jags (I think he had a car obsession.)
Well, while it’s true I have always loved bands like the Undertones, The Clash and especially the Buzzcocks, I must admit I was at the time more influenced by my love of the Stiff Records and later Demon Records recording artists. And it must be said that Reckless Eric’s Whole Wide World has always been Graham’s favourite song from that period, too. I grew up listening mostly to the likes of Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Nick Lowe, John Otway, Dr Feelgood, Micky Jupp and Edwyn Collins though my biggest faves were, and still remain, Squeeze – who were actually on A&M because of the Miles Copeland connection but sounded as though they should have been part of the Stiff roster.
Boy, I really loved that stuff and still do. Listen to Inconvenience, You Only Need Me, the country and western version of That Is Not Love , That Girl Again, Give The Boy A Chance and you’ll hear where I stole all my ideas from.
When Squeeze songsmiths Difford and Tilbrook got ‘the new Lennon and McCartney’ tag following the release of East Side Story (my all-time favourite album), I felt suitably vindicated in my appreciation of their obvious talents as writers – I had previously been lampooned for my tastes by my fellow sixth-formers who were mostly into Motorhead, a band that was also, perversely, part of the Stiff stable at one time.
I think you can still easily hear the Difford and Tilbrook/Costello influences in the new songs I’ve written
As far as guitar playing goes, that’s an easy one. Nobody influenced me more than good old Phil Manzanera, especially the stuff he did with 801 whenever he was on one of his many breaks from his Roxy Music duties.