Crepuscular Joy Creeps In With The Spring
Some decidedly non-awful things have been happening around here to offset the ambience somewhat!
It all started when I went to see Ginger at The [aforementioned] Marrs bar gig. I took some percussion, but it didn't work out like that. Infact ginger was nowhere to be called/texted, and for one dreadful moment it looked like I was gonna have to PAY to PLAY! [Normally of course, I'd revel in that and have it large anyway... but if you could see my bank balance... well, you know what it's like... it's good for my cred to be a fucking pauper] Anyhoo as luck would have it, once I'd found a parking spot and smoked a cheroot before entering, big Jase turned up! What a welcome sight that big bear made I can tell ya...
In no time he had disappeared into the venue on a mission, and barely a moment later Chris [Catalyst] turned up like a forgotten lump of Manali in my ticket pocket, and whisked me in. Notwithstanding his stuff with The Sisters of Mercy, ANTIPRODUCT or his alter-comic-ego Robochrist, it turned out the evening was to be augmented with a thrash or two from his newbie writing/live vehicle-thing, EUREKA MACHINES I have given a link to their MySpace page 'cos they were just too wonderful to describe, U gotta hear'em.
Chris was full of 'flu but it didn't matter, him and Davros ploughed into the crowd and carried it off like the stars they are. When they did Witchita Lineman... [yes I thought it was gonna be the Ginger version off the Howlin' Willy album, but it wasn't] ...both of 'em just with their voices and an electro-acoustic each, it sounded like the best song ever written.
When Ginger and Scott came on later Chris stayed up there to support and play the odd bass line and sing despite the 'flu... and he was still there after the master frontman had played non-stop for 80 mins segueing effortlessly between songs from Wild Hearts past, songs from Yoni and Valor, and even songs from the brand new solo album of Ginger's Market Harbour (previous link also)
'Course I knew I'd done quite a bit on that album, as luck would have it, some of the sessions had taken place in Brum, [at The Custard Factory] so happily for me and naturally for the big man, he gave me a call... and I managed to get a couple of days free and... well, I have ended up all over it like a rash basically!
I've been lucky enough to have that... "ooohh I'm on that album, and I liked what I was doing, but it was so long ago, and I couldn't have roughs, so I've got no idea what I did, or what else has been added, or any real recollection of any of the tunes even, -so, I wonder what it's gonna sound like" ...rush, quite a number of times in my life before, [being the old bastard that I now am] but I don't think I've ever been quite so pleasantly surprised.
There are just a LOT of great moments on that recording, I'm not gonna try to describe the thing, except perhaps to mention that the format is my favourite one... 21 tracks no gaps, but when you get given a couple of LEAD vocals by a singer/frontguy/giant like Ginger, on his own Solo Album, well... you hope you're gonna sound quite good...
Finally getting hold of a copy, [they were on sale at the venue] I didn't have chance to play it for a couple of days, but when I first did it was in a reflective mood, and make no mistakes, fantastic Uber rockers that The Wildhearts are, Ginger's solo stuff is a bitch! The lyric, the emotion, the 'real-ness' of the material could only be achieved by someone that's taken quite a few good looks over the edge, and decided to stick it out and try to make art instead of jumping headlong in. Maybe that's why It appeals to me I dunno... of course there's always Cardiacs legend Tim Smith to be factored in, and let me tell you people, we're talkin' about an immeasurable factor...
It's not like it's all Tim or he's all over it, or he makes or breaks it or any of that crap, it's just that when he does make a contribution in this sort of context, his musical brain [which is at least the size of China] and pedigree just shines on out at you, or it does to me anyway. Like an ice pick in the forehead, and yet also in a manner, it has to be said, that is not unreminiscent of a crazy diamond.
When I first heard the far-too-incredibly beautiful little bagatelle that serves as a link out of 'House Of Moths' into 'How Hard' I literally had to stop the car and pull over and replay it a few dozen times just to check my ears weren't making things up... but no, it really does sound like that. The character and quality inherent in that perfect miniature had moved me... in that way that one can never really describe in words, only feel, you know?... right down there... you know what I mean... there.
When you hear something like that, you can only feel privileged and lucky to be the guy providing the wall of backing vocals that are disappearing in the cross-fade as it begins, so thank you Ginger... and Thank You Tim, [that's Mr. Smith to me] thank you very much in-DEED.
Stay tuned for Part Two
the freak xxx