Shivers Inside
Ashley & Jackson – Solid Gold

Once upon a time I was accused of disappearing into my world of books and films where darkness came too soon.  Total nonsense of course.  There was music too.  But the suggestion was that I was missing out.  Total nonsense too.  Products have so much to teach us.  So many stories to tell …

Mmm nice one.  This has to be my favourite track of the year.  “You better make your way to the dancefloor.  Money moves the hearts and minds …”  Mind you I don’t know anything about Ashley or Jackson, but I am seriously approving of this song.  My mate says the LP doesn’t really cut it, but Martin Moscrop produced it, which is a connection that gets our seal of approval.  My mate, he’s a big Certain Ratio man.  He’s just gone to the bar, but please don’t get him started on how they’ve never really got their dues. 

No I won’t be shaking my tail feather tonight.  I have to be honest, and say I made a bit of a foul up on the sartorial front.  I don’t want acid hooligans trampling all over my new Puma States.  It’s also a bit on the hot side out there.  And I have only got a rather dodgy t-shirt on under this Gabicci top, and it would not be the done thing to be seen in that.  Anyway this is a rather fetching top would you not agree, and it would be something of a shame to deprive the public of its delights.  I got it for a ridiculously small sum locally.  I think a number of the local golfing types have been having a bit of a clear out, and I’ve been stocking up on the Gabicci and Roberto Carlos numbers.  The only downside is that those Duffer of St George people seem to be making something of a killing selling our own look back to us, and it’s devaluing the statement a little but we’ll let that go.

Did you see that Young Disciples sleeve?  You have to give those guys credit.  They were sporting some serious knitwear on there.  I really am keen to hear more of their stuff.  This Talkin’ Loud label could be something special.  I must admit I am a little more comfortable in my mind now that Gilles is involved with Norman Jay, the original Mr Rare Groove, rather than Eddie Piller who I always thought had a little of the used car salesman aura about him than was strictly necessary.  But the new decade of modernism vibe is a good one, and it will help rid us of some of the baggy brigade.  If I hear another wah wah riff welded to a funky drummer loop I shall not be held responsible for my actions.

All things considered though it has been a fantastic year for pop music.  I think it’s been the best year for pop singles since 1980, so there maybe something about the first year in each decade.  I’ve been buying so much stuff from the local record shop he thinks I’ve lost the plot.  But I’m loving it.  We’ve had Groove is In The Heart, Ten City, Bocca Juniors, A Man Called Adam, Definition of Sound’s Now Is Tomorrow, Bonita Applebum, Kinky Afro, Chapter and the Verse and Unique 3.  That’s just off the top of my head.  Wonderful.  It’s like all the different colours from the club scenes have run together and created this mad mix that’s not any one particular thing – house or hip hop or jazz or funk whatever.  And it all defies logic.  You know that Marina Van Rooy record right?  Sly One.  It tears me up.  But by all accounts one of the guys from the Lotus Eaters is behind it somewhere, and that should not work.

Talking about things that should not work, did you see Bobby Gillespie earlier?  He looks about 12 with his new haircut doesn’t he?  I had a few words on the way in, and he looked genuinely touched when I said I rather liked Come Together.  Well, I do.  I think it’s fantastic seeing him in Smash Hits.  Bobby and Betty Boo.  A perfect pairing.  I told him I thought they should record something together like Nancy and Lee.  That got him thinking.  Nice Hysteric Glamour number he’s got on.

I meant to ask him about the Hot Chocolate thing.  I am still convinced that Come Together has got a lift from one of the first Hot Chocolate singles on, but I haven’t been able to check.  I don’t care if it does or not really.  I’m all for a bit of Hot Chocolate in any shape or form.  I like a bit of pilfering and re-imagining.  Like I love that Massive Attack song with the David Essex line in.  “I was looking back to see if you were looking back …”  Seems to be a bit of a David thing going on of late.  Everybody’s raving about the new Massive Attack stuff.  I can’t wait to hear more.  I understand Gilles should be playing something early in the new year on his Jazz FM show if he doesn’t get himself banned.  By all accounts he’s been skating on thin ice recently with some of his comments, and I don’t think the sponsors like it very much.

Bobby was asking about the Paul Weller show at Dingwalls, and I told him I thought it was brilliant.  I still can’t believe such a historic event was so low-key, but it felt so right.  I can’t wait to see how things develop, but it seems he’s found a new lease of life.  I was shocked how nervous he was, but it must have seemed weird playing to an intimate gathering like that.  At least he was among friends wasn’t he?  I’m all for the loose groove thing he had going, and he’s every right to tap into the acid jazz thing.  After all he practically invented it.  Have you heard any of the Slam Slam stuff?  He’s written quite a few of the songs that Dee’s recorded.  I’d love to see her have another hit.  People don’t appreciate how good she is.  See The Day was an absolute classic in my book.  It’s one of those songs that’s going to get covered no end.

Did you hear that lad out of the Manic Street Preachers asking what I was doing here?  He’d disappeared before I got the chance to say it certainly wasn’t to see them, or to see some buffoon dance around dressed like a giant flower.  I really am looking forward to seeing Saint Etienne though.  I know it’s not exactly going to be a performance the Musicians Union will approve of, but apparently the girl who is singing with them tonight is something special …

© 2007 John Carney