I was going to make a joke about how Germans like marching in formation but thought better of it.
I didn’t have a bank account until I started college when I was 20. The jobs I’d had before then paid me cash (in those little brown envelopes nicely stuffed with notes) but I got a grant to go to college and I had to put the cheque somewhere. So I opened an account with NatWest who gave me one of those new-fangled cash cards that let me get money out of a hole in the wall anytime I wanted. Quite a radical idea at the time which meant you didn’t have to rush to the bank before 3pm on a Friday to make sure you had enough cash for the weekend.
But giving a student easy access to money is not a good idea and by the time I left college I had an overdraft of £300, most of which went on beer and records so it’s not as if I wasted it. It seems like a piddling amount now but the bank got a bit shitty about it during my final term and took my cheque book and cash card away from me. I had to go to my branch every time I wanted money and tell them what it was for, saying “I need £40 because they’re having a sale at Our Price” wouldn’t have gone down too well so I had to use it for boring stuff like food. I guess they weren’t confident that I’d be a wealthy, world-famous graphic designer one day. Very wise of them.
I paid it off once I left college and got a job, but then the fools went and gave me a credit card. Uh-oh. Big trouble.
Here’s one of the records I spent my grant cheque on. Super dirty funk music from 1983.
Download: Cash (Cash Money) – Prince Charles & The City Beat Band (mp3)
At least they said “please” which was very nice of them.
I only just heard the sad news that Cecil Womack died last week. Apart from being part of a legendary soul family (and being married to the daughter of another soul legend) him and his missus were responsible for two of my favourite soul records of the 1980s.
“Teardrops” is great but I think I’d give the edge to this one. The albums they come from are both excellent too.
Download: Closest Thing To Heaven (12″ version) – The Kane Gang (mp3)
Remember that period in the mid-80s when lots of white British acts were trying to sound all retro soulful? Adding black backing singers and horn sections to their records, name-dropping Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield, talking about passion all the time. Was that Paul Weller’s fault? Or the Levi’s 501 adverts?
Whoever started it, this was one of the best records to come out of that phase.
This jam was da bomb back in the day. Or something like that.
Well, this was a real find. For years there was a grand total of one Pauline Murray & The Invisible Girls video on YouTube which was frustrating for someone like me who adored Ms. Murray and the album she made with that lot. So finding this clip of them performing three songs was like discovering the Holy Grail, the lost city of Atlantis, and those keys you dropped behind the couch years ago.
I saw her live in 1980 with the Invisible Girls and it’s still one of the best gigs I’ve ever been too, and not just because I had a huge crush on Pauline. They played the entire album and when the audience shouted them back for a third encore Pauline said “we’ve run out of songs” so they played them all again.
Thirty years later and this is still very hard to listen to.
Have a happy weekend!