17 June 2011

1986- "Keeps Spiders in Her Pocket"

Short(ish) and sweet this week, since I am already late posting. (And last week may have been too much talk and too much music). Just four tracks this time, and each, for me, is  resonant of the time.

I decided ages ago this clip had to be posted. It is another one that was on regular rotate at Radio One in 1986/1987. 
Oddly, I only ever saw a few episodes of Spitting Image- on the show, Thatcher was always brilliant, but really, for me it was all about this song- the clip of which I did not see for years. It was highly topical for NZ, the year after widespread demonstrations against the planned All Blacks rugby tour to Aparthied South Africa, combined with legal action, meant the tour  was called off- only to take place in 1986 under the guise of “the Cavaliers”. (And which also led to this song- by a veritable who’s who of NZ music of the time- “Don’t Go”,  reaching the NZ charts)

Of course, South Africa, still appallingly unequal and economically and socially divided, is a better place. Rae is visiting at the moment, and thus far has only met nice South Africans.

Spitting Image- I’ve Never Met a Nice South African

Look Blue Go Purple were legends. It was very cool being a high school kid and popping over to the EMI record shop on Princes Street and seeing Lesley Paris selling records behind the counter. You just don’t get that with downloads! This song is probably more accurately 1985, from their “Bewitched” EP, but I think the vid came out in 1986. 
I did 6th form Classics at school, so always loved the title and topic of this song. (Inside information is that the whiskey they are knocking back in the video is really just cold tea. Not so rock and roll, but probably for the best, given the high, windy (both meanings of the word) roads of the Otago Peninsula) Perfect Pop music.

Look Blue Go Purple- Circumspect Penelope

Bjork. Genius. And something of her solo stuff will no doubt appear at some stage in this blog. 
But this is the Icelandic version of the first most of us ever heard of her- in English it is called “Birthday”, and came out in 1988, but this version is from 1986.
I remember playing it over and over one afternoon, living on Cargill Street in 1989. Oddly, Buck and I took turns at resetting the needle on the turntable, and stood on the arms of different armchairs while it played. About 20 times.
It is worth also checking out a brilliant live version of this, as well as the English language version. Just lovely. And you can sit in your armchair for each, if you so wish.

Sugar Cubes- Ammæli (Birthday)

With so many gorgeous tunes, it was always going to be hard to pick something from the Bats. So if you don’t know much of their stuff, check out more. If you do- well, you know you are going to anyway. This is from the album “Daddy’s Highway”- again, it is listed as being 1986/87, so I am taking the liberty of including it here regardless.
Happily, we got to see the Bats perform either early this year or late last year- twice within 24 hours. They played an excellent gig at Sammy’s on a Saturday night, and then an intimate afternoon gig at  Chicks Hotel in Port Chalmers on the Sunday afternoon. Just like having them play in the front lounge, and was lovely, because both Isaac and Molly came along and enjoyed it. Kinda cool that nearly 30 years after first hearing them that they are still putting out beautiful, original stuff- and that we can introduce it to our own kids.
I decided on this one both because it is just wonderful, and for the poignancy of the site for the video shoot- an intersection of inner city Christchurch that was devastated in the February earthquake. Indeed, it doesn’t look good.

The Bats- Block of Wood

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