Spinning some tunes this week on Saturday Soundtrack is Modern Bric a Brac.
I once heard that the songs you love in your formative years are the ones that you’ll always love the most. That’s my reason for the following eclectic selection. If as a result I persuade you to listen to one you’ve not heard before and you like it too, I’ll be so chuffed.
Double Dutch by Malcolm Mclaren 1983
Whish, whish, whisk is the first sound you hear as the song begins to the sound of skipping rope at high speed and then a Caribbean summer beat kicks in. On screen Malcolm McLaren smiles back at us surrounded by girls of the NYC Double Dutch league. Their skills are awe-inspiring, without a hitch the girls jump at speed through two ropes. Wearing super-short shorts and super cool trainers that could be Adidas the video bounces with happy energy and it just makes me want to skip rope too.
Everybody in the Place by The Prodigy 1991
The boys, Leeroy and Kevin are giving it shapes in an urban setting and the bpm is so fast it’s gotta be rave. The landscape is still NYC and its only ten years later and yet there is such a different feel. The curtain hair cut, pie hats and fat trainers. The music is brilliant. Everybody is in the Place. Let’s go. It’s a call to action. Colours flash and people dance in a club. The high pitched electronic sounds swirl as much around my head as they do in the tune and I want to dance. The boys are having a laugh, the music is anarchic, frenetic and there’s lots of larking about with big smiles and a few shots of police cars on patrol. The video ends with them half-running half-laughing down the middle of a street, no police cars in sight.
Walls Come Tumbling Down by The Style Council 1985
The camera pans around a packed room of seated young people in dull coloured clothing as they clap. The trumpets sound and on stage Paul Weller, the mod-father, still a cocky youth starts to sing. He’s got floppy hair and he’s seriously, fashionably skinny. He sings a politically charged anti-government song. He’s singing in the only jazz bar in Communist Warsaw. The men watch solemnly, some have moustaches and beards and they mostly look unmoved. The video cuts to Weller in the street in jet black shades. His fringe flops over the side of the frame. Back on stage he sings energetically, “until the unity is threatened by / those who have and those who have not”. Dee C Lee sings the chorus “Unity is Powerful”, Weller sings “Lights go out. Walls come tumbling down”.
No Rain by Blind Melon 1993
A little plump girl in black-rimmed specs performs a dance on a make-shift stage dressed as a bumble bee. A man laughs at her and she walks off dejectedly. Cue song. A hippy-looking band with long hair sing American 90s rock delightedly in a field somewhere surrounded by sunshine and yellow topped flowers. The bumble bee wanders on her own through the grey streets of a city looking downcast. The adults she meets are dressed in ordinary clothes and they look down at her and laugh. The band keep singing, “all I can say is that my life is pretty plain / I like watchin’ the puddles gather rain”. The bumble bee looks through a gate and her face with the crooked spectacles lights up. She’s found a bright field filled with other people dressed as bumble bees and they’re all dancing together in a circle.
Traffic by Stereophonics 1997
“We all face the same way” sings Kelly in a croak and I’m back in the Millenium stadium in Cardiff. The whole stadium seems to be singing in one voice, “Is anyone going anywhere?” we sing to the beat. Fast forward fifteen years and I’m standing in the middle of a crowd at the Brighton Centre and Kelly is singing the same song on stage. Surrounded by an audience that could very well have been at a Stereophonics gig over a decade ago too, the crowd look mature. But Kelly sings to me, just to me and I reply. Shouting up at the stage in my best Belfast accent I shout, “I love you Kelly”. My voice is lost to the air and I don’t care.
So what is on your #saturdaysoundtrack?