Thursday, August 25, 2016

Everybody Up! 19 - Pokemon Go! (NOTE: contains nothing about Pokemon Go)

6. THE FALL "Glam-Racket"

I did say I wouldn't be critical about the choices of tracks, but this one is literally just here for having "glam" in the title.  The song itself actually seems to be a protest about the perceived over-glam stylings of bands of the time - including Suede, who we just heard from, unless you're here for the first time, in which case you may be expecting something about Pok√©mon Go.  Sorry: we're not writing about that, but Simply Roxilicious did, so maybe try that?

I am certainly not going to complain about the presence of The Fall, though - particularly this track, recoded with the classic Scanlon/Hanley/Wolstencroft backing back (and Dave Bush, who I believe was the infamous Glastonbury 1995 streaker, appearing sans clothes during Elastica's last song). 

This track is from "The Infotainment Scan", their most successful album at least in terms of chart performance, hitting number 9 in the UK album chart, which also includes a cover of Sister Sledge's "Lost In Music".  The Fall do a surprisingly good line in covers for such an individual band, so maybe check that one out as well.


Carter USM were not a band I appreciated at the time, which is a bit of a shame; having "acquired" (borrowed, forgot to give back, moved to the other end of Britain - sorry, former workmate whose name escapes me!) their singles collection, "Straw Donkey", I probably should have been paying more attention to their sound and fury.

In my defence, they were pariahs by the time I started reading the weekly music press; cast aside in the same way that S*M*A*S*H and These Animal Men were being treated a year or so later, to fit in with the sharp-dressed, sanitised, punk rock-free anti-grunge Britpop that was making mainstream inroads.

Again, I hate the British public.  (Please keep reading, though!)

Since having the chance to give them a listen, I find them entertainingly enraged - in this example, dually frustrated about modern life and the nature of fame - and whilst this particular song again appears to have been included simply for having "glam" in the title rather than any actual genre affiliation, it's good see any proliferation of their very individual and alternative sound - albeit one that was very much of its time.


Finally!  We've got to the trope namer.  And what a story we have here for the uninitiated...  Remember when we spoke of "Rock Follies" not so long ago?  Like that, times a kajillion.

(Cracks knuckles, gets to work)

The titular detectives were one strand of a...  I'm going to say sketch comedy, but I feel like the segments were large enough that they sort of transcended that.  It was more of a magazine format (and indeed, there was a one-off magazine), with big chunks of content designed to replicate the feeling of flicking through television channels.

This was relatively high-concept stuff by the usual standards of BBC Comedy at the time, with the obvious exception of "Red Dwarf", and I believe it was one of several pilots made at the time that got one or no series, possibly including "I, Lovett" and "Tygo Road". 

And you know what?  This is when I hate the internet - I can find nothing to corroborate or oppose these things that I may be misremembering from well over half my life ago, but I bet some bright spark will prove me wrong in four seconds flat once this is finished and published.

The show ran in 1995 and featured such leading lights of the time as Phil Cornwell and Doon Mackichan, but failed to set the world alight.  Therefore we were left with this, the theme tune from the show, extolling the virtues of funk and justice for all, as the major cultural artifact and proof of existence of what at the time was a potentially groundbreaking and heavily-hyped series (again, I think this was the case, remember I was quite young at the time).

And since it's the one we've been waiting for, why don't we take a quick break for some of that funk and justice?...  Is what I would be saying if I could find it on YouTube, but it's all just continuity.  What a let-down, after all that; half-remembered twaddle and no payoff.  Honestly, you might as well just come down the pub with me.


I did try looking this lot up, but most of the links I got were about violent fans at Euro 2016.  Hell, that's another popular search term right there!  Right, what else can we lie about featuring?  Justin Bieber?  Rickrolling?  Eve Myles' Tits?  We'll be packing in the Russian spambots tonight!

For the best part of twenty-five years I've been saying, "I must get into Saint Etienne at some stage".  And now here we are: in a situation where knowing anything about Saint Etienne (other than ripping off some facts from Tim Worthington's excellent book, "Higher Than The Sun") would be an absolute boon, and I know nothing.

Er...  Roll credits?

Join us next time for...  EARL BRUTUS?  Oh, ace!  We'll also be visiting with the God of Fuck, and the group who in retrospect are sadly this writer's pick for the most overrated Britpop band.  #it'll still be a good read, I promise!  Unless I accidentally delete it again, in which case you'll at least get a picture of a weasel.  Win win, mate.

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