Recorded Westerfield 1991 - 1993.
Well, this set just about wraps up the Partridge/Read adventure. It kicks off with 'Swell', a homage to Shane, my old As Is guitar buddy. It’s based around a picture of him, taken at The Salutation pub in Ipswich at one of our many acoustic nights there. In the snap he’s just launched himself off a table in mid-strum, a nicely ironic rock gesture during a fairly gentle pub session. In the same way as the subject in Jackson Browne’s ‘Fountain of Sorrow’, the essence of the man really was captured at that moment.
'Don’t Leave Me Behind' is descriptive of my feelings as our latest mentor Nick Head went off the boil and started hunting around for ‘dance acts’, citing an uncannily familiar phrase about guitar acts not being ‘where it’s at’ any more, a few months before Oasis and Blur started peaking.
I watched a documentary on a chap called Hoxsey, who had pioneered alternative, natural remedies for various types of cancer, and had to vanish to South America to avoid ridicule and charges of quackery. His success rate was somewhat better than those using ‘traditional’ methods, which made me wonder if it’s the drug companies and the medical establishment that stop us finding 'Cures For Cancer'.
'You’re So Cold' - that old story where someone disappears off to a great new life in a big city and then waffles on about how backward everyone is in their home town. It is almost delicious when they subsequently vanish amongst the uncaring mass in their new home. And they always do.
Another documentary, this time about cryogenics, got 'Forever Now' going. I’m fascinated by the way so many people are obsessed with not dying. On expanding the theme, religion got it in the neck too. As I’d nicked the title from The Psychedelic Furs, I thought I might as well lift the guitar sound from their first album too.
'Wild' owes a massive debt to author John Fowles. The song was written for the two main protagonists in ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’.
Although the song 'Don’t Stop' is a rather serious comment on the state of humanity, the memory that the three of us that were there retain is giggling for about two hours as we tried to get the doo-doo-doos right at the end.
'Dying To Meet You' - An attempt to convert the intro to ‘Layla’ into a major key and hope no-one notices. As the song is about god, the title is to be taken absolutely literally. Diana (the goddess of hunting, not the royal one) gets a look in during the middle eight too, presenting the idea of religion as sex, or sex as religion if you like.
With Nick’s interest utterly gone we flailed about for a few more months and inspiration proved hard to come by. Nevertheless, 'Who Are You Dressing For?' exploded out of my pen, led by Pete Townsend’s ‘Uniforms’ and some people I saw on the street that day. I enjoyed playing the bass line…a lot.
You get songs like 'Typical Male' written about you if you fail to do adequate research before declaring your love for a woman. Particularly if you’re going out with my sister when you try to get off my with my missus. Whoops. The point of the very last line of the song is easy to miss though - “Oh that’s typical of a typical male” refers not to the miscreant, but the narrator.
I haven’t seen Ben Weston for many years. We played as a duo for my first gig after the end of As Is, and despite a pleasing result only occasionally got together after that. I’d always wanted a sax at the end of 'Ice On Fire', and since Paul & I had got a new version together, Ben was drafted in to do the business. We made an appearance on telly with Colchester’s finest, Geoff Lawrence, on a very poor outdoor TV game show called ‘Champions’ and lost to two spotty youths from Exeter playing ‘Paper Moon’. To give you an idea of the quality of the show, one of the judges was Bonnie Langford. She was “very impressed” that we’d written the song ourselves. I did get to kiss Penny Smith though. This version of 'Brighter' was what we sent the show’s producers to get on. It sounded rather lovely as it drifted along Bournemouth seafront, just before we vanished to the hospitality truck to get even more free food.
released September 13, 2012
James Partridge - Vocals, Bass, Guitars; Paul Read - Drums, Percussion, Vocals plus Ben Weston - Saxophone on 13 & 14, Helen Mulley - Vocals on 7.
All songs written/arranged by Partridge-Read except 3, 10, 11 & 14 - Partridge.
all rights reserved