Shivers Inside
Style Council – Our Favourite Shop

Once upon a time I was accused of disappearing into my world of books and films where darkness came too soon.  Total nonsense of course.  There was music too.  But the suggestion was that I was missing out.  Total nonsense too.  Products have so much to teach us.  So many stories to tell …

Aha a High Barnet service.  This’ll be us.  It’s about a dozen stops to the palace of fun where our adoring public will be awaiting us.  Onwards!

And it’s no good pulling that face.  It’s pretty cool turning up a gig by public transport.  Sends out a nice socialist message.  And it beats being crammed in the back of that infernal transit van.  It just would not be the done thing to be seen to be clambering out of the back of that wreck.  Not very mod at all.

How many people do you think will bother coming to this all-dayer?  I mean the last one at the Ilford Palais was pretty well rammed but I dunno about today.  Sod’s law says it just had to clash with that dire Live Aid thing at Wembley.  Just when we were well up the bill for a change.  Mind you it helped that some of the bigger guns pulled out.

Did you see the line-up for Live Aid?  It’s like punk never happened isn’t it?  The revenge of the dinosaurs.  Scary.  How Weller can bear to be caught up in all that beats me.  He looked uncomfortable enough on that video at Christmas didn’t he?  I heard someone say that hardly anyone could be bothered to speak to him.  Still I suppose it’s not an opportunity you’d turn down is it? 

I wonder what he’ll play?  Do you reckon he’ll do Walls Come Tumbling Down?  Or will someone decree that’s not really the right tone for the day?  Or what about Internationalists?  “If you believe you have an equal share in the whole wide world and all it bears …”  Now that could be pretty cool.

Got to say I’ve got quite into Our Favourite Shop now.  Some of the music still seems a bit trendy for my liking, but you can’t knock the spirit of the thing.  “We used to chase dreams now we chase the dragon”.  That’s a brilliant line isn’t it?  Not the work of someone who’s given up and gone soft really is it?  But you can see why the jury’s out.  He’s still trying to shake off the past.  I don’t blame him, but you can see why some of the people are struggling with it.  He’s dabbling with the funky fancy stuff the soul boys and casuals are into when they’re the very people that are chasing his fans down the high streets or jumping out of their Cortinas wielding baseball bats. 

At least he’s sorted his hair out a bit.  That wedge was well out of order.  Did you see that picture of Weller coming out of the Shakespeare and all the teeny mods were standing there in their parkas looking totally aghast, like the bottom had fallen out their world.  It was hilarious. 

No, you’ve got to give him credit for showing a bit of bottle.  There are some pretty powerful songs on that record.  But because the music’s a bit all over the place you don’t really notice at first, and that’s clever.  It’s right up there at the top of the charts, but he’s singing about monetarism killing communities.  That’s what makes it so good I suppose he’s up there playing today.  It’ll be interesting how many people are in the venue while he’s playing, or will they be piling into the pub next door?  He’s on after Quo isn’t he?  So he’s got time to pop down and see us afterwards eh?  Maybe we can get him to produce our next single.

The funny thing is that he’s meant to be the god for our fans but none of us are really following him down the road in terms of music or lyrics are we?  I mean The Prisoners are fantastic and all that but I can never remember their words afterwards.  It’s just a total sound.  But all the old groups like the Purple Hearts and The Chords were singing about real life weren’t they?  I’m still into all that.  The kitchen sink dramas.  I was playing the old TV21 LP before I came out to get me in the mood.  I still love that.  I may be the only person on the planet who does.  Terrible dress sense, but brilliant sound.  Snakes And Ladders.  What a song.  “And the man at the top, he builds his stash, a thin white line of others’ cash …”.  The words hit you didn’t they?  You knew they believed in what they were doing. 

Still most of the guys seem to be getting more into the old ‘60s soul thing don’t they?  Kent Records.  They are totally changing everything.  The records look so cool don’t they?  There was no chance of getting hold of all that stuff before was there?  Now we’re all walking round worshipping Patrice Holloway and Mary Love.  Gotta be a good thing.

Thought it was pretty funny Makin’ Time calling their LP Rhythm And Soul actually given the Harboro Horace thing, but good luck to them.  They’ve gotta hit big soon haven’t they?  I hate to say it but they leave the rest of us standing.  Fay is going to be huge.  And you can just see her staring at some poncey TV producer trying to get her to do the glamour bit with that icy expression.  That would be hilarious.

Do you remember back at that all dayer at the Palais when the pony-tailed soundman assumed Fay was one of the back up dolly bird vocalists and was totally patronising, and taking the michael out of her playing her Vox, and she looks at him from under her fringe with those eyes of hers and starts playing this Booker T riff then the group kick into Unchain My Heart before you can say get lost and die hippy.  It worked.  The lowlife was totally converted after they’d played, and he was trying to speak to Fay about Julie Driscoll but she was having none of it.  How she puts up with it I do not know.  She is wasted.

Shall we start a book on how many of those Cavern anoraks we see today?  You know the ones with the chequered flag strip round the middle?  They seem to be a bit of an epidemic at the moment among the girls don’t they?  Mind you they do go well with capri pants …

© 2007 John Carney