Spent the weekend working up material with my new jazz-rock band, Unquestionable Integrity. Our motto is “no sell out (and we’re not doing it for free either, OK?)”. We’re working up a fantastic set list of mellow progressive precision reworkings of modern pop hits in a new style that the critics (ie, me) are already calling Diet Fusion – or Put You Off Your Dinner Music. So far we’ve created radical rearrangements of Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off in 17/8 time, flattening all the fifths and ninths (not that there are any in the song), and Beyonce’s Single Ladies refreshed as a samba with all the drum parts played by yours truly on our bassplayer’s mum’s boyshorts. We’re also performing Paloma Faith’s eyebrows as if we were Weather Report circa Birdland, using Cheryl Cole’s cellulite as a percussion instrument, played with eyelash curling tongs. We’ll soon be debuting on Hampstead Heath at an open-air palaver called The Vertical Sausage; hope you can make it a long. One.
So Scotland, you chose to stay with the rest of us. (So we are told, anyway.) God help you. You’ve missed the chance to turn Coldplay away at the border (“sorry Chris, your papers aren’t in order, you’ll have to go home”) and slap punitive import duty on downloads of rubbish music. Plus you’ll have to let Bobby Gillespie back in, even if he does look like he’s been enjoying himself a little too much. You’ll still be able to receive Jools Holland jamming along to some doom metal act on his show, and horror of horrors, Sunday Night At The London Palladium is back: you’ll have to watch that too. When I was a little kid, the theme music on that show meant a cloud of depression setting in. I didn’t know it was normal to feel depressed when Norman Vaughan came on TV; I thought there was something wrong with me. My missus has since admitted to the same black hole in her soul when Palladium came on, which means she had two reasons to be fed up last Sunday: watching the new series and being married to me. We tuned in briefly. It was weird to see Earth, Wind & Fire opening the show. Look, I know they had slices of Edam in their career, and all that astral connections on a high five stuff always rung kinda false to me, but they were one of the great bands of the 70s in terms of delivering the goods on vinyl. When Funkadelic turn up on The Royal Variety Performance, we know that will be the day that the funk finally said adios. Oh, and James Brown was once booked to appear on that show, but refused to believe he wasn’t the regal one in the title.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Scotland. Delighted to have you still aboard. Hope some of you feel the same. To celebrate/commiserate, I’ve been enjoying playing the great Jesse Rae, composer of Inside Out and the man who first patted the Atomic Dog.
Time flies and we are already facing another deadline at the end of the week. Next issue will bring you Debut Albums (that’s not the frontman of Blur, by the way), Frankie Valli, Aphex Twin, Downliners Sect, Billy Rath, house rarities, Fire Records and a vast heap more. It’s in the shops on 9 October. We think ahead. Sometimes.
Hope you’re having a great week and aren’t buying the records I am looking for. Thank you for reading this newsletter, and RC.
Ian McCann (Editor)