#811: 1993, Stereolab, French Disko

by Ray_North on November 28, 2013

So there I was, in Blackburn Crown Court, it was cold, it was wet, it was a rubbish case, which hadn’t been resolved and I got in my car, which had broken down earlier in the day, and I started to make my way down the motorway, when I thought, I know, I’ll pop over to Oldham to see my old mate Guy Garvey, legendary lead singer of Elbow.

Just off the cuff, like, you know.

So, I arrived at his door and knocked. Me and Guy go back years to when he used to busk outside Hackney Wick Railway Station – ‘that’s a northern accent’ I said to him one day, just as he’d finished a rather iffy (if I’m going to be honest) rendition of the Burt Bacharach classic Close To You. ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘Oldham.’ Before long, we got talking and I took it upon myself to take him for a beer down our local and introduce him to The Flames who were playing a typically cool set of Rockabilly Classics – ‘you could learn a lot from these fellas’ I suggested, and a friendship was born.

Anyway, I digress, so there I was, knocking on Guy’s door, feeling a little bit under a cloud and he answers looking even more maudlin than me – ‘Ah, Ray, me old mate,’ he says,brightening and I nod. ‘Put the kettle on Garvs eh.’ So we sit down, have a brew and a couple of Bourbon Creams, and he plays me some of the new songs he’s writing for the next Elbow album, now, don’t get me wrong, Guy Garvey is a man genius, one of the greatest song writers of his generation, he’s come a long way since he was croakily asking why birds were suddenly appearing outside an East London Train Station, but, on this particular cold dank evening, I was finding his new Elbow offerings a tad, well, a tad uninspiring.

‘Listen Guy,’ I said,’I know you’ve sold over a million albums worldwide and your 2008 classic ‘One Day Like This,’ is one of the all time greats in the pantheon of rock history, but, mate, how about something a bit more upbeat, you know something with a bit of energy.’
He looked at me blankly, so I tried to expand on my thoughts, ‘what are you listening to at the moment?’
He shrugged, ‘a bit of Joy Division,’ he suggested, ‘some John Tavener, god rest his soul. Oh, and I felt a bit inspired by the Morrissey book to dig the Queen is Dead out of my collection.’

I felt my head go back, ‘Guy, Guy, Guy,’ I said, ‘Garvs, Garvs, Garvs – this is your problem, look, let your uncle Ray, have a quick butchers through your vinyl and see if I can drum up some thing with a bit more life in it. Something to inspire you.’

It took me a while, I have to admit – but eventually, I got to 1993 and picked out this absolute stonker from Marxist Avant Garde Synth Rockers, Stereolab and what a song – a pulsating whirlwind of organ and guitar, topped off with the wonderful French vocals of Laetitia Stadier – this song is Barder Meinhoff with Moog Synthesisers and on LSD.

Within minutes me and Garvs were dancing around his lounge feeding Bourbons to his Jack Russell.

‘Ray,’ he said, as I bade him goodbye, ‘you’ve done it again, you old bastard, the next Elbow album is going to be a full-on return to the great sound of psychedelia-rock-groove.’

‘Guy,’ I said, ‘fuck off.’

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

George_East November 29, 2013 at 1:11 am

Stereolab. So long overdue it’s embarrassing.

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