Tuesday, July 22, 2008

the girl who works in the record shop says i'm not avant garde enough

Last night I went to see Ballboy play live. 
Former Peel faves, chronically underrated, great lyrical songwriting in the vein of Belle and Sebastian, killer scots melancholia with added humour, great live band, fab back catalogue, funny and moving when they play live, also quite a regular mention on RR.

Two songs for you. 

Firstly "Avant Garde Music", because as Gordon explained last night, a song inspired by the girl who works in the record shop in Edinburgh accusing him of not being avant garde enough. I certainly know the record store, and I'm pretty sure I know who the girl was. Did Gordon then hook up with this mystery record store girl? The lyrics would suggest so:

"well we shot fake plastic ducks in the park 
and drank cheap plastic wine out of cheap plastic glasses until it got dark 
and the only thing we had to decide 
was whether and where we were going to sleep together that night" 

Secondly "Something Is Going To Happen Soon", because it was the best thing they played last night, and had me running to the girl selling their CDs shouting "give me the cd with that song on it!!!!" seconds after they'd finished playing the song. It's lyrically very interesting as when he sings "and the cellos kick in", they do indeed kick in; before he goes on to admit how open and emotionally naked he is on stage, and then proceeds to be as open as nearly any singer can be. A good moment of self awareness; very clever and effective indeed. 

"and the cellos kick in 
and the lights start to flash 
and everyone watching me 
can see right to my heart

surrounded by drink 
and surrounded by drunks 
i never knew 
what a mess you'd become

but you made yourself 
look great today 
but nobody noticed you except me 
and you never notice me anyway

and no-one will ever love you 
as much as i do 
no-one will ever love you 
like i do"

Avant Garde Music by Ballboy
Something's Going To Happen Soon by Ballboy


ToffeeBoy said...

I love Ballboy - well, I only have one CD of theirs (Club Anthems) and I love that. As a Ballboy afficianado, which album would you recommend me to try next?

ToffeeBoy said...

OK, I've looked it up now. That's 'aficionado' - I knew it didn't look quite right!

Shoegazer said...

The 1st Ballboy song I heard was "The Sash my Father Wore". At first I thought it was yet another new-folk singer doing a cover version. Then he reached the chorus, that was not only funny and sad at the same time; but, given the politics associated with that particular song, also very brave. Been a huge fan ever since.

Blimpy said...

@tfb - go for their debut proper "A guide for daylight hours" next, although there's enough good songs on all their albums. the 2 tracks i posted are from that record. I wouldn't call myself an afficcciiiionanado, i'd kinda forgotten how good they are cos they've not been about for a couple of years, and my ballboy tracks are spread around all over the place. watching them really has reignited my interest. i've spent all evening on a ballboy tip!

@shoey - exactly my sentiments too. the lyrics section on their website makes great reading on its own. in fact evn the song titles do!

"i don't have time to stand here with you fighting about the size of my dick"

"you can't spend your whole life hanging around with arseholes"

"Donald in the Bushes with a bag of Glue"

i'm sure there's another Spiller who's big into ballboy. SHOW YOURSELF!!

DarceysDad said...

I've only got one album too, Blimpy.
The Ballboy freakfan is our soon-to-be-married English teacher.

ToffeeBoy said...

Thanks Blimpy - there must be something in the air. I just logged onto my Last.fm account and the first track it played me was 'I Hate Scotland'!

TracyK said...

My bloke and I consider Ballboy to be *our* band, I bought Jon A Guide (complete with David Shrigley cartoons and photos inside: "Wise old owl:thick as shit") the Christmas we got together. He got me surprise tickets to see them at the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham when we were first 'dating' and we saw Gordon's side project, Money Can't Buy Music the Valentine's day we got back to the UK. Gordon, the main man behind Ballboy, is a primary school deputy head (as one of the comments on Youtube says, so delightfully) and has a wry way with word and a hopelessly romantic soul. I cherish them, I'm so glad that people whose music taste I respect so much also love them.
That "and the cellos kick in" is one of my favourite pop 'moments', my friend and I just grinned at each other when that happened, and we just fell in love.
Peel was rarely that wrong about groups that he championed so hard. I'd agree that A Guide To The Daylight Hours is the best place to start.
"Hard? Hard my arse! An assault course and a maths test, piece of piss..."

Blimpy said...

I would also like to add that I once had a very brief fling with katie, ballboy's old keyboard player. I knew it wasn't going to work out when she wouldn't let me smoke fags in her bedroom....

Blimpy said...

tracyK - are you back from the gig yet?

Blimpy said...

Oh, by the way Gordon -if you're reading this: Remember the drunk Ned that you soothed the angry heart of by playing "Leave The earth Behind You And take A Walk Into The Sunshine" at the Dundee show? ( He was so blown away he had to sit down for the following song. )

Just as you started playing he informed me that you resemble a "hungry Ian Curtis, ken" , and tried to buy a fag off me for a pound.

TracyK said...

Heheh, great story, Blimpy! We had a very rowdy group of 3 people heckling for "SASH! Play the fucken SASH!". Gordon caved pretty quickly, though we realised when we checked the setlist at the end they'd omitted Public Parks, which we much prefer. A great night though, some fab banter, green shirt purchased, lots of early stuff, fab night all in all!

Anonymous said...

I was the girl in the record shop. I was putting a lot of electronic bands on at the time, and looked after the avant garde/electronica section. And no, we did not hook up.