Friday, September 12, 2008

Keep An Open Mind - Or Else!



I have to admit to being utterly devastated by the dondless silence which has greeted my recommendation over on the all-new, all-singing, not-as-bad-as-we-all-feared mothership this morning.

Plenty of support for Delilah (for which, thanks) but not a squeak in response to my shout for McCarthy. So it's revenge time - I've asked blimpy to make some changes around here so that you are now all forced to listen to my playlists - choice has been removed from the equation.

McCarthy, I know, are not everyone's cup of tea and I'm occasionally surprised to find that they are mine. Sitting firmly in the Marxist corner of the C86 movement-that-was-never-really-a-movement, the Barking quartet (Barking Essex, not barking mad) rocked my world for a few years back in the mid-late 80s.

They were a major influence on The Manic Street Preachers (which again, I know, won't necessarily endear them to everyone in these parts) - Nicky Wire has described their debut album I Am A Wallet as "the most perfect record - a communist manifesto with tunes".

Their work is a strange mixture of rage and pop sensibilities, with large dollops of polemic thrown in for good measure. Here then, are three tracks which fully fit this week's revenge theme.

Should The Bible Be Banned?

A fictional tale of a man who's in prison for murder - his victim was his own brother who was also their father's favourite. The Home Secretary is looking into whether the bible should be banned since the story of Cain and Abel has clearly been the inspiration behind a copycat killing.

Frans Hals

I'm not quite sure what this song is about (OK, yes, I do know who Frans Hals is!) but I'm not sure what the lyrical reference to revenge is all about. I remember reading about an artist who painted a group of civic dignitaries in a less than flattering way but I didn't think it was Hals. Anyway, it's a great song and it fits the revenge theme.

Charles Windsor

This is the best of the lot (revenge-theme-wise) and was covered by The Manics - it was a b-side on their Life Becoming A Landslide EP. I often think of it as the best song that Morrissey didn't write - listen to the lyrics and you'll see what I mean:

"One, two, three, four
Charles Windsor, who's at the door?
At such an hour, who's at the door?
In the back of an old green Cortina
You're on your way to the guillotine"

Let me know what you think - remember a shrug of the shoulders, a gentle smile or a hearty vomit don't come across very well on a blog...

13 comments:

Blimpy said...

I like McCarthy, i got their CD on recommendation from The Manics, but I was a bit disappointed by the original version of Charles Windsor.

And then my CD got scratched, almost ruining it!!

So anyways, lovely to hear a bit of mccarthy, cheers for that.

You forgot to mention that 2 of mccarthy went on to form Stereolab!!

treefrogdemon said...

It's working already, TB - one of my tracks has come up without a Play button, and the text of my post has been sent to me as an email...ooer!

Shoey said...

You certainly look upset in your photo.

Catcher said...

I totally missed this one when reading the Mothership comments earlier, but will rectify it as soon as possible. It may have been noticed over the past few years that I'm a huge Stereolab fan, which then got me into McCarthy, and I do think "The Enraged Will Inherit The Earth" is a Great Undiscovered Album, so I'm delighted to see them championed.

Abahachi said...

Never heard of them, and unfortunately I'll have to wait until next week to hear the tracks - either on my work PC, or I will finally crack and buy a new one for home with, like, actual sound - but sounds very interesting: the red of my icon on the new RR has nothing to do with football...

goneforeign said...

The red of my icon has to do with leanings.

ToffeeBoy said...

And my own blue avatar/icon thingy has everything to do with football and nothing to do with my leanings!

ejaydee said...

Blimpy and Toffee- Is that why I now receive 'Spill posts in my inbox?

steenbeck said...

I like them! They remind me of very early REM but less musically jangly and more lyrically coherent.

ToffeeBoy said...

@ steen - glad you liked them - there's lots more where that came from - their 'Best Of' is readily available - called 'Keep An Open Mind - Or Else'

ToffeeBoy said...

OK - the ToffeeBoy misinformation campaign gathers speed - McCarthy's 'Best Of' is actually called 'That's All Ver Well But...'

Just so you know...

ToffeeBoy said...

Good God man - sort yourself out! 'That's All Very Well But...'

Back to typing school...

MrDNA said...

Sorry ToffeeBoy, I missed your McCarthy mention on the Mothership, otherwise I might well have filled the dond gap myself. Fine band.