Thursday, 9 May 2013

Died Pretty

On my regular journeys up and along the A12, A14, A140 and M11 in the 1980's, travelling to concerts in London and the East of England, my one constant companion in the car would be a little portable cassette player. My old Vauxhall Viva had a radio, so I could at least listen to Peel when he was on, but otherwise radio programming in those pre-XFM/6Music dark ages could be a grim affair, particularly on the journey home in the wee small hours of the morning. So, with new batteries installed for the trip, I would head out on the highway with a miniature ghetto-blaster (affectionately dubbed the gateau-blaster) and a multi-volume series of carefully crafted, home-made, car-tapes I dubbed 'Out of the Unknown'. The title, 'Out of the Unknown', derives from the 1984 debut single by Australian band, Died Pretty. The song was never far from my ears, heart or compilation tapes at the time and it remains a stirring psychedelic masterpiece, dominated by Brett Myers' wailing guitar. Terrific stuff.

I saw Died Pretty in concert on just one occasion, in a support slot at Brixton Academy in the mid-1990's. I think I was the only non-Australian down at the front for their set. The band were tremendous that night, but, to my disappointment, they didn't play this song. Later, in 1999, they released a compilation album entitled 'Out of the Unknown – The Best of Died Pretty', which, though packed with great tunes, bafflingly failed to include the title track! Perhaps by then Died Pretty had grown tired of that debut single. I never have.


C said...

Ahhhh! Great to hear this again, it's been too long! I had the 12" too and played it to death at the time. Thanks for digging this out.

'Gateau-blaster'?! Great for listening to Cream and the Jam?

The Swede said...

It is great isn't it? Just sweeps you along somehow, which is probably why it sounded so good in the car, even on the dear old gateau-blaster!

(Let's not even mention Sugar, Cake and The Lovely Eggs!)

Old Pa's Corner said...

or Smashing Pumpkins
Marc Almond
Moldy Peaches
Death by Chocolate
Screaming Broccoli
Ultimate Spinach
Red Hot Chili Peppers
I cheated I looked it up....never heard the song's great!

The Swede said...

Thought you'd have a few suggestions up your sleeve Old Pa! Glad you enjoyed the tune.

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