Saturday, 14 March 2015

55 From 55 - 1981

55 songs in 55 days - one for every year of my far.

After 18 months working at the record shop in Ipswich, I was offered the chance to manage my own branch 40 miles away. When I arrived in town, we actually had two branches, which my boss wanted reduced to one. So among my first acts as a manager was to tell one of the staff that their services would soon no longer be required. Mr Popular I wasn't. The move nearer London afforded me even more access to live concerts, culminating in all 7 nights of The Clash's legendary stand at the Lyceum Ballroom in October.

Back at home for Christmas 1981. In this photo, Dad is 4 years younger than I am now.

Exactly one year earlier I saw The Piranhas for the one and only time, supporting The Jam at Newcastle City Hall. At the end of 1981 they issued my favourite of all their singles, 'Vi Gela Gela'. All I could find online is the 7" version, but check out the extended 12" if you get the chance, it's an absolute joy.

In 'Vi Gela Gela' the Piranhas reference a 'tune from Af-ri-ca' they'd heard, couldn't get out of their heads, but were unable to buy over here. This is the song that made their backbones 'quiver and quake', '...listening to Western Jazz'.


Walter said...

The Piranhas was a great band and this is a great song as well. I loved them because they opened my ears for African music.

C said...

Oh that's a crap thing to have to do as a new manager, ugh!
The photo is, as always, brilliant. Lovely to see your Dad here. I'm so often surprised when I think of parents as being younger than I am now in various situations. The age gap is so much more blurred these days. To paraphrase... they were so much older then, we're younger than that now!

Charity Chic said...

Is that the tache now confined to history or does it make another appearance?

Brian said...

Swede, David Byrne must have been into the Piranhas. Lots of that exact percussion in his early solo work. Really enjoyed this one. And C is so right on the age gap thing... or at least I hope she's right.

The Swede said...

Walter. It's a bit of a lost classic.

C. Good quote, now I wonder who said that......? :-)

CC. There are more facial hair horrors to come!

Brian. Piranhas were also on Sire for a while, so who knows? Try to find the 12" - it's even better.

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