Monday, March 24, 2008

He Didn't Even Have a Great Haircut

I've been listening more to The Brilliant Corners, after putting "Everything I Ever Wanted" on the tape below. You'd think there must be something peculiar about a pop band that take their name from a Thelonious Monk song (the name would have been more suitable for their later splinter group The Experimental Pop Band), and in fact 'peculiar' and 'awkward' are really the two words that best describe their music. They even turn up in the lyrics now and then. The lyrics, yes, they're probably the most interesting thing about the songs. Davey Woodward, though not exactly a poet as he says in the note above (from the Everything I Ever Wanted lp), was well on his way to becoming a notable lyricist already at that early stage. The music was initially heavily influenced by The Velvet Undergound (apart from their very first rockabilly-style singles), especially on Growing Up Absurd the song here is from. The following ep, The Fruit Machine, approached the trumpet-backed sound of The June Brides and is perhaps the best example of the bouncing, uptempo tunes that was their speciality. But "Mary", a slow and forlorn tale about sexual insecurity, is a big exception. A beatiful song about another awkward subject matter. The only time Woodward ever mentions love in an uncomplicated or poetic sense is in the very last lines of "Meet Me On Tuesdays" - otherwise a blistering potential floor-filler: "Meet me on Tuesday at eight o'clock, I'll be worried in case you don't turn up. And if I hesitate be kind, cause in the darkest night I know the sun shines."

1 comment:

Kippers said...

Great band! Delilah Sands remains one of my very favourite songs. I'm quite partial to a bit of Brian Rix, too.