[19] Doves, ‘There Goes The Fear’

There Goes The Fear

There’s a risky blend of the ponderous and euphoric in Doves’ music, something to do with that Mancunian yen for the big and maudlin, and Doves’ past as groovateers Sub Sub. I have to say the ponderous usually wins out. When it’s brightened by a fantastic mood and melody – ‘The Cedar Room’, ‘The Sulphur Man’, ‘Words’ – this is all good, but an unhealthy chunk sinks into the mire. ‘There Goes The Fear’ wants the cake and the eating, and carries it off, deftly representing the epic and the funky. Its samba rhythms tilt the second half of the song, introduced with surprising slickness after a pretty straight anthem. In the end, it sounds like the last gasp of Balearic – until half the albums released in 2010, that is.

Junior says: “Do it again.” She means the ungainly jig I danced to Doves because everyone was a bit tearful this morning (Well perhaps you shouldn’t wake up at 6am then, hmmm?). It cheered the girls up, but I knew I’d be sick if I went for the encore.

Best bit: The chord change as Jimi Goodwin attempts to hold onto the song before it goes samba.

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Little Boots, ‘New In Town’/Saint Etienne, ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’

Little Boots
Saint Etienne

*Tap, tap* Is this thing working? One, two, one, two. “When you were yooooouuuung…”

There’s something in the air. Music goes in cycles, doesn’t it? I’m hoping you’ve got some evidence, because I’m whistling in the wind here. Strikes me, though, that the ’91 feeling is abroad, that Balearic’s back, that everything from rock to dance and all grimy stop-offs in between is daubed in pop, in that cred-shedding musical vernacular that makes all good records sound like hits.

Little Boots is exercising her sunny beats just as Saint Etienne are once more hawking Foxbase Alpha around to anyone who’ll listen – mainly 36 year olds who were there the first time, but perhaps a few Boots fans will jump on board too. Victoria Hesketh (er, yeah, Little Boots) is a lovely breathy singer like Sarah Cracknell, a cooing frontwoman for some capital dance-pop grooves and a poster-girl-in-waiting for the shy end of the indie boy spectrum. It’s a link of sorts!

Junior’s no shy indie boy, but she’s sweet on Victoria: “I love her singing, I love the picture.” There’s a story behind Saint Etienne, however, and she wants to hear about how she “saw” them at Koko a few weeks before she was, erm, born. “Was I dancing in Mummy’s tummy?” I rather think she was.

New In Town:

Only Love Can Break Your Heart:

[4] Happy Mondays, ‘W.F.L. (The Vince Clarke Mix)’

Happy Mondays, WFL

Look at the video for this, the Vince Clarke mix. With his floppy hair, tatty hoody and pissholes-in-the-snow eyes, Shaun Ryder set a template for a generation of teenagers who wanted to achieve that blissed-out E’d-up look. Trouble was, we were buzzing off our nuts on a combination of Woodpecker cider and Fisherman’s Friends. We had breath that could cut dry ice, and our love for our fellow man bordered on the surly.

You had to get the correct hoodies too. Hanes had the best texture and weight, but they cost 20 quid and the cider was soaking up most of the cash. Top Man did some thin versions with self-consciously trippy patterns. These would ride up to make you look like a bellydancing Bez. Who’d defected to Candy Flip.

So we were never quite right, but the music was. Until this point, I’d always felt as if I was catching up, picking up on bands and movements as their time was passing. Whatever you want to call it – baggy, Madchester, indie dance – we were watching it unfold this time. Strands of house, techno, Balearic, acid, rock and pop mixed into a heady potion that could even make white schoolboys dance.

As a girl, Junior’s not afraid to dance, and this had her rocking. She threw in a maniacal cackle at the start. Maybe she’s seen pictures of that purple Aztec-design hooded top.

[5] One Dove, ‘Fallen’

One Dove

I was 18/19 in 1991, and we were hip young gunslingers still going clubbing, DJing, buying all the platters that matter and walking the walk. It was the fag-end of indie dance, that blew out with the dazzling fireworks of Screamadelica, as its leading lights embraced clubland completely or discovered that they’d “always had a grunge element” to their music. ‘Fallen’ was a comedown anthem, beautiful, lush and warmly groovy.

One Dove were ploughing a Scots furrow of Balearic house, reflective yet sunny. The pop sensibilities of Altered Images came together with studio boffinry and Dot Allison’s breathy vocals to create a record perfect for Ibizan terrace dawns. Premiered, however, in Rimini, it was immediately brought to Andrew Weatherall’s attention and he pledged to help them make the natural successor to Primal Scream’s touchstone.

Shame, then, that it took them TWO YEARS to put Morning Dove White together. One Dove missed that bus.

Two years, even 15 years down the line the song doesn’t date. Dot cries out, and we still want to forgive and to save her. Junior peers over the side of the high chair to see how far the singer has fallen, ready to lend a chubby, helping hand. For the rest of the record, she’s happy to eat her breakfast and wallow in the plush sounds. Now she wants to know what all this Screamadelica stuff is all about.

[All my vinyl rips seem to have corrupted; Top 11 mp3s to follow… later]