The Poets ‘Baby Don’t You Do It’

Bagging Area hasn’t featured anything from the garage for a while so here is a great slice of 60s beat boom pop, rough edged and pumped up, with thumping drums, snarly guitars and an impassioned vocal, from ‘Scotland’s Number 1 Group’. They only recorded 6 singles, including this b-side, and the equally great a-sides Now We’re Thru and That’s The Way It’s Got To Be.

Election Special Number 2

Morrissey divides opinion amongst music lovers much of the time, and some of his interviews and announcements over the years have been a bit dismaying. However, The Smiths were a massive band for me, and some of his solo career has held up well, while other bits have held up not so well, to put it mildly. This is a great song for two reasons- 1) It’s a fantastic slab of glam rock guitars and 2) there’s a slew of good lines in it, not least

‘We won’t vote Conservative
Because we never have’

He follows that one up with ‘London is dead, London is dead’, but it’s the anti-Tory bit we’re interested in here. Advice worth following I think.

Check the t-shirt as well. Ooh ahh.

Election Special Number 1

Billy Bragg’s bitter sweet tale Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards seems like it’s from another time. Peppered with mid-to-late 80s references- The Soviet Union, activism, jumble sales and pamphlets, blacklists, Top Of The Pops and fanzines writers- and earlier political touchstones (Jack and Jacqueline’s Camelot, Robert Oppenheimer, Che Guevara and Fidel Castro). It still holds up despite it’s quaintness and antiquaintedness. After a gig someone’s stacking chairs and mopping up spilt beer while the van waits outside, and at the end ‘the revolution’s only a t-shirt away’. And here we are, 2010, 3 successive terms of Labour governments, on-going foreign policy disasters, poor policy decisions in education and elsewhere, and dodgy accounts and dodgy MPs (from all the parties). Now it’s the Liberals who are the plucky, media friendly underdogs, and the Tories who are the supposed common-touch, government-in-waiting. God help us all. None of them will say anything about immigration other than ‘we want it capped’. Howabout someone announcing that immigration is actually a good thing, and listing the ways this country has benefitted from immigration, and other cultures?

Like Drew over at Across The Kitchen Table, I campaigned for Labour in the late 80s and early 90s. I handed out leaflets, knocked on doors, went on the marches. At 4 a.m. on election night in May 1997 I danced in the car-park of The Conservative Club. And it still seems like we’re still waiting for the great leap forward but I suspect that on Thursday I’ll put my X next to the Labour candidates name. The Liberals don’t carry much weight, either round here or in their manifesto, and they’re right to demand reforming the electoral system, but I’ll still end up voting Labour ‘with a peg on my nose’. I can’t see that there’s any other choice. ‘In a perfect world we’d all sing in tune’ says Billy in this song, ‘But this is reality so give me some room, Waiting for the great leap forward’. See? Still rings true.

20 Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards.wma