I Like That, Turn It Up

Yargo have appeared in my social media timelines a couple of times recently so it’s time to revisit them here. I’ve written about them before, a band barely known outside Manchester but who really should have been bigger. There’s a dearth of decent pictures on the internet too and while searching for an image for this post I found the one above, a ticket for a 1990 gig at Manchester International 1 where they were supported by Rig (who I wrote about at the start of this year here and who had my mate Darren on guitar).

Yargo were a four piece who defied pigeonholing mixing blues, soul, funk and reggae, and a singer (Basil Clarke) with the voice of an angel. Several of them had previously been in Biting Tongues, another unsung Manchester band. This song, from the album Bodybeat, has brushed drums and jazzy guitar licks before moving into a sort of dub/film soundtrack area.

Another Moss Side Night

In 1988 they put out a single with singer Zoe Griffin called The Love Revolution (Manchester, 1988- ‘ten thousand people committing no crime… we’re dancing away’). Basil’s voice floats over an ACR style house groove on this very nice Justin Robertson remix.

The Love Revolution (Justin Robertson’s Scream Team Remix)

They received their most widespread coverage in 1989 when their song The Other Side Of Midnight was used as the theme tune to Tony Wilson’s late night Granada music TV show of the same name. As well as some legendary appearances by some definitive Manchester guitar bands OSM enabled Tony to broadcast a party from Victoria Baths soundtracked by A Guy Called Gerald (starting at 6.15 with Voodoo Ray).

And from the end of the series in July 89 a stunning show from the old Granada Studios building, a live rave with Gerald again, T-Coy (Mike Pickering and ex-ACR man Simon Topping) and the Happy Mondays at their chaotic peak. But you know,  it’s 1989, the crowd are the real stars.

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Emotion Electric

There’s more to A Guy Called Gerald than Voodoo Ray y’know, as this wondrous 1989 track amply proves. Inspired by Detroit, made in Manchester.

Emotion Electric

Dream Slumber

Dream Slumber is a remix of Annette by T-Coy. In other words Mike Pickering and Simon Topping remixing themselves. It’s a fantastic piece of 1988 Mancunian acid house that could fit in with both Drew’s Friday series and by Pickering’s association with Factory my 2015 Factory Friday series. The sequenced bassline is a dream and the record glides towards it’s stuttering sample conclusion… ‘that’s a baaaaaad record’.

Dream Slumber (T-Coy Mix)

Midnight

I found this twenty four minute time capsule while looking for this morning’s Yargo clip- a special edition of Tony Wilson’s The Other Side Of Midnight TV show from the summer of 1989. Mike Pickering’s T-Coy, A Guy Called Gerald and Happy Mondays playing live down at Granada Studios. A party, as Wilson says, with the emphasis on part-E. As ever, the crowd (their clothes, hairstyles and dancing) are the real stars.

Brass Shaker

Some sort of unholy trinity of artists going on here mixing up a classic house-acid brass delight. To clarify- Jeremy Deller’s acid brass cover version of Voodoo Ray remixed by Optimo’s JD Twitch, out on vinyl on Monday. And worth every penny I’d say.

Monday Voodoo



A Guy Called Gerald’s 1988 hit Voodoo Ray sounds like it came from another planet. It came from Hulme, which in the mid-to-late 80s was a kind of other planet. Space bass, odd plinks and plonks, voodoo vocal, completely timeless, totally unique.