Down The Docks The Talking Turned…

…’As some are striving to survive, the others thrive’

I posted this song last year and once before that as well but sitting watching one of the Top Of The Pops reruns last week I was struck  (again) by the brilliance and magic, the faith and devotion of Pete Wylie’s Mighty Wah! in the mid 80s. Come Back sounds like a love song but the verses read as a clarion call, a stand against Thatcher and forces of greed, a call for community and to stand together, a shout to those forced out by economic forces beyond their control to return to the city and to their roots. That reads as much for 2017 as it did for 1984. Pete said on Twitter recently that he wrote and played every instrument of Come Back except for the backing vocal by partner Josie Jones. In the TOTP clip Josie looks amazing, hands on hips, alongside Pete in his leather trousers and blow dried hairdo.

Sadly Josie, a big figure on the Liverpool art and music scene, died in 2015. She had also been the voice of Big hard Excellent Fish’s Imperfect List, which I’ve also posted before here and in its updated form here.

Come Back (The Return Of The Randy Scouse Git)

How good is that? How could you ever get tired of hearing that? ‘It’s all up to you, yes it’s all up to you!’

Advertisements

And The Question Is Answered

This is an updated version of Big Hard Excellent Fish’s Imperfect List from a couple of years ago. The original came from the combined talents of Pete Wylie, Robin Guthrie and Josie Jones (and on the 1990 version Andrew Weatherall). The original list had range of targets from the late 80s and the re-worked list brings things up to date while also showing how little has changed.

Both versions mention Hillsborough. The justice the families of the 96 have been finally been given this week is truly right and proper. It also sadly confirms what many of us have known all along- that football fans in the late 80s were treated worse than cattle and seen as scum, that we were despised by an establishment that was engaged in something that was tantamount to class war and governed by a lying and corrupt government that colluded with a lying tabloid press that actually hated its readers, and that events were manipulated and covered up by at least one, probably two, corrupt police forces.

In 1989 I lived in Liverpool while at Liverpool University. I shared a house with a friend who was at Hillsborough, not the Leppings Lane End but another part of the ground. He returned home with both parts of his ticket- no one checked him into the ground. The Saturday after the disaster we were in Liverpool city centre. At six minutes past three the city centre stopped in absolute silence. Nothing moved and nobody spoke. It was one of the most moving, emotional minutes I’ve witnessed. As a Man United fan I’ve always felt deeply ashamed by the songs some of ‘our’ idiots sing and the heart of the matter is while it happened to be Liverpool fans who were unlawfully killed at Hillsborough in 1989, it could have been any of us, at another match, in another ground. Yes- this is justice for the 96 and for their families. But it is also justice for all of us.

Remember- don’t buy The Sun.

Pete Wylie’s Imperfect List

‘Adolf Hitler, the dentist, Terry and June…’

In 1990 this 12″ came out on One Little Indian, a list of bad stuff, credited to Big Hard Excellent Fish.

‘…fucking bastard Thatcher, Scouse impersonator, silly pathetic girlies, macho dickhead…’

It was shrouded in mystery, the chewy Scouse vocal incorrectly said by some to be actress Margi Clarke. It came with four versions, produced and remixed by Andrew Weatherall (Rimming Elvis The Andrew Weatherall Way read the sleeve).

‘…lost keys, Stock Aitken and Waterman, smiling Judas, heartbreaking lying friend…’

The voice belonged to Wylie’s then girlfriend Josie Jones and the track was written and recorded by an uncredited Pete Wylie along with Cocteau Twin Robin Guthrie.

‘…The Sun newspaper, acid rain, AIDS inventor, Leon Britton, weird British judges, the breakdown of the NHS, Heysel stadium, homelessness, John Lennon’s murder, anyone’s murder…’

In 2004 Morrissey used it to arrive on stage to.

‘…tasteless A&R wanker, the Jimmy Swaggart Show, Clause 28, Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment, miscarriage…’

This is the lead version, seven minutes forty five seconds long.

‘…where were you?’

The Imperfect List (Version 1)