Clash Piano

Clash week day four. Two songs from round the old Joanna. When the Clash On Broadway box came out in 1991 one of the unreleased songs was a cover of Every Little Bit Hurts, Mick at the piano and giving it loads with a reverb drenched, soulful vocal. According to the booklet it was recorded during the Sandinista! sessions after Chrissie Hynde had dropped in. Mick and Chrissie used to sing it together and Mick gave it a go in the studio a few days later, with Norman Watt Roy on bass (which dates it to when Simonon was away filming Ladies And Gentlemen The Fabulous Stains) and Topper splashing away on cymbals and percussion.

Every Little Bit Hurts

Originally sung by Brenda Holloway in 1964 it was covered by The Spencer Davis Group which is where Mick knew it from. A couple of years earlier The Clash had been the subjects of a film, Rude Boy, a semi-fictionalised account of the life a roadie called Ray Gange. The film is a brave but flawed stab at documenting life in 1978-9 in Britain. But it does also feature some of the most incendiary Clash live footage committed to tape/celluloid which still makes the hairs on the back of neck stand up and the blood pump a little faster. In this section Joe finds a piano and starts hammering away while Gange stands around drinking beer. After a minute and a half and some muttering/swearing from Gange about Sam Philips and Elvis Joe breaks into Let The Good Times Roll, a Shirley and Lee song from 1956.

Give ’em a piano and a couple of minutes and both Joe and Mick would reel out the pre-punk songs. What Year Zero?

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Shake Your Hips

In the end I dashed out to see Wilko Johnson last night. It was pretty good- stripped down rhythm and blues, telecaster action, Norman Watt-Roy on bass (proving he can really play), some great songs. A little too much ‘MojoUncut rock bloke’ going on at times with some fiddly-diddly bits but I’m glad I went. And he did that shooting across the stage while machine gunning the audience with his guitar thing.

The blues has a long tail doesn’t it? Not sure it shows much in the charts at the moment but it slithers on from the Mississippi Delta to Canvey Island to the Medway via elsewhere. It might die out in the next twenty years in terms of record sales and public profile but it’s done pretty well. Some Slim Harpo for you and the slinky-as-anything Shake Your Hips.

Shake Your Hips