Shall We Take A Trip Down Memory Lane?

I’ve read a couple of unconnected references to Northside recently and I don’t ignore things like that when thinking about stuff to post here. Northside haven’t fared well in the long term, seen as chancers, the runts of the Madchester litter, looked down on as not being worthy of being on Factory Records. But their sparkly, jangle pop with a funky drummer backbeat isn’t as bad as it’s been painted. First single Shall We Take A Trip? is the one everyone remembers, with its opening chant of ‘L….S….D’. Obviously it was banned by the Beeb (drug references apparently) but still made the Top 50 and bizarrely was used as the theme tune to Granada Soccer Night throughout the early 90s. By the time the album Chicken Rhythms came out in 1991 Dermo, Cliff, Michael and Paul had had an NME front cover but gone out the exit door on the other side. In between they had this cracker of a single, My Rising Star…

But the truth is this single already sounded a teensie bit cliched by the time it came out. A vastly superior version was played live by the band on the semi-legendary Madchester- The Sound Of the North documentary which bravely attempted to capture the Mancunian zeitgeist in 50 minutes, despite the refusal to play ball of The Stone Roses and the absence of other key players. Northside come in at around the five minute thirty seconds mark in this clip. It also features a youthful Stuart Maconie being ironic in Dry Bar.

I videoed this programme and we sat around with it on often. Watching it now brings everything back in huge rushes- ‘shall we take a trip down memory lane?, head in the clouds in the acid rain, time means nothing I can smell the trees, chase that rainbow with the summer breeze….sing LSD, sing LSD’.