There’s Something Wrong With Human Nature

A record purchase made on a whim and a coincidental sequence of posts on social media have sent me down a rabbit warren of On U Sound recently. The record purchase was On U Sound’s Pay It All back Volume 7, a budget price double album of recent releases from Adrian Sherwood’s dub stable. Not long after someone posted Human Nature, the 1991 single by Gary Clail, produced by Sherwood, a massive club and chart hit in 91 and inescapable for a while.  Weirdly I do not own Human Nature in any format- vinyl, cassette, CD or mp3. I have plenty of On U Sound, several mp3s of Gary Clail tracks and Beef on 7″ but no Human Nature. Here’s the video.

 

Clail’s impassioned vocal over the dub/ indie- dance rhythm track and that keyboard riff, the piano part and Lana Pellay’s ‘let the carnival begin…’ chorus are all obvious highlights, much of the music being David Harrow’s musical handiwork (the keyboard riff, as I’m sure you all know, was used on the titles Snub TV, the much loved BBC 2 music programme). This being 1991 there were remixes and the Steve Osbourne Perfecto mix is a banger.

Originally the song included a Reverend Billy Graham vocal sample which couldn’t be cleared for release and Clail recorded the part it himself. Some promo copies of the single made it into record shops though. You can hear it here courtesy of blogging legend stx.

In 1989 Gary Clail released an album called End Of The Century Party produced by Sherwood and  featuring an all star cast- members of Tackhead, David Harrow, Bim Sherman, Jah Wobble and Keith Levene. This one is a dubby affair with Bim on vox alongside Clail and is infectious like flu.

Two Thieves And A Liar

 

Mark E Smith

I’ve just seen a post by Dave Haslam on social media saying that Mark E Smith has died at the age of 60. He doesn’t seem to have been in the best of health recently but it still shocking and sad news. He was a true one-off, a maverick, a wordsmith and a visionary. He will be missed.

Vicious British Boyfriend

King of The Slums, a much talked about but ultimately not much heard mid-to-late 80s Manchester band. The electric violin prevented them from being an easy listen, setting them apart from their contemporaries and the songs seemed to be powered by speed rather than E. They had tunes to spare and a frontman who had something to say, who also had a winning way with song and album titles- Vicious British Boyfriend, Barbarous English Fayre, Fanciable Headcase, Bombs Away On Harpurhey, Once A Prefect and Unfit Mother to name a few (while the group’s original name was Slum Cathedral User). Mark E Smith may have been an influence. This clip is from BBC2’s Snub TV, shot live in Manchester and causing mayhem.

Moss Side Story

Barry Adamson, formerly bass player for Magazine and currently a Bad Seed, has a back catalogue I’ve never really explored enough. This song from his Oedipus Schmoedipus album has Jarvis Cocker in full on ‘sexy’ mode and is rather good. The album takes in everything from film John Barry style soundtracks to jazz, dub, soul and electronic stuff. Worth looking out for.

Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Pelvis

Barry Adamson, formerly bass player for Magazine and currently a Bad Seed, has a back catalogue I’ve never really explored enough. This song from his Oedipus Schmoedipus album has Jarvis Cocker in full on ‘sexy’ mode and is rather good. The album takes in everything from film John Barry style soundtracks to jazz, dub, soul and electronic stuff. Worth looking out for.

Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Pelvis

Moss Side Story was a film noir soundtrack and homage to the streets he grew up in, released back in 1988 and found Barry a slot on Snub TV…

Snubbed Four

An ace New Order interview just after the release of Technique with a very fresh faced Bernard, a less fresh faced Hooky and Stephen. Vaguely stroppy throughout regarding Top Of The Pops, videos, the re-release of Atmosphere, marketing Ian Curtis and a certain Irish frontman…’It’s all pretty hypocritical and it’s a false ideology, I mean U2 are supposed to be Christians right and a big Christian belief is that thou shall not become a false messiah, right, and that Bongo guy, right, he’s having a good stab at it isn’t he?’

Snubbed Three

Loop, recently reformed feedback fans, and some very late 80s interview clips along the lines of ‘we make music for ourselves and if anyone else likes it it’s a bonus’. For the record, I do like the music, so that’s the bonus. To be honest, Wooden Shjips don’t sound a million miles from these chaps do they? There’s something very mid-to-late 80s about the mixture of guitar noise, 60s visuals and Home Counties accents.

Snubbed Again

The KLF- I don’t remember this interview so I must have missed this episode. I used to have a lot of them taped on VHS but they went the way of all tape and are probably landfill now. Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, neither the easiest man to live with I reckon, made some fantastic records, provided a gateway to dance music for NME readers, had a good play around with notions of what it was to be a pop star and a musician, machine gunned the Brit awards, drove around the M25 for 25 hours and burnt a substantial sum of money. Bill Drummond continues to write thought provoking and interesting books. Jimmy Cauty has a vitriolic and slightly unsettling blog. All good fun.