I Like French Ones

Someone, somewhere posted Flowered Up’s single It’s On the other day and it reminded me of its release back in summer 1990. The band had got some music press coverage, references to them being the London answer to Happy Mondays (whatever the question was). ITV’s Saturday morning music programme The Chart Show had an indie chart segment, once every 3 weeks (switching between the dance chart and the metal chart). The programme trailed Flowered Up’s appearance later on so we settled down on our rented sofa in our student house and waited for this up and coming band we hadn’t heard yet.

It sounded really weird, all over the place. Vocals sometimes rose up in the mix and sometimes the instruments sounded like they’d been stretched out and a strange whooshing noise dominated. It was miles away from Step On.

It turned out the video tape that Heavenly had sent over to ITV was faulty, the band’s first TV appearance screwed up. I don’t know if it affected the sales of the single. It’s On was released in a variety of formats, 7″s and 12″s, as labels did back then to fleece the fans out of their cash by getting them to buy multiple copies for that extra B-side. It’s On is a good song, the rhythm lurching from one foot to the other, enough to disconcert at the indie-disco. There aren’t many good songs led by pan pipes and keyboards, and then there’s Liam Maher’s stream-of-consciousness lyrical drawl- ‘I like French ones, big French ones’. The extended version, It’s On- Sonia, seems to exist in different versions as well, across multiple formats. This is the seven minutes plus version.

It’s On- Sonia

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The Chart Show

The Chart Show was more or less the only place to watch videos in the late 80s and early 90s, MTV being the preserve of the well off. Every week it had a specialist chart, indie, dance or metal and was required viewing, often with a hangover and a day with no responsibilities in front of you. So, make yourself a cup of tea, sit back and slip back in time…

…to October 1989’s dance chart with Electribe 101 and De La Soul…

… and to the indie chart in April 1991, with New Fast Automatic Daffodils and The Shamen, showing dance’s influence on indie…

…and from a few years later, February 1994, this top ten run down has the mighty Inspiral Carpets and Mark E Smith collaboration and Suede…

No metal charts here I’m afraid but there’s plenty more where these clips came from if you look at the Youtube sidebar.