A Linked Series – #1

Shorley Wall – Ooberman (1998, Tugboat Records)

Another day, another series that sort of tugs the coat tails of a bigger and better blog. The hat today is doffed to Jez, a guy who runs a blog called ‘A History of Dubious Taste’ It’s a blog I visit most days and one that I should add to the list of blogs that adorn the bottom of this page.  Anyway, a few years back, he did a thing called The Chain in which people had to guess the next song in a linked bunch of songs.  Kudos points were awarded for getting the right answer or close to the right answer. 

So today, I’m starting something similar.  I’ve randomly shuffled the iPod and picked the first song that comes on as the starter.  That track was Oobermans’ joyously twee indie sensation ‘Shorley Wall’.  A song so twee that it’s carrying a cuddly horse shaped bag and wearing spangly hairclips.   It’s essentially a song about escaping the pressures of life by sitting on a beach listening to the sea through a big seashell, whilst the seagulls fly around your head.  That is until you find out what you want or need.  Sounds naff but it’s beautifully done.

I loved this song when it first came out in 1998, I remember hearing it at work on Jo Whiley’s morning show on Radio 1 and then dashing to the record shops in Exeter at lunchtime to buy it.  It has this cutesy keyboard riff running through and ends with a spoken word poem read by keyboardist Sophia Churnley.  On the original E.P as the spoken word bits nears the end you can hear Sophia’s voice break as she struggles to hold back the tears. 

By the time ‘Shorley Wal’ got its inevitable rerelease the emotion put into the spoken word poem had fallen rather flat and it all sounded rather forced. 

So the question is where do I go musically from here?  There has to be a link in some way to the song, the band or the perhaps something else.  For instance (and the link won’t be these records at all), ‘Shorley Wall’ features the sounds of seagulls at the start of it so an obvious link would be: –

Seagull – Ride (1990, Creation Records)

But it also contains a poem – so we could have

Poems – Terry Hall/nearly God (1996, Island Records)

If you like you can pop your suggestions in the comment box. I may even dish out points for correct suggestions.


  1. baggingarea says:

    I’m a big fan of birdsong in music. Seagulls appear all over the opening track to Bjorn Torske’s Byen album, a long piece of cosmic disco called First Movement. See also the twittering bird sounds (actually Martin Hannett’s synth) on Durutti Column’s Sketch for Summer.


    1. barrystubbs says:

      Googling Bjorn Torske Byen now……


  2. JC says:

    I’d love to play, but this is too much like hard work. And since I gave up paid employment (two years ago to the day), my brain can’t cope with such thought-processes.


  3. JC says:

    PS : Jez’s place is a magnificent and bonkers place to spend some time in.


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