A Short Series about Shapes – #1 – Triangle

Triangle – Field Mice (1990, Sarah Records, Taken from ‘Skywriting’)

I said on Friday that I wouldn’t mention the One Word Countdown ever again.  A promise that lasted precisely 72 hours.  Sorry.  I was going through the list of songs that I voted in my Top 30 but no one else did.  One of those was ‘Triangle’ by The Field Mice, a song which is just too darn good to ignore (it is according to me, alone, the 19th best song with a One Word Title.  Ever.)  So in a petulant two fingers to the world I’ve devised an entire series to place it into and that really is the last time I will mention the One Word Countdown.  Probably.

I first heard The Field Mice on the John Peel show.  It would have been the summer of 1991 because I remember John Peel talking about them splitting up.  About six weeks later I found myself in possession of Indie Top 20 Vol. 12, a series of releases that packaged together a bunch of tracks from the Indie Charts at the time.  I had this on cassette, which was bright yellow and very low in quality.  Track eleven on that cassette was ‘Triangle’ an eight minute blast of indietronica that experiments with about ten different genres of music including acid house, and krautrock and it sounds a lot like the sort of thing New Order would have released about five years earlier.

It was quite a departure for the Field Mice because their earlier tracks took a more lo fi indie stance that was steeped in twee nostalgia with a nod towards the sort of ethereal sounds that perhaps bands like The Cocteau Twins.

Let’s Kiss and Make Up – The Field Mice (1989, Sarah Records, Taken from ‘Snowball’)

That track was of course covered a year or so later by their drinking buddies Saint Etienne.  There version is a piano led house stomper and it is almost as beautiful as the original.   The version below is the Sarah Cracknell version which is the only version I can find but I think the original single had a different singer.

Let’s Kiss and Make Up (Sarah Cracknell Version) – Saint Etienne (1990, Heavenly Records, Taken from ‘London Conversations’)

Of course New Order have a song has the word ‘triangle’ in the title.

Bizarre Love Triangle (Extended Dance Mix) – New Order (1986, Factory Records, Taken from ‘Substance’)

Which always sounds tremendous wouldn’t you say.   Easily one of New Order’s finest moments a proper head rush of synth pop, electronic hooks and another incredible drum opening, but its Bernard Sumner who makes ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ so addictive.  The way he delivers that opening line captures such as evocative image in my mind, especially the way word ‘Shot’ is almost spat out, as if right there and then, someone has hit him in the face with something fired out of a pea shooter.

Every time I think of you, I feel shot right through with a bolt of blue

Bizarre Love Triangle was covered by the Australian indie folk act Frente in 1994, and they had some relative success with it

Bizarre Love Triangle – Frente! (1994, Mushroom Records, Taken from ‘Marvin the Album’)

The Frente! version strips the song back into a semi acoustic track that sounds almost, almost as beautiful as the original, which brings us almost back to where we started because I first heard this version on an Indie Top 20 Compilation Album.

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4 Comments

  1. Coupy says:

    why, when I saw the title to this entry, did I think this was going to be the subject. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DagYQ3q7FVw
    James Blunt – My Triangle on Sesame Street

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    1. barrystubbs says:

      Well…this might be next week….it is sort of genius. If James Blunt can ever be described as such.

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  2. Khayem says:

    I’ve already confessed to one omission from my Top 30 and here’s another one. Triangle is of course a brilliant song but one which might have passed me by had it not been for my jangly music loving ex-girlfriend. She had all of The Field Mice albums including Skywriting, which is where I first heard this song. For that, and an introduction to Trembling Blue Stars, I am eternally grateful.

    Funny you should mention Frente’s version of Bizarre Love Triangle. I referenced it in my post yesterday as it was clearly inspired by Devine & Statton’s version from 1989. The latter is better, in my opinion, but didn’t even get a whiff of chart success.

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  3. therobster71 says:

    It doesn’t have Triangle in the title, but Tesselate by Alt-J is all about triangles. It’s another one-word title too…

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