Counting Up from Two – #6 – Seven

7 Like That – Quickspace (1998, Kitty Kitty Corporation Records, Taken from ‘Precious Falling’)

When I was seven years old we moved house.  It was an exciting time.  I remember reading all the information about my new school, proudly stating that I was going to join the football club, and various other after school clubs that the school appeared to run.  The house we were moving was a bit smaller than the old one and my brother and I would have to share a room.  Something we were excited about until about a week after we moved in, and we reverted to lengthy arguments about who could fart the loudest and whether we were cheating at Monopoly (we both were).

On the third day in our new house, our dad sent me and my brother out into the street to play football, so that he could properly unpack.  Slowly a gaggle of boys our own age all turned up and a mass kick about was taking place on the small grass area in front of our house.  After an hour we had learnt all the nicknames of the kids – some of which remain to this day, there was Baldy, Plum, Griff and a few others who I forget.  It was like we had been picked up and dumped in an episode of the Bash Street Kids. 

We all went in for our teas – shouting that we would see them at school tomorrow, which was conveniently located at the end of the road.  Half the kids I’d been playing with would be in my class and I thought I would fit in really well.  I was also better at football than most of them, apart from Plum, who despite only being 8 told me he played for Gillingham (he didn’t he played right back for Wigmore Whippets), and I had already been told by Baldy, captain of the First year team that he would tell Mr James, the ‘manager’ that I should play on the right wing, because I was better that Matty who currently played there.

Monday arrived and we looked forward to going to our new school.  Baldy even knocked for us and said he would walk with us.  Which is when my dad dropped the bombshell that we weren’t going to the school at the end of the road.  

Turns out they didn’t have room for us and so my dad had got us places in the school about two miles away, the one stuck in the middle of a really rough council estate – not that I knew or cared about that back then (or now for that matter) – but they had plenty of room for us and according to my dad, school is school, they all teach the same stuff. 

My new school was pretty rough, on my first day, I got thumped by the school bully, a lad called Michael (who got expelled in the final year for various nasty deeds, including taking a dump on the floor of the staff room).  The reason for the thump is that I got the highest mark in the class for a times table test, and that I was a ‘boffin’. I’m not convinced Michael knew what a boffin was.   In my second week I tried to get in the first year football team and failed miserably.  A tall lad called Wayne, who claimed to be 8 but looked about 19, marked me out of the game completely. 

Jacob Street 7am – Sabres of Paradise (1994, Warp Records, Taken from ‘Haunted Dancehall’)

Parallel 7 – Four Tet (2020, Text Records, Taken from ‘Parallel’)

The One Word Countdown – #30

The rundown’s most prolific contributor….

Theme – Sabres of Paradise (1994, Warp Records, Taken from ‘Haunted Dancehall’

Points 118

I think this might be the fourth week in a row that a track involving in Andy Weatherall has featured in this rundown.  I may as well change the blog name to ‘Bagging Area II’ and be done with it (not that I am in anyway worthy).  Anyway, of all the Andy Weatherall musical projects that have come and gone – and the aforementioned Bagging Area blog is a far greater place to read about them than here – Sabres of Paradise are my favourite.  It is a travesty that ‘Haunted Dancehall’, the second studio album by Sabres of Paradise didn’t achieve more than it did commercially.  It is an album that captures that after party feel perfectly – and (spoiler) it is one that will feature in the Nearly Perfect Album Series at some point.

I first heard ‘Theme’ – a track which was as close as the band came to actually having a proper hit (number 54 with a bullet) courtesy of a dance CD that I got sent when I was DJing.  I forget the name, but it also had a version of Analogue Bubblebath by Aphex Twin on it – and it may have been a Warp Records sampler, but I genuinely can’t remember, and I don’t appear to have it anymore.  Which was a shame because it was one that almost got me kicked out of the university indie society for the heinous crime of liking a CD that didn’t contain many guitars.  It might have been in the pile of CDs stolen by a bloke called Frank whilst my back was turned on the old ones and twos at university.  Might have just lost it, in a drunken haze, or lent it out and never asked for it back.  Who knows.

Analogue Bubblebath – Aphex Twin (1991, Mighty Force Records, Taken from ‘Analogue Bubblebath Vol 1’)

It’s essential Weatherall, a twisted, dubby beat, that has this almost metallic clang running through it that compliments a whole world of musical sounds.  It packs in a (sampled) brass section, a chugging, niggly, guitar riff that sounds like it comes from a car advert, a pounding, hypnotic African drum interlude and a bassline that sounds like a train going up a hill.  It is blended all together in only a way that Mr Weatherall and his bandmates know how to and the result is just astonishingly good.

There were of course one other track that were considered, one of them was ‘Wilmot’ which has one of the finest rewinds ever recorded.

Wilmot – Sabres of Paradise (1994, Warp Records) – it contains a hefty element of ‘Black but Sweet’ by Wilmoth Houdini (something that was brought to my attention by….Mr Bagging Area)

The Never Ending Playlist #37

Wilmot – Sabres of Paradise (1994, Warp Records)

Wilmot is not sadly a tribute to the eighties funny man and musical theatre star, Gary Wilmot. A man who for several months when I was about eight or nine was always on programs like Sunday Night at the Palladium – which kids, was the eighties equivalent at Live at the Apollo, only with more ropey singers, and added homophobic and racist jokes.

Instead ‘Wilmot’ is something entirely different. It starts out with this slow almost ska like beat that tweets and wails and bursts into life around a minute in and when the trumpet sample kicks in around two minutes in. By that time of course, ‘Wilmot’ its already in a full on party mood, but as the swirly ambient beats combine terrifically with the drum and that addictive trumpet sample you’ll find yourself reaching for the sun hat and a jug of Sangria or something. Its bloody marvellous, and as I happens I listened to it whilst in the waiting room to see the dental hygienist. It felt weird, because its basically the sound of the carnival unravelling in your ears and I looked up grinning away half expecting to see the other people waiting all grinning back at me, as if they were listening to it as well, which of course they were not.

If you are interested it sounds great played back to back with this.

Bingo Bango – Basement Jaxx (2000, XL Records)

Sabres of Paradise are of course the work of Jagz Kooner, Gary Burns and the all round genius that was Andy Weatherall. Its taken from the band second album ‘Haunted Dancehall’ and every bit of it is excellent and it may well find itself featured in the ‘Nearly Perfect Album’ series in the coming weeks.