It’s Monday – Let’s Swear – #9

You Might As Well Try to Fuck Me – The Music (2001, Hut Records)

Back at the start of the century, there was a band called The Music who after about three gigs had the public and the press frothing at the mouth with fervent anticipation.  The press of course, loved them, the NME famously at the time called them “the best unsigned band in Britain” on the basis of hearing one song.  That being a demo version of this

Take The Long Road and Walk It – The Music (2000, Hut Records)

And you can sort of see what all the fuss was about, all rumbling bass, swirling guitars, the like of which hadn’t really been seen since ‘Fool’s Gold’.  The band also drew comparisons to Led Zeppelin, which was partly aided by the voice of flared trouser wearing, tousled haired singer Rob Harvey.  Harvey possessed the sort of voice that bellowed, a voice that was more a vibrant, shrieking celebration of singing rather than just some bloke standing in front of a microphone.  That he looked a bit like Robert Plant helped as well.  I say ‘looked like’ if you stand in a dark room, wearing dark glasses and squint then Robert Harvey looks a bit like Robert Plant is what I meant.

The usual record company scrummage occurred, and the band finally signed to Hut Records, who at the time were very quickly becoming as important to music as Creation had been four or five years earlier.   Superstardom beckoned surely.  The record company plan was simple, re-release ‘Take The Long Road’ do a tour, take over the keys to master bedroom at the UK Rock Mansion and become the biggest band in the world. 

Only The Music saw it slightly differently.  Instead of doing that, they decide that the best record to release as a debut single was the radio unfriendly ‘You Might As Well Try To Fuck Me EP’.  Which is what they did and Hut Records duly released it along with three other tracks, of which ‘Treat Me Right On’ is probably the best one.   Obviously, the radio stations all refused to play it and the debut EP by the future of rock music sank without a trace, despite it being a belter of a track.

Treat Me Right On – The Music (2001, Hut Records)

The Music did have some success, they did eventually re-release ‘Take the Long Road’ and it did very well (going Top 15 in the Uk).  Around album three Rob Harvey struck up a friendship with Mike Skinner from the Streets and offered guest vocals for his ‘Going Through Hell’ single.  Last year Harvey announced that he was joining Kasabian as their new singer for their next tour.

Going Through Hell – The Streets (2011, Atlantic Records)

The Sunday Shuffle – #15

Turn The Page – The Streets (2002, Locked On Records, Taken from ‘Original Pirate Material’)

Todays randomly shuffled track has been selected by the iPod Nano and it was track that was playing when I walked onto my driveway after the school run.  That track was ‘Turn the Page’ the opening track on the marvellous debut album by The Streets.

Back when The Streets first surfaced around twenty years ago, Mike Skinner was hailed as something of a revelation within the music industry, he was touted as the most gifted rapper that London had ever produced.  Despite him not actually rapping, he might have been the most gifted social commentator that London had ever produced (and we will ignore the fact that he grew up in Walsall or somewhere like that).

For a while that looked to be true.  ‘Original Pirate Material’ was an outstanding album (the Guardian voting it the best album of the 00s decade), it was at times, dark, funny, heartbreaking, euphoric and refreshing and occasionally it was all those things at the same time. It had tales of love, getting drunk, being broke and bored but none of it felt forced or fake.  The NME even suggested that lead single ‘Has It Come To This?’ was a ‘Ghost Town’ for the Internet generation.  It’s a good song, but its not quite that.

‘Turn the Page’ is an epic tune.  It starts with that two step beat and that rather forced string sample that chimes away throughout the song and then 40 seconds later, Skinner comes in with his message, and sets the scene for everything that follows.  What exactly follows is a message about life, love, and staying positive. But ‘Turn the Page’ saves its finest moment for the last twenty seconds or so, the strings, which had been looping away suddenly reduce and fade and Skinner tells the listener, and this is the thing, its sounds almost personal, to “Stand By Me, my Apprentice, fists clenched” and right then we were with him.

Has It Come To This? – The Streets (2002, Locked On Records, Taken from ‘Original Pirate Material’)