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Saturday 22 April 2023

Saturday Live

Back at the start of March I posted a half hour Sunday mix of The Woodentops and then a little over a month later chief Woodentop, Rolo McGinty, put a brand new song onto Bandcamp. The new song, Ride A Cloud, went onto the wider internet streaming sites a couple of days ago and is a thing of joy, a little bit of space Balearica, with acoustic guitars and wobbly synth sounds and Rolo singing about the dangers of following your dreams and getting what you want- 'If you can ride a cloud like a horse/ You can get there'.

Ride A Cloud concerns the story of Mike Massimo, a man who's ambition was to become an astronaut and work on the Hubble space telescope. He achieved this dream but when working up there, three hundred miles above the earth, he broke it. While unscrewing a bolt it snapped and in order to repair it he had to break a door open. The song is one of 2023's joys to date and I heartily recommend it. 

The band had a fearsome live reputation in the mid- 80s, a band playing upbeat and off kilter indie pop, getting faster and faster as the decade went on. Here they are filmed for Whistle Test in 1985 while playing in Derby, a shirtless Rolo leading the band through two songs- Move Me and It Will Come- 

In this clip three years later, filmed at the Dominion Theatre in London (at David Bowie's request) they romp through their best- known song, a seven minute version of Why Why Why, stand up drumming from Benny Staples, hubcaps being banged, the varnish being scrubbed off the tops of their guitars while Frank de Freitas plays a superbly rubbery bassline. 

This is the full twenty five minute set which the above clip is taken from, Bowie dancing in the wings. 

In 1986 the group had been recorded while playing a gig in Los Angeles, the frenetic Live Hypno Beat Live album (released in 1987). Why crossed over from this album to Ibiza when Alfredo began playing it in his sets and then back again to London's burgeoning clubland (it was a massive favourite at Shoom), the speed of the guitars, Rolo's delivery, all intensity and rush. The gig at The Palace in Hollywood was apparently the first time they were introduced to E.

1 comment:

Swiss Adam said...

Thanks Sintra blogue