Sunday, 19 July 2009
Find of the week...
Sunny Side Up by Wilbert Longmire....what else?
Worth it for the cover alone, were it not for the presence of one of my favourite session guitarists, Eric Gale, and some lovely piano flourishes from Richard Tee. (Just to divert away from the music for a second and back to the lovely pair of yolks on the cover,
it's not uncommon in our house to hear the bastardized strains of a familiar old standard reverberating around the gaffe as we duet:
[Mr. Shadow:] How do you like your eggs in the morning?
[Mrs. Shadow (no relation):] Unfertilized.)
But I digress. Yes, musically, it was a bit of a leap into the dark, but at three quid (and having agonised over whether I'd ever listen all the way through to an Average White Band live double album, the only other contender in the racks of the Geranium Shop for the Blind) it would need to be pretty dire not to reward that meagre investment.
Whilst it's certainly no masterpiece, there's a fair degree of charm poking through the workmanlike sessioneering on all 5 tracks. Opener, 'Black is the colour'* is a pleasing, synth and harmonized-guitar disco workout. But, surprisingly, my favourite track turns out to be Wilbert's instrumental take on Bill Withers' over-familiar classic 'Lovely day'. It's the first song to feature Eric Gale and he immediately makes his presence felt, guiding the band through what evolves into a Chic-like groove underpinning Wilbert's jazzy doublestopping. Closer, Starflight' is worth a listen too, kidding the listener that they're in the pre-flight Concorde lounge circa 1978, trying to attract the stewardess's attention to order another glass of free champers whilst simultaneously avoiding eye-contact with Elton John, Britt Ekland or Rod Stewart.
Had it not been only the CD version I picked up, the 'real' find of the week would obviously have been Cornershop's When I Was Born for the Seventh Time. Despite having bought the single of 'Brimful of Asha' at the time, for some reason, I never got around to the LP from which it came. (Then again, I only watched Team America: World Police for the first time last night, so it shouldn't come as any great surprise. No wonder "I'm so ronery"...) As the lads themseves say, there's "good shit all around". Hanif Kureishi wrote a book called The Black Album. When I Was Born for the Seventh Time. is pretty much what that album would sound like. A fiver well spent, when all's said and done...
MP3s of the Wilbert Longmire songs for your delectation:
Black is the Colour
*...not, sadly, an homage to the new Chelsea away strip...
Another day, another Tappan Zee/Columbia label....
Wilbert as he was in 1978, note obligatory credit to God, David 'Dave' Sanbourn and a handsomely kitted out Eric Gale, bottom right.