Fairhazel – Christine Keeler
I’ve begun reading the Russian classics of late. I don’t know why. Nothing on the telly I guess. Apart from being in awe of their writing skills, I was forced to acknowledge how little life has changed. Apart from some nifty technological devices doing our heads in, folks in 19th Century Russia had pretty much the same issues as those living today. They wanted to eat, have sex, joked about the war, and lead boring, uninteresting lives that had to be spliced with the occasional seasoning of gossip.
I say this in passing because next, I should tell you about what my research about Christine Keeler revealed. She was a beautiful model that became embroiled in a scandal when it was revealed she had had an affair with a British politician. Oh, what a shock that must have been!
Explanations aside, Fairhazel does charming work of relating the so-called Profumo affair. The song features beautiful vocals and clever wordplay. Best of all, Christine Keeler, stands on its own as a good indie-folk song, whether you’ve also been browsing Wikipedia or not.
Ralph&Claire – Back 4 More
Great pop music inventions are like records set in sports. Many records in track & fields, for example, stood for countless years before someone eventually managed to sneak up and break it. Immediately afterwards, though, tens of other athletes managed to overcome the previously set records.
Although they weren’t the first to approach playing rock music as a power duo, groups like the White Stripes or Death From Above 1979 opened the floodgates. It finally provided an answer to the question I’ve always asked, which is “But do we really need a bass player?”. The answers are “no if you do it right” and “no if we’re not playing disco night”.
Ralph&Claire are a duo steeped in the tradition of rock and blues. Back 4 More sees them embrace the poetry of folk, the energy of garage rock and the simple pleasures of having two musicians lock up in great unison. Fuzz guitars and thunderous drumming are included. It’s the 21st century, kids, and, often, the only reason you might need a bass player is if they’ve got a van.