Frank’s Faves on Fridays

January 7, 2011

Kimberley Rew – “Simple Pleasures” (2000)

As opposed to most of the other artists you’ve sent my way, I actually know something about Kimberley Rew. I know that he was in Katrina And The Waves. And that’s about it. Oh, and I have an EP (Ridgeway) that he made and recently gave it away as a free download on his website. So I’ve heard some Katrina And The Waves (how could you not in 1983?), Kimberley’s EP, and now this. “Simple Pleasures” is one of those songs you occasionally recommend that to me sound like a combination of power pop and country. I’m not overly enamoured of that sub-sub-genre of power pop, but it’s pleasant enough while it’s playing. I can’t really think of anything enlightening or perceptive to say about “Simple Pleasures” – it’s well sung (although I don’t like the timbre in Kimberley’s ever-so-slightly nasal voice very much), well played, well recorded etc. However, I will say that I liked the little octave jump in the guitar solo (at 2:20), but I thought the guitar solo was too long. Overall, though, I thought the song wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for a power pop song with a touch of country.

Mott The Hoople – “The Golden Age Of Rock ‘n’ Roll (1974)

This is the first time I’ve heard this song (I’ve only ever heard about four Mott The Hoople songs), and my initial reaction was: “Where’s Ian Hunter?” I now have to find out who’s singing this song and why Ian Hunter isn’t. (Time for another trip to Wikipedia.) Nope – Wikipedia doesn’t mention anything about Ian Hunter not singing this song. Oops. I just discovered that I’d inadvertently played the next song in your list of suggestions instead of playing “The Golden Age Of Rock ‘n’ Roll”. (That’s a major oops.) Right. Now to play “The Golden Age Of Rock ‘n’ Roll”. That’s more like it. Welcome back, Ian. I really liked Ian’s spoken-word introduction. And I loved the guitar solo – it’s demented. (I’d first typed “wonderfully silly” but that doesn’t quite describe it. I think “demented” is more accurate.) Mighty good. My recommendation is that for anyone in the mood for a loose and ragged rock song performed by an English rock band à la the Faces, Humble Pie et al, this song by Mott The Hoople will do the job admirably.

Foghat – “Home In My Hand” (1974)

OK. Now I’m listening to not-Mott-The-Hoople, and I’m surprised at how tame the drums sound for a standard early-70’s rock song. The guitars are nice and distorted, the vocals a little weak maybe, but the drums just sound tame. As for the song itself, I guess that Foghat, being a band who had basically one hit in “Slow Ride“, would constantly have people comparing any one of their other songs to “Slow Ride” and grumbling “It’s not as good as ‘Slow Ride'”. Well, I’m going to do the very same thing about “Home In My Hand”: it’s not as good as “Slow Ride”.

The Left Banke – “She May Call You Up” (1967)

This made a lovely change from the two-and-a-half rawwwk songs above. As you are no doubt aware (I’ve probably told you plenty of times already), my brain turns to mush whenever there’s a baroque pop song around. To make it official: I Love Baroque Pop. Therefore, I’m hopelessly biased about this particular suggestion of yours. Now, because I’m listening to it at the moment and my brain has turned to mush, I can’t make any kind of sensible comment about it. But… I must say that I’m surprised at how much this song reminds me of The Zombies. Okey dokey. When I’ve finished listening to all your suggestions today, I think I need to revisit The Left Banke compilation I’d completely forgotten I had. (That’s one advantage of having a bad memory: the joys of rediscovery!)

Bonus instrumental:

Phil Goodman Trio – “Phil’s Boogie” (1957)

I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this, but I adore Boogie Woogie. I’m mad for it. “Phil’s Boogie” is Boogie Woogie through and through, and I find it utterly irresistible. And that’s all I can say about it, because I want to go and play it again. And again. And again…