Tuesday, 4 January 2011

'Pour the milk and I'll say when' by @diaryofaledger

Remember The Word? Kind of dreadful Friday night freak show on Channel 4 hosted by Terry Christian?  Well because I was nineteen and easily amused, I used to watch it, but it did have one redeeming feature.  At the end of each travesty there was a band and the producers were well into the early Grunge scene. Many punters would have seen Nirvana for the first time because of it but the band I remember more is the Lemonheads and their performance of Mrs Robinson.  Evan Dando in a massive red furry coat, playing a brilliant cover of the Simon and Garfunkel classic.

The album, It's a Shame About Ray, is one of the most uplifting I've ever owned.  Dando, before the drugs took hold, had this kind of ethereal quality to him that was both charming and disarming.  A genuinely nice guy who suddenly and completely unexpectedly had fame thrust upon him following the success of Mrs Robinson.

It' an incredibly short album, no song is longer than three and a bit minutes but it's a lovely blend of folk, pop and grunge.  You can't help but smile at the tunes.  They remind me of great summers at home, driving around in a bright yellow Ford Fiesta, living without a care.

The lovely Juliana Hatfield is on loads of the songs, her beautiful voice blending with Dando's and there are loads of highlights.  Alison's Starting to Happen is a personal fave along with the brilliant Ceiling Fan in My Spoon.  Some of it's silly and almost throwaway, but there's just a hint of depth throughout and it's that and Dando's lost puppy thing, that makes the whole thing so endearing.  The Mrs Robinson cover is great but there was so much more to the Lemonheads than that.

The follow up, Come on Feel the Lemonheads, still had some of the magic and contains my favourite song of theirs, Into Your Arms, although not my favourite version which sits as a B-Side on the Mrs Robinson single.  It lasts a minute and half.

If you've never listened to them, they're worth checking out, but start with 'Ray', if you're feeling blue post New Year it'll put a smile on your face.

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