WORTH A LOOK?: ****
‘I’ve known Youth for 20 years or so. We live up in the same mountain here in southern Spain in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. I’m not mad on industrial, metal dub and trance so it seemed only right and proper that, at weird times like this, I would do something unthinkable, like work together with Youth’, says Blow Monkeys frontman Dr Robert.
- Read on for reasons including why you should seek out this lockdown collaboration
‘He sent me this really funky backing track and said just ‘do your thing’ on top. So I added some guitar, wrote some words -and suddenly we had this song. Magic … Space Mountain, Druid, Punk Funk, Magic. His only guide was ‘make it universal’. Well if this crisis has taught us anything it is that we need each other. We are all one.’
Youth adds: ‘I moved to the wilderness 20 years ago to escape the London music biz, only to find one of the Blow Monkeys living up my track … God’s cosmic joke, I thought philosophically. Inevitably and eventually we became friends and, to our astonishment, we found we shared more musical tastes than we didn’t.
‘But it took this lockdown crisis for us to agree to actually work together, possibly because we knew we wouldn’t be in the same room at the same time. I had been playing around making beats on my own. I was thinking De La Soul meets Curtis Mayfield with Isaac Hayes producing. The results speaks for itself, opposites attract and all that, strange chemistry. Keep dancing.’
The Blow Monkeys came to the attention of our teenage selves via debut hit Digging Your Scene (Dr Robert pictured then above), a joyous pop masterpiece with an interesting pro-gay lyric at a time when that alone was worth being thankful for.
We first saw the Blow Monkeys during their imperial phase at the then Hammersmith Odeon in 1987 after they were basking in the success of their biggest hit album She Was Only A Grocer’s Daughter including the top 5 hit It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way (watch below) and then during their 90s decline in Kilburn when they were still releasing interesting and genre-pushing dance music including album Springtime For The World shortly before they split up.
They reformed in 2007, releasing five more albums.
This collaboration with Youth (watch video far above) is an unexpected lockdown joy. A low bass rumble, a mid tempo rhythm track, a pop sensibility and a lyric about what unites us rather than divides us in difficult times. More cheer up than lockdown.
- Picture via Facebook courtesy Blow Monkeys Tickets
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