If I waffle positively here, and yes, I do waffle, about retrospection and a trend in sounds trying to be authentically from a time of yore, this one doesn’t need to try. The Broadway Recording Sessions thrusts you rearward into the eighty’s mod revival scene, whether you want to go there or not.
Battersea trio, The Direct Hits may only be remembered by the connoisseur of mod, having one-shot at charting in ’82, when TV presenter Dan Treacy released their song, Modesty Blaise on his Whamm! imprint. The music press hailed this as not just another Jam, crash-bang-wallop mod revivalist tune, and their explosive live shows avowed them pioneers of a “Battersea Beat.”
Whamm were financially struggling to fund an album, so the band pooled their limited resources and booked the cheapest studio time they could find, Tooting’s Broadway Sounds. By the afternoon they had knocked out nine songs, the other three on this album were recorded a fortnight later. It would be two years later when they re-recorded some of these songs for their debut album “Blow Up.”
Now remastered, these lost recordings have surfaced finally, and, with warts and all, show the uncooked spirit of a hopeful mod garage band. I’ve had this playing for a few weeks since it’s late February release, and it heralds the hallmarks of a post-punk return to the basics, which sixties groups like The Kinks and The Small Faces mastered. To expect this yardstick is pushing it, but through all its rawness there’s some beguilingly adroit songs to make you wonder why they wasn’t as their namesake suggests, direct hits!
Perhaps it was that bit too retrospective for the progressive eighties. Because, elements capture neo-psychedelia, rather than soulful eighties mod assigned via The Spencer Davis Group and into bands like The Merton Parkas. That era where the beatnik style was teetering on influencing the pop sound, but Merseybeat was still riding the high ground. There’s a delicate balance here, avoiding things getting too cliché Mamas & Papas, these upbeat three-minute-heroes never fails to kick ass.
Consistently high-spirted and energetic garage sound, yet psychedelically enhanced; think if Syd Barrett’s days spent at Pink Floyd would’ve been spent with The Who instead, and you get the idea. There’s even a bike song, just like on Relics. Lyrically there’s unassuming stories with clear narratives and characters to challenge the Beatles.
Overall, though, you’ve got twelve mind-blowing rarities which perfectly capture a raw moment of youthful optimism for an inspiring band, in an era where everyone felt encouraged to pick up an instrument and give it bash; and they’re good, really good. In a funny kind of way, I see similarities to the now; the forgone passing of DJ culture in a rave new world and tasteless manufactured pop, to an imminent inclination of online DIY indie, I see hopefuls taking to a guitar and giving it a go. Perhaps then, there’s no time like the present for this to resurface.
Final piece of the series then, and a conclusion… One More Tune!!! By 1994 the Criminal Justice Bill had become an act. Attempts to enforce … Continue reading “Thirty Years a Raver. Part 6: Impact Zone”
Blagging biros and stationery from banks and post offices, we’ve all been there, but few driven to pen a song about it. It’s one valid … Continue reading “Ska-Punk-Folk-Whatever, From The Before Times, with Boom Boom Racoon”
As a new local Facebook page for the LGBTQ+ community, Devizes Lgbtq+ springs to life, I’m left wondering exactly what social and counsel interactions are … Continue reading “Devizes; an LGBTQ+-Friendly Community, a Devizes Pride?”
Now, I know what you’re asking; aren’t you in someway affiliated with Planks’ Dairies, in which case isn’t this a shameless advertorial? Yes, and no, … Continue reading “Planks Dairies Introduces Locally Sourced Organic Dairy Range”
Despite the gloomy pushback to the 19th July for step four of the roadmap to reopen venues, government announced plans to pilot test live theatrical … Continue reading “Full Steam Ahead for The Collected Grimm Tales at The Wharf Theatre”
I don’t know where the ingenious pub name The Chocolate Poodle came from, or why it had to sadly close, but it always sounds like … Continue reading “Fiesty Fish will be at a’Becketts Vineyard on Saturday”
“If you’re hanging on to a rising balloon, you’re presented with a difficult decision – let go before it’s too late or hang on and … Continue reading “Thirty Years a Raver: Part 5: The Final Frontier”