Thursday, 10 September 2015

Oliver: The Boo Radleys - Towards the Light/Lazy Day [Peel Session] (28 December 1991)

"Wake up it's a beautiful morning.
Chris Evans on your radio.
Wake up, it's so beautiful.
Chris Evans with your breakfast show."   But I'm getting ahead of myself....

(Lyrics copyright of Martin Carr and some wonk in advertising who managed to peg their hack work onto Carr's talent).

At the point that they enter my musical journey, The Boo Radleys were preparing material for their second album, and first on Creation Records: Everything's Alright Forever.  An inevitable step along the way was their third session for Peel, recorded in September 1991 and broadcast a week before the starting point for this blog on 26 October 1991.  The two songs I caught don't really stand out; they both clock in around 100 seconds apiece with Lazy Day marginally the better of the two.  Short, sweet and shoegazey, but at least Sice Rowbottom's voice already sounded otherworldly enough before the phasing effects were applied.  But even under all of that, Martin's Carr's gift for melody could not be suppressed.

The session isn't available for sharing, so it's the studio versions instead and the video for Lazy Day at least gives me opportunity to reflect on the issue of bad haircuts.  I was all set to slam the Boos,
particularly Sice and bassist, Tim Brown for their hair at that time, until I remembered that I wasn't doing much better, tonsorially in 1991 either.  For most of my childhood, I was a three haircuts a year man.  It was boring, sitting around waiting to have it done.  I usually got it cut when summer was kicking in but the rest of the year was a moveable feast.  I can't grow my hair long, well I can but it's thick Irish hair as my mother calls it and grows up faster than it grows down.  Boo Radley drummer, Rob Cieka does a better job of carrying off my hair than I do, but he had the best hair in that band, aided as he was by the fact that black men can carry off funky hairstyles which white men should never go near.  Martin Carr shrewdly adopted the ruse of wearing a hat over his mass of curls, thereby giving him the whiff of Lennon in '64.  But Sice and Brown were ghastly and success and its attendant stylists thankfully meant that Sice's mid-life crisis mullet on a receding hairline and Brown's rustic farm labourer look were soon on the barber's floor, and not a moment too soon.
I meanwhile was blissfully rocking a village idiot look with my unkempt bird's nest.  It took the school photo for that year to wake me up to how dreadful it looked.  The deal was sealed when some friends of my parents asked for a copy of that photo to send to a teenaged relative of theirs in the States.  I felt sorry for her in advance, knowing it would be the most repellent thing she would see that year and so as '91 rolled into '92, I started paying bi-monthly visits to the barber.
In recent years, as other expenses have accrued, haircuts have become scarcer again.  I ended up taking a photo at the end of one seven month period of growth.  It still looks wild and uncontrolled when I let it grow and I feel more virile when it's like that. It's due for the chop again after four months, soon, but I still prefer it to how Sice looked in '91 and he may look longingly for what was lost at it himself if we should ever meet.

Videos courtesy of #TheBooRadleys and TheBooRadleysVEVO.

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