Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Oliver: Jacob's Mouse - Twist (2 February 1992)

At some point in 2002, when I was foolishly moving away from Peel, one of my gripes against him was that any band in East Anglia stood a chance of getting played on his show - even if they were playing When The Saints Go Marching In on a comb and paper - simply because they would be local to him. God, I was such a curmudgeon back then and needlessly so.  After all, I liked The Vaults and Miss Black America weren't a bad band at all.

If only I'd had access to these shows back then, because if I had, then I would have seen a pattern emerging - what linked Raw Noise, Bleach and "the toast of Bury St. Edmunds", Jacob's Mouse was less their shared proximity to Peel's home and more the fact that in their different ways, they created a storming racket of the type that appealed to Peel's appreciation of the dramatic musical gesture.  That this was happening on his back door must have been tremendously interesting for him

The potential for off-putting band names has already been discussed on this blog and will doubtless resurface in years to come.  I have to confess that the name Jacob's Mouse didn't suggest great things to me, the Whimsyometer flashing dangerously, but this is a great track - funky, tight and with guitar pyrotechnics to rival Graham Coxon at his most virtuostic.  Peel really had a thing for bands who cut loose on their pedals, didn't he?  The Blur comparison isn't too far off, I don't think, as I can hear traces of their Get Out of Cities in this track, except Jacob's Mouse were 6 years ahead.

Twist was taken from an album called No Fish Shop Parking.  Silly album titles were the bread and butter of Peel's playlists but he was able to use his local knowledge to shed some light on the title's background:
"It's called that actually because there's a sign next to a chip shop in Bury St. Edmunds - one of those welcoming signs that you see in this country, but nowhere else on Earth, which says things like 'No Turning in this Driveway' and you always think what damage can it possibly do to anyone to have a car turn round in their driveway...anyway No Fish Shop Parking is a sign that I know well."

Video courtesy of Matt Edmonds.

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