Friday, 23 December 2016
Oliver: The Soka Band - Linga Linga/Gene Vincent - Git It (1 March 1992)
Two tracks brought together by a genius John Peel link. Linking is very important in radio, enabling the disc jockey to effortlessly glide from one item to another. My own favourite came from Brian Matthew on Sounds of the Sixties, about 20 years ago. He was reading the questions for a competition and promised to repeat them in next week's programme. "And if you can't listen again next week, you'll have to get someone to tell you the questions. Perhaps, the mother in law?" Cue Ernie K. Doe. Gloriously awful, but effective given it's lodged in my head for 20 years.
On Peel's show, linking usually came in several forms:
The musical connection - this could cover contrasting versions of a song together. If anyone ever covered the Peter Gunn theme for instance, you could guarantee that Duane Eddy's version would follow it. Songs with shared themes would be sequenced by his producers. John Walters was particularly adept at this as this April 1980 running order shows. 4 songs about depression and nervous breakdowns followed by a brace of school themed songs.
Coincidence - usually the result of something like people's names rhyming. Hadda Brooks followed by Madder Rose etc.
"This next record is by..." - the bread and butter of his delivery. No messing about just cueing up the next track, but when the opportunity to subvert it came up, he would take it. Such was the case on 1/3/92 when after playing the delightfully sunny Linga Linga, sent to him from "my earthly
representative in Zimbabwe", he told us Linga Linga translated as, "Well oh well, oh wop, whip whip" and then sent us tumbling into the brilliant Git It from Gene Vincent. Arguably, the catchiest tune of the evening, that chorus is irresistible. Vincent's exquisite phrasing over the top of those Great Balls of Fire-esque piano runs. There's very little in the way of histrionics here, but he captures magnificently that sense of desperation which kicks in when the girl of your dreams is making demands that you can't satisfy at that moment, but give me an hour and I'll have what you want - anything you want. This is a girl worth stealing cars and jewellery for, despite the fact that poor Gene will doubtless be run into the ground by her. It's a generous performance, because one of the great rock 'n' roll bad boys is offering himself up for the slaughter so readily.
Even more than in his performance of Who Slapped John from 22/2/92, after hearing this there's no way to argue with Peel's assessment, "There really was no-one better. Gene Vincent."
A very merry Christmas to you all, especially to YouTube uploader, Webbie, who not for the first time this year, came up trumps with a request for a particular track that I desperately wanted to include on this blog, and did so with The Soka Band. Check out their Keeping It Peel site and podcasts..
Gene Vincent video courtesy of Elmar Neumann.