Saturday, 2 December 2017
Oliver!: Midway Still - Better Than Before (4 April 1992)
Let me take you back to the early days of this blog and the sense of excitement I felt when I listened to the Peel show broadcast on 2 November 1991. The file picks up from the end of a news bulletin and goes straight into Pickin’ The Blues and after the initial guitar notes, in comes John Peel, “Do you know at half time I thought Liverpool were on for a record breaking 2 wins in a row but it was not to be. Katch 22 in session together with Foreheads in a Fishtank along with three hours of top quality...well not quite three hours, but a lot of good records.” And then he played the first of them, and this blog was, suddenly, really happening...but it wouldn’t be marking its first post with Wish by Midway Still, which sounded ditheringly morose to me, certainly in comparison to Howlin’ Wolf who was up next.
However, having been the first group played in this Oliver! odyssey, it’s nice that Midway Still turn up as the production comes out of 5 months of rehearsal and rounds the final bend into the production week - opening night was on 7 April 1992. Better Than Before is a huge step up in quality from Wish, fizzing as it does with energy and attack. The powerful backing plays off Paul Thomson’s vocal so well, it made me think that if Buddy Holly had lived long enough to record music in the grunge era, this is what it would have sounded like.
Video courtesy of Anderson bertolin.