Sunday, 29 April 2018

Oliver! Appendices: Pay the Man - Popeye (9 November 1991)

In the few months before I first set up a Twitter account to link to the blog (handle is @greasepaintpeel), I was probably the only person who ever looked at what I was writing.  The result is that the first handful of Peel shows that I covered, mostly ranging across November 1991 had very little exposure.  Whenever I write notes about a Peel show, I usually mention tracks I would have liked to blog about but couldn’t due to there being no YouTube upload available.  After the Twitter account allowed any curious souls to look in on here, it meant that in a number of instances tracks by artists as diverse as Kat Bjelland, The Mind SirensManifestoSultans of Ping F.C.M31 and Sanchez/Shaka Chamba among others were made available after my plaintive cries were heard.
However, requests from those early shows went unheeded, because nobody would have read them.  Such are the vagaries of timing - though I may take the advice of Tim Worthington and link back to those earlier selections in a “Things you may have missed” way.  We will see, I’m still tying up loose ends of things for Oliver! while at the same time, keen to press forward.  If you’re reading this and wondering what you may have missed in the early stages of this blog, click the 2014 tab on the right hand side of the page.

Happily, one request from the early shows turned up, unbidden by me on YouTube in late 2017.  Popeye was one of only two releases by Los Angeles trio, Pay the Man.  Despite an early warning for including excessive tune-up wankery at the beginning of the track (a musical offence only marginally less aggravating than excessive feedback wankery), it delivers a kick-ass opening riff before segueing into a sunglasses-cool vocal suggesting that the Popeye of the song is closer to Jimmy Doyle than the Sailor Man.  Despite sounding every inch a garage band, the refrain of “The time.  The moment.” that keeps popping up through the track suggests that they may have been listening to U2 as much as The Stooges in their formative years.  As you will hear, to Peel their influences had far less bearing on them receiving a play on his show than the combination of their mailing address and the colour of the vinyl that the single was pressed on.

Video courtesy of John Peel.

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