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Blog: Dolly and Jaz and Cliff

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Every now and again I get an email from John The Publisher asking for songs - it's almost always an ADMAN saying "Have you got something like Badly Drawn Boy but cheaper?" or a request for a "quirky" song which, inevitably, will lead to them using a Soppy Slowed Down Cover Version Of A Popular Hit.

Yesterday, however, he passed on a request from an American TV Company asking for cover versions of songs recorded between 1977 and 1984ish. This one I could totally DO, as I've recently been gathering together our many and various cover versions ready for a proposed ALBUM of same next year sometime. A quick glance at Wikipedia for DATES and I was soon sending him versions of "House Of Fun", "Glory Days", "Sweet Child Of Mine" and "Vicar In A Tutu". SORTED!

However, I found myself at home later in the day with some free time and so decided to record a couple more. I CYNICALLY looked up a list of US Number Ones from 1981 and, after a failed attempt to get anywhere at all with "For Your Eyes Only" feat. Sheena Easton, I realised that "Nine To Five" by Dolly Parton would fit the bill NICELY. I also NOTED that the original email had a list of suggestions, including The Clash, Buzzcocks and Ministry, so I worked out that KILLING JOKE was probably a NEXUS of these suggestions, and that "Eighties" by the above would a) be easy to do b) have possible ADDED potential for a show which, as far as I could gather, would FEATURE the word "eighties" quite a lot.


On the way home "Sing" by The Carpenters had come up on my MyPod Shuffle, so i RESOLVED to have a go at doing "Eighties" in a similar style, and guess what? It SORT OF WORKED! I had to jiggle the RIFF about a bit and get rid of the Bit That Isn't The Riff, but it all sounded pretty jolly by the time I'd done, and I was then able to RACE through "Nine To Five" in a FIT of ENJOYMENT as it is SO BLOODY GRATE. All in all it took about four hours to record and mix THE LOT. A very pleasant evening's work!

Those are all on the way to whoever requested them (the only time i know exactly WHO these requested songs go to is when they send a video of the ADVERT) and, as ever, I am entirely confident that we'll get absolutely nowhere with it - they always ask for "quirky" versions of songs, but mine are always a bit TOO quirky it seems! I don't really mind though, it's always a good excuse for a few hours' worth of FOUR TRACK FUN, and it increases the GIRTH of the Covers Album, now standing at 24 tracks!!

There'll be MORE covers this weekend too - as well as The Validators' gig at Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes tomorrow (we're on about 7pm), I'll also be doing "Glory Days" with The PopArt Allstars, then on SUNDAY, as well as The Vlads at The Red House at 8pm, I'm doing a set on the Buskers Bus at 5.15pm, when I'll hopefully have a few MORE covers. I've been learning up "Summer Holiday" ESPECIALLY for it, it seemed fitting!

posted 20/7/2012 by MJ Hibbett

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