Holy crap

holym1“Plastic Bertrand? Never fookin’ ‘eard of him.”

Noel Gallagher, almost a decade after quitting Oasis, still insists on having a music career with his make-believe High Flying Birds act. Diehard fans of his old band have thus-far humoured him by buying enough copies of his prior two solo efforts to justify Album #3, an achievement his brother’s ill-fated band Beady Eye didn’t attain. After their dreary BE sat on store shelves untouched, Liam – fresh from personal life woes involving affairs, divorce and child support – phoned up bandmates Andy Bell and Gem Archer in 2014 to call it quits. Bell rejoined shoegaze kings Ride before Gallagher had hung up, while Archer texted smileys to Noel for the next three years as he pinned needles into voodoo dolls of High Flying Birds guitarist Tim Smith. Archer replaced Smith in 2017.

Today, Liam is also now a one man band, and as his debut long player As You Were hits the shops, Noel’s new single – in an exceptional coincidence – premieres the same week. Noel’s Birds records have ranged from bland to mediocre, still plundering the same 60s mid-tempo dad rock he’s always favoured (with the occasional Gerry Rafferty-esque saxophone deviation) and descending ever more into Dire Straits levels of banality. Gallagher recently continued his musical vanilla ventures by curtain-jerking for U2.

New track Holy Mountain is Noel’s biggest departure from the Morning Glory days. With producer David Holmes at the helm, there’s fuzzier sonics and vague psychedelia at play. But – DEAR GOD – if the lyrics he has penned here are the best he can dream up these days, he should never be permitted to exercise his ambidextrous writing paws again. I didn’t imagine it possible to write an entire song made up of cliches, but ’17 NG proved me wrong…

Dance dance, if you do that dance
I’m gonna let you join my one man band
Be my doll, by my baby doll
Come get to know me like the back of your hand

I like the name hangin’ on that shade
I like the way you do the push and the shove
You can blow my mind if you’re that way inclined
All I know is that you fell from above

She fell, she fell, right under my spell
Hold up pretty baby, come on
She danced, she danced, right into my hands
Hold up pretty baby, come on

Be my butterfly, you and I will shake it
Rolling at the top of them all
And if you feel the need, I’ll send you godspeed
To me you’re bigger than the break of the dawn

Get out of the doldrums baby now
You liar, I’ll set ya on fire
Get out of the doldrums baby now

Musically, it’s a mildly fun, horn-infused Go! Team-style stomper. Certainly a ways from Don’t Look Back in Anger. But there ain’t a shred of originality on offer, being as it is a rip-off of Plastic Bertrand’s Ca Plane Pour Moi with (as nearly all of Twitter has pointed out) more than a hint of Ricky Martin’s She Bangs. Plagiarism is something Gallagher still hasn’t departed from. The catchy flute loop is also sampled from The Chewin’ Gum Kid, a forgotten 60s bubblegum pop 7″ by Ice Cream – though this has been credited, likely at zero royalties cost. Even the title is stolen goods; much like Wonderwall, Gallagher appropriates the name of another film with George Harrison connections – Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain. Nothing with Beatles fingerprints is safe from Noel’s thieving music hoover.

Can David Holmes, a talented composer, possibly be proud of this collaboration? Maybe he is – he’s no stranger to borrowing from the greats himself, having knocked off Ennio Morricone’s Svolta Definitiva (an NG favourite) for his Ocean’s Twelve soundtrack cut What R We Stealing

With its retro animation and primary-coloured 60s/70s optical SFX, Holy Mountain‘s video apes every Go! Team (or Whyte Horses, whom Gallagher has also favoured recently) music vid you’ve ever seen. Except those didn’t feature a wrinkly bloke embracing his newfound love of the dancefloor spotlight by shaking his boney hips. Ultracringe. Really, if you deleted Noel and added any one of Ian Parton’s or Don Thomas’s favourite girlband singers with less vomit-worthy lyrics, this could actually be agreeable enough pop. As it is, Noel might best be served saving his midlife crisis for wedding receptions.

Liam must be laughing it up. Except his new record is shit too.

Let’s end a hateful post with something loving. I’m currently editing a wonderful documentary called To Be A Torero for Spanish filmmaker Inma de Reyes, who has just jet off to Prague to experience Noel and David’s hero Morricone in concert. I’m unfathomably jealous. Here’s one of my favourites from the master…

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Bringing Up Bobbie

bobbie_1.1.1

Stumbled upon this incredible photograph today of 69-year-young Bobbie Gentry from 2014 – seemingly her only public photo taken since 1985. The pic arrives from this dull article at Boyd Gaming, a naff Casino company, promoting the latest signee to its “Corporate E-Commerce team” Robert Streeter (pictured right), Gentry’s band guitarist and production manager in the 70s. She receives a fleeting mention in the article with the photo tacked on insignificantly at the bottom – perhaps the boys at Boyd weren’t aware that even a mere glimpse of her these days for music fans is akin to witnessing Elvis rise from the grave.

Unlike her contemporaries Gale Garnett and Margo Guryan (whose ‘Sunday Morning’ track Gentry covered with Glen Campbell), who similarly canned their music careers but continue to give interviews and connect with their fanbases, Gentry has been unrelenting in her reclusiveness since the 80s, refusing interviews, appearances and even denying her own existance. Did Boyd upload the photo without realising the significance? Did Streeter provide it to them by some mistake? Who knows, but it’s heartening to see her alive and well.

Gentry is most known for her ’67 bluesy folk hit ‘Ode to Billie Joe’, but I prefer her 1971 swansong LP ‘Patchwork’ – a blissful hodgepodge of brassy Bacharach, clip-clop country and soaring soft rock ballads.