Song of the Month: Gangsta by tUnE-yArDs, 2011



* Listen to the song HERE *

Watching live footage of rock concerts is generally disappointing I find. The event itself may well be an exciting euphoric experience where audience and performers are communally and transcendentally united as one through shared adrenaline sweat-fuelled musical ecstasy. You don't quite get that though when you're sat watching it on the telly in the evening with a hot drink and a biscuit and the sound turned low so as not to disturb your good lady and dog who are conked-out on the sofa snoring in stereo.

My dissatisfaction established itself around the time when my friends at school began listening to heavy metal and smoking. Visiting one of their houses suddenly meant sitting around watching hours of live Led Zeppelin videos which always climaxed with a 15 minute version of 'Moby Dick', 13 minutes of which was a drum solo. According to my companions, being there would've been the equivalent of being in the presence of God, but I was never convinced. I don't even think the rest of the band were either -  their walking off stage during the solo told me all I needed to know about what it was like to actually be there.

Anyway, attempting some optimism I had a go at watching some of the televised footage of this year's Glastonbury festival, and to my surprise I'm glad I did because amongst all the stuff that I can't now even remember who they were was tUnE-yArDs: florescent face-painted hollering women banging out unpredictable African-based polyrhythms decked out in ill-fitting multi-coloured home-made fish-themed outfits, a brass section, distorted electric ukulele and a bass player who looked half asleep, backed by amateur dancers dressed in cardboard eye-balls wrapped in a silk sheet.

They were glorious.

I could even turn the sound up a bit as my good lady Kate woke up, mesmerised by what she was seeing and hearing. I'm always pleased when our tastes coincide – often while listening to much of the music I love she gives me a look of someone who wants to punch my ears.  

October 2014

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