Tuesday, 4 September 2007

The Bicycle Thieves "Ghost Dance"/"Louise" (Clear Spot Records, 1986)

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I just can't resist a request, so for Nick (see the comments on the Faith Global post), here's a forgotten gem from 1986. I got this single from a bloke I knew called Roger, who'd been putting on some gigs at Queen Mary college in Mile End in London. I'm not really sure why I was up there paying him a visit, but i found myself in the promoters office, with it's requisite detritus of singles, posters, fanzines, flyers, gaffa tape and overflowing ashtrays. Roger sat me down, and while we were chatting, said "Hang on, have a listen to this, it's by a band I'm sort of looking after at the moment" He played me "Louise" and I absolutely loved it. So much so that I begged him to let me have a copy. "Sure" he said, rooting around his desk for a spare. "Actually, that's the only copy I've got at the moment, you can have it if you like" So, it was secondhand when I got it, and it's obviously been played a little *too* much, but it's been one of my most cherished records from that day to this. It's a driving, heartfelt slice of pop melancholia, with a melody The icicle works would have killed for, and just the right amount of chiming Rickenbacker verve and swagger. It's actually the B-side to this single, but take it from me, it's easily better than the other side.

And what of The Bicycle Thieves? Well- and I'm sure you won't be surprised, nothing.I've got a 12" by the band which came out on Waterfront records a few years later, and it's not a patch on this. There's no record of them anywhere on the Internet. If anyone out there knows anything about them, I'd dearly love to know.

The Bicycle Thieves "Louise" (mp3)

8 comments:

So It Goes said...

Hey you! Whadda batta MY request, huh? And why you no answer my comments no more, amico? Gonna make you an offer you canna refuse, capiche???
;-) (Steve from 'Teenage Kicks in silly mood).

Nick said...

Thank you - I love this soooooo much! I was craving it last year when the Upper Room "Black & White" single came out because it reminded me of it for some reason, not that they're remotely similar (exit Nick to compile a playlist around these two). Btw, speaking of similarities, which of course we aren't, "kick out the jams" and "too drunk to fuck". Same song, different speeds? Whaddya think?

iain said...

@steve, i'm still looking (fruitlessly, so far)...will keep you informed :)
@Nick- hurrah! And you're right about Jams/Drunk!

So It Goes said...

Sure thing Iain, look forward to it. Meanwhiles, this is a great jewel of an unknown classic to be going on with!
BTW, if we're playing that game, how about Pet Shop Boys 'I Get Along Without You Very Well' and Tears For Fears 'Sowing the Seeds Of Love'? The Redskins 'It Can Be Done' and Lulu 'Shout'? Good parlour game!

iain said...

Makes a change from my normal game of "reciting catalogue numbers of obscure new wave singles"
:)

So It Goes said...

Jeez, don't think I could take part in that one: in fact, the only catalogue number I can remember is Crass, 'Yes Sir I Will' (BOLLOX2U2).

Mick said...

I've only just got round to listening to this. There's a slight country feel to it that I like. Great discovery. I feel a classic b-side post coming when I can find the time.

iain said...

Nice one mick, i'm loving the way our posts are starting other threads on different blogs, it's like blog-tag :)
YOU'RE IT!