Gimme Likkle Bass, Make Me Wine Up Me Waist

May 28, 2012

The sight of stick-thin youths and beer-bellied men stripped to the waist in gay abandon can only mean one thing in this part of the world. Summer. But don’t say “gay abandon” anywhere in their vicinity, or you might well end up with a sare face. Old Firm football top tucked into the back of the jeans? Check! Cheap ethnic tattoos that may well advertise the deep-fried fare on offer at the local Loon Fung? Check! Milky-white flesh turning lobster-red before your very Fabris Lane’d eyes? Check, check and check! I was cycling through Saltcoats yesterday and it was all this and more. Total, total carnage. Everyone’s out for the day, and it won’t be complete without an argument with a local in the chip shop before the last train back to Paisley or Glasgow or wherever they’re from, hoping to spot a cow or a sheep or a horse or some other such exotic animal in an Ayrshire field.

Of course, I’m  a lover, not a fighter and when the temperature gets too much for me, I like to cool off with some heaven-sent Jamaican riddims. This weekend I have been mostly listening to the Jonny Greenwood curated ‘Jonny Greenwood Is The Controller‘ compilation album that came out a couple of years ago. Featuring tons of decent reggae, dub and rocksteady, it’s a bluffer’s delight. It features ‘I’m Still In Love‘ by Marcia Aitken, a skankin’ piece of lovers rock that is itself a re-write of an old Alton Ellis track from 1967. Those of you who grew up thinking Musical Youth were the last word in reggae might recognise the melody, as it later popped up to great effect in Althea & Donna‘s’ Uptown Top Rankin’ from 1977. One hit wonders, both of them, but who needs a second hit when the first one was so good?

You’d like Luke Haines’ booksBad Vibes, Britpop And My Part In Its Downfall and the follow-up Post Everything: Outsider Rock & Roll. Witty, unforgiving and dripping in hate for the tubes, chancers and charlatans he’s met along the way in his skewed journey through pop (including his own band mates – he continually refers to The Auteurs’ cello player as ‘The Cellist‘), he’ll have you on his side in no time, wondering indeed why Black Box Recorder‘s version of Uptown Top Rankin’ wasn’t the global smash it should’ve been. Dubby, fuggy and just on the right side of Portishead, it’s nothing like the originals. Which is a good thing, aye?


  1. […] Click here to go to Plain or Pan to check a 70′s lost classic by Althea & Donna “Uptown Top Rankin’ “…plus a cover of the same tune by Black Box Recorder.  Look close…you will find the links. Share this:TwitterStumbleUponFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  2. don’t say “gay abandon” anywhere in the vicinity of jamaica, either, unfortunately.

    love that music, despite the fact that given the chance, many of them would actually, literally kill me…

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