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Strike a blow for the indies

December 22nd, 2005 | 1 Comment | Categories: Musing on Music |

That’s indie musicians, not the west or east indies. I mean, anything you can do for those indies would probably be much appreciated too, but I haven’t got time to get into that.

This week something marvellous occurred – the current number one single in the pop charts in the UK is ‘The JCB Song’ by Nizlopi (listen to it on their myspace page. They run their own label, have been gigging doggedly on the acoustic folky singer/songwriter scene in the UK for years, and write songs about childhood experiences, not getting jiggy or bling or whatever other nonsense usually populates the upper reaches of the chart.

And for months, there’s been this rumour going round the net that The JCB Song could be christmas number one. I can’t remember where I first heard it – a whisper from here or there. They had a page done with the video on it, which is a hand-drawn childish cartoon of a kid riding in a JCB with his dad (for the US readers, a JCB is a big mechanical digger). It’s beautiful. They’ve done an amazing job of evoking childhood with both the song and the video, and they’ve somehow got it to number one.

Like Show Of Hands managing to fill The Albert Hall, this is one of the most magical moments when real music invades the world of the shallow money-driven reality-tv horse-shit that populates the charts for the rest of the year. When some genuine talent sticks it’s head over the parapet and says ‘here’s a song you might really like, even without some godawful backstory told by the X-Factor to try and convince you that I’m just a roofer done good, living out his dreams, as opposed to a third rate karaoke singer with a dreadful backing track, lining Simon Cowell’s pockets.’

So, the big news is that yesterday I bought a song while it’s at number one for the first time since 1986! the last one was I think ‘Rock Me Amadeus’ by Falco, though it might have been Spitting Image’s ‘The Chicken Song’ – either way, I’ve still got them both. :o)

If Shane from X-Factor does make it to number one, it’ll be another one of those ‘Fairytale Of New York’ moments – a song that gets played everywhere every christmas due to it being one of the finest christmas songs ever written. But can you remember what was the christmas number on the year it was released? Fairytale was number two…

It’ll be the same with this – years to come, people will talk about Nizlopi, they’ll play the song and cry cos it’s gorgeous, and they’ll rue the day that some loser who ended up playing butlins within a year was at number one instead. UNLESS YOU BUY IT. Go on, it’s 79p on iTunes, or the other download services. Go and get it, strike a blow, enjoy the song, and feel like you’ve done something worthwhile.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Gareth J M Saunders

    I have that Falco 7″ single too. From my heady and innocent days before discovering death metal. I had no idea what the words meant, I didn’t — and still don’t — speak German. But I thought the song was cool. Anyway, I discovered this translation of the first verse:

    He was a Punk
    And he lived in the big city
    It was Vienna, was Vienna
    Where he did everything
    He had debts, for he drank
    But all the women loved him
    And each one shouted:
    Come on and rock me Amadeus

    Quality! 😐