Strange echoes, the relationships we have with songs. Complex mechanisms constructed from unquestioning, unwavering loyalty. They circumvent the memory’s natural defences to attach, like a pernicious virus.
And neither is it all about the seriousness or the cerebral; occasionally there’s a requirement for stomping dumbness in a tune (this record by Earl Brutus, I find, does the job wonderfully. A statement of intent; a rallying cry for the drunk and the overtly enthusiastic to storm the Bastille, or the downtown, sky-blocking edifice that houses the Ministry of Love).
A wee while ago I had an encounter with a giant typewriter; was in the bowels of a building in Edinburgh’s Old Town, and once the session had run its course I’d been permanently branded, a choice slice of wisdom from Steven Patrick – who else? – inked up my arm. Since that time, I’ve often pondered which song lyric I’d go for if that giant typewriter ever returned to finish me off. Probably not Earl Brutus, despite the manifold attractions of “Hair designed by Nicky Clarke”; tattoos as sarcastic, art-rock sentiment, a snook cocked towards the vacuous mainstream, run the risk of being interpreted a little too literally by the uninitiated. You know, if you’re that desperate to have a discussion about celebrity coiffure, there’ll be toasters and porpoises and tributaries of the Danube with far greater insight than me.
Naturally, should I ever feel the need for further bodily illustration, I’ll be plumping for lyrics from an early Sigur Rós album instead. A joke which, should you not understand, I’ll promise not to think less of you… although I will suggest that you listen to stuff from frozen lands and midnight suns more intently in the future…
Sigur Rós / Gong