His voice has lost its top-end choir boy sweetness, and the bottom-end is rougher than it was, but you can still see performance magic in this clip of Dave Read singing ‘Goodnight’ from a rendering of the whole of the White album at the end of last year. Bob Collins formerly of the Dentists is playing the guitar.
Dave was the singer in the Claim, the best thing to come out of Kent since hops were first harvested, and this is a second echo since they disbanded fifteen years ago, the first being his vocal on ‘My number nine’, a B side by Coax that I will surely write about in my ‘Backed with’ series before long (and mentioned in this piece on the Claim and the Clientele).
It may look like a bloke who’s put on his best shirt to sing karaoke in a boozer, but to anyone who saw the Claim at their peak in London in the late 80s, it’s so much more than that – a touching reminder of the Claim’s ordinary genius. Of course I would rather have stumbled across a clip of Daves Read and Arnold doing ‘God, Cliffe and me’ from that time, but in the absence of that, and the collection that the Bus Stop label is yet to deliver on, it’s something.