The latest Shivers Inside takes as its cue the Jasmine Minks 1985 single, ‘What’s happening’, one of the most attacking, celebratory, anxious slices of vinyl released by Alan McGee. A perfect gem of sixties garage pop meeting punk rock at the grass roots of Creation, I took this record as a seventeen year old to my home town’s one ghastly niteclub on a night when for some forgotten and improbable reason they were letting in the likes of me, and twisted the DJ’s arm. None of my friends had heard the record before, but they all followed me on to the dance floor and orbited the glitter ball like exultant, fiery comets. Suffolk then was a little further away from the centre of things, and I never saw the Jasmines play while Adam Sanderson was in the group, but this remains for me a rarely matched moment of dance floor joy.
John Carney’s tale recreates those very moments of Creation, giving a unique perspective on the ‘riot’ during the Jesus & Mary Chain performance at North London Poly and the recording of what became the Minks’ ‘Cold heart’ twelve inch.
From Alphabet Soup to E-Z Rollers, the sheer range of the Shivers Inside series (and Fifty Thousand Reasons before it) is dazzling. One a week without fail or columnist’s holiday, it’s like it used to be listening to John Peel: you never know what’s coming next. The narrative tone varies from characters who are clearly inhabited to crafted memoir conflated with the vox pop oral history of youth first proposed in the original Generation X. I’d love to see both series in book form, with two front covers, readable both ways – that would be a double A side to match Shena MacKay’s debut Dust falls on Eugene Schlumberger / Toddler on the run. What chance of that, John?