At best, tribute albums are hit and miss; at their worst they are a train-wreck of cherished songs, carriage after calamitously mauled carriage. I’m hoping that when Love goes on! A tribute to Grant McLennan appears, it has at least some selective repeat play potential. The Clientele will tackle ‘Orpheus beach’, while Paul Handyside of Hurrah! is attempting – with greater inherent risk – ‘Bachelor kisses’. No-one appears to have been brave or foolhardy enough as yet to take on ‘Cattle and cane’, but I guess there’s still time for someone to entertain us with that error of judgement. On the Rare Victory site you can hear what the Orchids have made of ‘Magic in here’ and no less than five competing versions of ‘Love goes on’, the winner being Private Eleanor, although I think the Bank Holidays can count themselves unlucky. Best of all on current display is ‘The Devil’s eye’ as performed by GB3 and Angie Hart. GB is Glenn Bennie who recorded with Grant in the year before he died, while Angie Hart was the singer in Frente! who worked similar magic on New Order’s ‘Bizarre love triangle’ back in 1994. The timbre of her voice is not unlike Grant’s and yet of course it has the advantage over the male interpreter of bringing something other to the song. Couple this with her perfectly judged phrasing and you have a cover that even the Clientele may struggle to better.
Recently and not so recently
Amor de Días Another Sunny Day Arthur Lee Belgian beer Big Flame Boards Of Canada Brian Clough British Sea Power Bury St. Edmunds Bye Bye Blackbirds Cathal Coughlan Charles Bukowski Claim Clientele Colin Meloy Creation David Peace Decemberists Durutti Column Emily Esurient Factory Field Mice Flexi discs Go-Betweens Goldfrapp Grant McLennan Hellfire Sermons Hurrah! Jack Kerouac James Jasmine Minks Joe Boyd John Peel Kate Stables Kinks Laugh London Love Manic Street Preachers McCarthy McTells Mervyn Peake Michael Head Microdisney Momus Monkees Nick Cave Pale Fountains Patrick Leigh Fermor Paul Morley Paul Weller Portishead Rachael Dadd Rig Veeda and the Twins Robert Forster Rockingbirds Rozi Plain Sarah Records Sea And Cake Shack The Orchids This Is The Kit Tony Wilson Tracey Thorn Vampire Weekend Verlaines Vic Godard Warp Whalebone Polly Wild Swans Wim Wenders Wolfhounds Wraiths XTC
He knows so much about these things