Thursday, June 02, 2005
some expressions take me back...
When I was very young we lived in a village outside Durham called Witton Gilbert. The local garage was owned by the McAloon family. It was here that young Paddy McAloon started writing the songs that would later find him fame in Prefab Sprout. It's tempting to think about him watching the wagons labour through the village heading for the steelworks in Consett and writing 'Faron Young' as an English 'trucker's song'.
Prefab Sprout - Walk On
On first impressions early Prefab Sprout sound like many other English Indie bands of that period but there was always something a bit more ambitious about McAloon's wordplay and arrangements. Most post-punk songwriters sat at the feet of the Velvets and the CBGB's scene. Paddy was obviously aware of Jimmy Webb and Broadway music.
Prefab Sprout - Cue Fanfare
I have recently rediscovered Prefab Sprout's debut album, 'Swoon'. It really doesn't sound like anything else but it doesn't strain to be quirky, it's....elegant! Martin McAloon's bass playing is a revelation and even Wendy Smith' vocal 'stylings' don't irk at this stage. The North-East doesn't get much attention from record labels and music press but it was obvious that Prefab Sprout had something and deserved their seemingly weekly appearance on The Tube.
Prefab Sprout fansite