Monday, 18 January 2010

I live in style on Maida Vale

"I can't take no more of this stuck-up scene so I am going away ..." sings the great Jesse Hector on his I Live In Style In Maida Vale number, a tale of turning the tables and getting revenge on the girl with her nose stuck up in the air. It actually dates from 1974 and the sessions Jesse's Hammersmith Gorillas recorded for Larry Page's Penny Farthing label, but remained unreleased until 1999 when Big Beat/Ace put out the excellent Gorilla Got Me set. The name Hammersmith Gorillas actually comes from another London song by Third World War. Those other proto-punks sang about the Hammersmith Guerillas though on their second LP. They'd sung about the Shepherds Bush Cowboys on their first. Proto-punks? Well I prefer the term future primitives. The Gorillas certainly were that odd thing. Were they resistance fighters in the pre-punk '70s keeping the flame burning for real r 'n' r? Or were they just ahead of their time, doing their John The Baptist bit? Certainly the Gorillas look was a joy to behold. The mod haircuts, the rockabilly sideburns, the punk attitude. And the Gorillas idea of what rock 'n' roll should be was very much rooted in the tradition of the Kinks and Small Faces, so as we don't seem to have film of the Gorillas in all their glory here's the Small Faces ravin' it up in style 'round Kensington way ...


  1. Excellent stuff, Jesse hector is like the "Zelig" of British rock n' roll. Hopefully that documentary on him will find it's way onto DVD one day!

  2. Nicely put. The mod thing of taking the best from anything and everything.

  3. mala_reay@hotmail.com31 January 2010 at 21:02

    God Bless 'She's My Gal' the proto punk classic,their two Chiswick single's were cracking,'Leaving Home' is fantastic!