Saturday, 31 October 2009

When Stars Come Out To Play

"It rained for days on end and when it stopped there was not a leaf on the tree. Just one sad woman to shout 'They've taken him away'. What kind of day is this to be out in Angell Town?" The Band of Holy Joy's More Tales From The City debut LP is a powerful evocation of south London moving into the latter part of the '80s. There are several specific references to the area in the songs. Santley Street in Who Snatched The Baby? The New Cross Road in Mad Dot. And Angell Town in the LP's great moment When Stars Come Out To Play. Angell Town, like its similarly inappropriately named north of the river counterpart Somers Town, is an area named after a specific person. Angell Town is an area roughly between Lambeth and Camberwell, and it's also an estate that was notorious for many years but is now hailed as a transformed eco-friendly living environment. More Tales From The City, like Geoff Dyer's The Colour of Memory, both revels in and is repulsed by the south London grime and spirit. When I think of the Band I think of serious young men with severe haircuts and ancient overcoats and suits scouring secondhand and charity shops. I think of the singer getting excited about meeting Harboro Horace. I think of a TV documentary where the group's all excited about going to see the Salvation Army band perform in the streets. And I think of their Xmas party at the Albany in Deptford. One of the best shows ever. When was that? '87? This is from slightly later and is rather more polished ...

No comments:

Post a Comment