Friday 18 December 2009

(Do You Remember) The Saturday Gigs

"'72 was born to lose. We slipped down snakes into yesterday's news. I was ready to quit. But then we went to Croydon ..." Mott The Hoople's Saturday Gigs is one of the greatest London songs, and a peerless piece of self-mythologising. Mott The Hoople was one of the great singles groups. And one of the many things that makes the Mott so special still is the attention to detail in the lyrics, and in particular 'Unter's little asides. Rockabilly parties and six-string razors. The "oh dear oh lor oh my oh my ..." in Saturday Gigs. The reference to Top Of The Pops. Ah. I have fond memories of Mott on TOTP from an early age, in the days when watching the show was a religious ritual, and the television centre at White City where it was filmed seemed like the promised land. And I loved the way Generation X rewrote Saturday Gigs for the punk age as Promises Promises. They kept in a mention of Top Of The Pops too, though their punk peers the Rezillos trumped them by singing Top Of The Pops on Top Of The Pops. And as Mott might have sung: "Who needs Thunderthighs when you've got Faye Fife?"

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