Monday 12 April 2010

The Battle of Epping Forest

"There's Willy Wright and his boys, one helluva noise. That's Billy's boys, with fully-fashioned mugs. That's Little John's thugs, the Barking slugs, super smug. For today is the day they sort it out, sort it out. Yes, these Christian soldiers fight to protect the poor. East End heroes got to score in the Battle of Epping Forest ..." sings Peter Gabriel during Genesis' epic The Battle of Epping Forest. Well sings is perhaps a little weak a description because Peter did so much more than that. The LP this comes from, Selling England By The Pound, is a bit of a guilty pleasure. Ordinarily the mention of Genesis would make me run for the hills. And while Phil Collins may be a decent cove, a big fan of The Action and David Ackles and all that, the music's not my cup of tea. Well, certainly not after Peter skedaddled. This track though is wonderful, and a great piece of musical drama telling the (true) tale of various East End gangs getting together on the outskirts of east London to, shall we say, discuss territorial rights. From the same LP comes the irresistible I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) ...

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