Wednesday, 25 June 2014

A Fresh Stab at Morrissey's 'Irish Blood, English Heart'



One of my favourite things about my Xbox 360 has always been the Last.fm and Absolute Radio apps. Hooked up to my speakers at all times, on days like today where I'm packing up my life into boxes, it's nice to be able to shove on the radio without facing the absolute crap Radio 1 tends to throw out these days. Since the beginning of this year, Last.fm's 360 app was discontinued - a real shame as it's library feature gave me an awesome mix of 14-year-old-me guilty pleasures, stuff I genuinely love and a healthy sprinkling of musical soundtracks. So, today I'm giving in to Absolute Radio 00s (and I'm relishing in the ability to switch decades as soon as Kasabian or Razorlight make an appearance).

A few minutes after putting it on, about the third song that rolled over was Morrissey's Irish Blood, English Heart. A song I love, but probably haven't listened to properly until now. I've always been more of a The Smiths Morrissey fan, rather than his solo material. I think like a lot of people who prefer the 80s Moz sound, Viva Hate is my go to Morrissey album, although bonus track Ouija Board, Ouija Board from Bona Drag is another absolute gem to come out of Morrissey's solo career. Irish Blood, however is so straight talking, the music somewhat theatrical, and did strike a chord with me particularly considering the appalling turnout figures of the latest election. Disillusion with British politics, racism associated with the English flag. It makes sense to me, and just goes to show that not much has improved in British politics in the last decade.



It's funny this came to my attention today, as yesterday I was shown an Irish Blood, English Heart cover by Marmozets, a "math rock" (what?) band from Yorkshire. It's usually the kind of jumped up stuff I'm not too fond of, but maybe I'm a bit judgemental of any band that looks like they're regulars at Nottingham's hipster hub the Rescue Rooms. Aztec tees and denim shirts aside, this cover is actually really worth a listen. It doesn't shift from the original too much, but with Taylor Momsen-esque vocals and a switch from the theatrical to a more youthful, angry, raw sound, it ends up an awesome cover, bringing a politically charged song up to date. It blows off the dust and says "this is still a fucking problem".

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