domenica 27 dicembre 2009

They walked into the wind

Every decade seems to have a written and imagined sense of itself: the BBC’s recent Your ’80s survey corralled people’s memories of the decade, the quotes said it all. Like this one: “The ’80s was full of colour and everything was big, the music was more ‘electric’ sounding – every band based their sound on numerous keyboards and all the boy bands had floppy fringes. Men carried huge fat diaries which resembled a handbag. There was Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Human League, Wham!, Frankie, Stock, Aitken and Waterman... big hair, puffball skirts, shoulder pads, Dallas, Dynasty, The A-Team and the Falklands. Around 1985 the country seemed to turn a corner almost overnight; twentysomethings in Porsches wearing flash suits; money everywhere…”
But there was none of that for The Loft, or any other band lurking in the shadows of the zeitgeist; of Thatcher, the City, the mobiles like bricks, etc. The party was taking place on the other side of town, not in Lewisham but in the City, the mythical Square Mile, where we would read and hear about characters like those that would eventually people. Look at the picture of these guys as they peer out of their cold kitchen with the hollow eyes and longing that always belong to the marginalised, the outsiders. The bar fires, the cracked glass windows, the skip furniture, amps and guitars, records piled against the walls are all there in one of the many drafty rooms out of shot. These people are underneath the times; building a myth of their present, one that went largely unnoticed by the decade that spawned them. In the words my demi-god Janice Long, ... it was 1984 and I had moved to London to do my own show on Radio One and it had its perks. I had been used to searching out music via word of mouth and music press and gigs but all of a sudden records were being sent to me. There was a lot of crap but worth going through for the gem, the one I couldn't wait to get in to the studio and play. "Why Does The Rain" is one of the best tracks I have ever checked out and still include it in my top ten tracks of all time. God,I must have driven everyone mad. I played it to death on the radio and inmy flat. I was asked to pick my 'bands who are going to be big' for the BBC's Oxford Road Show, 80s TV show with scaffolding and dodgy presenters. I chose The Loft and we spent an afternoon on Primrose Hill filming "Up The Hill And Down The Slope". Yes... up Primrose Hill and down the Primrose Slope. And then the bastards split up... This was the brief & essential story of one of the best bands coming out from the eighties.

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