Two Shots of Fantasy and One of Make Believe
And here we kick off a new feature that needs to be called something like Pops Yatch's Monday Misty Memory Musings or something, both to scare away the children tired of middle aged men's indulgences that their youth mattered, and as there's so much I feel the need to get down before I forget...wait, what was I going to say? Of course, much of it will have to do with music, as music and memory go together like 6-4 and 3, like gin and dry vermouth, like Ellen Sombers and some ache in your eighth grade groin you weren't old enough to recognize yet. Plus the magic of YouTube continually brings up new things you hoped existed and then suddenly find out do. That magic of the "this can't be really happening, and it's better than the dream."
So here's Any Trouble. Lost to the early 1980s for most, no doubt, if ever even found in the first place. A bunch of great albums, lead singer Clive Gregson going off to support Richard Thompson for awhile, more solo work. Lots of obscurity. And now this actual promo video. Of course it's half a joke, as Gregson, even as a young man--and I promise he's a young man here--had a face made for radio. So "Second Choice" for him might seem pretty good, all in all about the best someone of Gregson's mien might manage. Perhaps that's why the song is surprisingly sprightly for its subject.
It's not my favorite Any Trouble tune, preferring the nailing of the Friday night hope to meet and impress vibe "Playing Bogart," recorded both fast and rip-out-the-heart ballad style, or the songs that kick off album two Wheels in Motion, especially the catchy-clever "Trouble with Love" and "As Lovers Do," that does that wonderful add the verses up quickly reprise trick to bring itself to a powerful end.
But if you were them, here, couldn't you feel a bit hopeful, with Costello and Jackson and Parker making you think you had a shot, at last, and here's your goddam video, so let's sing our witty poppy song and hope and hope. Same old story, all love and glory, and art hankering after commerce, is a pantomime.
Even better, I never paid much attention to the little list of "moods" that a band or song are supposed to capture according to All Music Guide. My Any Trouble love got clarified mighty quick, I think, when I examined their supposed moods and thought, "Gee, I'd like to think these words were me." So here goes: Yearning Bittersweet Passionate Energetic Earnest Reflective Cynical/Sarcastic Boisterous Confident Quirky Bitter Wry Rollicking Quirky Literate Witty Amiable/Good-Natured.
So here's hoping I make a good, obscure post-punk pop band someday. I hope with better glasses.