A GUEST POSTING by DIRK a.k.a. SEXY LOSER
You see, the problem with a follow-up to an ICA is that everything about band members and discographies has already been said and done. So please refer to JC’s ICA # 175 if you’re interested.
Also JC managed to pick some of the really good songs, it must be said! No problem though, because ballboy are a band with so many good tunes: it was fairly easy to find ten other ones. Well, not that easy, because I couldn’t rely on albums, singles and EP’s only, I just had to include non-commercial releases as well, because I thought you’d miss a treat if I would not do so. Which made the number of songs to choose from even bigger!
But in the end I succeeded, so, without further ado, Ladies and Gentlemen, Scotland’s finest, ballboy:
As it so often is the case, the Peel Session is the superior version. Fact. Obviously this is not only true for ballboy recordings. At least in my books. Here we have to thank George Thomas and Nick Scripps, who produced and engineered this tune back in March 2003. The original version can be found on ‘The Sash My Father Wore’ … of course the album version is excellent as well, but not that excellent!
(JC adds….first time I’ve heard the Peel Session version…..and Dirk is right!!!!)
Since I first heard this song, I tend to have a close look each year on August 14th on me way to work. Never saw a single flag though, but I suppose Mrs Loser is still working on this: hope is the last thing to die, right? First released on the ‘Girls Are Better Than Boys’ – EP in 2001, also to be found on ‘Club Anthems’.
I like it when they do a cover version! Here they tackle a very old tune indeed, from 1912 or thereabouts in fact. Elvis sang that as well, perhaps this is the version that ‘Frankie And Johnny’ is remembered for best. Still he didn’t write it, but to my best knowledge Elvis only wrote a handful of songs, if at all. Another artist who recorded a version was Lonnie Donegan, which is the link to ballboy:
“This is a Peel Session track recorded in October 2004, 2 days after the great man passed away. He was planning a Lonnie Donegan special and invited us to record this. We recorded it in one take, all together in the room with no overdubs. It is ramshackle and raw, but we like it and we are desperately sad that we didn’t get to play it for him.”
From their very first EP, ‘Silver Suits For Astronauts’ from 1999. Again, also this was issued on ‘Club Anthems’. A mighty tune, no question about that!
Also from the aforementioned debut EP: the truth of the matter is, I simply couldn’t decide which one to leave out, this one or ‘Dumper Truck Racing’, so you’ll get both, as easy as that …
Anyone who starts a song with the line “You left your notes on lesbian sex on the fish tank in the hall/took me all afternoon to read them all” is alright with me, I must say! And in the case of ballboy it’s even more alright and I’m curious to find out how this story develops … and so should you, I tell you!
A lifetime ago the band offered podcasts on their website, those podcasts were made by Gordon ballboy and his acoustic guitar. The podcast were a regular feature and one was made every 2-3 weeks or so. The format was that Gordon talks a little, sings a new song, talks a little and sings an old song. ‘Disney’s Ice Parade’ is from a podcast from 2006.
Perhaps this my favourite ballboy tune. Here, I said it! Then again this might change in five minutes, as it did for a thousand times within the last two decades. It’s the opening track to ‘The Royal Theatre’ from 2004 and it proves what JC said in his wisdom in the first ballboy ICA: “Every one of the band’s EPs and albums opens with a truly memorable number”. This is but one of those, if you ask me …
Another cover version. I never cared all too much for Springsteen, so forgive me when I say: this is better than the original! From ‘The Sash My Father Wore’ from 2003.
This is another one recorded for the Peel Session mentioned earlier on, the one which had ‘Frankie And Johnny’ on it. As far as I know there has never been a commercial release of this tune. Also I have a feeling that the correct title might possibly be ‘We’ve All Seen Better Days”. Not that it matters much anyway …
A good question indeed, although one that I rarely as myself: I’m one of those lucky chaps who fall asleep as soon as my head touches my cushion. I always explain this ability with too much experience in the backs of transportation lorries when being a Lance Corporal in the German Air Force in the early 90’s, where we would sleep whenever and wherever possible!
‘Where Do The Nights Of Sleep Go To When They Don’t Come To Me?’ was a single from 2002.
Well, that’s it. The longlist, the list I made first, the one I had to delete songs from in order to number it all down to ten, was massive! I think this shows you how good this band really is.
Hope you enjoyed bits of it. Take good care, friends!