I am particularly delighted that this week’s contribution is courtesy of Andrea Peviani who has sent me some very lovely e-mails over the years and who, last year, delivered a cracking series featuring his 45 45s at 45 at this place.
Here’s what he has to say:-
In 1986, the Italian national radio aired a new show called Stereodrome, hosted by music critics keen on alternative rock. Out of the blue we had 3 hours of the best indie music from UK and USA (and Italy as well), every night Monday to Saturday, nine to midnight.
I was almost 19, the year of my Graduation Exam, and I will always associate that time of my life with this explosion of fantastic music from obscure bands that were impossible to discover before.
Easterhouse’s Whistling In The Dark was maybe my favorite song of this season, at least until The Queen Is Dead came out. A powerful intro, rough guitars and a relentless rhythmic drive, halfway between London Calling and Motown; a soulful voice, that mixed some black intensity with the deepness of the New Wave style; a perfect balance between indie orthodoxy and anthemic Big Music on the trails of early U2.
I thought they would be the next band to face the transition from the happy few to huge audiences. Then the Contenders LP came out, and nothing happened. In the bunch of bands openly engaged in the political struggle against the Thatcher government, The Housemartins were the ones who went from indie charts to Top of the Pops: their smiling attitude towards communism was more connected to the 80’s evolution of music trends. Easterhouse only showed their seriously committed side, utter blackness inside and outside words, tunes, clothes and record covers.
I will never be tired of going back to this splendid, isolated album, feeling the urge and the rightfulness of “getting to the point, to the heart of it”. Bringing a little bit of that way we were in our disillusioned adult life.
mp3 : Easterhouse – Whistling In The Dark
This is, as Andrea rightly says, a cracking tune. It certainly raised huge hopes and expectations for Easterhouse which were never realised. A few years back, I listened again to the band for the first time in ages and while I still have a lot of time for this particular 45 much of the rest of what I played left reminded me that back in the day it was just all too sub-standard stadium rock and while the lyrics were worthy they were let down by music that said nothing to me about my life.
And given that the band never quite managed the crossover that so many anticipated and expected, I probably wasn’t alone in coming to that conclusion. But as I said, Whistling In The Dark is always worth listening to….