A lot of the stuff from the C86 movement hasn’t aged well. In many cases, this will be down to poor production which nowadays grates on the ear while all too often the off-key singing which in its day seemed to be part of the charm now sounds annoying.
But there are still some songs that, almost 30 years on, deserve to be thought of as absolute classics. It’s a crying shame that so many of the small indie labels weren’t able to give the records the push they needed to crossover into the conscious of mainstream listeners. All too often, the label and indeed the band seemed happy enough to settle for a few playings on the John Peel Show, a positive review in the NME and then an appearance somewhere in the indie Top 10. I’m not saying that was the case with today’s tune, but there is seemingly something seriously wrong when a song as brilliant as this has to settle for #4 on the Indie Chart:-
mp3 : The Chesterfields – Ask Johnny Dee
They were in existence from 84-89 during which time there were two studio LPs and eight singles/EPs. They toured extensively (I saw them once as support act to Edwyn Collins on one of his earliest solo tours) and like so many bands picked up a decent sized hardcore following. many of whom (according to wiki) referred to them as “The Chesterf!elds”, with an exclamation mark replacing the “i”, following the example of the band’s logo.
Tragically, lead singer and main songwriter Dave Goldsworthy died in November 2003, at the age of 40, from head injuries sustained in a hit & run incident in Oxford.
One thing to mention is that The Chesterfields, like Orange Juice, did a cover of a great Vic Godway track. I thought it would be an idea to post all three versions:-
mp3 : Vic Goddard & The Subway Sect – Holiday Hymn
mp3 : Orange Juice – Holiday Hymn
mp3 : The Chesterfields – Holiday Hymn