John Cooper Clarke – Beasley St.

First things first. This should not be “in” Guilty Pleasures. It’s too good – but I ran out of top 20 Singles places. Also I’m not sure if this was released as a single?

Anyway. Despite seeing John Cooper Clarke in the late 80’s (live), I never noticed this track until 2002. The Old Grey Whistle Test were running repeats on BBC – and this track came on. Before You Tube delivered everything instantly, it was a great television show. Legendary even.

I’ve been listening to Scroobius Pip quite a lot recently. He’s a great musical poet – this got me thinking – maybe he’s only bettered by John Cooper Clarke?

When I first heard Beasley St fortunately I recorded it on VHS too. I must have rewound that video about 10 times within the first week of recording it. A sublime track.

Minimal initially the track builds. The lyrics describe squalor in horrific detail. The wordplay is magical. It almost serves as a one track stand-off. Practically every line out does the line before it.

“Eyes dead as vicious fish” – there are too many outstanding lines to write here.

When the guitar shimmers at the end it really is a spine tingling moment – and what great individual music is all about.

Do check out the video. Outstanding.


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