Last week, Tony Hillier shared some brilliant folk covers of rock and pop hit songs. This week we’re heading in the opposite direction, with punk and new wave songs re-worked in ways that bring out qualities that perhaps always lurked within the originals. We start with a band that has among its ranks a man who was a very visible face of punk music in his younger years.
The Bad Shepherds http://www.thebadshepherds.com/ formed about six years ago, when a man bought himself a mandolin after a boozy lunch. That man is Adrian Edmondson, best known in Australia for his role as the very punk Vyvyan in the early 80s TV show The Young Ones. Adrian listened to the Sex Pistols, The Clash & The Jam as a teenager, and often played their songs on his acoustic guitar. When he formed The Bad Shepherds with Troy Donockley & Andy Dinan, they took to re-interpreting some of that music and British audiences love the results.
The Bad Shepherds recently recorded an album, ‘Yan, Tyan, Tethera, Methera!’, which is out now – it was recorded ‘as live’ at the Blue Moon studios in Banbury. ‘Yan, Tyan, Tethera, Methera’ means ‘One, Two, Three, Four’ in an ancient Cumbrian dialect used almost exclusively by shepherds. Had the Ramones been Cumbrian shepherds, it’s what they would have shouted as the intro to every song.
We also hear from June Tabor, who started singing in the bathroom after hearing an Anne Briggs EP in 1965. Legend has it she spent a couple of weeks locked in the family bathroom learning the songs note for note. June has no formal musical training, preferring the listen and learn approach. Her unique and instantly memorable singing style won audiences over from her earliest performances in the 1960s. June gave music away for a time to be a librarian and run a restaurant, but re-emerged in the 90s. http://www.brightfieldproductions.co.uk/tabor.htm
Down in the Tube Station at Midnight – The Bad Shepherds (originally by The Jam)
Love Will Tear Us Apart – June Tabor & Oyster Band (original by Joy Division)
The Model – The Bad Shepherds (originally by Kraftwerk)
Tony Hillier is one of Australia’s leading music journalists and a musician of long standing here in far north Queensland. His informed and insightful coverage of music features in The Weekend Australian and Rhythms magazine http://rhythms.com.au/ .
Tony Hillier’s World of Music is heard on ABC Far North at 4:45 most Friday afternoons. It’s also available as a podcast. Search for Tony Hillier on your podcast app or in the iTunes store. And you can stay in touch with the FNQ music scene with Tony at http://www.entertainmentcairns.com/hilliers-hotline-archive.php