Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Fire Engines - Big Gold Dream

I've not posted a video for a while, so here's Edinburgh's finest, The Fire Engines or firengines or Fire Engines, depending upon how you're feeling that day. They weren't on telly much - this is from BBC2 music and arts programme Riverside back in February 1982, and it was possibly their only appearance on network television. I was just 18 and this was at the arse end of The Fire Engines stay with us.

Previous to this they'd released the spiky Get Up and Use Me on their own Codex Communications label, followed by instrumental mini-LP 'Lubricate Your Living Room' (it came in a carrier bag because it was PRODUCT) and their alternate universe number one hit 'Candyskin'.

I was living in Grantham, Lincolnshire, when 'Candy Skin' came out and there was a small independent (not in its current musical sense, more owner-run) record shop situated in what was known locally as 'Wide Westgate'. (It was where Westgate got wide, of course, and was the counterpoint to 'Narrow Westgate'. We're not talking about Fifth Avenue here, we're talking about a street you could almost hop the length of, but the distinction was always made).

Anyhow, when 'Candyskin' came out I was in the shop when they opened the delivery and I got them to put it on. Now, bear in mind we're talking about two middle-aged women here, one of whom was wearing a Johnny Logan 'What's Another Year?' promotional sweatshirt. I saw the look in their eyes when they heard 'Candyskin', by the angular, obtuse, arty (the cliches that launched the career of many post-art school bands) Fire Engines. I saw that they could see the merit of it, that there was life beyond Eurovision, and I thought that was it, The Fire Engine were going to go on and become huge.

Which of course they didn't. My point? None, really, beyond the capacity for a good tune to transcend its genre and trappings and make a woman in a Johnny Logan sweatshirt smile.

No comments:

Post a Comment