Saturday, 26 April 2014

Cocteau Twins - Pink Orange Red

As I mentioned in the previous post, 1985 was somewhat of a musical watershed for me. It was the year I threw off the shackles of a somewhat narrow field of vision (audio?) when it came to music.

Once I had determined my new course of musical exploration I just couldn't stop. My musical journey was assisted from a number of sources in the form of John Peel, NME and Melody maker,  a TV programme called the Chart show which trailed 'Indie' bands and most famously the Tube a TV programme which would hardly register in todays world but in the mid-80's was a really anathema to the formulaic, staid and somewhat tired formats of programmes like Top of the Pops.

Each episode had 3 or 4 live bands and many of may favourite bands of the era New Order, The Fall, The Smiths all appeared during this period. However, it was the ability to discover new bands that drew me in - that and the prospect of someone swearing on live TV which they often did.

I vividly remember tuning in to the Tube one Friday night, probably as I was getting ready to go out on a night of dancing, cavorting and illicit alcohol fuelled bufooning at the local underage drinking den 'Ye Olde Boot and Shoe' in Rossendale.

I remember being mesmerised by a song from The Cocteau twins whose singer Elizabeth Fraser who appeared to sing in tongues, mouthing gibberish which through the medium of her amazing vocal range sounded like the kind of noise heaven might make if it existed.

I love this song as much if not more today than I did back then. It triggered a fascination with the Cocteau Twins and a general love of the ethereal that I still pursue with gusto when I'm in the mood.

The Cocteau twins had a somewhat turbulent existence due to drug abuse, psychotherapy and inter-band relationships but that all seems to drive them to new heights for me.

In more recent times, Elizabeth Frasier has been responsible for providing vocals on other favourite songs of mine like 'Teardrop' by Massive Attack, 'Life-forms'' by the Future Sound of London and 'Candleland' with Ian McCulloch from Echo and the Bunnymen. She was also involved in the soundtrack to Lord of the Rings and has recently returned tentatively to life stage from her personal recluse.

There are certain moments in my life I'd love to revisit and hearing her perform this song on the Tub aged 15 is one of them.

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