“SONG FOR EWE”
with CHRIS BRODERICK of
THE SINGING LOINS
“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is the singer / poet of Chatham legends The Singing Loins. The Loins played the last time Velvet Sheep put on a live event, as part of Oxjam in Oxfam Blackheath back in 2012, and it’s fair to say that one of my mates in attendance was so moved by the raw folk punk tales of derring do and dark dastardly deeds, that he had tears. Unless that was flecks of the Medway in his eye? Plus he’s the only act I’ve ever seen to rock a golden kazoo. Regaling us with tales of Jackson Fields, he took me right back to mine and co-Velvet Sheep conspirators day trips from our Gravesend hometown into Chatham, plucking up courage to buy rag mags from newsagents where they didn’t know us. Billy Childish mates, Damaged Goods Records stalwarts, there’s no one quite like The Singing Loins’ Chris Broderick!
Much like Billy Childish, my Dad worked his apprenticeship at Chatham Dockyard (quite some time before, making furniture for submarines) and I spent a lot of time in the Medway. Although I was born in Gravesend, I lived much of my early life in Cliffe (you know, where Boris wants to build his airport) and my Grandma & Grandad on Dad’s side lived in the house my Dad and his brothers were born in, in Frindsbury, Strood. I also went to a number of Dickens’ festivals in Rochester dressed as one of Fagin’s Urchins, and spent a few much loved visits to the castle at Upnor and the fort and tunnels at Amherst. It’s in the misty ambience of these places, seeped in maritime history that The Singing Loins have sung their shanties and laments since the early 90s.
Not many bands have been as truly evocative of their surroundings as the Loins. Sure, Billy Childish and his many band incarnations maybe the “Original Chatham Jack” but his riveting punk skims along like a pebble across the river (or a strafing Tommy Gun), while The Loins run deeper than the Russian sub carbunkle, as deep as the wrecks of the boats scuttled to avoid attack by the Dutch navy. If you haven’t already, I’d truly advise you getting “The Complete & Utter Singing Loins” for a rollicking ride, or their tenth LP – the classic “Unravelling England”. Since releasing 12 records, they’re sadly now defunct, which makes me even more grateful they agreed to play my modest Oxjam gathering – a real intimate treat.
and a great action pic below…
and here’s the outstanding vid from “Unravelling England” – “Please Take My Scissors Away”
Anyway, enough of me blah-ing on, what did the peerless Brod choose as his “song for ewe”…funny enough it’s a favourite of mine and Toby Amies’ from our MTV days, introduced in a poetic style that only Chris can…
“What now… what now, we mouthed in dull-eyed silence, slopping in the diminishing post punk sludge-pools. And lo, the golden rains came and we drank of it!”
THANKYOU TO THE MASTERFUL CHRIS BRODERICK FOR HIS OUTSTANDING CHOICE. EAT THEM UP, YUM.