“SONG FOR EWE”
with MIKE BENNETT producer of THE FALL
“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music peeps beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day.
Today, as we head to the end of our April Fall month (ps. The Fall are not just for April obvs) it’s a producer of the great aforementioned band. He produced The Fall on ace single “The Chiselers” (the song that saw Craig Scanlon leave the band), plus its album “Light User Syndrome” that saw him sing some vocals plus a rare vocal appearance by Karl Burns singing the Johnny Paycheck cover “Stay Away (Ol’ Light Train)”. He also produced previous album “Cerebral Caustic” (the one where Brix returned, and which I saw performed live at the Astoria supported by Clinic). He co-wrote tracks like “Cheetham Hill”, “Pearl City” and “Chilinism” and also played in gigs with the band previously but in his own words “consider myself more on the production side”. A seasoned producer, he’s got a great credit / charge sheet including producing and writing for the Specials, Sham 69, Gregory Isaacs and Ian Brown (co-writing hit “Golden Gaze”). Very active in great music still and an important part of Fall heritage, mate of Funky Si Wolstonecroft, it’s producer extraordinaire Mike Bennett!
After the “song for ewe” from Si…
Mr. Wolstonecroft suggested I should get in touch with his mate Mike…assuring me “he’s very entertaining”.
He wasn’t wrong. I only had to see his FB profile pic where it looks like he’s been scribbled on with a child’s art app. Plus of course Si had already re-layed the remarkable story of Kim Fowley barking like a dog while working with Bennett (not his fault I hasten to add).
Mike kindly invited me to an event he’s putting on this weekend at the Half Moon pub in Putney. I can’t go unfortunately but if you can you should try (though it looks busy, so you may have to beg, borrow and steal your way in the door). It’s called Polyfest, a charity event in memory of X-Ray Spex’s Poly Styrene, now in its third year there (and fourth event total including the LA concert) and this time also incorporating a tribute to Diane Charlemagne, the singer of Urban Cookie Collective and collaborator with Moby & Goldie who died last year. Si will be playing there with The Vapors, plus great bands like The Woodentops and I, Ludicrous and John Otway. All proceeds go to CLIC Sargent supporting children & young people with cancer. It’s on this Saturday 30th April, more deets below:
I asked Mike what he’s up to at the moment, and of course it includes our mutual mate Si too, as detailed in his “song for ewe”…
“I’m currently working on my new project ‘The Stems’ which involves members of The Fall, I’m also doing a Dub Specials Album with Lee Perry overtones!”
If that doesn’t sound intriguing enough, what does the man whose worked with Fowley & The Fall choose as his “song for ewe”?
Without further ado, it’s over to Mike:
“My “song for ewe”, is performed by the genius orientated Alex Harvey Band, “Delilah”, in which the cult lead singer massacred a few mannequins on the Old Grey Whistle Test replete with harlequins prancing around in the background like manacled glam rock queens on acid sending up a middle of the road Tom Jones song about an evil stabbing.
Ironically Harvey was vilified by the establishment press, whilst Jones was applauded with his Las Vegas rendition.
I have always been astounded that Alex Harvey has never been fully recognised as a complete individual …. with mind blowingly original delivery and his ability to inhabit space was extraordinary in my opinion. I chose that Old Grey Whistle Test clip as it demonstrates his gift , captured in a live setting…”
Note from Editor/Nick: Unfortunately due to rights issues that video n/a, except for audio, so not with the mannequins soz. Maybe Sir Tom Jones blocked it after being dropped from The Voice.
Strangely, this OGWT vid of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band is avail. Go figure. No Tom connection. Adds to my (kicker) conspiracy.
CHEERS MIKE! LOOK OUT FOR HIS BAND THE STEMS, PLUS CHECK HERE FOR MORE DEETS ON THE MAN AT THE CONTROLS.