“SONG FOR EWE”
with MATHEW PRIEST of DODGY
“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 charismatic drummer with quick wit and impeccable taste of a British band synonymous with the summer, Dodgy. I first wrote some reviews of Dodgy when I was 16-ish in very, very early incarnations of the Velvet Sheep fanzine when it was called “We Thought You Were Shit…” I quickly realised that I couldn’t phone up labels & pluggers calling myself that. I also realised that Dodgy were the real deal, pop I could get with. West Coast Byrds beach vibes meets Kinks village green. Like playing crown bowls with a chain wallet hanging out of your whites.
By the time I joined MTV in 96 (for a ten year stint!) Dodgy were a mainstay both of the charts and of the channel on the back of both “Home Grown” (94) and “Free Peace Sweet” (96). I have always always had a soft spot for “In A Room” and I don’t mind telling you. Toby Amies used to tease me (and still does) about liking Blur, but even Tobe’s got room in his heart for Dodgy and in particular the singular and unmistakeable Mathew Priest!
I was pleased to find Math on FB as a mate of Toby’s and even more chuffed when he agreed to choose a “song for ewe”.
Dodgy are back on the road with a ton of gigs this summer, listed here:
and even more intriguingly there’s a new album on the way. Not their first come back, but since the well-received “Stand Upright In A Cool Place” in 2012, it has been a while nonetheless. 6Music recently played the new one “You Give Drugs A Bad Name” as part of their 6Music Recommends Day of new music, and it stood right out.
The new topically titled album “What Are We Fighting For?” is out on the peerless Cherry Red records on 2nd September (nearly in time for my 40something birthday!) But what has our hero Math got as an early present…
Without further ado, it’s over to Math for his “song for ewe”…
There are so many to choose from but the one I’ve chosen I was mildly obsessed by for a long time, I still am. The only problem is that it’s not that obscure, certainly in the folky gangs that hang around arts centres. My good friend Jo Bartlett who started the Green Man festival kept banging on about him.
It’s a song called “The Humpback Whale” by Nic Jones of his seminal album Penguin Eggs.
The subject of the song is so alien to me, hunting for whales and I guess it’s not very ecological nowadays but I guess that’s what makes it so beguiling. And I defy anyone not to sing along to the chorus. It’s a thing of rare beauty and is one of those songs that will stay with me till I die.
In a first for Velvet Sheep’s “song for ewe” feature, the same song has been chosen unknowingly! Here’s the earlier one from Kevin Coultas of the Louisville band Rodan…
I sent this to Math to which he replied…
“Wow, great piece, now I want to check out Rodan. But also goes to show you that it ain’t so rare but as long as you don’t mind.”
I don’t mind at all, great song Math. Hope you’ve checked out Rodan “Rusty”. Look forward to the new Dodgy record!
STOP PRESS FOR AN UNPRECEDENTED AMENDUM FROM MATH:
“I think I actually wanted ‘little pot stove’ from Penguin Eggs but I must have got a little jumbled. No bother cuz I love both.
If you can mention that I probably like Little Pot Stove a tad more that would be cool xx”
No wozzas Math – if it’s good enough for ewe, it’s good enough etc…
here it is…