Sunday, 17 September 2006

A New Quest: Be Stiff!

I saw some of the Stiff programmes last night on BBC4 and that reminded me of Jane Aire & The Belvederes. I had two of her singles way back when ('Yankee Wheels' on Stiff and 'Call Me Every Night' on Virgin) and two tracks by her on the Akron compilation issued by Stiff (with the scratch and sniff cover). I never got her one and only album. Of course, none of her music is available online (or none that I've found so far) but one track, 'Yankee Wheels', is on a Stiff compilation so I need to get hold of that. I need more and so the quest begins.

Other joys glimpsed in the programmes included Rachel Sweet in all her youthful loveliness. She was a mere 16 when she had her first hit with B-A-B-Y and it was great to see her being interviewed and on Top of the Pops. Her records have survived into the CD age with some killer tracks (some are on my iPod for regular listening). And more of her music is becoming available, such as two '80s albums discovered by Chris a while back (and they are very '80s sounding indeed!).

It was also great to see Kirsty MacColl doing backing singer stuff for Jona Lewie on Top of the Pops including some twisty dance moves - I bet she would've laughed her socks off at that. And, of course, the delightfully odd Lene Lovich who was a hero of mine when I was at college. She produced some excellent stuff and a new 'best of' has just been issued by Union Square.

I saw the Be Stiff! tour with Rachel, Lene, Wreckless Eric and Jona Lewie but I never saw Jane Aire. Stiff had it's up and downs but it produced some great music.

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