Saturday, 23 January 2010
Kilburn High Road
"From the tracks that hissed from engine fast approaching to the engines clipped clopped rumbling heavily by and I want you ..." sings John Head on Kilburn High Road, one of the loveliest of Shack's songs which is saying something. I particularly like this one because with a title like that it's important to avoid the obvious cliches, and the railway imagery is a delight whether it's the old North London lines or even the West Coast Main Line which would take them home. One of the more pleasant aspects of Shack's painful progress has been John's development as a songwriter in I suppose a Dennis Wilson/Dave Davies way. I doubt there is anyone more delighted by that than brother Michael who if I remember rightly was fiercely protective of little brother in the early Pale Fountains days simply referring to the new guitarist as John and not letting on to the world at large that they were related. But he knew all along, way before we did, if Byrds Turn To Stone is anything to go by: "Learnin' to play the guitar. One for you and one for me. Who'd be the first one to learn all the tricks by Mr Lee ..." The Brothers Head are truly jewels in the crown of England's Glory as an old Kilburn and the High Roads song might 'ave it. Speaking of which, remember this?