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2005 – Start Wearing Purple

April 7th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Music · No Comments · Music

In 2005 we got to hear the Kaiser Chiefs’ album, Employment, that was eagerly anticipated after a couple of big singles in 2004. The anticipation was displaced to Arctic Monkeys who released I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor but made us wait until 2006 for an album. Meanwhile Franz Ferdinand were already on their second album, You Could Have It So Much Better. Although not as exciting as the first one, it added to the momentum of the new scene of bands influenced by the post-punk bands like Gang of Four. Fittingly, I saw Gang of Four play live in 2005 with the reformed original line-up.

I had more trips up to London for noteworthy concerts in this year. I went to the Festival Hall to see Rachid Taha as part of that year’s Meltdown festival, curated by Patti Smith. It was a weird double bill with Carbon/Silicon. I went with Spizz because he wanted to see CarbonSilicon but had never heard of Rachid Taha. It was an interesting evening. We bumped into Nicky Tesco at the interval, and when it was all finished Spizz was trying to blag his way backstage as an old chum of Mick Jones. Of course he managed it, and I think there may have been an after-hours show by BRMC as well – but having moved out of London I had to think about last trains home and left him to it. The show was special because Mick Jones joined Rachid Taha onstage for Rock El Casbah, and was also joined by Patti Smith (on oboe or something equally unlikely). To be honest Patti Smith didn’t add much to it, but it was good to see Mick joining in on his song.

The other big concert was Live 8 in Hyde Park. Somehow I was lucky in the lottery for tickets. It was a great day out with some unexpected highlights. I had not expected to enjoy Mariah Carey so much, or UB40. Having been a fan for 30 years or more, it was brilliant to see Elton John live, even if it was only a couple of songs. Jayne was chuffed to see Robbie Williams and would have happily gone home straight afterwards but I made her stay for Pink Floyd. The show was arguably stolen by the Killers. They only played one song I think, but that was the one lots of people were chanting in the streets on the way back to the tube station. Of course it could just be that it was easier to chant the “I’ve got soul but I’m not a soldier” refrain than Comfortably Numb or a Snoop Dogg song.

Some of the albums of 2005 that I enjoyed were Welcome to Jamrock by Damian Marley which seemd to blur the boundaries between reggae and hip hop a bit, As Is Now by Paul Weller because of the fantastic Wilko Johnson-esque track From The Floorboards Up, and Madness’s Dangermen Sessions Volume 1. Still waiting for volume 2…

There were some promising debut albums from Wolfmother, Hard-Fi, Bloc Party, and Gorillaz although not all of them lived up to their promises – although I have to say I do rather like Kele Okereke’s recent solo albums.

I can’t remember being too engaged by many singles of this year. There was Gold Digger, one of the few Kanye West songs I really like, and KT Tunstall had a good year with Black Horse and the Cherry Tree and Suddenly I See. There was somebody who made the most of an appearance on Later with Jools Holland! Her appearance on it was a talking point for days afterwards as most of us had never seen anybody doing that thing with loops and pedals that Ed Sheeran has made a career from.

Have I mentioned Jools Holland yet? Over time that programme grew to be one of the few places on TV where you could actually discover new artists. It is unusual to see an episode without scribbling a note of somebody you want to find out more about, and the show is not shy about featuring African artists either. I know Jools can be annoying sometimes with his bizarre short interviews, frequent boogie woogie piano and tendency to involve Roland Rivron on New Year specials, but the show is still able to broaden your horizons.

And talking of broadening horizons, there is the song I chose to put on my playlist for 2005. Like so much else in my life, I can’t remember exactly when or where I first heard of Gogol Bordello. It may even have been via Jools Holland. I had enjoyed their Multi Kontra Culti vs Irony album, for the sheer exhuberance of the sound and the hilarious “oh fuck!” at the start of Let’s Get Radical, but the 2005 album Gypsy Punks had something special on it. An ex-colleague of mine at LUL had similar tastes in music and we kept in touch, going to the odd concert together.  He had a bit of a quirk that he always wore something purple. It might be a shirt one day, a tie the next or just purple socks. On days when nothing was visible we assumed it was purple underwear day. We shared a fondmess for foreign music and both liked Gogol Bordello, so when they released an album with a track called Start Wearing Purple is was just an amazing in-joke for us. For that reason I couldn’t resist putting it on the playlist, but it helps that it is also a funny and catchy song.

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