Singles of the year: #56 (NMC)

56. 5 Colours In Her Hair – McFly

…and its a warm Welcome Back! to all of you who read Troubled Diva in the office. (Deny it all you like, but those surging stats don’t lie.) Nice Christmas? Mmm, yes, mine was quiet too. Yes, it snowed where we were as well; wasn’t it lovely? Oh yes, some super presents, thank you for asking.

From my sister the heroic and selfless aid worker (hey, someone in this family has to save the world), who lugged it all the way back from the Sudan: a massive traditional sword, at least three feet long, housed in an intricate leather sheath-n-strap combo, which will look wonderfully baronial when hanging on the pillar opposite the fireplace in the cottage (all we need now are the suit of armour and the mounted stag’s head). Plus a pair of pink washing-up gloves with voluminous floral cuffs, just to redress the testosterone balance.

From K, as well as the usual clutch of world music CDs (in current order of preference: Tinawiren, Mbilia Bel, Souad Massi, Lhasa, Amparanoia), a deeply groovy portable record turntable – as recommended by Elisabeth, whose DJ boyfriend carts his round the second-hand stores in order to review potential purchases. Ideal for setting up on the kitchen table in the cottage, so as to work through the stacks and stacks of 7″ singles from the late James Hamilton‘s collection which we’ve stashed in the garage. (Straight away, I hit a rich seam of amazing import soul singles from around 1971, some of which I’ll be burning and posting in the next few weeks.)

But I digress. If you’re newly back, then you might find yourself a little swamped by the current “project” on this blog: a complete annotated list of my favourite 90 singles of 2004. So, if you’re one of those feckless fair-weather friends who doesn’t even come here particularly for the music in the first place, and you’re thinking that you might just skip the whole lot, and besides, he’ll never know… can I just point you to one recent post, which isn’t really about music in the first place? Because it’s one of those rare posts which I actually put a bit of forethought, time and effort into, and I’d hate for it to get buried in the rush.

Onto the wee ladddies of McFly, then. Now, whilst fully accepting that 5 Colours In Her Hair – an astonishingly, nay, suspiciously savvy and proficient record for such a youthful band – could all too easily be the work of a bunch of fortysomething session men, I have to say that I really don’t give a flying f**k one way or another. After all, did such petty concerns make The Monkees’ I’m A Believer a lesser record? Did they bollocks. And yes, I do see 5 Colours In Her Hair as being part of the same lineage, complete with its tight little beat-group “doo doo doos”, its Woolworths-cheapo 60s guitar twangs, its punky-pop Jags-meets-Lemonheads-meets-Green-Day fizz, its pleasingly teenage lyrical concerns, and that swoonsomely sweet Beatles-esque harmony on the final chord.

Like their compatriots The Busted (not to mention the please not to be mentioned in the same breath if you have any respect Serious Artistes which comprise The Keane), some members of McFly have been plucked straight from that traditional white-hot crucible of rock ‘n roll, the English public school system. Indeed, the son of one of K’s business partners actually went to school with one of them. Oh, the excitement!

(Aside: this was the year that, thanks to parental connections, I started having serious chats about music with teenage boys all over again, and discovered that they weren’t that much different from the chats I used to have when I was a teenage boy myself. In fact – and K has also commented on this, with a certain resigned curl in his voice – I do seem to be able to relate worryingly well to teenage boys in general. At least the posh ones who go to Good Schools, that is. In fact, considering what an utter social f**k-up I was at that age, I’m slightly concerned that I get on with them better now then I ever did back then. Talk about arrested development. On the other hand, there’s nothing more cringeworthy than the trendy teacher who claims to get on better with “the kids” – sorry, “young adults” – then the staff, is there? I need to watch out for that.)

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