Scritti Politti played in Windsor last night so we spent an hour and a half on a series of motorways (and only 25 minutes to get home) and visited The Firestation. It would not be a shock to reveal that the venue used to be a fire station, would it? It’s rather nice and I found myself sipping a refreshing lager beer on a Friday evening like it was the nineteen nineties again, waiting for all the fun to begin. After a late start we found our way up to the seated area with other young old gits and sat watching the young folk down on the ground standing still except for the Top of the Pops Corner which consisted of a lady and a flamboyant man who pulled some shapes during the more up-tempo numbers.
What was it like? Well…
The band need explaining as it’s a complicated list of people I’m vaguely familiar with:
Firstly we have the man who is Scritti: The Marvellous Green Gartside who did a little introductory speech for most of the songs in the Scritti Politti Songbook before switching his voice into that special warm soulful sound that doesn’t seem quite real but definitely is. Green had a cough but this didn’t appear to affect him at all and I was hypnotised by his performance of so many songs that I’ve loved for so long.
Rhodri Marsden was on keyboards and programming with a guitar for one song (Umm) and I recognised him from Dream Themes who we’ve seen live before. If you ever need a band who perform charming versions of old TV themes then they’re your men. If you’re interested in the programming of these live versions of the songs I can recommend the interview here which includes this: “what often happens is that I create a MIDI file with all the parts as I THINK they are. Green then works through it and corrects any mistakes I’ve made, and then creates / chooses all the sounds for the parts on his Mac. So by the end of that process we have a recreated Scritti song in Logic Pro which we then use to work from.” Now you know.
Hot Chip’s Rob Smoughton aka Grovesnor played drums and some electronic elements from what I could work out. Great band and even though the sound system was “a couple of hi-fi speakers” according to Green the performance was top notch and a great teaser for a big full tour next month. They’re doing gigs with Saint Etienne who we’ve already seen this year, what are the chances of that happening?
Seeing the cream of the song book performed live, which is something I never thought I would see/hear. Absolute, The Word Girl, Wood Beez, The Sweetest Girl , Umm, Die ALone, Brushed With Oil and many more.
Green deciding to be a middle aged white man doing rapping on several songs from the Anomie & Bonhomie album. He was pretty good.
The bit on Die Alone where Green did the Meshell N’DegeOcello bits in a deep voice then quickly carrying on with his regular lines in his usual singing voice.
Their performance of A Day Late and a Dollar Short: one of my favourite new tracks and done in a very energetic way.
One new song which I don’t know the name of. No news on a new full album but can be patient.
Here’s a musical taster for the different ages of Scritti Politti:
If it’s not already sold out here’s a link for next month’s Saint Etienne / Scritti Politti tour: click!