Song of the day – 465: Cats On Fire (+ some words on Pulp)
Some folk like to make connections.
Me? I’m just happy to be here, lost within a swamp of sunshine and unfinished patios. I know that every time I hear this song crop up on my yet-unmade Song of the Day 11.0 mix tape I’ll be checking for the name, thinking, “Hmm, I really ought to check out more by this band, maybe when I’ve finished on my five-year jag of a 1979 nostalgia trip”. In their own way, they’re Smiths good: a backhanded compliment if ever I wrote one. Makes me think of the Echo & The Bunnymen that only existed in my dreams (i.e. without the bombast and guitars). I cannot escape the shadow of other people’s pasts, no matter how much I may want to.
Oh look. Here’s a quote from that man Kulkarni. This had no bearing on my decision to run with this song as Song of the Day, but now I have and now I’ve seen his quote and now I remain bitterly aware that he remains more eloquent than me, him a fucking grandfather and all, I figured I could use it as some sort of a pointer, a signifier.
“They make songs you can’t shake and write lyrics that stop your day in its tracks … The last time you felt this way about indie-pop was Pulp. Yeah – that good.”
Neil Kulkarni, The Guardian, May 2012
Yes, it’s one of those Made For Inverted Commas phrases. I’d have preferred lyrics that stop your dog in its tracks, as I fucking hate those four-legged sub-nosed cunts, but … still. As good as Pulp, huh? Here’s what I wrote about that band a while back. No, I still haven’t been sent those three Pulp reissues I wrote the sleeve-notes for. 34 Livistona Place, The Gap, QLD 4061, in case anyone’s reading…
(This has no relevance to anything, particularly. I’m just filling the gaps in between the gaps in the gaps. I have no idea who Cats On Fire are, beyond this one song, although I am willing to be contradicted. From the U.K., I’m guessing***. It’s in the way they hold themselves, and the shirt collars. The melancholy references to late night buses. The restraint. The clipped drum beat. Someone connected with them seems to know who I am, though.)
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