Song of the day – 565: Misty’s Big Adventure
Ah now. This is what I’ve been waiting for ever since I moved to Brisbane five years ago. A new song from Misty’s Big Adventure.
Of course, I had no real idea this was what I’d been waiting for – laconic psychedelic ska – but now that I’ve heard them again, I am suddenly brutally aware that this is indeed what has been missing from life in Brisbane (um, aside from life in Brisbane, if you get my meaning). The problem we have here is that here are three words which should never be juxtaposed, Terry Hall notwithstanding. It ain’t Grandmaster Gareth’s fault. It ain’t the laidback dancehall groove’s fault. And it sure ain’t Mr Hall’s fault. But because ska got to bastardised and Americanised over the intervening years, it’s become near impossible to imagine groups such as Misty’s treating it with such languid and torpid and beautiful warped imagination, next to near impossible to believe that it could ever have moved on past the second Specials album without conjuring up images of gurning fucking U.S. punk rockers doing their whole fucking stupid gurning thing.
Five seconds in and my wife’s like, “What was their name again?” We love Misty’s Big Adventure in this house, us – Brisbane or Brighton, it really don’t matter.
Music that is very peculiarly Brummie. Really unsettled by the video, by the by.
Here’s what I wrote about Misty’s Big Adventure last time they materialised in my world:
The dude is still downbeat, laconic. The dude is still obsessed with the banality of everyday culture, and Sun Ra’s brass section. The dude still understands the importance of a GIANT chorus following a gentle, underplayed verse. The dude still loves ska rhythms as played on a Casio. Oh yes. The dude’s name is Grandmaster Gareth, he’s a Brummie (it matters) and if you happen to think that The Specials’ single ‘Do Nothing’ was their finest moment among a career of highlights (like me) then you’ll reckon this smart, soulful, chock-full catchy, toy-driven, bovine, unutterably poignant, beautifully sung (imagine Julian Cope resting on a cloud full of rainbows), stop-start, twisted, turbulent, luscious, languid, politically semi-motivated, semi-conceptual, new Misty’s album Television’s People is round about the finest music you’ll be encountering in 2008 (like me). Melodies that reach down from on high to nibble churlishly at your toes: bells that ring a clarion call to climb aboard your bicycle and laugh at the grey – this is a special magic indeed. (Plan B Magazine #37)
I supported Misty’s at least once, down on the beachfront on a rainy night in Brighton. Me and Chris. Vocals and saxophone. Improvised. It was way harder to do than it might sound. Always on edge. And such a band that followed us. Treat yourself this Christmas, or Easter, or whatever fucking pagan holiday you want to believe in. Buy a little Misty’s for magic. And remember, Misty’s Big Adventure is a friend for life.
Let’s leave the last word to that first refuge of the scoundrel, Wikipedia:
Misty’s Big Adventure are an eight piece band from Birmingham, England. Their music is an eclectic mix of jazz, lounge, psychedelia, 2 tone, pop and punk.
Well said, that cipher person! Some good old-fashioned grumpy fun.