Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tub Thumping

And so once more to the darkling halls of the British Broadcasting Corporation, wherein Songs from The Blue House are to record a number of songs in our radio-friendly light East Angliacana style for broadcast on Radio Suffolk’s drive time programme. It is a credit to the organisation that in these straitened times they continue to invest as much time and resource in promulgating new and original music as they do, and it is probably more a reflection on us and our arbitrary approach to the unique way in which they are funded that on this occasion we have chosen to record a version of Judas Priest’s Breaking the Law.

Thematically, the song fits in with our repertoire of slightly peeved protest material (A Land of Make Believe and My Boy from the album IV on this occasion) and I for one have certainly always wondered if the signature intro riff wouldn’t have sounded better on flute and octave mandola in the first place. There are many reasons to look fondly on Judas Priest and Breaking the Law. For a start, the hilarious video is victim of one of the worst storyboards ever committed to paper (step forward, Julien Temple) secondly, singer Rob Halford persuaded an entire generation of NWOBHMers that spandex, leather, studs and a jaunty bikers’ cap were an acceptable look for regular casual wear, which is a hell of a trick in anyone’s book. Let us not forget also that in an age of such nom-de-guerres as Steve Zodiac, Biff Byford and Thunderstick the band sported a drummer called Les Binks. Look, when they got booked for Live Aid they decided to play a Fleetwood Mac cover. You didn’t get that with Kenny Loggins.
In a spooky high Priestesque quasi-coincidence we, also, have been involved in a back-masking controversy as the last time we came in to do a radio session we performed a still-nascent version of My Boy to which the shadowy figures whom affable studio engineer Dave Butcher refers to only as “the technical guys” applied a technique which reversed the word ‘pissing’ so as to make it appear unintelligible, or at least not quite as obvious as the one Chumbawumba got away with so blatantly and for so long. In response we suggest that on this occasion Our Glorious Leader James simply sing it backwards to begin with.

We try the song a couple of times and on the third run through everyone mostly gets their parts right, including a lovely sinuous bass run by Gibbon during the bridge part of the song which may help distract the good commuting folk of Ipswich from my "You don't know what it's like!" vocal interjection. We’re all relatively happy and lay down our various instruments. Butch appears through the snugly fitting studio (or, more accurately, fuse box and switch room) door. “It’s always a pleasure” he begins, before adding with perfect comic timing “…when you leave”.          

Songs from The Blue House's current album is available from 

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