I was lucky to grow up in a house filled with music. Some of my earliest memories are of my father’s quadrophonic humming the harmonies of Simon & Garfunkle or The Beach Boys. And later memories, once my parents had split, of my mother making a new life for herself against a soundtrack of Fleetwood Mac, Boz Scaggs and Billy Joel.
My first LP’s were The Bay City Rollers; daggy as all giddyup, but really great pop songs, and it flabbergasts me that we’ve embraced Abba but shun the Rollers. And I’ve been in love with pop ever since. And I don’t mean trashy Whitney Huston shite, I mean pop, real pop, that has it’s feet firmly grounded in The Beach Boys, all harmonies and lush arrangments. I’m talking The Smiths, I’m talking The Housemartins, my beloved Lucksmiths, The Shins, Josh Pyke. Those jingly jangly songs with rollercoaster harmonies that last about three minutes and quietly weave their way into your heart and your life. Until one day you read Bernard Zuel’s column and you yelp for joy. Something that’s been talked about for a couple of years, that you never thought you would see, is finally available for purchase.
Chad’s Tree’s Crossing off the Miles; an Anzac Day miracle. A double album of everything this stunning band of brothers ever produced. Songs I’ve been trying to find on vinyl for about 20 years, songs I’ve never heard before, songs I’ve sung my heart out to, songs that make me want to learn how to play the castanets. If you know your pop from your pap, and like me, mourn the Indie Oz vinyl you may never own, get thee to thy nearest record store and slap your money down.
And if you want to hear one of the best voices in this country, perhaps this planet, pour yourself a glass of vino, sit back and press play.