Monday, 7 June 2010

Turn off the radio and never listen to crappy music again. Yes, that is an order.

Even her wardrobe is awesome
In the interests of showing just how un-cynical I can be, here's another post about someone I think is fab. I don't think I can convey to you just how amazing Imelda May is, how much I love her or how outraged I am that she isn't the biggest freaking superstar in the universe. (Hearing Cheryl Cole repeating "I don't need a parachute" ad infinitum doesn't help matters.) Listening to the radio will be a bitter disappointment once you've treated your eardrums to this.

Hailing from Dublin, Ms May is a devotee of the classic rockabilly look – all tight skirts and two-toned hair – which I think tends to brighten up the place in a way that jeans and t-shirts just can't do. When I saw her play at the 100 club in January, I was convinced she must be about 23, so lithe was her figure and youthful her features, but she is in fact 35. (Phew. I don't think I could stand it if she was this much cooler than I am, AND younger.) Incidentally, the gig was sold out – I got in by begging at the door. She may be supporting Jamie Cullum now, but surely it can't be long before she is world famous?

Johnny Got a Boom Boom is perhaps her best known track (the lyrics would appear to be about a man playing a musical instrument, but somehow seem innuendo laden. What is a boom boom, anyway?) and her newest is Psycho – you can check out both on youtube. (It pains me to say this, but the video is not of the finest quality. Let me direct your next video, Imelda – or at least edit it!)

This is one of those albums which makes you love each track in turn, even the ones you weren’t sure about at first. A case in point: Smokers' Song is unusual, but it has the ability to worm its way into your head until you feel the need to press “repeat” 10 times in succession. (Well, it's not often you have someone yelling "ha ha ha!" in the middle of a song.) This is a humorous account of women getting chatted up by losers in bars, wondering if they are being too harsh on them – "Criteria a little too high?" and then finally cracking and telling them to get lost. Feel me?
(Hey, that’s another of her song titles!)

Watcha Gonna Do is probably my favourite track – at the moment. It has a bit of a Western feel about it, with passionate cries of "Your handshake didn't mean jack!" and trombones seeming to suggest a gunfight at noon could be in order. And where would a blues album be without a touch of New Orleans? Dr John would be proud of Imelda’s Voodoo Working.

In conclusion; let's make like Prefab Sprout and change the world with music. If we all buy albums made by talented, dedicated musicians like this, perhaps Simon Cowell will end his reign of terror. (Actually, I quite like X factor, but you can see my point...?)

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