9 October 2010
The Brilliant Corners - Delilah Sands
Year of Release: 1987
Perhaps it was just my particular social circle this applied to, but way back when The Brilliant Corners pestered the indie charts, there was a sense that they were very much seen as a novelty twee band. Unlike the bands on Sarah Records who supposedly meant every gentle word they frailly breathed, Davey Woodward's gang seemed to be perceived as a bunch of piss-taking bastards from Bristol who would churn out observations such as: "We fumbled around in front of the budgie/ she started to laugh - what was so funny?"
Admittedly, in the adolescent angst stakes they weren't turning out tunes like "I'm In Love With A Girl Who Doesn't Know I Exist" (although they did write a single entitled "Why Do You Have To Go Out With Him When You Could Go Out With Me?" - arguably superior, in my view) but, as any fool with a collection of Madness albums knows, there's nothing wrong with knowing wit. Laughing at themselves and their audience, the Corners turned out some brilliant little indie pop singles through the eighties, of which "Delilah Sands" is just one. It doesn't seem to have worked its way on to any of their commercially available compilations, which is a shame as the track has a spring and bounce which is immediately endearing, and substitutes the usual humour for lyrical peculiarities. "I'd bite you if I had the teeth" sings Davey Woodward bizarrely, which is almost evidence itself of the fact that they enjoyed taking the idea of grotesque outsiderdom to ridiculous extremes. If Morrissey was going to pretend to need a hearing aid, they'd simply pretend their lack of teeth let them down in the bedroom. Top that, ugly girl/ boy.
The video for this ended up being played as part of the Chart Show Indie Chart, leading my mother to comment: "Ooh, who is this? Is it Roxy Music? Well, I don't like it anyway". For years since I've been trying to work out what the hell she was talking about, as well as squinting my eyes to ascertain any possible resemblance between Bryan Ferry and Davey Woodward, so perhaps one of you can enlighten me. They certainly weren't as successful, although the cult niche audience they developed has ensured that almost any British alternative music fan of a certain generation has heard of them, irrespective of their lack of mainstream hits.
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