Soufflé So Good, So What

Get on, get on, get on, get on ‘the groovy train’
Get on, get on, get on, get on ‘the groovy train’

Ah that heady aroma of 1990!  Picture a skinnier, even hairier version of your humble author wearing black jeans and a wildly patterned silky purple shirt* with flappy sleeves galumphing around a darkened dancefloor somewhere sweaty in Leeds, beer bottle in hand.  I was chasing good times and chicks; the latter frequently proving far more elusive than the former.

Farm Groovy Train 01

As a Dancing Dude** I was damned lucky to have gone to university during a blessed time of plenty as far as great dance tracks were concerned.  Okay so I wrote up Deee-Lite far too early in this game and that is still my favourite ever track to dance to^ and there were all the Happy Mondays ones I liked but let’s celebrate a couple of more second division treats which i still can’t sit still to.

The Farm Groovy Train is a great case in point.  I was gently mocking a friend at work for going to see them next weekend, which led to me playing it, which ended in a vigorous spot of kitchen dancing, featuring much enthusiastic arm waving tonight.

Farm Groovy Train 03
An actual photo of me in 1990, dancing.

The band always seemed a little bit like Johnny-come-latelys to me at the time and they sailed against the tide by being defiantly Liverpudlian rather than smugly Mancunian^^ and lets face it the lyrics are pretty darn naff.  And yet. And yet. And yet … it is such a wonderfully effective treat of a tune.  Nobody ever wrestled with profound thoughts to the sound of this beastie, it’s solely designed to get you to move and it does it perfectly, the bassline just won’t quit, the chorus is just as unsubtle as you need it to be and the ‘you’re so special’ lines are just bespoke for ensnaring prospective dance partners.

This is the US video for ‘Groovy Train’.  As one wag in the comments put it ”Groovy Train” filmed on a bus. Genius. I’m now looking for a version of “Living on a Jet Plane” filmed on a ferry’.  Ha!

In a similar vein is The Soup Dragons I’m Free, which performs the neat trick of taking a minor fart of Jagger/Richards pedigree and turning it into a beautiful dance soufflé; seriously I think the Stones version is dire – if they had even a half measure of decency they would apologise to the Soup Dragons immediately.

The Soup Dragons were much derided at the time for insisting there had ‘always been a dance element to our music’, when they saw which way the wind was blowing and dumped their guitar-heavy indie rocking for dancefloor heaven … and presumably a skip full of cash.  Good on ’em, I say.

Soup Dragons I'm Free 01

The Soupies give us another great rhythm, soaring backing vox, some rather tasty guitaring and one Junior Reid, who appears to have been employed to say ‘Don’t be afraid of your freedom‘ in a particularly cool manner at the beginning of the track and a bit of unity nonsense in the middle.  I know it’s a bit knowing and a bit naff (again!), but the track just really bypasses my critical faculties, such as they are, and heads straight for my smile and my feet. I’ll always have a place for songs which can do that.

Soup Dragons I'm Free 02

So there you have it, two 12″s that I carry a shitload of nostalgia for but still deserve their place in the 1537 for sheer dance motivational purposes.  They don’t make me think, they don’t make me feel, they don’t challenge or amuse me, they simply make me happy which is, I think, the purest and best reason to collect these spirally scratched lumps of plastic encased in cardboard.

I said I’m free
To be who I choose
To get my booze
Any old time

Here endeth the lesson.

810 Down.

Farm Groovy Train 02

PS: Apart from the title tracks every thing else on either 12″ here is an annoyance.

*purchased from the sort of shop that nobody under the age of 72 had ever shopped at previously.  The man behind the counter looked genuinely slightly frightened to have a youth in his emporium.

**that deserved capitalisation.

^it deserves a better write-up for sure.  Forgive me Lady Miss Kier.

^^very much in their favour, as far as I’m concerned.

24 thoughts on “Soufflé So Good, So What

  1. Here I am listening to a little Sonny Rollins, catching up on 1537 takes and next thing I know I’m watching a guy singing into a fudgsicle (or some other brown nasty looking thing) about a “Groovy Train). Why I tune in.

  2. DEEEE LITE, DEEEE LITE, DEEEE LITE… I COULDN’T DANCE FOR ANOTHER…(making slide whistle noises).

    No really I really couldn’t dance for another. Unless copious amounts of alcohol and perhaps a select AC/DC tune came on. (By dance I mean play air guitar and gyrate)

  3. Great stuff here, especially the pics. Man, seeing photos of past selves is fascinating, eh? I look back through mine and I STILL HAD HAIR. It’s a whole other world.

    Glad you’ve got tracks to which you can move. Me, I don’t dance. It ain’t in me. But I can sit on the sidelines and talk about the b-side of this or that single, no problem!

  4. I know The Soup Dragons track very well, but I’m not so familiar with Groovy Train. But aye, if the records make you happy then they’ve earned the shelf space, right?

  5. * Blues Brothers t-shirt!
    ** Hair!
    ^ I so wanted to see Ms 1537’s Clanger (disguised as a mouse) on a Soup Dragons photo. 🙁
    ^^ Look out for a companion post entitled “My Genesis 12″ – I Can’t Dance”

  6. Since moving to the USA I have discovered my natural dance of the dervish wobble, requiring no coordination, I spent the early 90’s being responsible but that is behind me now. Got me dancing here to Todd Rundgren now.

  7. Nice piece, as ever (just in case you think I’ve stopped reading them old chap). Great to dance, isn’t it. Even badly. I kinda like the muppet-style, free association boogerloo, where you wind up your body (drink lots of alcohol) and let the inner Dervish out. (Not sure what the boogerloo is, but i think that’s what they were shouting at me?) Dee-lite’s the ultimate dance record of all time… but what’s the first record you ever danced to? C’mon, Crazy Horses by The Osmonds? Tiger Feet by Mud? Mine, I must confess, was Sex Machine by James Brown. How about that for cool/diversity points! I did the bump to it with a girl I fancied at the youth club. Pity about the bump bit, and that it led to no other kind of hip interactions – but hey, James Brown!
    What was yours vinyl man?
    And finally… I think dementia actually helps a person find their dancing feet, as they no longer have to be drunk to dance.

    1. Hiya, don’t worry I can sense your presence out there in the aether. I’m with you on the boogaloo, indubitably.

      I can’t remember the first record I danced to in public – I can remember the location ‘The Night Owl’ nightclub in Saundersfoot – my first ever nightclub … it was a tatty seaside affair, but was the most amazing cosmopolitan, metropolitan thing I had ever seen. They definitely played ‘Fashion’ by Bowie that night. I was wearing new shoes and I could barely walk the next day my feet hurt so much.

      It was worth it though, every blister.

  8. Nice to see Jane’s Addiction on the 1990 bedroom wall!
    Hear hear to that last paragraph especially – music that makes us happy is always welcome in the collection, enjoyed this post Joe!

  9. You look like a cross between Ian Mackaye and Michael Stipe, with a little Welsh twinkle in your eye.

    I’m hoping to find my dancing feet one day. Hopefully before dementia makes me forget what dancing feet are.

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