Friday 24th March
“Adolescence – what’s it like?
It’s a psychedelic motorbike
You smash it up ten times a day
Then walk away”
These are the brilliant lyrics of the song Adolescence by Prefab Sprout, which these days is simply Paddy MacAloon playing and singing everything. The album is his latest ‘Scarlet Red’; Prefab Sprout albums are now few and far between but this one came out a couple of years ago and is his latest – it might even be his best. Sometimes a song just gets under my skin, and it is usually the lyrics which get to me. I can’t stop playing this song, it absolutely nails that mad and dangerous but exciting moment of adolescence. I have long believed that it is the duty of the young to teach us oldies how to live. And how…
“It’s moonlight on the balcony
It’s pure hormonal agony
Bad poetry its greeting card
– Will the Bard”
“Adolescence – why is it so?
Ask someone else, how should I know?
It’s a song I sang and then forgot
Too long ago”
Now, if only I could write with such abandon, such recklessness and such honesty. The rest of the album is pretty damn good too; a song about a jewel thief, another about the Taj Mahal and one about an old conjurer…
“The old magician takes the stage
His act has not improved with age
Observe the shabby hat and gloves
The tired act that no-one loves
There was a time he produced doves”
Anyway, I am currently in love with these songs…give the record a listen – it’s on youtube… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkelh2kET1I&list=PLmO5ZCE_-eYqBY8z4Kcre1DqJY2WewzVF
Prefab Sprout were famous in the mid-eighties and Paddy MacAloon is about my age now, he has severe hearing problems brought about by playing live too close to the speakers. He is by all accounts a cantankerous old bugger – who cares, if he can still write and sing songs as superb as this he is one of the greats.