Sunburn. Chronic hayfever. Having to wear sandals and then getting little stones trapped in the sandals. Any one of the myriad reasons why July is not my favourite month. Plus it’s usually pissing down – I mean, this is England. Cold, wet feet in sandals with a stone in the sole, and hayfever. I’m not quite sure why Chris Connelly hates July so much (as opposed to, say, April), but whenever this month rears its ugly little head, this song just pops its way into my brain and I find myself humming it by the water cooler.
Yes, that’s the Chris Connelly from RevCo and any of those other industrial side projects from the mid-90s. He started out in Finitribe if I recall correctly, and I last saw him in The Damage Manual, though I think he’s released a few more solo albums since then. Hmm … that means I almost certainly met Chris Connelly, since I spent a good few minutes chatting with the band at a gig once – the day I finally got to go up to Jah Wobble and say, “Mr Wobble! May I shake you by the hand?”; he duly obliged. I don’t recall meeting Chris, though.
The only Chris Connelly solo album I bought was Phenobarb Bambalam, which I think is in the plastic crate to my left with the other CDs I’d play more often if they weren’t stacked up in the plastic crate to my left.
Phenobarb was a bit of a shock, to be honest. I think I was expecting it to sound more like this
which is normally how I expect stuff featuring Chris Connelly to sound.
Instead it sounded like this
which is “sort of Bowie-ish”, in technical rock critic terms. That’s not a bad thing, by any stretch, since I do love me a bit of Bowie. It’s a fair reason why I played this song to death in July … 1996 or ’97? … at least to the point where 15 years later it can crop into my head, lyrics (at least mostly) intact.
Of course, if I’d have heard this first, I wouldn’t have been surprised at all. There’s definitely something sort of Bowie-ish on here, too.