tremble clef

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

East Village, "Shipwrecked" (1993)

Welcome to today's episode of "Which Brother Would You Rather Be?!" Contestants, are you ready? I said, ARE? YOU? READY!? Then let's begin!

OPTION 1! In the early 80s, you form a band with your brother and a few other blokes, and call it Episode Four. You press a 12" which no one actually owns, and then in 1988 change the band's name to East Village. Your band toils away, releasing some singles, but then the record label you're on folds. Rats!

Luckily, you're friends with Bob Stanley, who is messing around with his own band Saint Etienne at this time, and he sweetly puts up some money so that East Village can "lay" "down" some "tracks." Those ten songs form an album you called Drop Out, which years later would prove to be a bit of a cult item. But record company interest in the album isn't immediate -- FOOLS! -- and East Village calls it quits. Aww! By this time you have moved more into the business side of the music industry anyway, helping run Heavenly with a nice man named Jeff Barrett. Jeff in fact is the one who buys Drop Out and releases it on Heavenly in 1993.

At Heavenly, you manage bands like Saint Etienne. Lucky you! Especially because you become quite taken with the band's singer, one Sarah Cracknell. (When she stopped fancying Tim Burgess, perhaps.) She's foxy! Yes, she has a little flaw with her eyes which she doesn't seem to like talking about, but: foxy! In 2002, you break the hearts of a million men and knock Sarah up; she gives birth to a lovely baby boy you two christened "Spencer" (although not, you would say, after your old bandmate Spencer Smith, who may or may not be a Lord by now), and at the end of 2004, you finally make an honest woman of her. Ding-ding-ding-ding, ding-ding-ding-ding!

OPTION 2! Your path begins by being pretty intertwined with your brother's. You're in Episode Four with him, and then later, East Village. But he's the bassist, and you're the guitarist, and everyone knows guitarists gets the chicks! Suck that, Liam.

When East Village breaks up, however, you don't go the business route like your brother, but more towards art and design. You've always been an ace photographer, and your shots end up on the sleeves for bands like Primal Scream, Doves, and Death In Vegas. Quite naturally, you also design album sleeves for people like Beth Orton and the Vines, and recently is practically the house designer for Saint Etienne. You also shoot some music videos -- HAL's "Plays The Hits," Blue States' "Across The Wires," as well as clips for The Magic Numbers, The Go! Team, and, of course, more Saint Etienne. Indeed, it is with the last that you become a feature-length filmmaker, lensing their musical documentary Finisterre, as well as this year's What Have You Done Today, Mervyn Day? Ooh, arty!

After East Village, you didn't give up on music totally, though. You tour with Saint Etienne as a backing musician, and it is then that you meet Deborah Wykes, better known as Debsy. She is a mini-legend in her own right, having been in Dolly Mixture and later providing some of the most distinctive backing vocals for Saint Etienne. But more importantly: what a cute bob-cut! And what a honeyed voice! You've got to marry her! And you do. As husband and wife, you form a dreamy group in the late 90s called Birdie, who, despite being much loved by certain bloggers, only releases two albums and a compilation. On the b-side of one of your singles you and Debsy even cover an old East Village song called "Shipwrecked." Both versions are wonderful! Yay!

Got that? Okay, fingers on the buttons now! And: Make! Your! Choices!

Tick-tick-tick, rin-rin-rinnng!!

Drumroll! If you went with option 1, then you are...Martin Kelly! Congratulations! If you chose option 2, you are...Paul Kelly! Congratulations! There are no losers in this game!


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