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The Trip curated by Jarvis Cocker and Steve Mackey

The Trip curated by Jarvis Cocker and Steve Mackey

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

THE Trip series, rather like the Back To Mine franchise, invites key music industry figures to take listeners on a journey into their musical imagination across two CDs worth of recordings.

Previous releases have been delivered by the likes of Dirty Vegas, Tom Middleton, Saint Etienne and Snow Patrol and have succeeded in delivering a rich, diverse and often surprising insight into the inspirations behind many of those artists.

The latest curators are Jarvis Cocker and ex-Pulp comrade in arms, Steve Mackey, who have duly delivered a mix that takes the listener from smoky Parisian cafes to dirty Shoreditch dancefloors over the course of 35 tracks.

Not everything is a success and the tracks on search certainly provide an eclectic compilation – but there are some notable cuts from the likes of David Essex (Rock On), The Beach Boys (Feel Flows) and Neil Sedaka (Going Nowhere).

The most surprising thing about it, however, is just how many artists will probably be new to you – some for good reason, others that are sure to prompt further investigations of their back catalogues.

CD1, for instance, kicks off with Carl Orff’s Gassenhauer a mellow gem that clearly provided the inspiration for Hans Zimmer’s True Romance theme (which has also since been used as the bedding for an advert).

The CD also ends in pleasingly chilled out fashion with Moondog’s Pastoral, another blissful gem. Both tracks are worthy of a place in any chillout collection.

In between, there’s the country music of Porter Wagoner’s The Rubber Room, the classic charm of Bob Lind’s Cool Summer, the psychedelia of Animated Egg’s odd but infatuating Sock It My Way and OMD’s satisfying Waiting For The Man.

The Human League crop up with the lesser-known Rock ‘n’ Roll, while The Fall are also present with an alternative take on the Sister Sledge dance-floor classic Lost In Music.

A lot of CD1 is offbeat, colourful but eccentric – just like Jarvis himself!

CD2 follows in similarly compelling fashion, kicking off with the old school, feelgood rock ‘n’ roll of Elton Motello’s Jet Boy Jet Girl, with its ‘ooh, ooh, ooh, he gives me head’ chorus.

Along the way, there’s The Polecats’ rocker John, I’m Only Dancing, which contains the same sort of guitar riff as Queen’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love before dropping into a rousing, foot-stomping chorus, and Electronicat’s country rocking Wop Do Wop.

There’s some chilled beats surrounding Quixotic’s Mortal Mirror, complete with sassy, Motown style female vocals (‘you don’t know me, but I know you’) and a deep, husky country style surrounding Lee Hazlewood’s Pour Man, which could easily have been ripped right out of Johnny Cash’s songbook.

There’s a Parisian chic reverberating around Georges De La Rue’s Les Visiteurs, while Ronald Binge draws things to a close with the enchanting Sailing By.

In between, there are some odd, startling choices that are guaranteed to get eyebrows raising and heads scratching. But no matter what you may ultimately think, there are enough good moments to make this particular Trip worth taking, even if it is one of the most challenging in the collection.

Track listing:
Disc one:

  1. Gassenhauer – Carl Orff
  2. Release The Bats – Birthday Party
  3. Rubber Room – Wagoner, Porter
  4. Just Drifting – Psychic TV
  5. Lady With The Braid – Previn, Dory
  6. Cool Summer – Lind, Bob
  7. 24 Sycamore – Pitney, Gene
  8. Sock It My Way – Animated Egg
  9. Feel Flows – Beach Boys
  10. Winter’s Going – Dobson, Bonnie
  11. I’m Going Home – Guthrie, Arlo
  12. Don’t Think Twice – Bare, Bobby
  13. Jukebox Babe – Vega, Alan
  14. Waiting For The Man – OMD
  15. Rock ‘n’ Roll – Human League
  16. Villian – Lieutenant Pigeon
  17. King Wasp – Add N To (X)
  18. Lost In Music – Fall (1)
  19. Pastoral – Moondog (2)

Disc two:

  1. Jet Boy Jet Girl – Motello, Elton
  2. John I’m Only Dancing – Polecats
  3. Wop Do Wop – Electronicat
  4. In Zaire – Wakelin, Johnny
  5. Mortal Mirror – Quixotic
  6. Egyptian Reggae – Richman, Jonathan
  7. Pour Man – Hazlewood, Lee
  8. Flashing Light – Sutch, Screaming Lord
  9. Beasley Street – Cooper Clarke, John
  10. Rock On – Essex, David
  11. Les Visiteurs – De La Rue, George
  12. Pammies On A Bummer – Sonny Bono
  13. I Wonder If I Care As Much – Everly Brothers
  14. Purple Haze – Dion (1)
  15. Going Nowhere – Sedaka, Neil
  16. Sailing By – Binge, Ronald