DENIM – It Fell Off The Back Of A Lorry

It’s not all gloom round mine, obviously. One thing I’ve been listening to a lot is Disky’s wonderful Wow…That Was The 70s! box set, and in turn that’s opened a window into my ‘getting’ Denim. I hated the Denim On Ice album when it was released – a colleague loved it and kept playing it, which never helps, and it seemed an unfunny coda to an unpleasant time for pop. Time has mellowed my prissy annoyance with Britpop and Lawrence’s deadpan observations of pick’n’mix popcult seem a lot darker and droller than they did at the time.

Mostly though I like the record more because so much of it feels like a tribute to the strangeness and exuberance of 70s pop. The talkbox guitars, flourished key-changes and multi-tracked choristers of “It Fell Off The Back Of A Lorry” tap the same absurd mayhem of Fox or the Pipkins: pop’s studio arsenals harnessed in the name of trivia and nonsense, an alternative universe where the Beatles never recorded anything except “Mean Mr.Mustard”…and were still the biggest band in the world. On most of the album, Lawrence streaks this candyfloss vision with sharply-recalled details of real 70s-and-after living, grey and grimy – it’s still fun, but it’s art-pop too. But “Fell Off…” is the most straightforwardly gummy tune, so I like it best, so that’s where you should start.