Keith and the Impact Allstars — Raindrops

It looks innocuous enough: more so when you find out it’s a cover of “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”. Keith could be one of any number of reggae Keiths, known or unknown. It’s certainly not K. Hudson but I’m not prepared to speculate further. Also, ‘Impact Allstars’ doesn’t convey a great deal of information. Nor does the plain yellow Explosion label. Or the fact it’s the unheralded b-side of an undistinguished Errol Dunkley single.

The thing is, it’s filthy. Perhaps the filthiest reggae record I’ve ever heard. The first line’s “My girlfriend keeps farting in my face” and it goes downhill from there: I’ll spare you the grislier details. The best thing about it is that ‘Keith’ doesn’t laugh along, he emotes. He pulls out all the tricks of feeling for this mucky little re-write: a melismatic ache, and phrasing which sounds like he’s dredging the words from his very soul.

And while it’s a very male form of dirty humour, it’s not at all clear who’s in charge, who has the upper hand in the relationship: “I ain’t gonna stop my little babe by complaining / Because she’s free.”