“This self-indulgence could kill a boy…”

Here it is! “Unworthy” by Thieves, my almost-nomination for the best tracks of the 90s poll on ILM. Who were Thieves? A duo of David McAlmont (later of Bernard Butler team-up and failed solo career) and a guy called Saul who went on to do chintz’n’bass stuff as Mandalay, oddly since the beats are the only unimpressive aspect of Thieves for me. The notion was to marry Saul’s chocolate-box indie arrangements – think Cocteau Twins, Sundays, This Mortal Coil – to McAlmont’s flaming soul melodrama. A lot of their output is directionless richness, but in “Unworthy” they suddenly wrote The Song that their combination needed, a four minute flare-up of hurt pride that I was delighted to discover sounds just as great now as the other, oh, thousand times I’ve listened to it. Surely one of the new jazz bores could cover it and make “Unworthy” a minor cult object instead of a miniscule one… meanwhile, download it, and if anyone did want to nominate it and correct my shortcoming, hie them to ILM.