Wednesday, 20 April 2011

8: Dream Academy, “Life in a Northern Town” (no.15, 1985)

One of those occasions where the name of a band and the title of a song really did say it all. A mix of head-in-the-clouds optimism and industrial hilltown grit and poignancy, embued with a real and enduring sense of how those dreams may founder upon contact with the real world; a fitting tribute, then, to poet and musician Nick Drake, dead at the age of 26 from an overdose of antidepressants. (Geographical pedant note: Drake actually spent much of his life in Tanworth-in-Arden, which is only really about as northern as I am. Still, what else would you expect from a group whose members boasted three of the poshest names in pop: Nick Laird-Clowes, Gilbert Gabriel and Kate St. John. Honestly, they make Tim Rice-Oxley from Keane sound like a mere commoner.)

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