Thursday, 31 January 2008

Fashion - Citinite

Recently I have digressed from the main thrust of this blog with tape and CD single rummaging. It’s time to get back to my vinyl roots with a brilliant Fashion single from 1979. I consider this to be one of the best things I’ve posted so far. I mentioned in an earlier post that I first heard Fashion when they supported The Tubes in 1979. They received a less than enthusiastic welcome from some sections of the crowd, partly because we were expecting Squeeze and probably more because they looked and sounded so strange. I think you could say the audience was split between those who got it and those who didn’t. Obviously, when you see a band for the first time you’re not going to remember the whole set but I clearly remember Steady Eddie Steady and Citinite.

Citinite was one of the standout songs of their set. Where most of the songs were short and edgy this was longer and haunting, with a long instrumental passage. I can’t remember if the live version had the treated vocal and “wind” effect heard on the single but in my mind they were there.

mp3: Fashion - Citinite (1979)

About 10 minutes after their set they walked through the theatre, presumably on their way to the bar, and the people who had earlier been so vocal in their condemnation were strangely quiet at this point. I’ve no idea what the band’s motivation was, maybe they were just thirsty, but I took it as their way of saying “Screw you! Say it to our faces.”

The treated vocal makes it difficult to understand the whole lyric but the album featured a lyric sheet so I have printed the words below.
he’s a small man
inside a tall one
girl of the street
bought at twilight
flat on the windscreen
faces reflection
flat on the windscreen
faces reflecting
tongue thru her lipgloss
turns me inside out
leaves me in no doubt
turns me inside out

she’s got concrete looks
windows are closed eyes
see her shimmer
in her dress of a thousand lights
bought in shop windows
if the price is rite
bought in shop windows
if the price is rite
smile so enticing
turns me inside out
leaves me in no doubt
turns me inside out

laser lover – video friend
monotone – romance
data readout – digital display
data readout – digital display
she’s a sheet of glass
but she’s real to me
she cannot decay
but so real to me

citinite, citinite, citinite
citinite overpass
citinite neonlite
citinite hologram
citinite terminate


So It Goes said...

I can't believe nobody has commented on this! Genuinely strange and original stuff, so original that I can't think of who to compare it to.
Thanks once again, mate!

Mick said...

I’m a little surprised too but I’ve given up trying to predict which posts will get the strongest response. As for comparisons, when I saw an early incarnation of Scritti Politti supporting Gang of Four one audience member kept shouting “Steady Eddie Steady!” between songs in reference to Fashion. Both bands experimented with reggae rhythms and there was something about their look but the comparison ends there really.

JC said...

I'm ususally not bad at leaving behind some words (or so I'd like to think).

I just remember at the time despising Fashion - can't recall why. It's just that I never took to them. So I read the post but didn't listen. Maybe a few others did the same.

Oh and Mick...I long ago not only gave up trying to predict what posts would get responses but which post would get most hits.

I once for a joke put up some stuff that appeals to computer-literate youngsters (e.g Blink 182, Marilyn Manson etc.) and watched the daily hits double from the previous high....why do we bother??

Mick said...

The Fashion you despised may well be the Mark II version with a different singer and a more conventional electronic/dance sound. They also had a bit of an image makeover with David Bailey portraits on their album sleeve (David Bailey? Who’s He). This version of the band got much more exposure and even had some minor hits. I liked this version of the band too but I can see how they could irritate.

I remember your Blink 182 experiment. The only joke post I’ve done so far was the Wiggles version of Split Enz ‘Six Months In A Leaky Boat’. You’d be surprised how many people downloaded that. Or considering how many of us have young children, maybe not.

Planet Mondo said...

I always liked Move On, and Street Player - was that Fashion Mark 2?

Mick said...

They are both Fashion MkII and they're coming this way soon.

EuropeCrazy said...

I loved Fashion (the Mark II version) - Fabrique was such a brilliant album and I still play my battered vinyl copy today. Looking forward to reading your next post about them.