The great playwright and wit, Oscar Wilde, wrote a well known play about a handbag called ‘The importance of being earnest’. I haven’t seen or read the play, but I have seen the film and Colin Firth, as usual, was excellent in it. (At this point I’d better clarify following a grammatical quirk in the first sentence – the play was called ‘The importance of being earnest, not the handbag).
Earnestness tends to be an under-rated quality among the pop stars of 2013, but in the mid 1980s it was like poo in a field. At that time pop stars had only two ideological choices - you were either a member of an organisation like ‘Red Wedge’ or you were a member of Duran Duran.
Now, earnestness and unbridled fun don’t often go hand-in–hand I’m sorry to say. That’s certainly the case on today’s cassette from 1985, Faith Brothers’ ‘Eventide’.
That’s not to say that it’s not an extremely good album though, in fact it has been one of the biggest surprises of the cassette experiment so far. Like many albums you can guess the tone from the titles of the tracks ‘A daydreamers philosophy’ (they missed the apostrophe, not me!), ‘Easter Parade’ and ‘The tradesmans entrance’ (them again, not me!) leave the listener in no doubt that these boys are not unfamiliar with the Robert Tressell’s ‘The ragged trousered philanthropists’ (which, unlike ‘Earnest’, I have read).
Best known tracks (on what is sadly not a very well known album) are ‘Easter Parade’ (which currently has a paltry 557 views on YouTube) and ‘Eventide (a hymn for change)’ but others, such as ‘The tradesmens entrance’ and ‘Sunday (rebel soul)’ also have their moments.
If you find the idea of Billy Bragg with a better voice (he’d admit that himself) and a great band an appealing thought, then you might like this if you’re able to find a copy.
Label – Siren
Year - 1985