Rollercoaster is another key track on England's Dreaming Spires, the amazing debut album by Village Green Machine.
Here, Mark Lemon talks about this track;
"Rollercoaster draws on the kitsch american bubblegum pop of early 60s America, the sort of thing Andy Warhol liked. When I recorded it, I was deliberately listening to the Shangri Las, and there is a Four Seasons influence, and a surf music influence. Not to mention echoes of La Bamba. I really belted the drums hard, you don't get that on early 60's pop. The point is, a lot of 60's influenced bands have drawn on post Hendrix influence, whereas I am drawing on the pop side, the earlier stuff. Its brilliant - everyone should listen to He's A Rebel by The Crystals, or My Boyfriend's Back by The Angels, and Louie Louie by The Kingsmen which is the same era but is an early garage r&b record. Rollercoaster amazed me, I didn't realise I could do kitsch Americana. Pop is art."
"The lyrical content of Rollercoaster is English entirely, its another one about an old fashioned British holiday, at a coastal resort. I haven't been to that many, but I like fish and chips, the pub, and basic stuff like that. Formica tabletops, simple pleasures. There is a touch of John Betjaminesque stuff in the song. The record has a real swinging groove. Download it, tell your friends, spread the word, I want this to be no1 in a few months and we're going to do it by word of mouth.''
This week Mr. Lemon has been adding overdubs to another track for the second album.
'We have put Farfisa, fuzztone and backing vocals on Around Rushall Churchyard. It began life as a delicate ballad, but I can't sing like that so I've built the track up on the original basis of electric guitar and vocals. We used the sound of the church hall to get an ambient drum sound. The track is sounding fantastic, it is sounding wonderful in the middle bits. Maureen Tucker is a major influence on my drumming here - the stuff she did on Lou's New York album, as well as her classic Velvets era pounding. It is a dramatic song now, with a big crescendo, and it signifies the fact that the second album will be a match for the first. Its another really strong one in the can, but I will need to really push the production into overdrive to make it a great record. I set out to make great records. I set the bar high, its he only way. VGM must be about great music".
This week VGM have begun having proper business meetings and are developing the business plan.
Mark has been unable to put his socks on all week.
" I ripped my back, its agony! I have just had to sit here, combing through ebay, looking at the 1950's and 60's collectables. Why is it that I never see any really good mid 60's trousers, like Mick Jagger or the Small Faces used to wear, those chequered hipster ones. I will have to see what DNA Groove can do. They are an online mod clothing seller, with a cool designer, I think he's called Claudio? Anyway, he's a genius. He designs all this ultra stylish top end mod clothing. He will point he way forward for the mod scene, I am sure. Maybe he does a neat surgical truss, thats what I really need at the moment'. It will have to have big button down collars and a box pleat, of course."
Ah, life is so prosaic, so mundane. Even Britain's best songwriter can't get his socks on. Crippled he sits, his nerves in a jam, a long where from anywhere, in Birmingham.
Hey, I quite like that. Infact its so good, Mr. Lemon, who plays a 1960's fuzz pedal given to him by John Mcnally of the Searchers, could have almost written it himself.
Maybe I'm in the wrong profession, as a mere music journalist obsessed with Britain's real best new band. Its true I am a senior citizen, but my pants do swing. My name is Sir Percival Spitfire, my toenail, just went ping.