Monday, 15 November 2010
Someone will make you wise, but it will not be me
When he was around these here Northern parts, a cover version or two was not unknown. He'd take a song and add that voice to it and simply claim it as his own, in every sense. I mean, there is that heart-crushing take on 'The crying game' that can just leave your eyes all wet without you realising it, as well as a version of 'Wild is the wind' that simply leaves the Bowie one out in the streets, singing for it's supper. However, the song I come back to, time and time again, is this one. Caught live on the old Jonathan Ross show 'The Last Resort' in 1987, Billy, in association with Steve Nieve and The Playboys, tears this classic to pieces and stamps his unique mark on it, like only he could. Those vocals. Angels died, surely? This is just pure and simple genius, and Billy's talent is missed so much in these Days of X Factor. I often wonder what he'd make of it all. Doubtless he is too busy walking his dogs, hanging out with his mum and laughing at us in that rather operatic, Dundonian way. That'll be fourteen years in January and it is still hardly believable.
Billy MacKenzie - 'You only live twice' (live, cover) (4.41)
This is an invaluable resource. And this clip still makes me laugh. It's the Billy I remember. Not a tragic figure, haunted by depression and the death of his mother, but a 'giving' man, full of wit, charm and warmth. He was a total flirt, of Hal Hartley ranking.