Friday, 20 August 2010

Clandestine Classic VII - Where I Find My Heaven

The seventh post in an occasional series that is intended to highlight songs that you might not have heard that I think are excellent - clandestine classics, if you will. Maybe they'll be by bands you've never heard of. Maybe they'll be by more familiar artists, but tracks that were squirelled away on b-sides, unpopular albums, radio sessions or music magazine cover-mounted CDs. Time will, undoubtedly, tell.

Today's offering is the commercial (yet still clandestine) highpoint for Potsdam's forgotten indie boys, the Gigolo Aunts. Although they formed in New York, the Aunts (who took their name from a Syd Barrett song) had a guitar-led sound that was more at home in the UK during their (admittedly rather low) peak in the mid 1990s. Their album Flippin' Out from 1994, on Fire Records, achieved mild chart success, and that's the record I bought to get today's clandestine classic. Because you see I'd already heard it elsewhere and was at the point where I'd buy anything to get a copy...

Where I Find My Heaven was released as a single in 1995 but passed me by. However, it was then used to soundtrack the BBC2 sitcom Game On, which I loved, and the excellence of which I will extol more fully in a dedicated blog post one day. Even the fact that this song was later used extensively in Jim Carrey crap-fest Dumb and Dumber does not diminish it. For Where I Find My Heaven is a perfect example of what happens when indie guitar jangle meets harmonies. It doesn't matter if the lyrical theme is a little on the simplistic and oft-repeated side (working week bad, weekend good), not when the vocals soar like this. For a long while I hoped the Game On patronage might mean that the Gigolo Aunts were from some provincial backwater of the UK (perhaps even "the mean streets of Herne Bay") but no. I should have known better for a band that sound like what would happen if the Everly Brothers had grown up in a post-Stone Roses world. But never mind - the song was, and remains, three and a half minutes of near perfection.

The first (and best) series of Game On starred Ben Chaplin, Samantha Janus and Matthew Cottle. Chaplin went on to make a decidedly average film about the perils of mail-order Russian brides with Nicole Kidman, before disappearing off to Hollywood and, presumably, up his own bottom. Janus spent several years plastered all over the lads mags of this world (and, back then, with good cause) before taking some time out (family break?), and is now to be found in Albert Square. Cottle went on to... well, I think he was a continuity announcer on Channel Five, or was it Four? Other than that, erm... And the Gigolo Aunts? They went on to eventually break up, I think, as is the way of undistinguished indie boys the world over. Their offical webpage has recently disappeared, though their Myspace persists. That their greatest hits compilation is called Where I Find My Heaven tells you everything you need to know about them. Jim Carrey's done alright for himself though...

You can still pick up a copy of Flippin' Out on Amazon. On the off-chance that you might just want today's classic the unscrupulous amongst you may find it here. And if you can bear the awful film snippets, there's always YouTube...

1 comment:

  1. The Man Of Cheese21 March 2012 at 12:26

    Quality tune that evokes many happy memories. Should be compulsory on every pub jukebox!