Tuesday 17 January 2012

Clandestine Classic XXII - For Tomorrow

Songs For Me (And My Baby)The 22nd 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.

Before you leap straight to the comments link, no, I'm not touting For Tomorrow by Blur as a clandestine classic. It was one of their biggest hits, after all. Not clandestine in any way. So read on.

Twelve years ago, almost to the day, The Man Of Cheese and I went to see Gene at The Forum. They were, as you would expect, excellent. As were the main support band, Bellatrix (though I seem to recall my opinion may have been clouded by slightly fancying the singer). Of course we were too late arriving at the gig to catch the first support act, probably as a result of consuming ale in some pub or other first. Whatever the reason, we missed The Motorhomes. It didn't matter though; as we left the venue, a three-track promo for their album was pressed into my hand by a faceless record label marketing intern. I took it home and played it the next day. It wasn't good enough to make me go out and buy the album, so as a promotional tool perhaps it failed, but one track stuck.

What can I tell you about The Motorhomes? Not too much, actually, although Wikipedia tells me they formed in Jönköping, Sweden, in 1997 as a four-piece. By the time of the debut album, Songs For Me (And My Baby) in 1999 they had added a member. There biggest hit, Into The Night, came from that debut. As well as the Gene support slot, The Motorhomes were on the undercard for a Suede Scandinavian tour. Oh, and they played at the Reading Festival. But then... then there was one more album, The Long Distance Runner in 2002, before the band split in 2004 - singer Mattias Edlund decided he'd had enough.

I did find a Swedish music website that talked about The Motorhomes. Google translated some of it for me, and apparently the band produced "melancholy guitar-pop, brittle pop music and more things than you can name." Blimey. There are a couple more things that I can name though. For Tomorrow is characterised by what I can only describe as a real ear-worm of a guitar line, and an ethereal quality that you don't find too often with male vocalists. Maybe it's something to do with Mattias's entirely relaxed but utterly precise enunciation (something that a lot of Scandinavian bands singing in English seem to have).

Aside from his vocal style, what's he actually singing about? Seems to be about soldiering on in the face of adversity, perhaps a relationship that is doomed but somehow stumbles on in the vain hope that something - anything - might improve. I know, not what you'd call upbeat. But look...

Nothing's too good, nothing's too bad,
We can't live for today just live for tomorrow.
We got to go on, got to go on,
No, we never know.


Hold just one moment;
You're out of line,
And it is choking
What we've got.
I'm so tired
Of being right.

I don't know about you but those are better lyrics than I could write in Swedish.

Anyway. I can't tell you about the album, Songs For Me (And My Baby). It might be ace. It might be pony. What I can tell you is that For Tomorrow is beautiful. And whilst I couldn't find the track for you to download, we can at least rely on YouTube to provide us with the proof. Have a listen. What do you reckon?


  1. The Man Of Cheese21 March 2013 at 10:03

    I seem to recall that Mr Rossiter was on fine form and gave it his all. I also think that was the gig where Mick Talbot of The Style Council fame came on to play keyboard for a few songs - excellent. It all seems so long ago now............

    1. It was a long time ago mate. But not so long as to have addled your memory for indeed, Mr Talbot was on keyboard duties that night. Class.