Aston Villa fan (Boo!) and good friend of Bifurcated Joe Sharratt (@fiveinmidfield) who writes the superb Five in Midfield was contemplating counting up his pocket change to have Emile Heskey as guest of honour at his next birthday party when there was an eerie tapping from the ceiling above. As he started shuffling awkwardly in his chair his alarm went off and he bolted up right. This was no dream … The Bifurcated Train had arrived.
(Yep! That’s right Canvey Island. We don’t know why either! Although if you listen to Radio 6 Music, you’ll notice it’s very “in” right now.)
As Joe got off the train he was politely shoved towards the car park and the now familiar oddity of the car-boot sale with the stall, run this time by someone who looked suspiciously like ex-Manchester United and Villa player Paul McGrath! Who else?!
Blah-blah-blah (Aren’t you bored of this bit yet?)… “Welcome to Canvey Island cds, tapes and vinyl. I’ve got to shift all these for a friend of a friend after a miscommunication over a squirrel, anyhow, won’t bore you with the detail, it’s fairly irrelevant to the point of this whole nonsensical thing. We have every single ever pressed or recorded in stock, and at 5 for £1, you can enjoy picking your 5 favourites of all time?!”
“Like millions of others I grew up on my parent’s Bob Dylan records, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. This song remains my favourite Dylan track because it’s just so enchanting, with it’s whimsical list of characters that skip through the glorious repeated riff before Dylan’s husky tones repeat the chorus lines with feeling. The harmonica outro brings a smile to my face every time. It’s a song I will never tire of.”
“With just a simple twisting piano riff, the twang of a guitar and Chan Marshall’s stunning vocals, this is about as simple as music can get. But if the music is simple the feeling behind it is anything but, so tender and heartfelt, yet so turbulent and destructive; it’s like Chan is singing in your ear, kissing your neck, and sticking a knife in your back all at the same time.”
“Building from David Gilmour’s beautiful melancholy guitar intro into a gorgeously mournful vocal encompassing feelings of loneliness and Gilmour’s own relationship with Syd Barrett, Wish You Were Here remains the defining Pink Floyd track for me. Just an utterly wonderful song with a lifetime of emotion crammed into five minutes. Heartbreaking.”
“From the Public Enemy sampling intro that reverberates to the demand of “Revolution!” to the controversial claim in the chorus that “I laughed when Lennon got shot”, Motown Junk was a call to arms for anyone fed up with the nauseatingly dull and empty headed early 90s Madchester scene. Overflowing with piss and vinegar, the Manics were the band Britain needed, quoting everyone from Camus to Presley and Nietzsche to Monroe, whilst dressed like the Clash. Amazing.”
“From debut album I’m Like A Virgin Losing A Child, this remains Manchester Orchestra’s signature song. Front man Andy Hull’s dizzying lyrical journey through dreams, abandonment and crises of faith is steered by a crashing drum sequence that guides it across a cacophony of skidding guitars and exquisite riffs, choir choruses and and the culminating, passionate cry of “God, where have you been?”. Gives me goosebumps every time. Why Manchester Orchestra aren’t the biggest band in the world I have no idea.”
“Steinbeck’s masterpiece, a magnum opus of American literature, this allegorical retelling of the story of Cain and Abel is as breathtaking in scope as it is in beauty. Dripping with Steinbeck’s incredible eye for detail, it’s a novel that swallowed me whole. Read and re-read a dozen times, yet constantly offers something new. It is, in absolutely every sense of the word, an epic.”
…and then we dropped Joe off by popping him down the chimney, not before high-fiving and saying goodbye.
You can follow Joe here on Twitter >> @fiveinmidfield
And you really are missing out if you don’t visit his site >> Five in Midfield
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