This song just came on my iPod while cooking breakfast. Takes me back to a specific time, doesn’t it? 1992, the love album. The European Union was being formed, as given hommage right on the cover of the album. I was an international economics major at the time, so this was all very exciting to me.
And BritPop, of course. The production on this song sounds almost hilariously dated now, but the song itself stands up, I think. Most of the references are utterly english so unless you are a committed early-90’s era Anglophile, they are going to be lost on you.
But New Cross is a poor neighborhood in london that was stricken heavily by AIDS, hence the bridge to the song chronicling the devastation, and the title, a play the Simon and Garfunkel song.
Me and my college britpop friends loved these guys, especially Daniella and Beth, who got me into them. We saw them a few times, it was always slightly less than you wanted, because it was just the two main dudes, Jim Bob and Fruitbat, running around like freaks to a backing track. Ironically I suppose it would work just great in 2012. You see that sort of thing all the time these days. But the two reigning genres of the day were shoegaze and grunge, and so it seemed a little weird to us.
Still, though, they were great, and hearing this song today brought me right back to college, to Comm Ave and Deli Haus and Man Ray and the Star Market in the Fenway, and running around in the abandoned building that would become the landmark center and theaters in the Fens now. Setting Beth’s chinchilla free in the Fens. Mark and Hugh and paper mache pterodactyls and brontosauruses. Baggy pants and stripey shirts. Bleach blonde hair and no gut. Ahh youth.