I explicitly remember the first time I ever heard this song. I went to Newbury Comics and bought the three part CD single the day it came out on import. I went back to my house in Allston, where I lived with Craig and Keith and Jussi, and put it on the speakers at full volume - no one else was home. It was totally unexpected and wonderful, unlike any Spiritualized I had hear yet up to that point. And when the bass kicks in, the music kicks in… “here it comes and then it goes…” I completely lost it.
I mean, I’m not a junkie or anything, but the genius about Jason Pierce’s angst is that it can apply to any jones. It can apply to any confusion, addiction, or obsession.
I also somehow obtained, at the time, a VHS promo tape of the music video for this song. I was sort of a burgeoning audiophile then - a habit I quickly kicked - and me and my friend Annie would listen to the song on my giant Klipsch speakers and Carver amps (ha. a poor audiophile, no less). We’d just crank it and let the giant bass wash over us when it kicked in.
People talk about Ladies and Gentlemen all the time - Spin magazine’s best albums of the last 25 years, NME’s album of the year. But Pure Phase was Spiritualized at perfection, at least on tour. They played Boston three times for this album, and I made them all. Kate was still in the band. Sean Cook. His amazing harmonica playing on “These Blues” at the Orpheum was something to remember. The one-off show at Axis they did in prep for their tour with Neil Young. The first Paradise show where they’d been playing this album for almost a year and had most of Ladies and Gentlemen written by then and debuted “Come Together,” “Electricity” and “Cop Shoot Cop.”
Oh man. I wouldn’t go back to those days, working the night shift at Copy Cop, but I sure do miss them sometimes.