Welcome to the latest edition of ‘Golden Vault’, where we delve into the annals of music to bring you a classic album. You’ll know some like the back of your hand and nothing of others. We hope to get you reacquainted with old friends and create new favourites. The album to be taken out of the Golden Vault for reappraisal this week is 'Work Lovelife Miscellaneous' by David Devant and His Spirit Wife.
Who or rather what killed Britpop? There are many theories, from Radiohead pulling the blinds down in their houses to Tony Blair welcoming Noel Gallagher into Number 10, to hard drugs and an unparalleled level of yes men who skewed scales of ego v talent so much so that bloated, pompous albums such as 'Be Here Now' - mostly filler with a sprinkling of killer - became the norm.
All things must pass, as the great George Harrison put it - every generation simply runs out of collective steam. None of this was helped of course by the fact that in 1997 the most Britpop album was made by a parody act from Brighton.
As any comedian knows, when the jokes about you are funnier than your own, your goose is cooked, and so it was when David Devant and His Spirit Wife presented to the world ‘Work Lovelife Miscellaneous’, a joyous blast of unmitigated fun.
Named after the real-life British illusionist David Devant (1868–1941) and his signature trick, lead singer Mikey Georgeson aka The Vessel channelled the spirit of the dearly departed illusionist into a vivacious set of rock‘n’roll songs with a little help from the king. After all, Devant missed out on Elvis when he was alive, why should he miss out on his advice from beyond the grave?
Mikey Georgeson's dramatic flair for whimsical lyrics and bright melodies combined to create the perfect storm of kitsch exuberance, where murder ballads inspired by Cluedo come to life in a musical universe where rhyming miscellaneous with extraneous seems completely reasonable.
Songs such as Lie Detector and I Think About You would’ve been easy hits in the hands of Blur or Supergrass. Preposterous earworm choruses persist gleefully throughout the album. The tongue-and-cheek Ginger showcases Mikey Georgeson's ability to take the piss out of a subject whilst simultaneously paying homage to it.
The album’s crowning glory comes in the form of the gloriously silly call and response number I’m Not Even Gonna Try, a call to arms for slackers which proudly takes the piss out of the rat race. Poor Auntie Mable is beside herself, naturally.
Who killed Britpop? Well, it was David Devant in the kitchen with the lead-piping, obviously, but he gave it the wake it deserved.