This month sees IBM celebrate its 100th anniversary. Here’s a little bit of IBMÂ UK history/trip down memory lane. Back in 1989 I was at North Harbour just outside Portsmouth and the boss wanted a pic taken. Here’s the result. The dashing executive on the left is me in a very new Pierre Cardin suit which my Dad bought at Debenhams in Palmerston Road a couple of years before. Fond memories of Jim & Geoff and not forgetting Nora, Claire and all the other lovely Irish lassies . . .
As you can see, the hair had just started to grow and about one year later this picture below was the result. Scraped back into a ponytail but there’s quite a lot down the back. A young Ray Reardon perhaps?
Note also the textual representation of the screen. My mate Jem had a running bet with me that a couldn’t get the word ‘JOBY’ into the internal magazine. With a bit of semantic chicanery I think I just about managed it. We had a lot to worry about in those days
Long time fans will be relieved to know lead singer Naoko’s English accent remains unchanged: just the right side of comprehensible but occasionally straying into that weird place where the hard Japanese consonants fade into vowels already mushier than a heartbroken Michael Bolton whereupon it all becomes a glorious balm for the ears. My copy of the CD booklet even contains the word ‘lSuxury’ and I’m not so sure it’s a misprint.
Subject matter is as wacky as ever: jellyfish, stationery and a lost guitar all feature as does a gem of a song about South American rodent beastie the Capybara: â€œroly-poly body shape/swimming very wellâ€. Shonen Knife don’t do depth but they do literal like no other.
Shonen Knife are often said to be a cure for the blues and this album is no exception but they can do angry too. â€œEconomic Crisisâ€ is as close to venting spleen you’ll ever get from the Japanese. â€œWhere’s the missing money?â€ cries Naoko in vain. Many will concur with the sentiment.
Elvis Costello: Alison