Single cover for Driver by The Very Things

Highlighted under neon streetlights, a Ford Cortina with late 70s patina and laden with four dubious occupants, creeps its way ominously through the old estate, late at night. Consciously driving two mph under the limit – to avoid too much attention – the MkIII appears to drive with a restrained urgency. The time-dulled windows, wound down by hand, allow the car’s over-worked speakers to preach to the uninitiated…  

The shuffling quality of the song is instantly hypnotic. The dirty, electric fuzz of the Fender Jaguar is coupled with a bass motif that the whole street seemed to hum involuntarily. The hoarse threat of a voice underpins the song and the incantations are spectacularly esoteric.

Driver by The Very Things

The tentative Cortina arrives at a junction – with three choices. No need to indicate at this time of night or is there another reason? The sun-glass donning driver looks languidly three ways, over & over and one can only imagine the inner dilemma. Decisions. The anxiety is etched on his face.  Is he his own worst enemy? He leans forward and worries the speakers once more…  

At once the realisation is the shuffling quality is perhaps more of a swagger? As if trying to project to the world, everything is ok. The backwards drumming enough to give the Funky Drummer something to drum his fingers to as he ponders the technique.

The faces of the four men, leaning back into the time-worn, grand luxury of the Ford, look familiar, very familiar. I’m sure we have heard from them before? The Cortina tentatively pulls out and veers to the left, following an unconscious vote.

The swaggering – or shuffling? – soundtrack to an unknown destination defies comparison. If Alabama 3 had made a filthier sound? If Big Audio Dynamite had sullied their sound?

If life didn’t throw up so many ifs then Driver would never have been written. These are the very things that keep us awake at night.

To be continued…

Driver by The Very Things is released on 21st of June. The album, Mr. Arc-Eye (under a cellophane sky) is due for release on 26 July 2024.

By: The Swilgate Scuttler

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