When I was 17 I went on my last caravaning holiday with my folks to Polperro in Cornwall. Getting there was an ordeal two days in the back of the car arguing and trading blows with my younger brother wasn’t the best start to a holiday.
Once there, I loved it. Polperro was a great place and full of teenage girls. That year I had a secret weapon with me to aid in the attempt to meet members of the opposite sex, a three month old golden retriever pup and it worked like a dream. The best ploy was to go down into the village from the caravan site buy an ice cream, find a bench then feed the pup the cone, no need for awkward conversation starters then.
I’m not sure if this is how I met the girl from Ashington but it did work a couple of times. The girl was a year younger than me and slightly gothic in dress sense, I’ve always been wary of goths but she was alright, no “woes me” and she even smiled. As with any meeting of teenagers the talk got around to what are you into (musically) and it turned out she was into northern soul just like myself and that was that we were inseparable for the second week of my holiday.
When we were packing up to come home L came over and gave me a compilation tape, full of northern soul and some indie stuff. We said our goodbyes and how we would stay in touch etc etc. On the way home I played the tape, all of the usual suspects were there, The Night, Picture Me Gone, etc but at the end of side 2 there was this acoustic track which vocally, to me then sounded like Pete Wylie but of course I couldn’t discover what it was as there was no track listing with the tape. I played this song over and over again so much that the tape got stretched, it was on a cheap Panda cassette and eventually snapped not long after and before I found out what the song was.
Over the years the vague recollection of the song has popped into my head from time to time but by this time I couldn’t remember the words only the phrase “easter parade”.
Last October I was checking out Davy H’s excellent blog as you do and he had posted a track by the Faith Brothers, which I duly down loaded, listened to and decided that this Billy Franks fellow warranted further investigation so I downloaded the tracks from his website and lo and behold the track called The Easter Parade was the very track which had been annoying me for the last 20 odd years on and off.
Last week, I eventually found a copy of the double pack single of the Faith Brothers – The Country of The Blind, the second single of which contains The Easter Parade.
The song is another anti war song, there have been a couple of those here this week. It deals with the aftermath of the Falklands campaign and the fact that Thatcher did not want any wounded servicemen taking part in the parades which followed the troops return.
I have posted both the single version and the album one (courtesy of Mr H) as they are a bit different.