Songs They Never Play on the Radio (broadcast #1): ‘Red Planes (’81 Demo)’ – Weekend

So, a new regular Blasted feature for the New Year. As you might gather from the (possibly occasionally inaccurate) name, we will be endeavouring to bring you obscure (or at least obscure versions) of songs that we stumble across. The name of course comes from James Young’s rather excellent snapshot of six years in the life of the ever-inimitable chanteuse Nico.

 

The first pick isn’t entirely a coincidence. Firstly, because it was a track discovered on the week that we conceived of this new feature, and secondly because it bears a passing resemblance to what could’ve been a lost (possibly slightly more upbeat) outtake from one of Christa Päffgen’s John Cale-produced albums.

 

The song we’ve chosen for this inaugural bulletin is by Welsh band Weekend. No, not that Weekend, the other one. Fronted by former Young Marble Giants singer Alison Statton, Weekend were a shinier affair than the minimalist, monochromatic and mesmerising abstractions of YMGs and definitely weren’t as special or, as…well…good. Not by a long chalk. Presumably recorded in the direct aftermath of Statton’s former band’s breakup, this is a strange piece of music, swirls of ambient strings hypnotising over a minimal and (actually very YMGs-like) electronic beat, Statton’s vocals deeper than normal and bordering on Nico-esque.

 

Credit for our discovery has to go to the continually intriguing Mr Kiran Sande of Blackest Ever Black, one of the most consistently interesting and exciting record labels in the world. His excellent mix (of which there are many) in which we found this song was Dream Theory in Haltemprice