Play something we know. That is Glenn (“Groovy Uncle”) Prangnell’s mantra. And singing something we know is Suzi Chunk’s. Since teaming up for the debut Suzi Chunk record, Girl from the Neck Down, Prangnell and Chunk, together with an ensemble of talented musicians, have churned out a steady supply of songs you’ll be sure to recognise. Even if that can’t possibly be the case.
Take the latest collaboration, for example. Surely the A-side of the new single, ‘Got Up and Gone’, was a hit for Dusty Springfield back in 1965. In fact, come to think of it, isn’t this actually that recording? Maybe Mary O’Brien experimented with a different pseudonym for a while.
And while we’re at it, wasn’t the B-side, ‘Find the Morning’ used for the opening credits of that Michael Caine film? You know the one set in Swinging Sixties London, filmed off the back of the success of The Italian Job. I forget the name now.
The answers, of course, are “no” and “no”. Both sides of the single come with an incontrovertible copyright date stamp of 2016.
As with much of Groovy Uncle and Suzi chunk’s previous output, variety is very much considered the spice of life. While ‘Got Up and Gone’ is a feisty blast of pacey rhythms of parping brass (a not entirely distant relative of ‘Town Talk’ by Ken Woodman & His Picadilly Brass, in fact), ‘Find the Morning’, with its silky-smooth triplet flute riffs and slower tempo make for a sedate entry into Medway’s musical cannon.
But despite the stylistic differences, there’s much in common between Side A and Side B. They are metaphorically, as much as literally, two sides of the same disc.
For all the bravado and swagger of ‘Got Up and Gone’, the lead track is all about when “enthusiasm [has] malfunctioned/normality has busted and broke”. Counterintuitively, it’s the more introspective B-side that offers a ray of light. In ‘Got Up and Gone’, it’s all about know “you gotta make tracks/but your body don’t feel inclined”, but there’s no prospect of a solution.
In ‘Find the Morning’, though, there’s a yearning to get away from “something I’m dreading” and “find the morning”: “I won’t be a slave to the feelings I let in”, as one lyric goes.
Once again the Groovy Uncle/Suzi Chunk pairing has produced something along the lines of aural gold. Play something we know again please. And again. And again.
- Buy your copy of the single from the Groovy Uncle website.
- You can find out more about Groovy Uncle and Suzi Chunk, together with a splendid array of other Medway bands in my book, Do it Yourself: a History of Music, published by Cultured Llama.