THE BRIDEWELL TAXIS: Don’t Fear the Reaper (Blue Oyster Cult B.O.C cover) + Face in the crowd 7″ Check video


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Bridewell Taxis – Don’t Fear the Reaper

(b/w “Face in the Crowd”)

Label: Stolen
Year of Release: 1991

The Bridewell Taxis’ came out at a point where many indie bands were scoring rogue hits with covers of classics. Most bands at the time were idly whacking on funky drummer loops and wah-wah guitar to bog-standard covers of sixties classics to gain psychedelic cool points. The excesses of seventies adult rock hadn’t really been explored yet, for the simple reason that music critics were still surprisingly sniffy about that era. Given these walloping great facts, then, you could be forgiven for wondering what the case for the defence actually is. Primarily, I would argue that “Don’t Fear The Reaper” is actually a really good Blue Oyster Cult song. What The Bridewell Taxis did was create something which is definitely rougher, with squeaking organs where the guitars would normally be, a slightly harder, more agitated vocal, and some brilliant subtle use of brass which reminds me of the Salvation Army band on a weekend. Its a much more pleasing version which is more foggy and autumnal, but still manages to add some grit into the mix. And well… you can’t deny that the driving riff was always a good one to start with.

It helps that I always did like The Bridewell Taxis too, a band who were much hyped by the NME and Melody Maker when they entered the music scene, then promptly forgotten about as soon as it became apparent they weren’t going to go the distance. Despite the fact they hailed from Leeds, they were lumped in with the Manchester movement, which actually made precious little sense for reasons far beyond those of location. The noises they created appeared to owe a greater debt to the Northern alternative bands of the early eighties like The Teardrop Explodes and Wah! than any current white label spinning at the Hacienda. Their solitary trombone player also added a very low-budget Northern Soul effect, like some token, lo-fi nod to the mod movement.

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Weight 0.09 kg


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