My mp3 players have a habit of dying just before christmas, though to be fair I thought my last one was on the way out this time last year and it managed to hang on for an extra twelve months, despite being literally held together with sticky tape by the end. But the USB connector came hopelessly loose earlier this month, so last week I got a new mp3 player, and thought “I haven’t played The Field Mice in a while, I think I’ll load their entire discography onto this thing”. Which I did, and have spent the last few days reacquainting myself with Bob Wratten and Michael Hiscock‘s brand of bedsit melancholia. I’d forgotten quite what a bonkers mish-mash of musical styles Skywriting is (and incidentally, “Humblebee” is still a pointless throwaway that goes on far too long, which is pretty much how I feel about all non-musical sound collages, apart of course from Yazoo‘s “I Before E Except After C”). Conversely, I very well remembered how magnificent For Keeps is, but it was nice to have it confirmed. And it was also great to hear “Missing The Moon” again. To be honest, this song is the main reason I went straight to the Field Mice discography.
“Missing The Moon” isn’t a christmas song, and once again it’s not even a song that came out at christmas (16 September 1991 according to Discogs). It does however contain a fleeting reference to “the night before christmas”. And it’s a (non-christmas) cracker, with Bob Wratten and Annemari Davies sharing lead vocals, sequencers going crazy, and an electric guitar sorta-wigout to placate the synthpop-hating indie kids (though I can’t see that working, really).
I don’t actually have all that much Sarah stuff on vinyl (mostly later 7″s and anything by Heavenly), but I’m chuffed to own this on 12″, it might even be one of my Desert Island Discs, or at least one of my Tracks Of My Years (now, how do the criteria for those two things differ, do you reckon?)
Link: The Field Mice – Missing the Moon (password: salad)
1. Missing The Moon
2. A Wrong Turn And Raindrops
3. An Earlier Autumn
Wishing all my readers a tolerable christmas…
More indiepop for you! This 1990 Peel Session by The Field Mice goes around online and I’m happy to do my bit to keep it circulating. This session was recorded around the time that the superb and diverse Skywriting mini-LP came out, but rather than showcasing that record, The Field Mice chose to do four new and exclusive songs instead. These songs never appeared on any official release; they’re not even on the double-CD reissue of Skywriting, even though there’s easily room for them.