26.9.10

THE SERVANTS : She's Always Hiding 7" (1986)

Servants 7"
Westlake
A short 'n' sweet entry from The Servants, featuring the elusive David Westlake, Creation Records' Great White Hope for 1987 (along with Blow Up, Phil Wilson & Baby Amphetamine). Westlake, where are you now?*

As mid-80s Brit jangle goes, "She's Always Hiding" is a bit of a classic - reserved, subtle, nicely performed & not at all dated, despite embodying it's (much maligned) era. If nothing else, it puts paid to the common misconception that all homegrown independent guitar music from this period was the product of twee, thumb-sucking Byrds-fans with greasy fringes & uniformly appalling vintage knitwear. It also led directly to John Peel immediately commissioning their sole BBC session (though Westlake, with The Go-Betweens as his backing band, recorded a solo set for Janice Long in early '87). In hindsight, Westlake seems a superior vocalist / lyricist to many of his late 80s contemporaries, & it's perhaps unjust that The Servants somehow missed out on the critical hyperbole granted to, for example, The Loft, with whom they certainly had a minor chord or 2 in common.

Originally released on Head (Loop, The Wishing Stones, etc) in 1986, this neglected 7" has since been rounded up by Cherry Red to kick off their 2006's Servants CD retrospective. The B-side, "Transparent", overcame it's all-too-obvious debt to Syd's "Octopus" to appear on the NME's misunderstood C86 compilation, of course. Though slightly unrepresentative of the band's sound generally, it's undoubtedly their most widely heard song. Great single all 'round then!


* He's lecturing in English at Brunel University apparently.

2 comments:

  1. Much preferred The Sun A Small Star but ah those were the days. I've so far skirted around much of this period at Floorboards so this post has given me a bit of a kick up the arse.

    Expect some recollections of the Creation / Head / Dreamworld stripey T shirt brigade imminently...

    Andy

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  2. Between you & me, I was rather sniffy about some of this stuff at the time, but I've really grown to appreciate it over the last 10 years or so. There was so much crap about back then as always) that the good stuff often struggled to be heard though, fortunately, it's endured...

    The whole (Servants') Reserved compilation is v.good actually - I'm on a bit of a Westlake mission at the mo'!

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