As time goes by the trade off between being known for one song to the detriment of the rest of our catalogue seems like a fake news item that started afore this century, and being called “the most underrated group in Britain” suddenly takes on some charm. Then articles like this one in The Guardian appear, and all is rosey again. Radiohead fans that deny When I Was Born was ever Spin Magazines number 1 in 1997 can do one, and a little balance and truth is back again, many thanks Guy Smith.
‘The Roll Off Characteristics (of History in the Making)‘ is a track from Cornershop‘s Judy Sucks a Lemon for Breakfast album. When American film-maker Prashant Bhargava got in touch with us, he had used our track Topknot featuring Bubbley Kaur as the promo video for his film Patang. Looking at the footage we were impressed by the techniques – bright Fuji Color, blur outs, uneven and downright abstract & thought it a love marriage with the music. The footage also became the official video for the song, and Prashant went on to release the film to critical acclaim in 2012.
When the parents of such a love marriage talked to each other we got on so well that we asked if he had any unused footage from the film to do a video for ‘The Roll Off Characteristics of History in the Making.’ He provided wedding day footage of an actual wedding with Sgt Sardar’s Hearts Club Street Band. We consider the song to be a reflection of how the world has gone in terms of such events as middle-eastern wars being a ‘technical plip-plop’ and ‘honeycomb we are breaking’ being a referendum vote to exit from Europe.
This video used to be up on YouTube but somehow got corrupted – we blame no one, but are sure glad to have it up and running again.
On a very sad note, as we have written about before, Prashant suddenly passed away whilst working in New York. Even more a reason to celebrate the marriage.
You can read about Prashanthere, find out about his Patang film here and order yourself a copy of ‘Judy Sucks a Lemon for Breakfast‘ on vinyl, on CD, or listen to it on Spotify.
Back in June before the European Referendum, we published this playlist on our Facebook page, saying “EU citizens: they are on your building sites, they pick your fruit, they are your new sister-in-law or your hairdresser, people seem to like bashing them these days – to celebrate their contribution to the UK here’s a little playlist for you: UK bands with members from other EU countries and European bands we like.” Even more needed now. Includes The Hanging Stars, The Raincoats, Stereolab, The Microgirls, Robert Rotifer, Soko, Whyte Horses, Bed Rugs, Savages and more.
In 1994 we recorded Born Disco; Died Heavy Metal, and put it out in tartan metal jacket and that was that (as per below), and then as part of our Hold On It Hurts album. Then we decided that that was not that and recorded it in easy listening form as part of the Hold On It’s Easy album. Now in 2016 we have decided to put vocals to it again in easy listening form, with vocals by The Mike Flowers Pops (further below). We promise not to have any other versions of it out ever, unless the opportunity presents itself, for we understand that easy listening is not always easy reading.
We have also decided to use this website more, and talk about some of the episodes the group has gone through, so if you have any questions please contact us.
Last year we released our 1994 debut noisy pop album completely reworked as an easy listening vinyl slab. It came out on our label Ample Play Records and you check it out and order it here.
“Cornershop’s creative highs have sometimes seemed like the result of Tjinder Singh’s desire to prove his critics wrong – never more so than on this instrumental reworking of their debut album.” John Mulvey, Uncut
Some stated the easy lounge was reminiscent of Mike Flowers Pops. In the meantime, Tjinder had got to know Mike Flowers drummer, and it was therefore arranged that Mike would do his take on the original lyrics. The result is something that is augmented and fresh – a solid set of tracks for all the family, they are even still in keeping with the politics of the day, if not more so.
To accompany the song, the UK’s most celebrated hoola hoopers Hoop La La especially created choreographed a piece for the video (film and photography by Phil Miller) – Ooh La La Lemmy.
Out 1st of April via all digital plaftorms, including our own Ample Play.
Ollie got in touch with us to buy, and asked for additional material relating to the song/book/vinyl ‘What Did The Hippie Have In His Bag?’ to create a lesson for his children’s school. Ollie hailed from my old alma mater of Preston, so we were happily surprised that this lesson/workshop was for a French school. It sounds like it went tip-top, this is how he describes the situation in his own words:
“Being a massive Cornershop fan (and indeed owning our own Cornershop in Cornwall), whilst now living in Southern France, I was approached to donate some time and ideas for an EnglishDay at our children’s Bilingual school, the perfect opportunity to bring my passion for music and art presented itself.
‘What Did The Hippie have In His Bag?‘ immediately sprung to mind as lending itself perfectly to the occasion. It’s an undeniably funky toe tapper of a tune, very English and my kids love it (even Nancy who, just turned three recently, knows the words and will often insert them into everyday life, e.g. Double days and bubble gum, what did Max and Nancy eat for lunch?…….it’s unknown!) The idea to instill a bit of Cornershop wisdom and humour into the French kids learning- irresistible, perhaps a little left field, maybe too bonkersly British but a challenge worth undertaking.
The kids and I knocked up a Hippie’s bag and contents over a long French Bank Holiday weekend. A couple of additions were made to tailor the story for the English Hippie in a French environment (Marmite and Curly Wurleys) and we were good to go.
Being double rubbish at French didn’t make the workshop an easy prospect but undaunted and with a Hippie bag full of enthusiasm (and Curley Wurleys) and help from Tjinder and the brilliant head teachers we were off. “OK so you all going to join in?” Yeaaaah
We played ‘Hippie’ through before reading the book with the help of props and interpretation. The repetition of the title with the children backing is great for worming its way into your head and making it irresistible for singing along to. I tried to focus on words that are similar in French and English like boobley goom, marmalade, comprehend, espace, notre sac and hearing fifteen French voices pronouncing squelch (Mirandaesque – squelch, nice word squelch) is wonderful.
We finished by playing the video and the distribution of English confectionary. Six groups of kids ranging from eight to eleven passed through and hopefully left a little wiser to the world of pure imaginative, very British, eccentric, funky silliness. They certainly gamely played along and I’d like to think there’s a place in their hearts for the Hippie and his bag.
I’m already planning on doing it again soon with the addition of percussion and aimed at younger children too…….watch this space!
Now that we’ve climbed the mountain, the mountain will never seem the same again!”