Reference Points gives some of our favourite new artists the opportunity to tell us about something that has had an impact on their work – whether that is a song, a band, a date, a pair of shoes, or an entire country.
This week: ’60s-loving psychy duo Hyde & Beast – who couldn’t keep it to one influence, so they kindly gave us two.
Fleance – Third Ear Band
It’s like a medieval Velvet Underground song!
I first came across this song on a psychedelic compilation album put together by Amorphous Androgynous and was instantly smitten! The open line “oh your two eyes will slay me suddenly” had me hooked. Anyone that has been besotted by someone before will know the power of this line. I must have listened to the song about 50 times on repeat when I first got it.
Its very simple, only about 4 chords with an acoustic guitar, violin, hand drum and a meandering seemingly improvised flute line. It really, really reminds me of The Velvet Underground. It’s a drone, almost a dirge and I can totally imagine Moe Tucker singing it.
The lyrics are actually taken from a Chaucer poem: “Merciless beauty” and “Oh your two eyes will slay me suddenly, I may the beauty of them not sustain, so pierceth it throughout my heart keen” – just amazing! One night after a few too many gins I attempted to write a song using medieval language. I failed. Perhaps if I had been drinking mead I may have had a greater success.
A couple of very strange facts about this song: it’s actually sung by a very young Keith Chegwin! WHAT? Yup, it’s true, this fact put me off the song for about a day but then I crumbled and started listening again. The song was written for the soundtrack for Roman Polanski’s film version of Macbeth and the character who plays Fleance in the film was a young Cheggers who also sang this song.
Also strangely Johnny Rotten picked this song as a favourite of his when he appeared on a Capitol radio show in 1977.
Its a funny old world isn’t it?
Dead Man’s Shoes
This Shane Meadows film is my favourite film of all time. Just like the song above, I must have watched this repeatedly for weeks.
It’s violent and upsetting at times but also very, very funny at moments and it has some sense of justice. I don’t want to spoil the story for those that have not seen it, but it’s about a character who returns home from the army to discover that his brother who has learning difficulties has been suffering abuse from a gang of hapless drug dealers/thugs.
It has taught me that should I ever need to dish out a brutal revenge on anyone, then it’s best if I spike them with LSD first and then turn up at their house in a gas mask with a hammer!
The soundtrack is gentle and lilting and features songs by Smog, Calexico, Richard Hawley and Aphex Twin. I’m pretty sure that Warp Records released the soundtrack. Anything by Shane Meadows or featuring Paddy Considine is alright by me.
Slow Down by Hyde & Beast is out now.