October 26, 2020
As part of our ‘Looking for Lolagon’ push, we decided to recruit our friend and Consequences correspondent Paul Hamilton to explore the extra-curricular activities of Godley and Creme in the late 70s and early 80s. He’s the Co-author/editor of the brilliant 'How Very Interesting: Peter Cook's Universe and All that Surrounds it’, and boasts a prolific career 'writing and producing songs and videos that I hope will unite the whole world in actively hating’! He brings us a tour-de-force here: an absolute Kevin and Lol trivia-frenzy, and a real hoot to boot.
This episode will make it clear that Kevin and Lol were involved in some really interesting musical projects, almost all of which were eye-wateringly obscure and sadly, commercial failures. Hamilton is keen to stress that the principal motive for chasing paid commissions was to pay the bills; for, unlike most other musicians, Godley and Creme had no revenue from live work. This is a very good point, and after all, the boys needed some paid gigs given the failure of their first three albums! Their first two outside ventures were perhaps the most substantial and interesting that we cover in this chat. 1977’s ‘Listen Now’ album by Phil Manzanera and Bill MacCormick's band 801 sees Kevin and Lol turn in some nice cameos on vocals and Gizmo on four tracks. A recorded gig in Manchester sees G&C make a rocking-horse-shittingly rare live appearance, and we’re delighted to say that these tracks have been added to our subscribers’ shared ‘Goodies in the Pipeline' folder.
Kevin and Lol were paid handsomely to produce Mickey Jupp’s 1979 album Long Distance Romancer. An eclectic departure for the Southend ‘pub rock’ Stiff Records artist, the album does give us some lovely thick wadges of G&C-ness. It’s tremendous to hear Kev’s drums and Lol’s guitar, especially, and like most of the projects we discuss here, our Dynamic Duo’s presence is so often almost over-bearing in its distinctiveness. This wouldn’t always endear Godley and Creme to their collaborators. Their production work on the Boomtown Rats’ V Deep LP from 1982 is a case in point.
Other musical dabblings are generally a mish-mash of obscure and/or unlistenable curios, and we dish up some super-rare clips courtesy of Hamilton and our good chum David Jarvis. These include cameos with Jona Lewie and The Clash, and production jobs for Blue Rondo A La Turk and Writz. One other venture behind the mixing desk is so rare that not even our usual helpers can find it! Almost as rare, you'll also hear a few painful snippets of their collaboration with 'The Photo Kid'. Not all works of genius then, but finally, on a much more positive note, we'll play you a terrific little advert jingle that you may well recognise. It's a treat.
We really hope you enjoy our chaotic romp through this patchy but fascinating stuff. Do check out Paul Hamilton’s tasty and entertaining music and video catalogue at https://bisonics.bandcamp.com/music.