19 Boat to Bolivia by Martin Stephenson and the Daintees 1986
There was a time when I couldn't see this being anywhere outside the top 5. Although it has dropped down a bit over the years it is still a killer lp. I bought this during a very odd 6 months when I was doing voluntary work in Worcester when buying records was the only thing that kept me sane.
Part of Kitchenware's fantastic 4, they had already been going quite some time when the lp came out.
A rag tag mixture of styles but all clocked in Martin Stephenson's sweet vocals painfully honest lyrics and a killer ear for melody.
The sleeve notes were typical of the band , a combination of lyrics for some songs , anecdotes or meaning explanations for other. They were made to be poured over and left you wanting more.
The songs were all very personal
Coleen is a song to his lesbian sister just after she had a relationship breakdown, Look Down Look down the suicide of a someone at school , and Crocodile Cryer written on the day of his grandmothers funeral when his saddest couldn't compute with the celebration of a life that was happening downstairs
There is ragtime , country , pop , blues , ballads and in the title track (which only made the lp on re release reggae. All types of music in there purest form a 19 yr old had no interest in., however in Martin's world they became magical, helped by the fact that at their peak they were the best live band going.
For someone who had never heard Dave Edmunds or Nick Lowe Running Water was a rollicking sing along. The lyric deals with a local boy who held up a petrol station with a fake gun only for the attendant to tragically die of a heart attack
The lp became my one contribution to life in halls and many a drunken night we would put on our own private gig and sing along to the whole lp
These rather ropey clips don't really allow the warmth of the lp to come across, produced somewhat surprisingly by Bunnymen and Pixies producer Gil Norton
Perhaps the most memorable moment is the simplest. I remember hearing this track live where the whole audience sang along from start to finish , not in a drunken joyous bellow but in a respectful haunting whisper
You can buy Boat to Bolivia here and this version for a strange reason has a 2nd disc compilation of the other 3 daintees lps