The advent of computers in the second half of the twentieth century infiltrated every area of our personal existence. This blog is only coming to you as a result of that. As far as music is concerned, artists like Moby can compose myriads of songs without leaving the comfort of one’s own home.
This was an ethic put into practice with startling results when Jyoti Mishra, an immigrant to the UK from India, started making his own music as a kind of one-man band in 1990. It paid off for him handsomely when, under the name White Town, he hit no. 1 in the UK charts with an ambivalent song about the end of a relationship, Your Woman (FF 1996 #31). It came from an EP titled Abort, Retry, Fail?, a message commonly known to PC users every time Windows 95 failed to work. Since this song, White Town’s lack of success has been egregious (he split from EMI the following year), but Jyoti formed his own label last year and may surprise us yet. The video was filmed in his adopted home town of Derby:
It was just, ‘Let’s make a record’. We didn’t even think about it, or think about anything. We never thought we’d sell any copies. We just raked together our holiday money, and just made the record. Everything came afterwards. That was the idea, really. If we’d thought about it, we wouldn’t have done it.
Since those days, the band have steadfastly refused to give interviews, thereby creating a mystique about themselves. If you like what you hear, virtually their whole recorded output, including this song, is available for download here. As the sleeve of The Medium Was Tedium proclaimed: ‘If you can understand, go and join a band. Now it’s your turn…..’